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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:14 pm

The idea here is to pose a hypothetical 'what if' scenario to an existing part of Tolkien's work.

To give you an idea I'll kick off with a hypothetical for discussin, and when any discussion dries up someone else can propose a new scenario.

So the first one.

Imagine if at Mount Doom, after Frodo claimed the Ring but before he put it on, and if there had been no Gollum present. What would Sam do?
Would he try to reason with Frodo? Would he try to find him and take the Ring from him? If it came to it would he put Frodo and the Ring into the fire? Or would he finally just give up in despair? Or something else? What do you think?

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Post by halfwise on Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:03 pm

Sam would be horrified and perplexed - I think the movie got his reaction right, though the book never described it. The more interesting question is what would happen next? Now that Frodo actually claimed the Ring would the Nazgul obey him? Sam's reaction is kinda secondary compared to the coming scenarios.

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Post by David H on Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:06 pm

He might try to reason with him, though reasoning isn't really Sam's strong suit. In the end if he's to stay true to his character he'll follow Frodo no matter what. Just look at how many times he followed Frodo against his better judgement before this.

To Halfy's point, I'm going to say that if Frodo claimed the Ring he wouldn't have the power to control it in any meaningful way. His strength was to resist, not to control. Once that strength of resistance was broken, Frodo would be broken. Then it would just be a question of what devilry the Dark Lord could devise for Frodo before actually claiming the Ring as his own.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:32 pm

I was thinking particularly of Sam, as I think he would have had time to react before the Nazgul arrived.

And for me at this point in the story the very core thing still driving him on is the thing he realised way back at the start, after speaking with the elves in the woods of the Shire- that there was something he had to do and that lay ahead, in front of him, and he had to see it through.
And when he thought Frodo was dead after Shelob he took the Ring because of the greater good.
So would he try to take the Ring for the greater good from a Frodo who had claimed it and was refusing to destroy it? Sam knows the stakes well enough by this point.

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Post by Radaghast on Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:38 pm

Middle-Earth would have been boned because whatever Sam did, he couldn't have done it before the Nazgul reached them. The quest could not have succeeded without Gollum.


Last edited by Radaghast on Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by David H on Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:43 pm

It's a fair point, but even knowing the stakes, I don't read Sam's character as having enough confidence in his own understanding of the big picture to  outweigh his loyalty to Frodo.  I think of him as of some of my neighbors who know the world is going to hell, but will ride the train stoically to the end of the line rather than try to derail it.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Apr 21, 2014 5:30 pm

I think he would first try reasoning with Frodo and then when that failed, as it must do, he would have sat down with his head in his hands knowing the gig was up, I think it would have broken him in two, because the he remembered the brief time he also wore the Ring, maybe the Ring lust would briefly waken in him and that would war with his loyalty ro Frodo, and the realization ME was doomed. I think it would have been the last straw. I think he would have quietly waited with Frodo until the last, there beside Frodo when the end came, to wait quietly with Frodo until the Nazgul arrived. I think his loyalty to Frodo came before everything else because he knew he could never hurt him or throw him in the fire. Not even common Hobbit sense could have helped him in that terrible situation.

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Post by azriel on Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:19 pm

I dont think Sam would have given in & given up. He may come across as Mr softy but, being faced with a 'do or die' situation, when your back is definitely against the wall & there is no way round or out, I think the thought of his 'old Gaffer', The shire, Merry & Pippin, Sweet Rosie, who he wanted to marry so much & all the other people & things in life he loves would be tipping point for Sam, I think he'd fight it out & take his chances. He'd have to be really pushed I reckon, as he does care for Frodo, & fighting him would not come easy but, look at the loss if Sam didnt ?

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Post by Mrs Figg on Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:17 pm

I think Frodo and Sam had already made a superhuman effort to get to Mount Doom. they were both on their last legs emotionally and physically, for the last hundred miles or so all Sam's efforts had been the protection of Frodo, he had only left Frodo when he had thought him dead and was prepared to continue in Frodos memory. But at Mount Doom I think Sam's courage and strength would have finally buckled under the weight. he wasnt a superhero just a normal person who had already given his all and then some. I think Sam wouldnt have fought, or if he did it would have been a last nasty trick of the Ring making him turn on Frodo while Sauron laughed.

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Post by David H on Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:42 pm

I agree. I think Sam would have fought to the bitter end,  and then could have found some final comfort in his last thoughts, knowing he'd done everything within his power to stay true to his principles.

To have turned on Frodo at the last, (which still very likely would have failed,)  would have cheated him out of that one final comfort.
That might have broken him. But I think he always sensed that danger, and that's what keeps his moral compass true.

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