The Fellowship of the Ring
Friendship Quotes Page 4
How we cite our quotes:
"I have looked the last upon that which was fairest," [Gimli] said to Legolas his companion. "Henceforward I will call nothing fair, unless it be her gift." He put his hand to his breast. […] "Alas for Gimli son of Glóin!"
"Nay!" said Legolas. "Alas for us all! And for all that walk the world in these after-days. For such is the way of it: to find and lose, as it seems to those whose boat is on the running stream. […] But you have not forsaken your companions, and the least reward that you shall have is that the memory of Lothlórien shall remain ever clear and unstained in your heart, and shall neither fade nor grow stale." (2.8.80, 82)
It's nice to see Gimli and Legolas getting on so well, united as they are in this shared grief at the loss of Lothlórien. Besides their burgeoning friendship, though, we are also interested in the fact of Gimli and Legolas's sorrow. The clear mourning that they feel losing Lothlórien inspires sympathetic sadness in the reader: we, too, are sorry that we cannot see this beautiful place. And when Legolas says, "Alas for us all! And for all that walk the world in these after-days," he could be speaking straight to us: we are walking in the after-days. Worse, we are walking in the after-after-days, when we don't even get to see Elves or their ruins. Watching Legolas and Gimli mourn for Lothlórien when they have just left it makes our own sense of loss even sharper.
"But I must go at once. It's the only way."
"Of course it is," answered Sam. "But not alone. I'm coming too, or neither of us isn't going. I'll knock holes in all the boats first."
Frodo actually laughed. A sudden warmth and gladness touched his heart. (2.10.113-15)
Sam's absolute refusal to leave Frodo puts the finishing touches on Tolkien's portrayal of their friendship in The Fellowship of the Ring. Sam is totally devoted and faithful to Frodo, willingly following him to hell on Middle-earth. And Sam's friendship is the only thing that lightens Frodo's natural disposition towards melancholy and sorrow. After being caught up in dark thoughts about war, Sam's honest attachment to him gives Frodo a "sudden warmth and gladness." So Sam's friendship for Frodo is their best weapon against the slow, creeping despair that the Ring brings to him.