Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Themes

The friendships between the major characters of <em>The Fellowship of the Ring</em> are adorably bromantic. And although the more emotion-allergic among us may blush a little at the soulful sentiment between Sam and Frodo or Merry and Pippin, it's this strong feeling of friendship that makes the Ring Quest possible. After all, at the end of <em>Fellowship</em>, Frodo doesn't take Aragorn (strong, brave) or Legolas (fast, also brave) with him. Instead, it's Sam who joins him. Sam insists on coming along because he loves Frodo, and Frodo allows him to come because he can't bear to go into Mordor without his dear friend by his side. It's the emotional bonds between these guys that give them the strength they need to resist Sauron. As in the <em>Harry Potter</em> stories, the only weapon Sauron <em>doesn't</em> have is love, which the Hobbits share in abundance.

Questions About Friendship

  1. How does The Fellowship of the Ring depict friendship as a tool against the power of Sauron? How does friendship help to make the long struggle of the Ring quest better for Frodo?
  2. How is Sam's friendship for Frodo different from Merry and Pippin's? What role does Sam's class status play in the nature of his relationship to Frodo?
  3. Sam and Frodo's friendship is obviously the defining one of this series, but what other pairs of friends appear in The Fellowship of the Ring? How do these friendships reveal aspects of the individual characters' personalities to the reader?
  4. How do the friendships in The Fellowship of the Ring compare to, or contrast with, romantic love?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Sam's single-minded devotion to Frodo is has nothing to do with friendship: as Frodo's servant, it is Sam's job to look after him.

Gandalf inspires more love than Frodo. The mourning that the Elves of Lothlórien offer for Gandalf after he has died demonstrates the sheer amount of love that he has inspired among diverse peoples.

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