Sam: The actual hero of the story.
There are a number of good heroes in this story. Also a number of real idiots. Pippin tends to mess everything up. Boromir with his delusion and arrogance. Denethor, last of the Stewards of Gondor, telling his surviving son to his face he wished he (Faramir) were dead and Boromir survived. Sending Gondor’s horsemen to their destruction.
What gets me (what also got me about Harry Potter – the later sequels) is how Frodo becomes the perfect tragic hero. (Harry does too.) This got me the first time I saw the movies, by which time I’d read the books 5 times, and was never tripped up by Frodo’s tragic nature. I don’t want to be funny, they go through hell, sure, but all that dead-seriousness is not much fun!
It also struck me this time round how Faramir, who is no less a hero than his brother Boromir (though less arrogant) is portrayed in the movie as a wuss. A total softy. In the book he’s brave and decisive, and his decision not to take the ring from Frodo is based in wisdom rather than in lack of character.
On the other hand Eomer really gets his moment in the sun.
Interesting to revisit this movie. I will have to re-read the book, I’ve nearly forgotten about Fatty Bolger, Fangorn Forest and Tom Bombadil. The first time I watched The Fellowship of the Ring, I couldn’t understand why they should have left such colourful parts out, until it struck me that Tom Bombadil actually messes up the plot because he’s totally immune to the ring.