The Lord of the Rings trilogy is filled with brave warriors and iconic characters. At first, the story’s hero may seem like Frodo Baggins since he’s the protagonist and the bearer of the One Ring. Gandalf and Aragorn both fit the hero role quite well, too. However, the true hero of the saga is none other than Samwise Gamgee.
There are plenty of characters throughout Lord of the Rings who play essential roles in the battle to save the world from darkness, but Sam’s the one who performs some of the most vital tasks throughout the series. For one, he sees through Gollum’s trickery. Gollum spends much of his time with Frodo and Sam lying to their faces, trying to steal the Ring from them, and attempting to kill them. Frodo blindly trusts this menace, but Sam is always skeptical of him. He recognizes that Gollum is a threat and that he shouldn’t be allowed near him, his best friend, or the Ring.
Sam is also the only character who actively ensures that the Ring gets destroyed. While all the other members of the Fellowship are off having other adventures and fighting other battles, Sam sticks by the ringbearer the entire time. He even begs Frodo to throw the ring into the volcano. Sure, the others are doing important things, like fighting the orcs and saving kingdoms, but Sam makes sure the absolute most important task is accomplished.
Sam comes across as a humble, mild-mannered hobbit, but he has a surprising amount of fight in him when needed. He saves Frodo’s life by fending off the giant spider known as Shelob. He doesn’t flinch in the face of this danger; he stares directly in its face with a blade in his hand. He also storms a tower filled with hostile orcs to ensure his friend’s safety. He doesn’t have armies or giant trees to back him up either; he just has his own courage. He regularly risks himself for others and is clearly a selfless person.
It’s not just his actions that make Samwise Gamgee a hero, but his ideals as well. Other characters seek power or fame or thrilling adventure. He, however, just wishes to have a peaceful life with his loved ones and wants nothing but the safety and health for those he cares for. After the Ring is destroyed and Middle-earth is saved, he goes back to the Shire, gets married, has kids, and lives a quiet life with his family. That’s all he’s ever wanted and asked for.
He saved the world and doesn’t think of himself as some great champion above all others. What makes one a true hero is doing the right thing solely because it’s the right thing. He never sees himself as a hero. He’s just someone who values kindness, peace, and life. Samwise is the shining example of the most important values one could have, and that’s why he’s the most heroic above the rest. The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien even considers Sam to be the true hero of the story himself, and it’s easy to see why.