Sam: “It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. . . . Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. . . . There’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it’s worth fighting for.”
—The Two Towers
Sam makes this speech to Frodo at the end of The Two Towers, when the hobbits have reached a low point. They’d been close to the gates of Mordor when Faramir captured them and took them and the ring to Gondor. Just before Sam makes this speech, a weakened, hypnotized Frodo nearly hands the ring to a wraith. Success in the mission seems unlikely. However, as Sam gives this inspiring oration, we see images of Rohan’s victory over the forces of Saruman and the Ents wreaking havoc on his tower, good signs that suggest Sam and Frodo’s fortune is about to turn. Indeed, Faramir is so moved by Sam’s words that he sets the hobbits free, rather than hold them and the ring in Gondor.
Sam’s words inspire those who listen, and they also reveal Sam’s growing wisdom. Frodo is not the only one undergoing a difficult journey—Sam is as well. He no longer speaks as a fresh-faced youth but with the wisdom of age and experience. He refers back to childhood stories, another component of the innocence of the Shire, now a thing of the past for Sam and Frodo. Here, Sam finds a way of looking back without regret, and in the Shire’s innocence he finds the inspiration he and Frodo need to push forward. The Shire is never far from Sam’s mind, and he draws his strength from his memories of it. Frodo, on the other hand, will never be able to go back to the Shire. The answer Sam claims to have found will never come to Frodo. This passage does, however, anticipate the fact that Frodo will turn his adventures into a story. When his journey is over, composing this story will be as close as he comes to finding the peace of mind that Sam does.