By: Dan Nockels
The three interpretations of the journey through the Green Dragon at Bywater varied mainly in their purpose and the desired emotional reaction provoked in the reader. In the book it is a method of revealing that strange happenings are going on in the shire. Also we get to see Ted the Hobbit kick the crap out of Sam at barroom chatting. Although in LOTRO the bar did seem boring enough that if one hobbit burned another that excellently I might have clapped too. Not in the movie though, way too much drunken hobbit dancing to pay attention to where elm trees are located in the shire. I’m pretty sure that the purpose of the Green Dragon visit in the movie was to assure us that Sam’s not actually gay. Although if they best they can do convince the audience of Sam’s sexual orientation is show him drinking and sighing at the other end of the bar from a hobbit chick then I am far from convinced. Still better than nothing, and better still than checking out Frodo. Last and probably least in the Lord of the Rings online game I not only went to the Green Dragon, I went there with a pie. As the helpful hobbit that I am I was drafted to deliver a piping hot pie all the way from Hobbiton to Bywater without any hungry hobbits catching me. The hard part is that, as I learned from the movie all hobbits are hungry all the time, and Hobbiton is full of hobbits. After a few tries I managed to dodge the entire population of the shire and made it to the Green Dragon. Where nothing was going on, no drinking, no merry dancing (not even any Pippin dancing) and no pseudo-gay hobbits pining over their ostensible love interest, I was pissed
By Colin Doberstein
In my first post, you may remember that I poked fun at one Samwise Gamgee for being essentially useless, except as moral support for Frodo. As far as the movie version of The Fellowship of the Ring goes, I maintain that this characterization is true (don’t worry Merry and Pippin, you two are also mostly useless. I haven’t forgotten you). In the book, however, Sam’s character is more than just part of a hobbit comic relief trio. For those of us who use Sam’s feckless portrayal in the LOTR movies as a running joke in their blogs (don’t all jump at once), it is just a bit disappointing to read Tolkien’s text and see that Sam is capable of both acting and thinking independently from Frodo.
In the Green Dragon scene from the movie, Sam’s role is to make eyes at the fetching female bartender while the older hobbits around him discuss the troubling events outside of the Shire. As he leaves (with Frodo, of course) Sam forlornly watches a drunken hobbit flirt with his crush (not Frodo, the bartender girl). Frodo reassures Sam that she “knows and idiot when she sees one”, which leaves poor, simple Sam even more confused one he realizes that Frodo could just as easily be mocking him as comforting him.
In the book’s version of events, Frodo does not even make an appearance in the action of the scene. Instead, Sam debates Ted Sandyman on the swirling rumors of the increasingly unstable outside world. Even though most of the hobbits present disregard Sam’s position as fairy tales, the reader is presented with a thoughtful side of Sam, who, we are told on page 56: “had a good deal to think about.” From looking at these two visions of this scene, it becomes clear that the movie is setting Sam up to be the butt of most of its jokes, while the book wants him to be something of a contributor to the party. Have no fear though, Haters of Samwise, as long as there is life in my fingers, I swear to you that I will still attempt to mock everyone’s second favorite hobbit of questionable sexuality at every opportunity. That is my promise (that, and something about a white city. But that one seems less important).