Sharing Sam

Author: Celeritas

Nominator: Celeritas

2010 Award Category: Races: Hobbits: Post-Quest - Second Place

Story Type: Story  ✧  Length: Short Story

Rating: General  ✧  Reason for Rating: N/A

Summary: Not everyone was pleased that Frodo left the Shire, especially those who kept waiting. (Note: the work competing is just the short story and not the larger series on which it is based.)

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Reviewed by: The Lauderdale  ✧  Score: 10

In the final chapters of LOTR we have a few glimpses of Rosie, Sam's beloved, a working class hobbit lass who has been waiting for him to come back from his adventures abroad with Mr. Frodo. In the few snatches of dialogue Tolkien allotted to her, we can see that this waiting may not have been altogether patient. ["Well, you've wasted a year, so why wait longer?"] she says when Sam finally proposes. This is the story hiding behind the handful of paragraphs leading up to that moment, taking place over a span of days in March of 1420, while Sam has gone off on his forestry work and left Frodo with the Cottons. Rosie, who resents Frodo for his long claim on Sam's time and affection, would just as rather avoid him, but when Frodo takes sick it prompts a reckoning between them and the beginnings of a careful - arrangement? alliance? - as Frodo speaks frankly with her about her feelings, the future he desires for the three of them, and what she should know about Sam's experiences during the Quest. I found Celeritas' depiction of Rosie both believable and consistent over the course of the narrative. Rosie has real feelings of anger and resentment - and she has reasons for feeling as she does: knowledge of a greater good doesn't negate how the actions of others effect you on a personal level. Class differences also have their role in the story. Thoughts like ["It wasnÂ’t right for someone of her station"] and ["it went against the order of things"] mean that Rosie must wrestle with her thoughts and emotions with one hand tied behind her back, as it were, while Frodo's station means she can never be fully at easy or entirely trust him; the station of his (and Sam's) friends Merry and Pippin also leaves her understandably awkward in her dealings with these gentlehobbits, and uncomfortable with what she cannot help but see as their over-familiarity toward her. Small wonder! She IS on uneven footing, and talking with everyone except the one she most wants and needs to talk with: Sam, the object of all this sturm und drang. And where is he? Off in the land, leaving her usual. Sum it all up as: This story does a wonderful job with Rosie, with Frodo, with Rosie and Frodo, and with Rosie and Sam. Read and enjoy!

Reviewed by: Dreamflower  ✧  Score: 9

There can't ever be enough Sam/Rose stories. JRRT himself said that their love was central to the story (by which I have always taken it to mean, central to understanding Sam's own character, as she herself doesn't appear until the end of the story). In fact, my belief is that she functions for Sam much as Arwen did for Aragorn-- knowing of her quiet, steady and unwavering love was what helped to keep him on track when other circumstances were darkest. But when you look at what the logistics of the story come to, the actual courtship, marriage and setting up of household for Sam and Rose must have been rather prickly, simply because of Frodo's involvement. How must Rose have felt about that particular gentlehobbit, beloved by her Sam-- yet he took Sam away for more than a year! And then setting up as a couple in Bag End-- not as simply a couple of servants, but as equal partners with Bag End's Master? It had to be complicated. And to do it justice, Celeritas shows those complications wonderfully, showing Rose's own resentment and confusion beautifully, as well as Frodo's uncanny understanding. One of the best stories dealing with the Sam-Rose-Frodo dynamic that I have read!

Reviewed by: Larner  ✧  Score: 8

Ah, good--I needed to end with Hobbits today! If anyone anywhere has reason to resent Frodo Baggins, it has to be Rosie Cotton. Two years ago it appeared that Sam was about to ask for her hand, but then suddenly all was put on hold; then the news that Sam would be going to Buckland with his Master, followed by the realization that only masked the truth that Frodo had been planning to leave the Shire and go upon an Adventure, and that Sam was intent on accompanying him. Now Sam might be back, but things aren't as they ought to be, not by a long road. But when Mr. Baggins almost commands her to speak her upset with him, at last the air is cleared, as he reveals his plan to adopt Sam as his heir much as old Mr. Bilbo adopted him back when he was younger. This is a wonderful examination of how Frodo ended up winning over Rosie Cotton as an ally, and as she began to appreciate just what it is about the gentlehobbit that her Sam so loves. With just that right balance of the scholar to him even here on the Cotton's farm.... Lovely work, Celeritas!

Reviewed by: Virtuella  ✧  Score: 6

With her usual penchant for psychology, Celeritas gives an astute analysis here of a relationship that was fraught with difficulties: that between the two people Sam loved best and who loved him best. It seems inevitable that Rosie would resent Frodo to a certain degree, and still she couldn't not try to understand and like him, given how close he is to Sam. The gradual development of a tentative friendship is very convincingly drawn, and I like how Celeritas refers to class distinction and at the same time allows them to transcend it. Frodo's troubling dreams are indeed what one would expect after the trauma he has suffered. It was a lovely sentence when Rosie realized that the quest had changed Sam, but only to make him even more like Sam.

Reviewed by: Mithadan  ✧  Score: 4

Tolkien's writings focus mainly upon great events and heroes. What little space he dedicated to addressing simple family life centered mainly upon the Hobbits. The Shire represented the slowly vanishing British countryside that he so loved. This tale provides a window into not the high and mighty but rather the more mundane (though not unimportant). Frodo is not a hero, but simply a Hobbit dealing with "family" issues. Very enjoyable!