The Tales That Really Mattered...

From Tolkien Gateway
The Tales That Really Mattered...
Scene from
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers - Sam in Osgiliath.jpg
Scene number49 (theatrical)
60 (extended)
Duration 04:46 (theatrical)
04:45 (extended)
Characters Sam, Frodo, Gollum, Faramir
The Flooding of Isengard
Fangorn Comes to Helm's Deep

The Tales That Really Mattered... is the forty-ninth scene of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and the sixtieth scene of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (extended edition).

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

As the Nazgûl flies above Osgiliath and the Gondorians run for cover, Frodo slowly walks out from a place of safety into the open and stands by himself atop a walkway. He holds the Ring up and stands facing the Nazgûl atop a fell beast. As the beast slowly gets closer to him, he moves the Ring towards his finger. As he is about to put it on, Sam rushes up the walkway and stops him, and Faramir fires an arrow at the beast, causing it to cease its attack.

Frodo and Sam roll down a set of stairs, and Frodo unsheathes Sting and holds it at Sam's throat. He slowly realises what he was about to do and falls back and drops the sword in shock at his actions. "I can't do this, Sam," he says hopelessly. Sam stands up and looks out at the ruined city and the Nazgûl flying towards Mordor in the distance. He sympathises with Frodo, and says that rightfully, they should not be there.

It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. 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. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.
Samwise Gamgee

As Sam gives his speech, the scene is interspersed with scenes of victory for the forces of Rohan at Helm's Deep and for the Ents at Isengard. When Frodo asks him what they are holding on to, he picks Frodo up off the ground and replies "That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for." Frodo appears moved by Sam's words, and even Gollum appears to contemplate everything Sam has just said.

Faramir approaches the hobbits; he kneels and says he thinks they now understand each other. He orders them to be released, even after Madril reminds him that doing so would be against the laws of Gondor. They look at him in wonder and gratitude for this.

Differences[edit | edit source]

Sam's speech bears some similarity to the words he spoke to Frodo on the Stairs of Cirith Ungol in the book. He starts by saying "And we shouldn't be here at all, if we'd known more about it before we started. But I suppose it's often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them." However these words in the book were brought on by Frodo speaking of his dislike of the Morgul Vale rather than the apparent hopelessness of their quest, as is portrayed in this scene. Sam goes on to say "But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten,"; the speech in this scene contains a very similar theme.[1]

A broader point of difference is that in the book, Faramir never intended to bring the Ring to Denethor as is portrayed in the films. He makes it clear to Frodo at Henneth Annûn that he is "free in the realm of Gondor",[2] and sends Frodo on his way to the Imlad Morgul from there. Furthermore, he does not take the hobbits to Osgiliath in the book.