SIDEKICK: Samwise Gamgee
FAITHFUL COMPANION OF: Frodo Baggins
No less a person than J.R.R. Tolkein himself considers Sam Gamgee to be a central figure in the Ring trilogy — in fact, in a letter to a friend, he described Sam as the “chief hero” of his epic saga. It’s certainly easy to see how Sam became a favorite character; the simple son of a gardener who sticks by his master’s side through the darkest of times, is the very embodiment of the heroic ideals held by the famously Anglophile author. To his child-sized hero he gave enormous reservoirs of honor, sacrifice, and self-effacing modesty.
INTERESTING FACT: A few years after the publication of the trilogy, Tolkein received a letter from a real Sam Gamgee (who confessed to not having read the books). He wrote a warm reply and sent along three signed volumes.