Best friends going on a hike to destroy some jewellery? Yeah, right.
This post was written with the extended editions of the films as base texts, because more minutes mean more chances to prove your homosexual coupledom.
Look, this is not a new theory: the two hobbits at the centre of The Lord of the Rings are not best friends, but in fact, a gay couple. Since Peter Jackson’s trilogy came out, and honestly even after the books came out, the subtext of this relationship has been pored over by queer fandom, the fandom that will read years of longing into a single glance.
While I’m loath to do that – we’ve got a lot of queer texts these days, we don’t really need queer subtext too – I’m not so sure that Frodo and Sam’s relationship rests in the shadows. That’s especially true in Jackson’s trilogy, where more time is spent on this relationship than on any actual romantic relationships (Eowyn and Faramir don’t count).
So in the interest of dispelling any uncertainty whatsoever, I’ve watched all three Lord of the Rings films and built up a pretty unimpeachable case as to why Frodo and Sam are definitively, absolutely, a gay couple. And honestly? Not a super functional one!
The Fellowship of the Ring
- Frodo and Sam never have any adventures or do anything unexpected until an older gay man forces them to go on a tchotchke-based quest.
- In lieu of dancing with a local girl, Sam prefers “another ale”.
- Rather than proceeding hastily with their quest, they often stop to smoke weed and eat meat together.
- They spy on pretty white ladies wearing wigs.
- “I thought I lost you” followed by this look:
- They let their deadweight stoner twink friends, Merry and Pippin, tag along.
- Both accept the stewardship and guidance of a roving wanderer who happens to look a lot like Viggo Mortensen circa 2001.
- Both would risk death for second breakfast aka brunch.
- Frodo puts on gaudy jewellery at the first chance.
- This is not how you touch your friend’s face:
- After being stabbed by a Nazgul, Frodo hallucinates Arwen into a gown rather than travelling clothes.
- “Sam has hardly left your side”. Gandalf doesn’t play around, y’all.
- “I’m not like you, Bilbo.”
- Frodo proudly wears a bedazzled toga as armour.
- Sam and Frodo go on a hike of undeterminable length with three twinks, two twunks, a bear and an old bearded queen with said tchotchke.
- Sam gives Frodo this look, the epitome of gay hurt:
- Frodo and Sam sit in front of Aragorn on their boat, obviously the gayest of log flume formations.
- Galadriel gives Sam bondage rope, and Frodo glow-in-the-dark vodka, when they leave Lothlorien.
- “I’m here to help you, I promised that old dead queen that I would.” – Samwise Gamgee, slightly paraphrased.
- Frodo consistently rejects Sam’s attempts to help him, sitting right in the middle of the venn diagram of “toxic masculinity” and “catty homosexuality”.
- Frodo feels no sorrow over the death of Boromir, because Boromir tried to take his tchotchke away from him.
- Frodo wanders into the forest alone, despite there being a lot of orcs after him, because he’s a messy queen who loves drama.
- Sam would rather almost drown than have Frodo leave him, because he too is a messy queen who loves drama.
- Frodo saves Sam not necessarily because they’re in love, but because he realises someone has to make the potatoes.
The Two Towers
- Frodo always finds his light, even at the expense of Sam’s:
- “Can you see the bottom?”
- “I think I found the bottom.”
- Frodo gets overly het up about his tchotchke and, as a result, carbo loads.
- Sam gets jealous of their skinnier companion, Gollum, and walks him on a leash, which is real messed up.
- Sam pulls Frodo out of the water because he loves him. Look, some of these are just fairly obvious.
- Frodo and Sam use Gollum as a power pawn in their passive aggressive games of love and drama.
- Frodo lashes out at Sam over, yes, you guessed his, his tchotchke.
- “His bodyguard?” “His gardener.”
- Frodo and Sam put up with all of Gollum’s crap, because while he’s awful, the queer community has to support each other.
- Frodo betrays Gollum’s crap, because the queer community do not have to support each other, actually.
- Frodo apologises to Sam for his behaviour and then proceeds not to change one bit of his behaviour.
- Whatever this is:
- “It’s me. It’s your Sam. Don’t you know your Sam?”
- Honestly, just this whole damn scene:
- Also, the fact they have the conversation on a battlefield, because if there’s one thing a gay couple knows, it’s when to have a conversation at the most inconvenient and inopportune time.
- Sam fixates on whether there’ll be bangers written about him and Frodo.
Return of the King
- This look:
- And this one:
- And this one. Yeah, Return of the King is really when they don’t hold back.
- Frodo and Sam honestly just spend a lot of the third film getting their cardio in and being mean to Gollum, which sums up a lot of the priorities of the gay people I know.
- Sam risks everybody’s life because he wants to make sure Frodo is eating.
- Frodo fat-shames Sam.
- Frodo breaks up with Sam because Gollum is saying more things that Frodo agrees with.
- Sam follows Frodo even though he pretty definitively broke up with him and Sam is way too good for Frodo at this point.
- Liv Tyler’s fate is tied to the fate of the tchotchke, which is not exactly Frodo’s fault, but neither is being gay.
- Sam saves Frodo from the original gaslighter, gatekeeper, girlbosser: Shelob.
- Sam also saves Frodo from some orcs who are trying to steal his shiny toga.
- “Not if I stick you first.”
- Sam says something loving and supportive to Frodo. Frodo groans and gurns in response.
- Sam gives Frodo the last of his booze. Look, this isn’t reflective of what would happen between any gay couple I know personally, but it’s reflective of at least some affection and love, so here it goes.
- “Do you remember the taste of strawberries and cream?”
- “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.”
- Sam expects Frodo to let his beloved tchotchke go, despite having witnessed over the past 9-12 hours Frodo becoming increasingly attached to it.
- Sam saves Frodo’s damn life, which I suggest is more a straight thing to do than a gay thing. I will not elaborate.
- They never really address that Frodo straight up betrayed Sam towards the end of the journey in favour of said tchotchke.
- Sam gets married to a woman he has no chemistry with, which is very gay.
- Frodo writes a book about all of this. You know what the drill is now.
- Neither of them really talk to or acknowledge Legolas for the entire damn trilogy, clearly so overwhelmed/jealous (choose applicable) by his ridiculous beauty.
- Frodo, without any notice, leaves Sam to get on a boat with Cate Blanchett, like any good homosexual would. To make matters worse, he makes Sam finish his damn book.
- Also, everyone in The Lord of the Rings is gay. All of them. All the hobbits, Legolas, Gandalf, all the Orcs, the trees, the Nazgul, even the green ghosts. Aragorn gets married, you say? To a woman, you say? What’s gayer than wanting to spend all your time with a girl? Case closed, grow up, stop lying to yourselves.
We’re talking about elves, dwarves, cave trolls and sneaky little hobbitses for an entire week. Read the rest of our dedicated Lord of the Rings 20th anniversary coverage here.
More definitive lists by Sam Brooks: