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From “The Lord of the Rings,” A Speech for Our Times

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This speech comes at the end of the second film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (“The Two Towers”). Our band of heroes has been split up from the ordeals they have encountered along the way. Each little group has faced grave danger; each has had reasons for despair. But despite the darkness, they have endured, and persevered.

And now, with the film nearly ended, Sam delivers this speech to his friend, and comrade, Frodo– the Hobbit given a vital assignment that feels to him now beyond his capacity to fulfill.

It is a speech that can inspire us here in America in these dark times.


“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really matter: 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, with so much bad happening? “But in the end, it is only a passing thing. The shadows –even darkness – must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines, it will shine all the clearer.

“Those are 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. Folks in those stories had lots of chances of turning back. Only they didn’t. They kept going, because they were holding onto something.”


“What are we holding onto, Sam?”


“That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for!”