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!
To toast to J.R.R. Tolkien during the holiday season, or especially on his birthday, January 3, the Tolkien Society advises that you be upstanding and hold your glass in your right hand (if you are right-handed) and say two words: "The Professor". An alcoholic beverage is not required; if your beverage is alcoholic, do not drink to excess or in contravention of any law.
*Sam's Speech is from the end of The Two Towers, Part Two of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. A clip is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_u9Hc0Yg1o. Sam's Speech re-posted with thanks from a post by Andy Schmookler.