It seems that even in thoughts and prayers, poor Sam is thought of as "lesser than" Frodo, if even included whatsoever:

All now took leave of the Lord of the City and went to rest while they still could. Outside there was a starless blackness as Gandalf, with Pippin beside him bearing a small torch, made his way to their lodging. They did not speak until they were behind closed doors. Then at last Pippin took Gandalf’s hand.

‘Tell me,’ he said, ‘is there any hope? For Frodo, I mean; or at least mostly for Frodo.’

Gandalf put his hand on Pippin’s head. ‘There never was much hope,’ he answered. ‘Just a fool’s hope, as I have been told.

Later, I believe that even the book itself refers to "Frodo", as if he's on a solo mission. But it's far more serious when a "great friend" of his (Pippin) thinks "mostly" of Frodo.

Why is Pippin thinking "mostly" of Frodo, and ignoring Sam? Or have I misread it completely?

  • Is there a question here? Jul 20 at 18:15
  • 2
    @DoscoJones Yes, and it's described in my post?
    – Augie
    Jul 20 at 18:15
  • 2
    It seems more like a rant about Sam being considered lesser by others (and probably by the author)
    – Valorum
    Jul 20 at 18:20
  • 5
    Unless I'm missing something, Frodo is the ring-bearer and therefore inherently more important to the mission than Sam, so it would make sense for Pippin (and others) to be more concerned about him than about Sam.
    – F1Krazy
    Jul 20 at 18:28
  • Is this a question about Pippin's meaning or about Sam's class? Jul 20 at 19:51

2 Answers 2


You're misunderstanding Pippin's meaning.

‘Tell me,’ he said, ‘is there any hope? For Frodo, I mean; or at least mostly for Frodo.’

"Is there any hope?" could be taken to mean: Is there any hope in general? For anybody?

That's why Pippin then specifies: "For Frodo, I mean."

But as he vocalizes it, he realizes he isn't just wondering about hopes for Frodo, but for all of them, which is why he then says "or at least mostly for Frodo."

Frodo has the most important task of any of them, and all their hopes hang primarily on him.

But given that they're all defending Minas Tirith against a siege by overwhelming numbers, Pippin would also like to know whether there's any hope for the rest of them: Even if Frodo succeeds in his quest to unmake the ring, will there be anyone left to enjoy the victory?

None of this is meant to denigrate Sam. Frodo is the Ring-bearer. It's upon his head the task has been set. So by "Frodo," Pippin means "the quest to unmake the ring and save Middle Earth from Sauron."

  • Context matters also. They just heard the report from Faramir about meeting Frodo and Sam in Ithilien Jul 20 at 20:56

Well, that's because he is lesser, from Pippin's point of view.

As I've written here before, Sam is very much of a lower social class than the others. It's even more pronounced with Pippin, who is the son of the actual Thain of the Shire. Sam's just a servant.

Even taking class out of it, it's Frodo that's Pippin's friend, not Sam, so it's natural he would be thinking mostly of him.

And, of course, as mentioned in the comments, it's Frodo who is the Ring-bearer.

  • 3
    If he's being emotional the former, but if he's being rational very much the latter. If Sam dies, they have a funeral when it's over. If Frodo dies they either get killed or learn to like worshiping Sauron.
    – DavidW
    Jul 20 at 18:54
  • Yes. Pippin thinks well of Sam and would be sad if he died - but Sam is a servant - an adjunct to Frodo.
    – Andrew
    Jul 20 at 19:45

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