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Sam and Frodo’s friendship comes down to one perfect scene in LotR

It's the 20th anniversary of The Return of the King, and as the writer said in 2003, it's the genuine friendship between Sam and Frodo that makes it so special.

Sam and Frodo in The Lord of the Rings

2023 is the 20th anniversary of the final, and most celebrated, film in The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King. It’s the winner of 11 Oscars, famously features six different endings, and definitely provides the most emotional scenes of the three movies. And at the absolute center of that emotion are two characters – the very definition of besties – Sam and Frodo.

TheOneRing.net, which has been home to The Lord of the Rings fandom since 1999, have been sharing some of the interviews that they conducted with the cast and crew of Peter Jackson’s trilogy at the time of release. The latest is a 2003 interview with screenwriter Philippa Boyens, in which she talks about Sam and Frodo’s relationship during the heart-wrenching climax to their long journey and what makes them the best Lord of the Rings characters.

“I think there’s a shared understanding between them, which is why we deliberately put in the beginning of the movie Sam’s belief that there would be a return journey, we just wanted to slip it in there. I think later when Sam says; ‘I don’t think there will be a return journey, Mr. Frodo” something passes between them, which Frodo actually knew already.”

Boyens continued; “There is no going back, they’re not going to survive this. That’s how they go forward, that’s how they proceed. And that’s part of their stoicism and heroism as characters. And the only reason they can do that is because they’re together. That’s a lovely bond, and I think it’s lovely to be able to do that between two male characters. It’s just the truth of the friendship, genuine friendship. It plays to the experience of the author [Tolkien]. You can feel this is written by someone who went through the experience of the trenches in World War One.”

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Since 2021, the four hobbits at the center of the Lord of the Rings cast – Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, and Dominic Monaghan – have been touring comic cons and other events, reminiscing about their experiences making the epic fantasy movie trilogy. 2023 marks the end of the 20th anniversary celebrations, so we’re getting emotional all over again.

Check out our guides to the best drama movies and the best war movies – for more big emotions. You can also see what we think are the best fantasy series and find out what we know so far about House of the Dragon season 2 and Rings of Power season 2.