Usually we think of the other men in Middle Earth — the Haradrim, the Easterlings, the Southrons, the Wild Men — as being decidedly evil to their core. But in this passage from The Two Towers, Sam’s empathy gives us a different look into who they are.
One of my favourite passages from the Lord of the Rings is this sympathetic description of a slain Southron warrior flung from the ‘Oliphaunt’.
‘His scarlet robes were tattered, his corslet of overlapping brazen plates was rent and hewn, his black plaits of hair braided with gold were drenched with blood. His brown hand still clutched the hilt of a broken sword.
It was Sam’s first view of a battle of men against men, and he did not like it much. He wondered what the man’s name was and where he had come from; and if he really was evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace’
‘The Two Towers’
I think Sam’s views are very much those of the author and reflect the humane vision which permeates the…
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