Pippin continues to be concerned about the Black Riders' sniffing, and rather put out that Frodo didn't ask the Elves about it.
This is the chapter where I start to really love Sam. It chiefly begins with this:
"If you don't come back, sir, then I shan't, that's certain," said Sam. "Don't you leave him! they said to me. Leave him! I said. I never mean to. I am going with him, if he climbs to the Moon, and if any of those Black Riders try to stop him, they'll have Sam Gamgee to reckon with, I said. They laughed." (p. 85)Oh, Sam. How perfectly wonderful you are! I really feel like Sam has the greatest character arc in the whole book. He goes from humble gardener who's never been out of the Shire to a brave hero who helps save Middle Earth. Such an amazing guy.
Frodo notices that Sam is already growing and changing. Shortly after that bit,
Frodo looked at Sam rather startled, half expecting to see some outward sign of the odd change that seemed to have come over him. It did not sound like the old Sam Gamgee that he thought he knew. But it looked like the old Sam Gamgee sitting there, except that his face was unusually thoughtful. (p. 85)The Sams, they are a-changin'. (And in case you can't tell, Sam is my second-favorite character in the whole book.)
"I have something to do before the end, and it lies ahead, not in the Shire" (p. 85).
Possible Discussion Questions:
Do you like mushrooms? Any favorite recipes you'd like to share?