Rope- why is only Sam thinking of it?

Ragnelle

Member
I just heard the episode with the discussion of Sam's musings, and I don't recall anyone commenting on this, but if rope is such an important thing to bring, why didn't Aragorn make sure they brought some? Or Gandalf for that. They must be the most experienced travelers in the company and would know what they needed for the road and the travel in the wild.
 

Rachel Port

Well-Known Member
For all we know Aragorn and/or Gandalf do carry rope - as well as Legolas, Gimli, and Boromir, or perhaps Aragorn made sure that there was rope in the large packs carried by the pony. It's not the importance of rope as much as Sam's feeling of responsibility that is highlighted in this passage.

Throughout this discussion I kept feeling how separate all the travelers are from each other. I get a feeling of people standing about waiting, each of them tied up with their own thoughts, like random people together in a waiting room or a train platform. Merry and Pippin are probably standing together, but even they are quiet. It's interesting how this is communicated through the recording of Sam's inner monologue.
 

Ragnelle

Member
Well, Sam wants rope in Moria, and is happy to get rope in Lorien, and that sounds strange if everyone but him brought rope. Or if there were in the pack of the pony: Sam would be the one caring for Bill, which would include taking on and off the packs and tack. He would see it then, if not before.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
Sam's family were ropers. His great grandfather, Hob Gammidge the Roper (Old Gammidgy) might have been the first roper in the family. In Sam's lifetime, his eldest uncle, Andwise Roper of Tighfield, was head of the roping business.

It might be that Sam's family connection to rope makers made him likely to think of the advantages of carrying rope, more than the experience in the wild that others in the Fellowship might have had. The only travelers in the wild who generally carry long lengths of rope are mountaineers. Hikers and campers might carry short lengths of rope for tent ridges or lashings, but don't usually carry longer coils of rope such as Sam might have been thinking of.
 

Jim Deutch

Well-Known Member
[Sam's] eldest uncle, Andwise Roper of Tighfield, was head of the roping business.
Ooh; where did you find "Andwise Roper"? In LotR, he is only referred to as "Sam's uncle Andy". [googles] Ah! He's in a family tree in Appendix C, that's where. Well, I never.

It wasn't until pretty recently that I ever learned what a rope-walk is; I had always pictured it as something built of rope to walk on, not as a rope-manufactory.
 
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