Sean Astin shares why he thinks Sam is such a beloved ‘Lord of the Rings’ hero

The Lord of the Rings Sam

The Lord of the Rings franchise has been relatively quiet ever since The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was released in 2014. But things will kick off in a big way in 2022 when Amazon releases its billion-dollar TV show based on Tolkien’s books. That’ll be joined by Warner Bros and New Line Pictures’ The War of the Rohirrim, an anime feature intended as a companion piece to the two trilogies.

But this hiatus doesn’t mean fans have stopped loving Tolkien’s universe and Peter Jackson’s adaptations. Recent cast reunions have received millions of views, with many taking the opportunity during the pandemic to escape into this beautifully realized fantasy world.

One character in particular who’s always picking up a lot of love is Sean Astin’s Samwise Gamgee, Frodo’s best friend who refused to leave his side even when all appeared lost. Beyond the movie’s Sam’s dialogue has made him a memetic hit, with lines like “po-tay-toes” and “share the loooooad” popular reaction gifs on Twitter.

Now Astin has revealed in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette why he feels the character has endured:

“Some of the speeches Samwise gets to deliver, there are just certain phrases that just feel like home. They feel safe, warm, protective. There’s something about the way they come out and the context that is like a song. It’s like a warm blanket sitting by the fire for people. I got to do that. What a blessing.”

Amazon’s show is set thousands of years before Sam was born, so don’t expect him to appear there. Writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay have said that the show will capture the “primordial beauty of the Second Age of Middle-earth” in an epic story that shows the final years of the Second Age. Tolkien experts have predicted that the show will see the forging of the rings, the war with the elves, and the War of the Last Alliance.

Hobbits don’t play much of a role (if any) in these events, preferring to keep themselves to themselves. Still, here’s hoping we get at least a peek at their cozy rural existence during the show, as the Hobbiton scenes in Jackson’s movies are incredibly uplifting and homely.

Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings is expected to premiere in late 2022.