Today on the spotlight we’re looking at two classic heroes, both Fishes out of Water in their own way. Alice and Samwise Gamgee.
Alice is the classic fish out of water in Alice in Wonderland (and every remake, spinoff and sequel that spawned from it). She comes from the logic driven real world but wonderland operates on chaos and illogic. She must learn to handle each new creature she comes in contact with but for all her learning, the world never makes sense. Its really fun to watch her argue and reason her way through Wonderland and her journey inspired many other fish out of water stories in the process.
Some retellings of the story change things up and make Alice actually from Wonderland, which I always thought steals the spark of the original. The reason wonderland works is it plays off a logical source. Madness is sometimes difficult to read if we don't have some sort of relatable, grounding character. In this case, Alice is that character.
Samwise Gamgee is not the victim of a portal related accident, but he is a hobbit in a very big, new world. Hobbits, by nature, do not interact with the outside world, content with a simple existence. So when Sam joins Frodo on his quest to destroy the ring, he encounters all manners of unfamiliar things, including elves, dwarves and orcs. He faces this new world not only with fear but with wonder as well. He’s hopeful and tries his best to keep up with the others.
He is not a naturally heroic hobbit but he is a loyal friend and will push through all obstacles to protect Frodo. He fights Shelob for goodness sake. That’s a huge freaking spider. Only the bravest would do that.
And Tolkein always saw Sam at the most relatable character in the Lord of the Rings. That’s just what the Fish out of Water supposed to be. Relatable and willing to face change with a strong heart and a smile.