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Heartwarming / The Lord of the Rings

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"I'm glad to be with you, Samwise Gamgee... here at the end of all things."
Gimli: I never thought I'd die fighting side by side with an elf.
Legolas: How about side by side with a friend?
Gimli: Aye. I could do that.

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    Tolkien's The Lord of The Rings 
  • Two chapters into The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo is making plans in secret to leave the Shire and everything he's ever known, with only Sam for company. Three chapters later, we find out that Merry and Pippin knew about it all along, and made their own plans to go with him. Frodo does nothing to stop Merry and Pippin from following him and Sam.
    "We are coming with you, or following you like hounds."
  • Sam's promise not to leave Frodo's side is revealed in chapter 4, after he, Frodo and Pippin have spent the night at Woodhall; and the words "Don't you leave him" came from the Elves, not Gandalf.
    "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 Rulers try to stop him, they'll have Sam Gamgee to reckon with."
  • Tom Bombadil and Goldberry's very existence, as well as the side-tales of Tom's (mis)adventures. It might just be airy-fairy nonsense when taken out of context, but considering the setting they're in, it makes you smile when you consider there's still a little corner of joy that isn't just in the Shire.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton Barliman Butterbur may not be brave or strong, but he promises to do whatever he can to help Frodo. When he learns later that "Strider" has become King, he is both shocked and giddily happy.
  • Frodo and Bilbo's meeting at Rivendell.
    • While Frodo and Sam are catching up with Bilbo, Aragorn enters after being missed at the banquet earlier. He has some quick news to give them in his typical grim fashion, then Bilbo asks if he could help him work out the last two lines or so of a song he's been writing before he loses his train of thought. Aragorn happily agrees and they walk off together to finish it.
  • At the council, several of the characters take turns talking about what happened and what is happening in the world at large. After everyone present is caught up on the story of the Ring, Elrond says that it must be destroyed- to which Bilbo, well over 120 by this time, remember, stands up without hesitation saying he gets the implication and as the one that started the whole avalanche he is willing to finish it and destroy the Ring. Everyone present just gives him a well-meaning smile and looks on him with respect: They know the offer is earnest, but they also know that it is far beyond Bilbo's power. Glóin is even said to be expressly recalling fond memories of his previous adventure with Bilbo.
    • Glóin's meeting with Frodo; he immediately guesses who he is and refers to him as 'kinsman and adopted heir of of our friend Bilbo the renowned.'
  • A small moment after the Fellowship escapes from Moria. Gimli begs Aragorn to let him see Durin's crown and Frodo accompanies him. Gimli has just found out that his kin were all horribly killed in Moria and saw the terrible evil the dwarves accidentally woke long ago murder their party's leader, while Frodo is still mourning Gandalf's death. Both of them have a brief chance to see something beautiful still left after Moria.
  • Frodo abandons the Fellowship and sets out on his own, but he can't even get across the river before Sam appears and refuses to be left behind.
    "Oh, Mr. Frodo," said Sam, shivering. "Where would you be if I hadn't had that feeling and come back here?"
    "Safely on my way."
    "Safely! All alone, and without me to help you? I couldn't have borne it; it would have been the death of me."
    "It would be the death of you to come with me, Sam, and I could not bear that."
    "Not so certain as being left behind...
    "Of course [you have to go], but not alone. I'm coming too, or neither of us isn't going. I'll knock holes in all the boats first."
  • Even before Frodo returns to the boats so that he can sneak away, there's the scene where the rest of the Fellowship discusses what direction they should take and what direction they think that Frodo will choose. Unlike the movie, where there's an unspoken agreement that everyone is accompanying Frodo to Mordor, their book counterparts have to decide whether to go with Boromir to Minas Tirith and fight Sauron from Gondor, or go east towards Mordor. Gimli even points out that the Fellowship set out with the understanding that only Frodo had to attempt to get to Mount Doom somehow; the others could accompany him as far as they wished before going elsewhere. And yet, while everyone would rather go to Minas Tirith, they also state that they could never abandon Frodo now. If he wants to skip Minas Tirith and simply walk into Mordor, than they'll go with him.
    • There's also an understanding amongst the Fellowship that Boromir is going home to Minas Tirith, regardless of what anyone else decides to do. Not a single person holds this against him. They understand that his city needs him. Aragorn is even planning to try to send Merry and Pippin off with Boromir for their own (hopeful) safety in the face of what's to come, caring enough for these two young hobbits that he's known for only a couple months at best to not want to involve them any further in their extremely dangerous quest than he absolutely has to.
  • The final exchange between Boromir and Aragorn, when the former is dying.
    ‘Farewell, Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed.’
    ‘No!’ said Aragorn, taking his hand and kissing his brow. ‘You have conquered. Few have gained such a victory. Be at peace! Minas Tirith shall not fall!’
    Boromir smiled.
  • Legolas's friendship with Gimli. In the Fellowship of the Ring, he was the one who pulled Gimli away from Balin's tomb and they began to get over their prejudices while in Lothlorien. In the Two Towers, when they are briefly separated during the siege of Helm's Deep, Legolas is extremely worried until he finds Gimli and watches over Gimli when he sleeps after the battle. By Return of the King, they are inseparable and refuse to be parted even after War of the Ring is over, spending the rest of Gimli's days together!
    • Doubly heartwarming: Legolas is told by Galadriel that he would finally feel the urge to go to Valinor when he hears the cry of a seagull. He hears a seagull and already has the impulse to go to Valinor halfway through Return of the King... and it's implied in other materials he resisted the call for 120 or so years until Gimli's life was almost over, just so the two could adventure around Middle Earth and see both the sacred sites of the Elves and the hallowed cities of the Dwarves.
    • And when Legolas finally left for Valinor, he took Gimli with him, the lone Dwarf in all Middle-Earth to know such an honor, because he would not go alone. This was also Heartwarming because it was under the direct intervention of Galadriel, whom Gimli loved in a courtly manner.
    • The cherry on top of all this? When you read Gimli's family tree, out of all the lordly titles and honors Gimli had attained throughout his lifetime, there was only one he considered worthy to put down in the Red Book of Westmarch: Elf-friend.
  • The Three Hunters' encounter with Éomer. It starts off on the wrong foot since they're trespassing in Rohan and Éomer offends Gimli regarding Galadriel, but Aragorn finally explains that they are there pursuing friends held captive by orcs, and no they are not traveling on foot by choice, and eventually gets to the fact that they started three days ago. Éomer, realizing how far they've traveled in that time, drops all his early suspicion to point out that this act alone deserves a whole saga.
    "Strider is too poor a name. Wingfoot I name you. This deed of the three friends should be sung in many a hall."
  • After Gandalf undoes Wormtongue's work on Théoden in The Two Towers, Théoden insists on going out and leading his people personally. The reaction of every Rohirrim warrior on realizing that their decrepit old king is now among them as a warrior once more is universal: a moment of shock, then laying their swords at his feet and saying "Command me, lord!" in joy.
  • As the Rohirrim set out with half of the former Fellowship of the Ring accompanying them, Eomer rides up to Gimli and offers—almost insisting—that he ride with him to make up for his brash behavior when they first met just a few days ago. They banter a bit, clearly considering their mutual antagonism before to be water under the bridge, and Gimli accepts Eomer's suggestion, but only if he'll let his best buddy Legolas ride alongside them.
  • After the Battle of Helm's Deep and the characters are riding towards Isengard to find out what's happened there, Gimli and Legolas are chatting and he talks about the absolute beauty of the Glittering Caves, going into deep, almost poetic detail about them. Legolas isn't quite sure he'd want to see it himself at first, being much more at home in forests, but Gimli's adoring words about the cave and how he would love to bring some other dwarves there to very carefully excavate there to find more such caverns that might be totally unknown convinces him that he would like to see them once their quest is over and done with and peace has returned to Middle-earth, so long as Gimli will join him in a jaunt through Fangorn Forest to see its majesty in the same way that he wants Legolas to see the Glittering Caves. This time, Gimli is unsure if he would really want to, but he agrees regardless.
  • Merry and Pippin's friendship with Treebeard. The age-old Ent doesn't know what or who they are but he decides to give them the benefit of the doubt first hearing them (they aren't hurting trees, they seem to have no axes and their speech is not at all Orcish), but he adds Hobbits to the list of creatures, and when he asks them to describe the Shire and they do, he asks about Entwives because the Shire sounds like a place they would have loved.
  • A combination Funny and Heartwarming occurs when Gimli and Legolas are outraged on seeing Merry and Pippin well-fed and smoking in the ruins of Isengard, after having spent 36+ hours running after them on foot (and then battling through Rohan) and they immediately begin bickering when Pippin retorts that they are enjoying some "well-earned comforts" on the field of victory... meanwhile the Riders of Rohan are laughing at the show, and Théoden sums it up thusly:
    "It cannot be doubted that we witness the meeting of dear friends."
  • Faramir, proving his quality after learning of the Ring:
    "Sleep, both of you—in peace, if you can. Fear not! I do not wish to see it, or touch it, or know more of it than I know (which is enough), lest peril perchance waylay me and I fall lower in the test than Frodo son of Drogo."
    • As well as his opinion of Sam: "Your land must be a realm of peace and content, and there must gardeners be held in high honour." He's right.
    • Combined with Awesome: The fact that Faramir is such a genuinely good, decent person that the Ring has practically no effect on him.
  • Sam asking Frodo if he thinks people in the future will be reading about their adventures.
  • When Sam defends the unconscious Frodo from Shelob, one of the most beautiful lines in the entire series:
    "No onslaught more fierce was ever seen in the savage world of beasts, where some desperate small creature armed with little teeth, alone, will spring upon a tower of horn and hide that stands above its fallen mate."
  • The scene where Frodo and Sam are reunited in Cirith Ungol. It's the first time Sam has seen Frodo since he was stung by Shelob and Sam thought he was dead. Frodo, for his part, has been getting whipped and interrogated "until [he] thought [he] should go mad." After a brief fight with the orc who was whipping Frodo, Sam rushes to him and hugs him, hardly able to see through his tears of relief. Frodo hugs him back, hardly able at first to believe what's happening. Then it sinks in and he relaxes in Sam's embrace, effectively saying that he knows he's safe now, as he calls him "dear Sam." The equivalent scene from the Peter Jackson trilogy was also heartwarming, but not quite a match for the original.
  • The small moments where Frodo demonstrates his affection for and protectiveness of Sam. They're relatively easy to overlook amidst the more dramatic things he does under the Ring's influence, but they show that Sam's loyalty and love isn't one-sided.
    • When Sam offers to take some of Frodo's pack during their and Pippin's trek out of the Shire (despite having already overloaded himself), Frodo turns him down and tells him he suspects he's already taken on more than his share and he intends to check at the next stop.
    • When Frodo's joke about inns reminds Sam that he hasn't eaten or drunk a thing since Frodo got captured (a heartwarming thing in itself, especially given the way hobbits love food), Frodo refuses to leave Cirith Ungol before Sam has taken care of himself, despite their low provisions.
    • After Sam apolegetically wakes him up, unable to remain awake and suspicious of trouble if they're both asleep, Frodo insists that Sam let him take the watch and take his own turn at resting.
    • Sam wakes up after losing consciousness on Mt. Doom to find himself in a comfortable bed in Ithilien with Frodo leaning on the bed, having fallen back asleep waiting for him to wake up.
  • At the end of the Quest when Frodo regains control of his mind, Sam almost forgets the horrible situation they're in out of joy that his master/best friend has returned to normal. Then Frodo says this:
    "I am glad that you are here with me, Sam. Here, at the end of all things."
  • And Gandalf's parting words:
    "I will not say, do not weep. For not all tears are evil."
    • Merry and Pippin showing up at the last minute to say goodbye, and so that Sam won't have to go home alone.
    "You tried to give us the slip once before and failed, Frodo."
  • When Lobelia Sackville-Baggins is freed from the Lockholes, she receives a standing ovation. And then, after she dies, it's revealed that she changed her will to end her feud with Frodo.
  • Frodo leaves Bag End, not to one of the Bagginses' many relatives, but to Sam.
  • It's amusing that Galadriel, in spite of all her wisdom and the ability to give astoundingly useful gifts, has absolutely no idea what to give Gimli. It leads to a real heart-warming exchange:
    Galadriel: And what gift would a Dwarf ask of the Elves?
    Gimli: Nothing, except to gaze upon the Lady of the Galadrim one last time (...)
    Galadriel: (...) Let none here say that the Dwarves are grasping and ungracious!
    • Gimli's courtly love for Galadriel is really rather adorable, as is her regard for him. When the Three Hunters meet up with Gandalf again and he gives Aragorn and Legolas some ominous prophecies from her, Gimli is sad that she didn't send a message to him. But then Gandalf gives him this:
      "To Gimli son of Glóin...give his Lady's greetings. Lockbearer, wherever thou goest my thought goes with thee. But have a care to lay thine axe to the right tree!"
      • And Gimli's so happy he actually capers about and sings! So sweet. It crosses over into funny when you realize Gimli was the only one who got good news.
    • The most touching part of Galadriel's gift to Gimli is actually found in Silmarillion. Feanor, the greatest of the Elves, asked Galadriel three times for a single lock of her golden hair, and three times she refused him because she could see the darkness in his heart. When Gimli asks her for a single lock to be made a treasure of his house, she instead gives him three. Despite the tensions between their races and Gimli being of a much lower standing, Galadriel considers him worthy to receive three times as much as the gift she refused the greatest Elf of the First Age.
      • Even further still, when Legolas finally sails to Valinor and brings Gimli with him, it's strongly implied that it was Galadriel, who Gimli dearly wished to see again, that permitted his entry.
  • Faramir and Éowyn in the chapter "Steward and the King". Best confession of love, ever.
    "I would."
  • After the destruction of the ring, when Frodo and Sam think they're about to die, Sam says he wishes he could hear the songs they'll sing about them. "Do you think they'll say: Now comes the story of Nine-fingered Frodo and the Ring of Doom? And then everyone will hush, like we did, when in Rivendell they told us the tale of Beren One-Hand and the Great Jewel." Later, when Frodo and Sam are brought before the survivors of the battle at the Black Gate at the field of Cormallen and a minstrel comes and sings a song about 'Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom'. Sam breaks out into happy tears, joined by the rest of the army. *Sniff* Manly Tears here...not at all *sniff*...
  • Merry seeing Éowyn facing off against the Witch King, knowing that she has practically no chance of surviving that encounter and that anyone who tries to help her is as good as dead as well, yet he doesn't hesitate to try and help.
    Merry: She should not die, so fair, so desperate. At least, she should not die alone, unaided.
  • The father/son relationship between Merry and Théoden.
  • Every time Bergil starts talking up the great captains who will defend Gondor—Faramir, Prince Imrahil, and Aragorn after Pelennor—he always adds his dad, the plain man-at-arms Beregond, to the list. Any boy who loved and admired his father would of course think him the equal to the mightiest heroes of the land. Even better, since Beregond was instrumental in saving Faramir's life, he was named by Aragon to be the Captain of his personal guard. Hero worship: vindicated.
  • Beregond's love and admiration for Faramir. He's not even under Faramir's direct command. And while everyone in Gondor thinks Faramir is pretty great, Beregond is one of the few who values Faramir and Boromir equally. And that's well before he storms the Silent Street to rescue Faramir from a premature cremation. Aragorn even seems to recognize and value this, as he circumvents the capital punishment Beregond would ordinarily have received for this stunt by exiling him from Ithilien, where he will be the captain of Faramir's personal guard. With his extreme loyalty and love for Faramir and his willingness to throw himself in harm's way to protect him, Beregond is essentially Sam's Gondorian counterpart.
  • And in turn, there's Faramir's adoration of his big bro: "Between the brothers there was great love, and had been since childhood, when Boromir was the helper and protector of Faramir. No jealousy or rivalry had arisen between them since, for their father's favour or for the praise of men. It did not seem possible to Faramir that anyone in Gondor could rival Boromir, heir of Denethor, Captain of the White Tower."
  • The Houses of Healing, where Aragorn fulfills the prophecy "the hands of a king are the hands of a healer." (Once he gets those hands on some bloody kingsfoil, at least.)
    • When Faramir comes to, the first thing he does is to address Aragorn as king. When Aragorn tells him to rest and get well, Faramir agrees. "For who would lay idle when the king has returned?" (This is the first time he's ever seen Aragorn.)
    • He heals Éowyn and praises her valor. He and Gandalf also point out to Éomer (who didn't understand why Éowyn became such a Death Seeker) that Éomer could deal with the crisis in Rohan by going out and kicking ass, while she had to stay in Meduseld all the time, dodging Wormtongue and watching the man she loved as a father deteriorate more and more.
    • He heals Merry and ribs him about the request for pipe-weed. When Merry apologizes for being flippant (wary of being too effusive), Aragorn brushes it off.
  • The very end of the novel. "Well, I'm back."
    • This one also appears in the Tearjerkers page. It's fitting: the last line of the book deserves to be emotionally complex, and powerful, and yet a very simple line.
  • Faramir and Frodo share a powerful moment when Frodo and Sam are first brought to Menegroth and sit to dinner. Faramir's entire company stands in respectful silence while gazing at the setting sun before sitting at the table. When Frodo asks the significance of this, Faramir explains that it is a custom in Gondor to reflect on their home, Numenor, and the Blessed Realm, which lie in the West. This makes Frodo feel uncomfortably rustic and uncultured, especially when Faramir asks if they have no such customs of their own - he can only say that when they are guests they rise and thank their host after a meal. Faramir's response is both heartwarming and awesome:
    Faramir: That we do also.
  • Combined with Crowning Moment of Awesome, Eowyn facing down the King of the Nazgul and telling it that if it wants Theoden, it'll have to go through her.
  • At Aragorn's crowning ceremony, he asks that Frodo be the one to bring him his crown, and for Gandalf to be the one to crown him, in recognition of how he only became king through Frodo's sacrifice and Gandalf's centuries of labor.
  • In the appendix, Aragorn's dying words to Arwen are a potent mix of tearjerker and heartwarming:
    "In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! We are not bound forever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory."
  • Something else from the appendix: Pippin names his firstborn son after Faramir. Also, Sam named several of his sons after Frodo, Merry, Pippin and Bilbo.
  • More appendix-related stuff:
    • Elanor, Sam's daughter, being made Arwen's maid of honor.
    • In their last years, Merry and Pippin revisited Rohan and Gondor, staying in the latter city until their deaths. When Aragorn also died, the two hobbits were entombed next to him. Take note that Aragorn died over a century after the War of the Ring, meaning that Gondor remembers their heroes.

  • The Return of the King:
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • In Bakshi's animated film, there's a very short bit in Lothlórien where Gimli tries shooting Legolas' bow. It's not important to the story, but it's a nice character moment that allows Gimli to try something he's not used to, and from an elf, no less.
    • Galadriel's delivery of "I pass the test".
    Frodo: Lady Galadriel, I will give you the One Ring, if you ask for it. It's too great a matter for me.
    Galadriel: (laughing) And I came to test your heart. (increasingly dark and forboding) You will give me the Great Ring freely and in place of the Dark Lord you will set up a queen. And I shall not be evil, but beautiful and terrible as the morning and the night. Stronger than the foundations of the earth. (proclaiming) All shall love me and despair! (softly, warmly) I pass the test. I will diminish and go into the west and remain Galadriel. And you must depart in the morning.
    • Then there's the moment from the book that was left out of the Jackson film:
    Frodo: It does not seem that I can trust anyone.
    Merry: It all depends on what you want. You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thin – to the bitter end. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word!
  • "Now and For Always" from the Lord of the Rings musical. First Sam spontaneously comes up with a verse describing his master/best friend like an unstoppable hero out of a legend (much to the wearied Frodo's amusement) and then Frodo reciprocates with a heartfelt expression of his gratitude for Sam's loyalty and friendship — essentially the "Samwise the Brave" scene set to music.

    Peter Jackson's The Lord of The Rings Films 


  • Although not in the actual movie, in the making-of feature, there is one moment where Arwen's stunt rider is talking about how she really wanted to buy the horse but was unable because of the price (stallions are very expensive), and another higher-up wanted him. Viggo Mortensen heard about this and said he would try to get him. He succeeded in it, and when asked how much the horse was, replied that he wanted to give him to the stuntwoman. It's very moving to see her start crying when she's talking about it.
  • This moment was really touching:
    Gimli: I have taken my worst wound at this parting, having looked my last upon that which is fairest. Haugh, henceforth I will call nothing fair unless it be [Galadriel's] gift to me.
    Legolas: What was her gift?
    Gimli: I asked her for one hair from her golden head. She gave me three.
    • To elaborate, Galadriel, in dwarven lore, is someone of incredible beauty and desire. It is said that her hair is worth more than all the dwarven gold in the world... And she gave him three pieces of it. Gimli is so taken aback by this generosity shown to him that he nearly breaks down.
    • Even more so once you realize that this benevolent act is essentially what cements Gimli's incredible respect for her in his mind. In this moment, Gimli's perception of fancy-pants elves is slowly turned around. This, plus Gimli and Legolas's eventual friendship is what causes the reconciliation between the dwarves and elves.
      Gimli: Never thought I'd die side by side with an elf.
      Legolas: How about side by side with a friend?
      Gimli: ...Aye. I could do that.
      • What makes this moment so powerful is that, when Gimli delivers his response, he drops his normal badass bluster for what might be the only time in the whole saga, and speaks with uncharacteristically heartfelt sincerity. You get the feeling that only a true friend would ever get such unguarded honesty from him.
    • And even more so than that when you factor in some of the stuff that was left out. Galadriel's half-uncle, Fëanor, was an elf of great repute; for instance, he was the one who created the Silmarils, kicking off much of the history of the First Age. He, who created these jewels beyond price, begged her thrice for a lock of her hair, but each time she refused him. And yet to a scruffy dwarf prince she granted this gift, recognizing the purity of his regard for her.
  • Any time the Shire theme flares up, heartwarming isn't far behind.
  • Part of the Appendices (which detailed some of the events that happened after Frodo left for Valinor) mentioned how Legolas was the last elf to leave Middle-Earth after the rest of his people had long gone. "In the forest of Lothlórien, he built himself a single ship and sailed it down the river home. There was but one companion with him: Gimli the dwarf."
    • It was only after Aragorn's death that Legolas decided to sail, which would have indicated that even when his people had already left Middle Earth, he remained with his friend until the very end.
    • Gimli was the only dwarf ever allowed to visit the Undying Lands. Tolkien said that he was allowed both because of his true friendship with Legolas and at the direct intervention of Galadriel.
    • Galadriel told Legolas that at the sound of a gull he would be drawn to go across the sea to Valinor. He hears that gull before he, Aragorn, and Gimli reach Minas Tirith at the Battle of Pelennor. Legolas actively stayed behind despite constantly being drawn to Valinor for some hundred or so years after the gull due to his friendship with Aragorn and Gimli.
  • One from the cast commentary of either The Two Towers or The Return of the King. Miranda Otto (Éowyn) was recounting about how when she saw Liv Tyler (Arwen), she'd decided she wouldn't go up to her because she didn't think it would be right to just go up to one of "the big stars." Liv apparently didn't agree; she ran right up to Miranda, gave her a big hug, and exclaimed (paraphrased) "There's another woman here; I'm so glad! We can hang out and stuff..."
  • Sean Astin's short film "The Long and Short of It", which portrays a man of average height receiving assistance from a very tall man and a very short woman. We've all got something that makes us special.
  • In 2020, Josh Gad arranged for a cast reunion via Zoom for the charity No Child Left Hungry. The amount of warmth and love that still exists between the cast and crew so many years later is just wonderful.
    • When Liv Tyler brings up the then-recent death of their elven dialect coach Andrew Jack, everyone takes a moment to honor his memory.
  • When Ian Holm passed away in 2020, some of his colleagues paid tribute:
    We lost a legend today. He played one of the smallest of characters in our film Lord of the Rings but he was always a giant to me.
  • Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd, and Dominic Monaghan showing their support for the actors cast in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power by taking a photo of themselves wearing shirts featuring Human, Hobbit, and Elf ears with different skin tones along with the phrase "You are all welcome here" in Elvish, after all the backlash and racism among others. After all, is not those actors' fault for how their were cast nor for how the show is written.

    Amazon's series