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Ho Yay / The Lord of the Rings

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"...a movie bursting with so much manly compassion, you'll think you're watching Brokeback Mount Doom."
Screen Junkies Honest Trailer for The Lord Of The Rings

The Lord of the Rings:

  • From a contemporary standpoint, the relationship between Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee often goes way past mere friendship, or boss-subordinate.
    • There was that bit in the RotK film where Sam helps Frodo to his feet on Mount Doom by grasping him by the hips from behind? On top of that (pun intended) the great reunion after the ring is destroyed, where Merry and Pippin's first instinct on seeing their friend is awake is to climb into bed with him under the gleeful eyes of a maniacally laughing Ian McKellen!
    • In fact, when Sam is battling Shelob to save Frodo, Tolkien specifically describes him as having the ferocity of a wild animal defending its mate.
      • And don't forget: the author also wrote that Sam tenderly took Frodo's hand and blushed.
      • On top of all this, Sam has to go rescue Frodo from the Orcs' tower... and Frodo is nude when Sam eventually finds him.
    • Even in Real Life, the actors are suspiciously close. They appear to take Sam's and Frodo's relationship seriously and they apparently don't know the implications of that.
    • The actor that plays Sam said: "...they don't need to talk about what they are to each other, they just are", so the fandom has become even more misaimed than it was, regarding the characters' relationship.
    • The Crowning Moment of Ho Yay in the books is when Gollum comes sneaking up and finds Sam, asleep, with the also-asleep Frodo's head in his lap. As if that weren't enough, there's also plenty of Purple Prose about the fact that Sam's cradling Frodo's face. Even for the most physically demonstrative platonic friendship, that's way over the line. Heck, if Frodo had been dying, face-cradling would still be a bit much.
    • Ah, and let's not forget Sam constantly referring to Frodo as "my dear". And how Sam occasionally kisses Frodo on the forehead or hand in the book.
    • Randal Graves lampshades the Ho Yay between Sam and Frodo in Clerks II when he points out the "very gay look" that Sam gives Frodo in the scene where he wakes up from his coma with Pippin and Merry. He then goes on to make fun of them so cruelly that it causes a Rings fanboy customer to throw up.
    • The last chapter of the book also has this gem, where Bilbo asks Sam when he is going to move in and join him, and Sam just looks at him awkwardly. Then, when Sam hesitates, Frodo reassures him that his grandfather (with whom he lived up until then) will be close by, so he won't miss him. When Sam reveals he is going to marry a girl he met, Frodo, without skipping a beat, suggests that she can move in too. And they do.
    • Even when Sam calls Frodo "master," this trope makes it take on a BDSM connotation.
  • Since almost all of the characters are men, some can find Ho Yay all over the place. It was even mentioned in Lord of the Fans.
  • Not to mention the "great love that grew between Gimli and Legolas", quote from Return of the King. They warm up to each other during the course of the books, then travel to Middle-Earth together and end up sharing a boat bound for Valinor. (The last time an elf brought a non-elf to Valinor for affection rather than medical reasons was (probably) Idril Celebrindal bringing Tuor son of Huor. Her husband.) Heterosexual Life-Partners at the very least.
    • Sure, it's Legolas and Gimli in the novels. But the love belongs more to Legolas and Aragorn in the films.
      • As evidenced by this famous promotional picture.
      • There's a scene in Two Towers where Legolas returns the Evenstar to Aragorn after he returns from his fall off the cliff. Meanwhile, Éowyn looks on from a distance, shocked, apparently under the impression that Legolas and Aragorn are romantically involved. The intensity of eye contact and gratuitous touching doesn't really make a case against her assumption.
  • Oh, and let's not forget how Sméagol addressed Déagol as my love, and how Déagol mentioned giving Sméagol "more than he could afford" on his birthday.
  • Not to mention Pippin and Merry. Yeah, they're cousins, but Merry's wife Estella was also his cousin. Pippin also married, but that doesn't stop the fans from seeing Ho Yay. After all, the two tend to stay as close together as possible, when they are separated it's like some sort of tragedy, and after the war they not only buy a house together and stay there for as long as they can, they also left the Shire together to go off and die with the humans, leaving wives and children behind. Although it's notable that while Merry and Pippin are joined at the hip from their first second on-screen in the movies, in the books the closeness isn't apparent until later. In fact, it's actually Merry and Frodo who seem to be the bestest buds in Fellowship, and Merry even lived with Frodo for a while after Bilbo left.
  • In the novels there seems to be something between Faramir and Aragorn. Faramir only wakes when he hears the voice of his 'King', and the at-first-glance adoration and loyalty is rather intense.
    • Mind that Éowyn, who has been unhappily in love with Aragorn for most of the book does not wake up at the sound of his voice (her brother succeeds in the task). Faramir on the other side...
    • Also when Éowyn tells Faramir the reasons why she thought she was in love with Aragorn (noble, strong, wise and kind), Faramir's respone amounts to "Yeah, who wouldn't love Aragorn."
  • Not to mention the words between Aragorn and Éomer when they meet at the battle of the Pelennor Fields...
  • Then there's Aragorn and Boromir. The heartfelt, almost desperate confession in Lothlórien... And of course: My brother, my captain, my King. Boromir is the first person to acknowledge Aragorn as King, and basically propel him into wanting to be King at all.
  • The gender ratio being what it is, it's easy to see lots of Ho Yay in The Silmarillion as well. Ah, all the manly friendships out there...Maedhros/Fingon, Beleg/Túrin, Gil-galad/Elrond...Anything goes.
    • Maedhros/Fingon deserves its own special mention. They were best friends back in the good old days. When Fëanor ordered his followers to burn the stolen Teleri ships on the shores of Beleriand, Maedhros was the only one of his sons to object, basically saying "Fingon's over there! We need to go back!" and was the only one to stand aside while the ships were destroyed. Later, Maedhros is captured, and when Fingon hears of it he immediately sets out to rescue him alone, letting no one reason with him or stop him. He finds Maedhros in Angband by singing in the wilderness. (Remember, this is how Official Couple Beren and Luthien found each other when Beren was imprisoned in Angband.) He sees Maedhros hanging from a cliff and weeps because there doesn't seem to be a way to save him—but then Thorondor, king of the eagles, is sent by Manwë to assist him. Fingon then manages to fly up and rescue Maedhros by cutting off his hand (which also parallels Beren losing a hand at the climax of their story). Afterwards, Maedhros relinquishes the title of High King in favor of Fingolfin, Fingon's father. Much later, Maedhros and Fingon form an alliance to defeat Morgoth once and for all, and while that ends terribly, it's clear they remained close throughout the First Age until Fingon's death. There's even a cute moment in one of the histories where Maedhros is gifted the fabulous Dragon-helm of Dor-lomin and immediately gives it to Fingon.