Sam and Frodo

Possibly taking a cue from the controversial film “Brokeback Mountain,” marketers at the cable network TBS are broadcasting a promotion for this weekend’s showing of two “Lord of the Rings” films that suggests characters Sam and Frodo are homosexual lovers.

The Internet is abuzz with talk about the video, which shows short clips of the two interacting over the playing of Atlantic Starr’s ’80s song “Secret Lovers.”

“Are Sam and Frodo a little more than friends? Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” states the TBS webpage leading to several video promotions of the “Rings” features.

The clip has the two hobbits casting pleasant glances at one another in various scenes, including one in which Frodo declares to Sam, “I’m glad you’re with me.”

An Internet banner ad for the video urges: “See the video everyone will talk about!”

Banner for ‘Lord of the Rings’ promo.

Many bloggers have expressing excitement about the video clip:

  • “I got a huge kick out of the Frodo/Sam one, but you better believe some idiot’s gonna protest, or threaten to boycott TBS, or some stupidity.”

  • “That promo? Utterly fabulous! Giggled through the whole thing.”

  • “It’s just good to see a slightly new twist on LOTR, and especially good to know that so many other people out there must have taken note of the [homosexual] subtext.”

  • “I couldn’t believe the first time I watched the video that it wasn’t a joke someone made up, but an actual commercial. It totally rocks.”

But not all the online response has been positive.

One poster on a TBS message board exclaimed, “Whoever decided to use ‘Secret Lovers’ as the theme music for the trailers for ‘Lord of the Rings’ should do us all a favor and take a hike. Implying that Frodo and Sam are lovers just because they are close friends is pathetic. Their friendship is the truest form … caring about another human being to the point of forsaking yourself. We should all be so lucky to have friends like that. But I guess in this ‘Brokeback’ generation, true friendships among men lead the immature to make assumptions that they must be homosexual. Grow up!”

Another participant was offended by the suggestion of homosexuality in light of J.R.R Tolkien’s original book.

“Am I the only person outraged that TBS is twisting the honorable, innocent and sincere friendship, which I am certain Mr. J.R.R. Tolkien intended between his characters, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee, into something perverted? In fact, they have debased heartfelt fellowship and genuine friendship into something carnal, which had no place in his writings anywhere I have ever read!

“As a fairytale story and now nearly a legend, Middle Earth and ‘Lord of the Rings’ was always somewhere ‘safe’ I could direct my own children (much like the late, great J.R.R. Tolkien himself) without it requiring adult supervision. Now, thanks to Turner Broadcasting and TBS, one of the few remaining bastions of charm and innocence has been violated, even if in jest!

“What’s next? Will TBS violate C.S. Lewis’ ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ by implying bestiality just for shock value?”

Yet another poster appreciated TBS’s sense of humor in putting together the promo:

“Finally, we have a channel that understands true humor, not the otherwise fake, polite and superficial imitation of humor. The fact that they are clever enough to make such a hilarious spoof on ‘Lord of the Rings’ is a crystal clear sign of the great resources working for TBS. You definitely get a BIG A+ from me, and I know I speak for a lot of people saying this.”

“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings” is scheduled to air on TBS Friday, while “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” will air on Saturday and Sunday.

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