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Saturday, September 10, 2016

More from Changes

I'm still listening to Changes and have come to a part where Harry and his friends are about to go off to rescue a little girl from evil vampires. While they were getting ready, they were deciding who each of them resembled most of the characters of The Lord of the Rings. Harry, being a wizard, was sure he would have been Gandalf, but instead he was chosen as Sam ...

"Sanya," I said. "Who did I get cast as?"

"Sam," Sanya said.

I blinked at him. "Not . . . Oh, for crying out loud, it was perfectly obvious who I should have been."

Sanya shrugged. "It was no contest. They gave Gandalf to your godmother. You got Sam." He started to leave and then paused. "Harry. You have read the books as well, yes?"

"Sure," I said.

"Then you know that Sam was the true hero of the tale," Sanya said. "That he faced far greater and more terrible foes than he ever should have had to face, and did so with courage. That he went alone into a black and terrible land, stormed a dark fortress, and resisted the most terrible temptation of his world for the sake of the friend he loved. That in the end, it was his actions and his actions alone that made it possible for light to overcome darkness."

I thought about that for a second. Then I said, "Oh."

He clapped me on the shoulder and left.

He didn't mention the other part of the book. That following the heroes when they set out was the tenth member of their party. A broken creature who went through all the same dangers and trials, who had made a single bad choice and taken up a power he didn't understand - and who had become a demented, miserable, living nightmare because of it. In the end, he had been just as necessary to the overthrow of the darkness.

But he sure as hell didn't enjoy his part.

I shook my head and berated myself sharply. Here I was wasting time talking about a damned book. About a world of blacks and whites with precious little in the way of grey, where you could tell the good guys from the bad guys with about two seconds of effort.

And right now, I didn't give a damn about good and bad. I just wanted a little girl home safe.

It didn't matter which of them I was. As long as I got Maggie home.


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