Samwise Gamgee is my hero, and the true hero of The Lord of the Rings. If not for Sam's loyalty, love and steadfastness the entire Quest would have failed. Sam was just a simple hobbit who loved stories, but never dreamed he could make one. Unlike the other members of the Fellowship of the Ring, Sam didn't have any real standing anywhere; he was just a poor gardener, but he ended up as one of the greatest heroes of Middle-Earth. This was because of his loyalty to his master, Frodo. Sam loved Frodo so much that he helped him all the way to Mordor and back again, and he never abandoned him.
I respect Sam because he was willing to make sacrifices for those he loved, particularly Frodo. Sam left his family and home to follow Frodo on his quest to destroy the Ring. Sam had to make a very great sacrifice after he and Frodo battled the giant spider Shelob, but he made the right decision even though it seemed wrong, and he saved the whole world through it. He gave his whole self so the Quest might be completed, and though he hoped that he and Frodo would survive, he never really expected to. Even after he got home he gave up his gift from Lady Galadriel so his homeland, the Shire, could be restored to its former beauty. Thinking of Sam encourages me when I have to make sacrifices.
Sam is a great hero because of his love and loyalty, too. He cared for Frodo ceaselessly on their terrible journey. Sam guarded Frodo jealously from Gollum; without his watchfulness Gollum would have killed Frodo and taken the Ring. Sam understood his master and knew what he would do, so he accompanied Frodo to Mordor when the rest of the Fellowship failed him. Sam gave up food and water so Frodo would have the strength to go on. He encouraged and supported Frodo through their journey, literally carrying him up the mountain at the end. Sam was in love with Rosie Cotton, a young hobbit girl, and though he chose to follow Frodo, he carried Rosie in his heart through their journey. He remained faithful to her and they married when he returned home.
Sam is my hero because he was not important in the beginning. All the others in the Fellowship had royal blood or came from important families, but Sam was only a gardener who loved his master. His greatest wish was for Frodo's story to be told, and he never thought he had done anything special. Sam was always very humble; he didn't aspire to anything other than helping his master and going home to Rosie. This is such a great example, and I want to emulate him, wishing not for my own glory but for that of others.
Sam Gamgee is my hero for all these reasons. He was humble, loyal to everything to a fault, and sacrificially loving. I hope to someday be like him in these ways.