'I am learning a lot about Sam Gamgee on this journey. First he was a conspirator, now he's a jester. He'll end up by becoming a wizard – or a warrior!'
'I hope not,' said Sam. 'I don't want to be neither!'
FR 1.xii.208But maybe both?
[Sam] felt that he had from now on only two choices: to forbear the Ring, though it would torment him; or to claim it, and challenge the Power that sat in its dark hold beyond the valley of shadows. Already the Ring tempted him, gnawing at his will and reason. Wild fantasies arose in his mind; and he saw Samwise the Strong, Hero of the Age, striding with a flaming sword across the darkened land, and armies flocking to his call as he marched to the overthrow of Barad-dûr. And then all the clouds rolled away, and the white sun shone, and at his command the vale of Gorgoroth became a garden of flowers and trees and brought forth fruit. He had only to put on the Ring and claim it for his own, and all this could be.
Two passages nearly seven hundred pages apart tell us about the working of the Ring on the mind. Do the 'wild fantasies' now arising in Sam's mind reveal the role he imagined for himself as a boy when he was listening to Mr Bilbo telling, say, the tale of Gil-Galad, just as Boromir's fantasies about becoming king of Gondor reflect his childhood desire for the Stewards to ascend the throne (FR 2.x398; TT 4.v.670)? The pull of the Ring's power allows us to imagine the fulfillment of desires we already had somewhere within us, even if we had set them aside as childish things.