We all understand that Frodo, his spirit wounded by the One Ring he carried, made a poor moral choice when the time came to dispose of the deadly bauble, and if not for the faithful Sam Gamgee things might have gone very differently.
So, suppose Sam had simply followed his master's lead? Suppose that he and Frodo had turned away from the molten fissure and used the powers of the Ring, and the lesser magics they had acquired, to wander around the Dark Lands, simply killing Orcs and the other creatures of Sauron for the XP.
What would we call them then? Not heroes.
Wait for it . . .
Wait some more . . .