Epilogue

Bilbo Baggins passed away at the age of 135 in Valinor.

Frodo Baggins, son of Drogo, lived to be 124 years old, passing away on March the 25th with an ill and aging Sam at his side.

Samwise Gamgee, son of Hamfast, "went where he could not follow" eleven days later, passing away just near his 112th birthday, or so it is said.

They were laid to rest by the elves and Mithrandir in a proper Shire burial. Frodo wore his mithril vest and the phial of Galadriel was laid in his right hand. Sting was placed in Sam's left hand, and his right hand held that of his dear friend. Elanor, Lothlorien's golden flower and Sam's daughter's namesake, grew freely and unbidden upon the common mound.

Merry and Pippin's summons had come from Buckland, where the Thain was needed for urgent family business. Two years later, in the spring, an urgent message came from Rohan; the king desired to see Master Meriadoc. The two hobbits took counsel with one another, and left their possessions to their sons. They were never seen in the Shire again. They reached Rohan and were with King Eomer before his death.

Merry and Pippin then traveled to Minas Tirith, where they died alongside the King Elessar on March 1st of 120, Fourth Age. They were buried among the great of Gondor.

Elanor and her husband traveled to Minas Tirith and remained there for a time, under the rule of King Eldarion, son of Aragorn and Arwen. She painstakingly copied the book she had inherited from Sam, which had become known as the Red Book of Westmarch. The original remained with Elanor, and stayed in the Gamgee and Fairbairn families for many a long year. A copy of the book was kept in Minas Tirith, and many versions circulated throughout the Shire. One book was left at the Grey Havens in hopes it would be brought to Valinor. It eventually was brought upon the last Elven ship, but Frodo and Sam were not there to receive it.

Elanor died at the age of 104, a few years after her husband. She was buried by younger siblings Tolman and Robin by the shores of the Great Sea, near the Havens.

And so ended the tale of the Hobbits in the Third and Fourth Age.

"When the seas and mountains fall

and we come to end of days

in the dark, I hear a call

calling me there

I will go there and back again."

- In Dreams


Author's Note

This story was inspired by many things. First of all, the end of the movie The Return of the King begged for, as Bilbo would say, "a tying of loose ends." I felt as torn and incomplete as Sam, I would venture to say, when it had such an abrupt and unsolved ending. It broke my heart to see such great friends torn asunder by the after-effects of a dangerous quest that broke mind and body in all four of them.

So, upon seeing all three movies, I ventured to read the trilogy as Tolkien wrote it. I immediately fell in love with it, more so than I had with the movies, and now consider myself a "purist" of sorts, ) Yet, once again, I was left with a feeling of incompleteness. "Well, I'm back" did absolutely nothing to comfort me about the situation at hand.

So I decided to resolve it myself.

After doing a bit of research in the Return of the King's appendices, I began the fiction. I made my best attempt to stay true to fundamental things such as dates and timespans, as well as family trees and projections about events that occurred after the end of the novels. I also read in The End of the Third Age (a small volume found in the History of Middle-earth) about the never-published epilogue that extended Sam's story a few years. The very last line caught me.

They went in, and Sam shut the door. But even as he did so, he heard suddenly, deep and unstilled, the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.

That, along with the blurb in Appendix B about Sam leaving on September 22nd for the Grey Havens, and leaving the Red Book to Elanor, laid the basis for my story and confirmed my belief that Sam would never forget about Frodo, and that they would meet again somehow.

So, that's the background of the story, and I hope I tied up all the loose ends. Many of the incidents in the epilogue were of my own invention, such as Frodo and Sam's fate (it was never written down, nor did anyone ever find out exactly) as well as that of Elanor. However, the story of Merry and Pippin's travels to Rohan and Gondor were all set down very explicitly in Appendix B.

It's been an amazing experience writing this, and I love all the support I've received from users on . Keep your eye on me...there'll be more coming! Namarie, Perhelediel