The end of The Lord of the Rings was not the end of Samwise Gamgee’s story, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s added notes have detailed many of the hobbit’s continued adventures. Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King ended with Frodo and Sam’s return to the Shire, alongside a few time jumps that revealed later moments in their lives. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings books provide more answers as to how Sam spent his life after his adventure with the One Ring.
Samwise Gamgee was only a gardener when he packed up his precious pots and rope to assist Frodo on his journey to Mordor, where they would destroy the One Ring and save all Middle-earth. On this adventure, Sam proved – and discovered for the first time himself – that he was brave, true, and capable. As a result, Sam’s life looked very different when he returned to the Shire than when he first left it. Frodo’s wish had been for Sam to live in the beautiful world they had saved, and the gardener’s many achievements after the conclusion of Lord of the Rings proved that he did.
Sam Gamgee Restored The Shire After It Was Destroyed By Saruman
The Lord of the Rings movies left out Tolkien’s Scouring of the Shire chapter, so when the Hobbits returned to the Shire after Aragorn’s coronation, they found their beautiful country to be exactly how they had left it. This was not the case in the books, where the home of the Hobbits had been destroyed by Saruman’s greed in the Scouring of the Shire. Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin fought off Saruman’s influence in the Shire, but all that was left of their green country was burnt decay. Thankfully, Samwise Gamgee had his green thumb, soil from Galadriel’s orchard, and an Elven mallorn tree seed to help fix the damage.
With the help of the rest of the Hobbits in Lord of the Rings, Sam restored the Shire beyond its previous beauty. The soil and seed gifted to him by Galadriel meant that instead of taking years for their home to be repaired, it was back to its beautiful green self in rapid time. The seed quickly grew into the only mallorn tree west of the mountains, and represented the newly-formed connection between the Elves and the four heroic hobbits of the Shire.
Sam Gamgee Married Rosie Cotton
Though the Lord of the Rings movies included Sam’s wedding with Rosie Cotton, they left out that the pair had been friends since childhood. When Sam returned from his long adventure with Frodo, Rosie was surprised, yet delighted, to see that he was alive and well. She helped him take down Saruman and his henchmen, and once the Shire was restored, the two married in Frodo’s home of Bag End.
Frodo saw Sam and Rosie as family, so he invited them to move into Bag End and grow their family there. Then, when Frodo left for the Undying Lands, he left the Baggins’ home in their care. Rosie and Sam often traveled to Gondor to stay as honored guests with King Aragorn and Queen Arwen. They were considered trusted advisors and friends, and helped forge a lasting connection between the new ruler of Men and the Hobbits, since they were also technically on Aragorn’s land in Lord of the Rings.
Sam Gamgee & Rosie Cotton Had 13 Children
Together at Bag End, Rosie and Sam had 13 children: Elanor, Frodo, Rose, Merry, Pippin, Goldilocks, Hamfast, Daisy, Primrose, Bilbo, Ruby, Robin, and Tolman. Together, the family became known as the Gardeners of the Fourth Age, and each of Sam’s children went on to be influential in the Hobbit community in different ways. Tolkien’s appendices of The Lord of the Rings state that Sam’s son Frodo inherited Bag End, which is fitting, given his namesake. Goldilocks, who was said to look more like an elf than a hobbit, married Faramir Took, son of Pippin.
However, the most notable of Sam’s children in Lord of the Rings canon was Elanor, who Frodo named after the flowers that grew in Lorien. She was raised in part by Frodo before he left for the Undying Lands, and when she was 16, she traveled to Gondor to become a lady-in-waiting for Queen Arwen. When she returned to the Shire as an adult, she married a hobbit named Fastred Warden. Eventually, Elanor inherited the Red Book of Westmarch – the collection of stories started by Bilbo and finished by Frodo outlining The Lord of the Rings.
Sam Gamgee Became Mayor Of The Shire (For 49 Years)
When Sam and his three companions helped free the Shire from Saruman at the end of Lord of the Rings, they found that the mayor, Will Whitfoot, had been imprisoned for months. Frodo acted as deputy mayor until the hobbit had recovered, and he continued to govern the Shire for about six more years, at which point Sam was elected to take his place. Additionally, King Aragorn granted Sam the title Counsellor of the North-Kingdom and awarded him with the Star of the Dúnedain.
Sam’s accomplishments as mayor of the Shire after the days of Lord of the Rings are unknown, but since he was elected for six additional terms for a grand total of 49 years, he must have done a rather good job. Though the Tolkien Lord of the Rings books never revealed who took up the post when Sam was ready to retire, it is no strain on the imagination to think it would have been one of his many children. Each had become beloved and influential within their community, and held several other important posts at the Shire.
Sam Gamgee Joined Frodo In the Undying Lands
After retiring, Sam and Rosie moved to Gondor for a long stint before coming home to the Shire to live out their days together. Rosie passed away at the age of 61, and Sam, like Bilbo in The Lord of the Rings, decided it was time he moved on to his next big adventure. The last person Sam spoke to before he left his beloved Shire forever was his daughter, Elanor, at the Tower Hills. He entrusted to her the Red Book containing the long journey of Bilbo, Frodo, and himself.
Elanor recorded that her father left for the Grey Havens, where he would set sail for the Undying Lands, also called Valinor. Just like Frodo and Bilbo, Sam had once been a Ring-bearer – even if only for a short time – so he was permitted by the Valar to live out the rest of his days in paradise. Though nothing was ever said about Sam’s assumed reunion with Frodo Baggins, it is a comfort to know that he was able to spend the final days of his remarkable life with the friend he had loved so much in The Lord of the Rings, and had missed for so long afterwards.