This wonderful chapter takes place 15 years after Frodo fled West and concerns Sam and his children. Eight of the thirteen are born, and the elder ones love stories of the Elves and their father’s part in the fabulous adventures in the Red Book.
Sam tells them a letter from Aragorn has come, which tells them he will come to the Brandywine Bridge and wants to meet them all. Sam says the king wrote it “‘in Elvish and in Plain Language’” (Sauron Defeated 117) and names each child individually in both tongues.
Two years later, Rose tells Sam she had no hope to see him again after he went off with Frodo until the day was destroyed and then she knew he would come back. Sam considers himself whole, but even so, as he closes the door to Bag End, “Sam heard suddenly the sigh and murmur of the sea on the shores of Middle-earth” (119). Christopher Tolkien notes this is how his father meant to end the epic tale.
The second version of the epilogue is much different and tells of a talk Sam and Elanor have on her 15th birthday after everyone else is asleep. Elanor calls Frodo Sam’s treasure and wishes she could remember him. She is at first the only one who knows of the King’s letter. Within it, Aragorn address Sam as “Master Perhael who should be called Panthael” which Sam explains means “‘Samwise who ought to be called Fullwise’” (126).
Everyone should read this chapter for a delightful look into Sam’s family life. It also contains two marvelous facsimiles of Aragorn’s letter in Elvish.
The last chapter of the book is a small appendix showing drawings of Orthanc and Dunharrow.
Here ends The History of The Lord of the Rings. I hope you have enjoyed the journey!
I will take a break now from blogging. I am deep within my next two books. One will focus on the journeys of Bilbo and Frodo (mostly Frodo, being the Frodoholic I am) 🙂 The other is a series of poems about a hero’s arduous quest and its aftermath. Those who have eyes to see that can will recognize it comes from the POV of one of the Little Folk. Stay tuned!!
Photo from The Lord of the Rings Framecap Library