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Posts Tagged ‘Hobbits’

This ends now.

Home again.

Home again.

Sam, Merry, and Pippin ride home in silence. Merry and Pippin ride on ahead once they arrive back in the Shire, and Sam returns to Bag End. Rosie is waiting for him with dinner and his daughter. All is well.

That’s the end.

Admittedly, I find this post more difficult than what I have planned for tomorrow, because I’ve been thinking about those thoughts for quite a while. Today is, after all, just another normal post. Like the end of many chapters, it’s not even a full page, and the action is rather simple. If it weren’t the end of the book, there wouldn’t be much more to say. However, because it is the end, there’s more meaning.

I find the style of the narrative at the end very interesting. “And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within,” it goes. There’s a lot of “and” this, “and” that, and it feels like someone rambling on about unimportant events. It’s the start of Sam’s new life – the happy life he’s always wanted at home in the Shire. Things aren’t dramatic or epic. He can settle down to live happily.

This is part of the reason why Frodo had to leave. Frodo (like Bilbo) had a flair for adventure. Once dragged into the journey, he let it consume him. He learned an immeasurable amount about himself, but he was never able to shake the restless nerves that he grew to live with over the course of the tale. Frodo accepted that he must take the ring, and even volunteered to do so at the Council of Elrond. Sam, on the other hand, never really did that. He got lumped in with Frodo when Gandalf discovered him listening in, and Sam’s thoughts to keep him in good spirits on the road were almost always of home. He has an easier time slipping back to his good life at peace.

And so, the end isn’t a big deal. It’s the beginning of a new tale, but not one that will keep us gripped with excitement. We leave our heroes here.

...is the beginning.

…is the beginning.

Of course, this isn’t quite my end. I have a retrospective conclusion planned for tomorrow. What have I learned? What was it like? What are some cool/fun facts? What’s next? I’m going to post a big long bunch of thoughts tomorrow to say a lot about this experience.

Just over two and a half years ago, I sat down to write a blog. It went by incredibly fast. I regret to announce that – though, as I said, two and a half years is far too short a time to to write among you – this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!

No one dies today.

“‘Well, I’m back,’ he said.”

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Yes, one more journey. No, we won’t be following it closely. Frodo’s leaving.

Appropriate James Van Der Beek moment.

Appropriate James Van Der Beek moment.

Having never found true happiness back in the Shire, Frodo intends to leave Middle-earth on a ship with the elves and Bilbo. As ring-bearers, they are allowed to join. Frodo wishes for Sam to ride with them, at least to the Grey Havens, before returning home. He has so much more to live for back in the Shire, and Frodo wants him to go live his life to its fullest.

And so, they ride, passing through the Shire hardly noticeably.

First Mentions:

-Frodo: A future child of Sam’s, when he finally does have a boy.

-Rosie: Another future Gamgee, named for her mother.

-Merry: Sensing a pattern?

-Goldilocks: What?! That’s not someone we know.

-Pippin: Okay, Sam does eventually name his children after all his friends.

So…no one can see them? I see this one way: Galadriel’s ring still has some of its power. We learned earlier (MUCH earlier) that her ring, Nenya, has the power of hiding things its owner wishes to keep hidden. Is she using it now? Unfortunately, the power is leaving the Three as the One Ring has been destroyed, but perhaps there’s enough left in there to help the band along their way. I actually totally see the value in going about unnoticed. This wouldn’t be a good time for random hobbits to be running up to Elrond and Galadriel, wanting to hang out with some elves.

OHMYGOD I NEED A PICTURE WITH THIS PERSON.

OHMYGOD I NEED A PICTURE WITH THIS PERSON.

Anyway, just like Bilbo planned his departure from the Shire, it looks like Frodo has been thinking about this for quite a while. He doesn’t have the things keeping him there like Sam does. Frodo even takes a theoretical glimpse into Sam’s future, seeing more children and Sam being elected Mayor. All of these things eventually come true.

(Sam and Rosie end up have 13 children in total, in case you were curious.)

No one dies today.

“And when they passed from the Shire, going about the south skirts of the White Downs, they came to the…”

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Kids! Sam has a kid! Little Elanor Gamgee is welcomed into the world on March 25th, which is odd. It’s also the date that the ring was destroyed. Sam and Frodo note the coincidence.

Life goes on, and Elanor is nearly six months old when Frodo tells Sam that Bilbo’s (and Frodo’s, too) birthday is coming up once again. He’s going to be 131, making him the oldest known hobbit ever to live.

But still awesome.

But still awesome.

Frodo has something up his sleeve. He asks Sam if Rosie will be alright with him going away for a bit, but not for long. Sam assumes that Frodo means to go visit Bilbo in Rivendell.

First Mentions:

-Elanor: Sam’s firstborn daughter! Named after the flowers of Lothlórien.

This, friends, this is our endgame. Frodo’s going away. He finishes writing/editing his and Bilbo’s book, and gives it to Sam. He also gives Sam the keys to Bag End. Just like Bilbo at the very beginning, Frodo’s decided that it’s time to go now. Not much longer, and this is the last plot point.

In happier news, Sam and Rosie wanted to name their child Frodo, but…well, Frodo isn’t a girl’s name. I’m pretty sure that they don’t have the technology yet in the Shire to know if a baby’s going to be a boy or a girl, and I guess the Gamgee family just assumed that a boy was coming. They were wrong. However, Frodo’s the one to suggest that they name her after a flower, as many hobbits do when naming baby girls. Sam picks a beautiful flower from his journey, and one that no other hobbit is sure to know.

Thank goodness they didn't name her after one of these.

Thank goodness they didn’t name her after one of these.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-maildchild

-maidchildren

-beautifuller

Sam, what’s that? Beautifuller? I’ve made concessions for your ruralisms before, calling them quaint or whatever, but this may just be too far. You have a daughter now! Teach your child to speak!

No one dies today.

“At the beginning there were many leaves covered with Bilbo’s…”

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An entire year in one page? Seems reasonable.

People who can read small print do this all the time.

People who can read small print do this all the time.

That being said, this page is rather vague. Sam and Rosie move into Bag End to take care of Frodo, who becomes withdrawn from public life. Merry and Pippin live at Crickhollow, and ride around in their armor and colors all the time. They become the most admirable hobbits in the Shire, along with Sam, somewhat. Frodo remains a bit of a hermit.

As a year passes, Frodo becomes ill again on the anniversary of Weathertop, and once again in March of the following year. He wears a necklace with a gem on it now, seemingly standing in place of the ring.

I’m trying to remember if this white gem has some meaning, but I really think that it’s just something that Frodo wears to fill a hole left by the ring’s absence. He plays with it from time to time – sort of a nervous tic. He definitely shows some troubling tendencies, but you have to give him some slack after all the emotional trauma he experienced. If someone in Middle-earth were to be good at diagnosing psychological issues, Frodo might have PTSD.

The lingering effects of the ring’s evil have some part in that, too. Frodo wasn’t exactly Sauron, but he had a strong connection to that ring. Gollum had that issue as well.

Today’s Gollum Meter: 48 – “Absence makes the heart…remember all those terrible things you did.”

But let us not forget, that last thing was pretty great.

But let us not forget, that last thing was pretty great.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-fairspoken

Less than a week, folks! How many more years will fly by us in that time? The beginning and end of the book really do accelerate the pace. Remember when like 17 years passed in a few sentences?

No one dies today.

“Frodo was ill again in March, but with a great effort he concealed it, for Sam had other things to…”

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Before midnight! I can do this!

Anyway, today’s page is a little bit more about how bountiful this year is in the Shire. The ol’ 1420 vintage becomes a point of reference when discussing anything of value in the future. (By the way, it’s the year 1420 in the Shire reckoning.)

The next part deals with Sam’s romantic interests and living situation. Frodo wants him to come live at Bag End, but will that sit well with Sam’s new flame?

Only if there's dancing.

Only if there’s dancing.

Frodo has a solution: Sam will marry Rosie, and they will both come to live at Bag End! Apparently…that’s not as bad of an idea as I think it sounds.

First Mentions:

-Widow Rumble: An older hobbit woman who takes care of the Gaffer. Secret romance?

I forgot, there is also a brief mention that Frodo falls ill during the month of March while Sam’s away doing his Johnny Appleseed work. The date is significant somewhat, as the ring was destroyed in March of the previous year. I do not know, however, how this plays into things. Frodo is ill on March 13th, and the ring was destroyed on the 25th. Perhaps there’s something I’m missing, but all the days ran together in Mordor, so I can’t be sure exactly what was happening on that day (the 13th) back in that last leg of the journey.

Nevertheless, my chief concern of this page is with Frodo’s idea to have Sam and Rosie live with him. I mean, I hear Bag End is quite a large hobbit hole, but does it make sense for the married couple to come live with Frodo, the third wheel? Perhaps this is about Frodo being cared for, but I still don’t see how it makes sense. Sam is a gardener, after all, not a house servant.

Everyone could really use a butler built into your door.

Everyone could really use a butler built into your door.

Speaking of other living situations, Frodo and Sam were staying with the Cottons all this time while Bag End was being repaired and refurnished. Merry and Pippin brought over Frodo’s belongings from his house at Crickhollow. Sam does eventually go back to live with his father when Bagshot Row is rebuilt as well. I presume Frodo stays with the Cottons during the period in between.

No one dies today.

“And if Sam thought himself lucky,…”

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Tonight, I was able to sit down and count out how long we have. I hadn’t done that yet, and frankly, I was a little scared to do so since I screwed up royally with my estimations earlier. So, I know when we end. I’ll keep it a secret, though, just to be fun.

In that vein, I realized I need to commit to this a little harder. To say it mildly, I’ve been using the blog as a procrastination method for a while now. In my mind, I can’t sleep until the blog’s done, so it’s an excuse to stay up later and later doing…well, nothing at all. In the end, that results in a shorter, stranger, and weaker post than I would like or than the situation deserves. There’s not much further to go, and I’m going to commit to making a point of this during my day. Besides, I have so many serious things to say when I conclude.

Always has been.

Always has been.

Sam replants the Shire on today’s page. He goes around, sprinkling soil in places where important or beautiful trees once stood. One nut or seed-like thing is in Galadriel’s box, and Sam plants it in the field where Bilbo threw his great birthday party to replace the tree that was taken down from there. Come spring, Sam’s new trees flourish.

They grow swiftly, and the tree planted in the party field is a mallorn, one of the great stock of Lothlórien. It is the only one of its kind anywhere nearby, and travelers flock to see it as the years go by. Sam’s efforts are a wild success.

The following year is plentiful in the Shire. Not only are Sam’s trees thriving, but other plants as well. Harvests are good, specifically of pipe-weed, and hobbit children born in this year are especially fair and happy. It’s a good time to be a hobbit.

We do get one specific note that the only hobbits unhappy are those who have to cut the grass. And what a problem that is! Business is probably booming for them, even as much as they might grumble about it. You can’t turn down money. (I should say that I have no idea how the Shire economy runs…)

I assume that most fictional worlds use the Duck Tales method of banking.

I assume that most fictional worlds use the Duck Tales method of banking.

Speaking of swimming in non-swimmable materials, it is said that crops are so bountiful that hobbit children are practically bathing in strawberries and cream. While I do not doubt the excitement that could be derived from a dip in such a mixture, I must say that I don’t think it would be very conducive to bathing. Maybe that’s just me. Somebody, try it out and let me know.

That wasn’t too serious, was it? Nah, we talked about Duck Tales. Should be fine.

Here’s to writing this earlier tomorrow!

No one dies today.

“In the Southfarthing the vines were laden, and the yield of ‘leaf’…”

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Jumping ahead doesn’t do this page service.

We’re rocketing ahead, learning all about how the hobbits rebuilt the Shire. When organized, they do a pretty good job.

No word yet on hobbit construction unions.

No word yet on hobbit construction unions.

By Christmastime (or Yule, as they call it), all the “new” buildings put up by the ruffians are torn down. Those bricks are put into new use in rebuilding and strengthening structures that were taken down or harmed by the ruffians. At least they can do some good! An entirely new Bagshot Row is built, allowing the Gaffer to live once again at the foot of Bag End.

The greatest loss is in plant life, specifically trees. This hurts Sam greatly. For a while, he can’t think of a way that the Shire will ever be regrown anytime soon. Then, he thinks of the gift given to him by Galadriel: soil of her land, to be used to grow great gardens wherever the land is barren.

Hey! The Shire is barren! What better use could there be for this soil? How appropriate! It’s almost as if Galadriel could see the future

Yeah, she can see the future. That’s what that whole mirror thing’s about. No doubt she saw this coming, and knew that this soil was exactly what Sam would need to make his garden grow. Remember, the scouring of the Shire is even briefly seen through the Mirror of Galadriel in the film. That’s its one onscreen reference. Galadriel easily could have seen it herself.

Make your garden grow, Sam.

Make your garden grow, Sam.

It’s no surprise that Sam is in charge of the rebuilding efforts. With Frodo off doing administrative duties and Merry and Pippin hunting down ruffians, Sam’s the one with the technical ability, heart, and nostalgia to take on putting the Shire back the way it was. He’s like Captain Planet for Middle-earth.

Words My Computer Didn’t Like:

-levelled

Captain Samwise, he’s the hero! Gonna build the Shire back from zero!

No one dies today.

“‘On what?’ said Sam.”

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