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The Return of the King

The Return of the King


by J.R.R. Tolkien

Sam Gamgee Timeline and Summary

  • Sam uses the Ring to sneak quietly into the orc tower at Cirith Ungol.
  • He gets lucky: the two hundred orcs garrisoning the tower have all killed each other fighting over Frodo's mithril coat. 
  • Sam rescues Frodo from the remaining orc, Snaga, who is guarding Frodo's cell, and the two of them disguise themselves in orc clothing and head out into Mordor.
  • Sam must encourage his master to keep going every step of the way. He can see just how much the Ring is weighing on Frodo.
  • When they reach Mount Doom, Sam must carry Frodo on his back up the side of the mountain.
  • When Gollum attacks the two of them, Sam fights him back, but ultimately decides not to kill Gollum, since he feels sorry for the poor guy.
  • After the Ring has fallen into the fire along with Gollum, Sam and Frodo are rescued by the Eagles and Gollum.
  • Sam wakes up in the Field of Cormallen to find Frodo more or less intact, along with all of their friends—including Gandalf, whom Sam thought was dead. He is thrilled. 
  • Sam goes back to the Shire with Frodo, Merry, and Pippin.
  • There, he finds Rosie Cotton waiting for him (swoon). 
  • But he also discovers that his father has been made homeless and Frodo's old place at Bag End has been trashed (groan).
  • After the Scouring of the Shire, Sam participates actively in replanting and rebuilding.
  • He places Galadriel's mallorn-tree nut where Bilbo's Party Tree used to be.
  • Sam marries Rosie and moves into Bag End.
  • He and Rosie have Elanor, their first child.
  • Frodo asks Sam to accompany him on a two-week journey, and poor Sam doesn't realize that this will be the last journey.
  • It is only when they reach the Grey Havens that Sam realizes that Frodo is leaving Bag End and Middle-earth forever. 
  • Sam says goodbye to his beloved master and then returns to his home in the Shire.