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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.