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Rose Cotton

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Rose Cotton
Ted Nasmith - Sam and Rosie Cotton.jpg
Biographical Information
Other namesRosie
BirthThird Age 2984
DeathMid-year's Day, Fourth Age 61
ParentageTolman Cotton Senior + Lily Brown
Physical Description

Rose "Rosie" Gamgee (née Cotton) (T.A. 2984[1] - Mid-year's Day Fo.A. 61[2]) was the daughter of Tolman Cotton Senior and Lily Brown. She married Samwise Gamgee at the end of the Third Age, and bore him a record thirteen children.




Rose Cotton was born in the year 1384 by Shire Reckoning, the second child and first daughter of Tolman Cotton and Lily Brown.[1] The Cotton family lived in a farm on the South Lane, which was fairly close to Bywater.[3] Not much of her youth is known, except that she and her brothers - Young Tom, Jolly, Nick and Nibs - frequently swam in the Bywater Pool with the children of the Gamgee family, to which the Cottons were close.[4]

War of the Ring

Rosie was still fond of Sam when both grew to adulthood, and when he announced he'd be going with Frodo Baggins to Crickhollow, she did not like it.[5] Even though everyone had given up hope of seeing Sam - or any of the other Hobbits - back, she waited patiently. Since the Spring of T.A. 3019, she had expected Sam to return.

At the time, Ruffian rule over the Shire had lasted some three months, having started earlier that year.[6] Old Tom Cotton had been itching to get his hands on them, but he refrained from doing so as he had his wife and Rosie to look after. Rosie was relieved to find him on the doorstep on November 2, though she was somewhat oblivious to the dangers he had already faced.

Rosie and her mother tended to Sam, Frodo and several others that night, as they prepared to drive out the Ruffians. With shining eyes and a smile on her face she heard Frodo tell of Sam's adventure and fame abroad.[7] Sam and Frodo lived with the Cottons until Bagshot Row and Bag End were restored, the following Spring. Sam later joined Frodo in Bag End, but was torn in two - he wanted to stay loyal to Frodo, as well as marry Rosie.[5]

And so they did. Sam and Rosie married on May 1, Third Age 3020,[8] and moved into Bag End.[5] There, they lived happily, and begot Elanor, their first daughter, who was born on the anniversary of the Downfall of Sauron.[8]

Fourth Age

The Fourth Age started with one child, but many more would follow. Rose bore a record thirteen children, beating Adamanta Chubb, the wife of the Old Took, by one.[9] Frodo was born in Fourth Age 2, Rose-lass in Fo.A. 4, Merry in 6, Pippin in 8, Goldilocks in 10, Hamfast in 11, Daisy in 12, Primrose in 14, Bilbo in 15, Ruby in 17, Robin in 19, and their last child, Tom, in 21.[1]

That year, 21, marked the only major undertaking of Mistress Rose. She and Sam travelled to Gondor, and stayed with King Elessar for well over a year. In the meantime, Rose's brother Tom took over Sam's tasks as Mayor. After their return, Rose would continue to live by her husband's side, until her passing at the age of 98 at Mid-year's Day of Fourth Age 61.[2]


The name Rose is a translation of an unknown Westron name. She is, like many female Hobbits, named after a flower,[10] the rose. The surname Cotton comes from a Westron Hlothran, which roughly translates as "Cottager".[10]

In the King's Letter, which was not included in The Return of the King as published, Elessar translated the name Rose as Meril in Sindarin.[11] In his linguistical analysis of the King's Letter, Carl F. Hostetter noted the resemblance to Meril-i-Turinqi, the queen of Tol Eressëa in the earliest stages of the Book of Lost Tales.[12] Hostetter could not connect it to any entry in the Etymologies, which mirrors Christopher Tolkien's observations on Meril-i-Turinqi, for which no root could be found in the Qenya Lexicon[13] - however, a Gnomish translation was translated as "Queen of Flowers".[13] As the second element represents the "queen" part, Meril appears to be one of the oldest words for "Flower" in the legendarium.

Portrayal in Adaptations

1980: Rankin/Bass' The Return of the King:

During a ring-induced dream at the Tower of Cirith Ungol, Sam thinks of going back home. An older man, het sits and watches several children playing about. A blonde woman, obviously his wife, carries a baby to him. She is not identified as Rosie on screen, so the identification is conjectural.

1981: BBC Radio's The Lord of the Rings:

Rose was voiced by Kathryn Hurlbutt. At the end, she has one child, Elanor, portrayed by Harry Holm.[14]

2001: Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring:

Rosie, played by Sarah McLeod, dances at the Farewell Party.[15] She is portrayed as a popular girl. In the extended edition, she is the barmaid of the Green Dragon.[16] Sam's love for her seems unrequited, or Rosie simply does not know.

2002: Vivendi's The Fellowship of the Ring:

Rosie is, once again, the barmaid of the Green Dragon. She shows more concern and affection for Frodo than for Sam, whom she considers childish. Rose lives with her father at Number 3, South Lane, Bywater.[17] No voice actress is specified for this role, but it is a thinly veiled Jennifer Hale.

2003: Peter Jackson's The Return of the King:

Rosie was, again, played by Sarah McLeod. Still the barmaid of the Green Dragon, Sam makes his move on her, and they marry.[18] Despite Frodo being gone, they live at Number 3, Bagshot Row. Sam and Rosie have two children: Elanor (played by Sean Astin's daughter Alexandra), and Frodo (played by Maisy McLeod-Riviera, Sarah McLeod's daughter).[19]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix C, "The Longfather-tree of Master Samwise"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "Later Events Concerning the Fellowship of the Ring"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull (eds.),"Unfinished Index", published (in segments) in The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, page 612
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Mount Doom"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Homeward Bound"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Scouring of the Shire"
  8. 8.0 8.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Chief Days From the Fall of Barad-dûr to the End of the Third Age"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix C, "Took of Great Smials"
  10. 10.0 10.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "II On Translation"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.) Sauron Defeated, "The Epilogue"
  12. Carl F. Hostetter, The "King's Letter": An Historical and Comparative Analysis, in Vinyar Tengwar 31 (September 1993), pages 12-34
  13. 13.0 13.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part 1, "Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales - Part 1"
  14. The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series), "The Grey Havens"
  15. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Long-expected Party"
  16. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, "At the Green Dragon"
  17. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game), "The Shire - Bywater"
  18. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, "Homeward Bound"
  19. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"