The Grey Havens
|The Return of the King chapters|
Now that the Shire's brief police state was overthrown, the Hobbits rebuild the villages of the region. Sam opens the box Galadriel gave him and finds a small silver seed, which he plants. In the Party Field, a Mallorn springs up to replace the old tree that was cut down. Many children are born that year. Merry and Pippin become heroes in the Shire, but Frodo quietly retires. That spring, Sam marries Rose Cotton, Farmer Cotton’s daughter, and they live at Bag End with Frodo.
Frodo decides to travel to Rivendell to see Bilbo Baggins. Frodo entrusts to Sam a history of the War, written in part by Bilbo. Frodo, Sam, and others set out. As they enter the Woody End, they meet Elrond and Galadriel, who now wear two of the Three Elven Rings. Riding slowly behind the two elves is Bilbo himself. Sam and Frodo accompany the travelers to the Great Sea. When they reach the gates of the Grey Havens, they find Gandalf, wearing the last of the Three Rings, waiting for them. Beyond him is a great white ship, ready to sail to the West across the sea.
Pippin and Merry appear, wishing to be present at Frodo’s departure. Frodo sadly bids farewell to his three friends, kisses them, and boards the ship. Gandalf entreats the three hobbits to enjoy each other’s friendship as they quietly return to the Shire. Sam enters his warm home, where he finds Rosie waiting. She puts their young daughter, Elanor, in his lap, and Sam draws a deep breath and says, "Well, I'm back."