Gamgee, known as Sam, is a Hobbit of the Shire. He is Frodo Baggins’ gardener and best friend. Sam proves himself to be Frodo’s closest and most dependable companion, the most loyal of the Fellowship of the Ring, and also plays a critical role in protecting Frodo and destroying the One Ring.
Sam was the youngest son of Hamfast and Bell Gamgee, and had many brothers and sisters. A gardener by trade, Sam seemed to be a simple Hobbit of plain speech. However, his love for Elves, his gift for poetry, and his belief that the world contained greater wonders than most hobbits were aware of (all nurtured by his tutor Bilbo Baggins) set him apart from the beginning. It was Sam who first introduced (in Tolkien’s novels) the theme of the Elves sailing from Middle-earth, a subtle foreshadowing of Bilbo and Frodo’s final journey across the sea from the Grey Havens. He lived with his father, Hamfast Gamgee, known commonly as “The Gaffer”, on Bagshot Row in the Shire, close to Bag End. Sam’s mother was Bell Goodchild. He had five siblings: Hamson, Halfred, Daisy, May, and Marigold.
Quest of the Ring
As “punishment” for eavesdropping on Gandalf’s conversation with Frodo regarding the dangers of the One Ring, Gandalf chose Sam to be Frodo’s companion on his journey to Rivendell. Sam saved Frodo’s life more than once during the quest to destroy the Ring, and accompanied him all the way to Mount Doom.
After Shelob attacked and seemingly killed Frodo, Sam took the Ring, intending to complete the quest on his own. Because he held the Ring for a time, he was considered one of the Ring-bearers and during the time he possessed it the Ring tempted him with visions of a great garden all for himself. Being humble, Sam never gave into the treacherous visions and temptations of the Ring, and returned it when he discovered Frodo alive in the Tower of Cirith Ungol. He and Bilbo were the only ones ever to have given up the ring willingly, and only Sam surrendered it readily.
When Orcs took Frodo’s body, Sam overheard one of them saying that Frodo was still alive, so he followed the Orcs into the Tower of Cirith Ungol, determined to rescue Frodo. Once there he found that competing bands of Uruks and Morgul Orcs had rioted and killed one another over the possession of Frodo’s mithril coat, thus making it easier for Sam to get to Frodo and escape the tower with him.
Sam and Frodo made their way to Mount Doom, disguised as Orcs along the way. The way to Mount Doom was filled with fiery rocks and pillows of ash which made it almost impossible for the hobbits to pass. When Frodo collapsed from weakness, Sam carried him up the slopes of Mount Doom, only to be stopped by Gollum. Sam delayed Gollum while Frodo continued towards the Cracks of Doom. Sam then rushed to follow Frodo, only to see Frodo renounce the quest and claim the Ring as his own, putting it on his finger. Unbeknownst to Sam, Gollum had followed in his tracks, and attacked him from behind. In the moments while Sam was dazed, Gollum attacked Frodo, and after a brief struggle took the Ring by force by biting off Frodo’s finger. Gollum began to celebrate regaining the Ring, but in doing so slipped and fell to his death in the fiery chasm below, destroying the Ring in the process.
The destruction of the Ring triggered a violent upheaval of Mount Doom, but with Sam’s assistance, the two hobbits escaped from Sammath Naur onto the mountainside. Though they attempted to descend, the hobbits were trapped by the issue of lava and fiery ash from the mountain. Before the fire reached them, however, Gwaihir the lord of the Great Eagles, come at the behest of Gandalf, spotted the hobbits from afar. Landroval and Meneldor, Gwaihir’s companions, rescued Sam and Frodo and flew them to the safety of Ithilien.
Sam and Frodo were healed of their wounds, while still unconscious, by Aragorn upon reaching Ithilien. Sam awoke, to his surprise, to find Gandalf watching over him. Gandalf led Sam and Frodo to the Field of Cormallen, where they were met by a large crowd, who praised the hobbits in many tongues for their heroism and sacrifice. There they met also Aragorn, who revealed himself to the hobbits as the true king of Gondor and Arnor. In the following days, Frodo and Sam were reunited with the surviving members of the Fellowship, and at length, those assembled traveled to Minas Tirith for Aragorn’s coronation.
Some days afterwards, Sam, along with a great company including Aragorn, Gandalf, Galadriel, and the other hobbits, left Minas Tirith, traveling towards the Shire by way of Rohan, Isengard, and Rivendell. All but Gandalf left them by the time the company reached Rivendell, and from there the four hobbits returned to the Shire. Upon reaching their native country, however, they found it to be usurped by ruffians and unfriendly hobbits under the rule of Lotho Sackville-Baggins, who had begun the process of turning the Shire into an industrial center. Sam, Frodo, Merry, and Pippin played an instrumental role in what afterwards became known as the Scouring of the Shire, in which the Shire was returned to its original state of organization. It was also discovered that Lotho was in fact a puppet of Saruman, who had come north to play his last bit of mischief. Both met their demise in the events prior to and following the Battle of Bywater.
Sam uses a short Barrow-blade for melee combat in books, movies and video games, but for a time after Frodo was attacked by Shelob and sent to the Tower of Cirith Ungol, Sam used Frodo’s sword Sting to rescue him and more.
Sam uses his frying pan in Balin’s Tomb as a weapon alongside his Barrow-blade.
Sam can use rocks to hit opponents from a distance, however that is not their only purpose in the book (Frodo). In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (video game), he uses throwing knives instead of rocks.
Sam, Samwise Gamwich, Samwise Gammidgy, Samwise Gardner, Samwise the Brave, Sneaky little hobbitses, Banazîr, Perhael (in Sindarin)
Culture- Shire-hobbits (Gamgee family)
- I Believe...
There's some good in this world… and it's worth fighting for.