Literature Study GuidesThe Lord Of The RingsThe Return Of The King Book 6 Chapter 9 Summary

The Lord of the Rings | Study Guide

J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Lord of the Rings | The Return of the King (Book 6, Chapter 9) : The Grey Havens | Summary

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Summary

Frodo frees the hobbits who were imprisoned, then moves back into Bag End, while Merry and Pippin deal with the ruffians. Sam replants trees cut down during Saruman's reign, and with the help of Galadriel's soil, the trees flourish. Sam also marries Rosie Cotton, and the two move into Bag End with Frodo. They have a daughter.

However, Frodo becomes ill each year on the anniversaries of injuries sustained on the quest. Eventually, he realizes his wounds are too great, and he sets out for the Grey Havens. Sam accompanies him, though he doesn't know why Frodo is making this journey until they meet a company of Elves, including Galadriel, Elrond, and Bilbo. Frodo says good-bye to his friends (Merry and Pippin have followed him as well) and boards a ship with the Elves, Gandalf (who also arrives), and Bilbo. Sam, Merry, and Pippin go home to the Shire.

Analysis

In these final two chapters, the story has come full circle—the four hobbits who set out together have come home. Their return to the Shire shows just how much the hobbits have changed as a result of their travels. They are dismayed by what has happened, but not afraid. And as Merry and Pippin take control of events in the Shire, Sam gives himself to an unpretentious life as husband and father. Except for Frodo, who sacrificed too much to continue living in Middle-earth, the hobbits have gained perspective from their experience that helps them build a better future.

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