The Death of Samwise Gamgee
A few days ago, my mother said that Lord of the Rings was unrealistic because both Frodo and Sam could not possibly have lived. She said one of them should die, and that one should be Sam, because it would be more emotional and traumatizing for the reader. I was shocked and horrified. Sam, the cute, happy, frying-pan-wielding gardener? She wanted him to DIE? I reminded her of the things that Sam had done for his best friend, Frodo, and for all the people of Middle-Earth. Didn’t he deserve to live? To marry his girlfriend and be happy? He’d suffered so much! Yes, she said, and that was exactly why he should die.
To show her how completely wrong she was, I decided to write a fanfiction where that very thing happened. Where Sam died and everyone who loved him was heart broken. Then she would see! Then she would regret ever saying something so cruel! So, here it is. Sam deserved the life he was given and the freedom he got. This will contain spoilers. It will be sad and it will possibly make you cry. Enjoy it, or even better don’t, and then leave your comments to tell my mom how horrible her thought was. Note: I stole some of these quotes, but changed them slightly. ^.^
“I’m glad you are here with me,” Frodo whispered through parched, chapped lips. “Here at the end of all things, Sam.”
“Yes, I’m here with you, master,” Sam said, taking Frodo’s maimed hand gently. “And you’re with me. And the journey’s finished.”
Frodo sighed contentedly and lay back against the rock they rested on. Lava and fire fell around them, and already the rock was an island. Soon it would be covered completely. The two hobbits had made their journey knowing it would likely end in death, but had tried to forget in their terror. Now, however, looking right into Death’s eyes, they felt no fear, instead a strange combination of joy and sadness. The ring was gone. Frodo’s burden was taken away. And they were together. But they would not see home again.
“Sam…” Frodo murmured, his eyes closed. “I can see the Shire…. Bag End… the Brandywine River… Gandalf’s fireworks… the lights in the party tree…”
Sam gulped and added softly, “Rosie Cotton dancing. She had ribbons in her hair. She was so beautiful.”
Frodo opened his eyes and looked at Sam.
“If ever I was to marry someone,”Sam went on, “it would have been her.” A single tear traced its way down his cheek. “It would have been her.”
Frodo got up and embraced his best friend tenderly. “I’m sorry, Sam.” He leaned his head against Sam’s. “But I’m glad you’re here with me.”
“So am I.”
The two hobbits lay down at last, giving up and surrendering to death. Night fell on the day of the ring’s downfall and found them side by side, hand in hand.
“Frodo,” Sam whispered. It hurt to speak, but he knew he had to.
“Yes?” Frodo murmured.
“I… love…” He gasped for breath, and his voice failed him. It hardly mattered. As soon as it did so, Frodo lost consciousness.
Frodo awoke to find himself lying in a soft white bed.He lay still, staring up at the ceiling, trying to piece together what had happened. He had passed out on Mount Doom. The ring was gone. Then wasn’t he dead? Slowly, Frodo,placed his hand on his chest and felt his heart beating. He was alive. He had gone to sleep beside…
Frodo sat bolt upright. Sam! Where was Sam? He should be here too.
“Well, well,” a voice said. Frodo saw suddenly that sitting in a chair beside his bed was an old man dressed all in white, smoking a clay pipe. “I was beginning to think you would not wake.”
“Gandalf?!” Frodo exclaimed. “I thought you were dead! But then, I thought I was dead myself.”
“That you are not,” Gandalf said, smiling. “You are in the land of Ithilien, in the keeping of the King, and he has tended you.”
“King? What king?”
“You shall meet him soon, or should I say, you will meet him again. I daresay you shall recognize him. Your cousins are here, too.”
“Merry and Pippin? They’re here?”
“Surprise!” shouted a cheerful voice, and the door burst open. In ran Frodo’s cousins Merry and Pippin, and they jumped onto his bed tackling him in a huge hug.
“We missed you!” Pippin chirped, throwing his arms around Frodo’s neck.
“Pip, you’re going to smother him,” Merry laughed.
Frodo laughed too, and finally they let go of him and sat down on the bed in front of him. Their smiles were wide, but Frodo noticed that their eyes were sad.
“Legolas and Gimli are here too,” Pippin said. “They’re off fighting somewhere probably, but don’t worry. They’re friends now.”
“Strider’s nearby,” Merry said. “With his GIRLFRIEND. The elf, Arwen, you know her –“
“She’s really pretty,” Pippin interrupted. “She gave me a hug. I thought I was going to pass out.”
Frodo smiled. Then the smile slipped off. “Wait a minute,” he said. “Where’s Sam?”
Merry and Pippin bit their lips and glanced at Gandalf.. “Frodo…”
“Where is he?” Frodo asked, sitting up and looking hard at both of them.
“We didn’t want to tell you until you’d recov-“
“WHERE IS HE, GANDALF.”
Pippin’s eyes filled with tears. “He didn’t…” he whispered.
Frodo stared at him. “He didn’t wake up yet you mean. That’s what you mean. Right?”
Merry buried his face in his hands.
Gandalf came over and sat on the edge of the bed, laying his hand on Frodo’s shoulder. “Frodo,” he said gently. “There is something we need to tell you.”
“No,” Frodo said, covering his ears. “Stop it. I don’t want to hear it. You’re all being horrible.”
Gandalf took Frodo’s hands and pulled them away from his ears. “Frodo, Sam is dead.”
Frodo looked up at Gandalf, his eyes wide with shock and horror. “He’s what?” he whispered.
“He is dead,” Gandalf repeated. “He died a hero. I guided the eagles to Mount Doom. They l lifted the two of you from the mountain and brought you back here.”
“You were still breathing, but only barely,” Merry said. “Strider and a whole group of healers were working on you. They gave you mouth-to-mouth and some medicine.”
“They bandaged the place your finger used to be,” Pippin added. “And they cleaned you up and washed all your wounds.”
“But Sam was already gone,” Merry went on, tears falling down his rosy cheeks. “I checked myself. At first I didn’t believe it. But then I had to accept it. He wasn’t breathing. His heart had stopped, and he didn’t have a pulse.”
“That was a few days ago,” Gandalf said. “They brought you here. And then they buried Sam in a grand ceremony. All of Gondor came to pay their respects, and many of Rohan’s people, and the elves. Even some dwarves were in attendance to honor the hobbit who assisted in the destruction of the Ring.”
Frodo listened to the entire horrifying story, open-mouthed. “Sam’s dead?” he said again.
Merry and Pippin caught Frodo as he sank back down in a dead faint. A few moments later he opened his eyes again. “He’s dead?” he wept. Tears were pouring from his eyes and screams tore his throat. Merry and Pippin stroked Frodo’s back as sobs racked his body.
“I’m sorry, Frodo,” Gandalf said. “We all loved him.”
“What are we going to tell Rosie?” Pippin asked.
Gandalf looked confused. “Who’s Rosie?”
“Didn’t you know?” Merry asked. “She’s a girl from the Shire. Sam was in love with her.”
Gandalf tried to look as though his heart hadn’t just broken.
Frodo looked up. “You don’t get it, do you?” he whispered. “Sam died for me. He gave me all the food and all the water, and he carried me up the mountain on his shoulders. He didn’t have enough strength! He overexerted himself. I should have told him not to! I should have made him drink more and eat more! It’s all my fault! He’s dead because of me!”
“It’s not your fault, Frodo,” Pippin soothed him.
“IT IS! IT’S ALL MY FAULT! I KILLED MY BEST FRIEND!”
“You didn’t kill him, Frodo!” Merry pleaded. “It wasn’t your fault!”
Frodo tore himself away from his cousins. Then, worn out, he collapsed onto the bed, burying his eyes in his arms and sobbing his heart out. Pippin tucked a blanket around his shoulders. He kissed Frodo on the forehead. Merry did likewise, and they climbed off the bed soundlessly. Gandalf ushered them out of the room, took a long, sad look at Frodo lying weeping in the bed, and followed the hobbits out.
Frodo slept in overwhelmed fits of sorrow. When he was awake, he thought of Sam. Images filled his mind of Sam singing, smiling, holding him, doing everything he could to make Frodo happy. When he slept, his dreams were filled with darkness, pain and fire. He would wake up screaming and then cry even harder because Sam wasn’t there to comfort him. Finally in late afternoon he was woken by a cool hand on his brow. His big blue eyes fluttered open, to lock onto the image of a handsome young man with brown eyes and long golden hair.
“Legolas,” Frodo breathed.
Legolas smiled sadly. “How are you feeling?”
“Awful,” Frodo admitted, fresh tears filling his eyes. “Is Gimli here?”
“Yes, but he’s blocking me,” Gimli said, stepping out from behind Legolas. “Hello, lad.”
Frodo smiled weakly.
“I’m sorry about Sam,” Legolas said. “I liked him. He made me laugh. And he liked flowers and plants, too, which I respect of course.”
“He listened to the tales of my ancient ancestors,” Gimli commented. “He alone, of all the fellowship. And I think he actually enjoyed them.”
Frodo nodded, unable to think of anything to say.
“Merry and Pippin are with Aragorn in the citadel,” Legolas said. “We came to see how you’re doing. Do you want to see where they buried him?”
“Can I?” Frodo asked.
“Technically, no,” Gimli replied. “The king wants you to recover first. But we snuck here to take you all the same. If you want to see him, they should allow you to. But if you don’t think you can face it, then you should stay here.”
“You’d do that?” Frodo asked, surprised. “Won’t the king be angry?”
Legolas extended a slender hand and pulled Frodo to his feet. “That’s what friends are for, Frodo. Do you want to see it or not?”
“Yes,” Frodo said. He knew he was likely going to break down and cry, but he couldn’t help it. Legolas and Gimli led him out of the tent and through a line of them, up a road to a brook. Beside this was a flowering tree, and underneath it was a headstone that read, “Here lies Samwise Gamgee, hero of all the world.”
Frodo knelt down beside the headstone and ran his fingers over the words chiseled into it. Tears blurred his vision, falling and spattering the freshly turned earth all about him. Legolas and Gimli stood a good ten feet back, giving him space.
“Sam,” Frodo whispered. “I’m sorry that I killed you. I never meant for you to get hurt, but you died for me. I…” he broke off. “Why are you doing this?” he thought. “It isn’t like he can hear you.”
Frodo thought of Sam’s warm brown eyes and felt even worse knowing he had never gotten to say goodbye. He kissed the headstone, as though it were his friend’s brow, and then collapsed forwards over it, unconscious. Legolas rushed to his side, picked him up, and carried him back to his tent. Merry and Pippin were already there.
“Did you –“ Pippin began.
Merry looked down at Frodo’s limp form as Legolas set him in the bed. “Strider won’t be happy.”
“Maybe I don’t care,” Legolas said.
Gimli sighed deeply. “This should not have happened.”
“No, it shouldn’t have.” Legolas stood up and shook back his hair, squaring his shoulders. “But it did. Sam is gone. We must all begin to accept that.”
Frodo stirred and sat up. “Did I pass out again?” he asked.
Legolas nodded, took his hand, and squeezed it. “Don’t be ashamed.”
Frodo bowed his head. “Sam was the best friend I ever had,” he said softly. “I loved him like a brother, and now he’s dead.”
Merry cupped Frodo’s chin and titled it so they were eye-to-eye. “Yes, Frodo. Sam is dead. But you are not. You still have a life to live and things to live it for, and throwing all that aside to cry until your dying day is the worst thing you could possibly do to honor his memory. He would not want you to do that, and he will always live in your thoughts and in your heart.”
Amid his tears, Frodo smiled. “You’ve gone and grown up on me, Merry.” He sighed deeply. “But you’re right. Still, I’m never going to forget him.”
“I’m not telling you to.”
“Okay.” Frodo sank down into his bed again and closed his eyes. The others stayed with him until he fell asleep. Then one by one they slipped away.
In his dreams, Frodo saw Sam standing by his side. His eyes were tearful, but he smiled. Caressing Frodo’s bangs, he whispered, “be strong.”
“But I miss you so much,” Frodo replied. He caught Sam’s hand and pressed it to his cheek. He didn’t want to wake up. Ever.
“Go home, and be happy, like Merry told you,” Sam said. “Tell Rose I’m sorry I didn’t come back for her. And then live the life I died to give you. I knew what I was doing when I gave everything up for you, and I didn’t regret it. Because you are my best friend and I. Love. You.”
Frodo’s eyes filled with tears yet again.
“I will always be with you,” Sam whispered, kissing Frodo’s cheek.
Then Frodo woke up and the dream was gone. He wrenched a hand over his forehead and closed his eyes. Then he opened them, took a deep breath, and stepped out of bed and into the rest of his life.
There. That is why Sam deserved to live. Because he had something to live for. Rose. (And Frodo.) He did not deserve what I just did to him in that fanfiction, SO THERE MOM!