The Last of the Ringbearers

by Pippin's Sunshine

This idea came to me yesterday during my British Lit. class. We are discussing Beowulf and my teacher mentioned that it is a story full of people who are the last of their line and this one tiny line from the Appendix came to my mind, "Then Sam, last of the Ring bearers took the ship over the sea." (Or soemthing like that) This is my version. Kleenex may be needed.

As Sam woke from yet another nap he did not mean take, he mused on what this trip would be. The last of the ring bearers to cross the sea. Of course, the mighty had left so long ago after the war. Elrond and Galadriel, Gandalf and old Mr. Bilbo. Sam’s heart skipped a beat when he thought of the last one who had boarded the ship that day, Mr. Frodo.
At the time, none of it made sense to him, indeed little of it did even now. The rings of power had been made in some ancient day and the ones of the elves had had some virtue in them for when they left, the world seemed to fade. As if the last good thing would never be seen again.
Then there was the whole affair with the war. It had been a mission to Sam, to stick by Frodo until the very end. And only at the very end, did Sam’s courage and resolve fail. But the task had been accomplished.
It made him sad and cheered his heart all at the same time when for the first time in years he saw Frodo’s face plainly before him. It was of the smile he had given Sam, Merry and Pippin after he had boarded the ship. He had been pale and withdrawn after the war, but the moment he turned around, Sam wondered that the color had already returned to his cheeks.
Sam wondered what he had been doing before he nodded off to sleep. He quietly noted that he was sitting at the old battered desk with the Red Book in front of him. Of course, he was finishing up the last pages so he could present it to Elanor.
Bag End seemed so quiet the last years with all of the children gone, starting their own families. This year and the one previous had both been very lonely, for his Mistress Rose had died of old age earlier the year before. His heart had been ripped out when she became sick. Now he knew what Frodo had meant, that he would heal and be one and whole for many years. Many years indeed, far too many.
“I’m coming. I’m coming,” he whispered in the air. He had now felt the calling of the sea for several years. He had promised Frodo he would come. Indeed, it had been arranged by the Lady Galadriel for Sam too, had been a ring bearer. As he stood up to stretch, he felt his joints creaking and popping. Getting to the ship would be an adventure in itself.

The next day, Sam made sure he had all of affairs in order and left Bag End for the last time…

A week later, he beheld the Havens for the second time. He saw Cìrdan waiting by the prow of the ship for him. “Well, Master Samwise, I see they were right. I have heard him calling to you over the sea. That will indeed be a joyous reunion. It is a bit chilly, so I will help you below decks, then we will be off.”
“Normally, I would agree. But I wish to feel the sea air and see my home for one last time.”
”As you wish, sir. I shall get you a blanket though. Here is a seat for you.” Cìrdan pulled up a low bench for the hobbit to sit on near the bow of the ship. He marveled at the creatures for he had seen few in his long life. It was amazing to him that these creatures had had a hand in the destruction of the greatest evil. They were much stronger than they appeared. He quietly disappeared as he made the final preparations before letting go the ropes.
Sam still hated boats, he always had. But, being on this ship with blue and silver banners put him at ease. He knew it would only be a short while now. He jumped a bit when the ship started its slow flow into the sea, but quickly relaxed as the elf set a decent pace.

Several days later, Sam wondered if he had been dreaming. He remembered Gandalf’s description of the Elvenhome and it was exactly what Sam saw though he could not describe it that way.
As the ship cut through the sea, Sam looked down and thought the water looked like the glass. The ship hardly made a wave. Then, the silver mist rolled back, much like the waterfalls in Hennuth Annuin and there Sam beheld the white shores. In the distance, Sam could just make out rolling hills of green.
The ship landed on the sand and Sam was surprised to be greeted by the Lady Galadriel and Lord Elrond. “Welcome, Samwise Gamgee, last of the Ring bearers.”

Sam bowed low, but all the while his eyes were searching for the small figure he knew should be here. Then he saw him, sitting in the sand staring off into the East, the direction of home. Sam took his leave and went to where the figure was. He looked the same, more wrinkles, but less care and the same mischievous blue glint were in his eye.

“Do you think it has taken you long enough to join me?” Frodo asked as he turned to face his old friend.
“I’ve done my best, sir. Mistress Rose passed on last year and everyone left me. They came and visited, but I heard you calling in my dreams, so I came.”
”Yes, you did. I am glad to be with you Samwise Gamgee, here at the beginnings of the land that we both loved.”

Sam smiled and hugged Frodo. He had heard something like that before.

Sam was sad when Frodo told him that Bilbo had died several years before. For while, Valinor had a healing virtue for them, it still did not make them immortal as the elves are.
Many of the elves wondered when what would have been several years later; neither Sam nor Frodo was to be found anywhere. The sea had taken them back home.