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The Grey Havens

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The Grey Havens is the nineth and final chapter, of the sixth and final book, of The Return of the King, the final volume of The Lord of the Rings.


The Shire’s brief police state 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 sacred tree springs up to replace the old one. Many children are born that year. Merry and Pippin become heroes in the Shire, but Frodo quietly retires. That spring, Sam marries Rosie Cotton, Farmer Cotton’s daughter, and they live at Bag End with Frodo.

Frodo decides to travel to Rivendell to see Bilbo. 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 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 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.”