The book, however, does not end even with Frodo’s departure. It ends with Sam returning from the Havens and sitting down with his baby daughter in his lap. This brings us to the fourth and – I would argue – central hero of THE LORD OF THE RINGS: Samwise Gamgee. For it is Sam, more than Frodo, who is the incarnation of the Shire, and most deeply rooted in its soil.

Stratford Caldecott, “Over the Chasm of Fire: Christian Heroism in The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings

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