The Return of the King

The Return of the King

by

J. R. R. Tolkien

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Frodo Baggins Character Analysis

Frodo Baggins is the hobbit who was chosen by Gandalf to carry the Ring to Mount Doom. Over the course of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Frodo proved himself to be the only person who could carry the Ring without being overcome with a lust for power, due to his humility. However, his capability is repeatedly second-guessed due to his small stature and his lack of status and experience compared to Men like Aragorn or wizards like Gandalf. The Ring is imbued with the evil of Sauron, so Frodo must constantly wrestle to retain control over his thoughts and decisions while he carries it. Frodo’s inner strength and determination enable him to survive the treacherous journey across Mordor and into the heart of Mount Doom. When he stands at the precipice of the chasm, however, Frodo ultimately surrenders to the power of the Ring and claims it as his own. At that moment, Gollum attacks Frodo, steals the Ring, and falls into the molten heart of the mountain—a turn of events that was partly set in motion by Frodo’s merciful behavior towards Gollum in the previous instalment of the trilogy. By the end of his quest, Frodo has earned the love and honor of whole nations of Men, but continues to prioritize his closest friends and relatives, like Bilbo and Sam, and cultivates a private life for himself on his return to Hobbiton. His wisdom is a valuable asset to the other hobbits in their defeat of the Chief and reclamation of the Shire, but, to Sam’s disappointment, Frodo isn’t celebrated as widely in the Shire as he, Merry, and Pippin are. A year after Frodo’s return to his home of Bag End, he realizes that he will not recover from his harrowing journey during his mortal life, so when Elrond, Galadriel, Gandalf, and Bilbo board a ship to the Undying Lands, he goes with them.

Frodo Baggins Quotes in The Return of the King

The The Return of the King quotes below are all either spoken by Frodo Baggins or refer to Frodo Baggins. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
).
Book 5, Chapter 1  Quotes

“But I will say this: the rule of no realm is mine, neither of Gondor nor any other, great or small. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail of my task, though Gondor should perish, if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I also am a steward. Did you not know?”

Related Characters: Gandalf (speaker), Denethor, Shadowfax, Samwise Gamgee (Sam), Frodo Baggins
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 5, Chapter 9 Quotes

“We must walk open-eyed into that trap, with courage, but small hope for ourselves. For, my lords, it may well prove that we ourselves shall perish utterly in a black battle far from the living lands; so that even if Barad-dûr be thrown down, we shall not live to see a new age. But this, I deem, is our duty. And better so than to perish nonetheless—as we surely shall if we sit here—and know as we die that no new age shall be.”

Related Symbols: The Ring
Page Number: 162
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 6, Chapter 1 Quotes

In that hour of trial it was the love of his master that helped most to hold him firm; but also deep down in him lived still unconquered his plain hobbit-sense: he knew in the core of his heart that he was not large enough to bear such a burden, even if such visions were not a mere cheat to betray him. The one small garden of a free gardener was all his need a due, not a garden swollen to a realm; his own hands to use, not the hands of others to command.

Related Characters: Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee (Sam), Sauron
Related Symbols: The Ring
Page Number: 186
Explanation and Analysis:

Though here at journey’s end I lie
in darkness buried deep,
beyond all towers strong and high,
beyond all mountains steep,
above all shadows rides the Sun
and Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
nor bid the Stars farewell.

Related Characters: Samwise Gamgee (Sam) (speaker), Frodo Baggins
Related Symbols: The Shadow
Page Number: 195
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 6, Chapter 3 Quotes

Sam guessed that among all their pains he bore the worst, the growing weight of the Ring, a burden on the body and a torment to his mind. Anxiously Sam had noted how his master’s left hand would often be raised as if to ward off a blow, or to screen his shrinking eyes from a dreadful Eye that sought to look in them. And sometimes his right hand would creep to his breast, clutching, and then slowly, as the will recovered mastery, it would be withdrawn.

Related Characters: Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee (Sam), Sauron
Related Symbols: The Ring
Page Number: 227
Explanation and Analysis:

Sam’s hand wavered. His mind was hot with wrath and the memory of evil. It would be just to slay this treacherous, murderous creature, just and many times deserved; and also it seemed the only safe thing to do. But deep in his heart there was something that restrained him: he could not strike this thing lying in the dust, forlorn, ruinous, utterly wretched. He himself, though only for a while, had borne the Ring, and now dimly he guessed the agony of Gollum’s shrivelled mind and body, enslaved to that Ring, unable to find peace or relief ever in life again.

Related Characters: Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee (Sam), Gollum
Related Symbols: The Ring
Page Number: 238
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 6, Chapter 7 Quotes

Then the hobbits suddenly realized that people had looked at them with amazement not out of surprise at their return so much as in wonder at their gear. They themselves had become so used to warfare and to riding in well-arrayed companies that they had quite forgotten that the bright mail peeping from under their cloaks, and the helms of Gondor and the Mark, and the fair devices of their shields, would seem outlandish in their own country.

Page Number: 294
Explanation and Analysis:

“Well here we are, just the four of us that started out together,” said Merry. “We have left all the rest behind, one after another. It seems almost like a dream that has slowly faded.”

“Not to me,” said Frodo. “To me it feels more like falling asleep again.”

Page Number: 299
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 6, Chapter 8 Quotes

This was Frodo and Sam’s own country, and they found out now that they cared about it more than any other place in the world. Many of the houses that they had known were missing. Some seemed to have been burned down. The pleasant row of old hobbit-holes in the bank on the north side of the Pool were deserted, and their little gardens that used to run down bright to the water’s edge were rank with weeds. Worse, there was a whole line of ugly new houses all along Pool Side, where the Hobbiton Road ran close to the bank. An avenue of trees had stood there. They were all gone. And looking with dismay up the road towards Bag End they saw a tall chimney of brick in the distance. It was pouring out black smoke into the evening air.

Page Number: 307
Explanation and Analysis:

“But I’ve a bone to pick with you, in a manner o’ speaking, if I may make so bold. You didn’t never ought to have a’ sold Bag End, as I always said. That’s what started all the mischief. And while you’ve been trapessing in foreign parts, chasing Black Men up mountains from what my Sam says, though what for he don’t make clear, they’ve been and dug up Bagshot Row and ruined my taters!”

“I am very sorry, Mr. Gamgee,” said Frodo. “But now I’ve come back, I’ll do my best to make amends.”

Page Number: 319
Explanation and Analysis:

“No, Sam!” said Frodo. “Do not kill him even now. For he has not hurt me. And in any case I do not wish him to be slain in this evil mood. He was great once, of a noble kind that we should not dare to raise our hands against. He is fallen, and his cure is beyond us; but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it.”

Related Characters: Frodo Baggins (speaker), Samwise Gamgee (Sam), Saruman/Sharkey
Page Number: 325
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 6, Chapter 9 Quotes

“Use all the wits and knowledge you have of your own, Sam,” said Frodo, “and then use the gift to help your work and better it. And use it sparingly. There is not much here, and I expect every grain has a value.”

So Sam planted saplings in all the places where specially beautiful or beloved trees had been destroyed, and he put a grain of the precious dust in the soil at the root of each.

Related Characters: Frodo Baggins (speaker), Samwise Gamgee (Sam), Galadriel
Page Number: 330
Explanation and Analysis:

“But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.”

Related Characters: Frodo Baggins (speaker), Samwise Gamgee (Sam)
Related Symbols: The Ring
Page Number: 338
Explanation and Analysis:
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Frodo Baggins Character Timeline in The Return of the King

The timeline below shows where the character Frodo Baggins appears in The Return of the King. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 5, Chapter 1 
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...go back to sleep, and Pippin does, while thinking about the whereabouts of his friend, Frodo, who might have reached Mount Doom—or might be dead. (In fact, Frodo is alive, looking... (full context)
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
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...too much to Denethor, who they are here to meet, and especially not to discuss Frodo’s journey or mention Aragorn at all. When Pippin is confused by this last request, Gandalf... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 4
Hope vs. Despair Theme Icon
...hobbits in that time. Gandalf’s hands tremble while Faramir tells them of his meeting with Frodo and of Frodo and Sam’s plan to go to Cirith Ungol. Gandalf urges Faramir to... (full context)
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War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...only to use it at a time of utmost need—Gandalf’s decision to send it with Frodo to Mount Doom was completely foolish. He is sure he would’ve endured the test of... (full context)
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...Gandalf and Pippin head to their lodgings. Pippin asks Gandalf if there’s any hope for Frodo. Gandalf tells him, “Just a fool’s hope.” He interprets Faramir’s news about Frodo and Sam... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 9
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...is destroyed—so their only option is to act as a distraction in order to give Frodo a chance to reach Mount Doom. (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 10
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...his party comes forward with a bundle which the Mouth of Sauron reveals to be Frodo’s clothes and Sam’s sword. Pippin cries out when he sees them, which proves to the... (full context)
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The Mouth of Sauron offers to deliver Frodo if Gandalf agrees to Sauron’s terms. Gandalf asks for the terms: they dictate that Gondor... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 1
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...of entering by that door, but he has no choice but to try to rescue Frodo. As he searches for his way back along the tunnel, he wonders if the others... (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
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...his steps back to the place where the orcs passed him in their retrieval of Frodo. Sam feels that if he steps any further, he won’t ever return from Mordor. In... (full context)
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...with the promise of strength. He avoids the temptation both because of his devotion to Frodo and through his “plain hobbit-sense” that reminds him his place is as a gardener, not... (full context)
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...the conflict is between Shagrat and Gorbag. He knows they’ve been ordered not to kill Frodo, but he remembers Frodo’s mithril mail—that’s probably what the orcs are fighting about. Sam urges... (full context)
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...as high as he can. The only thought that keeps him moving forward is of Frodo in danger or pain. Suddenly, hearing someone running towards him, Sam stops. He finds himself... (full context)
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...the bundle as a shield and slips away. Sam moves to follow him but remembers Frodo and continues his search. He climbs until he reaches a dead end, though he thinks... (full context)
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...back, but he gets thrown off balance and falls through the trapdoor. Sam runs to Frodo and holds him. Frodo asks him if he’s dreaming, and he tells him he was... (full context)
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Sam tells Frodo that he has the Ring. Frodo demands Sam give it back to him, and when... (full context)
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Frodo asks if Sam has any food or drink to offer. Sam remembers he hasn’t eaten... (full context)
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Frodo and Sam descend the tower. At the gate, they find the statues’ resistance impossible to... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 2
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Sam urges Frodo to run. A Nazgûl has descended beside the tower, and they hear its high-pitched shrieks.... (full context)
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Frodo and Sam hear the piercing cry of a Black Rider, but this time it’s full... (full context)
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After several more miles, Frodo needs to find a place to rest. He and Sam scramble through thorny, fly-infested brambles... (full context)
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Frodo and Sam wake holding hands. They scramble up the rest of the brambly cliff to... (full context)
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It’s impossible to walk along the top of the cliff, so Frodo and Sam climb back down to the valley. Along the road, they duck out of... (full context)
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Frodo and Sam understand from the orcs’ conversation that they’ve seen Gollum in Mordor and that... (full context)
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The light grows clearer than they’ve seen it here before. Frodo and Sam look around them; it seems they’ve reached a dead end in the valley.... (full context)
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Frodo and Sam set off again. After 12 miles they hear marching feet behind them, too... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 3
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Frodo and Sam sleep restlessly on the hard stones. In the morning, Sam looks around at... (full context)
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Frodo is so exhausted after a few miles of picking out a path that he and... (full context)
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When Sam wakes Frodo again, Frodo tells him he has no strength to go on. Sam warily offers again... (full context)
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Frodo and Sam turn at last towards Mount Doom. They’re no longer worried about hiding, only... (full context)
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The next day, Frodo and Sam, exhausted and in excruciating pain, reach the foot of the mountain. As they... (full context)
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...to him, it’s Sauron’s road from his tower to the Chambers of Fire. Sam and Frodo crawl up the cliff “like small grey insects” to reach the path, where Frodo turns... (full context)
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The path is more treacherous than it first appeared. As Frodo and Sam turn a bend in the road, Sam is struck by a weight and... (full context)
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...path and comes to a door in the side of the mountain. He calls for Frodo but hears no answer. He then tries to use Galadriel’s phial, but its light is... (full context)
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...on the floor. He blacks out momentarily as a dark shape leaps over him. When Frodo puts on the Ring, he draws Sauron’s attention, and Sauron at once understands Aragorn’s intention... (full context)
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Gollum bites down on something with his fangs. Frodo becomes visible again, and Gollum holds the Ring, still with Frodo’s finger inside it. He... (full context)
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Frodo says to Sam that this is the end. He’s totally spent, but his burden has... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 4
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...carried by him, joined by a few other eagles, towards Mount Doom. Meanwhile, Sam encourages Frodo to walk just a little further down the mountain with him, but soon the mountain... (full context)
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Sam wakes up on a soft bed as if from a long dream. Frodo is lying beside him, and when Sam sees that Frodo is missing a finger, he... (full context)
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Frodo and Sam follow Gandalf through a tree-lined grove and are heralded by a host of... (full context)
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Frodo and Sam are led to a tent where they’re given noble armor to wear, including,... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 5
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...has had the help of many in order to claim the kingship, so he’d like Frodo to bring him the crown and Gandalf to set it on his head. When this... (full context)
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...that he’s been anticipating for many years, though he won’t say what that day is. Frodo knows that the hobbits will have to return to the Shire soon. Gandalf assures him... (full context)
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Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...Elladan and Elrohir and joined by others including Galadriel and Elrond. Beside Elrond is Arwen. Frodo exclaims that she, the “Evenstar,” has come to make the day as beautiful as the... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 6
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Many days later, Frodo goes to Aragorn to ask for permission to leave the city. Before returning to the... (full context)
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The hobbits feel they should head back to the Shire quickly, but Frodo insists he needs to visit Bilbo in Rivendell first. After a few more days, they... (full context)
Power, Wisdom, and Mercy Theme Icon
...eventually prepare to leave for the Shire. Gandalf will escort them as far as Bree. Frodo says goodbye to Bilbo, who tells him he’s getting very sleepy. Bilbo gives gifts to... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 7
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As the hobbits ride towards the Shire, Frodo feels the pain of his wound more strongly. It’s been a year since he was... (full context)
Expectation vs. Ability Theme Icon
The Prancing Pony is soon filled with visitors curious about the returned travelers. They ask Frodo whether he’s written his book yet; he replies that he’s going to finish it when... (full context)
Loyalty, Love, and Sacrifice Theme Icon
War, Greed, and Nature Theme Icon
...their way home, Merry says it feels like they’re waking up from a dream, but Frodo says it feels to him more like he’s sinking back into one. (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 8
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...through the gate, saying that they’re following the orders of the Chief at Bag End. Frodo asks him if the Chief is Lotho, his unpopular relative, and the hobbits confirm this.... (full context)
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...the guards further. The guards tell the travelers they’re taking them to the Chief’s men. Frodo laughs, saying that he’ll go where he wants. He happens to be going to Bag... (full context)
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...off again with a small band of guards in the morning. Though the guards believe Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin to be their prisoners, the four hobbits make the guards walk... (full context)
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...unsheathes his sword and threatens them as a messenger of the king. The ruffians flee. Frodo says they may have come back too late to save Lotho, which confuses Pippin—surely they... (full context)
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When Pippin suggests that this will end in fighting, Frodo emphasizes that no hobbit is to be killed. Hobbits have never killed anyone on purpose... (full context)
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...guards come to see what’s happening, most of them join the group of rebel hobbits. Frodo tries to assess how many ruffians they’ll have to take on and how deadly their... (full context)
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Frodo repeats that he doesn’t wish anyone to die. Merry tells him he has a plan.... (full context)
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That night, Frodo and Merry go with Farmer Cotton back to his farm, where he tells them what... (full context)
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...Lotho, is really in power. Sam arrives at the farmhouse with his father, who accuses Frodo of having caused the demise of the Shire by selling Bag-End before leaving. Frodo says... (full context)
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Merry and Pippin will later be remembered as the brave captains of this battle, while Frodo’s main effort was to make sure the hobbits didn’t kill any more men than necessary.... (full context)
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...sheds placed so densely that they cut off all light to the hobbit hole’s windows. Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin go inside to find the house stinking and cluttered. They search... (full context)
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Frodo again tells Saruman to leave. As Saruman turns to go, he tries to stab Frodo,... (full context)
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...gathers around Saruman’s body and rises above the hill before blowing away with the wind. Frodo looks at Saruman’s body to see its skin age and decay suddenly. He covers it... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 9
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The day after the battle of the Shire, Frodo releases the prisoners from the distant prisons. One of the prisoners is Lobelia, Lotho’s mother,... (full context)
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In early March, Frodo falls ill. Sam doesn’t learn about this, because he’s away on a gardening errand and... (full context)
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Sam is saddened by the fact that Frodo disappears from the Shire’s social life and isn’t paid much attention. The other hobbits are... (full context)
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Frodo asks Sam to tell Rosie he’ll be away for a week or two, because he... (full context)
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Frodo and Sam set out in September. Frodo begins to sing an old walking-song, which seems... (full context)
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Sam begins to cry. He thought Frodo would live in the Shire for many years after working so hard to save it.... (full context)
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...and Pippin, and tells them they shouldn’t avoid crying: “Not all tears are an evil.” Frodo kisses Merry, Pippin, and Sam and boards the ship. Eventually he smells a sweet scent... (full context)