With tears in his eyes, Sam imperatively instructs Frodo to reach for his hand. Frodo’s silent deliberation has now turned into determination. He reaches up and grabs Sam’s hand. Frodo could not have saved Gollum, no matter how much he wanted to. And although Gollum was living proof there is no going back, Frodo still holds on to the hope of recuperation from all of this. He has not given up on himself. As opposed to Gollum, Frodo’s self-preservation skills are still operative in the face of hopelessness.
Run for life
Sam pulls Frodo up from the ledge. At that precise moment, the Ring melts into the molten lava. It is destroyed. The quest is accomplished.
However, no one knew what was going to happen after the Ring was destroyed. It was a fool’s hope enough to even bring the Ring to its birthplace, surviving everything on the way and remaining alive after its destruction. But what would happen after its existence is no more?
Without a clue as to what follows, the Hobbits run from the Crack of Doom, through the doors they came in. The molten lava begins to boil up as if the destruction of the Ring has somehow disrupted the very core of the Earth. As it builds up in pressure, melting everything in its path, the ledge soon becomes ash.
The Eye of Sauron cries out in a loud shriek. It widens in disbelief of what actually took place on its land and under its reign. Fear, anger, betrayal, and disappointment at the outcome of all that he has tried to accomplish.
Sauron’s troops look back at Mordor from the Black Gate. The emanating rage gives flight to the Orcs and Trolls, who only wish to escape with their lives.
Aragorn stands with others of his troop and looks on at the magnitude of destruction that is happening right before their eyes. They are privy to look upon that which they have fought for a long time to accomplish. The evil that has been seeping into their lives, gaining in power and destroying their world has finally come to an end. It is almost as unbelievable as it is magnificent to behold. For 3000 years they have been fighting what seemed like an endless losing battle.
Now finally they are free.
The tower of Barad-dûr begins to crack and fall apart piece by piece. It brings a sense of enjoyment seeing this towering malicious power crumble and die. The Eye of Sauron loses its shape and form, becoming ever smaller. As it reaches a state of non-existence, it sends out a great shockwave.
Aragorn’s troops cheer at this final victory of their longtime enemy. The ground in the land of Mordor starts to crumble, leaving behind great gaps of nothingness. The Black Gate collapses as the ground caves in, along with most of Mordor’s army.
Merry cheers in victory for his friends. For all the destruction they are now witnessing is thanks to the two Hobbits who successfully accomplished their mission. It is because of Frodo and Sam they no longer face certain death before the Black Gate. Their diversion was successful, but it could all have been in vain, had it not been for the two brave Hobbits in Mount Doom.
The celebration of victory and their friends lasts but a moment, as Mount Doom erupts in a large explosion, taking everyone by surprise. No one counted on this particular development. The pressure that had boiled underneath the molten lava in the Cracks of Mount Doom finally reached its venting point. It escaped through the volcanic crater in a powerful motion. Even its own worshipers in the form of Nazgûl were not able to escape its flaming tongues.
Frodo and Sam run towards what can only be a temporary refuge since the lava threatens to engulf everything in sight. A huge outcropping of rock is their last hope of saving themselves, for how long, is undetermined. As he looks around him at the destruction that had taken place, Frodo sighs a sigh of relief.
Frodo: “It’s gone. It’s done.”
Sam: “Yes, Mister Frodo. It’s over now.”
It is almost a disbelieving notion, almost as if what his eyes are seeing cannot possibly be a reality. Frodo’s eyes show a sense of disbelief mixed with relief and joy at the outcome.
The Shire and Rosie Cotton
As the lava flows around the two Hobbits, Frodo smiles and closes his eyes.
Frodo: “I can see the Shire… the Brandywine River… Bag End… Gandalf’s fireworks… the lights in the Party Tree.”
Sam: “Rosie Cotton dancing. She had ribbons in her hair. If ever I was to marry someone, it would’ve been her. It would’ve been her.”
There is no more Void to encompass his senses to a point of no return. There is no darkness veiling his heart. The shadow that has been creeping over his mind for so long a time has now lost all its power. Frodo can finally breathe again, imagine everything he ever loved in the Shire. Knowing this may be his last moment on this Earth, he is able to enjoy the greatest moments of his life, the colors, the sounds and the atmosphere of his home.
At long last, Sam’s inner wishes come to the foreground. We have seen him glancing at Rosie while she danced, never gathering enough courage to approach her. Even when Frodo pushed him into her arms to dance, he subsequently failed to take the necessary steps to court her.
Now that he had finished his journey, a journey that brought him face-to-face with mythical creatures, extremely dangerous situations and his own fears, he is able to confront his own feelings. There is love in his heart, love that hasn’t had time to flourish, love that may never be.
It is this feeling of unfulfilled love that brings tears to his eyes. He has helped the world in a way that no one else has. He will always be remembered as Samwise the Brave, and be sung as a hero of the story along with his friend. But this love, simple as it may appear to everything else, is his one regret in life. Sam’s feelings of disappointment and ultimately loss, drive him to value that which he had never had. He is overwhelmed with grief and sadness, reminiscing about the one person he may never see again.
The end of all things
After having been taken care of by Sam for over a year now, Frodo takes over comforting Sam. He embraces him, thereby assuring him he is not alone.
I’m glad to be with you, Samwise Gamgee, here at the end of all things.Frodo
This phrase perfectly sums up their experience and their thoughts on what happens next. Seeing as how they are alone, perched upon a sinking boulder, without any reference of time of the day waiting for their last moments, there is no surprise at Frodo’s thought process, as well as that of Sam.
Frodo does not have a woman to love or to imagine in his final moments. Nevertheless, he is filled with gratitude and love for his friend Sam. Having him near whilst the world is coming to an end brings Frodo comfort and calm. Whatever happens next, the last moments of his life are spent in the best company he could wish for.
The rescue mission
Three Eagles appear in the sky over Mount Doom. After having helped in defeating the enemy, they can now focus on a rescue mission. As they come into view, the Hobbits seem to have already passed. They are lifeless, with their bodies strewn across the boulder that is still losing its footing. Although the darkness had passed, the poisonous air of Mordor coupled with the extensive fumes and gases coming from the lava flowing around them, they seem to have succumbed to its atmosphere.
Gandalf appears to be leading this rescue mission, astride an Eagle himself. The other two Eagles scoop up the Hobbits in their claws and carry them away from their dangerous surroundings.
Whilst in flight, Frodo opens his eyes for only a second. Without any sense of direction or this new development, and without any strength to hold his eyes open long enough to perceive what is going on, he falls back unconscious letting the Eagle fly him away.
We see Frodo wake up in a bed he already slept in once. When Elrond saved his life from the lethal wound of the Morgul-blade, Frodo awoke in the same bed, in Rivendell. As it was in the Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf awaits his awakening.
Having not known of Gandalf’s return as Gandalf the White and having last seen him falling from the Bridge of Khazad-Dum, Frodo is all smiles and laughs. It is perfectly understandable that he should not believe his eyes at first, for Aragorn doubted his eyes as well when he saw Gandalf again in Fangorn forest.
Gandalf laughs in joy overseeing Frodo alive and well again. For the longest time, he had tortured himself, feeling guilty over sending Frodo to his death essentially. Now, Frodo had relieved Gandalf’s heart. He can now let his tears well up in his eyes at the excitement this reunion brings.
Merry and Pippin enter the room and run straight onto Frodo’s bed. They’re all ecstatically overseeing each other again, with Merry and Pippin already in their storytelling mode. They couldn’t wait to tell Frodo what they have experienced on their journey.
Gimli is all smiles as he sees Frodo.
Legolas follows Gimli, with Aragorn right behind him. Laughter seems to indicate the impossibility of this reunion. They all seem to be in a bit of excited disbelief that they all got to meet again. Knowing what they have gone through without an inkling of hope that they may be victorious and survive it all, brings a certain giddiness to the atmosphere of pure celebration of life.
And then Sam appears at the door. He stands at the door, without terrible haste to enter. Frodo and Sam exchange a knowing look with one another. They need no words to say what they feel, they need no ecstatic joy to know how lucky they are to have survived. However, there are also no wide smiles or laughter between them.
The journey they have been on has bonded them to each other in a way that no one can ever understand. They are each other’s best friend, brother, and brother in arms. Frodo and Sam share an experience that will always remain just theirs, a friendship that has not only grown since their journey began but a sense of closeness and trust that can only exist after such an ordeal. They have both changed since their Shire days, a change that will mold their lives for as long as they live.
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