This entry consists of excerpts from "The Grey Havens" recounting Sam and Frodo setting out from Hobbiton. In the Woody End, they meet Bilbo and the Elves and turn West, riding together to the Grey Havens on the Gulf of Lune.
Nothing from this scene made it into the film, which I thought was a shame. It is in this scene that Sam learns what Frodo intends to do. Whether Sam has guessed all the time, underneath his persistent denial of Frodo's continued mysterious malaise, the sudden reality of it comes as a shock. It is in this scene that Frodo tells him he has made Sam his heir and why. And it is in this scene that Frodo attempts to console Sam, telling him his life-filled vision for Sam's future.
Even though Sam and Frodo's real “goodbye scene” comes here rather than down at the Havens in the book, I have used screencaps from the film’s farewell to illustrate this entry, instead.
And, as usual, all the caps have been tweaked for contrast, lighting and focus. The caps come from the full-screen version of the theatrical release.
Side note: Re-reading this passage, it struck me how different Bilbo is in the book, compared to the film, in terms of aging. The films gave me a Bilbo I loved, and the writers had their reasons for making him so enfeebled, but book-Bilbo is still quite fit (even if a bit removed and forgetful). A hobbit who can sit a pony all the way from the Misty Mountains to the Sea is *not* decrepit.
From The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens":
On September the twenty-first they set out together, Frodo on the pony that had borne him all the way from Minas Tirith, and was now called Strider; and Sam on his beloved Bill. It was a fair golden morning, and Sam did not ask were they were going: he thought he could guess.
They took the Stock Road over the fills and went towards the Woody End, and they let their ponies walk at their leisure. They camped in the Green Hills, and on September the twenty-second they rode gdently down into the beginning of the trees as afternoon was wearing away.
‘If that isn’t the very tree you hid behind when the Black Rider first showed up, Mr. Frodo!’ said Sam pointing to the left. ‘It seems like a dream now.’
It was evening, and the stars were glimmering in the eastern sky as they passed the ruined oak and turned and went on down the fill between the hazel-thickets. Sam was silent, deep in his memories. Presently he became aware that Frodo was singing softly to himself, singing the old walking-song, but the words were not quite the same.Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.
And as if in answer, from down below, coming up the road out of the valley, voices sang:A! Elbereth Gilthoniel!
Silivren penna míriel
O menel aglar elenath,
Gilthoniel, A! Elbereth!
We still remember, we who dwell
In this far land beneath the trees
The starlight on the Western Seas.
Frodo and Sam halted and sat silent in the soft shadows, until they saw a shimmer as the travelers came towards them.
There was Gildor and many fair Elven folk; and there to Sam’s wonder rode Elrond and Galadriel. […] Riding slowly behind on a small grey pony, and seeming to nod in his sleep, was Bilbo himself.
Elrond greeted them gravely and graciously, and Galadriel smiled upon them. ‘Well, Master Samwise,’ she said. ‘I hear and see that you have used my gift well. The Shire shall now be more than ever blessed and beloved.’ Sam bowed, but found nothing to say. He had forgotten how beautiful the Lady was.
Then Bilbo woke up and opened his eyes. ‘Hullo, Frodo!’ he said. ‘Well, I have passed the Old Took today! So that’s settled. And now I think I am quite ready to go on another journey. Are you coming?’
‘Yes, I am coming,’ said Frodo. ‘The Ring-bearers should go together.’
‘Where are you going, Master?’ cried Sam, though at last he understood what was happening.
‘To the Havens, Sam,’ said Frodo.
‘And I can’t come.’
‘No, Sam. Not yet anyway, not further than the Havens. Though you too were a Ring-bearer, if only for a little while. Your time may come. Do not be too sad, Sam. You cannot be always torn in two. You will have to be one and whole, for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be, and to do.’
‘But,’ said Sam, and tears started in his eyes, ‘I thought you were going to enjoy the Shire, too, for years and years, after all you have done.’
‘So I thought too, once. 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. But you are my heir; all that I had and might have had I leave to you. And also you have Rose, and Elanor; and Frodo-lad will come, and Rosie-lass, and Merry, and Goldilocks, and Pippin; and perhaps more that I cannot see. Your hands and your wits will be needed everywhere. You will be the Mayor, of course, as long as you want to be, and the most famous gardener in history; and you will read things out of the Red Book, and keep alive the memory of the age that is gone, so that people will remember the Great Danger and so love their beloved land all the more. And that will keep you as busy and as happy as anyone can be, as long as your part of the Story goes on.
Come now, ride with me!’