The film trilogy of "The Lord of the Rings" is complete, with the finale, "The Return of the King," apparently headed for Oscar glory. But believe it or not, there is more of the story yet to tell. Creator J.R.R. Tolkien wrote an ending for every member of the Fellowship of the Ring, and for other major characters as well. He followed most of them to their deaths. Here, then, is the truly final part in the saga, drawn from the appendices of "The Return of the King" and other writings of Tolkien.


When last we saw them, the hobbits Frodo and Bilbo, the wizard Gandalf and the great elves Galadriel and Elrond had boarded a ship headed West. But where, exactly, were they going?

To the Westernmost Lands, also called the Undying Lands, also called Valinor, also called Aman, home of the Holy Ones of Middle-earth and also the immortal home of the elves. It existed across a great sea, but mortal ships could never reach it.

As the power of the elves faded, many sailed West, but others remained in Middle-earth. Galadriel's husband, Celeborn, stayed behind in Tolkien's story, although the movie shows him boarding the ship with her.

Gandalf, who appeared as old man throughout the story, actually was a godlike creature, albeit a lesser god called a Maia. He was sent to Middle-earth specifically to battle Sauron. His mission accomplished, he was going home. (Trivia note: Sauron and the evil wizard Saruman were both also Maiar, but they were bad, so they didn't get to go West).

The hobbits were among the few mortals allowed into the Western lands, given special dispensation because of their status as Ring-bearers. Frodo specifically went in Arwen's place, when the elf princess gave up her immortality. "In my stead you shall go, Ring-bearer, when the time comes and if you then desire it," Arwen tells him. "If your hurts grieve you still and the memory of your burden is heavy, then you may pass into the West, until all your wounds and weariness are healed."


The hobbits Merry and Pippin returned to the Shire much taller than when they'd left, having drunk the magical Entwaters while guests of the walking, talking trees. They became leaders back home, with the specific titles of Master of Buckland (Merry) and Thain (Pippin). Pippin married Diamond of Long Cleeve and had a son, named for Faramir.

Both remained in the service of Gondor and Rohan, however. Late in life, Éomer called for Merry, who was then 102, and both hobbits returned to visit Éomer one last time. They lived out their lives among men. Upon Aragorn's death many years later, the hobbits' funerary slabs were placed at the side of the king's.


The evil wizard Saruman and his smarmy sidekick Wormtongue slunk out of the tower at Isengard and made their way to the Shire, where they assembled a motley crew of bullies and thugs and lorded it over the hobbits. When Frodo et al returned, however, they tossed the bums out.

In retreat and finally fed up with Saruman's insults, Wormtongue cut his master's throat, then was struck down himself by hobbit arrows.

This postscript to the War of the Ring takes up a major chunk of Tolkien's "The Return of the King," but Peter Jackson chose not to make it part of his film.


Aragorn and Arwen ruled as king and queen of Gondor for 122 years of hope. Being of the great Numenorean race of kings, Aragorn lived to the age of 210. When he tired of life he simply lay down and went to sleep, leaving his son, Eldarion, as his heir. Arwen was left in despair. Unable to take any joy in Middle-earth and unable to rejoin her kin in the West, she died alone, in the abandoned forest of Lorien.


Éowyn, the shieldmaiden of Rohan, gave up her hopeless love for Aragorn and married Faramir, captain of Gondor. Aragorn gave Faramir the land of Ithilien, in the hills above Gondor, as his princedom.

Éowyn, despite having proven herself in battle, gave up the sword and became a healer. Her brother, Éomer, ruled as king of Rohan for 65 years. He married Lothíriel and had a son and heir, Elfwine the Fair.

Rohan remained a staunch ally of Gondor. Éomer rode to war many more times with Aragorn, helping rid the land of all traces of Sauron's evil.


Legolas the elf and Gimli the dwarf traveled together long after the War of the Ring. Both were lords among their people, and were able to return with great artisans to help rebuild the war-ravaged cities of men. They settled in those lands, but after the death of Aragorn, Legolas built a ship and sailed West.

"We have heard tell that Legolas took Gimli with him because of their great friendship, greater than any that has been between elf and dwarf. If this is true, then it is strange indeed: that a dwarf should be willing to leave Middle-earth for any love, or that the Eldar (elves) should receive him, or that the Lords of the West should permit it. But it is said that Gimli went also out of desire to see again the beauty of Galadriel, and it may be that she, being mighty among the Eldar, obtained this grace for him. More cannot be said of this matter."


Samwise Gamgee married Rosie Cotton and they had 13 children. His first son was named Frodo. Sam served as mayor of the Shire for seven terms.

Sixty years after the War of the Ring, upon the death of his beloved Rose, Sam also took a ship to the Undyling Lands, the last of the Ring-bearers.

Do It Electric
Click for online
calendars and events.


E-mail to Features Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Calendars]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --