Samwise Gamgee is probably the most important character in The Lord of the Rings (as explained below), but his story begins as a gentle Hobbit gardener living in the idyllic Shire, having no cares or worries in the world for the most part. Suddenly, almost against his will, Sam is rudely shoved into the real world and the horrific things that stalk it.

He does live up to his code of loyalty though, all the way till the end, even after Frodo decides to go the antagonist route at the last minute. The movies have maintained Sam’s character as accurately as possible, all the credit going to Sean Astin, but book readers have a deeper understanding of the character for obvious reasons.

10 He Is A Great Poet

The Samwise in the books has an incredible talent for constructing both moving poems and cute, little ditties, which he often recites or croons in front of an enraptured audience.

During the Shelob attack in Torech Ungol, he loses contact with Frodo, and in his dread, begins to sing a song about his home and it’s unfathomable beauty come springtime. More than this, Sam also pens a dirge while staying with Galadriel in Lorien, dedicating it to his recently “deceased” friend/mentor, Gandalf.

9 Bilbo Instills In Him A Love For Adventure

Frodo is obviously influenced by his “uncle” and his crazy tales of trolls, dragons and unfathomable treasure, but it looks like Samwise fell under the same spell in his youth.

Although he is, as Tolkien called him, a bit “rustic”, he rapidly adapts to his newly obtained knowledge, reorienting his perspective of Middle-earth to include everything beyond the Shire (which most Hobbits neither knew nor cared about.) Of course, Sam does exhibit some amount of trepidation when asked to assist Frodo in the Quest of Mount Doom, but his love prevents him from refusing.

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8 His Family

Sam is the last child born to Bell Goodchild, a Hobbit woman of unknown heritage, and Hamfast Gamgee, also referred to with the term “Gaffer”, Bilbo’s personal gardener for several decades (with a penchant for potato cultivation.) The family lived in a hole called Bagshot Row, not far from the Baggins’ property.

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Sam’s five brothers and sisters include May Gamgee, Hamson Gamgee, Daisy Gamgee, Marigold Gamgee, and Halfred Gamgee. Not much is known about these siblings, save for the occasional tidbit about who they married or where they settled down.

7 Sam Is Mayor Of The Shire For Fifty Years

Sam is 39 years old when he returns to the Shire along with his friends, safe in the knowledge that Sauron’s threat is no more. Nine years later, the incumbent Mayor, Will Whitfoot, steps down from his post, allowing for Sam’s inevitable election.

He spends the next 49 years (the position requires a 7-year service, and he is reelected seven times) as the Mayor of Michel Delving, which happens to be the Shire’s biggest and most important municipality. His job, however, is not bureaucratic as much as it is ceremonial, such as being in-charge of any major celebrations and feasts.

6 He Was Considered The Actual Hero

Tolkien openly admitted that he saw Samwise as the real protagonist of the story, which is clear to anyone who reads the books or watched the movies, to be honest. It helps that his character is tender and unassuming, making him comparable to the “English soldier” of the “1914 war” in the author’s opinion.

More importantly, even though Sam refuses to trust Gollum’s agenda completely, he permits the creature to stalk-lead them into Mordor in deference to Frodo (mainly because he wanted the whole mess over with as soon as possible.)

5 Gamgee Was Named After A Medical Fabric

The family name Gamgee was borrowed from a medical tissue designed by a doctor, Joseph S. Gamgee, who was quite well known in the 1800s in Birmingham, England. Tolkien mentioned that it was derived “out of childhood memory”, claiming that he “knew nothing of its origin” when he came up with his story and its various characters.

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Interestingly, the writer even obtained a letter from a man who was actually named Sam Gamgee in 1956, to whom he responded with polite surprise, but later wrote that he spent some time fretting about “receiving a letter signed ‘S. Gollum'”.

4 Writes In The Red Book Of Westmarch

Bilbo starts documenting his adventures in the Red Book of Westmarch, calling it There and Back Again. It is continued by Frodo, who adds more information about the Fellowship and their attempts to destroy the One Ring.

However, when both Bagginses quit Middle-earth forever, Samwise becomes the sole stakeholder of the book, having inherited it from Frodo (along with Bag End and the rest of his estate.) It is not clear exactly what he writes in here, but it’s possible that he’s the author of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, a short assortment of poetry.

3 Sam And His Thirteen Children

The thing about Hobbits is that they have a predilection for “food, music and good cheer”, but that’s clearly not all they’re fond of. Samwise ends up marrying his childhood sweetheart, Rosie Cotton, with whom he has 13 kids: Rose, Goldilocks, Pippin, Merry, Bilbo, Elanor, Frodo, Tolman, Hamfast, Primrose, Daisy, Robin, and Ruby.

It’s clear that he honors some of his nearest and dearest friends by naming his children after them, a rule that is copied by Pippin (who makes a similar tribute to Faramir.)

2 He Lives For At Least A Century

Samwise is born in the Third Age, on the sixth of April 1380. He spends the latter half of 3018 and the summer of 3019 journeying with the Fellowship and Frodo, respectively. After their victory (and the coronation of King Elessar), the Middle-earth calendar is reset, with the Fourth Age beginning immediately after.

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It is known that Sam is given leave to travel to Aman around year 61 of the Fourth Age, making him a hundred years old exactly when he disappears for eternity. How long he lives after that is lost to the mists of history.

1 The Only Ringbearer To Offer It Freely

Another reason why Sam is the hero of The Lord of the Rings is because he never allows the One Ring to tempt him from the path of righteousness — and this is an object that has the potential to warp minds belonging to the likes of Galadriel, Aragorn and Gandalf, all of whom refuse it for this very reason.

Interestingly, the Ring displays for him a magnificent hallucination involving a beautiful garden, but when Frodo demands it back, Sam displays not even negligible amounts of greed when handing it over.

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