Sam Gamgee’s Life After Lord of the Rings Is Beautifully Illustrated by Molly Knox Ostertag

The movie of The Return of the King had so many endings, but here’s one more, and it’s worth it. Molly Knox Ostertag (The Witch Boy, Strong Female Protagonist) has illustrated the unpublished Lord of the Rings epilogue in which Samwise Gamgee has a sweet conversation with his daughter. It’s a story about yearning and absence and love, and Ostertag’s beautiful art makes it all the more affecting.

You can see Ostertag’s full comic here, and read Tolkien’s original text here.

Ostertag’s black-and-white art bursts into full color for the elves:

Like Rosie-lass, I am very anxious about Ent-wives and look for them in all the forests. (Merry’s interest in horses didn’t make it into the illustration, but of course he was “very anxious for a pony of his own.”)

If you can read “I am a very rich hobbit” over that lovely image of Sam and his daughter and not be swamped with feelings—about different kinds of adventures and riches, what it means to stay or go, and the many stories that make up a person’s experience—you are made of sterner stuff than I. It’s a gorgeous reminder that there are still full lives to be lived for those who survive their adventures.

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