Sam propped himself on his pillows as Frodo came in.
“Master Frodo, sir. Are you all right?” He asked in the soft voice that so defined his nature.
He could contain himself no longer. Shaking uncontrollably Frodo slumped onto the foot of his bed. He buried his face in his hands as crystalline tears dripped steadily onto the sheets. Sam came and sat down beside him, pulling Frodo into a tight hug. Whispering, he said “It’s all right. We can go home now. It’s all over. We don’t need to stay here. We can go home.” He pulled Frodo even closer, rocking him until his shirt was soaked through with the other’s tears and tears of his own were scattered through Frodo’s hair.
Frodo sniffed and looked up at Sam. His forehead rested on Frodo’s, and the tears that dropped from those caring eyes slid from Sam’s cheeks to mix with his. Fighting his pain Frodo said “But everything is right now. Everything is good and bright and happy . . . isn’t it? Isn’t what we were fighting for all said and done? Isn’t the Dark dead? Why can’t I be happy? Why is it that I can’t . . . be happy?” his crying persisted, even worse than before. Slowly, Sam brought Frodo’s head to rest on his shoulder, the shuddering breaths stilled against his neck. He abruptly pulled back and stared into Frodo’s eyes. “Let’s go home.” He said quietly.
To his surprise and satisfaction, Frodo merely nodded and said nothing more.
The buildings looked very much the same. All was quiet and still; almost deathly so. Frodo smiled slightly when his pony halted at the door to Bag End. Just as he was about to turn the handle, the green circle swung open, and the Gaffer ushered him and Sam in.
“So the war’s ended.” The Gaffer mumbled as he set about to make a pot of tea. Frodo nodded slightly. Without looking up from the detailed carpeting he said, “Everything’s ended. It’s all over. No more Dark.”
“Not true.” The Gaffer rumbled quite suddenly. Sam and Frodo jumped.
“Without Darkness, there can’t be Light, now, can there? Everything has to balance out in the end in order for anything to exist. See?”
Sam looked up at his father with admiration, and Frodo nodded again. The Gaffer simply muttered and took the kettle off the fire. “Gone away for a year and he’s forgotten everything he knew.”
Frodo shot Sam a knowing look and smiled. They had not forgotten anything, it was just that they had acquired so much new knowledge that the old had been forced back into the darkest corners of their minds. Using his knees as a lever, Frodo stood up in an almost cautious way and headed for the door.
“Don’t you want your tea?” the Gaffer called after him.
Frodo only raised his hand in farewell and began walking to the river.
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.