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Eucatastrophe  by Dreamflower


6 Astron S.R. 1432

Frodo’s desk was in front of the study window, where he had a good view of the older Gamgee children at play in the front garden.

Little Goldilocks slept in her cradle next to his foot; her mother Rosie was in the back, still abed, nursing the newest arrival, three day old Hamfast. Sam had gone to Michel Delving on Mayor’s business.

Truth to tell, he was enjoying watching the children too much to get any real writing done. Thus it was he had a good view of the tall white-clad figure as it approached, and was engulfed in a flood of small squealing Gamgees--or Gardners, as they were beginning to be called.

Hurriedly, he put the quill in its stand, took up the baby and went to the front door.

He was greeted by a chorus: “Uncle Frodo! Uncle Frodo! Gandalf’s here!”

“Gandalf! It’s so good to see you!”

“My dear hobbit!” The white wizard knelt down and enfolded his friend in a fond embrace, baby and all. “I see there is another new addition to Sam’s clan.”

“Two, actually,” laughed Frodo. “Come in, come in. Rosie will be glad to show off the very newest, only three days old!”


Sam had returned before teatime, and had his own joyful reunion with the beloved wizard. Now he was preparing supper, with the enthusiastic “help” of his five older children. Goldilocks was napping with her mother and newest brother.

At last Frodo and Gandalf were able to relax and have a smoke and a quiet conversation.

“Well, Gandalf, will you be in the Shire long this time?”

“I hope to stay a few days. I’m on my way to the Havens to greet some of the arrivals. There is a possibility that Elrond may be among those returning, and Celebrian with him.”

“Who would have thought that after all these long ages, the Elves would be allowed to return from the West if they chose?” asked Frodo.

“I think only Círdan had that foresight. I shudder to think how near a thing it was to never happen at all, in spite of the One Ring’s destruction. If Elrond, Galadriel and I had not realized in time that the idea of the Three fading and failing was one of Saruman’s lies--but Círdan was correct, and instead the Three were freed to help and heal as they ought, and their power was increased many-fold.”

“Well, I am very glad, Gandalf, that you were wrong. Middle-earth would be a sadder place with no more Elves, and no way to heal the Enemy’s desolation.”

“Indeed, my dear Frodo, it does not bear thinking of. But what of you? How are you faring?”

Frodo smiled. “I have a very good life here at Bag End with Sam and Rosie and the children. Things are not perfect; I still fall ill in Rethe and in Winterfilth, but each time it is a little bit easier. It’s a small price to pay for all that’s good in the world.

But what news do you bring of our friends in the south?”

Gandalf blew a series of multi-colored smoke rings. “Ithilien is in a fair way to becoming a garden, thanks to the efforts of Legolas and Faramir. And Gimli is making of Aglarond a place to rival Moria of old. The King and Queen send their greetings, by the way, and wonder when you will come again to visit.”

“Maybe next year,” said Frodo.

Gandalf laughed. “That’s what you said three years ago on my last visit. You have become entirely too comfortable.”

Frodo looked sheepish, but did not reply.

Gandalf blew a smoke-tree. “The most interesting news, however, comes out of Lothlórien.”


“Yes, indeed. By midsummer at the latest, Queen Arwen will have a new aunt or uncle.”

Frodo looked briefly puzzled, and then burst out in delighted laughter. “Oh! Oh my! Oh my stars! Who would ever have thought it?”

Gandalf sat back with a smile, enjoying the clear laughter that he once thought would be forever muted by sorrow. There was something to be said for happy endings.


*Eucatastrophe: from J.R.R. Tolkien’s essay “On Fairy Stories”; his word for a “happy ending”.

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