Meaning: Samwise: 'half-wise', Gamgee: from 'Gamwichy', from the village of Gamwich where the family was founded*
Other Names: Sam, Banazîr (Ban) Galbasi, Master Samwise, Samwise the Stouthearted, Master Perhael, Sam-dad, Sam Lad, Sammie
Location(s): Shire, Mordor
Title(s): Mayor of the Shire, Counsellor of the North Kingdom
Dates: III 04.06.2983* - IV 61
Parents: Hamfast Gamgee and Bell Goodchild
Siblings: Hamson, Halfred, Daisy, May and Marigold Gamgee
Spouse: Rose Cotton
Children: Elanor Gamgee, Frodo Gardner, and Rose, Merry, Pippin, Goldilocks, Hamfast, Daisy, Primrose, Bilbo, Ruby, Robin, and Tolman Gamgee
"[Sam] believed he had once seen an Elf in the woods, and still hoped to see more one day. Of all the legends that he had heard in his early years such fragments of tales and half-remembered stories about the Elves as the hobbits knew, had always moved him most deeply."
Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Rings, Book 1 Ch 2 The Shadow of the Past
"Presently Sam appeared, trotting quickly and breathing hard; his heavy pack was hoisted high on his shoulders, and he had put on his head a tall shapeless felt bag, which he called a hat. In the gloom he looked very much like a dwarf."
Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Rings, Book 1 Ch 3 Three is Company
'Step forward, Sam!' said Merry; and Sam stood up with a face scarlet up to the ears. 'Here's our collector of information! And he collected a lot, I can tell you, before he was finally caught.
Book 1, Ch 5, A Conspiracy Unmasked, FoTR, LOTR
"'I'm learning a lot about Sam Gamgee on this jouney. First he was a conspirator, now he's a jester. He'll end up by becoming a wizard - or a warrior!' "
Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Rings, Book 1 Ch 12 Flight to the Ford
'Yes sir. I don't know how to say it, but after last night I feel different. I seem to see ahead, in a kind of way. I know we are going to take a very long road, into darkness; but I know I can't turn back. It isn't to see Elves now, nor dragons, nor mountains, that I want - I don't rightly know what I want: but I have something to do before the end, and it lies ahead, not in the Shire. I must see it through, sir, if you understand me.'
Book 2, Ch 3, The Ring Goes South, FoTR, LOTR
[After the Battle of the Chamber of Mazarbul]:
[The orcs] fled shrieking, leaving the defenders unharmed, except for Sam who had a scratch along the scalp. A quick duck had saved him; and he had felled his orc: a sturdy thrust with his Barrow-blade. A fire was smouldering in his brown eyes that would have made Ted Sandyman step backwards, if he had seen it.
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 5, The Bridge of Khazad-dûm
*It was stated in ROTK Appendix B: "III 2983 Faramir son of Denethor born. Birth of Samwise." But it was also stated in Appendix C, in Sam's family tree, that he was born on SR 1380 (III 2980)
*Note on the meaning of the name:
...Sam and his father Ham were really called Ban and Ran. These were shortenings of Banazîr and Ranugad, originally nicknames, meaning 'half-wise, simple' and 'stay-at-home', but being words that had fallen out of colloquial use they remained as traditional names in certain families. I have therefore tried to preserve these features by using Samwise and Hamfast, modernizations of ancient English samwís and hámfoest which corresponded closely in meaning.
(LotR: Appendix F: On Translation)
Gamgee. According to family tradition, set out in the Red Book, the surname Galbasi, or in reduced form Galpsi, came from the village of Galabas, popularly supposed to be derived from galab- 'game' and an old element bas-, more or less equivalent to our wick, wich. Gamwich (pronounced Gammidge) seemed therefore a very fair rendering.
Dim Genesis, 12.27.02; Lyllyn 1.19.03; Loquacious 02.03.03; ~Nessime 4.19.04; Updated kids' names, added Names & Titles: Elena Tiriel 6.17.04; added eye color: ET 7.8.04