Then Frodo kissed Merry and Pippin, and last of all Sam, and went aboard; and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew, and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth; and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore glimmered and was lost. And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.
But to Sam the evening deepened to darkness as he stood at the Haven; and as he looked at the grey sea he saw only a shadow on the waters that was soon lost in the West. There still he stood far into the night, hearing only the sigh and murmur of the waves on the shores of Middle-earth, and the sound of them sank deep into his heart. Beside him stood Merry and Pippin, and they were silent.
At last the three companions turned away, and never again looking back they rode slowly homewards; and they spoke no word to one another until they came back to the Shire, but each had great comfort in his friends on the long grey road.
At last they rode over the downs and took the East Road, and then Merry and Pippin rode on to Buckland; and already they were singing again as they went. But Sam turned to Bywater, and so came back up the Hill, as day was ending once more. And he went on, and there was yellow light, and fire within; and the evening meal was ready, and he was expected. And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap.
He drew a deep breath. ‘Well, I’m back’, he said.
Hay muchas razones por las que creo que éste es uno de los finales mejor escritos que puedo recordar. Dejando a un lado las de tipo argumental -saber que al haber abandonado la Tierra Media los seres más extraordinarios que la habitaban se veta inevitablemente la posibilidad de cualquier ulterior aventura- y las de tipo estilístico -el uso anafórico de la conjunción “and” empuja la acción hacia su conclusión, sólo frenada muy ligeramente por los tres nostálgicos “but”-, asistimos a una despedida, representación simbólica de nuestra propia despedida del libro. De éste y de cualquier otro que nos haya emocionado. Unos se van y otros se quedan. El libro-Frodo se aleja en pos de un destino luminoso en la distante orilla de otro mundo mientras el lector-Sam regresa a su contidiana realidad.
Este final reproduce dentro de la propia trama del libro exactamente lo mismo que siento cada vez que acabo de leer una obra, cierro el volumen y miro a mi alrededor. Como Sam, yo no puedo cantar pero dejo que mis pies me lleven de vuelta a casa y digo también “I’m back” con infinita tristeza y una sonrisa en los labios.