We have reached the end. The Ring and the dark powers of Mordor are destroyed forever; Aragorn is King.
Yet there’s sadness as we realize that the fellowship is disbanded. It seems that having endured so much travail and having dealt so much with mysterious and powerful forces, for the hobbits and Aragorn to separate and return to their respective homelands is rather a letdown. The adventures are over – or are they?
“You must settle [the affairs of the Shire] yourselves; that is what you have been trained for.
Do you not yet understand?
My time is over: it is no longer my task to set things to rights, nor to help folk to do so.
… You are grown up now.”
So in the retaking of the Shire Merry and Pippin, matured by their harrowing adventures, prove to be the most remembered heroes. Sam settles comfortably with his own family, but Frodo and Bilbo, the restless (and hurting) Baggins, set off once more.
Some wounds take a journey to heal.