Samwise Gamgee, also referred to as Sam, is a character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth world, appearing as a main character in The Lord of the Rings. Sam was a Hobbit from the Shire, and Frodo Baggins gardener and friend.
He was born in T.A. 2980 as the fifth child of Hamfast Gamgee, called the "Gaffer", and Bell Goodchild. Sam had two elder brothers and three sisters. He was one in the small group knowing about the One Ring and Frodo's departure for Rivendell. He later became part of the Fellowship of the Ring and continued to travel with Frodo even after the Breaking of the Fellowship. Sam became the bearer of the One Ring for a short time until he rescued Frodo at Cirith Ungol. After the War of the Ring, Sam settled with Frodo in Bag End. Sam married Rose Cotton, and the couple had six daughters and seven sons. When Frodo left, Sam became his heir, and continued the Red Book of Westmarch.
Although not carrying the Ring, Sam was one of the important factors in the destruction of the Ring, as Sam was instrumental in enabling Frodo to finish his quest. Tolkien had a high regard of Sam, believing him to be very important to the plot, going so far as to call him "chief hero" in one of his letters.
In Peter Jackson's film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings, Sam is played by American actor Sean Astin.