CLEARANCE SALE: I'm permanently discontinuing a whole bunch of beloved artwork to make room for a complete website overhaul & a new long-term project I'll be unveiling this summer. Enjoy 50% off ALL prints, sketches, and originals while you wait. (The discount will appear in your cart at checkout.) Sale will end around the end of July & everything you see here will be discontinued at that time with the new website launch.

"Here at the End of All Things" (Original Gouache Painting): 8x10 Fine Art Print
"Here at the End of All Things" (Original Gouache Painting): 8x10 Fine Art Print

"Here at the End of All Things" (Original Gouache Painting): 8x10 Fine Art Print

Regular price
Sale price

About This Listing
This is an archival fine art print featuring an original illustration of Frodo & Sam completed by Bryana Joy in 2024 using gouache on 100% cotton paper affixed to a basswood panel. The print measures 8x10 inches, including a half-inch white border, and is signed and labelled with pencil in the bottom margin. It is printed on Moab’s 290 gsm Entrada Bright paper. Each print is accompanied by a printed and stamped artist statement telling the story of the painting and documenting the specifications of the print. All prints are archival and unframed. 

Bryana Says
"I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam," Frodo famously says in the third book of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings as the two hobbits survey the apocalyptic collapse of Sauron's stronghold in Mordor. But it is not the end. Frodo & Sam (spoilers!) will beat the odds with a little help from some giant eagles, make it to Aragorn's coronation, & ride jauntily home to the Shire to plant Galadriel's mallorn tree. For a good many things, it is only the beginning. 

When I decided nearly a year ago to paint Frodo & Sam in a way that would celebrate their special friendship, I wanted to position them in the context of another, more final ending: "Here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea, comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-Earth," Gandalf will announce later on at The Grey Havens as Frodo is preparing to leave Middle Earth for good & Sam is desolated by the impending parting.

This was an ending I did not want. When I first read the books at the age of fourteen, I read & reread this part wanting & wanting a different ending. I did not want Sam to go home to Rosie Cotton who surely could never share in the kind of understanding his experiences had shaped in him. I did not want this snapping of the ties that were for me the most compelling part of the whole story. Fourteen-year-old me was devastated by this ending & sad about it for days. It was a conclusion that really did feel like the end of all things.

“When I’m married,” I thought as a teenager, “I’ll like this ending better. I’ll understand how marriage can be a magic connection that trumps everything else. But I’ve been married a while now & my husband & I both agree that the legendary animal magnetism between the sexes is a far flimsier foundation for happiness than the easy but strong bonds of authentic friendship & equality. When we watch the movies, we hug each other at the parts about Frodo & Sam, not the parts about the less-thoroughly developed characters of Arwen and Rosie Cotton. 

Tucked away in Appendix B, I find this not quite satisfactory but still significant comfort: “...the tradition,” Tolkien tells us, “is handed down by Elanor that Samwise passed the Towers & went to the Grey Havens, & passed over the Sea, last of the Ring-bearers.”

Shipping Notice
Your print will be packaged in a protective plastic sleeve and shipped to you in a stayflat rigid mailer. Please allow 2-4 business days for this item to ship. Shipping is free within the United States, and international shipping options are available at checkout. 

© 2024 Bryana Joy
The artist retains all copyrights.