Hamfast was the son of Hobson "Roper" Gamgee. He married Bell Goodchild, with whom he had six children, including Samwise Gamgee, his youngest son. He was a gardener on the Baggins property at Bag End for many years. He was frequently consulted for his knowledge of root vegetables (generally over a pint at the local inn), and was seen as a particular authority on the growing of potatoes. As the time of Bilbo Baggins's birthday party drew near, he was also in demand for his stories of Bilbo and his family. He didn't particularly like Sandyman the miller.
On the evening that Frodo Baggins left Bag End, the Gaffer encountered a Black Rider asking about Frodo. He told the Rider that Frodo had gone to Bucklebury. He later reported the conversation to his son Sam, who in turn told Frodo about it.
During the troubles fomented by Lotho Sackville-Baggins, as described in the chapter The Scouring of the Shire, the Gaffer was turned out of his hole at Number Three, Bagshot Row, as Sam saw in Galadriel's mirror. Farmer Cotton helped look after him, sharing food, although this was against the Rules that the Chief and later Sharkey made up. When Sam arrived back in the Shire, the Gaffer was rather disbelieving of his son's adventures and disapproved of Sam's wearing "ironmongery." Once the Shire had been cleaned up, the Gaffer was restored to Number Three of the new, brick-lined holes in the hill where he was well-looked after by Widow Rumble. As he often said after that, "It's an ill wind as blows nobody no good, as I always say. And all's well as ends Better!"
Hamfast means 'stay-at-home' or 'Home-fast' in the Hobbits' own language, and the full name is translated into Westron as "Ranugad Galbasi".
Portrayal in AdaptationsEdit
- "That's for Frodo. That's for The Shire. And that's for my old Gaffer!"
- —Samwise Gamgee in The Return of the King upon slaying three orcsHamfast is portrayed in The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series) and is voiced by John Church. Hamfast Gamgee is played by Norman Forsey. Hamfast appeared as a child in The Hobbit (2003 video game).
In the Fellowship of the Ring video game, he appears as an NPC and his conversation with the Black Rider on the hill.
Voice Dubbing actorsEdit
|Foreign Language||Voice dubbing artist|
|Portuguese (Brazil) (Television/DVD)||Mauro Castro|
Translations around the WorldEdit
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||詹吉·老人|
|Lithuanian||Hemas Gemdžis, Gaferas|
Behind the ScenesEdit
The word Gaffer means "the chief electrician in a film production". It is also a historical and contemporary British colloqualism that refers to an overseer or boss, who is often older than his subordinates. (Tolkien was more likely thinking of the latter definition when he gave Sam's father his nickname.)
- The Hobbit (2003 video game) (first appearance)
- The Fellowship of the Ring
- The Fellowship of the Ring (film) (extended edition only)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (video game)
- The Two Towers (film) (mentioned only)
- The Return of the King (film) (mentioned only)