- "That's for Frodo. That's for The Shire. And that's for my old Gaffer!"
- —Samwise Gamgee, Return Of The King
Hamfast was the son of Hobson "Roper" Gamgee. He married Bell Goodchild, with whom he had six children, including Samwise Gamgee. 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). 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 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 against the Rules that Sharkey made up. When Sam arrived back in the Shire, he was rather disbelieving of his son's adventures and disapproving of Sam's wearing "ironmongery." Once the Shire had been cleaned up, he 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!" He was a child at this time. Also in the game it is said he would play hide and seek with the other hobbit children.
The Hamfast means 'stay-at-home' or 'Home-fast' in the hobbit's own language and is translated into Westron Ranugad Galbasi.
Portrayal in AdaptationsEdit
In the Fellowship game he appears as an NPC and his conversation with the Black Rider on the hill is witnessed.
Behind the Scenes regarding the NicknameEdit
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.)