Rescue comes to Sam and Frodo when Gandalf arrives with the Eagles. Sam awakes among friends and surrounded by the green, living things in Ithilien. Upon waking and seeing Gandalf, whom he last saw falling into the abyss with the Balrog in the Mines of Moria, Sam exclaims in disbelief:
“Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What's happened to the world?"
"A great Shadow has departed," said Gandalf, and then he laughed and the sound was like music, or like water in a parched land; and as he listened the thought came to Sam that he had not heard laughter, the pure sound of merriment, for days upon days without count. It fell upon his ears like the echo of all the joys he had ever known.