Is Samwise Gamgee, one of the four hobbits in the fellowship, one of the three to be the last bearers of the one ring of power, one of the two hobbits who alone infiltrated mordor and brought the ring to Mount Doom, ... an orphan?
- He works as a gardener for Frodo. He doesn't work on his own farm, or for his family. This is a strong contrast against the non-working Frodo, Merry, and Pippin.
- The only relationship mentioned is "gaffer" which is short for either "grandfather" or "godfather" etymology gaffer in the same way that "gammer" is short for either "grandmother" or "godmother" etymology gammer.
- I can't recall his mentioning his parents in the books or mother.
- Sam missed "Rosie Cotton" on mount doom when he thought he was going to die. Most young men at the edge of death remember their mother. The lack of a mother, and the motherly attributes of Rosy, might allow her to be a proxy for a missing mother.[ A,B,C,D ]
- In the "scouring of the shire", the chapter of LOTR/Return of the King where Saruman and his henchmen are evicted from the Shire, there is (as far as I can recall) no mention of Sam looking up his family except for the "gaffer".
Extensions to the question:
- Is there a reference to Sam's extended family (mother, siblings, etc) outside of "gaffer"?
- Is there anything to support or refute that Sam was an orphan or foster?
I consider primary content being Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, or JRR Tolkiens writings about them. Secondary but still valid would be evidence that gaffer, while derived from "Grandfather" or "godfather" was used frequently enough as "father" to mean that.