The word “home” means different things to everyone, whether it’s a house from the past that reminds of childhood, a country that is very missed when traveling around the world, or whether it lives in loved ones, family and friends who always call each other back when they break up. “Home” is one of the most important themes in Tolkien’s books, and it is she who encourages Bilbo Baggins to help the dwarves regain the lost kingdom of Erebor. It’s the motivation that keeps Sam Gamgee going forward, getting to his feet every time he gets knocked down. This is what Frodo finds in his faithful companion, who reminds him of home when he needs it most. Home is a place of stability when everything around is full of turmoil and doubt.
Tolkien himself went through an unstable time in the world, when countries were at war with each other, and young soldiers were forced to leave their families to go to war, and often never returned home. The thought of the people he left behind helped him through his darkest days. He believed that all people should have a safe haven, a refuge where they could run in case of danger, a place where they could gain strength and courage before a long battle or journey. So, in his works he created the Last cozy house to the east of the sea.
Those who have read the Lord of the Rings books know that the elves had a special longing for the sea even before Middle-earth was created. They know that when their time in the world ends and they begin to wane, they must return across the sea and head to Valinor, the Immortal Lands. In the years leading up to the War of the Ring in the Third Age, this call to the waters grew stronger as the time of the elves in Middle-earth is shortened and the time of Humans begins.
The sea is in the west (hence the amazing title of the Annie Lennox soundtrack “Into the West”), and the elves, when their time comes, must travel the lands to get the gray ships and finally return to their old lands. The last cozy house east of the sea belongs to the house of Elrond in Rivendell, the easternmost elven settlement in Middle-earth.
In this case, since Tolkien is a British writer, and his works reflect many elements of British culture, the word “home” is used to mean comfortable and safe. It reflects the warmth that can be felt while at home, and not simplicity or ugliness, as it began to be used in later years in American culture. There, “The last cozy home” means the last place of safety and comfort, the last place where elves can find peace. When Elrond originally founded Rivendell, it was created as a refuge, a safe place where elves could come from afar to replenish their bodies and souls, as well as supplies for the upcoming long journey. It’s strategically located and hard to find, which makes it so sheltered and safe, and it’s full of all the amenities elves might need. It also opens its doors to everyone, including the rude dwarves from The Hobbit.
Rivendell is known for its healing houses, great councils, and song and dance festivals that can last for days. It is a house of nourishment and prosperity, filled with love and peace of the old days before the world got tired of the hands of Sauron, the dark lord. This sense of protection and support makes it “home”, and it is the furthest western settlement for the elves before they reach the sea, which makes it “the last”. A cozy house to the west of the mountains, because this is the last place where you can stop and restock before traveling to the much wilder and mountainous lands of Likholesye, Lake City and Lonely Mountain.
The last cozy house is right in front of the entrance to the Misty Mountains and the Dwarf kingdoms (which are definitely not so famous for their hospitality and spiritual healing). This is the gateway to the dominions of Gondor and Rohan, where the difficulties and politics of the people come into play. Elves have a special standard for their homes, and Rivendell is the last example of this before travelers head to the rougher and uncultivated lands to the east, beyond the mountains and beyond.