6) After Middle Earth: Detour to Darkness

Freesia barely had time to take a breath when the cold hand fell violently from her shoulder followed by the horrible sound of death. She turned quickly to see a Scar lying dead on the path. Eoborn had skewered it. Before she could release her breath, she saw that the Scar was not alone.

Several other Scars were running from toward them in the distance. They were surrounded.

Freesia didn’t know what to do. She wasn’t sure if she felt safe with Eoborn or not. He did save her life, but who knows his motivations? None of that would matter if they died now.

The fear and pain of never being able to return home was too much to bear. Freesia began to weep. There was nothing else she could think to do to save herself.

From beside her, Freesia felt Eoborn rush toward her. His strong arms wrapped around her small body and hefted her up onto his shoulder. With one arm holding her and the other swinging his sword, Eoborn fought his way through the surrounding Scars. Suddenly, Freesia wasn’t afraid, she knew that Eoborn was good, and he would save both of them. From the awkward angle she was at, she could see his brave, pained face. He looked honorable. Kingly.

The Scars gave them no choice but to run east. Freesia wanted to protest, but twisting around to see the pursuing Scars told her there was no way to reach the Shire. It scared Freesia to see so many dark creatures on the lands of Hobbiton. How was this possible?

They made it into the Maggot fields. Freesia hoped the tall crops would hide them and they might be able to slip away. The rustling of plants and horrible grunts of the Scars was driving Freesia mad. Strangely, amidst the horrible noises, another sound faded into the mix. More sounds. Dogs? Shouting.

Freesia tried to look around and see what was going on, when a small figure stumbled right into Eoborn. Because of the awkwardness of the little hobbit on his shoulder, Eoborn stumbled and lost his grip on her. Freesia fell to the ground, the air unable to keep hold in her lungs. The fear and oxygen deprivation was too much for Freesia to bear, she could no longer keep hold on reality and slipped into darkness.

5) After Middle Earth: Outside

After Freesia had a fair night’s rest in her Hobbit sized room, she wondered if she should trust Eoborn. For a long while she considered running off back to the Shire, hoping Eoborn would just leave, but she knew she couldn’t. Eoborn was already planning on going to the Shire, there’s nothing should could do to stop that. Leaving now would just bring him right back to her in her own home.

She decided she would have to travel with him, at least back to the Shire. Then she could just tell him she would stay and he could find someone who would like to go with him.

Freesia went to the lobby to wait for Eoborn. She sat at the counter and asked the innkeeper if he knew anything about Eoborn, just like Frodo had asked Butterbur about Aragorn. The innkeeper couldn’t seem to remember the man coming into his inn at all.

That was almost enough to convince her to run off before he came back.

She could go to Rivendell; but if there aren’t any elves, who knows if it’s safe or not. She could go find Tom Bombadil. Certainly he would help her, if he is still on Middle Earth that is.

Before Freesia could make any decisions, Eoborn tapped her on the shoulder, causing her to jump.

“Are you prepared for departure?” he asked her. She couldn’t bring herself to speak for a moment.

“Of course,” she said nervously, “shall we be on our way?”

“Alright, let us head out.”

The dwarf gate keeper was reluctant to let them out. It seemed as though he did not trust Eoborn any more than Freesia did. A full grown man with a hobbit child? It seemed unthinkable that she would be traveling with him of her own accord.

As they exited the town, Freesia looked to the sky and noticed the clouds that loomed in the distance. It was impossible to find the sun. It didn’t feel right.

The journey to the Shire seemed much longer when Freesia didn’t feel like she had to run for her life. How far, exactly, had she gone?

The sky seemed to darken, covering any sign of day light. Freesia felt uneasy. What was it about the overcast sky that made her feel so scared? The lack of sun light caused the path under the trees to seem eerie and frightening. As they passed the area where Freesia had seen the Scar, she panicked and tripped on a root.

The sudden shock of the trip caused her to hyperventilate and it took her a moment to regain her wits. The reminder of the terrifying creature caused her to be at constant attention. There could be any of those creatures in the trees, but they hated day time. The sun made them burn up.

The sun.

They were in danger. The sun was hiding far behind the clouds, causing a perfect cover for any tortured creature. Suddenly the presence of the stranger she was following became the least of her worries. It even made her feel slightly better about the ominous road to have someone who may be able to protect her. But it also scared her a bit not knowing if he would be willing to protect her if it came to that.

Every rustle of a leaf or break of a twig made Freesia flinch. The closer to the border of the Shire they got, the safer she felt. She could even smell the crops of the Maggot farm. Farmer Maggot, the hobbit who helped Frodo and Sam on their travels, had created the farm. He planted and nourished the land until it became what is was now. Now his descendants took care of it.

Just before they reached the edge of the farm, a cold hand touched Freesia’s shoulder. It was too late.

4) After Middle Earth: Pegrioc

Eoborn stared at Freesia, confused, who was looking quite terrified. “You alright?” he asked her.

“I…uh…who do you have in mind to go with you?” she asked, worrying he might say her.

“Well, I was actually under the impression that I should ask you to come with me.” Oh dear! Her worries had come true. She struggled to come up with an answer when he spoke again. “I feel that your knowledge of Middle Earth history would be quite useful and wise to have with me. I realize it sounds quite terrifying, but all I need from you is your mind.”

My mind? she thought, I’m just a girl! How can I bring anything to his journey that he can’t get from a man? I only just came of age a decade ago. Forty-four years is not very old in hobbit years. 

“I’m unsure. My family is back in the Shire, I don’t know how they would feel about this. I should really run it by them first.” Freesia looked down at her feet.

“Aren’t you quite old enough to make your own decisions?” he asked her.

“Well, somewhat. I am only forty-four and I am a girl.” she thought her answer was quite understandable, but his answer surprised her.

“Forty-four is perfectly old enough to go out on your own!” he said as if he was surprised at her answer, “I myself am only fifty. That is young for an elf-Dunedain hybrid.” he smiled.

Fifty? That is how old Frodo was. But I am still a girl. Girls don’t adventure, they stay home and take care of the family. Eowyn is the only exception. 

“Well, I don’t know why you would want a girl to come with you, but I suppose I could join you if that is what you really want.” she said, still hesitant to get into an adventure she had no way of knowing she would survive. She didn’t even know what exactly they would do to get the throne back.

“Great! Now, obviously we can’t take back Gondor just the two of us. I don’t suppose you know of any other hobbits that would like to join us? Maybe we can find a dwarf to join us.” Freesia could only think of one person that would like to join them.

Pegrioc.

Pegrioc was a descendant to Merriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck, a distant relative to Freesia. Peregrin “Pippin” Took had a son who married Sam’s daughter. Merry and Pippin were distant cousins. Thus making Freesia and Pegrioc distant relatives, which isn’t very strange, almost all hobbits are distant relatives.

Pegrioc was very much like Pippin. Reckless, unintelligent, sarcastic and hilarious. It was quite attractive in Freesia’s eyes, though she couldn’t admit it to anyone but her inner thoughts.

“I do know of one hobbit that would enjoy the journey, but I’m not quite certain how beneficial to the purpose of this adventure.” Freesia told Eoborn.

“Well, more is always better. I couldn’t care if he was just there for the sake of the credit, having more people along with us will make the journey bearable. I am certain we will find others who would love to join us.”

Freesia wasn’t sure if she wanted to be excited or terrified. She had always dreamed of going along on Frodo’s adventure, but now that she had the opportunity, she couldn’t decide.

Well, for now they just needed to worry about inviting Pegrioc along without the Scars deciding to join them first.

In that moment, Freesia suddenly realized something inconsistent about Eoborn’s story. Orcrist was supposed to be buried with Thorin. Only a sick villain would dig up the king of Erebor for the sake of getting his sword.

What was she getting herself into?!

Top Hobbit Moments

Well, you heard the top moments from the Lord of the Rings, now it’s time for the top moments from the Hobbit! As we all well know, the Hobbit movies weren’t up to their potential, but that does not mean they weren’t good movies.

For those who are strange and have not yet seen the movies or read the book, there are some spoilers ahead.

10:  Thorin’s farewell

bofa

Yet another moment made great thanks to brilliant acting. Martin Freeman did absolutely FANTASTIC with his acting as Thorin is dying. Straight away we see his denial of the situation. He tries desperately to save him, reassuring him that he will live because the eagles have come to save them. He had gone far past hope and was now just in denial. This is acting!

9: Bilbo encounters Smaug

bilbosmaug

Everyone has got to love when Smaug has his conversation with Bilbo. Almost word for word from the book! Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice was so brilliantly used to create the voice of the dragon. Everyone loves a good dragon, as it was once said, “it’s simply not an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.”

Fun Fact: Benedict Cumberbatch memorized the entire dialogue of Smaug from the book and voice acted it through twice, whilst wearing the motion capture suit and crawling around like a lizard (Komodo dragon specifically).

8: Thunder battle

stonegiants

I love this scene because of how cool and intense it looks. It is cool to see what rock giants might look like, thinking of them as if they are actual beings, not just people made of rock. The CGI at this part is one of the only parts that was done well with the animation (the other stuff did not need to be animated).

7: That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates

bilbohates

This song was a commodity that I just thought was necessary. I love to see things added word for word from the book. This song was also up beat and entertaining to follow. I especially love when Bofur is bumping around dishes with his elbow as he is playing his flute. Tolkien had so many songs, it’s obvious he loved music, so it is essential that that is portrayed in his book’s movie adaptation.

6: Misty Mountains song

hobbitsong

Another song that was necessary. I love love love this song! All the deep voices of these men put together with perfect wording and feeling. This is a song that gets the listener to think about the words, and if you don’t at the beginning, when you look back at it afterward, it is pretty much a summary of their journey to be.

5: Thorin’s Dragon sickness

thorinbofayes

Of all the things that Tolkien wanted to portray with his stories, this is one of the most important. Tolkien was all about symbolism, and with Thorin’s dragon sickness, which we see more clearly with the Balrog in Moria, he was trying to show what greed and temptation does to a person. When Thorin says the exact same thing Smaug said, with Smaug’s voice at the same time, it is super cool. It is interesting to see how all that treasure corrupted even the most noble of dwarves.

4: Bilbo comes back

bilbocomesback

The scene right after the goblin tunnels, when Thorin thinks Bilbo left, is a great scene. I love Bilbo’s little speech about how he does miss his old life and how he realizes that he doesn’t fit in, but what matters is that he is willing to fight with them to win back their home, where they fit in. It is cool to see that even though Bilbo is small and somewhat wimpy, he has the courage to do the right thing and help other.

3: Gollum

bilbo-and-gollum

I almost would leave this section saying, “nuff said,” but it deserves more than that. I love Gollum. Especially thanks to Andy freaking amazing Serkis. His work with Gollum is just pure talent. Everyone loves the scene with Gollum and his riddles. To hear so many done word for word as well was great.

2: Thorin’s acceptance 

bilboandthorin

I know I’m not alone when I say I was so angry at Thorin when he gets up after being saved by eagles and starts talking to Bilbo. We were all almost certain he was legitimately angry at Bilbo for his act of courage. I was almost in tears when Thorin admits he was wrong and gives Bilbo a hug. I was so happy. You could see they had formed a friendship that would last longer than their life times. To admit your fault, especially as a king, takes a huge amount of courage.

And to go right along with this is when Bilbo saves Thorin’s life. You just want to jump out of your seat and cheer him on. I was so happy when this happened. Such a small guy taking on a huge, purely evil orc. Amazing!

1: Bard’s encounter with Smaug

bain

I have to say this was my all time favorite scene. The acting in this scene was perfect! When Bard’s bow breaks, and his son had just come to give him the black arrow, and Bard has to balance the arrow on Bain’s shoulder! Bain’s acting was so perfect! The fear that you could almost feel through his acting as he can hear a huge, deadly dragon coming right toward him. And Bard, you can see how much he loves his son and cares for him. And looking at his son right in front of him as he is preparing to kill the dragon makes you realize that he knows exactly who he is doing this for, he is staring right at the reason!

This was the scene that made me love Bard and Bain! I just love them! They became my favorite characters through one short scene. Their acting was just amazing!

No matter what anyone says, these movies were good. They weren’t 100% accurate, but we already should know that it’s impossible for that to happen. The actors that were chosen provided for an amazing trilogy thanks to their wonderful acting talents. Don’t let the negative critics get you down, these movies are so great!

3) After Middle Earth: Orcrist

Freesia began to panic, thinking about the orcish man she had seen. She knew from Frodo’s story what it meant when a sword glowed blue. But Sting is still in the possession of the Shire. The only other swords she knew of that could glow were Orcrist and Glamdring. Glamdring was Gandalf’s sword and Orcrist was Thorin Oakenshield’s.

Who was this man and whose sword does he have?

The man noticed Freesia looking at him and immediately jumped up. Freesia worried that he had seen the look of recognition on her face and would come after her. He began to walk, she couldn’t see where he was going because he slipped into the crowd. She started to walk back to the innkeeper, hoping she would be able to go to her room before the man caught her.

She was only half way there when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She jumped. Turning around, she saw that it was the man. He grabbed her shoulder and pulled her along with him toward a back hallway.

Once they were out of earshot to the lobby, the man lifted off his hood. This was far too much like Frodo’s story to be a coincidence. The man’s hair was very unusual. It was cut very short, so short Freesia wasn’t sure how he got it that way. It was no wonder he wore a hood. Freesia noticed that there was just the slightest point in the man’s ears. Not enough to be anything but a man, but men don’t have ears like that.

“Who are you?” they both asked simultaneously.

Freesia spoke first, “What do you mean ‘who am I,’ you are the one who dragged me back here. I’m just a simple hobbit that is stopping by for the night.” The man was surprised at her aggressiveness.

“Well, how ’bout you tell me how you recognized my blade?” he said. Freesia wasn’t sure how to answer. So she just went ahead and told the truth.

“I read about it. My ancestor, Samwise Gamgee had a book that was written by Frodo and Bilbo Baggins about their adventures. Bilbo saw that blade, although I’m not sure which one it is.”

“Orcrist.” he said almost automatically.

“How do you have it?” Freesia asked.

“I do believe that is not your business.” he said.

do believe that my recognition of the blade is not yours.” she retorted.

“Very well. If you must know it came to me by my ancestor’s good friend. It was given to him by his relative, Dain Ironfoot, who inherited it from Thorin Oakenshield.” Freesia became excited about the matter. This, too, was suspected by the man.

“Oh dear, how delightful! I had always wanted to see the relics of the stories for my own eyes! Would you mind if I had a look at it?” she said.

The man was slightly taken aback. Nonetheless, he unsheathed the blade and let Freesia have a look.

“Oh wow! It is just as Old Bilbo had described! Oh how I wish I could have met the old hobbit, he passed Old Took, you know, who had once been the hobbit that lived longer than any other. Of course, he did have the ring that made him live longer and he–”

“Ring? What ring?” he asked.

“Oh, you must know the tale of how Frodo Baggins destroyed the One Ring to rule them all!” she said.

“Yes, of course I do. But you must tell me about this old Bilbo. I had heard the tale of the ring’s destruction, but how did this hobbit fellow come by it?”

Surely he couldn’t be serious! She had thought.

“Well! Bilbo Baggins found the ring while trapped in the goblin kingdom in the Misty Mountains! While down there, an odd little creature called Gollum threatened to eat the poor hobbit. They had a game of riddles, and thanks to that little trinket, or so he had called it at the time, Bilbo won the riddle game. Gollum did not like this, however, and he betrayed their deal, which was for Gollum to lead Bilbo out of the caves. When he ran off, he tripped and the ring slipped onto his finger, causing him to disappear! And that is how Old Gandalf discovered that the “trinket” was actually the One Ring of power!”

“You are quite smart for a small thing, aren’t you?” he said.

“Pardon me, but I take offense to that!” she said. Again the man looked taken aback. “Wait a moment, if that blade is glowing, that should mean an orc is nearby!” Freesia exclaimed. “But all the orcs were destroyed. How can that be glowing?”

“Have you not heard? If you have not heard, surely you have seen the creatures that have been wandering about.” he said.

“Of course!” Freesia said, “What was that awful thing? It chased me all the way here to Bree! I had been worried Bree was no longer a hospitable place.”

“Those are not orcs. They are Scars.”

“Yes, I have heard the term.”

“Scars are like orcs in only one way. They were tortured to become what they are now. Only, they weren’t once elves, they were once men. That is why I am here. If men are being tortured, then that means there is an evil on this earth that is creating monsters of my people. Or my ancestor’s people I should say.”

“You keep going on about your ancestors. Who are they?” Freesia asked.

“Well, my name is Eoborn. My ancestor is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. This is why my ears are pointed slightly. He did marry an elf, after all.”

“Oh! That is marvelous! To think that I would ever meet a descendant of the great king Aragorn! And that you are related to Elrond as well! It must be a lovely title to have!”

“It would seem so. However, I fear there is evil in the heart of Gondor. Had things gone rightly, I would have been king of Gondor. But seeing as I am part elf, the people of Gondor suddenly decided to make a purely man royal line. They didn’t want any elf mixed in. I don’t see how this is a problem, seeing as I hold the last bit of elf to ever walk the earth. I don’t see how I could have been a threat to the royal line.”

“How terrible!” Freesia said, “That does indeed sound as though someone is desperately grasping for the throne. Perhaps you are right about there being evil there. Only a man hungry for power would be so desperate to do such a thing.”

“That gives me a great deal of reassurance to know I am not the only one to think so. Even if you are just a little hobbit girl.” Freesia raised an eyebrow at him, who smiled ever so slightly.

“If this is the problem, why are you here? You said that that is what led you here.” Freesia asked.

“It’s funny you, of all people to run in to, mention this. I too had read about the story of Frodo Baggins and discovered how Frodo had come to be part of the story. Gandalf, the wisest wizard that walked middle earth, had said something about the strength of those with the smallest stature. I thought that perhaps, in order to claim my throne, I would need someone of a sort like that. So I came here, on my way to the Shire, to find someone to share in my adventure.”

Freesia’s eyes widened with surprise. An adventure? Please do not ask me to come!

Chapter One: An Unexpected Party-Part Two

The instant Bilbo disappears in chapter one, every single guest at the party bursts into conversation. Most of the talk was of how crazy Bilbo is. Frodo just sits and laughs quietly at the amusement of the guests.

As Frodo sits and ponders, he begins to think about Bilbo’s little trick a little harder. He realizes how much he cares for Bilbo. I like to think Frodo in that moment started to wonder what would happen to him if Bilbo really was gone. If Bilbo really had disappeared and would never return. That is what makes him realize how sad he would become if Bilbo left this world in such a quick flash as his trick.

Tolkien makes a large deal about the clothes Bilbo changes into when he returns to Bag End. He describes the nice, embroidered party clothes he removes and the old, tattered clothes that replace them. Thinking about this, ask yourself, Why would someone who has such nice and expensive things change into old, dirty clothes on such an occasion as an important birthday? No one would even change into dirty clothes on their worst day unless it was their last resort.

Tolkien explains further in a way that makes us realize that the clothes Bilbo puts on are the same as those he word on his adventures with the dwarves. Think about the symbolism behind the clothing. Bilbo had never really been one to wear expensive things and look fancy. We can tell this by the way he is constantly giving to those around him, thinking not of himself, but others. Also, it says that Bilbo rapped up his fine linen clothing and put it carefully away, this makes it seem as though he hasn’t even worn it before, he still has the packaging it came in.

The clothes he wore on his journey symbolize his old self. The part of him the was “more Took-ish.” These clothes show all the wear and tear of an adventure, of which you would never experience behind the borders of the Shire. This tells us that he is not planning to stay in the Shire, which we can also assume by the other things he was said to have gathered together upon returning to Bag End. Also, those old clothes represent his old self. Bilbo is choosing to embrace that of his past and leave what home he has already.

Bilbo soon verifies this theory himself as he converses with Gandalf. He tells Gandalf he is going on a holiday and doesn’t mean to come back.

Taking a step back for a moment: Before Gandalf shows up, Bilbo puts his ring in an envelope and sets it on the shelf, then just after he takes it out again. At this point for most people (who don’t already know the story by heart, but have read the Hobbit), we can tell that there is something about the ring that isn’t quite the same as it was in the Hobbit. Bilbo can’t seem to detach from the ring, but this could also just be a simple man who doesn’t want to separate from such a sentimental treasure.

During Bilbo’s conversation with Gandalf, we hear another famous line.

“I feel sort of stretched, Gandalf…like butter scraped over too much bread.”

Let’s analyze this a bit, shall we?

Think about it. When you take just a knife full of butter and try to spread it over your entire toast, it eventually thins out to the point where it has no point. It doesn’t give it the flavor you intended. Bilbo here could be meaning that as he goes along, spending his days in the Shire (gliding his knife across the bread), he feels that his knife is going to continue gliding through his life, never lifting itself off to obtain more butter, never adding more to his now dull life. He feels like all this time spent idling away is stretching him, making him become more and more thin as his adventurous life is left behind him. He is only spreading his butter, dragging it in circles, going no where. This is what he uses to describe why he needs to leave.

After such marvelous and terrible adventures. How can one go back to a normal life completely?

Tolkien writes in one line that, to me seems a bit humorous on his part. Gandalf tells Bilbo that no one will read his story (which we know is actually what the Hobbit book is, technically). This makes me laugh a bit, because we know that thousands of people read the Hobbit. It’s almost as if Tolkien is making a joke about how successful his book actually was. Just a random thought.

Bilbo then says that Frodo would come with him, if Bilbo asked him. But he also says that Frodo is not ready. I compare this to our existence before earth life. Not all of us are born on earth at the same time, obviously. So this represents that we will all have a chance on earth, just that some of us aren’t ready at the same time as others. Just like how on earth we don’t all progress at the same rate.

The next bit is almost word for word in the movie. Gandalf and Bilbo discuss the ring and what its fate is to be. Bilbo calls the ring his “precious” just as Gollum had. This definitely tells us something is up. The ring starts to look more and more like a poison. Or an addiction. If this ring is causing such a respectable man to become like such a sad, pathetic creature, then there is definitely something about that ring that is not right for the mind.

Bilbo and Gandalf soon agree to leave the ring with Frodo. This tells us a TON about the type of person Frodo is. They trusted him enough to leave him such a powerful and dangerous weapon. They had to have had total faith in Frodo as a person to take care of this ring. So they leave it for him (after Bilbo tries to take it with him first, of course).

Bilbo and Gandalf say their goodbyes and Bilbo is off, singing as he goes. Which song is a very deep sort of poetry. It ends with “And whither [the road goes] then? I cannot say.” This means that he has no idea where his journey is going to take him, but yet still he goes. No one knows where their road will take them, we simply have to follow and discover for ourselves where it will go.

The next day, after Frodo had discovered Bilbo left the day before (as Bilbo had told him he was planning on doing), Frodo finds that Bilbo had written out what things he owned that he was giving away. (He even gave things away to the Sackville-Bagginses!)

This chapter ends with a conversation between Frodo and Gandalf. Gandalf explains that Frodo is to soon go out into the world on a sort of small journey. They discuss what is to happen and Gandalf tells him that he will return one day to let Frodo know when it is the time to leave. And so Frodo waits until it is his time to go into the world.

Chapter One: A Long Expected Party: Part One

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring starts, we hear the connection between the Hobbit and the trilogy to come. It discusses Bilbo and the theories and conspiracies that came about throughout his time up until the Lord of the Rings starts. (Considering the length of this first chapter, I am going to split it in half.)

People had believed that Bilbo was far too rich and forever young. They thought it unnatural and would reap great consequence. From this we can see a little of what Shire life is like.

Hobbits never left Hobbiton, much less return with great wealth and treasures after such a long time. It just wasn’t natural, especially considering the amount of dwarves that visited at first and the world renowned Gandalf the Grey. It also shows us how small their society was. Everyone knew everyone, everyone knew each other’s business and wanted to take part in the gossip. That is quite like what small towns are.

Bilbo’s strangeness was forgotten by many because of his generosity with his money. He had also developed many close friends. One of those being his young cousin, Frodo.

Bilbo adopted Frodo when Bilbo was ninety-nine. That means Frodo only lived with Bilbo for twelve years. That’s actually a bit longer for Hobbits than for men, considering they become adults when they are already in their thirties. Being in their twenties was considered their teenage years.

We soon learn that Bilbo and Frodo have the same birthday (which is what Bilbo says is his reason for wanting Frodo near). Their birthday is September 22nd (this is why that day is considered Hobbit day, so mark your calendars! 😀 ).

This particular birthday was a big one for both Bilbo and Frodo. Frodo was to become an adult, thirty-three; and Bilbo was turning 111, which Tolkien writes as “a curious number,…” That meant something big was planned.

We are soon introduced to Ham “Gaffer” Gamgee and his youngest son Sam. These two had both tended the garden at Bag End. Gaffer had done it for forty years. Sam took over. We also learn that Sam and Frodo are close friends.

A good majority of this first chapter is a discussion among Gaffer and his neighbors. They discuss Bilbo, Frodo and the death of Frodo’s parents.

We hear the story of Drogo and his wife, who went out fishing one night, and both drowned. Few of the others say what rumors they heard, some being nasty bits about Drogo being pushed and his wife pulling him after her. They also discuss how and why Frodo was taken in, how Frodo is related to Bilbo on both sides and the generosity of Bilbo doing such a deed for an orphaned Hobbit. The group also discusses how the Sackville-Bagginses will never get Bag End now, and that it is a good thing. (It seems that no one rather likes those people).

A stranger joins in on the talk of Bilbo and he states the theory that Bilbo has tunnels filled with gold and treasure. Gaffer does not believe the tales, he was even there when Bilbo’s stuff was being auctioned off. Bilbo only returned with a few chests. Some others retort saying Bilbo is off and gone very often and wouldn’t doubt he returns with more treasure. They discuss the many visits from dwarves and Gandalf.

Then Gaffer continues by stating how great a man Bilbo really is. He says that many rich people wouldn’t even offer a drink to a friend, whereas Bilbo is inviting all to his party and even giving them all presents. If that’s weird, Gaffer could do for some more of it.

On the chapter goes, discussing the preparations being made for the big party. Dwarves show up with tons of things and then so does Gandalf. All the children know of his fireworks, though they had never even seen them and Gandalf never stayed long. Everyone knows that there are to be fireworks at the party.

Then there is a little piece of the chapter with a very short conversation between Gandalf and Bilbo. Bilbo says he means to follow through with his plan, of which we don’t know what it is at this point. Gandalf tells him to follow through with all of it and then Bilbo says he will have quite a laugh at his joke at the party. I wonder what this little joke is?

Thousands of invitations were written and given out. Bilbo became buried in acceptance and thank you letters for the invites. What’s great is that Bilbo really did have a sign on his gate that said No Admittance Except on Party Business.

A whole field was filled with tents and gates. An entire tree was covered by a pavilion and lanterns were hung from all the branches. Then the day finally arrived.

On birthdays in Hobbiton, the one having a birthday gives presents to everyone else. Usually they aren’t too expensive or big, but Bilbo’s were huge, some even magical, and sent from the Lonely Mountain or Dale themselves, hand made by the dwarves.

The party was huge. The fireworks, hand made by Gandalf, were beautiful, magical and amazing in every way. There was food everywhere. Bilbo and Frodo had a special family dinner that included some close friends such as Gandalf. Even the Sackville-Bagginses were there. It was a party not to be missed.

Then Bilbo gives a speech. A speech which everyone had been dreading up until he actually gives it, at which time they are content to hear it. Tolkien is even very specific about the position in which Bilbo stands. (One hand waving, the other in his pocket. We can guess why he would have his hand in his pocket.)

Bilbo gives a speech much different than expected. He says his famous line I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. My favorite part of that being how Tolkien writes, “…but most of them were trying to work it out and see if it came to a compliment.”

Everyone gets bored very quickly. They are ready to move on and are expecting some sort of boring poetry or song. But Bilbo does not sing or recite. He pauses for a moment. Then he says he would like to make an announcement, which he speaks so loudly everyone is startled.

Then he says:

I regret to announce that–though, as I said, eleventy-one years is far too short a time to spend among you–this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!

And this is where I end this section. And this is when Bilbo disappears into thin air.

Meriadoc: The Responsible Hobbit

Merry is the logical Hobbit between him and Pippin. He is constantly trying to keep Pippin out of trouble. Merry’s best attribute is his desire to fight for what is right. He sees all this fighting and death around him and all he wants is to help his friends.

The instant the black riders come after the Hobbits just outside of Hobbiton, Merry knows that there is something Frodo has that they are after. In the book, Merry actually knew about the ring, or rather saw what it did. One day, Merry saw Bilbo put on the ring, after that, he sent Sam to go investigate and listen to what happens in Bag End (that means Sam really was dropping eaves! 😉 ). Merry had an idea what was going on from the very beginning. It isn’t until later that he realizes the magnitude of the situation.

We get a clue at how ignorant he starts off. When at Weathertop, he foolishly lights a fire with his buddies, not realizing that he can’t have all the many regular meals whenever he wants anymore, especially when there are nine evil Sauron’s servants tracking them.

When Merry sees Frodo leaving the fellowship at Amon Hen, he immediately understands and tries to lead the orcs away from him. He completely disregards his own safety for the sake of his friend. He realizes later that his carelessness in his attempt to save one friend resulted in the death of another. This could be one of the reasons he was so fixated on helping his friends in battle, because he doesn’t want to feel as though he can’t do any good.

When Hobbits are with Treebeard, Merry is trying to convince Treebeard to fight with them. He figures that the size of the ents would be the perfect strategic advantage. When Treebeard takes an entire day, completely disregarding something that is so important to Merry, it frustrates him to the point where he feels that he really can’t do any good in this war that has taken over normal life. He pretty much gives up. Thankfully for him, Pippin managed to convince Treebeard to head toward Isengard, where he sees the destruction Saruman has caused.

If it weren’t for this tender mercy, Merry wouldn’t have ever made it into battle, defending what he believes in and helping his friends. Merry is an example of our willingness and drive to do what’s right and help others. We all want something, we all should want what’s best for those we care about.

Merry realizes fully the extent of the damage Sauron has brought to the world when he sees his closest friend forced to leave him. Seeing Pippin struggle against such evil, suffer from such a trial, he realizes how much he cares for Pippin and doesn’t want him to have to ever suffer at the hands of such evil.

Imagine. Remember the way Pippin reacted when he was holding the Palentir? He struggled, he couldn’t even let go. If this were your brother, sister, closest friend or relative, how would that make you feel? Personally, it would scare me to death! I would never want to see anyone, let alone my closest friend have to deal with such a thing.

You could compare this to seeing your family members go through trials. Maybe you have a family member struggling with addiction, or health problems, or maybe even lost someone you loved to a disease or an accident and it hurt someone you care about to the point where you don’t know what will happen to them or if they will recover from such hardships.

When you see your family suffer, it changes what is important to you. When once you only cared about all your meals and having a good laugh or pipeweed, you now want only to save your friends and family and get rid of what things cause them pain.

We see Merry’s enthusiasm best when he is with Eowyn on the way to Pellenor. He is training, practicing, and preparing to fight for his loved ones. His enthusiasm grows dramatically as he gets better and better and sees that he does have the potential to do good. When Theoden tells him that he cannot come to battle, it’s as if he is reliving the moment when he thought Treebeard would just take him home. Only this time he doesn’t have Pippin to say something clever to help him. He realizes how much he needs Pippin in his life only to feel like he will never see him again.

Eowyn becomes his next tender mercy. When he feels like no one will take him with them to fight, Eowyn sweeps in to give him his chance.

Through Merry’s characterization, we can see that we do have a chance to help our loved ones. We may feel like there is no way we can do anything for them. What can I do to stop someone from using drugs or alcohol? I can’t just tell them to stop or take it from them. I have no control over their choices. While some of that is true, we still have the power to be an influence and example in their lives. They know what they are doing is not right, but without you by their side, they might never stop or get better. Simply being there for them can do a lot. We just have to support them and help them when they ask for it.

Even though it isn’t likely for someone who is struggling to ask for help, we can still do something. Maybe drop a comment here and there. Mention little things that touch lightly on the subject and try to spark a conversation that will get them realizing they need help or asking for help. It is never too late.

Merry shows us that we should want what’s best for our family, biological or otherwise. There is always something we can do. We can’t give up on them. And even when we feel like it’s over, God will help us get back on the saddle. He will provide those tender mercies that will keep us going. And we will never have to worry about waiting on the edge of a battle we can’t escape.

Vote

What Do YOU Think?

Hello Viewers!

I, as you probably know, love to write on the topic of Tolkien’s Middle Earth! So far, I have mostly written about individual characters and the symbolism behind them. Hopefully you have been liking it! But if you would like to hear about other Tolkien-related things, please let me know! You can comment some feedback or ideas. Also, here is a poll you can take if you have a general answer to the question “What [Tolkien related] topics do you want to hear about from me?”

Thank you so much for reading and keeping up with my posts! Honestly, please leave feedback! For those of you who have been, thank you! If you want to critisize, go ahead, but please try to keep it positive! If you don’t keep it positive, your choice. You are entitled to your opinion! Again, thank you all!

Sincerely,

Kenzie Baxter