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**The Return Journey** Part One - Comings and Goings

One Ringer
Tol Eressea

Nov 5 2012, 1:50pm

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**The Return Journey** Part One - Comings and Goings Can't Post

The chapter begins with Bilbo’s awakening, and soon sights the Dwarves recovering from battle:

But all was deadly still. There was no call and no echo of a song. Sorrow seemed to be in the air. “Victory after all, I suppose!” he said, feeling his aching head. “Well, it seems a very gloomy business.”

And when he is approached by a man:

Then Bilbo remembered his ring! “Well I’m blessed!” said he. “The invisibility has its drawbacks after all. Otherwise I suppose I might have spent a warm and comfortable night in bed!”

How do Bilbo’s words come across? They seem to be somewhat passive, or plainly observant; almost unimpressed. Is Bilbo committed to the battle at all? It seems that had Bilbo known his fortune in the Ring he might have not been around at all, or is there some other meaning to it?

Bilbo is carried to a tent in Dale:

and there stood Gandalf, with his arm in a sling. Even the wizard had not escaped without a wound; and there were few unharmed in all the host. When Gandalf saw Bilbo, he was delighted. “Baggins!” he exclaimed. “Well I never! Alive after all – I am glad!”

Is there something a bit vain about Gandalf? Given the narrative and his reaction, does he assume that if he walks away from battle with a sling, that Bilbo should be dead? Note the emphasis on “I am glad!”. Why else wouldn’t he be?

Thus, Bilbo takes his final council with Thorin:

Farewell, King under the Mountain!” he said. “This is a bitter adventure, if it must end so … Yet I am glad that I have shared in your perils – that has been more than any Baggins deserves.”
“No!” said Thorin … “If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. But sad or merry, I must leave it now. Farewell!”

Bilbo himself has learned something of adventures, but perhaps Thorin has learned something more. Is there something significant that the overall moral of the story has been displayed by Bilbo before the adventure had been fully realised? What was the purpose of his adventuring? Who learned the most in the end?

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**The Return Journey** Part One - Comings and Goings One Ringer Send a private message to One Ringer Nov 5 2012, 1:50pm
    Answers sador Send a private message to sador Nov 5 2012, 4:30pm
        My bad, One Ringer Send a private message to One Ringer Nov 6 2012, 2:03pm
    Post-hobbit stress syndrome CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Nov 15 2012, 5:19pm


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