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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
How long did it take Bilbo and Gandalf to travel back from Erebor to the Shire?

The Shire

Dec 25 2017, 11:11pm

Post #1 of 6 (2693 views)
How long did it take Bilbo and Gandalf to travel back from Erebor to the Shire? Can't Post

I thought I'd put this question out there to all Tolkien aficionados. I know that the movie's timeline differs from that of the books. The movie puts the entire journey, there and back again, to around 13 months. However, the adversities faced on the way there would have definitely tacked on extra travel time than a straight journey.

In the book it is said that Bilbo and Gandalf follow the Elves to the borders of Mirkwood, but then divert North and travel across the wastes before the Grey Mountains. They then stop at Beorn's house for a while as well as Rivendell before arriving back at the Shire. If anyone can provide precise dates and time travelled it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


Dec 26 2017, 5:10am

Post #2 of 6 (2663 views)
Bilbo & Gandalf: Erebor to Hobbiton (TA 2941-42) [In reply to] Can't Post

We only have three firm dates for this journey (arrival at Rivendell on May 1; departure from Rivendell on May 8; arrival at Hobbiton on June 22), but we can approximate others:

Year 2941
November 27: Bilbo and Gandalf leave Erebor with Beorn and the Wood-elves.
December 1: The three companions leave the Elves and turn north to circle around Mirkwood.
December 28: Gandalf Bilbo and Beorn arrive at Beorn's house in time for Yuletide. Gandalf and Bilbo spend the winter with Beorn.

Year 2942
April 6: The New Year's Day of the Elves. Gandalf and Bilbo depart from Beorn's house heading for the High Pass.
May 1: They reach Rivendell.
May 8: The pair leave for Hobbiton.
June 22: Gandalf and Bilbo reach Bag End to find the auction of Bilbo's home and possessions in progress.

We can make a few more guesses, such as it would have taken Bilbo and Gandalf at least a fortnight to cross the Misty Mountains. Gandalf might have taken time to find a more-or-less decent Giant to block up the goblins' entrance in the mountains. And so on.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Dec 26 2017, 5:12am)

The Shire

Dec 27 2017, 1:50am

Post #3 of 6 (2597 views)
Thanks so much! [In reply to] Can't Post

I just re-read The Return Journey chapter and you're absolutely right. I didn't realise it was all laid out there in the book but it was. I think you're pretty much spot on with your dates and timespan. I guess Gandalf and Bilbo were way more leisurely on their return journey haha


Dec 27 2017, 2:52am

Post #4 of 6 (2593 views)
Some guestimates were involved [In reply to] Can't Post

We don't have the exact date that the visitors departed from Erebor, but it had to be around the end of November. Likewise, we only know that Bilbo, Gandalf and Beorn arrived at Beorn's home in time for the start of Yuletide (December 29 and 30, the two days of Yule, and January 1 and 2).

I am guessing that Gandalf and Bilbo might have waited for the start of the new year of Imladris to leave Beorn (auspicious timing for the start of a journey), but it could have been before the beginning of April. However, keeping in mind the speed of travel, it could not have been much later than April 6.

I assume that under good conditions, Bilbo and Gandalf could have covered around 20 miles a day on foot, but something like the pass through the Misty Mountains would have slowed them down severely. It probably took about 15 days to traverse the High Pass.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Dec 27 2017, 3:02am)

The Shire

Dec 27 2017, 11:40pm

Post #5 of 6 (2531 views)
So in total? [In reply to] Can't Post

So I guess taking all things into consideration and your guesstimates, that puts it to around 7 months travel time for the return journey?


Dec 28 2017, 12:02am

Post #6 of 6 (2528 views)
Yes! [In reply to] Can't Post

It took them just shy of seven months to return to Hobbiton. It was probably about the same in TH:BotFA, Jackson just skipped over all of the in-between stops.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock


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