Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Meant to Be (Happy Birthday Bilbo Baggins!)
CE ^ | September 22, 2010 | Mary Kochan

Posted on 09/22/2010 11:20:02 AM PDT by NYer

On September 22, 1290 Bilbo Baggins was born. The year given for his birth, of course, is in Shire Reckoning: The Shire being that happy part of Middle-Earth inhabited by those sensible and unpretentious folk called “Hobbits.”

To that salt-of-the-earth Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, there comes one day an amazing summons. The call to participate in an adventure. And thereby hangs a tale and indeed a trilogy.

In the course of his adventure, Bilbo will come into possession of the “One Ring” of power. On September 22, 1401, his eleventy-first birthday, Bilbo will bequeath the ring to his nephew Frodo, who will bear the ring into places of forbidding evil in order to free the peoples of Middle Earth from its bondage.

Groaning under his burden, with the weight of the world on his small shoulders, Frodo cannot help but ask why such evil has come to his time. Why did his uncle find the ring? Why is he, conscious to the depths of his being of his inadequacy, the one who must bear the burden of it? The one who must undertake the perilous mission to destroy it? And the answer is given to him by Gandalf: “I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the ring…. In which case you were also meant to have it. And that may be an encouraging thought.”

Bilbo was meant to be born, meant to find the ring. Frodo was meant to be and to be the ring-bearer. They were meant to engage the challenges of their time.

But meant by whom?

We might glibly answer that it was all meant by the author of the story, J.R.R. Tolkien, but in the context of the story itself, there is certainly another answer. There is a Providence, there is an unseen Benevolence. To be sure there is an unseen malevolence too — for even the dark Lord Sauron is himself a mere servant. But it is Goodness that is the source of all and hence the source of being and of meaning.

Tolkien considered himself to be a “sub-creator” and the act of myth-making to be sub-creation. If telling a story is sub-creation, then Creation itself must be a kind of story. And so it is. It is a story with an Author, and it is a story with meaning.

When we wonder why such evils have come to our time and why we are the ones who must bear the particular burdens of our world. When we feel keenly our inadequacy and smallness — then we should remember that we are meant to be.

And that is certainly an encouraging thought.


TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: baggins; lotr

1 posted on 09/22/2010 11:20:04 AM PDT by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; markomalley; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...

Bilbo Baggins' Birthday Speech

All the one hundred and forty-four guests expected a pleasant feast; though they rather dreaded the after-dinner speech of their host.... He was liable to drag in bits of what he called poetry; and sometimes, after a glass or two, would allude to the absurd adventures of his mysterious journey....

After the feast... came the Speech. Most of the company were, however, now in a tolerant mood, at that delightful stage which they called 'filling up the corners'....

My dear People, began Bilbo.... Bilbo left his place and went and stood on a chair under the illuminated tree. The light of the lanterns fell on his beaming face.... They could all see him standing, waving one hand in the air, the other was in his trouser-pocket.

My dear Bagginses and Boffins, he began again; and my dear Tooks and Brandybucks, and Grubbs, and Chubbs, and Burrowses, and Hornblowers, and Bolgers, Bracegirdles, Goodbodies, Brockhouses and Proudfoots. 'ProudFEET!' shouted an elderly hobbit from the back of the pavilion....

Proudfoots, repeated Bilbo. Also my good Sackville-Bagginses that I welcome back at last to Bag End. Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday: I am eleventy-one today! 'Hurray! Hurray! Many Happy Returns!' they shouted.... This was the sort of stuff they liked: short and obvious.

I hope you are all enjoying yourselves as much as I am. Deafening cheers.... Cries of Yes (and No). Noises of trumpets and horns.... Indeed, in one corner some of the young Tooks and Brandybucks, supposing Uncle Bilbo to have finished (since he had plainly said all that was necessary), now... began a merry dance-tune. Master Everard Took and Miss Melilot Brandybuck got on a table and with bells in their hands began to dance the Springle-ring: a pretty dance, but rather vigorous.

But Bilbo had not finished. Seizing a horn from a youngster near by, he blew three loud hoots.... I shall not keep you long, he cried. Cheers from all the assembly. I have called you all together for a Purpose..... There was almost silence....

Indeed, for Three Purposes! First of all, to tell you that I am immensely fond of you all, and that eleventy-one years is too short a time to live among such excellent and admirable hobbits. Tremendous outburst of approval.

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.... There was some scattered clapping, but most of them were trying to work it out and see if it came to a compliment.

Secondly, to celebrate my birthday. Cheers again. I should say: OUR birthday. For it is, of course, also the birthday of my heir and nephew, Frodo. He comes of age and into his inheritance today. Some perfunctory clapping by the elders.... Together we score one hundred and forty-four. Your numbers were chosen to fit this remarkable total: One Gross, if I may use the expression. No cheers.... Many of his guests, and especially the Sackville-Bagginses, were insulted, feeling sure they had only been asked to fill up the required number....

It is also, if I may be allowed to refer to ancient history, the anniversary of my arrival by barrel at Esgaroth on the Long Lake; though the fact that it was my birthday slipped my memory on that occasion. I was only fifty-one then, and birthdays did not seem so important. The banquet was very splendid, however, though I had a bad cold at the time, I remember, and could only say 'thag you very buch'. I now repeat it more correctly: Thank you very much for coming to my little party. Obstinate silence.... Why couldn't he stop talking and let them drink his health? But Bilbo... paused for a moment.

Thirdly and finally, he said, I wish to make an ANNOUNCEMENT. He spoke this last word so loudly and suddenly that everyone sat up who still could. 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!

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party


2 posted on 09/22/2010 11:23:00 AM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

For giggles, youtube that Leonard Nimoy song.


3 posted on 09/22/2010 11:24:16 AM PDT by Sybeck1 (Profit should not be a dirty word in these United States of America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC73PHdQX04

Leonard Nimoy: The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.


4 posted on 09/22/2010 11:25:21 AM PDT by Snickering Hound
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
LOTR movie(s) are magnificent. Loved the resplendent Éowyn.
Yet oft wonder, if it is a middle-earth story why is there a sky?
5 posted on 09/22/2010 11:44:06 AM PDT by jla
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Least we forget J.R.R. Tolkien was a combat veteran of WWI.


6 posted on 09/22/2010 11:45:55 AM PDT by Maine Mariner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

I’ve been to Hobbiton (the site in New Zealand where the village scenes were filmed). Went there with a local friend before the site was (finally) opened to the public.

Those hobbit-hole doors, dissapointingly, lead to nothing but concrete retaining walls. The indoor scenes were filmed in a studio somewhere.

On the other hand, the trees there (Monterrey pines and Douglas firs) were unbelievably enormous. They were as big around as giant Sequoia trees.


7 posted on 09/22/2010 11:53:22 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
“Mutton yesterday, mutton today, and blimey if it doesn't look like mutton again tomorrow. I haven't had a decent bit of man flesh in long enough!!”
8 posted on 09/22/2010 11:59:33 AM PDT by celtic gal
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Maine Mariner
It's a miracle he survived the Somme. Virtually all his friends died in the war.

I consider him to be one of the most remarkable artists of the 20th century, and I consider LOTR to be the very best book of the 20th century. Two hundred years from now, people will still be reading it. Truman Capote? Not so much.

9 posted on 09/22/2010 12:00:01 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Things will change after the revolution, but not before.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: NYer

It’s Frodo’s birthday too.


10 posted on 09/22/2010 12:05:58 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Sof davar hakol nishma`; 'et-Ha'Eloqim yera' ve'et-mitzvotayv shemor, ki-zeh kol-ha'adam.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Those are not our years. The book is set in a different planet. What year it was for us when he is born is unknown. Not only that, it requires a definition of "when" something happens. If he is born on his planet at a point in time, did it occur at a corresponding exact time on Earth, or did it occur when the light from his planet reached earth many light years later? Does a planet that is thousands of light years away occupy the place in the sky where we see it, or where it is "now".

In any event, whatever 1401 was on that planet, it was not our earth. We don't have orks or elves or wizards or the geographic features and land masses drawn up by Tolkien.

11 posted on 09/22/2010 12:09:57 PM PDT by Defiant (Liberals care more about the Koran than they did about Terri Schiavo.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Zionist Conspirator

quote—It’s Frodo’s birthday too.—end qote

September 22 is also the day that Frodo set out of his Quest!


12 posted on 09/22/2010 12:12:29 PM PDT by Radagast the Fool ("Mexico-Beirut with tacos!"--Dr. Zoidberg)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Sybeck1

I have a 33 1/3rd of that. The whole album should be put into the transporter and set on wide dispersal.

When I was 12 or 13 my Mom let me have a Birthday Party for Bilbo. The cake was great!


13 posted on 09/22/2010 12:12:41 PM PDT by Conan the Librarian (The Best in Life is to crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and the Dewey Decimal System)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: ClearCase_guy

Yes I agree with you about LOTR. In fact I postponed taking a master’s degree comphrensive exam by six months becuase I started reading LOTR a few months before the exam was scheduled.


14 posted on 09/22/2010 12:13:37 PM PDT by Maine Mariner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Radagast the Fool

quote-September 22 is also the day that Frodo set out of his Quest!—end quote

sorry, I typed too fast-I meant, “on” his Quest!


15 posted on 09/22/2010 12:14:04 PM PDT by Radagast the Fool ("Mexico-Beirut with tacos!"--Dr. Zoidberg)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Defiant

Uhh, it’s not a different planet, Middle Earth is planet Earth.


16 posted on 09/22/2010 12:18:06 PM PDT by Truthsearcher
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Defiant

Dear friend, LOTR is a work of fiction, not fact.


17 posted on 09/22/2010 1:02:59 PM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Zionist Conspirator

Yep frodo and bilbo have the same birthday as me.


18 posted on 09/22/2010 1:12:47 PM PDT by ezoeni
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Loved the books, the movies and this post!


19 posted on 09/22/2010 1:33:56 PM PDT by Gerish (Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Gary Gygax, the guy who invented Dungeons and Dragons, became a believer in God towards the end of his life. It was plain to him that every life was a quest, designed with certain adventures in mind, by the Supreme Dungeonmaster.
20 posted on 09/22/2010 3:05:10 PM PDT by RJR_fan (Christians need to reclaim and excel in the genre of science fiction.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sybeck1
For giggles, youtube that Leonard Nimoy song.

Nooo!!

21 posted on 09/22/2010 5:27:45 PM PDT by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Defiant

Middle Earth wasn’t a different planet. It’s a fantasy EARTH. In fact, much of what passes for fantasy literature today, marks its beginning with LOTR. Tolkien was a GENIUS!


22 posted on 09/22/2010 5:30:46 PM PDT by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Defiant

No, our world, in a different age. Not long after it had been made round.


23 posted on 09/22/2010 6:52:20 PM PDT by Lee N. Field ("Take, drink. Remember and believe that the blood of Jesus was shed for a complete remission ...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: SuziQ

wimp


24 posted on 09/22/2010 6:55:09 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (Conservative States of America has a nice ring to it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: NYer

You’re welcome.


25 posted on 09/22/2010 7:27:50 PM PDT by Tolkien (Grace is the Essence of the Gospel; Gratitude is the Essence of Ethics.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Maine Mariner

One can see Tolkien’s war experience in the battle scenes of the book. I’ve always been struck by his focus on the men, their code of honor, their willingness to die for their freedom and their comrades, rather than focusing on the details of battle.

He’d been there. He knew what mattered was the way you met your fate.

For me, Sam is the true hero of LOTR and Eomer is a close second. Theoden is my third favorite hero. I cry every time I read the passage when Eomer and Aragorn meet on the battle field and pledge their lives to their friendship and honor.


26 posted on 09/22/2010 7:41:11 PM PDT by Melian ("There is only one tragedy in the end, not to have been a saint." ~L. Bloy)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RJR_fan

I didn’t know that! Interesting!


27 posted on 09/22/2010 7:42:13 PM PDT by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Professional Engineer

*snort*


28 posted on 09/22/2010 7:43:05 PM PDT by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Truthsearcher

"It's a trap!".

I knew a comment like that would draw the LOTR geeks out of the woodwork. It worked!

29 posted on 09/22/2010 10:49:58 PM PDT by Defiant (Liberals care more about the Koran than they did about Terri Schiavo.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Lee N. Field
No, our world, in a different age. Not long after it had been made round.

So then their year 1400 WAS different than ours. And hence, the premise of there being some kind of birthday makes no sense.

30 posted on 09/22/2010 10:53:40 PM PDT by Defiant (Liberals care more about the Koran than they did about Terri Schiavo.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Defiant
So then their year 1400 WAS different than ours. And hence, the premise of there being some kind of birthday makes no sense.

No sense?

It's fiction. There doesn't need to be any connection with the real world calendar. It's a birthday, taking place in a particular point in Tolkein's imaginary prehistory.

31 posted on 09/23/2010 7:02:54 AM PDT by Lee N. Field ("Take, drink. Remember and believe that the blood of Jesus was shed for a complete remission ...")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Lee N. Field
The work of fiction holds together nicely. It is the article, not written by Tolkien, wishing Bilbo Baggins a happy birthday, that makes on sense.

In the year 1400, there was no middle earth and the planet had been round for a long time.

32 posted on 09/23/2010 12:14:02 PM PDT by Defiant (Liberals care more about the Koran than they did about Terri Schiavo.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Lee N. Field
The work of fiction holds together nicely. It is the posted article, not written by Tolkien, wishing Bilbo Baggins a happy birthday, that makes no sense.

In the year 1400, there was no middle earth and the planet had been round for a long time. Even if you accept the premise that these things happened on our planet, they didn't happen when Constantinople was still holding off Muslim invaders.

33 posted on 09/23/2010 12:15:27 PM PDT by Defiant (Liberals care more about the Koran than they did about Terri Schiavo.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: NYer
My all time favorite write. J.R.R. Tolkien

I've read the Trilogy through 16 times. Spent nearly a year learning the feanorian letters and writings following Tolkien’s letters and commentaries. Absolutely fascinating. This man was a literary genius. Too many heart touching moments in the book to point out just one. The Hobbit is a cute prequel to the trilogy. I love when he first meets the dwarfs.

34 posted on 09/23/2010 12:26:24 PM PDT by ThomasMore (Patrick Henry and Joe Wilson...Patriots past and present!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Defiant

1290 of the Third Age of Middle Earth.


35 posted on 09/23/2010 12:29:54 PM PDT by ThomasMore (Patrick Henry and Joe Wilson...Patriots past and present!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: ThomasMore

...of course that’s “Shire Reckoning”...Otherwise 2890.


36 posted on 09/23/2010 12:32:28 PM PDT by ThomasMore (Patrick Henry and Joe Wilson...Patriots past and present!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: ThomasMore
I've read the Trilogy through 16 times.

I'm impressed! I have both The Hobbit and LOTR in leather bound and boxed editions. Not surprisingly, I also have the film version.

Did you watch the beatification mass on Sunday? Raymond Arroyo showed a clip from his visit earlier this year, to Birmingham. Tolkien spent a lot of time as a child at the Oratory which may well have inspired him. Behind Arroyo, were two towers, quite visible from that site.

37 posted on 09/23/2010 2:19:42 PM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: NYer

I didn’t get the chance to watch on Sunday. My busy day with church and family. Hopefully will get to see a repeat if they show it. Tolkien was a very devout man. It showed in his life and in his writings.

Have you read the Silmarillion?


38 posted on 09/24/2010 9:21:29 AM PDT by ThomasMore (Patrick Henry and Joe Wilson...Patriots past and present!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: ThomasMore
Have you read the Silmarillion?

I have the book but (embarrassingly) have never read it.

39 posted on 09/24/2010 1:35:54 PM PDT by NYer ("God dwells in our midst, in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar." St. Maximilian Kolbe)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson