March 27, 2017

Bilbo announces his eleventy-first birthday party

Pages To Read:
FR.LongExpectedParty (start) – “presents for all – this very month as is.” (~p.4)

Events (with Illustrations):
– Bilbo Baggins, famous for disappearing on an adventure, begins preparations for his eleventy-first birthday party. He somehow manages to look the same despite reaching this quite respectable age. (Illustration of the “well-preserved” hobbit writing about his adventure, by aryundomiel)
– Bilbo’s favorite nephew Frodo is introduced, and some information given about his parents’ untimely death. (Bilbo with the little guy, by Deathydollies13)
– The Gaffer and his young son Sam, the gardeners and potato-experts who live in Number 3 Bagshot row are introduced. (Drawing of Number 3 Bagshot Row by goreyfied)
– The Gaffer gossips in The Ivy Bush with other hobbits of Hobbiton. (featured art: sketch of the Ivy Bush scene by Rearda)
Illustration of the infamous Bag End by Sherlockian

Trivia, Quotes, and Details:
– Chapter title forms a nice parallel to the first chapter of The Hobbit (“An Unexpected Party”). Then, Bilbo was caught quite unaware by a party, but now, as we will learn, he has been planning a party for a long time.
– Classic opening quote: “When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.”
– Here’s how the beginning of the chapter goes in the very first draft of Lord Of The Rings, for comparison: “When Bilbo, sun of Bungo of the family of Baggins, prepared to celebrate his seventieth birthday there was for a day or two some talk in the neighborhood.” (from History Of The Lord Of The Rings Part 1)
– General Hobbit culture is portrayed really well in the conversation at The Ivy Bush today. For example, Frodo’s father Drogo is described as decent and respectable because “there was never much to tell of him”.
– Note the contrast between The Gaffer (who is by the way the leading expert on potatoes, great character intro hahaha) and Sam. Not only did Bilbo tell Sam about the old days and Elves and Dragons, he also taught him how to read!

 

Notes:
– This is the first reading with a specific end quote. I would recommend looking for the end quote before you even start reading (it should be on the fourth-ish page of the chapter) and marking it with a sticky note. That way you know exactly when to stop and you don’t have to worry about finding the quote as you’re reading. Plus you’ll know exactly where to start tomorrow!
– Tried a bit of a different strategy with this update, blending the events and art links sections. What do you think? Better? Worse? Very excited to officially start with LOTR book 1! ~Tom

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