March 30, 2017

A Long-Expected Party

Pages To Read:
FR.Party “The next day more carts” (~p.6) – “those that had inadvertently remained behind” (~p.16)

– Today is also first day with a song! I will always send out a musical adaptation of songs in the text on the same day, and I *highly* recommend listening to the songs as you come to them in the text (not just afterward). With no further ado, here is The Tolkien Ensemble’s rendition of today’s verse. I would have it ready and start playing it as Bilbo drops the ring- then the words will come in right about as you get to them on the page.

– Preparations for the party intensify, leading to Bilbo putting up a sign on his door saying “No Admittance Except On Party Business”
– Finally the day arrives, the sky clears, and every hobbit in Hobbiton and the surrounding areas shows up to celebrate Bilbo’s one hundred and eleventh birthday.
– The party goes splendidly and Gandalf puts on a marvelous fireworks display, culminating in a dragon reminiscent of Smaug as the dinner call. (Gandalf’s Magic by Norloth)
– After the feast, Bilbo gives a lengthy speech which he ends by saying “GOOD-BYE”, putting on his Ring, and disappearing. (illustration by Inger Edelfeldt)
– Bilbo says a farewell to Gandalf in Bag End, but they fight briefly over the Ring, which Bilbo had promised to leave to Frodo. Bilbo finally relinquishes it and departs (Illustration by Joe Gilronan)
– Frodo discovers that Bilbo has already left and Gandalf tells Frodo to keep the Ring safe and secret, and to never use it.

Featured art:
Illustration of the party, by Joe Gilronan. I’ve already linked to his amazing art once, and many more will follow over the course of the story. His enchanting oil paintings really have a way of bringing out the whimsical mood of the first chapter. Top-notch depictions of the Shire, even if this particular one is severely lacking in pavilions.

Trivia, Quotes, and Details:
– Can’t overlook one of my favorite quotes from the book: “‘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!'”
– I think it’s important to note Frodo’s relatively serious mood throughout this section. It sets the tone for a very different character than the one portrayed in Peter Jackson’s movies, so just be mindful of that if Elijah Wood is your reference point.
– The description of the fireworks is really beautiful, as is the rest of this section. Even if you don’t read anything else from this chapter, make sure to read about the party!
– PJ did do a really wonderful job of adapting the dialogue and emotions in Bilbo’s farewell, so much so that I recommend watching it after you’ve read the section. I’ll include movie scenes from time to time, but I can really only justify it in cases such as this where the narrative and dialogue are followed very closely.


Note from coordinator:
Really splendid section today, I had a great time reading it. Make sure to listen to the song as you come to it, and check out the art once you’re done. As a side note, this is the first section which literally ends at the end of the ‘day’. This will be very typical once we get to the “real time” part of the book in 2 weeks: whenever you see “The next morning” it’s probably time to stop reading. But I still recommend going ahead and finding the end quote before you even start reading, that way you know exactly where to stop. ~Tom


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