Scorpio’s World

Thoughts on Politics, Race, and Middle Earth

“The Shadow of the Past”

Posted by scorpiomkm on December 2, 2008

Chapter 2
I enjoy reading History ~ love it! And if you’re a “Rings Fan” (as I am), the world of J.R.R. Tolkien and our own is hard to distinguish. In fact, Tolkien’s “Middle Earth” got me through many a day as we bombed the hell out of Iraq during Bush’s “Shock & Awe” Foreign Policy. But anyway …
It wasn’t until my second reading of “The Lord of the Rings” that I realized several facts with respect to the ‘Ancientness‘ of this story. First of all, following Bilbo and Frodo’s Birthday Party (Chapter 1), unlike the movie … Frodo does NOT leave the Shire immediately! In fact, Bilbo’s Birthday Party occurred in the year 3001 of the Third Age, and Frodo didn’t leave the Shire (Bag End) until the year 3018 which made Frodo 50 when he left!!
Secondly. The conversation re the “One Ring” held between the wizard Gandalf and Frodo  took place in the year 3008:  that was 7 years after Bilbo’s Party, and would take another 10 years further before Frodo would finally leave the Shire! So Bilbo was correct in his assessment of Frodo wanting to go with him on his ‘Last Great Adventure’, but nevertheless Frodo was still terribly in love with the Shire, huh!
Frodo was much like Bilbo. He was a tad ‘loner’ with few friends. He enjoyed long walks throughout the Shire ~ often in the dead of night. In fact, one could characterize Frodo as a hobbit ‘Renaissance Man’ which ~ like Bilbo ~ caused him to be the subject of much gossip in Hobbiton, Bywater etc.
Frodo’s life begins to change drastically upon Gandalf’s final visit to the Shire. The wizard informs Frodo of his suspicions regarding the Ring; such things as how the Ring had an influence over Bilbo and kept him unnaturally from aging; or how the Ring’s true owner was the Dark Lord Sauron and how much Sauron DESIRED to obtain it again to enslave the peoples of Middle Earth; or how the wretched creature  Gollum came to obtaining the Ring before Bilbo.
With respect to Gollum, here again Gollum spent 500 YEARS hidden deep within the ‘Misty Mountains’ with his “Precious“, his Ring!
Gandalf’s revelations to Frodo about the Ring fosters within  Frodo a certain Fear. Gandalf tells Frodo that because Sauron had captured Gollum and no doubt learned of the Ring’s whereabouts ( “Baggins … the Shire”) … soon Sauron would be looking at the Shire thus endangering all the hobbits. Frodo offers the Ring to Gandalf, but Gandalf protests for Frodo to NEVER tempt him again with the Ring. The Ring would only use Gandalf’s power against himself and others.
Chapter 2 lays the foundation for the entire trilogy. Now Frodo, not Bilbo, begins the Quest and the ‘Last Great Adventure’. But keep in mind that despite Frodo KNOWING of the ‘Power of the One Ring’; despite Frodo KNOWING  that the Dark Lord Sauron is in pursuit of the Ring; despite Frodo KNOWING that the Ring is so consuming that even Gandalf fears it:
still Frodo did not leave the Shire for 10 YEARS after these revelations!!
Hobbits! : )

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