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Happy birthday to Bilbo and Frodo Baggins! Today is the anniversary of the Long-Expected Party celebrating Bilbo's eleventy-first birthday and Frodo's coming of age in The Lord of the Rings. It was on this day that Bilbo gave his infamous birthday speech, saying "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," before disappearing from the Shire forever. My thoughts are with the Lómelindi Smial of the Tolkien Society and everyone else who will be celebrating the Baggins Birthdays.

Also on this day, according to the Appendices of The Lord of the Rings, 99-year-old Samwise Gamgee rode out from Bag End for the final time. He was last seen in Middle-Earth by his daughter Elanor, to whom he presented the Red Book. According to tradition, he then went to the Grey Havens and passed over the Sea, last of the Ringbearers.

And now, in honor of the Baggins Birthdays, the departure of Samwise, and Hobbits in general, a quote about the Ring's temptation of - and failure with - one of J.R.R. Tolkien's (and, for that matter, world literature's) greatest heroes, Samwise Gamgee:

"Wild fantasies arose in his mind; and he saw Samwise the Strong, Hero of the Age, striding with a flaming sword across the darkened land, and armies flocking to his call as he marched to the overthrow of Barad-dûr. And then all the clouds rolled away, and the white sun shone, and at his command the vale of Gorgoroth became a garden of flowers and trees and brought forth fruit. He had only to put on the Ring and claim it for his own, and all this could be. In that hour of trial it was the love of his master that helped most to hold him firm; but also deep down in him lived still unconquered his plain hobbit-sense: he knew in the core of his heart that he was not large enough to bear such a burden, even if such visions were not a mere cheat to betray him. The one small garden of a free gardener was all his need and due, not a garden swollen to a realm; his own hands to use, not the hands of others to command."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 22nd, 2010 01:30 pm (UTC)
I love that quote so much, showing not only Sam's great courage and strength of heart, but also the power of his humility and love for his master.

Happy birthday Bilbo and Frodo!
Sep. 23rd, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC)
You said it beautifully.
Sep. 22nd, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
Hats off to Sam, a character among characters! *with a nod to Prof. Tolkien for creating him*
Sep. 23rd, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
Yes indeed!
Sep. 22nd, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC)
We shall raise a pint in your honor tonight!
Sep. 23rd, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
I raised a glass to you, as well! *hugs* I hope you had a great night.
Sep. 24th, 2010 01:15 am (UTC)
Had a lot of fun, but stuffed ourselves rather badly. *urp*
Sep. 22nd, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
*toasts the birthday boys* And an extra toast for the most wonderful Samwise Gamgee, hobbit of hobbits and friend of friends.
Sep. 23rd, 2010 02:59 pm (UTC)
You said it!
Sep. 23rd, 2010 02:15 am (UTC)
I cooked chicken and mushroom in soy sauce for tonight's dinner, and chorale asked me if it was in honor of Bagginsday.
Sep. 23rd, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
Ha! Sounds like perfect hobbit fare to me.
Sep. 29th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC)
You know I got over my loathing for hobbits acquired in my D&D days (back when the rulebooks were small beige pamphlets instead of overpriced tomes), but Elijah Wood and Sean Astin brought it all flooding back in spades. The other two weren't so bad since Merry and Pippin were annoying in the books too.
Oct. 6th, 2010 01:14 pm (UTC)
LOL! Are you sure we read the same books? *wink*
Oct. 6th, 2010 11:15 pm (UTC)
I could read between the lines, even in 7th grade
Oct. 7th, 2010 01:08 am (UTC)
Not that there's anything wrong with that. *wink*
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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