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Long live the Halflings!

My heart and my thoughts are with my hometown of Tulsa and my next-door neighbor city of Charlotte today.

Today is the anniversary of the Long-Expected Party celebrating the eleventy-first birthday of Bilbo Baggins and the coming of age of Frodo Baggins 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.

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



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 22nd, 2016 12:44 pm (UTC)
I can very much feel your joy here, a joy leavened by melancholy, a sort of Elvish joy (a 'joy like swords')

toasting those Little Folks that we love so well, short in stature but so tremendously large of heart.

Thank you for the the beautiful post.

(hope you don't mind a link my shared post, done with my fellow Tolkienista, Mechtild:

Sep. 28th, 2016 11:11 am (UTC)
Oh, what a beautiful post by you and Mechtild! Thank you for sharing this with me! <3
Sep. 28th, 2016 11:38 am (UTC)
so glad you liked it, Amy!
Sep. 22nd, 2016 09:09 pm (UTC)
Happy eleventy-first birthday party day! I do like the quote you've chosen - such beautiful writing, and it makes me want to read the books all over again, and right now!
Sep. 28th, 2016 11:12 am (UTC)
Yay and thank you! There's nothing like a good rereading. :)
Sep. 23rd, 2016 01:22 am (UTC)
Hugs to all good people.

Good wishes to our hobbits.
Sep. 28th, 2016 11:13 am (UTC)
Yes. This! *raises a glass*
Sep. 24th, 2016 12:43 am (UTC)
As I just said to another excellent Tolkienfriend of mine, happy belated Baggins' birthday! I hope you had a peaceful and happy day.

(I'm beginning to get excited about your upcoming Halloween celebration.)
Sep. 28th, 2016 11:14 am (UTC)
Yay! And you too, my friend.

(I'm beginning to get excited about your upcoming Halloween celebration.)

Woohoo! Thank you. :D It's not long now!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )