POV – Bilbo
In which Bilbo remembers past Yules, Frodo talks business, Gilda gets a present, and Bilbo ponders another trip.
We get more insight into Bilbo’s past, as well as some hints of what will be in the future.
This chapter was where I really started thinking about peripheral characters and how they should be important, starting with Drogo. There’s not much about him in the few mentions in LotR, and I started to wonder why Bilbo, and not Frodo’s paternal uncle, Dudo, would end up with the boy. It makes sense if Drogo and Bilbo were very close.
It also helps build out Bilbo’s character and the relations he has with other people in the years before his great adventure. The intense bond between him and Drogo will continue to be explored in subsequent stories.
Gilda brings back into view things going on in the Shire that give evidence of Sauron’s growing power. (Yes, all events here in OMY are cross-referenced to events in HotK and LotR.) My thought here is that the Shire’s society crumbled abruptly during the one year after Frodo and the others left to destroy the Ring. How could it happen that fast? There are massive social changes going on because of the death of Smaug, but what about the supernatural changes due to the rise of Sauron? Gilda (and others) have a sense of something deep going wrong, something they really can’t fight because it is happening at a spiritual level, if you will.