Ch. 10 – Hedge and Bridge

Hedge and Bridge

POV – Bilbo

In which an axe is named, Sara’s ribs are mentioned, salt is pondered, and the history of the Dwarves and the Elves is recounted.


Hobbits have a hard time with history. In JRRT’s account of them, they were relatively recent comers to Arthedain, having long been nomads.

Given that they have a cultural habit of living in cliff or hillside dugout homes, at one point they may have been a more settled people, though probably never very sophisticated – subsistence farmers who also hunted and fished. Linguistically, they are tied to the Rohirrim and there were hobbits near the Gladden Fields. I guess that they came to Rhovanion from north and east sometime in the Second Age, probably from lands beyond the Iron Hills. That far back, they may have been more of a size with dwarves and smaller men, and so escaped much notice.

The migration over and around the Misty Mountains appears to have removed any ancestral memory of themselves. Their history is the settlement of the Shire and a bit of the settlement in Breelands. Even in the Shire, they have not so much history as chronology, when important events occurred. There is little sense of themselves as a people. They account their lives in genealogies, an inheritance rather than a future, the past in miniature rather than the epic sweep of elves, dwarves, and Dunedain.



2 thoughts on “Ch. 10 – Hedge and Bridge”

  1. I think the strongest visual image of Dalin for me is when Frodo first opens the door and is amazed. The most memorable thing he says is what he says about the Shire and strangers, why it’s a magical place. 🙂

    His talking about dark elves … is dark. Enmities will especially last forever, even if communities aren’t in direct competition, if some of the people involved are immortal.

  2. Hi Julie,

    Yes, Dalin’s statement about the Shire is what the hobbits all learn when they leave and encounter the rest of the world. That kind of gentle haven is indeed a paradise, even to us today. It is the opposite of the Europe Tolkien experienced in two world wars.

    I like telling history from the perspective of the dwarves, even if they exaggerate. The elves have their West to escape to, men conquer, but dwarves and hobbits just quietly vanish. Their experiences of Arda need to be told.

    I keep trying to start writing another story for you, but I can’t focus with current events.


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