Ch. 17 – On Merry Yule

On Merry Yule

POV – Bilbo

In which Bilbo surveys the damage, remembers the past, conducts a deal, confronts a problem, and exchanges gifts.


This is my “Yule” chapter in a more conventional sense, with a feast and gift-exchange. For those interested in the back-story I am creating on Bilbo for my stories, there are some glimpses of it part way through the chapter as he gets ready for the Yule feast and talks about events of his own youth with Frodo.

I do have a deliberate break with canon in the story. JRRT, in describing Bag End, says all of the pantries and cellars are on the same main floor as the rest of the smial. In Bilbo’s story to Frodo of his own childhood in Bag End, he thinks of a cellar that is a level below the main floor. I hope it will become clear as the Shire Stories go on why Bilbo (the “author” of The Hobbit) would not want to make mention of them.

The wassail song in the story is not my invention and another HASA writer used it in story. It is a traditional English carol, but not one widely known in the US, and I have a recording of it along with other carols. It was so perfect in tone, language and themes that I stuck it in as part of the Yule feast.



2 thoughts on “Ch. 17 – On Merry Yule”

  1. That’s a sad story Bilbo tells, also a good present for Frodo to learn of his father. The Fell Winter was horrible, but hobbits pulled together. Bilbo’s father walking all around the Shire getting the status, he was Bilbo’s example as Bilbo does the same thing. I agree on your tweet about cellars; it makes sense for them to be on a lower, colder, level, especially in a rich smial. & the Winter giving the reason why he wouldn’t want to talk/write about it in describing his home.

    I’m glad Rory believed Bilbo about Sara, the wardrobe was good evidence — not what Bilbo would normally do.

    I liked the description of the gift giving, quite merry & appropriate gifts.

  2. Hi again,

    It didn’t make sense that Bungo would have overlooked taking advantage of the insulating qualities of the earth when the rest of the smial is so luxurious.

    Bungo was a major influence on Bilbo, that is for certain.

    Rory knows that Sara is no longer trustworthy. He also knows a few other things about what he has and hasn’t allowed to happen. Feather is an apology for more wrongs than just the fight at Wintermark.

    It was fun figuring out what gifts would be given. Of course there would be presents quickly made for Dalin – that’s how hobbits do things.


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