Ch. 19 – Home


POV – Frodo

In which Frodo bids many cousins farewell, Gilda resists a great temptation, Rory does as the Master should, and Frodo finally finds his way home.


It’s been a rough trip and it’s not over, but Frodo has begun thinking of himself as a Baggins, not a Brandybuck.

When this chapter originally appeared, there was some pretty strong dislike of Gilda and her treatment of Frodo voiced. People preferred Rory’s reaction to hers. This left me a bit mystified at the time. Within the chapter, Gilda tries to explain some grown-up concepts to Frodo, while Rory apologizes for having backhanded him and verbally abused him for telling the truth about Sara. From my perspective, the talk with Gilda should have been contrasted to Frodo’s original talk to Rory – the one that ended with him being assaulted and ordered to leave.

There’s something very wrong when the person who physically brutalizes a child to punish him for letting slip a family secret is considered to be a more decent and trustworthy character than another who asks questions and accepts what she is told. It chilled me that readers would be more upset by a woman failing to be stereotypically maternal than by a man being cruel and abusive without a second thought.

Frodo, meanwhile, has had a significant shift in his affections and his thinking, and his talk with Gilda is what cemented it.



3 thoughts on “Ch. 19 – Home”

  1. I liked the conversation with Gilda. Even though she was hurting she stayed focused on Frodo, what was best for him. Healer’s bluntness. I can see why Frodo wouldn’t want to tell her, because he loved her, though it would have been better. His defense when she scolded him about Esmie was funny (as well as tactless). Then how he was shocked and scared when she said something was wrong with Bilbo, that he wasn’t aging. Frodo so scared about loss 😦 After the serious stuff, a good kid & grammer conversation about happy things. So it was very shocking and sad when the call came about Dilly. Sad ending to the chapter.

    Earlier stuff: I also liked Frodo being kind to Odogrim after his mother’s death & Odogrim’s response. Ula was being quite raucous at the tween table, ha! Bluebell was being annoying.

  2. Hi Julie,

    Gilda loves Frodo a great deal and she’s not wrong that she could make Rory let her keep him, though I doubt Frodo would want to stay. It is important that she’s the only one who asked Frodo what he was trying to do, why he would agree to Sara’s molestation, and she got the truest answer – so I would be loved again. I wish he had the courage to have spoken to her. She would have been a far more sympathetic ear, he would have gone to Bilbo that much sooner, and Sara would still have had the living crap beaten out of him by Mac.

    Frodo is frightened by loss. That he is distressed by the thought of losing Bilbo shows how attached he has become to the old hobbit.

    The tween stuff is fun to write – less politics, more personalities, much more flirting. 😉

    I’m getting notes together to start writing The Mistress. I think I need to go talk about Gilda and other hobbit women for a while.


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