POV – Frodo
In which accounts become important – learning to count, weighing conflicting accounts, keeping accounts, and, most of all, settling accounts.
Frodo is having a hard time providing a coherent account of what has and is happening in his life, especially to himself. He wants to believe Bilbo because it is a reassuring account, but more has happened in Buckland than anyone knows.
This is how childhood trauma asserts itself. Things suppressed or ignored when in the midst of abuse start percolating to the surface as distance and time reduce their immediate danger, but may amplify their damage and horror. Frodo should go to Bilbo and tell him everything, but he has no idea how to speak of things he can’t make sense of himself. There is a story to tell that lacks a narrative or a reason.
When the thoughts are too much, Frodo simply turns them off, throwing himself into the distraction of the ledgers. This is my attempt to provide the answer of what Bilbo did with his treasure over the last half century. He has become, if you will, the venture capital fund for the Shire. Bilbo’s meticulous care stands in contrast to the clan power-politics of his kin.
Finally, we start to see the foundations of the friendship between Frodo and Sam.