POV – Bilbo
In which Bilbo struggles with all the claims being made on and about Frodo and asserts a few of his own.
Bilbo, like Smaug, is not happy at others trying to take his treasure.
One story continuity issue that always bothered me in LotR is how Bilbo came to adopt Frodo. It makes it quite casual, as though there was a stray orphan sitting off in some odd corner and Bilbo just scooped him up with no word of objection from anyone.
This despite Frodo being cared for by his mother’s immediate kin and despite both of his father’s siblings being alive and not that old at the time Frodo is orphaned. Why did no one claim this kid sooner and/or why didn’t anyone object to Bilbo simply saying “Dibs!”? When I wrote Legacy, I kind of glossed over that part, though Frodo does get angry that none of his paternal relatives seem to give a damn about him. In On Merry Yule, his emotional connection is still to his Brandybuck kin because, aside from Bilbo, the Bagginses don’t seem to care about him even after Bilbo adopts him, and because he believes the rumors of his own bastardy. Now, in Lithe, we watch while Frodo completes his emotional transference to Bilbo, giving up Buckland and his childhood. Bilbo grasps this is happening, but doesn’t see the intricacy of Frodo’s emotional reconstruction.
Odogrim also kept standing nearby, feeling very ashamed and asking for a chance to redeem himself. He offered a few interesting details I didn’t know about and which will be important later on.
Finally, we briefly meet Sage, Ula’s mother.
The letters give us a hint on things happening elsewhere, particularly in Buckland. These claims, too, are going to be interrogated.