POV – Frodo
In which dragons battle, much is said, a bit less is done, and Frodo ponders what might have been.
It takes a great deal of effort to ensure that nothing happens.
More Shire politics, ending up with a victory for the Thain, and then Frodo needs to do some thinking. He’s been through a lot in the last few months, much of that within the last few weeks and days, and he’s trying to make sense of it all.
Bilbo makes important distinctions between fair trade and being rapacious, something we’re battling right now with a criminal party running the government. The fault of Odogar & Pal is not that they are making money, but that they are exploiting people’s distress and risk to extort greater riches. This stands in contrast to Bilbo, Rory, Rufus, Rum & Wilcar, who are all very wealthy hobbits, but who actively use their positions & economic clout to improve the lives of others.
When Frodo reflects on what he witnessed and has experienced, he suddenly sees how decisions that primarily affected him (going to live with Bilbo) have ramifications for people throughout the Shire. This will help in about 30 years when he has to put his own life in peril for the good of all. He understands consequences.
One more chapter left after this.