Bilbo wanted to get out of the shire back when he was turning 107, but it took him a long time to think of the “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve” line and he was adamant about saying something awesome before disappearing.
Officially disinvited from the Tolkien Literature Society meeting after I argued that the Hobbit would have been better if it had opened with “It was a dark and stormy night.”
To be honest, I’m not surprised that the Hobbit keeps all of the names simple. If I were handwriting a book with a quill, I’d rather write Lake Town than Esgaroth. Less chance of a typo, which means redoing the whole page. I didn’t see any Hobbit white-out on Bilbo’s desk. And no way am I writing Thranduil. Just say Elf King.
Bilbo: I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread.
Gandalf: well you don’t look thin. Boom, roasted.