I love the whole “such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere” quote, but at the end of the Hobbit, Gandalf tells to Bilbo that his luck and adventure was simply part of some even larger story. So small hands do the work because the eyes of the great are elsewhere, except the eyes of the even greater are watching to make sure a Hobbit finds the one ring so it can be destroyed.
Why was Bilbo’s ring the bridge between the Hobbit and LotR when it so obviously should have been the cup that Bilbo steals. The sequel could have been the Lord of the Cups. Put the cup in the fire and an inscription reveals that it’s Sauron’s personal goblet. If you drink out of it you become immortal. Everyone is afraid of the Cupwraiths.
Bilbo: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.
Frodo: That’s a good point, uncle Bilbo. I think I’ll stay indoors where it’s much safer. The outside world is too scary.
*over in Valinor*
Mandos: Uh…guys, I think we have a problem.
Bilbo “corrupted” the next generation hobbits, but like, to what extent? Merry and Pippin wanted to go on an adventure, but no one did until Frodo. Was the next generation just weird? Constantly stealing cups? Reciting random bits of poetry?
“Well, thief! I smell you and I feel your air. I hear your breath. Come along!
Help yourself again, there is plenty and to spare!”
But Bilbo was not quite so unlearned in dragon-lore as all that, and if Smaug
hoped to get him to come nearer so easily he was disappointed.
I didn’t realize that you needed to be learned in dragon-lore to be able to avoid an angry and sardonic dragon asking you to reveal yourself so he can kill you.
Lobelia Sackville-Baggins put on her secret Dwarven ring of power, turning invisible. She sneuck into Bag End using the secret doorway. Silently, she grabbed a silver spoon and began to retreat.
“Well, thief! I smell you and I feel your air,” said Bilbo angrily.
Smaug: Well, thief. How about we trade? You seem well mannered, so you may have something that I desire, that I can trade for.
Bilbo: and what is that?
Smaug: all I have is gold, silver, and jewels. I need something to blow my nose in if I sneeze – it’s quite dusty in here. Perhaps if you had a pocket handkerchief, I would be willing to give even the arkenstone for it.
Bilbo: I should talk in riddles. If I’ve learned anything on this adventure, it’s that things that want to kill and eat me love riddles.
Bilbo, in the Hobbit: gets captured by goblins in a mountain, has to come up with riddles to save his life in a mountain, has to survive a cunning dragon in a mountain.
Bilbo, in LotR: I want to see mountains again, Gandalf.
When I first read the Hobbit and that Bilbo lived in a “hole in the ground” I assumed that was just like, a hole. And Tolkien is saying that it’s not oozy or sandy or anything and I’m like, yeah, but it’s a hole. Like, a pit or something. How is a pit comfortable? Bilbo just sits in this elegant pit in the ground?