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Timeline Event

Bilbo's Farewell Party: Overview

Event Type: General

Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Date: September 22, 3001

Description:

Table of Contents:

The Summary
The Participants
— The Hosts
— The Help
— The Attendees
The Timeline
The Prelude
The Party
The Aftermath


The Summary
The grand birthday celebration thrown by Bilbo Baggins in the Shire, during which he publicly put on the One Ring and disappeared.

The Participants

The Participants: The Hosts
Mr. Bilbo Baggins... announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence....

Bilbo was going to be eleventy-one, 111...; and Frodo was going to be thirty-three, 33...: the date of his 'coming of age'.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party


The Participants: The Help
An odd-looking waggon laden with odd-looking packages rolled into Hobbiton one evening.... It was driven by outlandish folk...: Dwarves.... A few of them remained at Bag End.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party

At the end of the second week in September a cart came in through Bywater.... At Bilbo's front door the old man began to unload... great bundles of fireworks....

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party

The next day more carts rolled up the Hill, and still more carts.... [That] very week orders began to pour out of Bag End for every kind of provision, commodity, or luxury that could be obtained in Hobbiton or Bywater or anywhere in the neighbourhood.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party

[The] Hobbiton post-office was blocked [by invitations], and the Bywater post-office was snowed under, and voluntary assistant postmen were called for.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party

[An] enormous open-air kitchen was erected in the north corner of the field. A draught of cooks, from every inn and eating-house for miles around, arrived to supplement the dwarves and other odd folk that were quartered at Bag End.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party


The Participants: The Attendees
Practically everybody living near was invited. A very few were overlooked by accident, but... they turned up all the same.... Many people from other parts of the Shire were also asked; and there were even a few from outside the borders.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party

Guests [for the special family dinner-party] were selected from all the families to which Bilbo and Frodo were related, with the addition of a few special unrelated friends (such as Gandalf).

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party


The Timeline
circa 3000
The shadow of Mordor lengthens. Saruman dares to use the palantír..., but becomes ensnared by Sauron.... He becomes a traitor to the Council. His spies report that the Shire is being closely guarded by the Rangers.

[circa September]
[See: Bilbo puts on the One Ring to evade the Sackville-Bagginses]

3001
Bilbo's farewell feast. Gandalf suspects his ring to be the One Ring. The guard on the Shire is doubled. Gandalf seeks for news of Gollum and calls on the help of Aragorn.

[See: Saruman sends more spies to the Shire]
[See: Bounders increased on the Shire borders]

[September]
[See: Bilbo prepares for a grand party]

[14]
[See: Gandalf arrives at Bag End with fireworks]

[22]
[See: Bilbo hosts a grand party]
[See: Gandalf sets off fireworks at Bilbo's party]
[See: Bilbo makes a farewell speech at his party]
[See: Bilbo puts on the One Ring at his party]

[See: Gandalf begins to believe Bilbo's is the One Ring]
[See: Bilbo leaves the One Ring for Frodo]
[See: Bilbo departs from the Shire]

[23]
[See: Frodo distributes Bilbo's farewell gifts at Bag End]
[See: Sackville-Bagginses show up to inspect Bilbo's will]

[See: Gandalf warns Frodo against using the One Ring]
[See: Gandalf departs from the Shire]

[circa October]
[See: Rangers double the guard on the Shire]

[circa November]
[See: Gandalf and Aragorn begin to hunt for Gollum]

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age


The Prelude
At the time when [The Lord of the Rings] begins the Bounders... had been greatly increased. There were many reports and complaints of strange persons and creatures prowling about the borders, or over them: the first sign that all was not quite as it should be....

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Prologue, Of the Ordering of the Shire

Before long the invitations began pouring out.... There was a constant stream of [voluntary assistant postmen] going up the Hill, carrying hundreds of polite variations on Thank you, I shall certainly come....

One morning the hobbits woke to find the large field, south of Bilbo's front door, covered with ropes and poles for tents and pavilions....

More promising still...: an enormous open-air kitchen was erected in the north corner of the field.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party


The Party
Bilbo met the guests (and additions) at the new white gate in person. He gave away presents to all....

When every guest had been welcomed..., there were songs, dances, music, games, and, of course, food and drink. There were three official meals: lunch, tea, and dinner (or supper)....

The fireworks were by Gandalf.... They were all superb....

There was a splendid supper for everyone; for everyone, that is, except those invited to the special family dinner-party. This was held in the great pavilion with the tree....

The guests were not disappointed: they had a very pleasant feast, in fact an engrossing entertainment: rich, abundant, varied, and prolonged....

After the feast... came the Speech....

[Finally], [Bilbo] said, I wish to make an ANNOUNCEMENT.... I regret to announce that... I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!

He stepped down and vanished. There was a blinding flash of light, and the guests all blinked. When they opened their eyes Bilbo was nowhere to be seen....

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party


The Aftermath
[Bilbo] was never seen by any hobbit in Hobbiton again.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 1, A Long-expected Party

'[Bilbo] said and did things then [the night of the party] that filled me [Gandalf] with a fear....'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 2, The Shadow of the Past

'My doubts were awakened again to sudden fear. Whence came the hobbit's ring? What, if my fear was true, should be done with it?.... But I spoke yet of my dread to none, knowing the peril of an untimely whisper....

'Soon I became aware that spies of many sorts... were gathered round the Shire, and my fear grew. I called for the help of the Dúnedain, and their watch was doubled; and I opened my heart to Aragorn....'

'And I,' said Aragorn, 'counselled that we should hunt for Gollum, too late though it may seem. And... I went with Gandalf on the long and hopeless search.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 2, The Council of Elrond

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 2Dec05, 20Jul07, 21Sep07, 2Oct07

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