Freitag, 22. Juni 2018

Wednesday, 22 June 2942 T.A.: Grubb, Grubb, Burrowes

On this day, in 22 June 2942 T. A., Bilbo Baggins finally returned from his 14 months voyage to Bag-end: a rich hobbit, but at the verge of losing his home, for he had been declared dead in the meantime and Messrs Grubb, Grubb and Burrowes were auctioning his property away. Sic transit gloria hobbiti. 

The voyage back from Rivendell had taken him as much as the voyage out, and this would no doubt have needed a drastic reduction of the timeline, had the 1960 revision of "The Hobbit" ever reached this state. Very likely, 22 June could not have been retained as the day of returning: The stay in Beorn's Hall had already been excessively long, anyway. 

It is not evident what Gandalf did to remove the protective spells on the troll-hoard on the way home, if they were indeed more than symbolic. At any rate, Gandalf's prediction that Bilbo 'may find you have more needs than you expect' had come true. 

It is interesting to note that in the original 1937 Hobbit, when the dates given were still Gregorian, Bilbo returned home at the summer solstice, though it is not referred to as Midsummer's Day like in Elrond's house a year before, in 2941 T.A. This connexion was lost, of course, when Tolkien decided to accept all given dates as Shire Reckoning (S. R.), and 22 June became just a normal day like any other.

The moon, by the way, was waxing gibbous, but no one that day bothered to record it.

This is the final entry of the Hobbit timeline as established from canonical data and reasonable conjecture. The full timeline, synchronised with the lunar phases of 2017 and 2018 A. D., is available on this blog and on paper in the volume, "The Moon in 'The Hobbit' - Extended Edition".

Montag, 7. Mai 2018

Sunday, 7 May 2942 T.A.: Farewell to Rivendell, one day to come back

Tolkien’s way to Rivendell (Hinteres Lauterbrunnental,
Switzerland, by Gustav Hausmann, 1827-1899) 

On this day, in 2942 T.A., Bilbo and Gandalf leave Elrond and head west. The weather is rainy and dreary and no moon is seen.
Note that the voyage back takes as long as the way there: about six weeks, though it is true that progress is slow because they have to walk all the way from the Trollshaws as the ponies are laden. Still, this is no less hard to reconcile with travel times given in LR than the voyage out. The dates given in this final chapter would have been modified if the 1960 revision had been further pursued.

Tolkien never disclosed how Bilbo and Gandalf overcame the spells by which the dwarves had secured the troll-hoard. But then, Gandalf is an experienced hacker, he probably had a back-door left.

Mittwoch, 2. Mai 2018

Tuesday, 2 May 2942 T. A.: The final moon of The Hobbit

The moon of 2 May 2018 and of 2942 T. A.
On this day, in 2942 T. A., Bilbo wakes up in the early morning hours and finds the ‘moon shining through an open window’ of Rivendell. After a brief talk to the Elves, he sleeps on almost till noon.

This is the final observation of the moon given in "The Hobbit". Like almost all the other statements on the lunar phases, this one as well matches the actual phase of the respective day in 2017 and 2018. And this, despite the fact that Tolkien had not actively considered the phases before his 1960 revisions.

The moon that Bilbo observes is two days after full and illuminated by 94%. It rose some time after sunset and was high in the sky when Bilbo woke, even above the southern rock walls of the valley of Rivendell.