“I don’t know half of you as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
This was unexpected and rather difficult. There was some scattered clapping, but most of them were trying to work it out and see if it came to a compliment.
September 22nd marks the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins (and the date of their long-expected party). It is a moment of joy in the book, shadowed by hints of the darkness to come. When I was in college, my science fiction club threw a birthday party each year. I usually made Frodo’s cake, and we buried a ring inside for one “lucky” winner (if you call being a Ringbearer lucky.) But the highlight was always a group re-read of “A Long-expected Party,” complete with callbacks. If you have a chance, re-visit this chapter today and consider reading it aloud. Now is as good a time as any to join in on the Lord of the Rings re-read!
So my dear Bagginses, Boffins, Tooks, Brandybucks, Grubbs, Chubbs, Burrowses, Hornblowers, Bogers, Bracegirdles, Goodbodies, Brockhouses, Proudfoots (Proudfeet!), and even Sackville-Bagginses—I encourage you all to celebrate in the finest hobbit tradition: drinking ale, eating good food, and sharing in the company of your friends.
Torie Atkinson thinks that those hobbits were on to something.