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The Hobbit: Review and Life Applications of Chapter One, ‘An Unexpected Party’

I just whomped my knee on the leg of my desk in an embarrassing display of clumsiness. Until I’m certain that it’ll hold my weight, I think I’ll stay put. Never a better time to remember my blog than when confined to a chair via irrational fear of broken bones.

I spent the last two weeks reading all seven Harry Potters/rewatching all the movies. (Except the 4th, which has mysteriously disappeared sometime in the last 6 months.. Thankfully I caught it on dvr this weekend, so my non-sequential higgledy-piggledy marathon will soon be complete.) I have since moved on to the Lord of the Rings series, which any Twitter follower could groanfully attest to. In an effort to keep your newsfeed relatively clear of all my thought-debris, I’ll attempt to confine it in the void known as my blog. Oh, but just by the way:

That'll do, pig. That'll do.

With that said, let’s get started.

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit, which means he looks like a chubby small child with massive, fuzzy feet. He lives in the rich neighborhood built into a hill. Bilbo enjoys mornings, smoking his pipe, and copious amounts of food.

One morning, as Bilbo Baggins smokes his pipe on his front porch after enjoying a large breakfast, a Dumbledore wannabe walks by. Gandalf is looking for a hobbit to participate in an adventure, despite the knowledge that shire-folk are the biggest group of homebodies in all of Middle Earth. He is rebuffed by Baggins, but not before securing an invitation to tea the next day. (It is my firm belief that Bilbo was confuded into this whole mess.)

The Next Day: Bilbo suffers from short term memory loss and forgets that he had invited Gandalf to tea until he hears the doorbell ring. Rather than the tall wizard, it is a dwarf. Surprise! Over the course of the next hour or so, 13 more dwarves appear like locusts and begin eating and drinking everything in sight.

The Hobbit, coming to theaters in 2012.

After some intense cleanup, a song that explains the purpose of the dwarves’ upcoming adventure, and some minor heckling sent Bilbo’s way, it is determined that they will all set out the next morning for the Lonely Mountain; a mean dragon is squatting on dwarfish land and must be evicted.. Clearly, a task for Bilbo Baggins.

Life Lessons:

1. Adventures

“‘I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.’

‘I should think so–in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think what anybody sees in them,’ said our Mr Baggins.”

“[…Mr Baggins was] feeling positively flummoxed, and was beginning to wonder whether a most wretched adventure had not come right into his house.”

Sometimes you can see them coming; sometimes, you can’t. Almost always, its never what you expect it’ll be.

2. Hospitality

“He liked visitors, but he liked to know them before they arrived, and he preferred to ask them himself. He had a horrible thought that the cakes might run short, and then he–as the host: he knew his duty and stuck to it however painful– he might have to go without.”

Always have some food on hand for unexpected visitors, and maybe a small stash for yourself, in case you happen to run out.

3. “If you believe in yourself, you will know how to ride a bike.” 

“If I say he is a burglar, a burglar he is, or will be when the time comes. There is a lot more in him than you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself.”

I’m pretty positive these two ideas are related. Or maybe I just wanted to include this video.

Especially in times of adventure, it is important to keep this one in mind. A very little hobbit is about to set off into a world he has never seen before, and will be very easy to feel completely overwhelmed by the vastness of it. Yet he is more capable than he or others can know, and One who is bigger than him goes forward to prepare the way.
Next time: Chapter 2, ‘Roast Mutton’

(Source: J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Ballantine Books, 1937)

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This entry was posted on 8.8th.11 by in The Hobbit.
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