That the “New Hobbit” adventure begins with a birthday party that begins a long, dark journey has always been to me a poignant reminder. I think fans would have love another two or three books like The Hobbit, books filled with that curious rugged hominess of hobbits stepping out on the road of adventure. Another fairy tale of childlike wonder was not to be, however. As much as Frodo’s journey was an echo of Bilbo–the journey to a mountain to give away rather than find a great treasure of inestimable worth and the capacity for imaginative slavery–there is a literary depth and mythic sadness in Frodo’s journey that makes The Lord of the Rings a completely different book.
How we compare birthdays shows the difference. Bilbo’s 111st birthday, when Frodo has turned 33, is filled with joy and a bittersweet departure. 17 years later, on Frodo’s 50th birthday, he has his last night of ease in the Shire. The next morning, Ringwraiths enter the Shire and Frodo finds himself on the road, fleeing his home for Bree. By his next birthday, Frodo will have won and lost many things.
Though some may call it a fairy tale, it occurs to me that this is very much like real life. Fans and friends would have lapped up another friendly there-and-back-again tale of dragons and dwarfs. But Tolkien’s story to tell was deeper and darker, richer and more joy-full at the most intimate levels of where myth meets fact. But even at the storied level of the adventures of our own lives, the story doesn’t usually go how we wish it to. For
Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
So to two fair hobbits, Happy Birthday!
In celebration of Hobbit Day, and to kick off the annual fundraising campaign for Signum University, why don’t you join the free Hobbit Day Reading by Dr. Corey Olson (@TolkienProf). I’m actually hoping to make an appearance myself.
So dear Bagginses and Boffins, Tooks and Brandybucks, Grubbs, Chubbs, Hornblowers, Bolgers, Bracegirdles and Proudfoots, here is the announcement:
Join Signum University on September 22, 2018 – also known as “Hobbit Day” because it is the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins – for a special event to kick-off this year’s Annual Fund Campaign.
As we did last year, we are starting the campaign with a special Hobbit Day Reading. However, this year we are expanding it to include not only Signum Founder and President Dr. Corey Olsen, but a host of special guest readers and panelists who will be performing and discussing various works by Tolkien along some of our other favorite fantasy and science fiction authors.
The event will also signal the official kick-off of our Annual Fund Campaign, which will include a number of special events, as well as a focus on our regularly scheduled activities for both Signum University and the Mythgard Institute. During the event, Dr. Olsen will provide more details about this year’s campaign, including fundraising goals and details about our Donor Appreciation Program.
Click Here for more.