Mood: accident prone
Topic: "Two Steps Back" (4)
Hobbits are not immune to human stupidity. Despite the best of intentions, and purity of heart, a Hobbit may say something inappropriate, even when he knows better. Afterward, while amidst the miracle of self-butt kicking, the Hobbit can be grateful only for the fact that his poor choice of words did not come from one who was a candidate for political office. The feeling lives long thereafter however that he was the victim of a broader conspiracy.
Bilbo approaches the 91st year, and it is evident that the Ring still weighs heavily on the mind of Bilbo. Winning an argument seems to be much more important than coming to terms with the end of life. Perhaps it is fear, perhaps not, but Bilbo seems intent on soiling all others even when no purpose is served. It is as if there is one final attempt to attain redemption by casting aspersions on all others. The anger is not only uncharacteristic of Bilbo, it is demeaning to the legacy of one to whom Frodo owes so much.
The Ring also has an impact on Frodo. Defending those under assault by Bilbo causes Bilbo to feel that Frodo is being disloyal, or a participant in treachery. Frodo then finds himself striking at Bilbo, pointing out the error in the words of Bilbo, striving only to bring an end to harsh words and speculative conclusions. Silence would certainly have been a wiser choice, but the pull of the Ring is why Sauron lives even in the hearts of men of goodwill, and, sad to say, in the Hobbit.
Soon it must be that Frodo will stand on a hillside, in order to wish Bilbo safe passage to a land beyond the Shire. Apologize he will to all others in order to wipe the presence of the Ring from the memory of those who stand with him on that day. Fear he has that his words will be heard only in the wind, and that which Antony lamented about Caesar will be proven true, once more. Sadly, Frodo knows that day will begin with a scarlet sky, and ships will be strewn all about. Frodo will try to be a good steward, but he cannot help but rue the part he must play.
Defeating the Ring is much, much more than simply getting rid of a king without clothes.