So the contract in AUJ. There it is, sitting right on the little table by the fireplace, where we last saw Thorin singing. Bilbo looks at it and the camera zooms to reveal Thorin’s signature. This film editing really makes me think that Thorin intentionally left it sitting there. He wanted Bilbo to come looking for them in the morning, and see the contract, and see that he had already signed it. It’s as though Thorin is vouching for Bilbo, in the sense that Bilbo is doubting himself (the other Dwarves doubted him, too, and spoke against him coming – but Thorin remained silent during their tirade at the dining table, only opening his mouth to tell Gandalf “Fine, we’ll do it your way.”) so I think this is a nice parallel for Bilbo vouching for Thorin in Laketown. Thorin believed in him enough to sign it. I think Thorin’s signature on that contract plays a huge role in Bilbo’s decision to go with the Company – if Thorin Oakenshield isn’t opposed to him coming, and even went so far as to sign the contract before Bilbo did, even after seeing Bilbo faint at the mention of dragon-fire, well, how can Bilbo argue with that? 

Kind of random, but I have this particular headcanon for a while that kinda works with this, where after the Company had sang Misty Mountain, Thorin actually decided to look for Bilbo and see if he could convince the hobbit himself to join. But when he finds the hobbit, he’s sat on his bed asleep, head leaning on the bed pole. This would have been the instance where Thorin actually got a closer look of their potential 14th member just by himself, and maybe decide he could give this hobbit a chance, so he signs the contract and left it by the table by the fireplace, clearly visible for Bilbo to see in the morning.. And he so was the one who laid Bilbo down on the bed, so the hobbit could sleep more comfortably, because if you look at Bilbo’s position from the night of and the morning of, it didn’t seem like he woke up in the middle of the night to adjust and lay himself down to sleep. It looked more like a “i fell asleep?’ kind of reaction. >w>

My 5-year-old insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl.

The first time she made this claim, I protested. Part of the fun of reading to your kids, after all, is in sharing the stories you loved as a child. And in the story I knew, Bilbo was a boy. A boy hobbit. (Whatever that entails.)

But my daughter was determined. She liked the story pretty well so far, but Bilbo was definitely a girl. So would I please start reading the book the right way? I hesitated. I imagined Tolkien spinning in his grave. I imagined mean letters from his testy estate. I imagined the story getting as lost in gender distinctions as dwarves in the Mirkwood.

Then I thought: What the hell, it’s just a pronoun. My daughter wants Bilbo to be a girl, so a girl she will be. And you know what? The switch was easy. Bilbo, it turns out, makes a terrific heroine. She’s tough, resourceful, humble, funny, and uses her wits to make off with a spectacular piece of jewelry. Perhaps most importantly, she never makes an issue of her gender—and neither does anyone else.


“Don’t be a fool, Bilbo Baggins!” he said to himself, “thinking of dragons and all that outlandish nonsense at your age!“