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Still Waters

The Hobbit at 80

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The Hobbit, that retelling by Mr JRR Tolkien of the adventures of Mr Bilbo Baggins of Bag End, is celebrating its 80th birthday, albeit with no party of special magnificence nor, perhaps, much talk and excitement in Hobbiton or beyond.

But while the the book is not as venerable as its hero – Bilbo died aged 131, we are told in Lord of the Rings; hobbits live, on average, to the age of 96.8 years according to the wonderful number-crunching site lotrproject.com – it is still an anniversary worth noting.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2017/sep/21/the-hobbit-80-lord-of-the-rings-jrr-tolkien

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Bilbo and Frodo departed with the last of the Elves from the Grey Havens on the last ship to set sail for The Undying Lands of Westerness--where does it say he died?

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Posted (edited)

13 minutes ago, Hammerclaw said:

Bilbo and Frodo departed with the last of the Elves from the Grey Havens on the last ship to set sail for The Undying Lands of Westerness--where does it say he died?

1) Those were not the Last Elves and not the last ship, there were still heaps of them left in Middle Earth, including Legolas, Celeborn and Arwen's brothers (well, and Arwen herself, depending how you look at it) of these we know for certain that Legolas and Celeborn left on ships at a later date.

2)Tolkiens notes and letters confirm several times that the Undying Lands cannot actually hold the souls of beings inside their bodies indefinitely, merely to the natural longest possible life span, so the mortal beings that were allowed to go there (Fordo, Bilbo, Sam, Gimli and possibly Tour) did eventually die. Keeping their souls in Arda beyond their allotted time would have been a violation of the laws of Eru Illuvatar and would have been very, very bad for all concerned.

Edited by Orphalesion
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2 minutes ago, Orphalesion said:

1) Those were not the Last Elves and not the last ship, there were still heaps of them left in Middle Earth, including Legolas, Celeborn and Arwen's brothers (well, and Arwen herself, depending how you look at it) of these we know for certain that Legolas and Celeborn left on ships at a later date.

2)Tolkiens notes and letters confirm several times that the Undying Lands cannot actually hold the souls of beings inside their bodies indefinitely, merely to the natural longest possible life span.

Where does it say he died at age 131?

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4 minutes ago, Hammerclaw said:

Where does it say he died at age 131?

Nowhere, that was the age he sailed to Aman (NOT Westernesse, that was a name of Numenor) but your question was:

Quote

where does it say he died?

To which I answered, it says that the mortal characters who were granted access to Aman (among them Bilbo) were not given immortality, in Tolkien's notes, letters and world building.

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As I thought. Nowhere does it state his time of death. Yes I conflated sail to the West with Westernesse. Having read the books dozens of times in the last fifty years, you'd think I'd know better. I read Lord of the Rings long before Peter Jackson was a twinkle in his father's eye.

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1 hour ago, Hammerclaw said:

Where does it say he died at age 131?

The article in my OP features a link to this -

http://lotrproject.com/statistics/

The oldest and youngest Hobbits are shown in there, that must be where it came from.

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7 minutes ago, Still Waters said:

The article in my OP features a link to this -

http://lotrproject.com/statistics/

The oldest and youngest Hobbits are shown in there, that must be where it came from.

No, that's the age he leaves Middle Earth at the end of Return of the King, not when he died.

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