About the Authors
This blog started as a memoir of Bilbo Baggins; recounting his adventures with Thorin and Company and the quest to reclaim the Dwarf-realm of Erebor in 1341. Conceived as There and Back Again, the blog was begun by Bilbo upon his return to Bag End in 1342 (he didn’t really start until 1349, when Gandalf and Balin visited him in the Shire), but not completed until his retirement in Rivendell (between 1401 and 1418), where he also translated legends from the Elder Days, which he called Translations from the Elvish.
In 1419, he passed the blog to his nephew, Frodo Baggins. Frodo organized Bilbo’s writings and used it to write down his own quest during the War of the Ring (1418-1419); The Downfall of the Lord of the Rings and the Return of the King.
The “original” posts of the blog contained the story of Bilbo’s journey as it originally stood: thus, Gollum willingly gave the One Ring to Bilbo, and there is no trace of the Ring’s hold over Gollum. The true account, later written in by Frodo, where Bilbo comes across the Ring by accident is what is presently published.
Bilbo and Frodo took a ship for the West on September 29, 1421. They had already celebrated their 131st and 53rd (respectively) birthdays on September 22, and Bilbo became the oldest Hobbit in the history of Middle-earth.
My father was Samwise Gamgee. He was born on April 6, 1380. Sam accompanied Frodo throughout the War of the Ring. When Frodo sailed on the White Ship, Sam inherited Bag End and was entrusted the blog. Other historical and cultural writings of the Third Age, supplemented by the accounts of their friends and the learning of the Wise, were added. There are various Hobbit poems and a lot of background information on the realms of Arnor, Gondor and Rohan, added to it by Peregrin Took and Meriadoc Brandybuck from their contacts in Rohan and Gondor. Other material was provided by King Elessar Telcontar.
Pippin and Merry left the Shire with Frodo and Sam, but ended up seeing different events unfold during the War of the Ring, which (along with notes made from conversations with Gandalf) Frodo and Sam used to fill in some gaps in these memoirs. In 1434 (at the age of 44) Pippin succeeded his father Paladin by becoming the 32nd Thain of the Shire, and was also made a Counsellor of the North-kingdom by King Elessar. As Thain, Pippin collected a library of historical information at Great Smials, especially information relating to Númenor and the heirs of Elendil. It was at Great Smials that The Tale of Years was likely put together, with assistance from Merry. He was born in 1382 and (being called the Magnificent) became the Master of Buckland in 1432. He wrote several scholarly works which are part of the blog.
After my mother died on Mid-year’s Day 1482 (at 102), Sam entrusted the blog to me on Bilbo and Frodo’s birthday and left Middle-earth to sail across the Sea and be reunited with the Ring-bearers in the Undying Lands.
In the spring of 1484 a message came from Rohan to Buckland that King Éomer wished to see Master Holdwine (Merry) once again. Merry was then old, but still hale. He took councel with his friend the Thain, and soon after they handed over their goods and offices to their songs and rode away over Sarn Ford, and they were not seen again in the Shire. It was heard that after that Master Meriadoc came to Edoras and was with King Éomer before he died in that Autumn. Then he and Thain Peregrin went to Gondor and passed what short years were left to them in that realm, until they died and were laid in Rath Dínen among the great of Gondor. On March 1, 1541 came at last the Passing of King Elessar. It is said that the beds of Merry and Pippin were set beside the bed of the great king.
My name is Elanor Gardner. I was born on March 25, 1421. I have been writing some, but mostly editing these memoirs. In 1436, King Elessar rode north, and dwelt for a while by Lake Evendim. He came to the Brandywine Bridge, and there greeted his friends. He gave the Star of the Dúnedain to Sam, and I was made a maid of honor to Queen Arwen. In 1442, Sam, my mother and I rode to Gondor and stayed there for a year. I married Fastred of Greenholm on the Far Downs in 1451. Our son Elfstan was born three years later. He was called Elfstan Fairbairn because I had become known as “the Fair;” because of my beauty, many said that I looked more like an Elf-maid than a Hobbit. I have golden hair, which had been very rare in the Shire; but two of my sisters were also golden-haired, and so were many others of the children born at this time. Sam was Mayor of the Shire seven times, from 1427 to 1476. At his request, the Thain made Fastred Warden of Westmarch. We removed to the Westmarch, a country then newly settled (being a gift of King Elessar) between the Far Downs and the Tower Hills. We made our dwelling at Undertowers on the slopes of the Tower Hills, where our family became known as the Fairbairns of the Towers.
The names in our Family Trees are only a selection of many. A few other names of persons concerned in the events recounted are also given. The figures after the names are those of birth (and death where that is recorded).