Aragorn/Bilbo Relationship Timeline

Kate Neville

Active Member
The earliest moment when Bilbo could have met Aragorn was in The Hobbit when 10-year-old Aragorn was living there with his mother. But Aragorn did not then know his true identity: he was Estel, and I don't think anyone in Rivendell would have told the truth about the boy to a hobbit passing through.

Aragorn learns his true identity at age 20, in 2951, which is two years after Balin and Gandalf visited Bilbo at the end of The Hobbit. So even if Bilbo had visited Rivendell during those 10 years he is still unlikely to have learned who Estel is.

Aragorn meets Gandalf when he's 25 (2956) and from age 26-49 he's wandering Middle-earth, serving in Rohan and Gondor.

Frodo is born in 2968; his parents die in 2980 (same year Aragorn meets Arwen again in Lorien!). If we assume that Bilbo adopts Frodo in 2980/81, it is unlikely that he would have left Frodo for long trips to Rivendell after the adoption.

The Farewell Feast is 3001; that same year Gandalf 'opens his heart' to Aragorn and the Ranger guard on the Shire is doubled.

Bilbo settles in Rivendell in 3002.

Gilraen, Aragorn's mother, dies in 3007. From 3008-3017 Aragorn and Gandalf seriously search for Gollum.

So when did Aragorn tell Bilbo his story? The first option is that Bilbo visited Rivendell sometime between 2951-2956, before young Aragorn goes on his great wanderings. Aragorn, being new to his true identity, might have told Bilbo his story. But his identity was secret for a reason, and would he have revealed that secret to a visitor, even a respected one?

The second option is that Bilbo didn't hear Aragorn's story until he settled in Rivendell. This is after Gandalf 'opened his heart' to Aragorn, who would then have had good reason to establish a relationship with Bilbo. This leaves only 6 years of regular contact (before Aragorn takes up the hunt for Gollum), but that's long enough for mortals to become friends.

My head-canon, then, is that Bilbo composed the All That is Gold poem after Gilraen died in 3007, to comfort his friend and let him know that he, Bilbo, believed that Aragorn would fulfill his destiny and bring Estel back to the world.
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
My head-canon is that Bilbo and the Dunadan have been great friends for 77 years. They had delightful times during Bilbo's original trips through Rivendell, and visited many times thereafter in Rivendell, in Bree, and even in Bag End.
 

Kate Neville

Active Member
My head-canon is that Bilbo and the Dunadan have been great friends for 77 years. They had delightful times during Bilbo's original trips through Rivendell, and visited many times thereafter in Rivendell, in Bree, and even in Bag End.
Oh, I firmly believe that Bilbo met Estel on the way to the Lonely Mountain and regaled him with the troll story. I might be convinced that a mutual "elf-friend" vibe would allow 22-year-old Aragorn to open up to Bilbo, but I still like my timing on the composition of the poem. Bilbo might have been remembering his own mother.
 

Kate Neville

Active Member
My head-canon is that Bilbo and the Dunadan have been great friends for 77 years. They had delightful times during Bilbo's original trips through Rivendell, and visited many times thereafter in Rivendell, in Bree, and even in Bag End.
And I love hearing other people's head-canon. I consider us as "other minds and hands" which he left scope for.
 

Arnthro

Active Member
The motivation for Bilbo comforting Aragorn after the loss of his dear mother with poetry about Who Telcontar is, is beautiful. Thank you Kate! I am going to adopt that head-canon!!
 
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