Earendil Poem - Bilbo “stuck”

Hi folks,

Before we heard the poem, we hear Bilbo say to Strider that he’s “stuck” and needs his help with something urgent. Can anyone tell (a) where he may have been stuck, and (b) if there was anything that we could tell was Aragorn’s contribution?


Well-Known Member
In answer to your point b): Bilbo reports (to Frodo), "As a matter of fact it (the poem) was all mine. Except that Aragorn insisted on my putting in a green stone. He seemed to think it important. I don't know why. Otherwise he obviously thought the whole thing rather above my head, and he said that if I had the cheek to make verses about Earendil in the house of Elrond, it was my affair. I suppose he was right."

We also don't know why Aragorn insisted on a green stone. I think you will find some rather inconclusive discussion about that in the class and on the forums.

As for your point a): I don't think that Bilbo was 'stuck' at all. I think he was anxious about exactly what Aragorn told him he should be anxious about; the advisability of reciting a poem with that content in that place at that time.

Despite Aragorn being dubious about the advisability, Bilbo obviously decided to go ahead. He passes it off lightly with some characteristic 'Hobbitry', but I suspect that Bilbo thought long and hard about it before deciding that that poem, at that time, in that place, was not just advisable, but necessary.

Bilbo is considerably wiser than even the Wise might realize.

"It seemed to fit somehow, though I can't explain," replied Frodo. At that point, I think Bilbo thought, "Good! It was the right poem, at the right time, in the right place," and he changes the subject to something else.