How closely are Gandalf and Elrond monitoring Bilbo?

Blad The Inspirer

New Member
Watching the most recent class (112), I had so many questions that I wish I could have joined in live. Sadly, as I live in Japan I am always at work during lessons.

During the lesson, it was briefly mentioned that Gandalf and Elrond probably wouldn't have wanted Bilbo to send any messages to Frodo. It was best for Bilbo to make a clean break. He was the first person ever to give up the ring, and there was no telling the extent of the ring's lingering effects. If that is the case (which I think it is), is it not strange that Bilbo has been spending so much time near Frodo? He was sitting by Frodo's bed for days, no more than two feet away from the ring. Would Gandalf and Elrond have been concerned about that? Would they have made sure to keep an eye on him, or am I over-estimating how much they were thinking about this?

Finally, one side-question: When Elrond reveals Bilbo to Frodo, should we be picturing everyone gathered around and watching them? I had never thought about it before, but based on the last lesson, it seems like at least Frodo's friends and possible Gloin might have been watching.
I love this question and would agree that it's strange. It's something I can't reconcile. If, on the one hand, Gandalf and Elrond were so concerned about making sure Bilbo let the Ring go for good, why would they leave him *unsupervised* with the Ring-bearer? On the other hand, if they weren't concerned, why weren't they concerned? Gandalf already knew by now that Smeagol had killed Deagol, his cousin & best friend, for the Ring.

Re the second question, I wonder this as well. I think for whatever reason, nobody was watching them. The whole sequence is weird. Sam comes over to sit near Frodo & Bilbo, but apparently everyone else in the Hall is listening to music and dancing and doing their own thing. And then it gets even stranger. Sam gets seemingly dropped from the story here briefly. Bilbo asks to see the Ring, Frodo shows it to him -- in the middle of the Hall of Fire! -- and they have an extremely dangerous and dark moment pass between them. And no one notices. Not Gandalf, not Elrond. Not freaking Sam who is RIGHT THERE. We know Sam's there because Sam is in the midst of the conversation right afterward, talking Shire news. It's weird.
Last edited: