I just finished Episode 1, which was great. Really looking forward to this series. Just an observation (and this is of course just my interpretation), but it has always struck me that The Old Gaffer has tremendous respect for Bilbo. I don't think anyone would really argue the point. But I think it's this respect and indeed admiration for Bilbo which is really at the heart of his comments towards Sandyman. One thing which I'd not considered before, and which I think you're absolutely correct about, Corey, is the fact that if The Gaffer and Bilbo weren't neighbours (and especially if Bilbo lived somewhere like Buckland, for example) The Gaffer would have a completely different opinion of Bilbo. The fact is they are neighbours. And this has no doubt been the seed of this respect. The Gaffer has literally grown up living next to Bilbo. The Gaffer's family has played the role of gardener at Bag End for years...generations, even. Granted, it's not explicitly said that Old Holman was Bilbo's gardener. But given that The Gaffer started off as his apprentice and then became Bilbo's gardener, it seems likely enough. Then Sam follows in his father's furry footsteps. Gaffer Gamgee is not averse to throwing praise upon Bilbo's good name. 'A very nice well-spoken gentlehobbit is Mr Bilbo, as I've always said,' the Gaffer declared. With perfect truth...' We also see in the gift-giving that the feelings of fondness were apparently mutual. But, of course, most of the things were given where they would be wanted and welcome. The poorer hobbits, and especially those of Bagshot Row, did very well. Old Gaffer Gamgee got two sacks of potatoes, a new spade, a woollen waistcoat, and a bottle of ointment for creaking joints. The Gaffer admonishes Sandyman for his unreasonable speculation regarding Drogo's and Primula's deaths, but Note that he said nothing to Old Noakes concerning Drogo's tremendous bulk being the cause for the boat sinking. After all, Drogo's appetite and size would've likely been indisputable. And anyway, hobbits are known for being round in the stomach; hardly a controversial statement by Noakes. But to suggest that the family of the man who has been his kind and gainful employer may have had such a seedy thing as murder in his family's past is perhaps going to rankle. Then, when Sandyman further presumes to question Bilbo's good character (again, a character The Gaffer has likely only gotten to know so well due to his proximity to Bilbo), The Gaffer practically sees red. The long-and-short of it is, I don't think it's the fact that Sandyman suggested murder as a possible cause for Drogo's and Primula's deaths. I think it's more about the fact that he suggested it of a Baggins.