Home At Last
2006 Award Category: Times: Late Third Age: The Shire - First Place
Story Type: Other Fiction ✧ Length: Short Story
Rating: G ✧ Reason for Rating: N/A
Summary: Bilbo finds homecoming after his adventure not quite what he thought it would be.
Reviewed by: Rhapsody ✧ Score: 10
Ah poor Bilbo! I so felt for him when he lost his pupils. Famous amongst the Elves and Dwarves, to his own kind he is seen as unreliable. Actually, I can imagine it from the parents perspective: stability is something you do want for your children. I think it might take a while before Bilbo gets new pupils again. I loved the hobbity feel of this story: Bilbo planning his day, varied with his meals and his remarkable energy. I loved the mentioning of this: [One thing that his journeying had taught him was a greater appreciation of all the lovely things he had taken for granted before he left, such as pocket handkerchiefs, dressing gowns, feather beds and tea.] This is such a wonderful thought here, because indeed, Bilbo often is longing for those simple things during his adventure. And this made me laugh as well! [It was very nice to put on his green and yellow weskit with all its brass buttons intact, even though it was a bit large for him at the moment.] This surely brought back memories that even in the direst moments, Bilbo often thought about his poor buttons. But still not all is lost and the young Drogo gives Bilbo a wanted feel when his cousin comes to visit him. I love the chitchat that follows with a nice foreshadowing about who Drogo will marry. Despite the bad news Bilbo receives in this story and the knowledge that his position in the Shire has to be adjusted, I love that it ends with a positive note. Dreamflower captured a day out of Bilbos life in a great way with the perfect touches here and there which either referred to his adventure with the Dwarves or the Hobbit society. This was such an enjoyable read!
Reviewed by: Dwimordene ✧ Score: 7
Dreamflower continues her filling in of the edges and interludes of the quest of [The Hobbit] with a bit of the aftermath. Poor Bilbo's adventurous ways, however they began, have cost him his place in the family as tutor, much to his dismay. But the quest has clearly changed him, for despite disappointment, he can't regret the adventure. And although not all of his relatives welcome him home with open arms, there is at least one cousin, one of Bilbo's more promising former students, who shows himself to be an unexpected receptacle for Outside tales. It seems Drogo has a hankering for stories of adventures, so at least we know in part where Frodo gets his interests. In between catching Bilbo up on the doings of the family and neighbors, Drogo drops hints of interest til he at last insists on hearing Bilbo's story. As Dreamflower notes, it may be the first, but it's not the last time he'll tell it. Very well done and highly recommended.
Reviewed by: Raksha the Demon ✧ Score: 5
Excellent vignette in which Bilbo, returned from his adventure, finds that in leaving the Shire, he may have gained wisdom, but he has lost a certain reputation among his more sensible and hidebound friends and relations. One can see Bilbo start to realize that nothing, even travel and great deeds, come without a price; and that he will not ever be treated quite the same way again by his peers. But there are compensations, as Bilbo discovers... Quietly effective. I especially liked the characterisation of young Drogo, who may have had no Took in him, but reminded me very much of Frodo.
Reviewed by: Bodkin ✧ Score: 5
Good for Drogo! It's no wonder that he and the beautiful Primula produce the one suitable to be heir to Bilbo and, just by the way, saviour of Middle Earth. It was quite depressing to follow poor Bilbo round the place he was so happy to see again, only to watch his fellow hobbits turn up their stuffy little noses. (Not that I'm surprised that his students have found other teachers, mind. That would have been a long break in their education.) He needed a little fellow feeling and a pair or two of wide eyes as he told his tale. I'm sure he enjoyed telling the story for the first time - possibly even more than he relished later tellings.
Reviewed by: Larner ✧ Score: 5
Ah, but the return home is not as uneventful as Bilbo had imagined, particularly as he finds he must deal with the typical Shire Hobbit's antipathy toward anything as uncomfortable as one going on an ADVENTURE! It appears only one Hobbit truly wishes right now to hear the tale, for the rest are too busy expressing their disgust at Bilbo's disgraceful behavior. But one sees the beginnings of how in time Bilbo becomes enthralled with one of his younger cousins, as acceptance comes not from his agemates but from that younger cousin's father, himself young at the time. Well, well written.
Reviewed by: Marigold ✧ Score: 4
A very realistic look at what it must have been like for Bilbo after he returned from his Adventure. I felt so sorry for him! But everything comes at a price, and it is clear that Bilbo wouldn't have missed his Adventure for anything. I am glad that Drogo was there! With Drogo as his father and Bilbo as his guardian, it is no wonder that Frodo turned out the way that he did.
Reviewed by: Súlriel ✧ Score: 3
A fun picture of Bilbo 'home again'. It reminds me of the adage, the more things change, the more things stay the same. - and I think, in a lot of ways, that's at the heart of what we write about. My heart was breaking for poor Bilbo as your story went along and I was glad he got to tell his tale.
Reviewed by: Imhiriel ✧ Score: 3
Nice gapfiller. It hows very well the Hobbit's general opinion of "Adventures" and the "queer" people who undertake them. Bilbo's loneliness and his feeling of being ["out of place"] is depicted excellently. I'm glad Drogo at least was friendly and interested - it seems this is where Frodo inherits some of his character traits.
Reviewed by: GamgeeFest ✧ Score: 3
I imagine this is very much the reception that Bilbo received upon returning home from his travels. His home life will be very much changed now that he's an ill-reputed Adventurer. But he has friends like Drogo to see him through this period of transition, and he has all those lovely books of Elrond's to keep him busy.
Reviewed by: Marta ✧ Score: 3
Many stories about Bilbo's return to the Shire focus on the auction, but this story takes a different approach and gives us Bilbo a few weeks later. It's an affective device and almost reminds me of how Frodo felt so different from hobbits after *his* quest.
Reviewed by: Llinos ✧ Score: 3
How sad for Bilbo that he was unable to find his place in the Shire again. Interesting that in a way, the Bilbo that we know later must have evolved largely from his treatment by the Shirefolk, rather than only by the changes in himself.
Reviewed by: Nancy Brooke ✧ Score: 1
An interesting question! thoroughly and believably answered.