This dammned Shire is like a maze; when, eventually, I arrive at the hobbit's home, which I am horrified to discover is essentially a hole in a hill, I have to remind myself that kings really ought to be late for things anyway.
Creates atmosphere. Builds suspense.
The door swings open and I am slightly relieved to discover that the hole isn't as dingy as I had suspected, although it is rather homey.
Quite a nice feel to it, actually, sort of cosy...
Not that I like cosy things of course. I like rocks and fire and gold and etcetera.
Just saying, it's cosy.
I think all this as I review the room majestically, before addressing Gandalf in a suitably kingly manner.
“Gandalf, I thought you said this place would be easy to find. I lost my way twice.” Inwardly, I applaud my shrewdness; of course, it was the Shire's fault I was late, not mine. Am very skilled at blaming others, important for a king. Need the support of the general public. Must not appear weak or in any way flawed. “Wouldn’t have found it at all if it weren’t for that mark on the door.” Doesn't hurt to give the wizard a little credit. Don't particularly want to see him get angry inside this tiny hobbit hole. Not much space for running from magical rage.
Gandalf presumes to make the introductions, which I allow. "Bilbo Baggins, allow me to introduce you to the leader of our company: Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain.”
The little hobbit looks straight into my eyes.
Mahal, he's a cute little thing; button nose, curly honey-coloured hair, big brown eyes...
I mean, yes. No. I don't know. Anyway.
“So, this is the hobbit… Tell me, what is your weapon of choice? Axe or sword?”
His reply comes. "Well, I have some skill at conkers."
I laugh - wouldn't do to be overly nice. “Thought as much. He looks more like a grocer than a burglar.”
An adorable grocer.
He could restock my shelves anytime.
I don't know.
I'm bad at innuendo.
Issue remains: adorable hobbit grocer lad has skill at 'conkers' and fuck all else. Worse than Ori's catapult.
Hobbit has signed contract, is coming on quest.
Not sure how to feel.
He looks very unsure on his pony, not comfortable. Maybe he could come and sit on mine.
He could keep me warm, sit in front of me. That could be mutually beneficial.
And if I wanted to shag his brains out afterwards, well, that would be purely our business.
Not that I want to shag his brains out, or anything.
He forgot his handkerchief and kicked up a fuss; that, combined with his obvious lack of relevant skill, makes me fairly sure he won't even make it to the borders of the Shire.
Nephews are blockheads, am attempting to be kingly and majestic and remain in control of situation.
Also very aware that hobbit is currently being manhandled by giant, very bad-smelling trolls.
Can I not just get a good night's sleep?
Must think. Need a plan.
1. Rescue hobbit
2. Look majestic
3. Hobbit is grateful
Plan is perhaps slightly underdeveloped.
Basic gist is helpful though.
Hobbit is saying something to troll.
What in the name of Mahal...
"You think you're so scary!" Says hobbit. "You think you're so big!" Hobbit has obviously cracked. Is now going to be eaten by troll.
"I bet you didn't see this coming!" Hobbit yells. He looks so crazy. Adorable.
Why do all the cute ones die?
"FOR THE SHIRE!" Bellows hobbit.
Suddenly, tiny conkers are flying through the air, being thrown by hobbit.
They whiz around, metal spikes stuck into them.
Trolls scream, drop Bilbo.
He catches tiny spike balls before grinning like a maniac.
"We like to play conkers in the Shire." He begins to laugh. Hobbit is insane.
But still adorable.
He produces giant conker from Mahal-knows-where, giant spikes protruding from it.
With a flick of his wrist, he sends it flying in circles, taking out all three trolls before landing in his hand again.
How has he not cut himself?
Hobbit makes his way back to the group, stops to inform me, "I told you I had some skill at conkers."
Am forced to swallow pride, due to shell-shock, and nod.
Interesting, though. He has very strong wrists...