I am a person who, like Bilbo Baggins, prefers comfort and regular meals to sleeping outdoors and having adventures. It is my belief that The Hobbit, while excellent, would have been vastly improved had the bit with the dwarves been edited out and Tolkien had stuck to 200 pages of Bilbo making cozy-ass meals and going to bed early.
Presented without further comment:
The Hobbit, Improved
There and Snack Again
Chapter One: No Trolls, Just Eight Varieties of Scone
“We have cranberry-orange scones, currant-and-redspice scones, strawberries-and-cream scones, buckwheat-and-cinnamon scones, double butter scones, stout-and-chocolate scones, Earl Grey scones, and cheddar-and-thyme scones,” Bilbo said.
“One of each, please,” Adalgrim Took said.
No one was eaten by trolls.
Chapter Two: Steeping Tea Just Exactly Long Enough
“Oh, dear,” Bilbo muttered to himself, peering into the teapot. “I believe I’ve left the tea-leaves in a bit too long.” He took a sip. “Ah,” he said. “No, I haven’t.”
Chapter Three: A Spot Of Cocoa
“How about a bit of cocoa to tide us over, after all the tea and scones?” Bilbo asked.
“That’s just the ticket, my lad,” Adalgrim said. “Just the exact ticket.”
Chapter Four: How About A Nap
Gandalf knocked on the door for a full five minutes, but even a wizard cannot knock hard enough to rouse a napping Hobbit.
Chapter Five: A Trip To The Jam Cellar
“Of course the wine-cellar is on the way to the jam-cellar,” Bilbo thought, “and I had better check on that too, in case anything has happened to the ruby port. It wouldn’t do to neglect the ruby port.”
Chapter Six: The Sackville-Bagginses Are Narrowly Avoided
“That was close,” Bilbo thought.
Chapter Seven: Is It Raining?
Was it raining? It might have been. There was a gentle thud against the roof, but Bilbo couldn’t be sure. He turned over in bed.
Chapter Eight: No, It Isn’t; Better Stay In Anyhow
He padded back from the window. “Now which way was I turned over,” he asked himself. “Under the quilt but over the down, or under the down and with the quilt off altogether?”
The riddle took him most of the afternoon to solve.
Chapter Nine: A Successful Pudding
“That was so good,” Bilbo said, “that I think I’ll make another one. Brambleberry, I think, or perhaps butterscotch.”
He thought for another minute. “Perhaps I’ll make both kinds. After all, today is no ordinary day.”
Chapter Ten: Absolutely Zero Goblins But Plenty Of Sandwiches And A Good Steady Fire
The king is come unto his hall
But I won’t leave my home at all.
The Wyrm of Dread is slain and dead,
But I’m spending the day in bed.
Chapter Eleven: A Nice Day For A Walk Especially For Someone Who’s Never Seen A Dragon
There were absolutely no dragons near Bag End that day, unless you counted the one on the sign at the Green Dragon Inn at Bywater. “I suppose I’d better look in and have myself a pint,” Bilbo thought.
Chapter Twelve: Feeling Safe
“Where has the day gone,” Bilbo said. “I certainly am glad to be home again.”
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.