16

After the Battle of the Five Armies, just as Bilbo is leaving the mountain, he turns to the dwarves and says:

"If ever you are passing my way," said Bilbo, "don't wait to knock! Tea is at four; but any of you are welcome at any time!"

The Hobbit - Chapter 18: The Return Journey

Did any of the surviving dwarves Balin, Dwalin, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur or Bombur ever take up Bilbo's offer, and visit him at his home in the Shire?

35

Yup.

We see there in The Hobbit itself.

First, we've got this:

Indeed Bilbo found he had lost more than spoons—he had lost his reputation.
It is true that for ever after he remained an elf-friend, and had the honour of dwarves, wizards, and all such folk as ever passed that way; but he was no longer quite respectable. He was in fact held by all the hobbits of the neighbourhood to be ‘queer’—except by his nephews and nieces on the Took side, but even they were not encouraged in their friendship by their elders.

This quote implies that these folk did occasionally pass by.

And indeed, right after that, who comes by?

One autumn evening some years afterwards Bilbo was sitting in his study writing his memoirs—he thought of calling them “There and Back Again, a Hobbit’s Holiday”—when there was a ring at the door. It was Gandalf and a dwarf; and the dwarf was actually Balin.
The Hobbit, chapter 19: "The Last Stage"


And later on in The Fellowship:

But the Gaffer did not convince his audience. The legend of Bilbo’s wealth was now too firmly fixed in the minds of the younger generation of hobbits.

"Ah, but he has likely enough been adding to what he brought at first," argued the miller, voicing common opinion. "He’s often away from home. And look at the outlandish folk that visit him: dwarves coming at night, and that old wandering conjuror, Gandalf, and all. You can say what you like, Gaffer, but Bag End’s a queer place, and its folk are queerer."
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, chapter 1: "A Long-Expected Party"

  • 5
    Interestingly (well, not really, I suppose) I believe Bilbo's door is only ever mentioned as being knocked on in LotR, yet in The Hobbit he clearly has a bell. (Well, unless that "ring" was a different kind of ring, but that would just be weird...) Perhaps he got tired of the sound. – Jeroen Mostert May 28 '18 at 9:07
  • @JeroenMostert Or perhaps Sackville-Baggins wore it out... Or put it to such use as to necessitate removal. – Stian Yttervik May 28 '18 at 11:29
  • 2
    @JeroenMostert: Not sure about the books, but movie Bilbo was immediately dismissive of anyone knocking on the door. It's not impossible for him to remove his bell due to being tired of being called upon. I don't remember anyone other than Gandalf actually knocking on that door at any time; (from memory) the other scenes with the door were entrances by Frodo/Bilbo themselves where they obviously didn't knock/ring the bell. – Flater May 28 '18 at 14:19

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