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The Names That We Must Carry: Bilbo

Title: The Names That We Must Carry
Section 14: Bilbo
Pairings: Implied Durin/Bilbo
Warnings: Canon-typical violence; canon death
Word Count: 361 (2928 total)
Disclaimer: If I owned the hobbit, it would be even sadder.
Summary: Oakenshield is not the only byname carried by members of Thorin's company. Some are badges of honor, some are marks of courage and some their owners just wish they could live down.

1. Kíli                         4. Glóin                     7. Bombur                   10. Balin                  13. Dori
2. Óin                        5. Dwalin                   8. Nori                         11. Bofur
3. Bifur                      6. Ori                        9. Fíli                          12. Thorin


Along the course of his journey, Bilbo Baggins was granted many titles, none of which he ever knew about. For the hobbit completely failed to notice each attempt to label him, perhaps because none of the appellations ever seemed to stick.

Deadweight was the first, given to him by Dwalin when the burglar first joined Thorin's company and a source of amusement to the dwarves for days. However after Bilbo stood against the Defiler, this mocking seemed inappropriate, though the younger lads sometimes referred to him as Warghelm behind his back.

Instead the older dwarves called him Ironheart for his bravery and only the hobbit's modesty kept him from realizing. He always assumed that they were discussing someone else for he was nothing special and even once the title shifted to Spidersbane, the burglar still failed to catch on.

In Mirkwood Thranduil cursed him as misbegotten Traitorspawn after Bilbo helped the dwarves escape his dungeons, though the elf king never knew the hobbit's proper name. And once Smaug had flown from Erebor, his companions celebrated him as the Dragonchaser while they were in their cups.

But this title did not last long, for when Bilbo betrayed them, the House of Durin named him Heart-thief and exiled him from their kingdom on pain of death. If none of the company was quite sure which heart this name referred to, one of their lords' or the mountain's, no one had the courage to ask the question then. Indeed perhaps it was most telling that this was how the dwarves would always remember their burglar, Bilbo written thus in myths and history.

Yet when the battle had finished and his fences had been mended, there was nothing for the hobbit in Erebor anymore. Not when it's king and princes lay entombed beneath the earth and so it was with a heavy heart that he began the long road home. And when the burglar returned to the Shire, older and wiser for what he had been through, Bilbo gained another name as well.

Dwarflover his more unpleasant neighbors whispered behind the hobbit's back, Mad Baggins the Dwarflover and they never knew how right they were.



End