More specific than fate or Eru? Well not being in Tolkien's head when he wrote it, all I can really say is that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring by some higher concept. Consider Gandalf's speech with Frodo in 'The Shadow of the Past' found in the FotR. from which I have lifted these pertinent excerpts:Aw, Grondy! But what if you don't really believe in Eru? Or if you do, Eru or not, destiny is in one's own hands?? In that case, I want a more specific answer than : it happened because it happened, or it happened because Eru said so. :lightening:
(The bold was mine.)'A Ring of Power looks after itself Frodo. It may slip off treacherously, but its keeper never abandons it. ... It was not Gollum, Frodo, but the Ring itself that decided things. The Ring left him.'
'What, just in time to meet Bilbo?' said Frodo. 'Wouldn't an Orc have suited it better?'
'It is no laughing matter,' said Gandalf. 'Not for you. It was the strangest event in the whole history of the Ring so far: Bilbo's arrival just at that time, and putting his hand on it, blindly, in the dark.
'There was more than one power at work, Frodo. The Ring was trying to get back to its master. It had slipped from Isildur's hand and betrayed him; then when a chance came it caught poor Déagol, and he was murdered, and after that Gollum, and it had devoured him. It could make no further use of him: he was too small and mean; and as long as it stayed with him he would never leave his deep pool again. So now, when its master was awake once more and sending out his dark thought from Mirkwood, it abandoned Gollum. Only to be picked up by the most unlikely person imaginable: Bilbo from the Shire!
'Behind that there was something else at work, beyond any design of the Ring-maker. I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and not by its maker. In which case you also were meant to have it. And that may be an encouraging thought.'
I suppose I just wanted a more detailed explanation because I'm not sure whether I believe in a fate/destiny which is determined by a devine being or achieving one's own fate/destiny by one's own actions.
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