I watched the Lord Of The Rings over the course of several nights. (Spinning on past the boring bits…) It reminded me of when I first read The Hobbit. The school library had a very old printing of the book. Years later I actually got a copy for myself and read it again, so I could read it before starting LOTR, but found that several key points were different. Eventually I convinced myself that I had simply remembered it incorrectly. Later on I found out that later editions of The Hobbit had been edited to make them come in line with the events as described in The Lord Of The Rings. The idea that a person who had printed a book could go back and change things to suit new books, for whatever reason, baffled me. Of course now I understand that retconning happens all the time and that adults don’t always do things right the first time.
Tolkein weaved that retcon into the narrative of the world. The idea being that Bilbo changed the story to cast himself in a better light, and later amended it to be a true account. Alternately it is said that some copies were changed to the first story because Sam, Frodo, Merry, or Pipin, couldn’t bring themselves to speak ill of Bilbo, even if it was true. A lot of backstory got created to expain away what really just amounts to an author changing his mind. XD Anyway, it’s nice to know that one of the greatest writers of all time can fuck up and, in the end, no one really cares.