i remember richard mentioning the stars in that context so i’ve always imagined smth like this: bilbo is standing outside taking in the view when suddenly he hears a voice behind him breaking the quiet of the night
"admiring rivendell, master baggins?"
and he doesn’t need to look back to know who it is
"more like admiring the night, actually. the stars are really quite impressive tonight, wouldn’t you say?"
bilbo sounds almost defensive, and doesn’t really expect an answer, but after a few quiet moments thorin speaks again
"when i was a child, i thought fireflies were stars"
now bilbo actually turns to him, a bit surprised and attempting a smile, but not quite smiling, because he’s still wary of thorin
thorin looks like he himself didn’t expect these world to come out of his mouth, but attempts nonchalance
"i’d heard of the stars, but living in a mountain one doesn’t have many opportunities to see them, especially if one is a youngling. so whenever i saw fireflies on the roofs of the caves i thought those were the stars everyone was talking about."
bilbo still doesn’t quite look at thorin, but his smile grows wide, although he tries to hide it as he nods apprehensively
"when i was finally allowed to venture outside i was quite surprised and somewhat disappointed that the real stars didn’t fly around in the air but just hung there. thought it was rather dull."
and this is the point where bilbo dies of cute
-submitted by @nitocrisss