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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room: Tolkien's Stone-trolls: Edit Log


Jun 1 2018, 9:35am

Views: 2253
Tolkien's Stone-trolls

Bill might have had only a vague concept of the size of a village and might have meant no more than a couple of dozen folk or so, especially since the three Trolls are in a pretty sparsely inhabited region. Other than travelers, the Hill-men of Rhudaur, and the hidden enclaves of the Dúnedain, what Men live within striking distance of them?

In Reply To
I also note that trolls and hobbits (and in LotR, the Men of Bree) are the only folk who use family surnames. Are trolls that modern?

I wonder if this is a case of Bill putting on airs after meeting (and eating!) a traveling Bree-lander with a name similar to his own.

In Reply To
I really like the discussion of the different categories of burglars. Especially the line:
"Others more practical but with less professional pride would perhaps have stuck a dagger into each of them before they observed it".
But how does Bilbo know all of this? And doesn't this knowledge erect some kind of barrier between him and the reader?

Bilbo might not have known that at the time, except perhaps from old tales. It might be knowledge he gained later, or it might even be an addition by our narrator.

In Reply To
"...trolls, as you probably know, must be underground before dawn"
Did you know that? I only knew of the trolls under the bridge before!
But it is a matter of technique for Tolkien to drop this kind of stuff, and pretend that we all ought to know it already.

This seems to be the sort of narrative device used to make the listener/reader feel more clever than the hero, a not uncommon device in stories meant for children.

In Reply To
And last - I note Bilbo's presence of mind to filch William's key from his pocket just in time. He is showing some promise as a burglar!
But why did he keep it secret?

I don't think that this is meant to be indicative of a pattern of behavior on Bilbo's part except that he was flustered and distracted by the other events of the night and had completely forgotten about the key until the mention of the locked door. I don't remember any indication that Bilbo kept his elvish dagger a secret from the rest of the company.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 1 2018, 9:36am)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Otaku-sempai (Immortal) on Jun 1 2018, 9:36am

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