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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
"For sixty years the ring has laid quite in Bilbo's keeping,
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dormouse
Half-elven

Feb 1 2010, 4:35pm

Post #26 of 71 (3751 views)
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I think maturity is the point..... [In reply to] Can't Post

All this talk about age ranges equivalent ages and human ages relating to hobbit ages makes my head spin. For me, the thing that matters most is that Bilbo was becoming settled - one might almost say set - in his ways. Middle-aged - though this is a term we might apply to someone of almost any (adult) age. It's about attitude and behaviour rather than the number of candles on the birthday cake. If the actor who plays Bilbo can show me a hobbit who enjoys his home comforts a little too much and sees adventures as 'nasty disturbing things', and who is then challenged and transformed by adventure he'll be a success, whoever they cast. It seems like a transition which an actor of 30 or 40+ could achieve more naturally, but I could be wrong about that - it depends on the actor.


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Feb 1 2010, 5:58pm

Post #27 of 71 (3773 views)
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An Accurate Adaptation of the Story: [In reply to] Can't Post

I have followed followed Squire's posts and appreciate his knowledge and skill at expressing his thoughts. That is why I was surprised by his support of the younger age. No one in this immediate discussion may be supporting the casting of someone as young as a twenty year old but that idea has been repeated many times recently on the boards. I find myself reacting strongly to the idea. It actually shocked me when I first ran into it for it stood in direct opposition to my vision of Bilbo.
I am a Hobbit firster. I read The Hobbit, not as a child, but as a veteran returned from the Viet Nam war. I had always read science fiction and fantasy to escape but also to understand the situations that I was witnessing in my life. The Hobbit caught me it brought me to The Lord of the Rings for which I am eternally grateful. Middle-earth took me to places I had never dreamed of and brought to me feelings I had never felt in response to anything I had ever read. For me, It was and is the opening of The Hobbit with this strange little frumpy middle-aged guy being confronted by this Mysterious rather pedantic Wizard that stands for ever as the gateway to my lifetime infatuation with J.R.R. Tolkien and his writing. I would rather not ever experience the awful sense of betrayal that I experienced in the theater viewing Bakshi's Lord of the Rings. I was not unhappy when I left the theater, I was angry. I did not view that film again until a couple weeks ago when (due to a discussion of it here on the boards) I pulled out the unopened DVD and watched it twice. They were correct. Not everything about it was bad. I grew a bit. Now I only dislike it a lot. I no longer experience the gut churning revulsion that I had and held all of those years.
We are now here at the beginning of the age of The Hobbit. I want this first and probably, for me, last Chapter of the Middle-earth story to be true to the vision I have held these thirty odd years. The Silmarillion and the History of Middle-earth came later and may eventually become films but I will not live to see them. I am 61. My father and my only brother both died at 62. I intend to live at least long enough to see the second part of The Hobbit on a really good theater screen.

There are criticisms of my posting on this thread. Inferences that I was trying to control its direction or own it. I would only say that my posting here along with the dozens of other comments I have posted over this passed weekend were the result of my spending thirty six of the past forty eight hours manning electronic security at my place of employment. It was a really quiet weekend. I was only hear to listen and respond, to suggest ideas and react to your responses.
I am not an old hand at his message board thing. I may accidentally trip over lines that I do not know to exist. This is not intentional. It is only because of my overwhelming enthusiasm for the subject that I am here. I am sure that everyone else who comes here feels much the same. Thanks.

Kangi Ska

At night one cannot tell if crows are black or white.




(This post was edited by Kangi Ska on Feb 1 2010, 5:59pm)


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Feb 1 2010, 6:29pm

Post #28 of 71 (3731 views)
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I appreciate your open candor [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate your explanation of why an accurate adaptation of The Hobbit is important to you. I am hopeful that you will get one. If you were pleased overall with Jackson's LOTR films, I suspect that you will be pleased with these films (as GdT himself once said). Of course, I know quite a few people who reacted to the Jackson films much the same way that you did to Bakshi. Fortunately (for me), while I definitely recognize many flaws in the Jackson films, I am not one of them.

Finally, I am in agreement with you about the important of showing " this strange little frumpy middle-aged guy being confronted by this Mysterious rather pedantic Wizard." I am fairly sure that an actor who is around forty years old could pull that off very well, if it is the right actor. I am equally convinced that a 20-25 year old actor - no matter who he is - could not.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

www.arda-reconstructed.com

(This post was edited by Altaira on Feb 2 2010, 3:29am)


GaladrielTX
Tol Eressea


Feb 1 2010, 6:52pm

Post #29 of 71 (3731 views)
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What’s with all the arithmetic, folks? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm usually the first person to break out the spreadsheet, it being a useful tool in my profession It’s beside the point here, though.

As I read this thread, I kept coming back to my own experience of The Hobbit. I read it first and then LOTR. This is consistent with the order in which Tolkien had the books published and the order in which he wrote them. It doesn't appear he came up with the idea of Hobbits aging slower than Men for a long time. When he wrote the books surely he pictured a small, chubby, fifty year-old man. He built that image into the character of the puffing, stodgy little fellow who had become set in his ways. For a couple of decades, until the LOTR books came out, readers learned that Bilbo was fifty, and that’s no doubt what they pictured. When I read The Hobbit and read that he was fifty that’s how about how old my dad was, and that’s how old I pictured Bilbo.

Whether the filmmakers want to treat The Hobbit with integrity in this regard, I cannot say. All I can say is how I perceived Bilbo, how Tolkien’s initial readership must have perceived him, and how Tolkien probably thought of him when he wrote The Hobbit.

~~~~~~~~

The TORNsib formerly known as Galadriel.



dormouse
Half-elven

Feb 1 2010, 7:20pm

Post #30 of 71 (3692 views)
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Thanks for this.... [In reply to] Can't Post

.... especially for the explanation of your experience of The Hobbit as the gateway to Middle Earth - it's always fascinating to hear other readers reactions to these books that have enchanted me for decades. I didn't read The Hobbit first and for me the gates opened with 'The Shadow of the Past' and its vast perspectives of time and history - then with Frodo's first encounter with the Elves. 'Gildor Inglorion of the House of Finrod' still sounds like music to me. I felt as you did about the Bakshi film when it came out and I haven't looked at it since.

I hope you get your 'strange little frumpy middle-aged guy being confronted by this Mysterious rather pedantic Wizard' (lovely description!) 'cos it sounds just like the hobbit I'm looking for too.



Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Feb 1 2010, 10:48pm

Post #31 of 71 (3709 views)
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Number Non-sense [In reply to] Can't Post

I once taught Research Methods to freshmen at a University when I was a Grad. student. I was real tired when I made the post. It struck me that the prospect of running a demographic analysis on an imaginary population would be like absurdest performance art.

So you are performing statistical analysis on an imaginary set of individuals based on the assumptions that the sample was representative of the entire imaginary population and that the creator of the Imaginary population intended the sample to represent the whole.

It still makes my head spin.

Kangi Ska

At night one cannot tell if crows are black or white.




AinurOlorin
Half-elven

Feb 1 2010, 11:39pm

Post #32 of 71 (3699 views)
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Well. . . Frodo should have been 50 as well, though I know they fudged the dates [In reply to] Can't Post

I would guess that the actor chosen will most likely be between 35 and 45. On a seperate note, though Bilbo was learned in lore, I don't believe he was ever counted among The Wise. The Wise seemed only to reffer to certain Powers remaining in Middle Earth, namely the chiefs amongst The High Elves and the Wizards. "The Wise may have good reason to believe that the Halfings trove is The Great Ring of long debate. . . " So said Galdor. For all Bilbo's lore studies, it seems unlikely that he would be among The Wise and an ambassador of Cirdan not so.

In Reply To
prolonging his life and delaying his old age." Gandalf in "Shadow of the Past"(Fotr EE Movie)

So if you do the math (111 take away 60)
Bilbo is fifty to fiftyone years of age at the finding of the One Ring in Gollum's Cave. This might be a strong indicator for the the casting of Bilbo in the up coming Hobbit films. I know that there has been a protracted discussion of Hobbit years versus Human years and I do not know if there can be a definitive settlement of this issue based on textual references. I do know that Ian Holm was aged back to appear roughly in the Gollum's Cave scene in FotR.

I assert, based an multiple readings and thirty years of study, that Tolkien intended Bilbo to be and act like an independently wealthy country squire of fifty years of age at the start of The Hobbit. He is soft. He has been living a very quiet life in an idyllic country and is complacent to no end. He goes of the adventure gets hardened by the trek and discovers, through the well known series of events, that there is much more to him than he thought. He gains an insight into social matters and historical matters that transforms him into one of the Wise as shown later in Lord of the Ring.

I do believe that the casting of Bilbo is the one most critical thing that can make or break the films. To fulfill all of the criteria necessary for a brilliant portrayal of the role should require someone masterfully skilled in the art of movie acting. There are very few young men who qualify at this level as well as the other maters of importance. (These being height, physical type, relationship to earlier casting of Ian Holm in the role Etc.)

I would life your considered opinions on this matter.



"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 2 2010, 1:45am

Post #33 of 71 (3695 views)
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One thing worth remembering [In reply to] Can't Post

when posting is that those who talk loudest and longest are not necessarily representative of the general view. We always have a few crusaders in our midst but there are many here who hold vastly divergent views but lack either the time, desire, or stamina to enter into extended debates over preferences. For every outspoken member, there are several much quieter members who may agree or not but don't speak up.

This debate has made me curious as to the actual division of opinions on this topic, so everyone is invited to come over to the Pollantir and make your preference known in my poll. This should be very interesting! Cool

Silverlode

"Of all faces those of our familiares are the ones both most difficult to play fantastic tricks with, and most difficult really to see with fresh attention. They have become like the things which once attracted us by their glitter, or their colour, or their shape, and we laid hands on them, and then locked them in our hoard, acquired them, and acquiring ceased to look at them.
Creative fantasy, because it is mainly trying to do something else [make something new], may open your hoard and let all the locked things fly away like cage-birds. The gems all turn into flowers or flames, and you will be warned that all you had (or knew) was dangerous and potent, not really effectively chained, free and wild; no more yours than they were you."
-On Fairy Stories


Tiria
Bree

Feb 2 2010, 2:42am

Post #34 of 71 (3678 views)
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Movie canon contradictions; But really, it's about the right actor, period [In reply to] Can't Post

Regardless of what we may think the Professor's intents (personally, I think the coming-of-age and later breeding thing is very clear; others are more literalist), the point is that this is a movie. And it's a movie made by people who have already made one movie about hobbits, which has contradictory casting issues with regard to the ages of the actors vs. the ages of their characters.

The question then becomes which of their precedents do they follow? Do they follow their aged-down casting of Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin, or do they follow the not-quite-so-aged-down casting of Bilbo?

Personally, if I were them, I'd go with the right actor, period. Not someone who's a specific age, not someone who looks exactly like Ian Holm (at whatever age), but someone who is right for the part; someone who embodies a hobbity spirit, with all the charm, courage, sensitivity and emotional depth that we've come to expect from the actors playing our beloved halflings.

While I personally don't think someone under ~28 or over ~45 will be quite right for this, if he's otherwise perfect for the role, then he should get it, period. I think specific age is far less relevant to this than finding the right person who will make us believe he is Bilbo, and forget about exactly how old Bilbo is supposed to be.


shadowdog
Rohan

Feb 2 2010, 2:52am

Post #35 of 71 (3683 views)
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How old was Frodo at the beginning of LoTR? [In reply to] Can't Post

Wasn't the birthday party celebrating Bilbo reach 111 and the party had a gross of guests to match their combined age? That would make Frodo 33 at the time of the party and at the time that he inherited the ring. This was in Tolkien's own words equivelant to 21 in human terms. So how do we get to Frodo as being in his 50s?????


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Feb 2 2010, 3:21am

Post #36 of 71 (3666 views)
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Seventeen years passed [In reply to] Can't Post

(in the book) between "The Long Expected Party" and Frodo leaving the Shire with the ring.

Kangi Ska

At night one cannot tell if crows are black or white.




Finrod
Rohan


Feb 2 2010, 4:06am

Post #37 of 71 (3690 views)
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Re: Frodo should have been 50 [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Frodo should have been 50


Don’t stop there. If Frodo should have been 50, then it necessarily follows that:
  • Bilbo should have been 111 (and later, 131)
  • Aragorn should have been 87
  • Denethor should have been 89
  • young Gimli should have been 140
  • Arwen should have been 2,778
  • Galadriel should have been more than 8,000
  • Gandalf should have been…
Oh, my! How old should Gandalf have been? Let’s see now… 6,459 were the Years of the Sun when Master Elrond sought the Havens, and before those stretched 1,495 Great Years under the Trees, or some 14,325 years as we now reckon them. But the long ages that Olórin dwelt with his good cousin Aiwendil upon the fair green isle of Almaren during the Spring of Arda, those years we cannot number. One of Holy Ones from the Great Music, Olórin is immeasurably more ancient than the brief 20,000 years I have here tallied for him.

Plainly, we have now stepped beyond the purview even of heroic romance and into the stuff of myth itself. Tolkien’s Legendarium has that name for good reason; it is above all a work of fantasy. You cannot preserve any integrity of story if you capriciously discount in one aspect something you assiduously adhere to in a related one. You break the subcreation’s integrity. It all works together as one fabric; don’t unravel it.

It does intolerable injury to the story to insist that Aragorn and Denethor be played by actors of their age, and practically speaking, there are exceedingly few Christopher Lees out there to play them. Moreover, you simply cannot find anyone for the older ones—ever. The same understanding that forces you to reject matching Arwen, Galadriel, Gandalf with actors of their ‘real’ ages must apply equally to the youngsters listed, all the way up to and including Frodo. You must choose human actors whose own actual ages reflect the outward appearance of the rôles they will play, not how many fantasy years those characters have accrued.

That is why Frodo had to be played by an actor who looked to have just come of age. It’s what the book says, for heaven’s sake! To make Frodo 50 would have been a wildly unsupportable departure from the book’s text, and it would have made all the characters ridiculous in comparison.

Good thing the filmmakers aren’t that absurd.

That’s why Kíli won’t be played by a 77‐year‐old actor in The Hobbit movies. Which reminds me: the mystery female dwarf whose rôle has been bandied about is obviously Dis, Thorin’s sister and Fíli’s and Kíli’s mother, the sole female dwarf anywhere named in the whole Legendarium.

Don’t expect a crone, though.

…all eyes looked upon the ring; for he held it now aloft, and the green jewels gleamed there that the Noldor had devised in Valinor. For this ring was like to twin serpents, whose eyes were emeralds, and their heads met beneath a crown of golden flowers, that the one upheld and the other devoured; that was the badge of Finarfin and his house.
The Silmarillion, pp 150-151
while Felagund laughs beneath the trees
in Valinor and comes no more
to this grey world of tears and war.
The Lays of Beleriand, p 311




Oiotári
Tol Eressea


Feb 2 2010, 4:12am

Post #38 of 71 (3674 views)
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they seem to have a lot of directions they could go for casting [In reply to] Can't Post

Since movie LotR chose to ignore those 17 years, Bilbo wouldn't have to look the same age as Frodo did. Those who only watched the movies wouldn't be confused since they assume Frodo was still 33 when he set out for Rivendell. But then again, it's not too unlikely that Bilbo will be cast at a similar age to Frodo (although I hope that is not the case). Then again, they could cast someone around 50 years of age. Or another option would be to look at the spread of ages compared to humans as we have and cast someone 30-40 (or thereabouts). Finally, they could just find someone who is simply fits the part well.

Personally I have no idea how the movie will be cast. In my mind the actor should definitely fit the part well, but I'm also picturing someone in the 35-40 range. I have a feeling the right actor for the part, if they stay true to the book, will most likely not be overly young.



Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens


Finrod
Rohan


Feb 2 2010, 4:20am

Post #39 of 71 (3661 views)
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Go back and reread good Squire [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
... the prospect of running a demographic analysis on an imaginary population would be like absurdest performance art. So you are performing statistical analysis on an imaginary set of individuals based on the assumptions that the sample was representative of the entire imaginary population and that the creator of the Imaginary population intended the sample to represent the whole.


You’ve misunderstood. Kindly go back and reread Squire’s posting. He’s again hit the nail on the head. Tolkien designed it all to work out this way: this is no accident. Paying attention to it is therefore completely reasonable—and completely dispositive.

…all eyes looked upon the ring; for he held it now aloft, and the green jewels gleamed there that the Noldor had devised in Valinor. For this ring was like to twin serpents, whose eyes were emeralds, and their heads met beneath a crown of golden flowers, that the one upheld and the other devoured; that was the badge of Finarfin and his house.
The Silmarillion, pp 150-151
while Felagund laughs beneath the trees
in Valinor and comes no more
to this grey world of tears and war.
The Lays of Beleriand, p 311




Tiria
Bree

Feb 2 2010, 4:52am

Post #40 of 71 (3661 views)
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You acknowledge that no one in this discussion wants a 20-year-old, and yet... [In reply to] Can't Post

...you're still arguing as if that's what we're saying.

If someone really were arguing for Zac Efron, I'd be right there alongside you. But they're not. Not in this discussion, and not in any recent discussions here, either. So what are you fighting against? Do you have links? Examples? Names?


Tiria
Bree

Feb 2 2010, 4:56am

Post #41 of 71 (3690 views)
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It's important not to put a modern cultural spin on this, though [In reply to] Can't Post

What we in the 21st century concieve of as a settled-down and comfortable middle age would've been considered an elder in Tolkien's time.

It wasn't that long ago that an unmarried woman would've been considered an irrevocable spinster at 30. And 60somethings running marathons would've been unheard of in 1930.

A 50-year-old human in Tolkien's time would've been a senior citizen, close to retirement. Not someone who was just getting into too much of a rut with a comfortable life. Hell, most people had grandkids by that age.


Oiotári
Tol Eressea


Feb 2 2010, 5:04am

Post #42 of 71 (3670 views)
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Just when I think we've exhausted all possible takes [In reply to] Can't Post

someone posts another interesting point, that thought hadn't even crossed my mind

I'm glad we have so many different thoughts and opinions here
it makes for a very enjoyable discussion



Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Feb 2 2010, 5:25am

Post #43 of 71 (3670 views)
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Think they will out Dis?// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Kangi Ska

At night one cannot tell if crows are black or white.




Oiotári
Tol Eressea


Feb 2 2010, 5:27am

Post #44 of 71 (3644 views)
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???? [In reply to] Can't Post

*is confused*

explain please? Blush



Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Feb 2 2010, 5:31am

Post #45 of 71 (3649 views)
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Read Finrods post that mine is an answer to. It is just above it. [In reply to] Can't Post

An interesting thought.

Kangi Ska

At night one cannot tell if crows are black or white.




N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Feb 2 2010, 6:06am

Post #46 of 71 (3658 views)
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More stats. [In reply to] Can't Post

The averages are separated by family in this post, with a spreadsheet of data added here

<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
We're discussing The Silmarillion in the Reading Room, Aug. 9 - Mar 7. Please join the conversation!

This week: "Akallabêth".
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


Gildor
Rivendell

Feb 2 2010, 6:56am

Post #47 of 71 (3653 views)
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what makes sense to me [In reply to] Can't Post

Since Bilbo operates as something of a father figure to Frodo in LOTR, and Frodo is portrayed by a coming of age actor in LOTR, it seems to make sense to add 20 or so years for Bilbo for his adventure. The movie need not adhere exactly to the 60 years time difference, and for most movie goers, all they will know is that this story took place way earlier than LOTR. If Bilbo is played by someone in 35-40 year age, it would make good sense to most movie goers. While this a little older than the 'relative' age of hobbits vs. humans, it probably makes sense.

Having said this, as others have mentioned, movie makers are quite capable of altering someone's appearance to look however they want. Therefore, I say expect an actor in their 30's, maybe late 30's more specifically.

Gildor


squire
Half-elven


Feb 2 2010, 11:18am

Post #48 of 71 (3654 views)
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Bilbo is upper class [In reply to] Can't Post

You make a good point about the longevity and health of past generations of humans being shorter and less sure than they are today. But the statement as it stands applies to the "world" of the 1930s. It is too general to help us understand who Bilbo is.

Remember, he is one of the most privileged members of his society, who has never worked a day in his life. He's been cared for by nurses and eaten the best foods since childhood. He would be much closer to our (in the U.S.) idea of a 50-year-old than a more typical person of the world in the 1930s. Tolkien himself was of the relatively secure upper middle class in England, and he is imagining his hobbit as being of the country gentry, a class even higher and more comfortable than his own. Furthermore, although he has placed Bilbo in a pre-industrial fantasy world, Bilbo is no caveman or feudal lord; part of his charm is that he clearly belongs in the 50-year period preceding his creation, the 1880s-1930s in England. That is an industrialized era where life expectancy for the ruling class reached nearly the length that is enjoyed by a much larger proportion of people today, only a century later.

50 year olds were "close to retirement" in Tolkien's time? Retirement came at 65 in those days, if you were in a position to "retire" at all; whereas today many people with good jobs are in a financial position to retire even earlier than 65. On the other end of the spectrum, there are plenty of people on earth in 2010 who have grandkids at 50 - right, gramma? Childbearing ages in an industrialized society are linked to social class, culture, and life circumstances, rather than the era one lives in.

And of course now, in 2010, 50-year-olds are still considered "senior citizens, close to retirement" - in pre-industrial societies where the life expectancy is much lower than in the technologized regions of earth. Yet, just as with Bilbo, the ruling elites of those societies have access to far better sustenance and physical comforts and live to ages commensurate with ours in America and Europe.

We should be wary of putting a modern cultural spin on our understanding of Tolkien and his works, to be sure. But sometimes a modern cultural spin can reverse itself, and consign everyone in the not-so-distant past to a too-general picture of primitivism.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


FarFromHome
Valinor


Feb 2 2010, 12:25pm

Post #49 of 71 (3635 views)
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Bilbo is comfortable middle class, I'd say [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree that he would have been in better shape than some working-class men (miners, say) of the same age. But they were often dead by 50.


Quote
He's been cared for by nurses and eaten the best foods since childhood.



Maybe true, but the "nurses" are really only nursemaids, or hired help. They don't know anything about nursing in the modern sense. And the "best foods" of the day were not necessarily good for you - white bread was "better" than wholemeal, sugar and butter were highly prized.


Quote

Tolkien himself was of the relatively secure upper middle class in England...



Unfortunately not. I've just been reading his biography for the first time, and I was struck by how precarious both his parents' family situations were. His father went to South Africa (where JRRT was born) because it was the only way he could earn enough money to marry at all. His mother's family was from an ancient stock, but appear to have lost most of their money in the generation before - his maternal grandfather was a travelling salesman. And once his mother changed her religion and fell out with her family, her situation was very insecure indeed. She ended up needing the charity of various relations, and of priests at the church she attended. (As for Tolkien himself, as an academic he had "respectability" but not much money - which is why he undertook the extra marking that led to "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit" being written on a blank page of an answer paper!)


Quote
Furthermore, although he has placed Bilbo in a pre-industrial fantasy world, Bilbo is no caveman or feudal lord; part of his charm is that he clearly belongs in the 50-year period preceding his creation, the 1880s-1930s in England. That is an industrialized era where life expectancy for the ruling class reached nearly the length that is enjoyed by a much larger proportion of people today, only a century later.



Can you really be in a "pre-industrial fantasy" set in an "industrialized era"? Sounds a bit fishy to me! Tongue

Carpenter's biography suggests that Tolkien himself came from a long-lived family, and expected to live longer than he did. But longevity was always variable, and expectations were based more on family lore and legend than on regular medical checkups.


Quote
Childbearing ages in an industrialized society are linked to social class, culture, and life circumstances, rather than the era one lives in.



Yes indeed, I think this is very true. In Tolkien's day it was normal to marry young (if you could afford it), and once married you would have children right away - no family planning (and certainly not for Catholics!) Heck, I remember in the early 70s when I and my friends were having our children, if you were over 24 when your first child was born that was considered an "elderly" first pregnancy!

On the whole, I think the arguments I've heard that Bilbo might have been around 35-40 in "modern human" years sounds about right - midlife crisis territory, you might say, the delicate time after you've settled into a comfortable lifestyle and are starting to wonder if there shouldn't be more to life than this after all.


They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Feb 2 2010, 3:45pm

Post #50 of 71 (3603 views)
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I speak not against a person but against the concept. // [In reply to] Can't Post

The Role of Bilbo Baggins requires a mature supremely talented actor. With the ability to be both a comedic buffoon and an Action Hero.

Kangi Ska

At night one cannot tell if crows are black or white.



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