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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Revisiting Bilbo's Contract
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stormcrow20
Gondor


Feb 15 2012, 6:43pm

Post #26 of 72 (1323 views)
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Amazing! [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the attention to detail, by the filmmakers and the decipherer. Well done! And many thanks for posting it here, DanielLB!

After reading this amazing blog, I suggest taking a look at the more humorous interpretations of the contract by our members in last month's Caption Contest.



Good Morning!



Gollum the Great
Rohan


Feb 15 2012, 7:08pm

Post #27 of 72 (1320 views)
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wow... just wow... [In reply to] Can't Post

Geeks rock.

I'm not sure which is more amazing - the fact that Weta actually wrote out this whole contract in proper dwarven style and all, or the fact that someone took the time to figure out what it says.

(do you think Weta knew someone would actually try to figure out what it says?)

Lord Sméagol? Gollum the Great? The Gollum! Eat fish every day, three times a day; fresh from the sea. Most Precious Gollum!


JustLuthien
Registered User

Feb 15 2012, 7:08pm

Post #28 of 72 (1340 views)
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language [In reply to] Can't Post

If the contract were in the dwarves' language, Bilbo would not be able to read it - more likely, it would have been written in Westron, the common tongue. In Tolkien's version of MIddle Earth, dwarves were very secretive, esp about their culture, etc.; that said, it wouldn't surprise me if Jackson did write it in 'dwarve-ese.' I just stick such alterations in file 13 with all of his other root alterations like the elven warrior princesses, Aragorn being tossed over a cliff... I guess more than just the road goes on forever.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Feb 15 2012, 8:03pm

Post #29 of 72 (1306 views)
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I've wondered that, too! [In reply to] Can't Post

Bilbo carried Thorin's letter with him throughout the Quest and used it to confirm his portion of the treasure when he's talking the Bard and Thranduil, so I'd always thought that he carried his contract, too. BUT the size of this one makes me think he'd leave it behind and just carry the letter as his proof.

Actually... did Bilbo ever sign the contract? ;) From his comment here, I'd say yeah... but seeing that he thought the morning the Quest started and the Dwarves were gone, he didn't seem to think he was supposed to be going... making breakfast and clearing up and all. It'll be fun to see how they handle it in the film! In the trailer when he's chasing after the Dwarves, he's got the contract flailing behind him and firmly grasped in his hand!

Oh geez... this is gonna be fun!! :D



Quote

"Really you know," Bilbo was saying in his best business manner, "things are impossible. Personally I am tired of the whole affair. I wish I was back in the West in my own home, where folk are more reasonable. But I have an interest in this matter—one fourteenth share, to be precise, according to a letter, which fortunately I believe I have kept." He drew from a pocket in his old jacket (which he still wore over his mail), crumpled and much folded, Thorin's letter that had been put under the clock on his mantelpiece in May!



sample

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.




TORn's Observations Lists
Unused Scenes



(This post was edited by grammaboodawg on Feb 15 2012, 8:06pm)


DanielLB
Immortal


Feb 15 2012, 8:09pm

Post #30 of 72 (1281 views)
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Yeah!! [In reply to] Can't Post

I can imagine PJ wanting a little scene with Bilbo pulling out the contract in the dungeons of Thranduil's Halls (all crumpled and stained), saying that coming up with a plan to save the Dwarves wasn't in the contract!

Not in the book, but would be great!


Xanaseb
Tol Eressea


Feb 15 2012, 8:54pm

Post #31 of 72 (1311 views)
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Or even a pur-i-st... [In reply to] Can't Post

Wink

Yeah I think you may be right on this one......it is terribly OTT.......even has scribbled in clauses in every spare space practically.......

buuuuut oh vell.....

Smile

"I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama"

___________


Let us then continue Tolkien's Legendarium!


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Feb 15 2012, 9:01pm

Post #32 of 72 (1333 views)
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While it is cliché, I think it capture's Thorin's character well... [In reply to] Can't Post

It's said in the book that Thorin likes to go on for hours about important matters. So it seems fitting that he'd leave a huge contract for Bilbo rather than a short note. It also gives the sense of Bilbo being well out of his depth on the adventure. I'm fine with it Smile

"...For if joyful is the fountain that rises in the sun, its springs are in the wells of sorrow unfathomed at the foundations of the Earth"

(This post was edited by QuackingTroll on Feb 15 2012, 9:02pm)


Macfeast
Rohan

Feb 15 2012, 9:13pm

Post #33 of 72 (1289 views)
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Plus... [In reply to] Can't Post

...it's kind of an early visual cue to establish the dwarves as the "calculating folk with a great idea of the value of money" that they are described as later.

For my part, I love it. The idea of them going to great lengths to make a contract that covers all bases, seems very fitting, IMO. Definitely a change I support.


(This post was edited by Macfeast on Feb 15 2012, 9:15pm)


TomthePilgrim
Rohan


Feb 15 2012, 11:12pm

Post #34 of 72 (1220 views)
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Puree-ist? [In reply to] Can't Post

Tongue

"I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means me!"

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,

"Thorin sat up with a start. 'Something is not right,' he muttered to himself as he stood up and looked towards the mirror . . . . . . . . . 'Durin's bones', he gasped, 'what's happened to my beard?'"


squire
Half-elven


Feb 16 2012, 1:32am

Post #35 of 72 (1251 views)
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I am surprised that it is in English [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the great jokes of The Hobbit is that the runes on the endpaper map of the Lonely Mountain actually transliterate into English. It took me two reviews of the blog before I realized that the lettering on the prop contract was actually the Latin alphabet - I had just assumed the film would take advantage of Tolkien's easy-to-use gag runes. (Needless to say, the film audience will not have to read the contract, so why not follow Tolkien's lead here? LotR's Moria was not filled with fake-looking Old English style letters, but honest Dwarven runes)

I agree that the prop department had fun with writing a contract that by design had to be so long as to be funny, when seen spilling out of Bilbo's hands. Part I (as the blog breaks it down) is obviously straight from the non-disclosure agreement that the cast and crew had to sign before working on the film - thus the bit about future technologies was already written, by the production company's lawyers!

Excellent photo-analysis work by DarkJackal!

But I am disturbed by the close-up of Richard Armitage as Thorin at the top of that blog. Maybe I never studied his make-up before, but I find the eerie smoothness of his skin very disturbing. Young or old, Thorin Oakenshield's face should have some "character" - some lines and creases, some roughness and weathering, some pores, some hair. Tolkien's Thorin is a venerable dwarf-lord who has done forge work for many decades, and traveled outdoors or lived in rock caves all his life, and struggled with life and death decisions about his people. This Thorin, up close, looks like a modern day model or film actor in all his glorious cosmetic perfection.



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 (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


haddock
Registered User

Feb 16 2012, 6:55am

Post #36 of 72 (1205 views)
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Part G: more words [In reply to] Can't Post

"Meals to be provided (or not) at the sole discretion of the Director,
............... for ..., ...., or any special dietary
requirements not disclosed at the outset"

Now it's making sense! The change from "Means" to "Meals" provides a vital clue for this section. So we find that dwarves and hobbits share the trait of attaching special importance to the subject of food.... ;-)

Note to DarkJackal: Congrats on a magnificent job so far. Tolkien would have admired the philological skills and the exercise in textual criticism. I hope you agree with my additions. On the basis of the fact they include 2 newly-deciphered words containing the letter "l", I might suggest that you pay extra attention to this admittedly rather elusive (and faintly drawn) letter. Could be useful in deciphering other words!

(The decoding continues....)


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Feb 16 2012, 7:50am

Post #37 of 72 (1199 views)
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The letter's NOT written in dwarven style, it's in Hobbit style [In reply to] Can't Post

Or rather, "mock" Hobbit style.

Thorin was, in essence, poking fun at the "hobbitish" way of doing and agreeing to things, which was very much officious, well-ordered, businesslike, highly prosaic, and all written down proper, with the i's dotted and the t's crossed.

The dwarven style is, as we know, poetic, emotional, passionate and heroic. They don't quite tell Bilbo what the adventure is about, they sing it, and they do so in a way that inspires wonderful (and terrible) thoughts in Bilbo.

The contract is, in many ways, a joke at Bilbo's expense. There is very little at all "dwarven" about it.

This is another great example of Tolkien's humor, which simultaneously says something about the very different "modes" of the characters Bilbo and Thorin.

Bilbo starts as the "modern everyman" type and Thorin is the more ancient, heroic type. And the latter has contempt for the former.

All you really need is the contract to prove it!


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Feb 16 2012, 7:53am

Post #38 of 72 (1206 views)
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The contract [In reply to] Can't Post

Says more about Bilbo than it does about the dwarves. It was written in that way as a not-so-subtle dig at "hobbitishness."

It is a very un-dwarvish document.


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Feb 16 2012, 7:56am

Post #39 of 72 (1158 views)
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Perhaps [In reply to] Can't Post

But I hope PJ and company treat the contract for what it is - Thorin's rather sarcastic attempt to produce a "hobbitish" document.

It is hobbits that go for that sort of thing (everything written down neat and proper) not dwarves.


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Feb 16 2012, 8:00am

Post #40 of 72 (1177 views)
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Agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

The contract from the book is short, sweet, and hilarious.

However, I'm not too concerned about this. In some ways, it may strengthen a joke that might otherwise sail over a lay audience's head.


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Feb 16 2012, 8:43am

Post #41 of 72 (1152 views)
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We see Bilbo taking the contract with him in the trailer... [In reply to] Can't Post

... it's flying in his hand as he runs along and pants "Wait!" Smile

ETA: Linkie to screencap.



The Plan 9 Interview... in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the release of The Fellowship of the Ring.

(This post was edited by Earl on Feb 16 2012, 8:44am)


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Feb 16 2012, 11:15am

Post #42 of 72 (1130 views)
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Yeppers! [In reply to] Can't Post

Flailing and flying in his speed!!! *snigger* This is gonna be great!


sample

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.




TORn's Observations Lists
Unused Scenes



grammaboodawg
Immortal


Feb 16 2012, 11:15am

Post #43 of 72 (1154 views)
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Oh cripes... [In reply to] Can't Post

they could have so much fun with this! Good One! :D


sample

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.




TORn's Observations Lists
Unused Scenes



squire
Half-elven


Feb 16 2012, 11:59am

Post #44 of 72 (1169 views)
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No, it's in Dwarven style [In reply to] Can't Post

I think Tolkien's joke is that his Dwarves, though seemingly out of a fairy-tale, can be as officious and long-winded as any provincial British councilman. The letter is distinctly in Thorin's business-style, which was revealed at the party the night before:
“We are met to discuss our plans, our ways, means, policy and devices. We shall soon before the break of day start on our long journey, a journey from which some of us, or perhaps all of us (except our friend and counsellor, the ingenious wizard Gandalf) may never return. It is a solemn moment. Our object is, I take it, well known to us all. To the estimable Mr. Baggins, and perhaps to one or two of the younger dwarves (I think I should be right in naming Kili and Fili, for instance), the exact situation at the moment may require a little brief explanation-”
This was Thorin’s style. He was an important dwarf. If he had been allowed, he would probably have gone on like this until he was out of breath, without telling any one there anything that was not known already.
(The Hobbit, 1)
There's no real difference between such speech, and the letter that is Bilbo's contract:
“Thorin and Company to Burglar Bilbo greeting!
For your hospitality our sincerest thanks, and for your offer of professional assistance our grateful acceptance. Terms: cash on delivery, up to and not exceeding one fourteenth of total profits (if any); all traveling expenses guaranteed in any event; funeral expenses to be defrayed by us or our representatives, if occasion arises and the matter is not otherwise arranged for.

“Thinking it unnecessary to disturb your esteemed repose, we have proceeded in advance to make requisite preparations, and shall await your respected person at the Green Dragon Inn, Bywater, at 11 a.m. sharp. Trusting that you will be punctual.

“We have the honour to remain

“Yours deeply

“Thorin & Co.”
(The Hobbit, 2)
The Dwarves do have a romantic side to them, as you note: the remarkable song that reveals a side of them that has been hidden throughout the Unexpected Party. But I don't think we can say that Thorin is "poking fun" at Bilbo with his prosaic way of speaking and contracting for burglary services. The story is a comedy, and it is Tolkien who is poking fun at our belief that Dwarves are inherently romantic. Throughout the story, they remain fussy, whiny, indecisive, and at times foolish, at least as much as they convey any sense of being "ancient and heroic."

I have no idea whether the films will pick up on this deep irony or not. The long contract that we are discussing here, while well-executed as a prop and an obvious sight gag, actually has nothing at all to do with the equivalent item in Tolkien's book.



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 (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


DarkJackal
Rohan

Feb 16 2012, 12:00pm

Post #45 of 72 (1217 views)
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Glad to see you all were interested [In reply to] Can't Post

I figured you guys would enjoy this, but not to the level you've shown in the comments! Thank you all for your kind words, and even for the offers of therapy. I had been trying to do this with the smaller quality pics and did not get far, so it was a bit of a thrill (such a geek) when I found I could read much more of it with these images. I will be taking all of the suggestions I've read into account, and updating the post as soon as I get time.

Oh, and I just wanted to say that I hate to disappoint you boys, but I must claim this supremely dorky endeavor for the fairer sex, although I'm glad I don't always sound like a hopeless fangurl. Sly


DanielLB
Immortal


Feb 16 2012, 1:11pm

Post #46 of 72 (1151 views)
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Welcome to TORn DarkJackal [In reply to] Can't Post

Before I praise you for all your hard work, I must say sorry, as I originally put in my post "he" rather than finding out if you were a "she" Blush

But anyway, I just want to say a massive thanks for spending so much time deciphering this picture! It definitely feeds my need for spoilers in this drought! It will tide us over until the next report/vlog!

Thanks so much, and hope your time at TORn will be enjoyable Smile


DanielLB
Immortal


Feb 16 2012, 1:16pm

Post #47 of 72 (1188 views)
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Oh, and we also have another job for you! [In reply to] Can't Post

How do you feel about deciphering this for us Wink

http://newboards.theonering.net/...t_reply;so=ASC;mh=25;


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Feb 16 2012, 1:19pm

Post #48 of 72 (1180 views)
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In your opinion... [In reply to] Can't Post

That is there's no real evidence as to whether either species uses or doesn't use contracts. I don't think it was on Tolkien's list of priorities to mention anyone preferring contracts over anyone else, and as such all comment is entirely subjective as to whether this contract is hobbitish or dwarvish. In my opinion, dwarves would like contracts (being organised mining folk - and coming from a king) and hobbits would prefer a more informal short letter (being a more laid-back community run by a modest mayor) All PJ is doing is removing Thorin's attempt at being hobbitish and replacing it with a more in-character contract. (In my opinion)

"...For if joyful is the fountain that rises in the sun, its springs are in the wells of sorrow unfathomed at the foundations of the Earth"


Faenoriel
Tol Eressea


Feb 16 2012, 4:30pm

Post #49 of 72 (1170 views)
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Welcome and well met! [In reply to] Can't Post

Your blogs is great. I've tumbled upon it before and it's interesting to read.

<3 Gandy, Raddy, Sharkey, Ally & Pally <3


DrunkenMime
Registered User

Feb 16 2012, 8:07pm

Post #50 of 72 (1128 views)
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I agree! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And Shocked to the guy for that awesome work!

However, I've been wondering and worrying about that absurdly long document that Bilbo was holding ever since I saw the picture for the first time.

Call me a purest (and you will) but I don't think the film needs the sight gag of Bilbo trying to parcel thru a huge contract. Prof. Tolkien did it right the first time . . . short and sweet.

The book has so much humor to exploit, they didn't need to go for such an obvious gag.

A big BOO to the writers on this one.



I'm totally with you on this one...it seems to be a gag referring back to the contracts of secrecy all who are involved with the making of the Rings movies and now the Hobbit movies are required to sign prior to their involvement with them. I can imagine the actors signing contracts just as long as the one in this picture promising to not divulge any information they see, hear or otherwise become educated about during their time on set. Not only is the contract super huge but doesn't Bilbo read the note the next morning after the dwarves have gone? The book never says he signs anything does it? I'm re-reading the book now and I don't recall seeing that in the beginning of the story.

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