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A few answers

sador
Half-elven

Jul 12 2009, 7:52am


Views: 697
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A few answers [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Let me get this straight -- Bilbo lost his pocket handkerchief, and his buttons, but somehow he kept Thorin's letter?
I understand that was more important. But he had to remember switching it to his dry clothes in the goblin's cave!

Is it credible he'd still have it at this point?
I used to think it was hardly credible, at least surviving the Forest River.
However, Dreamdeer and squire pointed out it was probably written on parchment.

But was it? Remember the narrator's comment at the beginning of 'Roast Mutton':

Quote

"If you had dusted the mantelpiece, you would have found this just under the clock," said Gandalf, handing Bilbo a note (written, of course, on his own note-paper).

To me, this sounds as another of Tolkien's anachronisms - showing how much Bilbo is a modern Englishman out of place in the Ancient World; but it refutes this explanation!

Unless we assume this is a part of Tolkien's "translating" the Red Book into Tolkien's English. Do you like this suggestion? I suspect even Dreamdeer won't; and squire would probably abhor it.

And why did Tolkien think he needed it here?
It shows again just how much Bilbo is an outsider; even a dwarf wouldn't think of producing this kind of evidence (and not letting the Elvenking and Bard read it)!
Which serves both an internal and an external purpose:
Internally, it helps Bilbo baffle Bard and the Elvenking, getting them to accept his offer without misgivings or doubts.
Externally, reminding us that Bilbo is a character like us, and an outsider in this world - makes us see him as the reasonable and truly moral person who unties the Gordian knot of ancient world's prejudices, rather than the simple traitor he might otherwise seem. Bringing us back into the modern business-world, while being comic, also prompts us to view the action by the correct moral standards (our own, of course!).

2. Just how much of a plan did Bilbo have about this encounter? How much did he have thought out ahead of time, and how much is figuring out on the spot?

I think Bilbo is more of an improvisor. But can't think of any concrete proof.

3. To make his case, Bilbo produces a letter, supports the "claims" of Bard and the Elven King, provides information about Dain, and gives up the Arkenstone. What conclusions can you draw about the particular sequence of things Bilbo had to do in order to win the confidence of Bard and the Elven King?

First he baffles and mystifies them, then reassures them, wins there confidence by leaking critical information, and then males the actual offer.
Masterly!

4. Do you see any similarities between Bilbo's interrogation here and that of Frodo by Faramir in LotR?

Hardly any. Bilbo is the master here.
Curious' suggetion to parallel it with Aragorn and Eomer's encounter seems more apt.

5. Which description of the Arkenstone do you prefer -- the shiny glittery imagery, or the reference to it being "Thorin's heart"?

I prefer refering to it as 'Thorin's heart' - at least until I think of it a a sacred object, which the cynics of the world use as bargaining chip.

6. Just how strongly was Bilbo tempted to keep the Arkenstone?

He was, but not strongly enough to do anything foolish.

If Bard had believed him without needing to reveal it, would he have kept it?
And done what? There is no turning back at this stage; he should have looked at it earlier, before fording the river.

"Such a fool deserves to starve." - Bard.

Subject User Time
A Thief in the Night -- Part 4 weaver Send a private message to weaver Jul 10 2009, 3:53am
    here goes Twit Send a private message to Twit Jul 10 2009, 10:10am
        Letter consistency Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 11 2009, 12:17am
    Thoughts. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 10 2009, 2:19pm
    Letter Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 11 2009, 12:14am
    Bilbo makes them an offer they can't refuse squire Send a private message to squire Jul 11 2009, 5:24am
        Good for you to have done it! sador Send a private message to sador Jul 12 2009, 7:27am
            “Bilbo is not honest yet” - ?? squire Send a private message to squire Jul 12 2009, 2:28pm
                Quite so! N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Jul 12 2009, 5:26pm
                Perhaps "find out" was too strong sador Send a private message to sador Jul 13 2009, 6:41am
                    The Mind as Iceberg Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 13 2009, 6:36pm
                        It may be in the author's mind, Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 13 2009, 6:45pm
                    If Bilbo lied to his neighbors about his adventures, Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 13 2009, 6:47pm
                        "His magic ring he kept a great secret..." N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Jul 13 2009, 7:15pm
                            Oops! sador Send a private message to sador Jul 13 2009, 7:24pm
                        Not lied? sador Send a private message to sador Jul 13 2009, 7:22pm
                            As N.E.B. notes, there's no obligation to tell everything. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 13 2009, 8:32pm
                                Well, you know sador Send a private message to sador Jul 14 2009, 6:15am
                                    Bilbo told Frodo the whole story, but Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 14 2009, 8:55am
                                    The Quest for Power Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 14 2009, 6:56pm
                                        Tolkien wanted to put the genie back Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 14 2009, 7:46pm
                                        "Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it" squire Send a private message to squire Jul 14 2009, 9:39pm
                                            Or Capitalist or Colonialist Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 14 2009, 10:39pm
                                                Consensus is a matter of opinion. Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 15 2009, 2:53am
                                            You got my point Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 15 2009, 2:42am
    A few answers sador Send a private message to sador Jul 12 2009, 7:52am
        Ah, the "note-paper"! squire Send a private message to squire Jul 12 2009, 2:47pm
            Water-resistant ink Kimi Send a private message to Kimi Jul 13 2009, 1:14am
                Excellent! squire Send a private message to squire Jul 13 2009, 1:38am
                Fascinating! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 13 2009, 3:19am
    I like Bilbo's style of taking care of business so much more grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Jul 12 2009, 2:45pm

 
 
 

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