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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Late answers


Oct 14 2012, 3:11pm

Views: 353
Late answers [In reply to] Can't Post

What do you think of the narrator’s backtracking like this to fill in the events of the story while the dwarves and Bilbo were plundering the hoard in the last chapter?
It's good. It make the previous chapter full of suspense, rather than being a story of petty ransacking, and keeps the image of Bilbo as the clear-headed member of the company who is loyally keeping his part of the bargain and more of it.
Otherwise, we would know that he is running no real danger, and that with cast his acquiring of the Arkenstone in a quite different light.

Do you think that this information could have been presented differently?
It sure could.

Is this the patronising adult voice talking to children?
No. It's the capable author, sharing with the readers the character's feelings of not really knowing what is going on. Shippey comment extensively on how this works in The Lord of the Rings - in which it is done on a much vaster scale.

Could Tolkien have intercut the scenes in this chapter with the scenes from the previous one?

What would he gain and what would he lose by doing so?
No gain, substantial loss.

Good decision to switch them around and have “Fire and Water” following “Not at Home”?
I don't remember, but were the two chapters in their present form before the switching?

What does Tolkien gain, what does he lose by putting them in this order?
See above.

Why describe Smaug from this point of view and in this way?
Tolkien wants us to sympathise with the Lake-Men, and with Bard, in the coming chapters.

Do you know if anyone has ever painted this scene?
I do not.

What about your favorite sentences in this section?
I don't think there is a single one. In the combination which is effective.

What do you like (or not) about the way the battle is described?
It is so modern.

Is this the first chapter in the book that does not involve Bilbo?
Of course! There was only one previous scene without him, at the end of Flies and Spiders.

Is this significant in any way?
Of course! For instance, it marks the widening of the book's scope, and the change in its theme and focus.
Last time I've led Not at Home, I tried to read that chapter from two different prespectives - Bilbo's, and Thorin's. This chapter offers us several more.

"Bard is known as someone who forebodes gloomy things like floods and poisoned fish. Floods I can see, but poisoned fish? How and why would Bard forebode poisoned fish? Or is this just a slander against Bard?"
- Curious

The weekly discussion of The Hobbit is back. Join us in the Reading Room for Fire and Water!

Subject User Time
***Fire and Water*** I: Smaug Attacks Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 9 2012, 8:14pm
    Smaug happens CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 10 2012, 10:52pm
        Fall of Gondolin Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 11 2012, 4:45pm
    My Thoughts justbennett Send a private message to justbennett Oct 12 2012, 10:18pm
        The last lucky arrow Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 14 2012, 4:34pm
    The sequence is excellent. dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Oct 13 2012, 12:23am
        Bilbo as dragon-slayer Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 14 2012, 4:46pm
    quite a scene Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Oct 13 2012, 12:52am
        Bilbo as author Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 14 2012, 4:57pm
            I think of Bilbo and Frodo as the writers of an original manuscript Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Oct 14 2012, 5:05pm
    Late answers sador Send a private message to sador Oct 14 2012, 3:11pm
        and a late question Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 14 2012, 5:14pm
            All of those you've said sador Send a private message to sador Oct 15 2012, 9:39pm


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