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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:


Oct 22 2012, 10:38am

Views: 270
Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

When reading this chapter, because of its (lack of) length, do you find that you want to continue on to the next chapter straight away?
Not especially. It doesn't end with a cliffhanger; the tension is mounting, as throughout this part of the story.

I usually want to continue reading, but this is a convinient place to stop.

What 'feel' does this break give to the story?

It builds up the tension.
Compare to cahpters 36-38 of Watership Down.

Without reading carefully, how long did you think this action took?
It must have taken some time, for Dain to get organised and march to the Mountain.

What kind of piles and order for the treasure?
Well, it did require sorting out and organising. I expect Smaug made a pile of it all and slept on it, as dragons normally do. Some items are useful, some are necessary, some luxurious, some mere essays in the craft; gems, gold, silver, wrought, unwrought. It needs to be assessed for value, etc.

Surely Thorin would begin to put two and two together?
Yes, if he had really been as stingy and suspicious as some readers tend to view him. But apparently he's confident in Bilbo, and never dreams that the hobbit will betray him.

In Thorin's shoes, would you begin to suspect your fuzzy footed burglar?
Perhaps, if I wasn't also concerned with the siege and the safety of my followers.

One of the theories floated around this board is that the bare patch on Smaug's marvelous waistcoat is Arkenstone-shaped.
Twit's UUT! It's a brilliant one, isn't it?

The only downside to it is that in Tolkien's famous illustration Conversation_with_Smaug, the Arkenstone is clearly pictured on the top of the pile.

Do you think that Thorin might begin to worry that the stone has gone down with the dragon?
I would like to, but I don't think so.
Had he really thought this was the case, he would have made peace with Bard on the worst possible terms, and headed South to look for it in the Lake.

Is the Arkenstone The One Ring of The Hobbit?
Not quite. If anything, it is the Silmaril.
It is important to Bilbo, but Bard cheerfully uses it to extort what he demands (and has the temerity to call "his own").

How is the Arkenstone important to Thorin? Is it the monetary value?
How do you estimate that?
I suppose that as the Heart of the Mountain, it has a religious or religious-like value for him.
Bilbo is in the element of the middle-class English gentleman - taking the sacred objects of unsuspecting foreigners, and then trafficking in it. Being born in a colony, JRRT must have known this well - Kimberley is not that far from Bloemfontein!

How is the Arkenstone important to Tolkien, and to the novel?
It gives Biblo a role in this drama!

Do you think this is a useful plot device, or would you do it differently?
No, I think the focus is still on the treasure as a whole. Only for Thorin, and to a lesser extent Bilbo and Bilbo (and Dain), does it have any intrinsic significance.

Is the Arkenstone a macguffin?
Any religious object is a macgauffin for cynics.

"Heart of the mountain...heart of Thorin...and now, Gandalf says "keep your heart up" . Anyone care to comment on the repeated use of that image?"
- weaver

The weekly discussion of The Hobbit is back. Join us in the Reading Room for A Thief in the Night!

(This post was edited by dernwyn on Oct 29 2012, 12:20am)

Subject User Time
**A Thief in the Night** I - an introduction titanium_hobbit Send a private message to titanium_hobbit Oct 21 2012, 10:16pm
    Answers sador Send a private message to sador Oct 22 2012, 10:38am
        religious aspect titanium_hobbit Send a private message to titanium_hobbit Oct 23 2012, 1:30pm
        "i'm lovin' this!" dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Oct 29 2012, 12:29am


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