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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
**A Thief in the Night** II - Bilbo's plan


Oct 23 2012, 1:09pm

Views: 683
**A Thief in the Night** II - Bilbo's plan Can't Post

After Bilbo hears Thorin swearing vengeance on any who withhold the Arkenstone:

Bilbo heard these words and he grew afraid, wondering what would happen, if the stone was found – wrapped in an old bundle of tattered oddments that he used as a pillow. All the same he did not speak of it, for as the weariness of the days grew heavier, the beginnings of a plan had come into his little head.

Let's delve into alternative realities for a minute.
Would it have been possible for Bilbo to find a quiet corner to leave the gem, to simply be found by another?

Even so, would Bilbo have been able to simply abandon it, without being drawn back to get it? As he was drawn the first time?

If Thorin had found the Arkenstone, would it have put him in a better mood, a good enough mood to deal in a more friendly way with the men of the Lake?

Or is Thorin 'too far gone' by this point- nothing will stop him?
(try and imagine- though of course we know his reaction later on in the book.)

And back to The Hobbit.

I'm almost offended, on Bilbo's behalf, as Tolkien talks about his 'little head.'

Is this just a reference to Bilbo's hobbity size? Making him accessible to child readers? Disparaging his planning capabilities/intelligence? Something else?

Thorin is not moved by Roäc's advice, and declares that winter biting the men and elves might make them “in a softer mood to parley with.”

That night Bilbo made up his mind. The sky was black and moonless. As soon as it was full dark [ … ] he drew from his bundle a rope, and the Arkenstone wrapped in a rag. Then he climbed to the top of the wall.

Are we meant to think that Thorin's rejection of Roäc's wise counsel is the catalyst for Bilbo's decision?

Is this so, or is it just the weariness of the siege, a moral feeling, or a desire to get rid of the risk of being found with the stone?

“Wrapped in a rag”- does this mean that Bilbo leaves behind the “tattered oddments”? Is the Arkenstone a comfortable pillow? (he does, after all, sleep well at the end of the chapter, perhaps it was not helping. :) )

Is the plan dependent on Bombur being on watch, the dark night, or is Bilbo simply lucky here? I get the impression that he is time pressed by the arrival of Dain's army, and just went for it.

Would the plan have worked if another dwarf was on duty?

Thanks for your responses so far! Tomorrow: Bilbo goes over the wall.

Hobbit firster, Book firster.

Have you explored all of TORN's forums?

Subject User Time
**A Thief in the Night** II - Bilbo's plan titanium_hobbit Send a private message to titanium_hobbit Oct 23 2012, 1:09pm
    I always wonder about the arkenstone. Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Oct 23 2012, 3:40pm
    Answers sador Send a private message to sador Oct 24 2012, 4:01pm
    Gives us a new meaning for the term "sleep on it"! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Oct 29 2012, 1:13am
        Interesting idea Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Oct 29 2012, 3:34am


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