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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Oh, I'm sorry!

sador
Valinor


Oct 28 2012, 9:42am


Views: 163
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Oh, I'm sorry! [In reply to] Can't Post


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It's been a pretty crazy week with an inter-state trip for a funeral of a dear friend.

Frown

(By the way, I didn't remember that the different provinces in Australia were called "states". Live and re-learn.)




And now, in response to your comments:

I love Bilbo crossing the stream, nearly making it, and falling in. This to me is a nice tableau of Bilbo's new found courage mingled with his hobbityness.
Interesting. I just took it as another bit of comedy, nearly slapstick.
And did you ever notice how far The Hobbit is from the hobbits' fear of water and boats in The Lord of the Rings - Bilbo takes boats across the enchanted river and up the Running River - and is the one to think of the barrel-ride!

How does Bilbo get the courage to just be "oh hey elves, I need to just waltz in and see Bard and your King" - that's pretty crazy!

After Smaug? Not really.
And he had been invisible among elves for some time, stealing their food and whatever.

Although the hobbits of LOTR seem to have a similar naivety about respecting Kings and Lords and just get in there and interact with them.
Well, Merry was forwarned and practiced.

Do they learn this from Bilbo, or is this a standard hobbit trait?
In The Houses of Healing, Merry said this was the way of his people. So I supppose it is standard, from a people who have no expeirence of social distinctions. Like the Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.


I wonder if this relationship with kings is something indicative of Tolkien's world view/beliefs. We often talk about how Tolkien is a monarchist: but I think perhaps a subversive one.
Could you please enlarge?

The Arkenstone. I love how the Elvenking is amazed by this jewel as well.
Yes.
And where is this rustic king of dark-elves well-accustomed to things of beauty from?

Discuss, in context of this chapter.
This doesn't seem appropriate. I suppose Tolkien simply meant it literally.

Gandalf! I suppose Bilbo can't really tell the others as they would wonder how he knows... but Tolkien is really spoiling his own surprise here, as the old man throws back his hood to reveal himself Gandalf, to Thorin.
No, it still is a surprise for Thorin; and perhaps the Thorin-Gandalf connection comes as a surprise to the Elvenking and Bard.
But Bilbo needs to be reassured. As does the reader.

Bilbo's return: this is true honour. He could have stayed, but chose to return to the mountain, and to his friends, to wake Bombur.
Of course.
As I've written before - had he just stayed there, he would be no more than a simple traitor, stealing the most precious item of the hoard in order to cut the best bargain for himself. It is this return and accepting of responsibility which makes this whole chapter a truly noble one.

And one wonders - had it been, say, Dwalin on guard (as you've asked before) - someone Bilbo could not safely talk into going down to sleep with such promises - what would have happened?
I guess he would have just used the Ring to sneak past the guard; but then he wouldn't have felt as comitted to return. Would he have done so? The temptation to stay with his new friends and avoid the consequences of Thorin's finding out was surely immense. Maybe he wouldn't have?

As we will see next week - in terms of preventing a fearsome battle, Bilbo's action made not one iota of a difference. Well, it was good for him to be outside - how else would he have avoided the battle? But anyway, his returning to wake Bombur truly made no difference.
But it did for Bilbo. The moral reprecussions of his decision were manifold and far-reaching. Without this chapter, he would never have been able to pass the Ring to Frodo, and the whole sequel would have run another course.


"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!

Subject User Time
**A Thief in the Night** III - A rush to the end titanium_hobbit Send a private message to titanium_hobbit Oct 27 2012, 11:19am
    What's he got that I ain't got? Finding Frodo Send a private message to Finding Frodo Oct 28 2012, 3:34am
    Oh, I'm sorry! sador Send a private message to sador Oct 28 2012, 9:42am
        Comedy! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Nov 12 2012, 1:26am

 
 
 

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