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Nov 4 2012, 1:48pm

Views: 1290
Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

But do you think it also contains a suggestion that this is the end of the road for him?
Not really. He is the gold, not the dying fire.

Do you think he leads his companions out of the mountain because he's so confident of victory that he doesn't count numbers or is this a conscious last stand?
Well, he can't just sit in there and wait for the others to decide the battle, can he?
Just like Theoden in Helm's Deep, he does not want to wait to be taken alive, like a badger in a trap.

Does he have a strategy or does he just want to go down fighting?
Well, it might be a good idea to get the goblins to the Gate, rather than climbing up the outskirts of the Mountain; so it's not a bad idea.
On the other hand - is there anything else he could do?

I wonder if there was any way Throin could watch the proceedings, and pick the right moment to burst out of the Gate. So he might have chosen the right moment.

Bilbo. We're told that his stand on Ravenhill is partly practical - best hope of escape - but also 'if he was going to be in a last desperate stand, he preferred on the whole to defend the Elvenking.' Why?

Well, Tolkien has said several times that elves are Good Folk. There has been precious little payoff for this statement - except for the Elvenking's truning aside from his march upon the Mountain to succouring Esgaroth.
So this is another reinforcement of the same sentiment.

Any thoughts on this? Is Tolkien's own experience of war speaking here?

Shippey sees it as based on the penultimate stanza of the King Edward's
school song.

Where the iron heart of England throbs beneath its sombre robe,
Stands a school whose sons have made her great and famous round the globe,
These have plucked the bays of battle, those have won the scholar's crown;
Old Edwardians, young Edwardians, forward for the School's renown.

Forward where the knocks are hardest, some to failure, some to fame;
Never mind the cheers or hooting, keep your head and play the game.

Here's no place for fop or idler; they who made our city great
Feared no hardship, shirked no labour, smiled at death and conquered fate;
They who gave our School its laurels laid on us a sacred trust;
Forward therefore, live your hardest, die of service, not of rust.

Forward where the scrimmage thickens; never stop to rub your shin;
Cowards count the kicks and ha'pence, only care to save their skin.
Oftentimes defeat is splendid, victory may still be shame;
Luck is good, the prize is pleasant but the glory's in the game.

Here no classic grove secludes us, here abides no cloistered calm;
Not the titled, nor the stranger, wrestles here to gain the palm;
Round our smoke-encrusted precincts labour's turbid river runs;
Builders of this burly city temper here their strenuous sons.

What do you think Gandalf is actually doing here?
Gandalf of The Hobbit? Shivering in his boots.

Is there any suggestion that his 'deep thought' and 'last blast of magic' is connected in any way with the arrival of the Eagles (and later, as we learn, of Beorn)?
None whatsoever.

Which is odd, considering the fact that the Eagles were the likeliest source for him to ever learn of the goblins' movements.

But the master-strategist of Unfinished Tales surely knew something was going to happen.

That's about it from me.

It was great. Thank you!

"With all the various Dwarves of different Mansions that we see being excellent Smiths in the Silmariilion and TLOR, why is it only Dain's faction of the Longbeard's who hold the secret to making the metal mesh?"
- Tolkien Forever

The weekly discussion of The Hobbit is back. Join us in the Reading Room for The Clouds Burst!

Subject User Time
* * The Clouds Burst * * 4: The Eagles are Coming dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Nov 4 2012, 9:29am
    Answers sador Send a private message to sador Nov 4 2012, 1:48pm
    Sador conveniently said most of what I would have. CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Nov 15 2012, 5:00pm


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