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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Is this the last chapter


Nov 13 2012, 4:13am

Views: 1222
Is this the last chapter [In reply to] Can't Post

or is it "the deep breath before the plunge?"

"the Last (or the First) Homely House"! Is this side-comment just an, err, homely joke? Or does it have any deeper significance?
The adjective "last" has many synonyms depending on its meaning: consequent, ensuing, eventual, following, succeeding; conclusive, crowning, decisive, definitive; farthermost, farthest, furthermost, furthest, remotest; lowermost, lowest, nethermost; endmost, extreme, outermost, outmost, utmost; penultimate; eminent, premier, superior; absolute, clear, deciding, decisive, definitive, last; determinate, determinative, dispositive, hands-down, inarguable, incontestable, incontrovertible, indisputable, indubitable, irrefutable, unanswerable, undebatable, undeniable, undisputable, unquestionable; unchallenged, uncontested, undisputed; unambiguous, unequivocal; certain, definite, positive, sure; cogent, compelling, convincing, persuasive, telling; consummate, last, max, maximum, most, nth, outside, paramount, supreme, top, utmost, uttermost;

Though to me these might be closest to the idea Tolkien was trying to express: unequaled (or unequalled), unmatched, unparalleled, unrivaled (or unrivalled), unsurpassed; biggest, hugest, largest; topmost, upmost, uppermost. (Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/last?show=0&t=1352777676)

(The question of what is meant by "Homely" remains.)

So they had to cross the bridge again! Was it the same bridge as before?

IIRC yes. There is only one way in or out of the place, as if Rivendell is a siding on a thoroughfare rather than having a throughway though it.

Was there only one way to the House of Elrond?

It seems a strange arrangement in perilous times, but yes (I think). Perhaps there was something like a postern gate that no one bothered to mention? It is not so different than the dead end that was Helm's Deep. In both cases confidence ran high that no hostile agents could breach the outer defences.

Is this safe, for a refuge which might be besieged (and according to The Tale of Years, actually was)?

It would depend on how well stocked their larders were, and who was without to come behind their enemies.

What would have happened had Smaug found the valley, and alighted upon the bridge?

Before or after Thorin returned to Erebor? Seriously though I suppose that if he could find the bridge, it would be too late for them anyway.

Why didn't Bilbo tell the story himself? Has he grown bashful or timid again? Does he just pale into insignificance next to the charismatic wizard? Or is he taking advantage of having someone else do the talking?

Surviving adventures is like that. Perhaps he was still trying to process all that he had been through. Or perhaps he didn't know how to describe what he had been through to people who hadn't been there. Perhaps he matured while he was abroad and did not feel the need to be the centre of attention? (He gained a quiet confidence while away?)

Do you find any significance in this banter? Do the drunk goblin and stone dragon ring any bells?

No bells for me, but the banter has a ring of jocularity that is found among equals or at least people that admire one another.

I just love this reply! Do you?

Yes, now that you mention it. It has an air of profundity without being over-wrought.

I find this the narrator's best aside in the book. Any more fans of it?

I wonder if the ponies voiced their displeasure?

The tale is described as being told in bits and pieces, so Bilbo kept awake. Did Gandalf interweave his own adventures with Thorin's, like Jackson probably will? Does this make any narrative sense, or is it just to keep Bilbo awake? Or did Gandalf add other bits of information, which we know nothing off?

I wonder if this is the point in the tale that Tolkien's children would have been nodding off? Have you ever spoken with someone who is on the edge of sleep, only to discover they don't remember a word you said?

(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Nov 13 2012, 4:13am)

Subject User Time
The Last Stage, part I - "And elves are still singing" sador Send a private message to sador Nov 12 2012, 12:55pm
    Is this the last chapter SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Nov 13 2012, 4:13am
        Me? Plunge? sador Send a private message to sador Nov 13 2012, 12:29pm
            "Last (or First)" SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Nov 13 2012, 3:57pm
                directional? telain Send a private message to telain Nov 19 2012, 4:00pm
                    "Last Decent House" sador Send a private message to sador Nov 20 2012, 7:41pm
                        yes! telain Send a private message to telain Nov 21 2012, 5:07pm
    Just one thought... FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Nov 18 2012, 4:40pm
        An "elvish dream"? sador Send a private message to sador Nov 19 2012, 9:06am
    Elves. Hmph. CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Nov 19 2012, 10:44pm
        I saw two shooting stars last night / I wished on them but they were only satellites sador Send a private message to sador Nov 20 2012, 8:17pm


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