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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Sador conveniently said most of what I would have.


Nov 15 2012, 5:00pm

Views: 1488
Sador conveniently said most of what I would have. [In reply to] Can't Post

My questions: why do you suppose Tolkien had Bilbo get knocked cold? Is it to increase the suspense of the battle's outcome? But we learn that soon enough anyway. I'm just not sure why we view most of the book through Bilbo's eyes, and in this event, we go blind.

Elves: this seems to be the first time Bilbo warms up to the Elves. He had no reason to be fond of them when he was in their halls while the dwarves were imprisoned there. Is there any transition in the story to explain his change of heart, or is this Tolkien projecting his own preference for Elves: if he were there, he'd stand with the Elves.

Why does Gandalf play the do-nothing role? When the goblins first imprisoned the dwarves, Gandalf killed a few before disappearing, then single-handedly rescued the rest. When they were chased up the trees by the wolves, he counterattacked with fire. When the goblins showed up to ignite the trees, he gathered himself for a last blast in death to take as many of them with him as he could. Here he's acting more like a pacifist priest. Unless he is concocting some heroic last blast; hard to say.

Bilbo's reflection on battle: Tolkien seems to do this a lot. First there's the grand and glorious aspect of battle, romanticized and heroic. Then there are the doubters and the non-heroic feelings of grief and despair. For me, he seems to combine the two aspects more successfully than most other authors (when they attempt it).

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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