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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Elves. Hmph.


Nov 19 2012, 10:44pm

Views: 1192
Elves. Hmph. [In reply to] Can't Post

Does this give the impression of returning to the civilized world?
Yes, for me. Life is neat and orderly in the Shire, with tea at fixed times and life running on a predictable, respectable schedule. No adventures to disturb the routine, please! Though there are dates referred to elsewhere, such as Bilbo's birthday in Esgaroth and the special date needed to open the hidden door in Erebor. Even if they're not given as month-and-day dates, they are connected to calendars.

So they had to cross the bridge again! Was it the same bridge as before? Was there only one way to the House of Elrond? (compare The Ring Goes South) Is this safe, for a refuge which might be besieged (and according to The Tale of Years, actually was)? What would have happened had Smaug fund the valley, and alighted upon the bridge?
I think it's the same bridge, and Rivendell is not on a highway but set back from it. As for safety, it's never clear to me how much Tolkien reconciled The Hobbit with his other stories. He may not have thought while writing this that Rivendell was founded as a defensive refugee camp by Elrond after losing battles with Sauron in Hollin. He may have just thought of it as a sort of "elf town."

Ah, back to bridges and how they might thwart Smaug (as in the bridge in Esgaroth). He nevertheless managed to destroy Esgaroth without landing on it, so I'd say he could do the same to Rivendell. Gandalf later says to Frodo that if Smaug hadn't been eliminated, there might have been fire and swords at night in Eriador and no Queen (Arwen) in Gondor, meaning that Smaug could have been used in a successful attack on Rivendell. Gandalf doesn't seem to think that Vilya, as Ring of Air/Sky, would have warded off an aerial assault. Though Galadriel's river ring somehow kept the assaults from Dol Guldur from succeeding.

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?
I think he's taking a break. Also, hobbits aren't usually given to bragging about themselves, so it's more modest to let Gandalf talk him up.

Do you find any significance in this banter?
I think it's only the teasing banter between friends.

Do the drunk goblin and stone dragon ring any bells?
Drunk elven guards in Thranduil's halls and trolls turned to stone; already the epic story is getting garbled--funny how fast that happens.

Does this sound right? Aren't the elves too well, large, and agile, and graceful for him?
Great point. But if you're dancing around in a circle and not holding your partner, then height differences don't matter. So we can rule out romantic, slow dancing.

What? Where did he get them from?
He probably got more from Dain and the others than we realize. Or trinkets from the troll hoard. And please note, he and Gandalf kept the troll treasure for themselves without making any attempt to send the shares back to the other dwarves. I guess Bilbo is let out of this greedy sin by giving it all away later, as Frodo says.

"There is a long road yet," said Gandalf.
"But it is the last road," said Bilbo.
I just love this reply! Do you?
Yes. And somehow the mood reminds me of Frodo when he left Rivendell for the Shire, only he was told that his journey wouldn't end there

So they put the gold in bags and slung them on the ponies, who were not at all pleased about it.
I find this the narrator's best aside in the book. Any more fans of it?
Or any discussion of the ponies in The Hobbit?

It reminds me of the comment after the Shire was rescued and prospered wonderfully, so everyone was happy, except for those who had to cut the grass. There's always a curmudgeon in joyous situations, isn't there? Or, someone who has to pay the price for the prosperity of others.

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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