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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Counting the silver


Nov 19 2012, 11:29pm

Views: 1359
Counting the silver [In reply to] Can't Post

FarFromHome gave answers more eloquent than I could, but I'll add a few here and there.

In Reply To

Anyway, I do love the name. According to The History of the Hobbit, the original name of Bilbo's scheming cousins was "Allibone-Baggins" any meaning to that name?
And then, the spoons. Is this likely, for a young couple of social climbers, to steal their cousins silverware? Or is it more likely for a grumpy rich relative to suspect them? in short, do you think Otho and Lobelia guilty or not?

Guilty as charged. It's an old-fashioned saying that when you have unsavory guests (including relatives), that you have to count the silver after dinner to make sure they haven't stolen any. I think these climbers would stoop that low. After Bilbo gives away many things in his will, he leaves the remainder of the spoons to Lobelia, who resented the implication, but also took the spoons. She's greedy. In a bigger way, Lotho's greed was his downfall (if you count being eaten by Wormtongue a downfall; I do).

I agree with FFH that Bungo was just making an advantageous marriage, not necessarily out of his league. I think it was fairly common among established aristocrats to try to elevate themselves to a higher rank and/or income level through advantageous marriages.

In short Bilbo was "Presumed Dead," and not everybody that said so was sorry to find the presumption wrong.
Hmm this sounds familiar. Does this ring any bells?

Well, I'd say it's the opposite of how the Fellowship felt when they thought Frodo had been killed in Moria--they were quite happy to be wrong. Though when Frodo and the rest came back to the Shire, I think someone said they'd assumed they were dead and disappointed they weren't--Ted Sandyman, maybe?

Why did he keep Smaug's treasure (even giving the last of it to Sam for Rosie), but not the trolls'?
Excellent question, and I don't have a good answer, but that's never stopped me before. Maybe with Smaug's treasure, Bilbo felt he had enough money, and he didn't need anything extra. Or, maybe he felt that since he had some personal grief tied up in Smaug's hoard (he had become somewhat attached to Thorin, Fili, and Kili), that taking some of it was a way of remembering the dwarves. I suppose that's a stretch, though. Maybe it would be more accurate to say he'd sacrificed a lot more to get a chunk of Smaug's treasure and deserved a part of it, whereas he hadn't done much to earn the troll's treasure. And note that he didn't give up Sting, Thranduil put Orcrist on Thorin's grave, and Gandalf kept Glamdring, so not all of the troll's loot had to be given away or returned to Elves.

What exactly has Bilbo gained from his adventure? Was it worth losing his reputation?
FFH said it best; I'll just echo it since it was said so well. I did a book report on The Hobbit when I was 12 years old or so; all this stuff went over my head and my classmates', but we thought the wizard and dragon aspects were cool.

Though Bilbo's return as an eccentric bachelor mirrors the much more melancholy fate of Frodo after his return from adventure. Bilbo was let off easy in comparison.

The last seven paragraphs are a sort of epilogue, nothing but tying up a few loose ends. No?
I suppose. But I like how his friendship with Balin endures, and that they are both more prosperous as a result of their difficult journey. And intentional or not, bringing up Balin again at the very end helps set the stage for Bilbo taking off in LOTR on his birthday. "Going to visit dwarves" suggests he's going to visit Balin and the other quest survivors, not just dwarves in general, and Bilbo concedes a certain sadness when he gives his account to Frodo in Rivendell that "old Balin had gone away." That, in turn, gives us readers a little more stake in Balin's death in Moria. After all, finding that Ori and Oin died there didn't affect me at all, but Balin was better developed as a character and friend of the family, so Frodo seems to have a personal stake in the disaster that befell the dwarf colony in Moria--it's not something that happened to mere strangers.

Subject User Time
The Last Stage, part II - "And back again" sador Send a private message to sador Nov 13 2012, 4:02pm
    A few answers FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Nov 15 2012, 10:53am
        Replying to your answers sador Send a private message to sador Nov 15 2012, 4:21pm
            Replying to your reply and some more answers... FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Nov 18 2012, 5:35pm
                I was hoping to avoid referencing BotR this week! sador Send a private message to sador Nov 19 2012, 9:41am
                    I wish I had more time! telain Send a private message to telain Nov 19 2012, 4:09pm
                        So so I! sador Send a private message to sador Nov 21 2012, 10:04am
                            Ah, solicitors. dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Nov 25 2012, 2:56am
    Counting the silver CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Nov 19 2012, 11:29pm
        Nobody rose to the bait... sador Send a private message to sador Nov 21 2012, 10:39am
            *raises eyebrows high* dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Nov 25 2012, 3:14am
                Well, yes sador Send a private message to sador Nov 25 2012, 9:08am
                    Heirs apparent dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Nov 27 2012, 2:26am


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