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***Shire Discussion: how "Three's Company" (& more) tease us with Shire insights
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CuriousG
Half-elven


May 29, 3:05am

Post #1 of 36 (986 views)
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***Shire Discussion: how "Three's Company" (& more) tease us with Shire insights Can't Post

I'm trying to resist the temptation to delve into the story & characters here and instead want to focus on what the Hobbiton-to-Crickhollow journey tells us about hobbits and the Shire since that's our topic. And if I deviate from the topic, Ethel will turn me into a spotted toad and fill the garden with grass-snakes! (or so I hear Wink)

First off, the author is Tolkien, so guess what features most prominently in the terrain descriptions? (rhymes with "bees")


Quote
Away eastward the sun was rising red out of the mists that lay thick on the world. Touched with gold and red the autumn trees seemed to be sailing rootless in a shadowy sea.


And notice how the Shire is land-locked but still gets touched by Tolkien's sea-love? No matter where you are in Middle-earth, you're never far from the sea. (Measuring several interior English cities, I found you're also never more than 150 miles from the sea; I don't know where that bogus "75 miles" comes from.) Safety: Frodo, Sam, and Pippin start off walking across the country at night. Have you tried walking across rough terrain at night? Try it, and you will likely stub a toe or trip over a random branch of stone, but in the Shire, of course, no one stubs a toe or trips, because it's got some charm laid on it where bad things don't happen.

They quickly leave the fields around Bag End and wind up on a little-used road that will take them to Crickhollow. Questions:
  • Why build a road that's so little used they literally never see another hobbit on it?
  • Who pays for road construction & maintenance in the Shire?
  • If this is a medieval fantasy, why are there no highway robbers on the road?
Do any of these questions matter? Of course not! Things just work in the Shire, and you don't peek under the hood or you break the spell. So those are rhetorical questions for effect, which means you shouldn't answer them.

More on safety for their first night of sleep on the rough:


Quote

They set no watch; even Frodo feared no danger yet, for they were still in the heart of the Shire. A few creatures came and looked at them when the fire had died away. A fox passing through the wood on business of his own stopped several minutes and sniffed.
‘Hobbits!’ he thought. ‘Well, what next? I have heard of strange doings in this land, but I have seldom heard of a hobbit sleeping out of doors under a tree. Three of them! There’s something mighty queer behind this.’ He was quite right, but he never found out any more about it.


What do we learn here about safety in the Shire? (real question this time). No theft? No slit throats while sleeping? No attacks by Wargs? No zombies? Why is it so safe???




Quote

Pippin, peering over the edge of his blanket with one eye.
‘Sam! Get breakfast ready for half-past nine! Have you got the bath-water hot?’
Sam jumped up, looking rather bleary. ‘No, sir, I haven’t, sir!’ he said.



Class relations in the Shire vs. hobbit behavior: how seriously is Pippin pulling rank over Sam? Does Frodo ever issue orders to Sam? What do you think of the comradery vs. class distinctions between these three as they travel to Crickhollow? Go ahead and generalize: how do you think servants are treated in the Shire?

Race relations in the Shire, starting with Men: while both the Gaffer and Maggot find the Black Riders they speak with to be unsavory in the least, they do speak with them and don't say, for example, "Men don't belong in the Shire! Begone lest I call the Shirriffs and raise the alarm against you!"

After our trio's 1st encounter with a Black Rider, Pippin seems to speak in the same tone:

Quote
‘But what has one of the Big People got to do with us?’ said Pippin. ‘And what is he doing in this part of the world?’


Not: "How dare a Man cross our borders and invade our Man-free land!?" He's curious and incredulous, but not outraged and xenophobic. What does this lack of outrage tell us about hobbits? And I ask that question specifically that way, because re-reading this chapter, I noticed more of an absence of bad things and bad feelings in the Shire that, by their absence, lead one to think good things about hobbits. (I'm more outraged that the Black Riders invade the Shire with sinister purpose than the hobbits themselves are! Say whatever you like about me.)
Race relations in the Shire, now with Elves. So the 2nd Black Rider encounter is foiled by Elvus ex Machina (kidding!), and this time, 1) no one questions why the Elves are there in what feels like hobbit-only land, 2) no one questions their agenda, and 3) Sam is excited to see them, but Pippin's sentiment is oddly never mentioned. (We know that Frodo has some contact with Elves, so no need to explain him.)



Quote

‘Elves!’ exclaimed Sam in a hoarse whisper. ‘Elves, sir!’ He would have burst out of the trees and dashed off towards the voices, if they had not pulled him back.
‘Yes, it is Elves,’ said Frodo. ‘One can meet them sometimes in the Woody End."


Can you imagine Frodo being equally nonchalant if Taylor Swift had marched past? (Hint: rhetorical question, but feel free to answer)
Do you have any explanation for Tolkien not mentioning Pippin's attitude toward Elves, because I'm frankly stumped. Possibly as a Took, he takes Elves in stride, while Sam, let's face it, is rustic and not exactly cosmopolitan. Or is the answer more about literary structure in that Tolkien really wanted the spotlight on Sam which necessitated ignoring Pippin? How can we generalize from here about any hobbit's first contact with an Elf: more Sam or more Pippin? (I somehow think Ted Sandyman would be rude and/or indifferent.)


Last: the Shire vs Mordor: more alike than you might think! I've talked before about how my gut tells me the Shire is kind to the hobbits and they are kind to it in return, and the Prologue says they did fall in love with it. What I found hard to explain (and maybe no explanation is needed) is: why was the rougher terrain unkind to the hobbits? Here they are after leaving the road behind:

Quote
Going on was not altogether easy. They had packs to carry, and the bushes and brambles were reluctant to let them through. They were cut off from the wind by the ridge behind, and the air was still and stuffy. When they forced their way at last into more open ground, they were hot and tired and very scratched, and they were also no longer certain of the direction in which they were going.


Please compare the feeling you get (compare reader feeling, not exact words) with Frodo & Sam in Mordor:

Quote

‘Orc-mail doesn’t keep these thorns out,’ said Frodo. ‘Not even a leather jerkin is any good.’ They had a struggle to get out of the thicket. The thorns and briars were as tough as wire and as clinging as claws. Their cloaks were rent and tattered before they broke free at last.
...
And here things still grew, harsh, twisted, bitter, struggling for life. In the glens of the Morgai on the other side of the valley low scrubby trees lurked and clung, coarse grey grass-tussocks fought with the stones, and withered mosses crawled on them; and everywhere great writhing, tangled brambles sprawled. Some had long stabbing thorns, some hooked barbs that rent like knives.




Mordor is obviously more hostile and difficult, but I still have a vague feeling of similarity of struggles against the land in both passages. And then read how hobbit travel is facilitated when they reach tamer land:


Quote
But the land became steadily more tame and well-ordered. Soon they came into well-tended fields and meadows: there were hedges and gates and dikes for drainage. Everything seemed quiet and peaceful, just an ordinary corner of the Shire. Their spirits rose with every step. The line of the River grew nearer; and the Black Riders began to seem like phantoms of the woods now left far behind.


Well, of course the easy answer is that domesticated land is easier to travel on than wild terrain, so no one needs to explain that to me. But I keep feeling like there's more to it than just that superficial answer. Anyone else?


Thanks for your reading attention, my dear attentive readers, and thank you also to all participants.


Curious
Half-elven


May 29, 3:49pm

Post #2 of 36 (869 views)
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First answer (more later). [In reply to] Can't Post

Q. What do we learn here about safety in the Shire?

A. We learn more about the hobbits' assumptions than about reality. The hobbits assume they are safe, but we soon learn that they are not safe at all. The hobbits are unaware that they are protected from all manner of dangers by the Rangers, and perhaps also by Tom Bombadil, Elves, Gandalf, Higher Powers, Entwives, or who-knows-what else. The point is that the Shire is very much an anomaly in Middle Earth, as these four hobbits will learn.

Note that the hobbits they leave behind also learn that they were protected from evil, but even so they never realize that the evil that affected them was a mere shadow of the evil faced by Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin. To the hobbits that remained behind, the Battle of Bywater was the greatest fight in the Third Age. To the hobbits who had seen the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, it was just a small scuffle. And to Frodo and Sam, even the largest battle did not compare to the evil of Mordor.

That said, even to Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin, there is something about the evil that harmed the Shire that hurt them just as much as the greater evils they had encountered outside the Shire. Because, after all, this was their home.

Oops! I have to go. More later!


(This post was edited by Curious on May 29, 3:51pm)


Curious
Half-elven


May 29, 6:55pm

Post #3 of 36 (860 views)
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More answers. [In reply to] Can't Post

Q. Class relations in the Shire vs. hobbit behavior: how seriously is Pippin pulling rank over Sam?

A. While Pippin surely considers his demand for bath water a joke, Sam takes it very seriously indeed. Pippin doesn't appreciate Sam's position. Frodo doesn't really appreciate it, either, but he works hard to treat Sam as an equal. Pippin at this point does not.

Q. Does Frodo ever issue orders to Sam?

A. The only order Frodo gave Sam I can think of is his order not to follow him to Mordor, which Sam ignored. That said, Sam was the kind of servant who anticipated what Frodo wanted, and didn't wait for orders.

I doubt that Frodo gave Sam many orders in the 17 years he was master of Bag End. But he didn't have to give him orders, because the perfect servant doesn't need to be ordered about.

I doubt that either Bilbo or Frodo gave the Gaffer many orders, either. Instead, they consulted the Gaffer and respected his skill as a gardener, and the same is true of Sam. But the Gaffer did treat Bilbo and Frodo with deference and respect, and taught Sam to do the same.

Q. What do you think of the comradery vs. class distinctions between these three as they travel to Crickhollow?

A. The relationship between Frodo and Pippin is clearly one of equals. The relationship between Frodo and Sam is not, but it's more due to Sam's deference and loyalty than to Frodo's arrogance or sense of superiority. Still, it's clear that class distinctions are deeply ingrained in the Shire. They are so ingrained that Sam and Pippin take them for granted, and Frodo, despite his efforts, can't fully overcome them, or at least can't convince Sam to do so.

I should add that Frodo does treat Sam as his responsibility. In that sense he does fall into the position of the master who is responsible for the well being of his servants. He doesn't show quite the same concern for Merry and Pippin, because they are not, strictly speaking, his responsibility.

Q. Go ahead and generalize: how do you think servants are treated in the Shire?

A. The Shire is prosperous enough, and the hobbits are generous enough, that wealthy hobbits like Bilbo and Frodo can quietly take care of the needs of the few hobbits who are short of money. That changed, of course, when Saruman is in charge, but the contrast shows that no landlord was as cruel as Saruman in the past. Lotho Sackville-Baggins had a bad reputation, but it was nothing compared to the cruelty of Saruman.

Okay, I must go again. More later!!


(This post was edited by Curious on May 29, 6:59pm)


Curious
Half-elven


May 29, 8:06pm

Post #4 of 36 (851 views)
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Remaining Answers (part 3). [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry about the interruptions! I managed to answer the rest of your questions below.

Q. What does this lack of outrage [about a man entering the Shire] tell us about hobbits?

A. We know from this and other sources that Men are a rarely sighted in the Shire. Apparently the Men of Bree rarely visit the Shire, even though some hobbits do visit Bree. Dwarves come through on the way to the Blue Mountains. Elves come through on the way to the White Towers or Grey Havens. But Men are a strange sight. They aren't necessarily unwelcome, they are just rare.

This changes after Aragorn and many of the Rangers leave the North. Presumably the Rangers kept human ruffians out of the Shire. And before the recent migration of humans (likely Dunlendings) from the South there weren't many such ruffians to police.

So what changed is a combination of more rough Men and fewer Rangers. Plus Saruman presumably sent ruffians to the Shire to "help" Lotho.

Q. Can you imagine Frodo being equally nonchalant if Taylor Swift had marched past? (Hint: rhetorical question, but feel free to answer)

A. I wouldn't call Frodo nonchalant. He's clearly met Elves in Woody End before, but he's still grateful that these Elves came when they did, scaring off the Black Rider. Furthermore, Frodo is shocked and delighted when he realizes these are High Elves:

“‘These are High Elves! They spoke the name of Elbereth!’ said Frodo in amazement, ‘Few of that fairest folk are ever seen in the Shire. Not many now remain in Middle-earth, east of the Great Sea. This is indeed a strange chance!’"

Q. Do you have any explanation for Tolkien not mentioning Pippin's attitude toward Elves, because I'm frankly stumped.

A. Pippin may have met elves before. After all, he is a Took, and if any hobbits other than Bilbo and Frodo had met Elves it would be a Took like Pippin or a Brandybuck like Merry. And unlike Sam, Pippin has clearly traveled back and forth to Buckland before, which is why he was looking forward to stopping at the Golden Perch for ale.

Even if he didn't personally meet elves, Pippin knows the stories of his ancestors who did. Furthermore, Pippin is rarely if ever awestruck, even in the presence of Elrond or Gandalf, let along Gildor. At times a little more awe and a little less foolishness would do him good, but that's just how Pippin is, at least until he reaches Minas Tirith and grows up a bit in Denethor's service.

Q. Or is the answer more about literary structure in that Tolkien really wanted the spotlight on Sam which necessitated ignoring Pippin?

A. That's part of it, but Pippin's personality has a lot to do with it as well. He's more well-traveled within the Shire than Sam, and even when he leaves the Shire he tends to take marvels for granted moreso than Sam.

Q. ...why was the rougher terrain unkind to the hobbits?

A. I've already broadly hinted at my theory when I posted about the trees in the Shire. Although it's ambiguous, I believe the trees and brambles steered the hobbits south rather than east to keep them from danger, since the Nazgul were lurking.

Their long detour to the south led them to Farmer Maggot's house, and Farmer Maggot was an excellent host and ally in getting them to the ferry. I don't think that's a coincidence.

Maybe it wasn't the trees and brambles themselves that acted but a Higher Power influencing the trees and brambles. Heck, maybe Gildor worked some magic. But to me it just seems like the foliage has agency, and we know it has agency elsewhere in Middle Earth, including nearby in the Old Forest.

I understand why most people reject this theory. If it's true, Tolkien is extremely subtle about it, to the point where it's easy to doubt and impossible to confirm. But to me it just makes sense in light of how trees and forests act pretty much everywhere else in Middle Earth.

Plus, it just pleases me to think that's what's happening. Except in this case that the woods is friendly and protective, not hostile and threatening. So it's my headcanon, anyway, even if no one else buys it. ;-)

Q. Please compare the feeling you get [when the "bushes and brambles were reluctant to let them through" in Woody End] (compare reader feeling, not exact words) with Frodo & Sam in Mordor [when the "thorns and briars were as tough as wire and as clinging as claws"].

A. Although they are scratched in Woody End, they are stabbed and slashed by thorns in Mordor, until their "cloaks were rent and tattered." The briars of Mordor seem much more malevolent and determined not just to steer the hobbits but to cling to them and damage them.

And yet this is yet more evidence that even where trees don't talk or visibly walk, the foliage of Middle Earth seems to have agency we don't associate with plants. What's different in the Shire is that to the extent the plants have agency, they are protecting the hobbits rather than attacking them, and steering them away from danger rather than towards it.


(This post was edited by Curious on May 29, 8:08pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 30, 1:41pm

Post #5 of 36 (762 views)
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Tangent on Pippin [In reply to] Can't Post

Your comment unlocks a lot of perspective on Pippin. Thanks!


In Reply To
Furthermore, Pippin is rarely if ever awestruck, even in the presence of Elrond or Gandalf, let along Gildor. At times a little more awe and a little less foolishness would do him good, but that's just how Pippin is, at least until he reaches Minas Tirith and grows up a bit in Denethor's service.


So if he saw Taylor Swift in the Shire, his first words would be, "Fancy a pint in the pub, Taylor? You must be thirsty from all that singing." No selfies, no autographs, etc.

He was undaunted enough when captured by the Orcs in Rohan that his mind slid easily into "how can I disobey and aid my rescue?" mode.

More seriously, as you said, a little more awe might have helped him, such as resisting the urge to look into the palantir.

And there's such a great Pippin vs Gandalf moment in Rivendell that illustrates Pippinness:


Quote
‘Hurray!’ cried Pippin, springing up. ‘Here is our noble cousin! Make way for Frodo, Lord of the Ring!’

‘Hush!’ said Gandalf from the shadows at the back of the porch. ‘Evil things do not come into this valley; but all the same we should not name them. The Lord of the Ring is not Frodo, but the master of the Dark Tower of Mordor, whose power is again stretching out over the world. We are sitting in a fortress. Outside it is getting dark.’

‘Gandalf has been saying many cheerful things like that,’ said Pippin. ‘He thinks I need keeping in order.'


So putting that all together, I finally get why Pippin plays it cool while Sam turns fan-boy with Elves.


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 30, 2:00pm

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Master-servant relations [In reply to] Can't Post

   

In Reply To
The only order Frodo gave Sam I can think of is his order not to follow him to Mordor, which Sam ignored. That said, Sam was the kind of servant who anticipated what Frodo wanted, and didn't wait for orders.

I doubt that Frodo gave Sam many orders in the 17 years he was master of Bag End. But he didn't have to give him orders, because the perfect servant doesn't need to be ordered about.



I don't know much about the nitty-gritty of dealing with servants other than movies/TV, but your comment made me remember Helen Mirren's short speech at the end of "Gosford Park," that she was the best servant there was, because she knew what her aristocratic employers wanted before they knew it themselves. That's Sam.

I imagine that for Shire servants in general, most enjoyed the Frodo-Sam-Pippin light-hearted, respectful dynamic rather than an abusive, demeaning relationship. I'm sure Lobelia and family were rude to their servants, but they were exceptions to the Shire's civility. Even in the sorta-Shire land of Bree, while Butterbur is always yelling at his *employees,* (not servants, I know, but similar power relationship), he's not cruel or denigrating, and they don't seem cowed or demoralized.

I think your point about the Shire's prosperity is key here: the greater the income inequality, the more likely there is to be top-down abuse that can't be resisted. I think Shire servants were more like hiring the kid next door to mow your lawn than, hypotheticially, Attila the Hun executing a servant for spilling the wine.


But I don't think it's all about economics, either. Frodo makes the point that hobbits don't kill hobbits, full stop. That indicates a high cultural standard of ethical behavior that all people, even Ted Sandyman and Lotho, adhered to without question.


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 30, 2:12pm

Post #7 of 36 (754 views)
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The land and the foliage having agency [In reply to] Can't Post

I should have credited you when I brought up that idea, because I was definitely playing off your ideas when you discussed trees. Sorry about the oversight.


Quote
Their long detour to the south led them to Farmer Maggot's house, and Farmer Maggot was an excellent host and ally in getting them to the ferry. I don't think that's a coincidence.

Maybe it wasn't the trees and brambles themselves that acted but a Higher Power influencing the trees and brambles. Heck, maybe Gildor worked some magic. But to me it just seems like the foliage has agency, and we know it has agency elsewhere in Middle Earth, including nearby in the Old Forest.

I understand why most people reject this theory. If it's true, Tolkien is extremely subtle about it, to the point where it's easy to doubt and impossible to confirm. But to me it just makes sense in light of how trees and forests act pretty much everywhere else in Middle Earth.


I'm on the fence on this one, and I'll probably remain there, because as you say, it's a subtle influence if it is there. But your post on trees made my go back to my gut feelings about reading certain passages like those I cited, plus thinking about the very non-subtle hobbit experience in the Old Forest, which quite plainly forced them to travel down to Old Man Willow.

Then there's the bit about Tolkien being personally disappointed that in "Macbeth," the trees didn't literally march--he wanted them to, and ultimately we got Ents. So I wonder if consciously or not, he wrote the Shire journey chapters with a sense of agency in the land and foliage, just a touch.


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 30, 2:48pm

Post #8 of 36 (747 views)
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Stewardship of the land as a Tolkien theme; does the land give back? [In reply to] Can't Post

While we see stewardship among the Elves and Ents, and not so much among Men, we do see it with the hobbits and the Shire. And I just remembered Gimli gushing to Legolas about the glittering caves in Helm's Deep, that for him were love at first sight. What I infer from his speech is 1) a love of a natural wonder, 2) a desire to live there in a sort of "communion," and 3) a desire to protect and maintain it with minimal intervention, focused on preservation.

I was also thinking about reading between the lines on Gondolin's history: it seemed that as the Elves dwelt there for centuries and beautified it, it "gave back" in a subtle way and made them stronger and wiser and inspired to do great things, as well as more resilient when calamity struck. Again, very subtle, we're talking shades of gray, but it still seems that way to me.

Anyway, here's Gimli, who I feel is channeling Tolkien:


Quote
'None of Durin’s race would mine those caves for stones or ore, not if diamonds and gold could be got there. Do you cut down groves of blossoming trees in the springtime for firewood? We would tend these glades of flowering stone, not quarry them. With cautious skill, tap by tap – a small chip of rock and no more, perhaps, in a whole anxious day – so we could work, and as the years went by, we should open up new ways, and display far chambers that are still dark, glimpsed only as a void beyond fissures in the rock. And lights, Legolas! We should make lights, such lamps as once shone in Khazad-dûm; and when we wished we would drive away the night that has lain there since the hills were made; and when we wished we would drive away the night that has lain there since the hills were made; and when we desired rest, we would let the night return.’



Curious
Half-elven


May 30, 6:09pm

Post #9 of 36 (733 views)
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The idea that hobbits are stewards of the land… [In reply to] Can't Post

…fits with Sam’s reaction to his vision in Galadriel’s mirror:

“'Hi!' cried Sam in an outraged voice. 'There's that Ted Sandyman a-cutting down trees as he shouldn't. They didn't ought to be felled: it's that avenue beyond the Mill that shades the road to Bywater. I wish I could get at Ted, and I'd fell him!'”

It’s not cutting trees that outrages Sam. Rather, it’s cutting trees that “didn’t ought to be felled” because the row of trees “shades the road to Bywater.” It also fits with Treebeard’s comment that the Entwives would like the Shire.


(This post was edited by Curious on May 30, 6:11pm)


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


May 30, 10:01pm

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!!!! Why, I would do [In reply to] Can't Post

no such thing.

Probably.
Evil



(This post was edited by Ethel Duath on May 30, 10:01pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 31, 1:29am

Post #11 of 36 (715 views)
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Hmmpph [In reply to] Can't Post

   



Ethel Duath
Half-elven


May 31, 2:24am

Post #12 of 36 (706 views)
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That is very alarming! Is that another instance [In reply to] Can't Post

of the genius of AI? Anyway, Mordor's version of grass snakes, I guess.Shocked

And don't worry (yet).



(This post was edited by Ethel Duath on May 31, 2:29am)


CuriousG
Half-elven


May 31, 2:53am

Post #13 of 36 (698 views)
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It was a wizard's curse, of course. Poor Sam! (I find AI art to be an answer to every situation.) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Silvered-glass
Lorien

May 31, 10:51pm

Post #14 of 36 (668 views)
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Answers [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Safety: Frodo, Sam, and Pippin start off walking across the country at night. Have you tried walking across rough terrain at night? Try it, and you will likely stub a toe or trip over a random branch of stone, but in the Shire, of course, no one stubs a toe or trips, because it's got some charm laid on it where bad things don't happen.


Hobbits have excellent senses, and the terrain likely wasn't all that rough.


In Reply To
They quickly leave the fields around Bag End and wind up on a little-used road that will take them to Crickhollow. Questions:
  • Why build a road that's so little used they literally never see another hobbit on it?
  • Who pays for road construction & maintenance in the Shire?
  • If this is a medieval fantasy, why are there no highway robbers on the road?
Do any of these questions matter? Of course not! Things just work in the Shire, and you don't peek under the hood or you break the spell. So those are rhetorical questions for effect, which means you shouldn't answer them.


It is normal to have little-used (unpaved) roads going through a forest. Those are made for the purposes of forestry, and also to connect minor places to the civilization. The roads would have been built by whoever happened to own the land and made very cheaply to suit the minimal amount of expected wear.

Of course there are no highway robbers, seeing that this is the Shire, not a game of Dungeons & Dragons where random encounters materialize depending on dice rolls to make traveling on the overland map more interesting. Also the hobbits aren't on a highway.


In Reply To
More on safety for their first night of sleep on the rough:


Quote

They set no watch; even Frodo feared no danger yet, for they were still in the heart of the Shire. A few creatures came and looked at them when the fire had died away. A fox passing through the wood on business of his own stopped several minutes and sniffed.
‘Hobbits!’ he thought. ‘Well, what next? I have heard of strange doings in this land, but I have seldom heard of a hobbit sleeping out of doors under a tree. Three of them! There’s something mighty queer behind this.’ He was quite right, but he never found out any more about it.


What do we learn here about safety in the Shire? (real question this time). No theft? No slit throats while sleeping? No attacks by Wargs? No zombies? Why is it so safe???


The inhabitants of the Shire are hobbits, not Orcs. Hobbits just don't murder random travelers, and most definitely not fellow hobbits. Any monster intrusion would be expected to have been detected in the relatively more dangerous border regions, though even in those areas major disturbances are rare. It doesn't sound like there had been a single major monster invasion in the Shire since the Fell Winter.

(You know, I've been thinking about this theory that Mordor is an afterlife punishment where habitual sinners are reborn in Mordor as ugly Orcs to match their ugly inner self, while the Shire is the corresponding reward for a good normal life... The evidence is very lacking, I know...)


In Reply To
Class relations in the Shire vs. hobbit behavior: how seriously is Pippin pulling rank over Sam? Does Frodo ever issue orders to Sam? What do you think of the comradery vs. class distinctions between these three as they travel to Crickhollow? Go ahead and generalize: how do you think servants are treated in the Shire?


Curious already made the point about Sam being the ideal servant. Frodo was also the ideal master for Sam. Gollum is an example where a similar dynamic fails to appear.

I think it's possible that Sam was technically a slave (later manumitted by Frodo), but that aspect was airbrushed away because of the deeply negative connotations of slavery in our modern world. Tolkien however would have been familiar with ancient literature that treated slavery as a matter of fact. (Fun fact: Slaves in the ancient Rome had more free time by law than full-time employees in modern America.)


In Reply To
Race relations in the Shire, starting with Men: while both the Gaffer and Maggot find the Black Riders they speak with to be unsavory in the least, they do speak with them and don't say, for example, "Men don't belong in the Shire! Begone lest I call the Shirriffs and raise the alarm against you!"

After our trio's 1st encounter with a Black Rider, Pippin seems to speak in the same tone:

Quote
‘But what has one of the Big People got to do with us?’ said Pippin. ‘And what is he doing in this part of the world?’


Not: "How dare a Man cross our borders and invade our Man-free land!?" He's curious and incredulous, but not outraged and xenophobic. What does this lack of outrage tell us about hobbits? And I ask that question specifically that way, because re-reading this chapter, I noticed more of an absence of bad things and bad feelings in the Shire that, by their absence, lead one to think good things about hobbits. (I'm more outraged that the Black Riders invade the Shire with sinister purpose than the hobbits themselves are! Say whatever you like about me.)


When the Shire was founded, part of the deal with the crown of Arnor was that the hobbits are obligated to let travelers through. During the time of the story there are still some travelers on the highway going through the Shire, though not that many. Men are officially allowed in the Shire, though they very rarely bother to come.

There is also the difference in relative sizes and the unspoken potential for violence to be taken into account. Farmer Maggot had enough common sense to understand that he couldn't treat a scary and undoubtedly dangerous Black Rider like a trespassing hobbit child.


In Reply To
Race relations in the Shire, now with Elves. So the 2nd Black Rider encounter is foiled by Elvus ex Machina (kidding!), and this time, 1) no one questions why the Elves are there in what feels like hobbit-only land, 2) no one questions their agenda, and 3) Sam is excited to see them, but Pippin's sentiment is oddly never mentioned. (We know that Frodo has some contact with Elves, so no need to explain him.)



Quote

‘Elves!’ exclaimed Sam in a hoarse whisper. ‘Elves, sir!’ He would have burst out of the trees and dashed off towards the voices, if they had not pulled him back.
‘Yes, it is Elves,’ said Frodo. ‘One can meet them sometimes in the Woody End."


Can you imagine Frodo being equally nonchalant if Taylor Swift had marched past? (Hint: rhetorical question, but feel free to answer)
Do you have any explanation for Tolkien not mentioning Pippin's attitude toward Elves, because I'm frankly stumped. Possibly as a Took, he takes Elves in stride, while Sam, let's face it, is rustic and not exactly cosmopolitan. Or is the answer more about literary structure in that Tolkien really wanted the spotlight on Sam which necessitated ignoring Pippin? How can we generalize from here about any hobbit's first contact with an Elf: more Sam or more Pippin? (I somehow think Ted Sandyman would be rude and/or indifferent.)


I agree with Curious that the difference is mainly because of Pippin's personality. He's not the type to be in awe of anyone. He also doesn't share Sam's love for Elvish poetry.


In Reply To
Last: the Shire vs Mordor: more alike than you might think! I've talked before about how my gut tells me the Shire is kind to the hobbits and they are kind to it in return, and the Prologue says they did fall in love with it. What I found hard to explain (and maybe no explanation is needed) is: why was the rougher terrain unkind to the hobbits? Here they are after leaving the road behind:

Quote
Going on was not altogether easy. They had packs to carry, and the bushes and brambles were reluctant to let them through. They were cut off from the wind by the ridge behind, and the air was still and stuffy. When they forced their way at last into more open ground, they were hot and tired and very scratched, and they were also no longer certain of the direction in which they were going.


Please compare the feeling you get (compare reader feeling, not exact words) with Frodo & Sam in Mordor:

Quote

‘Orc-mail doesn’t keep these thorns out,’ said Frodo. ‘Not even a leather jerkin is any good.’ They had a struggle to get out of the thicket. The thorns and briars were as tough as wire and as clinging as claws. Their cloaks were rent and tattered before they broke free at last.
...
And here things still grew, harsh, twisted, bitter, struggling for life. In the glens of the Morgai on the other side of the valley low scrubby trees lurked and clung, coarse grey grass-tussocks fought with the stones, and withered mosses crawled on them; and everywhere great writhing, tangled brambles sprawled. Some had long stabbing thorns, some hooked barbs that rent like knives.




Mordor is obviously more hostile and difficult, but I still have a vague feeling of similarity of struggles against the land in both passages. And then read how hobbit travel is facilitated when they reach tamer land:


Quote
But the land became steadily more tame and well-ordered. Soon they came into well-tended fields and meadows: there were hedges and gates and dikes for drainage. Everything seemed quiet and peaceful, just an ordinary corner of the Shire. Their spirits rose with every step. The line of the River grew nearer; and the Black Riders began to seem like phantoms of the woods now left far behind.


Well, of course the easy answer is that domesticated land is easier to travel on than wild terrain, so no one needs to explain that to me. But I keep feeling like there's more to it than just that superficial answer. Anyone else?


If you want to look for an unusual explanation, I suppose it could be possible that the Old Man Willow had extended his supernatural reach to the Shire plants and was already trying to guide the Ring to himself.

For a non-supernatural explanation to the flora of Mordor, I suppose the trees could have been cut down for wood, leaving behind only those thorn bushes too nasty to harvest, even for Orcs. Subsequently the thorn bushes thrived and spread on the empty land for lack of competition.


Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 1, 4:15am

Post #15 of 36 (652 views)
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Nice questions! [In reply to] Can't Post

Some answers:

- Frodo, Sam, and Pippin start off walking across the country at night. Have you tried walking across rough terrain at night? Try it, and you will likely stub a toe or trip over a random branch of stone, but in the Shire, of course, no one stubs a toe or trips, because it's got some charm laid on it where bad things don't happen.

I wouldn't be surprised if hobbits, who have finely attuned senses when it comes to moving quickly and quietly, have better night vision than we large humans. They walk barefoot on their clever feet, giving them a more intimate connection with the ground. And they're small, which gives them a lower centre of gravity.


- Why build a road that's so little used they literally never see another hobbit on it?

A path can be useful even if only lightly travelled, and it doesn't take heavy foot traffic for a path to be kept open. We've at times walked tracks that actually have quite a lot of foot traffic, but have seen few to no other people. Time of year, time of day, and the direction of the journey all have an influence on this.

- Who pays for road construction & maintenance in the Shire?

Walking paths would tend to be kept open by being used. More serious roads, fit for wagons and carts, would probably be maintained by the landowners whose land the road services, with a landowner setting some of his ag lab tenants to work on the road as necessary.


- If this is a medieval fantasy, why are there no highway robbers on the road?

This is a land of farms and villages, a settled society with not a lot of portable wealth, and where outsiders would stick out like a sore thumb. And the social mores of the Shire owe at least as much to Victorian/Edwardian England as to medieval fantasy.

A little more recently than Edwardian times, we used to go hiking and camping most weekends over the summers when we lived in England, and I always felt perfectly safe. No wargs or zombies, or even wolves or overly restless locals.


- How seriously is Pippin pulling rank over Sam? Does Frodo ever issue orders to Sam? What do you think of the comradery vs. class distinctions between these three as they travel to Crickhollow? Go ahead and generalize: how do you think servants are treated in the Shire?

Pippin is joking (there's neither hot water nor bath at hand, after all), but I think there's a comfortable assumption of social superiority on his part - and on Sam's. It's a stratified society, and Pippin is landed gentry - the son and heir of the chief family in the Shire. He would be used to having plenty of servants around, moreso than Bilbo or Frodo. Frodo and Bilbo didn't have to dig their own garden or chop their own firewood; Pippin would not have to put his own clothes away, or make himself a cup of tea. He's also the only son, and the baby of the family. I like Pippin very much, but in the earlier sections I'm often reminded that he's, likely enough grown up being made a fuss of at home by parents, older sisters and servants, made much of from the time he could stand on the mat and warble out a little song.

While some employers would be better than others, because some hobbits are nicer than others, I do think servants would be treated reasonably well. They're not slaves or serfs or bond-servants, and if treated badly enough many would have the option of going to work elsewhere. I think there would often be genuine respect between servants and their social superiors, but a certain distance would be observed. I get the sense that social mobility is not the norm - Sam's rise from labouring class to gentry is exceptional (as is Sam).


Re Pippin's apparent nonchalance regarding elves: I do think it's in part because the author is concentrating on Sam (and Frodo) here, but I think it's also an illustration of Pippin's self-confidence and self-possession. A Took is said to have taken (I want to say "took", but grammar is against me) a fairy wife, after all, so Pippin might consider them his distant cousins!


- Please compare the feeling you get (compare reader feeling, not exact words) with Frodo & Sam in Mordor.

On a challenging, overgrown track it can feel as if the very plants are teasing you. But the language used in the descriptions of Mordor ("harsh, twisted, bitter") is far beyond used of the inconvenient vegetation of the Shire, which while wearing never feels hostile.

Yes, "domesticated land is easier to travel on than wild terrain". But in the wilder places of the Shire, the land still belongs to itself, and Frodo and his companions pass through under sufferance. It's an experience that can be a useful reminder of our smallness in nature.


The Passing of Mistress Rose
My historical novels

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View


(This post was edited by Kimi on Jun 1, 4:18am)


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Jun 7, 2:26am

Post #16 of 36 (493 views)
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Sorry I've been AWOL! Here's some [In reply to] Can't Post

thoughts.
  • Why build a road that's so little used they literally never see another hobbit on it? Not sure about the Shire; but there are often little-used roads in farming and other outlying areas, sometimes just used seasonally by Farmers, or as a shortcut, but rough enough that most prefer something easier to navigate. I like them (the little-used variety).
  • Who pays for road construction & maintenance in the Shire? I expect it depends on whether it's private or common land. If it's some sort of common land, perhaps some thing like a farmer's cooperative, or even something directed by the Thain: Buckland Road Contractors, Ltd.?
  • If this is a medieval fantasy, why are there no highway robbers on the road? As you said, it's the Shire! But also, there are Ranger and Gandalf. And it helps to set up the Black Riderd as an unheard of aberration, rather than the Ultimate Highwayman at the top of the pyramid of the more plebeian variety. They really have to stand out, and this ensures that they do.
Do any of these questions matter? Of course not! Things just work in the Shire, and you don't peek under the hood or you break the spell. So those are rhetorical questions for effect, which means you shouldn't answer them.So sorry I answered them, but I couldn't resist.Evil

What do we learn here about safety in the Shire? Well, that it's safer in the heart of the Shire than at it's edges--or that it's easy to think so, like feeling safer at home whether or not it really is safer than 6 blocks or even 10 miles away.





noWizardme
Half-elven


Jun 7, 7:56am

Post #17 of 36 (469 views)
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Fugitives in Pocket elfland? [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a few late thoughts about how this wild heart of the Shire contributes to Tolkien's plot. And some thoughts about the encounter with Gildor et al.
Let's start with a post by squire from an earlier dicussion of Three's Company:


Quote
Another aspect of the story that I notice today is that Frodo manages to find a way East from his hole to Crickhollow that allows him to travel unnoticed, as Gandalf had originally advised him to do. That is, he crosses the main river valley and Great Road under cover of darkness, and ascends into higher country to the South, said to be on the edge of the Tooklands. From there he heads East on an old, little-used "road" that leads to the Woody End in the Eastfarthing.

So far, so good. But they walk mile after mile through what seems to be wooded country, yet open enough to provide vistas of the more distant lands they are headed towards. The road is too narrow for carts, and there is "little traffic to the Woody End", in explanation for why "they had not met a soul on the road" (except for the fox, of course). There are no farmhouses; there are no woodsmen's huts; there are no fields or meadows; there are no travellers coming in the other direction. In short, in the heart of the Shire, the only place in all of Eriador that is intensively populated and cultivated, there is a perfectly mysterious and hidden semi-wooded and hilly corridor from Hobbiton to the Brandywine River.

I have to assume that, as you've been asking this week, this landscape is inspired by some corners of rural England that Tolkien had tramped in, some part that is actually unfarmed, ungrazed, and unsettled and yet is not considered a "forest" as The Old Forest is.

It's certainly very convenient, and quite reminiscent of most of the rest of the journey: wherever the Company walks on the Road that goes ever on, they never meet anyone who is not directly connected with the plot. Not on the Great Road from the Downs to Rivendell, not in the wild country from Rivendell to Moria, not on the next Great Road from the Morannon to the Crossroads, and not on the dire Road from Udun to Barad-dur.

I accept that this is how Tolkien has built his questing story, but it sometimes gets to me. In this chapter and the next particularly, when they are still in the Shire, I miss the lack of happenstance, of hail-fellow-well-met and how's the weather, of The Hobbit's more realistic transition from "a wide respectable country inhabited by decent folk, with good roads, an inn or two, and now and then a dwarf or a farmer ambling by on business" to "lands where people spoke strangely, and sang songs Bilbo had never heard before" to "the Lone-lands, where there were no people left, no inns, and the roads grew steadily worse". After all, at this point Frodo is not trying to hide from the Shire-folk in order to conceal where or in which direction he is headed, as he and Gandalf had discussed at the beginning of the summer and despite his dislike of "too many eyes prying". His relocation to Buckland is public knowledge and had our three-hobbit company walked along the Great Road, it would or could have been of little consequence. One involuntarily concludes that Frodo is quite simply looking for an adventure right out of the gate.

[it was this post that made me suggest our current discussion. - NoWiz]


We also (arguably) have here another "'wild' and 'respectable' are polar opposite themes" (as per Felagund, over here)

To expand on select points there: perhaps Frodo's choice of route and terrain turns out to be fortunate (or providential) because it helps slow down or confuse the unexpected Black Rider pursuit. But it does mean Frodo is scarily far from any predictable source of help once it becomes apparent he is being pursued. Black Riders seem to enjoy (or can't help but) scare people, but seem reluctant to press an attack. For example whoever breaks into The Prancing Pony does a half-hearted job: there doesn't seem to be any deterimed attempt to find and capture Frodo. So folks might like to speculate about how the pursuit would have played out had Frodo stuck to the Road (and a few pints at the Golden Perch!).

For me as a reader Tolkien gets a nice effect of having Frodo rather complacent about the pursuit at first, reasoning (as CuriousG has put it) that nothing bad ever happens in the Shire. So I think readers have a chance to realise before Frodo does that something is badly wrong, and that gives an element of suspense. It also foreshadows (as folks have already said) that the security of the Shire is not so assured as the hobbits like to think.
In any case, Frodo's career as a hunted fugitive --"You speak of danger, but you do not understand. This is no treasure-hunt, no there-and-back journey. I am flying from deadly peril into deadly peril." -- has already begun.

Perhaps Frodo's meeting with the elves would have been a lot less likely had Frodo stuck to hobbit-frequented ways? It's certainly an important encounter - not only a night of safety and allies who send out messages, but it has a significant effect on Sam. Sam seems to see the wider picture after this, and that he has a personal quest here, not just one that arises from his relationship with Frodo.
The encounter with Gildor et al. seems a little different from staying at Rivendell or Lorien. I'm not going to manage a throught compare-and-contrast (let alone one supported by the right quotes). But meeting Gildor seems much more dreamlike, somehow. I have a vague thought that this might be to do with meeting elves outside of an established Elfland. Or maybe this 'elfland' overlays and co-exists with the Shire, rather than being a seperate place someone can point to on teh map? I'm not sure I can analyse all that further.

As far as we know (I think) Tolkien had established very little about the Shire's geography when he came to the first draft of this section. Of course we can't rule aout that he had it all very clear in his head, to the extent that notes were unnecessary. But it is possible he was making up the plot and the countryside together, with each influencing the other. That's my guess, anyway.

I wonder whether there is an relationship between the character of this part of the Shire and the (occasional at least ) presence of elves there? Most Hobbits don't seem to encounter or even believe in elves. Does this explain the lack of hobbit folk (e.g. they are afraid of or don't want to admit the existence of the elves.)? Why this attitude? Is it a system of mental blinkers that help hobbits feel the Shire is theirs and is safe an dnothing uncanny or faerie happens? Hobbits don't seem to be very welcoming to dwarves either, but dwarves do seem to travel the roads openly and stay at Inns. So do elves just weird hobbits out? If so, why?




~~~~~~
"I am not made for querulous pests." Frodo 'Spooner' Baggins.

(This post was edited by noWizardme on Jun 7, 7:59am)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 7, 10:52pm

Post #18 of 36 (445 views)
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Science vs Magic in the Shire, and The Ministry of Transportation [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I wouldn't be surprised if hobbits, who have finely attuned senses when it comes to moving quickly and quietly, have better night vision than we large humans. They walk barefoot on their clever feet, giving them a more intimate connection with the ground. And they're small, which gives them a lower centre of gravity.


While I personally think there's a mild enchantment on the Shire that prevents injuries, I appreciate your well-reasoned approach to why the hobbits can walk safely at night.



In Reply To
A path can be useful even if only lightly travelled, and it doesn't take heavy foot traffic for a path to be kept open. We've at times walked tracks that actually have quite a lot of foot traffic, but have seen few to no other people. Time of year, time of day, and the direction of the journey all have an influence on this.


Ethel said something similar, and I appreciate both of your replies. That was a question that I just couldn't answer myself while re-reading the chapter: was it a loose end? something Tolkien took for granted in his own walking areas in Oxfordshire? or a hint of other things, a sort of leftover Argonath of the hobbits' industrious past when they built roads out of sheer energy and "taming the land," or even a hint at decline of the Shire, similar to the ruins of Weathertop, etc?

I'll settle on it being a little-used but not unused country road that served a purpose and was no hint of anything else. [I also readily admit that for literary reasons, the road had to be devoid of other travelers to increase the sense of peril.]

And while I was asking a lot of questions because that's what we do in the Rdg Room, I paradoxically felt as a reader that I should feel so safe and comfortable that I shouldn't be asking any questions. For example, you visit a friend's cozy, comfy home, and do you immediately ask, "Why doesn't the roof fall in on us? How do you plan to survive a zombie apocalypse? Do you have insurance against fire-breathing dragons attacking?"

No, of course not, and you shouldn't even be thinking about that, you should be thinking about food, drink, conversation, comradery, etc. I think that's how we're meant to feel as readers in the Shire. Of course we feel differently and have a lot more safety questions when we are in Moria and Mordor!


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Jun 8, 9:44pm

Post #19 of 36 (399 views)
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And, the rest at last! [In reply to] Can't Post

Class relations in the Shire vs. hobbit behavior: how seriously is Pippin pulling rank over Sam? Does Frodo ever issue orders to Sam? What do you think of the comradery vs. class distinctions between these three as they travel to Crickhollow? Go ahead and generalize: how do you think servants are treated in the Shire?
Good question. I always thought Pippin was being a bit tongue-in-cheek, seeing as other comments and interchanges in this section are light-hearted in that vein, like my favorite: "I don't carry water in my pockets" (which can still set me chuckling, decades after my first read Smile ); and seeing as Sam was Frodo's servant, not "servant-in-general." But Sam's reaction shows us that class distinctions are real enough and ingrained enough that Sam's instinct is to jump up and say "sir" without thinking. I just assume it's modeled after 19th and/or early 20th century British society, but I don't know enough about that to really comment.

The comrade-ship is a real thing among this small group, though, which lends itself more to the "I'm pulling your leg in this way because I know your social class, but as quest-brothers, I'm not really expecting you to run my bath and help me dress."

Race relations in the Shire:
Men: I think the Hobbits mostly see Men as big, ungainly, slightly alarming beings that don't fit in and might get in the way, but without any real animosity, or anything I read as contempt.

Elves: I almost feel there's more disapproval there. Elves are very, very "other," unlike Men. An unknowable quantity as to values and intentions. Plus, they may tempt unstable folk to go off into the Blue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS91p-vmSf0 (I'm also being a bit tongue-in-cheek)

Last: the Shire vs Mordor: Mordor is obviously more hostile and difficult, but I still have a vague feeling of similarity of struggles against the land in both passages. I've always thought that the Shire adventures were something of both a mirror, and a sort of training for the exponentially more difficult situations they all found themselves in later. And almost like a pre-echo.



(This post was edited by Ethel Duath on Jun 8, 9:45pm)


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 8, 10:14pm

Post #20 of 36 (387 views)
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"But would you let your daughter marry one?" :) [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Race relations in the Shire:
Men:
I think the Hobbits mostly see Men as big, ungainly, slightly alarming beings that don't fit in and might get in the way, but without any real animosity, or anything I read as contempt.

Elves: I almost feel there's more disapproval there. Elves are very, very "other," unlike Men. An unknowable quantity as to values and intentions. Plus, they may tempt unstable folk to go off into the Blue


Thanks for providing some clarity and distinction here, Ethel, especially with the Elves. Elves and Elvish influence may not be troublemakers like ruffians, but they're somehow "not respectable," including to the working class, and they somehow seem a guilt-by-association problem with Bilbo and his outlandish adventure to kill Smaug, even though that quest revolved around Dwarves, not Elves, and Dwarves never suffered a reputation loss in the Shire as a result.

With Men, they are all the things you say, and then the hobbits visit Bree and see the racial co-habitation, then later they encounter Men of Rohan and Gondor and think they're noble for the most part, and then they come home and the problem is Men, Men, Men (ruffians). But though Men seem foreign in the early chapters, they aren't really seen as a threat, as least as far as I can tell, and I was digging for dirt on Men with my questions, wondering if anyone else saw foreshadowing of ruffians in the early chapters, because I couldn't detect any. For example, there were no pub sayings such as, "Well, once you let Men in the Shire, everything will be ruined," or anything in that vein.

Not everything needs foreshadowing, and if Men had never been seen before as a threat to the Shire, then that's a good thing, since cultural memories about grievances can be long.


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Jun 8, 10:43pm

Post #21 of 36 (388 views)
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I just think it's [In reply to] Can't Post

"good guys and bad guys." One bad Ferny doesn't spoil Barliman's barrel. Wink

How 'bout that Elf-king in that animated Youtube video? Not your Tolkien's elves, although there was Ëol.



Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jun 8, 11:35pm

Post #22 of 36 (385 views)
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There's a generosity and openness [In reply to] Can't Post

in Tolkien's writing that leaves room for "a mild enchantment", as you put it, alongside readings informed by the reader's own experience of the countryside.

The Shire is certainly a "green and pleasant land", mild and gentle and fruitful, and it does feel to me as if a blessing lies upon it. I think of it as a place where stubbed toes, minor cuts, bruises, and perhaps sprains would not be uncommon, but it would be rare for a wound to turn nasty. In fact, echoing your thoughts about food and drink and camaraderie, it feels "off" to be even considering nasty, infected wounds when speaking of the Shire.


The Passing of Mistress Rose
My historical novels

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 9, 12:05am

Post #23 of 36 (386 views)
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Right? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
In fact, echoing your thoughts about food and drink and camaraderie, it feels "off" to be even considering nasty, infected wounds when speaking of the Shire.


I was trying various thought experiments, such as "What would a medical emergency in the Shire look like? Where's/Who's the doctor? Is a wagon the ambulance?" And I just couldn't picture it!


CuriousG
Half-elven


Jun 9, 12:08am

Post #24 of 36 (380 views)
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That video was very Eol. I'll stick to tra la la Elves. :) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 9, 1:41am

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Erlkönig [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
"good guys and bad guys." One bad Ferny doesn't spoil Barliman's barrel. Wink

How 'bout that Elf-king in that animated Youtube video? Not your Tolkien's elves, although there was Ëol.



'Twould seem that the Erlkönig is of the Unseely (or "Winter") Court.

“Hell hath no fury like that of the uninvolved.” - Tony Isabella

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