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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Gathering of the Clouds I - Introduction

Beren IV
Gondor


Jun 28 2009, 6:52pm


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The Gathering of the Clouds I - Introduction Can't Post

Like The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is a tale that grew in the telling, beginning as a children's fairy tale and evolving into the epic of fairy tales. This trend is hinted at in Fire and Water, where the history of peoples other than the characters we've met suddenly becomes important as a new character enters and slays the dragon using an artifact from the past.

The Gathering of the Clouds completes this transition. Unlike a typical children's story, the sides of good and evil are no longer clear-cut: the good peoples that we have been introduced to earlier are preparing to fight a war, and if that war happens, good people will die no matter who wins. Moreover, everyone, the good guys included, have character flaws that bring this situation about: Thorin's avarice, the Elvenking's pride, and the envy of the Men of Lake Town. All of this centers around Smaug's treasure, and it is hinted that although the Dragon's body may be dead, his evil will remains to corrupt those who defeated him.

Bilbo must now manipulate the various factions using the good sides of everybody involved. He will need his thieving ability to do so, but he will also need diplomacy, and above all, he will need to rise above temptation.

1. How do you react to the change in tone of the book from children's story to novel?

2. Do you think that the more adolescent flavor of the latter part of the book was intended for Tolkien's children as they became more mature and could understand it, or was the Author getting carried away (or both)?

3. What is Tolkien saying about the nature of good, evil, and of what it means to be a hero, from here until the end of the book? What does The Lord of the Rings add to this that the remaineder of The Hobbit does not?


The paleobotanist is back!

Subject User Time
The Gathering of the Clouds I - Introduction Beren IV Send a private message to Beren IV Jun 28 2009, 6:52pm
    Into the Deep, dear friends. Kids, go to sleep now. squire Send a private message to squire Jun 28 2009, 9:04pm
    Thoughts. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jun 29 2009, 6:49am
    just one... batik Send a private message to batik Jun 30 2009, 1:18am
        For me the key is that Bilbo is no longer the center of attention. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jun 30 2009, 6:11am
    Change in tone? dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jun 30 2009, 2:12am
    A few answers sador Send a private message to sador Jun 30 2009, 5:27am
    I see an underlying unity to the tone. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Jun 30 2009, 9:48am
        Do you think you would react the same as a child? Curious Send a private message to Curious Jun 30 2009, 11:57am
            No, I've never read it to a child FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Jun 30 2009, 4:39pm
    maybe Twit Send a private message to Twit Jun 30 2009, 12:21pm
        I like that! Curious Send a private message to Curious Jun 30 2009, 1:37pm
    Character and Consequences GaladrielTX Send a private message to GaladrielTX Jun 30 2009, 5:35pm
        A common enemy simplifies matters. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jun 30 2009, 6:46pm
    It thrilled me. Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jun 30 2009, 8:58pm
        I just now read the other responses. Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jun 30 2009, 9:06pm
            I wish I had. FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Jun 30 2009, 10:03pm
    The moral question Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jun 30 2009, 9:09pm
    The tone changes grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Jul 4 2009, 1:45pm
        Good answer! // Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 4 2009, 10:43pm

 
 
 

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