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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Return Journey II: The Grim Business of War

dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jul 21 2009, 1:09am


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The Return Journey II: The Grim Business of War Can't Post

For the third time in this story, Bilbo awakens after a swoon. (Can you name the other two times?)

"Now I wonder what has happened?" he said to himself. "At any rate I am not yet one of the fallen heroes; but I suppose there is still time enough for that!"
- A pessimistic thought, or is Bilbo just putting a realistic face on the possibility that the conflict is still going on?

Bilbo's thoughts, when he awakens, remind me of Sam's when he witnessed his first battle in Ithilien, and "did not like it much".

...But all was deadly still. There was no call and no echo of a song. Sorrow seemed to be in the air.
"Victory after all, I suppose!" he said, feeling his aching head. "Well, it seems a very gloomy business."

- Deadly still, indeed; neither side has songs to sing now. What might Bilbo have expected to see, if the goblins and wargs had won the battle?

"The Eagles had long had suspicion of the goblins' mustering; from their watchfulness the movements in the mountains could not be altogether hid. So they too had gathered in great numbers, under the great Eagle of the Misty Mountains; and at length smelling battle from afar they had come speeding down the gale in the nick of time."
- If these Eagles were so watchful, then why did they not follow behind as the goblin army made its way south from Mt. Gundabad, and attack the goblins before they reached the Lonely Mountain?

"Victory had been assured before the fall of night, but the pursuit was still on foot, when Bilbo returned to the camp; and not many were in the valley save the more grievously wounded."
- Who was pursuing whom, and how long did the pursuit(s) last?
- How does one deal with the dead carcasses in the River?

"All that had happened after he was stunned, Bilbo learned later; but it gave him more sorrow than joy, and he was now weary of his adventure."
- Do you remember how you felt the first time you read the book, when you found that main characters had died in the battle?
- Was Beorn's appearance logical, or a deus ex machina?
- How did you feel when you read about Beorn gently carrying Thorin out of the battle? What does this say about the relationship between those two?

"Of the twelve companions of Thorin, ten remained. Fili and Kili had fallen defending him with shield and body, for he was their mother's elder brother."
- Here we have one of Tolkien's biggest changes in the text! In the original finished manuscript, the one which was passed around to be read by friends, only Thorin died. As Tolkien prepared the text for publication, he killed off Fili and Kili! Whatever made him do that?

"The elf-host was on the march; and if it was sadly lessened, yet many were glad, for now the northern world would be merrier for many a long day. The dragon was dead, and the goblins overthrown, and their hearts looked forward after winter to a spring of joy."

And so the healing begins. The original readers had no idea, of course, about the Halls of Mandos; with that in mind, does it make sense for these Elves to seem "glad" rather than "relieved", or is this Tokien unconsciously bringing his mythology into the story?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I desired dragons with a profound desire"

"It struck me last night that you might write a fearfully good romantic drama, with as much of the 'supernatural' as you cared to introduce. Have you ever thought of it?"
-Geoffrey B. Smith, letter to JRR Tolkien, 1915


Subject User Time
The Return Journey II: The Grim Business of War dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 21 2009, 1:09am
    A few answers sador Send a private message to sador Jul 21 2009, 10:25am
        Dark times dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 22 2009, 2:47am
            I didn't get that impression. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 22 2009, 9:41pm
                The problem is dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 23 2009, 12:36am
                    Wasn't Aragorn preserved for all to see? Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 23 2009, 1:25am
                        Hm. dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 23 2009, 1:34am
                    I must admit sador Send a private message to sador Jul 23 2009, 1:50am
    Thoughts. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 21 2009, 11:24am
        Hobbitry in heart dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 22 2009, 2:58am
    Presumably... Morthoron Send a private message to Morthoron Jul 21 2009, 1:07pm
        Good point!// Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 21 2009, 1:53pm
        Interesting thought! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 21 2009, 4:42pm
            It could be like in Gondor, or pre-Eldarion Numenor sador Send a private message to sador Jul 21 2009, 5:22pm
    Beorn Ex Machina Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 21 2009, 6:08pm
        What an intriguing UUT! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 22 2009, 3:06am
        Very nice; but, alas sador Send a private message to sador Jul 22 2009, 10:50am
            Oh well! Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 22 2009, 3:59pm
                Maybe three weeks to get there? Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 22 2009, 4:42pm
    Beorn and Thorin Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 21 2009, 6:10pm
        Yes, Curious called it dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 22 2009, 3:08am
    lost this post twice :( batik Send a private message to batik Jul 22 2009, 2:43am
        Breaking out in song dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 22 2009, 3:19am
            Oops! Not *your* question... batik Send a private message to batik Jul 22 2009, 3:29am
                Aww... dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 22 2009, 3:37am
        We had such a moment in Jackson, too sador Send a private message to sador Jul 22 2009, 10:46am
            Yup. And other Tolkien version in... batik Send a private message to batik Jul 23 2009, 2:15am
    Two swoons or not two swoons grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Jul 23 2009, 3:16pm
        That will have to be dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 24 2009, 2:41am
            Eagles at war, and Fili kili... Desicon9 Send a private message to Desicon9 Jul 30 2009, 6:04pm
                Welcome to TORN! And great post! // N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Jul 30 2009, 6:27pm
                    Thanks! Desicon9 Send a private message to Desicon9 Jul 31 2009, 6:07pm

 
 
 

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