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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Last Stage 1: “The stars are all burning!”

N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jul 27 2009, 5:25am


Views: 455
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The Last Stage 1: “The stars are all burning!” Can't Post

Welcome to our discussion of “The Last Stage”, the final chapter of The Hobbit. There will be five threads covering the text in chronological order, followed by an open discussion.

This post covers the text from “It was on May the First that the two came back” through “in this age of the world, or for many after.’” In this section, Bilbo and Gandalf arrive in Rivendell to find the elves singing of Smaug’s demise and of the pleasures of the valley. Gandalf tells of Bilbo’s adventures, and of his own work as part of a “great council of the white wizards” expelling the Necromancer from Mirkwood.

Questions (Answer as few or as many as you like.)

Is there any significance to the date of May 1?

Do you like the joke of “the Last (or the First) Homely House”?

How is Elrond’s house “homely” in a sense that Beorn’s is not?

What does Tolkien include these Elves in the story -- what purpose do they serve?

Why do they “burst” into song both in “A Short Rest” and here?

Are the elves premature in describing Smaug’s bones as crumbled?

Whose “throne and crown” will “perish”, as the elves predict?

The elves sing, “O! Whither so laden / So sad and so dreary?” Are Bilbo and Gandalf sad and dreary? Or are the elves addressing the baggage-pony? Is that pony a precursor of the mare in Farmer Giles of Ham?

I think “The fire is more shining” sounds strained. What is your favorite and least favorite line in the elves’ song?

Since the elves seem to know about Smaug, why do they need Gandalf to tell the tale?

Here we read of Bilbo, who is “quiet and drowsy”, that “every now and again he would open one eye” and listen to Gandalf’s tale. Is Tolkien deliberately echoing this passage in LOTR when he writes, “At that Bilbo opened an eye, almost as if he had heard … ‘You see, I am getting so sleepy’, he said.”?

When Tolkien wrote and published The Hobbit, what did he imagine would be need to happen for Sauron to be “banished from the world”?

Do you have further questions or thoughts on this section?

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We're discussing The Hobbit in the Reading Room, Mar. 23 - Aug. 9. Everyone is welcome!

Join us July 20-26 for "The Return Journey".

And sign up for The Silmarillion!
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How to find old Reading Room discussions.

Subject User Time
The Last Stage 1: “The stars are all burning!” N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Jul 27 2009, 5:25am
    Nearing The End grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Jul 27 2009, 1:28pm
        You're a lally-gagger? dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 29 2009, 1:14am
            Can anyone provide some examples N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Aug 2 2009, 6:54pm
                Here's one FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Aug 2 2009, 10:29pm
    Thoughts. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 27 2009, 2:18pm
        Addendum. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 27 2009, 2:33pm
        That would indeed be a concern... dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 29 2009, 1:26am
        Several months. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Aug 2 2009, 7:04pm
    down in the valley batik Send a private message to batik Jul 27 2009, 7:36pm
        Hit it, boys! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 29 2009, 1:35am
    here goes Twit Send a private message to Twit Jul 28 2009, 6:00am
        More likely a "river-bank holiday" dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 29 2009, 1:48am
            There's nothing scarier than men with bells and sticks Twit Send a private message to Twit Jul 30 2009, 7:24am
        The Necromancer was indeed Morgoth's (former?) servant when "The Hobbit" was written. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Aug 2 2009, 7:19pm
    A few answers sador Send a private message to sador Jul 28 2009, 7:32am
        *snert* dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 29 2009, 1:56am
        Is there a library in Bag End? // N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Jul 30 2009, 5:05am
            I want to say yes but I can't squire Send a private message to squire Jul 31 2009, 7:47pm
                There's one twist FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Aug 2 2009, 10:55pm
                    Darkstone: "Inspiring the creation of libraries is a good" sador Send a private message to sador Aug 3 2009, 5:13am
                Paging drogo! N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Aug 2 2009, 11:52pm
    Celebrations! FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Jul 28 2009, 7:57am
        Interesting thought! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 29 2009, 2:01am
        Yes, Tolkien knew the Necromancer was Sauron. N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Jul 30 2009, 4:14am
            I'd forgotten that bit! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 31 2009, 3:15am
        The leaves are "swinging" in the breeze, surely? N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Aug 2 2009, 7:34pm
            It don't mean a thing... FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Aug 2 2009, 10:07pm
    It just occurred to me that the Elves are wrong. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 28 2009, 9:23am
        In the world of The Hobbit, they're right squire Send a private message to squire Jul 28 2009, 5:27pm
            Well, there's an element of The Silmarillion. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 28 2009, 5:47pm
                And more to the point... Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 28 2009, 7:55pm
                    Perhaps Tolkien would have revised this song N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Aug 2 2009, 7:37pm
    Elves are not fond of dragons, are they! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 29 2009, 2:27am
        "Tolkien had no thoughts"? N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Aug 2 2009, 7:45pm
            I sit corrected! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Aug 3 2009, 3:00am

 
 
 

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