Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Hobbit Book Discussion: Roast Mutton 3

SirDennisC
Half-elven


Jul 22 2012, 10:35pm


Views: 680
Shortcut
Hobbit Book Discussion: Roast Mutton 3 Can't Post

Part I

Turning now from the mean to the sublime...

Even before his legendarium was conceived of, Tolkien seems to refer to a history of Middle-earth while also referencing the reader's sense of the real world, assuming familiarity with such things as "merry tales" and seasonal weather.

In An Unexpected Party Bilbo had this to say:


Quote
"... adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!"


The adventure to this point seemed very much unlike what Bilbo had expected, until the weather turned:


Quote
Everything seemed gloomy, for the weather that day had taken a nasty turn. Mostly it had been as good as May can be, even in merry tales, but now it was cold and wet.



Quote
"To think it will soon be June," grumbled Bilbo as he splashed along behind the others in a very muddy track. It was after tea-time; it was pouring with rain, and had been all day; his hood was dripping into his eyes, his cloak was full of water; the pony was tired and stumbled on stones; the others were too grumpy to talk.


And some time after the company stops for the night, just before the encounter with the trolls we find Bilbo "sadly reflecting that adventures are not all pony-rides in May-sunshine..."

Please share your observations about Bilbo's character to this point in the story. For instance, is he complex or shallow? Can he or the narrator (in so far as they are indistinguishable at times) be trusted? Thinking ahead we know that Bilbo's judgement is about to be tested (with comical results) but how has it measured up so far? and so on...

Given the last Roast Mutton thread, I should point out that here -- just before the party stops for the night and the encounter with the trolls -- we get a truer taste of Tolkien's mastery of descriptive writing.

Please share your impressions of the following excerpts:


Quote
Somewhere behind the grey clouds the sun must have gone down, for it began to get dark...

... the road went over an ancient stone bridge, for the river, swollen with the rains, came rushing down from the hills and mountains in the north.

The wind broke up the grey clouds...

...a wandering moon appeared above the hills between the flying rags.


(I'm particularly interested in your take on "a wandering moon.")

Part II

Now to the roast mutton of the chapter. Actually I'm not all that interested in the encounter with the trolls, least ways the action and dialogue. It seems to drag on a bit at the point where Gandalf (aka "a voice") gets involved.

However some things that will go on to be significant, both in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings emerge in this part of the chapter.

Luck. Fate. Thing.

(In the immortal words of Tina Tolkien, “What’s luck got to do with it?”)

From about the time the weather changes to the end of the chapter Tolkien seems to toy with perceptions of luck and fate. Please comment on the following with an eye to determining if the examples demonstrate luck, fate, or something else:

First, well, there’s the weather changing which essentially drives the encounter with the trolls.

At the bottom of the valley with the rain swollen river Tolkien says: “Fortunately the road went over an ancient stone bridge.”

Just as the party encamped “one of the ponies took fright at nothing and bolted” losing the provisions it carried in the river. “Of course it was mostly food.” But wait, by the end of the encounter with the trolls, food is what they found.

Just as Oin and Gloin were likely to give up on making a fire, Balin sees a light through the trees, “a red comfortable-looking light, as it might be a fire or torches twinkling.”

Gandalf was no longer with the party (for some unknown reason) so they were forced to rely on their own abilities.

Indeed there was a fire through the trees, but it belonged to three trolls.

There was the talking purse (Really? What are chances of there being such a thing?) which foiled Bilbo’s first attempt at picking a pocket leading to his capture.

Even though trolls eat such things as man-flesh, they were not beyond showing compassion when their bellies are full. William wanting to let Bilbo started a quarrel that allowed Bilbo to escape.

After all the dwarfs were captured, Gandalf returns, seemingly at just the right time, to confuse and defeat the trolls.

There was the key to the trolls’ cave, which Tolkien says “…must have fallen out of [William’s] pocket, very luckily, before he was turned to stone.”

Finally there was the intel Gandalf gathered from elf friends he happened to encounter when he went ahead to “spy out the road.” (Though how he missed the trolls the first time through remains a mystery.)


As for the other important aspects of the story that emerge in this chapter (some that become Tolkien-isms proper) I leave you now to flesh out for yourself and/or comment if so moved:

-- We learn about the relative stealthiness of Hobbits and Dwarfs.

-- Tolkien sets up a pattern for subsequent adventures: See a light (at the end of a tunnel?) > follow light > get captured or (as if Tolkien was haunted by claustrophobia) get confined to a small space (atop a tree surrounded by enemies/fire counts I think) or otherwise bound > escape by unforeseen means.

-- We become better acquainted with Gandalf, his ways and his role in the adventure.

-- Our party finds items that turn out to be incredibly important (or well known) later.

-- Spells do not seem to open cave doors, though they do try.

-- And lastly Thorin says “thank you” when it is appropriate to do so.


Thank you for your participation this week.


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Jul 22 2012, 10:38pm)

Subject User Time
Hobbit Book Discussion: Roast Mutton 3 SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 22 2012, 10:35pm
    Lost One Ringer Send a private message to One Ringer Jul 23 2012, 5:47pm
        It could be... SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 24 2012, 4:38am
            Well One Ringer Send a private message to One Ringer Jul 27 2012, 11:24pm
    Thoughts. DesiringDragons Send a private message to DesiringDragons Jul 23 2012, 10:20pm
        Yes! you are most welcome both here SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 23 2012, 11:13pm
        Now for a proper reply... SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 24 2012, 3:27am
            A double thank you for the welcome and the response! DesiringDragons Send a private message to DesiringDragons Jul 24 2012, 5:28pm
                Tolkien touches on this I think SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 25 2012, 2:41am
                About the trolls turning to stone elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Jul 26 2012, 9:44am
                    I meant DesiringDragons Send a private message to DesiringDragons Jul 26 2012, 5:30pm
        As others have said, you are welcome. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 24 2012, 7:54pm
            Thank you very much on both counts :) // DesiringDragons Send a private message to DesiringDragons Jul 24 2012, 7:55pm
        Spooked by Troll-smell! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 27 2012, 1:50am
            That does make sense, although Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 27 2012, 5:51am
            Thank you so much for the welcome! DesiringDragons Send a private message to DesiringDragons Jul 27 2012, 11:50am
    You forgot to mention Hamfast Gamgee Send a private message to Hamfast Gamgee Jul 24 2012, 12:18am
        Not so much "forgot" as "decided not to" SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 24 2012, 2:10am
            Yes. sador Send a private message to sador Jul 24 2012, 6:41am
                Probably SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 24 2012, 3:37pm
        Gandalf employs sevilodorf Send a private message to sevilodorf Jul 24 2012, 11:38pm
        Read Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 25 2012, 10:25am
    Thoughts. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 24 2012, 5:26pm
    One more thought about Bilbo's conversation with the trolls. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 24 2012, 9:55pm
        Fascinating observations SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 25 2012, 2:52am
    answers and a comment elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Jul 24 2012, 10:00pm
        No, thank you Elostirion... now SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 25 2012, 3:17am
    Answers sador Send a private message to sador Jul 25 2012, 8:38am
        Great answers Sador SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 26 2012, 2:28am
            Trolls showing pity or mercy elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Jul 26 2012, 6:50am
    Oh! there has been so much discussed, forgive me for picking and choosing. titanium_hobbit Send a private message to titanium_hobbit Jul 27 2012, 1:22am
        A talking purse is believable SirDennisC Send a private message to SirDennisC Jul 27 2012, 2:12am

 
 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.