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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Over Hill and Under Hill Discussion - Part One

One Ringer
Tol Eressea

Jul 30 2012, 5:01pm

Views: 433
Over Hill and Under Hill Discussion - Part One Can't Post

Hello everybody, and welcome to this week’s discussion on Chapter 4: Over Hill and Under Hill. Today I’m going to be pointing towards the... liveliness of nature. Let’s open up with the start of the chapter - - - -

There were many paths that led up into those mountains, and many passes over them. But most of the paths were cheats and deceptions and led nowhere or to bad ends…

What is the reader made to understand by this passage? Note “cheats and deceptions”? Is Tolkien personifying the mountains? Could this be subtle foreshadowing to what they soon face?

The nights were comfortless and chill, and they did not dare to sing or talk too loud, for the echoes were uncanny, and the silence seemed to dislike being broken – except by the noise of water and the wail of wind and the crack of stone.

Again with personification. Here we’re looking at the silence. Is there any particular reason why the sounds it welcomes are described with such strong/penetrating words (noise, wail, and crack)?

More terrible still are thunder and lightning in the mountains at night, when storms come up from East and West and make war.”

Another example - that a collision in nature can be conceived as war. Are there any particular images that come to mind beyond mere lightning and thunder at this point?

And now we come to the Stone-Giants:

When he peeped out in the lightning-flashes, he saw that across the valley the stone-giants were out, and were hurling rocks at one another for a game, and catching them, and tossing them down into the darkness where they smashed among trees far below…

Now nature is truly humanized. How are we to perceive these beings? Are they as Gods, crushing the worlds below by the fault of their own “game”? In what way do they reflect nature, if they do at all? Furthermore, what does this moment really mean for Bilbo? Is it culture shock? Wonder? Anything?

FOTR 10th Anniversary Music Video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33xJU3AIwsg

"You do not let your eyes see nor your ears hear, and that which is outside your daily life is not of account to you. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain all; and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain."

Subject User Time
Over Hill and Under Hill Discussion - Part One One Ringer Send a private message to One Ringer Jul 30 2012, 5:01pm
    Thoughts. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 30 2012, 10:57pm
        Something that's bothered me justbennett Send a private message to justbennett Aug 1 2012, 5:25am
            It was written for his children. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Aug 1 2012, 8:37pm
    A most unfriendly location! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 31 2012, 1:54am
    Late reply, again DesiringDragons Send a private message to DesiringDragons Aug 1 2012, 6:57pm
    Late answers sador Send a private message to sador Aug 2 2012, 10:21am
    personifying the mountains terrymerry Send a private message to terrymerry Aug 3 2012, 10:29am


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