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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
**Out of the Frying Pan...** Part II "There's more tales to tell than ours."


Aug 15 2012, 7:20am

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**Out of the Frying Pan...** Part II "There's more tales to tell than ours." Can't Post

So, let us get moving on!

Not yet, there is still a reunion to be held, and stories to be swapped.

Yes, I know the title is a bit wrong. Anyway, let's call it a riddle. What does it refer to?

So Bilbo has just made up his mind to go back into the Mountains and look for his friends when by the extraordinary luck which follows him, he hears their voices. On the edge of a small dell, he sees Balin, but Balin does not see him: he is wearing the Ring, and I doubt he casts any shadow going downhill on the Eastern side, when the sun is in the West. Anyhow, let's not disparage Balin too much.

The dwarves are talking about him, and debating whether to go back and look for him. Gandalf purports to go back, alone if need be, while an unidentified dwarf says out loud that Bilbo was more trouble than help so far, and curses the thought of going back.

  1. Who might that be? I suppose Thorin or Dori's voice would be recognized. Are we to assume that this one dwarf is voicing the voice of the whole group?

  2. Does this unnamed grumbler serve as a counterpoint to Bilbo's decision mentioned above? Note that he doesn't refuse only complains.

  3. Gandalf gets testy, and snaps at Dori for dropping Bilbo and not picking him up. This gives Bilbo the opportunity to learn what happened to his friends: after a scuffle in which no dwarf was injured, despite the goblins fighting and biting in the dark another word-play to amuse the audience? Gandalf worked up one of his flashes, and the goblins fled. Led by the wizard, the troop rushed directly to the back-door, crashed through the ineffective guards, and helter-skelter went directly to the dell. It turns out that randomly walking about, Bilbo has hit on the direct path! At the appropriate moment, our hero interrupts Dori's narration by taking off the ring and introducing himself.

  4. Is Gandalf fair? After all, it was Dori who first thought of picking Bilbo up and carrying him; the wizard would have left him behind long before. Is he just trying to sift the blame? Or to put pressure upon the dwarves to follow him back into the tunnels?

  5. I note Dori's description of the fighting: You nearly chopped off my head with Glamdring, and Thorin was stabbing here there and everywhere with Orcrist, seems to be more appreciative of Thorin than of Gandalf, even blaming him for carelessness. Is Dori trying to pay him back?

  6. And why don't we hear Thorin throughout this conversation? Dori's words are the only mention of the leader for the first half of this chapter. Is he letting Gandalf take the heat, or is he simply out of his depth?

  7. A last note about Dori's narrative he ends his story with here we are - without the burglar, confusticate him!. Did Dori remember Bilbo's confusticate and bebother those dwarves! from the unexpected party? Or is this a hint to the reader and what should s/he make of it? Or is the repetition just a slip of the professor's?

  8. Bless me, how they jumped! Then they shouted with surprise and delight. Gandalf was as astonished as any of them, but probably more pleased than all the others.

    After this aside by the narrator, it seems that the dwarves are really glad that Bilbo is back. Gandalf immediately scolds poor Balin for not noticing Bilbo creep along, and Bilbo takes full advantage of this feat, omitting any mention of the Ring. Then he tells them a long tale with all the riddles and how Gollum inexplicably missed him in the dark, and how he dodges the guards. They seems to accept the story with the possible exception of Gandalf.

  9. Again, Gandalf is unfair but without knowing it. But why does he scold Balin? Once again, where is Thorin?

  10. Was Gandalf more pleased than the others because he really cared for Bilbo more than them, or because he was vindicated in the argument regarding his worth?

  11. What do you think of Balin's reaction? Magnanimity, or damage control?

  12. Does it make you feel bad, seeing how Bilbo does not really deserve it? Does Bilbo's long story, with the emotion it evokes from the dwarves?

  13. Is there any reason to suppose Gandalf suspects something? Is this just Bilbo's knowledge that he is lying, or did Gandalf really detect a false note in his voice?

  14. To those who have read The Lord of the Rings does the latter book change your answers? How?

This was a pretty long thread, so we'll stop now. Next we will have Gandalf's tale, and get down to the foothills.

Join us NOW in the Reading Room for detailed discussions of The Hobbit, July 9-Nov. 18!

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'

(This post was edited by Elizabeth on Aug 15 2012, 7:21am)

Subject User Time
**Out of the Frying Pan...** Part II "There's more tales to tell than ours." Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Aug 15 2012, 7:20am
    some answers elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Aug 15 2012, 9:45pm
        I'm not sure, at this moment sador Send a private message to sador Aug 22 2012, 11:39am
    Now you see him, now you don't - er, other way around dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Aug 26 2012, 10:47pm
        Well, yes sador Send a private message to sador Aug 27 2012, 8:07am
            Up in arms dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Aug 28 2012, 2:08am


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