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**Queer Lodgings**: To Mirkwood.


Aug 23 2012, 8:40pm

Post #1 of 4 (625 views)
**Queer Lodgings**: To Mirkwood. Can't Post

Welcome back folks. This is my final post on the chapter and deals with the journey from Beorn's house to Mirkwood. I will put up an “Open Discussion” post later.

The journey from Beorn's house to the Mirkwood gate that he recommended takes a number of days even riding the ponies but they pass without serious incident despite the rumours that goblins and Wargs are planning a revenge raid on them. Does this “raid” actually occur with the Battle of Five Armies? Gandalf says that the raiders will cross the river to the south. They arrive at the BoFA from the north and presumably the Great River is more easily fordable closer to its source so why not cross the river to the north? Perhaps the “raid” does not lead to BoFA and the two expeditions are separate ventures. What do you think?

Bilbo notices that Beorn is trailing them and Gandalf confirms it, commending Bilbo for noticing while the dwarves did not. Gandalf thinks that he is guiding and protecting them but also checking up on his ponies. Why the secrecy? Beorn could have just accompanied them. He is in bear form though. Maybe he does not trust himself and/or is embarassed in this form. The company have never seen him in it up to now. Is that the answer? Or not?

Gandalf has already warned them that he must leave on another errand and confirms that he will leave at the Mirkwood entrance. Nobody, except Gandalf, is happy about this but Gandalf explains that he is leaving Bilbo to look after the party. Well, as we know they do become reliant on Bilbo, but is it plausible at this stage? After all Gandalf has only recently sent Bilbo to bed, with or without his supper, for being so obtuse.

Unsurprisingly they send the ponies back to Beorn at the Forest Gate. They shoulder their heavy packs as Gandalf rides back towards Beorn's house, but not before warning them again:”DON'T LEAVE THE PATH!” I don't think this can possibly end well or can it?

That was quite a short final post. I am sorry if you are disappointed and gratified if you are grateful. Just the Open Discussion post to go.



Aug 24 2012, 8:59pm

Post #2 of 4 (284 views)
Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

The Raid: No, this wouldn't have been for the Battle of the Five Armies. That is too far in the future and is set off by the demise of Smaug. This raid was a separate event.

Beorn: The Skin-changer is probably still just a tiny bit distrustful of the Dwarves and is simply making sure that they keep their agreement to release the ponies at the edge of Mirkwood. At the same time, he doesn't want to come off as discourteous, and so follows them in secret rather than accompanying the party (either in bear or human form).

Gandalf's confidence in Bilbo is justified at this point. The hobbit has proved himself to him by managing his escape from the goblin caves on his own.

Ultimately, it proves fortuitous that the dwarves did leave the path. Having lost vital supplies after Bombur's plunge into the Enchanted Stream, and then having to carry the unconscious Dwarf, the party would have probably starved to death if they hadn't been captured by the Wood-elves.

"Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house." - Aragorn


Aug 30 2012, 12:15pm

Post #3 of 4 (247 views)
Late answers [In reply to] Can't Post

Does this “raid” actually occur with the Battle of Five Armies?
No, that's something different.

why not cross the river to the north?
I guess they are afraid of Beorn. Or else they assumed the Eagles will take the Dwarves elsewhere - nearer where Men live. They do not know the reservations the Lord of the Eagles feels about this.

Why the secrecy?
In case the goblins follow them?

Is that the answer? Or not?
I doubt that he is embarrassed. But he might want to watch them from a distance, not let them surprise him and escape with the ponies.

is it plausible at this stage?

Ah, that depends on the "knowing look" he gave Bilbo before, when hearing of his escapade! Maybe Gandalf does know something; or else he wants to impress Thorin that Bilbo will be useful, and wasn't foisted upon him just for the wizard's amusement.

I don't think this can possibly end well or can it?

Depends on how you define "well". They did manage to get through Mirkwood relatively unscathed, didn't they?

"When light finally begins to come into our lives after a long darkness, only to reveal that one has still farther to go, what various ways might one react?"
- Dreamdeer

The weekly discussion of The Hobbit is back. Join us in the Reading Room for a somewhat less clever discussion of Flies and Spiders!

Forum Admin / Moderator

Sep 7 2012, 12:45am

Post #4 of 4 (318 views)
Don't leave the path...don't leave! [In reply to] Can't Post

The raid of revenge planned by the goblins and Wargs is into "the lands shadowed by the mountains", and is intended to find the dwarves or "the men and creatures that lived there, and who they thought must be sheltering them." Because Beorn expects them to take the ford south of them, I would assume that most of the Men in that area live south of Beorn.

It's curious that Beorn thinks they won't cross the River for a hundred miles north of Carrock, maybe that is considered his own "territory", where he regularly prowls? Could it also be that that is the primary territory of the regular bears?

And I can't blame Beorn for following the dwarves "in disguise". He likes them, and now he wants to make sure he can trust them. And to guard them in case a stray goblin or Warg does find their track.

At this stage Gandalf is quite aware that: 1. Bilbo is "lucky"; and 2. he has some kind of secret "something" that helped him escape from the goblin tunnels - what, he doesn't know, but since Bilbo obviously wants to keep it secret, he will too. So he is more confident about the dwarves getting through Mirkwood than he would be had they been without this particular hobbit.

Interesting, isn't it, how both Gandalf and Beorn emphasized "Don't leave the path"? Now you KNOW that those 14 travellers will leave it! Laugh And the Tolkien boys are chuckling with anticipation...


"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


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