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* * Barrels out of Bond * * 2: The unseen guest

dormouse
Valinor


Sep 6 2012, 10:38pm


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* * Barrels out of Bond * * 2: The unseen guest Can't Post

Reading from 'Poor Mr Baggins' to 'the desperate beginnings of a plan.'

Alone and invisible, Bilbo at least has the freedom to explore the Elvenking's halls; even to go outside when the doors open for the elves, though he dare not go far and cannot get back in until the elves return. He feels very sorry for himself, but still has the gumption and the wits to see what he can find out that might help his friends. And by careful eavesdropping he finds Thorin, who had been on the point of giving up, but now sends messages to the other dwarves to say nothing while Bilbo thinks of a plan. Bilbo is far from delighted by this, but in time his explorations lead him to the underground stream, the watergate and the king's cellar. By listening to the elves he learns about Lake-town, the trade that goes on between elves and men and the movement of barrels up and down the forest river. His escape plan is born.

1. Why didn't Bilbo simply appeal to the elves for help?

2. 'If anything was to be done, it would have to be done by Mr Baggins, alone and unaided' - how important is this moment to the story?

3. Any thoughts on Thorin's changed attitude to Bilbo?

4. 'They all thought their own shares in the treasure (which they quite regarded as theirs, in spite of their plight and the still unconquered dragon) would suffer seriously if the Wood-elves claimed part of it....' How does this make you feel about the dwarves?

5. Parallels are often drawn between Tolkien's experience of the First World War and Lord of the Rings - especially in connection with the relationship between Sam and Frodo, and scenes like the Dead Marshes. It suddenly struck me that there might be another parallel here, in The Hobbit. The burden of responsibility weighs heavily on Bilbo. Gandalf isn't there and can't be contacted; however small and inadequate he feels, Bilbo must take responsibility for his thirteen companions and save them if he can. Seems to me that this has echoes of the position many front line officers faced in the war, Tolkien included. They were young - usually fresh out of school or university - given rank by virtue of their education and social position - it was assumed that boys from good middle and upper class backgrounds would have the skills necessary to command men and take responsibilty for them. No matter how inadequate they felt their men looked the them and they had to get on with it - and they did. Does that make sense?

6. Lake-town, we're told, was built far out intot he water, 'as a protection against enemies of all sorts, and especially against the dragon of the Mountain.' How would being built on a lake protect them against a flying flame-thrower?




Subject User Time
* * Barrels out of Bond * * 2: The unseen guest dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Sep 6 2012, 10:38pm
    Answers, I want answers! mandel Send a private message to mandel Sep 8 2012, 6:37am
    Saddened mandel Send a private message to mandel Sep 9 2012, 3:22am
        HoH seems to be silent on this dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Sep 10 2012, 1:32am
            Thanks, Dernwyn! mandel Send a private message to mandel Sep 10 2012, 1:46am
            Humpback whales Noel Q. von Schneiffel Send a private message to Noel Q. von Schneiffel Sep 10 2012, 7:13am
            I think Anderson writes something about precedents for the consruction of Lake-town sador Send a private message to sador Sep 10 2012, 3:08pm
    Late Answers sador Send a private message to sador Sep 9 2012, 3:43pm
        Thanks, sador mandel Send a private message to mandel Sep 9 2012, 6:36pm
            You're welcome sador Send a private message to sador Sep 10 2012, 3:06pm
    about question 6 elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Sep 9 2012, 7:54pm
        Yes, it's a good point about Nargothrond... dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Sep 9 2012, 9:40pm
        But what of Chrysophylax? sador Send a private message to sador Sep 10 2012, 3:11pm
    Bilbo to the rescue - again dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Sep 10 2012, 1:55am

 
 
 

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