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:
* * Barrels out of Bond * * 3: The escape

dormouse
Half-elven


Sep 9 2012, 9:28am

Post #1 of 7 (511 views)
Shortcut
* * Barrels out of Bond * * 3: The escape Can't Post

Reading from 'The evening meal had been taken to the prisoners' to 'where the gate was'.

Bilbo overhears the chief of the guards and the butler plan a private wine-tasting and realises this might be his chance. He watches, and steals the keys once they are asleep. Then he releases the dwarves, whose reaction to his plan is predictably grumpy. but they have no choice and go with him to the cellar where he packs them into the empty barrels. Elves come and begin to push the barrels through the opening and into the river - and Bilbo grabs the last one. The portcullis is opened, then the water-gate, and the barrels float away on the open stream.

1. 'for he saw that luck was with him and he had a chance...' - The passage goes on to suggest that it's rare for a wood-elf to be affected by wine, so why do you think Bilbo sees the wine-tasting as his opportunity? Because he doesn't know much about wood-elves and hobbits don't have such a good head for wine?.... because he thinks they might simply not be concentrating on their jobs? Or something else....

2. 'We thought you had got some sensible notion...' Our heros are well fed and watered and have just been set free from locked cells - why is their reaction so negative? Is it just in the nature of dwarves or are these a particularly grumpy bunch?

3. Bilbo returns the keys to the chief guard's belt - having also relocked the cells once the prisoners were out - any thoughts on this?

4.This is about the most substantial wood-elf scene in the book, so what does it tell the reader about them - what stands out about their way of life?

5. On Bilbo's escape - 'Most likely you saw it some time ago and have been laughing at him...' Did you?

6. 'Down the swift dark stream you go....' What are you feelings about the song here? Do you like it? Skip it because it slows the action down?


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Sep 9 2012, 3:27pm

Post #2 of 7 (125 views)
Shortcut
Responses... [In reply to] Can't Post

1. The narrator seems to know more about Elves and their drinking capacity than Bilbo does. Fortunately for Bilbo, this is strong wine indeed.

2. Dwarves don't get on well with deep water. They have a high body density and tendency to sink. That explains much of their grumpiness.

3. Bilbo is displaying signs of a trickster here, like Loki in Norse mythology or like the Hare or Crow or Fox of folktales.

4. Wood-elves greatly enjoy hunting and feasting and don't give a fig about the outside world when it is not intruding upon them.

5. Honestly? It was too long ago and I don't remember spotting the flaw in Bilbo's plan.

6. I like the song fine. It gives a sense of the surrounding area beyond Thranduil's Halls.

'Thus spake Ioreth, wise-woman of Gondor: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known.' - Gandalf the White


sador
Half-elven


Sep 9 2012, 3:54pm

Post #3 of 7 (123 views)
Shortcut
Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Why do you think Bilbo sees the wine-tasting as his opportunity?
It was a chance to get at the Warden.

Because he doesn't know much about wood-elves
I suppose by know he does...

and hobbits don't have such a good head for wine?
Yeah, they are beer-imbibers.

because he thinks they might simply not be concentrating on their jobs?
Galion would be! His job is to check the wine. Wink

Or something else....
He has had the opportunity to onserve Galion's great flagons.

2. Our heros are well fed and watered and have just been set free from locked cells - why is their reaction so negative?

They are not starved, but well-fed?

Is it just in the nature of dwarves or are these a particularly grumpy bunch?
Being closed in barrels on a river for two days... how would you like it?


3. Bilbo returns the keys to the chief guard's belt - having also relocked the cells once the prisoners were out - any thoughts on this?
Sensible. Leave the elves puzzling.

4.This is about the most substantial wood-elf scene in the book, so what does it tell the reader about them - what stands out about their way of life?
The way the elders at the feast send the rowdy youngsters to help in the cellars, to get them out of the way; and the attitudes of the butler and young aristocrats (they are probably higher-up the social ladder) towards each other.

5. 'Most likely you saw it some time ago and have been laughing at him...' Did you?
No.
I'm pretty sure I felt Tolkien was laughing at me with this sentence; but I was only eight or nine at the time.

6. What are you feelings about the song here? Do you like it?
Yes.

Skip it because it slows the action down?
I probably did that in my first readings, when I was younger and chafed at the bit of the longer songs.
But now I appreciate it more.


"The portcullis can be dropped right to the river-bed, but, that it's often left open. Why? If this is a fortress and Mirkwood has some very unsavory inhabitants, isn't this rather foolhardy of the elves? Or is it just arrogance?"
- Kelvarhin



The weekly discussion of The Hobbit is back. Join us in the Reading Room for Barrels Out of Bond!


telain
Rohan

Sep 9 2012, 4:44pm

Post #4 of 7 (122 views)
Shortcut
the butler did it [In reply to] Can't Post

1. I definitely see "Bilbo's chance" as the Elves' not paying attention to their job, and, perhaps, having their perception a bit dimmed by the inclusion of Dorwinion wine.

Hobbits don't have a good head for wine? What about Bilbo's stores of "The Old Wineyard"? Granted that technically is LOTR, but I think there are a few Hobbits (and Bilbo might be one of them) that havea ahead for wine (at least some indication of the affects of such a potent potable.)

2. Dwarves may be grumpy because being locked in a barrel floating down a river for two days sounds uncomfortable and dangerous. What if your particular barrel isn't watertight and fills with water? How would you get out? Being claustrophobic, I would certainly be grumpy.

3. I love that Bilbo returns the keys! First of all, it gives them all a bit more time (even if it is just a few minutes.) The guard won't notice the keys are missing, and the doors are all shut and locked -- nothing amiss there, until you actually check on the prisoners. Second, how the prisoners escaped is suddenly much more mysterious. Did they all vanish?

4. While there are some similarities with the Rivendell Elves, I would say that the Wood-elves come across as bit more rustic and casual. Perhaps it is the proximity to the dangers of Mirkwood, but they seem to be a bit less "silly" and a bit more "fun-loving and hearty" than their westerly kin (in The Hobbit, anyway...)

5. Not exactly... Perhaps it is almost too obvious?

6. I make myself read them, and then I am always glad I do. This one sort of foreshadows where they will go; certainly it sounds like they will be entering a much lovelier place than Mirkwood...


Faenoriel
Tol Eressea


Sep 9 2012, 5:40pm

Post #5 of 7 (121 views)
Shortcut
Some answers [In reply to] Can't Post

2. 'We thought you had got some sensible notion...'

To give them credit, the plan is rather mad when you stop to think about it. It's hardly a pleasant though to be locked in a barrel, thrown into a wild river and hope for the best. They all might well have been killed.

But yeah, they are a particulary grumpy bunch. Makes them all that more lovely, for the reader at least.

3. Bilbo returns the keys to the chief guard's belt - having also relocked the cells once the prisoners were out - any thoughts on this?

Either he's trying to confuse the Elves, or he's just acting like Scarlett in Gone With the Wind, when she told Rhett to turn back so she could lock the front door - in a burning city about to be invided by the Yankees. People do silly things like that in stressful situations.

4.This is about the most substantial wood-elf scene in the book, so what does it tell the reader about them - what stands out about their way of life?


They're world-centered, instead of Valinor/Valar/Eru-centered, if that makes any sense. Their life is about the same small things and worries as ours. They're very human.

But every word you say today
Gets twisted 'round some other way
And they'll hurt you if they think you've lied


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Sep 10 2012, 11:23pm

Post #6 of 7 (123 views)
Shortcut
I must confess [In reply to] Can't Post

That I had no idea of Bilbos plan to escape from the wood-elves. Neither did I get any riddle, have any idea of how to escape from the Wrags or the best method to deal with thenTrolls. I wouldn't have been much use as a companion, would I? I suppose I could be a Dwarf. Apart from the height. I'm not sure how the episode would have played itself out without Bilbos escape trick. Both Dwarves and Hobbits are long-lived so maybe after a year in the cells before Gandalf arrives again wouldn't be so long in their lives. Wouldn't have made good reading, however. And what type of relations did Gandalf have with the wood-elves? We're they good, could he have negotiated, or maybe Gandalf would have had to have thought of a clever method of escaping.


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 14 2012, 2:30am

Post #7 of 7 (329 views)
Shortcut
What an intriguing notion [In reply to] Can't Post

about the dwarves' high body density! It makes sense, for beings who were created to be "stone-hard". And it also explains why Bombur sank right into the enchanted river, rather than being a bit buoyant.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"





 
 

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.