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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
* * On the Doorstep * * Part 2: Still 'round the corner there may wait...

dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 19 2012, 1:53am


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* * On the Doorstep * * Part 2: Still 'round the corner there may wait... Can't Post

This part continues on to "...in the middle of the bay."


Now the dwarves are beset with a depression - "None of them had much spirit left". Indeed it is our intrepid hobbit who now takes the lead, insisting on searching for the secret door, which necessitates them moving their camp to the western side of the Mountain.

1. Wait a minute. We just read that when they arrived, they were intent on finding the "hidden door, on which all their hopes rested". So what is with this general depression? Why is Thorin seemingly relinquishing his leadership position to Bilbo? Why this disinterest by the dwarves in the Map?

2. What does it say about that side of the Mountain, if in that desolate land enough grass grew there for their ponies to feed on?


Then one day, Bilbo, out searching with the youngest two dwarves, comes across what look like steps. The three follow this path, and discover a small walled bay, with what appears to be a dwarf-door on the mountain-side. (Back in the first chapter, Thorin confirmed that the dwarves' usual method was to craft a door which has been made to look exactly like the side of the Mountain.) Whereupon they - I'm assuming the two dwarves - make several attempts to open the door.

3. Fili and Kili and the hobbit, again! Speculate as to why those two seem to be the ones who accompany Bilbo in his searches, rather than some of the other dwarves.

4. Once again it is Bilbo who is the prime mover of a pivotal moment. Does this get to be too much for you - do you find yourself wishing that someone else in the party had made the discovery of the steps?



So now they make their third camp within the walls of this bay. Because of the narrow, perilous path leading to it, they haul supplies up via ropes. Bofur and Bombur are left guarding the ponies and other supplies, 150 feet below. When all is set, even Bofur joins them, but Bombur stays behind. "'And the knotted ropes are too slender for my weight.' Luckily for him that was not true, as you will see."

5. What do you think of this last comment to the reader? Does it give too much away? Or does it create a bit of suspense?


The path to the bay continues on up the Mountain, but the dwarves "did not dare to venture" that way. Instead, "they were too eager to trouble about the runes or the moon-letters", and resort to physical force to try to open the door. And fail miserably.

Let's go back to the Map: "Five feet high the door and three may walk abreast", state the runes. The Moon-letters read: "Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's Day will shine upon the key-hole". The dwarves are ignoring this, and they also seem to have forgotten about the "small and curious key" which Gandalf gave Thorin, which he said went with the map.

6. The runes would have given them some idea as to the outline of the door they were seeking; why pay no attention to this? As for the Moon-letters, are dwarves just naturally poor at working out puzzles? Why do none of them associate "key-hole" and "key" with "door" and come up with: "Oh, this is a door that needs to be unlocked"?

Now they are literally "sitting on the doorstep", and no ideas as to what to do next are coming to any of them, but they are loathe to leave. So they become "glummer and glummer", while Bilbo gazes back to his long-distant home, and watches the large snails slime around the stone in the middle of the bay.

7. They've been on the road for over 6 months, why had they not been doing any brainstorming along the way?

I don't know about you, but at this point I start to get exceedingly annoyed at these dwarves!


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

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"





Subject User Time
* * On the Doorstep * * Part 2: Still 'round the corner there may wait... dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Sep 19 2012, 1:53am
    Answers sador Send a private message to sador Sep 20 2012, 4:22pm
        Ghosts of dwarrows past dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Sep 24 2012, 12:51am
    One Comment justbennett Send a private message to justbennett Sep 20 2012, 6:40pm
        you were thinking of Aulė... telain Send a private message to telain Sep 23 2012, 12:41pm
            Ah yes, Aulė! justbennett Send a private message to justbennett Sep 24 2012, 6:49pm
        A very strange folk dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Sep 24 2012, 12:59am
    i know what you mean telain Send a private message to telain Sep 21 2012, 1:12pm
        Creative problem-solving skills! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Sep 24 2012, 1:04am
    Those Dwarves! demnation Send a private message to demnation Sep 23 2012, 3:17am
        And what are dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Sep 24 2012, 1:12am
            The p's demnation Send a private message to demnation Sep 24 2012, 4:58am

 
 
 

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