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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
quite a scene


Oct 13 2012, 12:52am

Views: 148
quite a scene [In reply to] Can't Post

What do you think of the narrator’s backtracking like this to fill in the events of the story while the dwarves and Bilbo were plundering the hoard in the last chapter? Do you think that this information could have been presented differently? Is this the patronising adult voice talking to children? Could Tolkien have intercut the scenes in this chapter with the scenes from the previous one? What would he gain and what would he lose by doing so?
To me, this gives the impression that somone wrote this part during the down time while everyone else was lost in the treasure horde.

According to John Rateliff’s History of The Hobbit, Tolkien originally planned to have what became this “Fire and Water” chapter placed before the “Not at Home” chapter.
Good decision to switch them around and have “Fire and Water” following “Not at Home”? What does Tolkien gain, what does he lose by putting them in this order?
There is added suspense and uncertainty – and also more time for the dwarves to prepare, reminisce, and organize.

Why describe Smaug from this point of view and in this way? Do you know if anyone has ever painted this scene?
It sounds like a fantastic thing to see. This adds to a feeling that this part of the story wasn’t written by Bilbo.

What about your favorite sentences in this section? What do you like (or not) about the way the battle is described?
Although there are soooo many arrows that miss, there is one that hits the target.

A Bilbo-free chapter

Is this the first chapter in the book that does not involve Bilbo? Is this significant in any way?
The whole story feels different around this point. The patterns of narrator speech, limited perspective, and almost everything else shifts. Did representatives among the elves, men, and dwarves each contribute heavily to this chapter in concert with Bilbo writing his memoirs?

Well of course not … but that is what it makes me think.

Subject User Time
***Fire and Water*** I: Smaug Attacks Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 9 2012, 8:14pm
    Smaug happens CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Oct 10 2012, 10:52pm
        Fall of Gondolin Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 11 2012, 4:45pm
    My Thoughts justbennett Send a private message to justbennett Oct 12 2012, 10:18pm
        The last lucky arrow Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 14 2012, 4:34pm
    The sequence is excellent. dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Oct 13 2012, 12:23am
        Bilbo as dragon-slayer Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 14 2012, 4:46pm
    quite a scene Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Oct 13 2012, 12:52am
        Bilbo as author Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 14 2012, 4:57pm
            I think of Bilbo and Frodo as the writers of an original manuscript Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Oct 14 2012, 5:05pm
    Late answers sador Send a private message to sador Oct 14 2012, 3:11pm
        and a late question Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 14 2012, 5:14pm
            All of those you've said sador Send a private message to sador Oct 15 2012, 9:39pm


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