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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
**Fire and Water** III: The Politics of Esgaroth


Oct 14 2012, 3:40pm

Views: 393
**Fire and Water** III: The Politics of Esgaroth Can't Post

After the death of Smaug, the people think that Bard is also dead. Then he appears in a moment that seems very cinematic to me (or at least, very Peter Jackson-Viggo Mortensen-like):

“And in the very midst of their talk a tall figure stepped from the shadows. He was drenched with water, his black hair hung wet over his face and shoulders, and a fierce light was in his eyes.”

Earlier this week, justbennett commented on how Bard seems similar to Aragorn. Any other thoughts on Bard’s similarity to Aragorn?

The people immediately shout for “King Bard! King Bard!” Then they are immediately swayed by the Master to blame the dwarves for their troubles. Bard calls them “Fools!” Have they elected the right leader for themselves?

The Master cleverly deflects criticism of his own behaviour and the people’s cry to raise Bard as king partly by saying “In the Lake-town we have always elected masters from among the old and wise, and have not endured the rule of mere fighting men.”

What’s the better political system in Middle-earth: democratic election of the” old and wise” – or at least of a clever “Moneybags”? Or a monarchy headed by a young warrior-king, claiming a hereditary line to the last lord of Dale? Does one result in a more successful society than the other? Or is it the Master’s rhetoric that is tricking me into asking this question in the first place?

Now that there’s an unguarded treasure hoard in the mountain, people are on the march. Bard suddenly imagines Dale rebuilt; the Master thinks of recompense for his town; the Elf-king is on his way with an army. Is everyone infected by the bewitchment of the treasure hoard? Are they motivated by greed? political ambition? justice?

As always, any other comments on the chapter are welcome. Next week: on to “The Gathering of the Clouds.”

Subject User Time
**Fire and Water** III: The Politics of Esgaroth Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 14 2012, 3:40pm
    warrior king Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Oct 14 2012, 4:05pm
        I agree Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 14 2012, 5:55pm
    Answers sador Send a private message to sador Oct 14 2012, 5:19pm
        the success of a society Modtheow Send a private message to Modtheow Oct 14 2012, 5:49pm
            Bard vs the Master Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Oct 14 2012, 6:11pm
            Oops. sador Send a private message to sador Oct 15 2012, 10:05pm
            a rather late thought... telain Send a private message to telain Oct 19 2012, 1:00pm
    Esgaroth Hamfast Gamgee Send a private message to Hamfast Gamgee Oct 14 2012, 6:49pm
        Wasn't the Shire somewhat democratic? justbennett Send a private message to justbennett Oct 15 2012, 10:26pm
            Democracy, Hobbits and Tolkien Istari68 Send a private message to Istari68 Oct 16 2012, 7:56pm


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