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:
**A Thief in the Night** III - A rush to the end

titanium_hobbit
Rohan


Oct 27 2012, 11:19am

Post #1 of 4 (609 views)
Shortcut
**A Thief in the Night** III - A rush to the end Can't Post

First of all, deep apologies for disappearing and not leaving questions! It's been a pretty crazy week with an inter-state trip for a funeral of a dear friend.

I'm going to wrap this up by making a few observations and then setting the thread free- feel free to talk about what you want to talk about, or to riff off my ideas. I hope you don't mind.

I love Bilbo crossing the stream, nearly making it, and falling in. This to me is a nice tableau of Bilbo's new found courage mingled with his hobbityness.

How does Bilbo get the courage to just be "oh hey elves, I need to just waltz in and see Bard and your King" - that's pretty crazy! Although the hobbits of LOTR seem to have a similar naivety about respecting Kings and Lords and just get in there and interact with them. Do they learn this from Bilbo, or is this a standard hobbit trait?

I wonder if this relationship with kings is something indicative of Tolkien's world view/beliefs. We often talk about how Tolkien is a monarchist: but I think perhaps a subversive one.

The Arkenstone. I love how the Elvenking is amazed by this jewel as well.

A thief in the night is a phrase that comes up in the Bible.
Wikipedia says: a thief in the night is: "an event no one sees coming, often with painful or tragic consequences,"

Discuss, in context of this chapter.

Gandalf! I suppose Bilbo can't really tell the others as they would wonder how he knows... but Tolkien is really spoiling his own surprise here, as the old man throws back his hood to reveal himself Gandalf, to Thorin.

Bilbo's return: this is true honour. He could have stayed, but chose to return to the mountain, and to his friends, to wake Bombur.

Sorry to be disorganised, all! Hope you've enjoyed the week.


Hobbit firster, Book firster.


Have you explored all of TORN's forums?


(This post was edited by Silverlode on Oct 27 2012, 10:31pm)


Finding Frodo
Tol Eressea


Oct 28 2012, 3:34am

Post #2 of 4 (301 views)
Shortcut
What's he got that I ain't got? [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
How does Bilbo get the courage to just be "oh hey elves, I need to just waltz in and see Bard and your King" - that's pretty crazy! Although the hobbits of LOTR seem to have a similar naivety about respecting Kings and Lords and just get in there and interact with them. Do they learn this from Bilbo, or is this a standard hobbit trait?


After all Bilbo has been through, escaping from trolls, goblins, wolves, giant spiders, and from the elves themselves, it is not that surprising that he has enough courage to "waltz in" to see Bard and the Elvenking. He has conversed with Smaug and not only lived, but discovered the flaw that led to the dragon's death. Why then should he not be able to talk to a man and an elf whose castle he lived in undetected for weeks?

As for the other hobbits in LotR, we must remember that all except Sam were from leading families in the Shire, so that gives them a certain amount of confidence to start with. Add that to innate hobbity hardiness and it's not so surprising that Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin can hold their own with nobility, though they "can't live long on the heights". They prefer their simple ways.

Where's Frodo?


sador
Half-elven


Oct 28 2012, 9:42am

Post #3 of 4 (360 views)
Shortcut
Oh, I'm sorry! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It's been a pretty crazy week with an inter-state trip for a funeral of a dear friend.

Frown

(By the way, I didn't remember that the different provinces in Australia were called "states". Live and re-learn.)




And now, in response to your comments:

I love Bilbo crossing the stream, nearly making it, and falling in. This to me is a nice tableau of Bilbo's new found courage mingled with his hobbityness.
Interesting. I just took it as another bit of comedy, nearly slapstick.
And did you ever notice how far The Hobbit is from the hobbits' fear of water and boats in The Lord of the Rings - Bilbo takes boats across the enchanted river and up the Running River - and is the one to think of the barrel-ride!

How does Bilbo get the courage to just be "oh hey elves, I need to just waltz in and see Bard and your King" - that's pretty crazy!

After Smaug? Not really.
And he had been invisible among elves for some time, stealing their food and whatever.

Although the hobbits of LOTR seem to have a similar naivety about respecting Kings and Lords and just get in there and interact with them.
Well, Merry was forwarned and practiced.

Do they learn this from Bilbo, or is this a standard hobbit trait?
In The Houses of Healing, Merry said this was the way of his people. So I supppose it is standard, from a people who have no expeirence of social distinctions. Like the Conneticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.


I wonder if this relationship with kings is something indicative of Tolkien's world view/beliefs. We often talk about how Tolkien is a monarchist: but I think perhaps a subversive one.
Could you please enlarge?

The Arkenstone. I love how the Elvenking is amazed by this jewel as well.
Yes.
And where is this rustic king of dark-elves well-accustomed to things of beauty from?

Discuss, in context of this chapter.
This doesn't seem appropriate. I suppose Tolkien simply meant it literally.

Gandalf! I suppose Bilbo can't really tell the others as they would wonder how he knows... but Tolkien is really spoiling his own surprise here, as the old man throws back his hood to reveal himself Gandalf, to Thorin.
No, it still is a surprise for Thorin; and perhaps the Thorin-Gandalf connection comes as a surprise to the Elvenking and Bard.
But Bilbo needs to be reassured. As does the reader.

Bilbo's return: this is true honour. He could have stayed, but chose to return to the mountain, and to his friends, to wake Bombur.
Of course.
As I've written before - had he just stayed there, he would be no more than a simple traitor, stealing the most precious item of the hoard in order to cut the best bargain for himself. It is this return and accepting of responsibility which makes this whole chapter a truly noble one.

And one wonders - had it been, say, Dwalin on guard (as you've asked before) - someone Bilbo could not safely talk into going down to sleep with such promises - what would have happened?
I guess he would have just used the Ring to sneak past the guard; but then he wouldn't have felt as comitted to return. Would he have done so? The temptation to stay with his new friends and avoid the consequences of Thorin's finding out was surely immense. Maybe he wouldn't have?

As we will see next week - in terms of preventing a fearsome battle, Bilbo's action made not one iota of a difference. Well, it was good for him to be outside - how else would he have avoided the battle? But anyway, his returning to wake Bombur truly made no difference.
But it did for Bilbo. The moral reprecussions of his decision were manifold and far-reaching. Without this chapter, he would never have been able to pass the Ring to Frodo, and the whole sequel would have run another course.


"Heart of the mountain...heart of Thorin...and now, Gandalf says "keep your heart up" . Anyone care to comment on the repeated use of that image?"
- weaver



The weekly discussion of The Hobbit is back. Join us in the Reading Room for A Thief in the Night!


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Nov 12 2012, 1:26am

Post #4 of 4 (506 views)
Shortcut
Comedy! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think I've never considered Bilbo's falling into the stream to be comedic - probably from nearly losing my footing myself at times, when walking over slick planks laid across small streams! But notice how this is an echo of his barrel-riding episode, with a soaking, invisible Bilbo sneezing from his chill. Here, however, he wants to be - in fact, needs to be - "caught".

You're right that, now that our hobbit has faced Smaug, he has the courage to face nearly everything. And Tolkien did state, of his heading down the tunnel the first time: "Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did." Bilbo no longer has timidity.

Now that's a point, how is it that this rustic Elven-king was "used to things of wonder and beauty", living in his cave! But considering his age, I'd say that he's done considerable trade in the past with the Dwarves of Erebor, and of Moria, as well as the craftsmen of Men, and has a nice little collection of bling. Note that Bilbo's mithril-coat was "wrought for some young elf-prince long ago": perhaps even for Legolas? But it does serve as proof of Elf-Dwarf trade.

I like your notion that Gandalf's sudden reappearance at this point serves to reassure Bilbo!

(And my condolences also to titanium hobbit!)


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

"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.