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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Of Trolls and swords

Baranzibar
Registered User

Jan 6 2013, 4:21pm

Post #1 of 7 (373 views)
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Of Trolls and swords Can't Post

Please forgive this question if it has already been dealt with. But I have searched for answers and found none. If it has been addressed, please just post the link for me.

Now . . . how could swords from Gondolin (especially Turgon's) end up in a troll cave in the Third Age?

OK, the Númenóreans had a mighty northern kingdom, but even the mightiest Numenor would have treated Turgon's sword with special reverence, and its use in battles with Sauron or the Witch King would have been legendary (and I mean noted down in history). So where did they come from?

Is there a credible back story for those blades in the troll cave, let alone (in the movie) that works?

And why, please, was Elrond not weeping tears over the fall of Gondolin just to hold Turgon's blade? He treats it as a mere trinket, though knows its history. These blades had fought and killed Dragons and Balrogs, along with countless Orcs.

Thank you for your help and thoughts.


Lightice
Lorien

Jan 6 2013, 4:31pm

Post #2 of 7 (267 views)
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Well, originally it was just a casual reference. [In reply to] Can't Post

The Hobbit wasn't originally a part of the Middle-Earth legendarum, but Tolkien couldn't resist throwing in a few references to his other works just because. The swords were one of them.

As for in the story itself, Gandalf theorises in the book that the trolls could have found an ancient goblin hoard or stolen the blades from a other robbers, and that they have gone a long line from a looter to another, people and creatures who wouldn't have had any idea of the true origin or significance of the blades. As for Elrond's reaction, Tolkien hadn't yet probably decided his parentage at this point, but even as it is, Elrond is likely to be appreciative of heirlooms, but not obsess over them or actively seek to hoard them like Thranduil might. His reaction is still a bit bland, but that sort of things happen when you retcon a story into a completely different universe. I would suggest not to make a too big deal about.


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Jan 6 2013, 4:39pm

Post #3 of 7 (228 views)
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Troll hoard and swords from Gondolin [In reply to] Can't Post

"These are not troll-make. They are old swords, very old swords of the High Elves of the West, my kin...they must have come from a dragon's hoard or goblin's plunder, for dragons and goblins destroyed that city (Gondolin) many ages ago...one may guess that your trolls plundered other plunderers, or come on the remnants of old robberies in some hold in the mountains...I have heard that there are still forgotten treasures of old to be found in the deserted caverns of the mines of Moria, since the Dwarf and goblin war" (The Hobbit, A Short Rest).

Why does Elrond not weep over the swords? Perhaps it was so long ago, and brings back memories and feelings too deep to share with others--especially Dwarves.

" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"


Baranzibar
Registered User

Jan 6 2013, 4:47pm

Post #4 of 7 (198 views)
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Troll hoards [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you, Aragalen. Great reply.

Yes, I understand how there was no back story in the 1937 Hobbit book. But Tolkien did spend many decades writing back stories to many of these events.

I imagine Peter Jackson must have considered adding more to the tale of the swords, and no doubt the reaction of the Orcs to the blades showed they appreciated the deadly blades of the High Elves more than Thorin certainly did.


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Jan 6 2013, 4:58pm

Post #5 of 7 (185 views)
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Back stories [In reply to] Can't Post

there may be back stories to this that Tolkien has written, but alas! I do not know where they could be. Perhaps other learned Tolkien researchers can add to this.

Also, although the swords could have been considered great heirlooms to the Elves, perhaps Elrond would have rather seen them put to good use fighting Smaug, rather than gathering dust in a collection or display.

Excellent questions, Baranzibar!

" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"


Baranzibar
Registered User

Jan 6 2013, 5:04pm

Post #6 of 7 (176 views)
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Trolls and blades [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, there could be a back story. The Bodleian Library at Oxford has many papers and fragments not published.

Careful, you'll get lost in here:

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Category:Manuscripts_by_J.R.R._Tolkien


flameofudun
Lorien

Jan 7 2013, 3:39am

Post #7 of 7 (82 views)
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As is stated by the other fine people here, [In reply to] Can't Post

The swords were stated in the hobbit to have been collected when gondolin was sacked and destroyed and was either taken to a dragons lair, where after the dragon was slain it was taken from plunderer to plunderer until it reache our trolls from The Hobbit. Or, in the place of a dragon, there was a Orc or goblin, or even hobgoblin, and it passed to Bert much the same way.

''We are very dangerous over short distances''

-Gimli

 
 

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