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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Were there 144? or more?

Israfellius
The Shire

Nov 12 2013, 9:51am


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Were there 144? or more? Can't Post

In the chapter "Long-expected party" Tolkien writes:


Quote
“The invitations were limited to twelve dozen (a number also called by the hobbits one Gross, though the word was not considered proper to use of people); and the guests were selected from all the families to which Bilbo and Frodo were related, with the addition of a few special unrelated friends (such as Gandalf ).”


This would seem to infer that the total number of people in the pavilion was 144. The total number of hobbits invited would then be X = 144 - F, where F is the number of "special unrelated friends." Yet later in the chapter, when Bilbo vanishes in front of the party, Tolkien writes:


Quote
“One hundred and forty-four flabbergasted hobbits sat back speechless.”


Which would seem to infer that there were more than 144 people at the party: 144 hobbits + F = total attendees.

So did the gross include the non-hobbits? or not?


(This post was edited by Israfellius on Nov 12 2013, 9:53am)

Subject User Time
Were there 144? or more? Israfellius Send a private message to Israfellius Nov 12 2013, 9:51am
    this keeps you awake? FaramirFan Send a private message to FaramirFan Nov 12 2013, 10:25am
        Can't sleep Israfellius Send a private message to Israfellius Nov 12 2013, 10:39am
            Chocolate pies...maybe! Or maybe those lost Blue wizards found music... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Nov 12 2013, 5:40pm
                Shouldn't that read "On a Mission from Eru"?// elaen32 Send a private message to elaen32 Nov 12 2013, 5:45pm
                    Quite right! Fixed it! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Nov 12 2013, 5:56pm
    Early proof of the hand of Providence influencing the story. Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Nov 12 2013, 4:08pm
    I always assumed someone snuck in. RosieBaggins Send a private message to RosieBaggins Nov 12 2013, 5:28pm
    "With the addition of..." FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Nov 13 2013, 2:41pm

 
 
 

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