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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
A question about dialogue
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squire
Half-elven


Jan 21, 11:43pm

Post #26 of 33 (1792 views)
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But she'd want the Ring. Not a safe traveling companion at all! [In reply to] Can't Post

'And I shall not be dark, but haggard and short as the Fired Servant and the Landlady's Temper! Crabbed as the Nag and the Shrew and the Mistress under the Hill! Dreadful as the House-party and the Eviction! Stronger than the Thains of the Shire. All shall fear me and my Umbrella!'



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Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Jan 24, 10:34pm

Post #27 of 33 (1632 views)
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Maybe [In reply to] Can't Post

But I'm not convinced. I actually think that there was a bit of Hobbit-sense in Lobellia as well. I think that she would have known that the Ring was bad news. At least up to Rivendell anyway. It's one thing pinching spoons but the one Ring is quite another. By the way, that entire Baggins, Sackville-Baggins feud does sound a bit unhobbitlike. I wonder if the Ring was not at work with it. I mean all right, Lobellia might have pinched some spoons. But should that really have meant decades of bad relations? And was old Bilbo on entirely high morally ground anyway. After all he did do a little pinching himself on his Lonely Mountain adventure.


FarFromHome
Valinor


Jan 25, 5:03pm

Post #28 of 33 (1621 views)
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Hah! [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I mean all right, Lobellia might have pinched some spoons. But should that really have meant decades of bad relations? And was old Bilbo on entirely high morally ground anyway. After all he did do a little pinching himself on his Lonely Mountain adventure.

Good point - what did Lobelia do that Bilbo didn't do in spades! it's just a bit of burgling after all! But then again, Bilbo was "no longer quite respectable" after his burgling days, and lost his reputation in the Shire. That's what happens when you transgress the social code, I guess - the difference between Lobelia and Bilbo being that Lobelia was trying to gain social respectability (by getting Bag End if she could, or at least the spoons that she thought she was entitled to), whereas Bilbo didn't care about losing his:
He was in fact held by all the hobbits of the neighbourhood to be ‘queer’— except by his nephews and nieces on the Took side, but even they were not encouraged in their friendship by their elders.

I am sorry to say he did not mind.
Bilbo's bit of burgling gained him other friends though: "for ever after he remained an elf-friend, and had the honour of dwarves, wizards, and all such folk as ever passed that way". He won those friends by being generous with his spoils, whereas Lobelia was selfish with hers. Still she ended up showing her mettle in the end!


They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



Eldorion
Gondor


Jan 25, 5:32pm

Post #29 of 33 (1619 views)
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I think it was less about the spoons... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and more about the fact that the Sackville-Baggins clearly wished Bilbo was dead and "never admitted that the returned Baggins was genuine" (TH, The Last Stage). That would put a bit of a damper on any (extended) family relationship, but it's hardly implausible either.


(This post was edited by Eldorion on Jan 25, 5:35pm)


Attalus
Lorien


Jan 25, 6:15pm

Post #30 of 33 (1611 views)
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The Hobbit Return of Martin Guerre? [In reply to] Can't Post

Or, as its American imitator would have it, "Sommersby"? "Summersby" would be more Hobbit-sounding IMO Wink

We are the fighting Uruk-Hai! We slew the great warrior! Well, yeah, first he killed a bunch of us and another whole lot of Mauhúr's lads, and we had to shoot enough arrows into him to drop a Mûmak. But we got him!


squire
Half-elven


Jan 25, 7:08pm

Post #31 of 33 (1605 views)
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Was Lobelia's attack on the ruffians all that remarkable, or admirable? [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems to me she has a distinct attitude of contempt for her social inferiors, and may well have taken her umbrella to the heads of any number of working-class hobbits who displeased her and were bold enough to be rude to her.

The difference, I suppose, is that the ruffians were twice her size. On the other hand, that also shows perhaps her arrogance and sense of privilege rather than her physical courage.

I have always thought that Tolkien's sentimentality in giving Lobelia "popularity" because of some lifelong but imperceptible character strength was a weakness in the story. Maybe he was making a point about how a war often results in a social revolution.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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FarFromHome
Valinor


Jan 25, 8:50pm

Post #32 of 33 (1595 views)
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It was typical of her really. [In reply to] Can't Post

She attacked the ruffians to defend her pride and joy, Bag End. But at least she did put up a fight, which is more than the rest of the hobbits managed to do, even if her motivation was basically a selfish one.

But in the great "post-war" euphoria, she's given credit simply for taking a stand at all, I guess. And it is rather admirable how she toughs out her time in prison, and comes out old and thin and hobbling, but still unbowed. There's something about finding a survival from the old days still standing after a cataclysm that makes it suddenly seem precious even if beforehand it wasn't much valued at all. Sentimental it may be, but that's really the tone of this part of the story, I'd say. It's rather sad that it's only at this point that Lobelia finally wins social approval, having sought it all her life in exactly the wrong way.

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Mar 11, 10:38am

Post #33 of 33 (1045 views)
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She probably did use her umbrella a bit [In reply to] Can't Post

Such a handy weapon after all. She possibly did or was tempted to use it on the annoying young Frodo! Mind, I think the fact that the Ruffians were rude or unkempt was a bit of a subplot of the subplot of the Scouring. Farmar Maggot did say that they where making a big mess of the Shire. Though if Lobellia was into socially mobility so much, she might have stuck with Sharkey and crawled up to him as he was the most powerful in the Shire at the time. Which goes to show that whatever her faults she did at baseline like the Hobbit lifestyle best.

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