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 Warm Welcome * * 2 - extracting Dwarves from barrels is no easy task

telain
Rohan

Sep 12 2012, 8:00pm

Post #1 of 4 (693 views)
Shortcut
* * A Warm Welcome * * 2 - extracting Dwarves from barrels is no easy task Can't Post

The focus of this discussion post extends from “As soon as the raft of barrels came in sight...” to “They passed its doors and stood blinking in the light...

1. The process of finding every dwarf-in-a-barrel always seemed so long -- is this an attempt to draw out the tension a little? Why does Tolkien take so long to describe them getting out of the barrels, while in the previous chapter he barely spends a paragraph getting them into barrels? Is this a comment on how easy it is to get into trouble and not so easy to get out of it? Or, is it just another opportunity to list off all the dwarves names and an excuse to leave most of them behind recuperating?

2. In the previous chapter, Thorin, as he is being packed in a barrel, is described grumbling like “... a large dog in a small kennel.” When he’s released, he has a “... famished and savage look like a dog that has been chained and forgotten in a kennel for weeks.” While I love the extension of the metaphor, why did Tolkien choose “dog” to represent kingly Thorin? Does Thorin possess other dog-like qualities, or was this just a one-off? Is he regarded differently in other chapters?

3. As we are reintroduced to the rescued Party, we are once again reminded that Kili and Fili are young (for dwarves). Fili says: “I could eat anything in the wide world now, for hours on end -- but not an apple!” In your mind’s eye (or perhaps mind’s ear!) how does this come across to you? As childish or youthful exaggeration? As grumpy or cross? As sarcastic?

4. Our Party has strange luck! They’ve come across another group of guards drinking, and therefore unaware of their existence. Tolkien tells us that this is not surprising, because it has been “... so long since there had been any real need” (i.e., they haven’t had trouble for a while.) Yet, as soon as Thorin makes his appearance, some of the guard run out of the hut “... as if they expected the Mountain to go golden in the night and all the waters of the lake turn yellow...” even though many of them don’t really regard the legends anymore. What do you make of this situation? Do they (or, “we”) so eagerly forget bad things? Is this a comment on the resilience of hope and optimism, or are the guards responding to another, less savoury emotion (i.e., greed?)

5. To me, “A Warm Welcome” is a transition chapter: one of those places in a story where we move from one part (the Journey) to another (the Destination). Do you feel this way? Furthermore, these sorts of transitions in books, television series, or films often feel a little clunky in the telling -- does this chapter feel a bit clunky, or, to further the above metaphor: like “a dog’s breakfast”? Is a certain amount of clunkiness merely the nature of these transitions in storytelling?

6. Anything else you noticed and care to post about? Please do!


dernwyn
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 17 2012, 12:49am

Post #2 of 4 (178 views)
Shortcut
Straw dogs [In reply to] Can't Post

1. The process of finding every dwarf-in-a-barrel always seemed so long -- is this an attempt to draw out the tension a little?

This helps emphasize the condition the dwarves were in: miserable, half-dead, sodden, in pain. This has not been pleasant for them. They feel like they've been over Niagara Falls.

2. In the previous chapter, Thorin, as he is being packed in a barrel, is described grumbling like “... a large dog in a small kennel.” When he’s released, he has a “... famished and savage look like a dog that has been chained and forgotten in a kennel for weeks.”

Wow - I never connected these before, and I've read this dozens of times! You're quite right, this is a great extension of a metaphor. But I think Tolkien meant nothing more than the metaphor.

3. ...Fili says: “I could eat anything in the wide world now, for hours on end -- but not an apple!” In your mind’s eye (or perhaps mind’s ear!) how does this come across to you?

Sensory overload! Can you imagine such a torment, smelling delicious food for so long, and being so hungry, yet not being able to have that food to eat? Fili is reflecting frustration and deprivation.

4. ...Yet, as soon as Thorin makes his appearance, some of the guard run out of the hut “... as if they expected the Mountain to go golden in the night and all the waters of the lake turn yellow...”

Well, Thorin is having better luck here than he did with the Elves in Mirkwood! These men have been raised on stories from the good old days before the Dragon came. The ones who ran outside have not yet connected to the "reality" of these strangers. Their brains are processing: Dwarves return - Thror - Dragon must not be there, the hill is alive with the sound of gold coins! They'll settle down in a bit - or once the ale wears off.


5. To me, “A Warm Welcome” is a transition chapter: one of those places in a story where we move from one part (the Journey) to another (the Destination). Do you feel this way?

Actually, this chapter is to me one of the story's resting spots more than a "transition". LotR has several also: those places where our heroes can recuperate from the previous adventures, and regain their strength (and their equipment) for the next stage. It doesn't feel clunky at all to me: rather, it's a necessary part of the Journey.

6. Anything else you noticed and care to post about? Please do!

What do you make of Thorin's introduction of Fili and Kili? "The sons of my father's daughter", not "The sons of my sister" or "My sister-sons". Why the emphasis on descendants of Thrain son of Thror?


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

"I desired dragons with a profound desire"






telain
Rohan

Sep 17 2012, 3:47pm

Post #3 of 4 (170 views)
Shortcut
the "Holy Grail" of responses... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Wow - I never connected these before, and I've read this dozens of times!


Thanks for that!

I didn't think of Thorin as dog-like either, but I was curious whether anyone else did, or if there was something in earlier/later chapters I missed.

I really liked your analysis of why the people ran outside:

Quote
Their brains are processing: Dwarves return - Thror - Dragon must not be there, the hill is alive with the sound of gold coins!


I hadn't thought that they might have figured the dragon was already defeated. Seems very reasonable to me!

What do you make of Thorin's introduction of Fili and Kili? "The sons of my father's daughter"

Absolutely as you indicated: these are the descendants of Thrain son of Thror and they should also be held in high esteem. Thorin is nothing if not grandiose at this stage; it is pretty marvelous.


sador
Half-elven


Sep 19 2012, 8:19am

Post #4 of 4 (508 views)
Shortcut
Late answers [In reply to] Can't Post

1. The process of finding every dwarf-in-a-barrel always seemed so long -- is this an attempt to draw out the tension a little?
I don't think so. I somehow never thought that at this point any dwarf would be lost.

Why does Tolkien take so long to describe them getting out of the barrels, while in the previous chapter he barely spends a paragraph getting them into barrels?
It took longer, of course. There was need to find them all, and some of them have passed out.

Is this a comment on how easy it is to get into trouble and not so easy to get out of it?
Oh, wouldn't Dreamdear have loved you! She was always into this kind of reading.

But I think it is no more than an accurate description, reflecting reality. Now reality iself might be a comment on how easy it is to get into trouble and not so easy to get out...

Or, is it just another opportunity to list off all the dwarves names and an excuse to leave most of them behind recuperating?
Yes; in fact, the last opportunity before Bilbo bids the dwarves farewell (minus the three casualities, making it the last full tally).

A more interesting question would have been the obverse - why was there no such list when the dwarves were packed into the barrels? I guess the answer is that Tolkien needed to convey a sense of urgency.

2. While I love the extension of the metaphor, why did Tolkien choose “dog” to represent kingly Thorin?

Beautiful! But perhaps it is more of a metaphor of the kennel, erm, barrel.

Does Thorin possess other dog-like qualities, or was this just a one-off?
As Jaggers says in Great Expectations:

Quote

Brag is a good dog, but Holdfast is better.



Is he regarded differently in other chapters?
Looking forward to The Clouds Burst - I don't see any dog letting a rabbit, or descendant of rats,go that easily.


3. In your mind’s eye (or perhaps mind’s ear!) how does this come across to you?
I have once speculated that Fili was locked up before in the Mirkwood apple-cellar.

As childish or youthful exaggeration?
Children would make good on this boast for some time. Probably not hours on end, though.

As grumpy or cross?
Well, he's smiling.

As sarcastic?
Not quite.

4. What do you make of this situation?
Must have been some good stuff.

Do they (or, “we”) so eagerly forget bad things?
Yes.

Is this a comment on the resilience of hope and optimism, or are the guards responding to another, less savoury emotion (i.e., greed?)
At the moment, they are responding to excitement. I don't think ayone is calculating his own prospects as yet.

5. Do you feel this way?
Not really. It is like A Short Rest.

does this chapter feel a bit clunky, or, to further the above metaphor: like “a dog’s breakfast”?
The film, or the phrase?

But no, it doesn't seem clunky at all. On the other hand, Many Meetings...

Is a certain amount of clunkiness merely the nature of these transitions in storytelling?
As I disagree with the assumption, no.

6. Anything else you noticed and care to post about? Please do!
Fili made good on his boast - or at least carried on the theme of his hunger when he was told the Mayor is at feast.


"Has Bilbo's presence for the most part generally gone unnoticed at the feast, or are people simply being more polite to and celebratory of the dwarves, whose arrival is more expected?"

"Well, there’s thirteen rough and bearded short people, and one rather prissy and unbearded short person. The answer is obvious. Surely the people of Lake-town are knowledgeable enough to not ever dare bother a Dwarven female without leave."
- Laerasea / Darkstone



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

(This post was edited by sador on Sep 19 2012, 8:20am)

 
 

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.