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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
**The Return Journey** Part Two - Resolutions

One Ringer
Tol Eressea


Nov 7 2012, 3:15pm

Post #1 of 4 (1128 views)
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**The Return Journey** Part Two - Resolutions Can't Post

Following Thorinís passing, Tolkien gives us a recount of events in the preceding battle:


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The Eagles had long had suspicion of the goblinsí mustering (Ö) They it was who dislodged them over precipices, or driving them down shrieking and bewildered among their foes.




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In that last hour Beorn himself had appeared Ė no one knew how or from where. He came alone, and in bearís shape; and he seemed to have grown almost to giant-size in his wrath.



What is it about Tolkienís structuring that makes describing these events after the fact work? To me itís a good way to offer a little flavor to what could easily be said in few lines (in regards to the Eagles).

Considering that the Eagles have a given reason for their arrival, why canít the same be said for Beorn? Is it because we already know what we need to know of him? Or is he simply a eucatastrophe?

The lay of Thorin:


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They buried Thorin deep beneath the Mountain, and Bard laid the Arkenstone upon his breast. (Ö) Upon his tomb the Elvenking then laid Orcrist (Ö) It is said in songs that it gleamed ever in the dark if foes approached, and the fortress of the dwarves could not be taken by surprise.



At this point, what evidence is there to show that these commendations are genuine? Might they be given out of pity, or have these kings changed altogether? Is it the treasure that builds the foundations of peace among the three races, the comradery of battle, or something else?

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telain
Rohan

Nov 8 2012, 1:45pm

Post #2 of 4 (343 views)
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my apologies for my recent absence [In reply to] Can't Post

...but I have a few spare minutes, so here are my thoughts.

I like the idea of Beorn more as a mystery than simple eucatastrophe -- maybe it is my proclivity for imagining the "para-narrative" lives of secondary and tertiary characters... I like to think that some characters float (or, "barge" in this case) in and out of the story. I always had the impression, anyway, that Beorn is his own werebear and that any reason he might do or say anything is not always easy to understand or interpret.

As for Bard and the Elvenking -- could it be (as you said in post #1) that Thorin learned something about adventuring and furthermore these two kingly figures learned a valuable lesson as well? To me it seems a very meaningful gesture on both their parts, especially given the tension between the three of them leading up to the battle...


sador
Half-elven


Nov 8 2012, 3:59pm

Post #3 of 4 (492 views)
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Short answers [In reply to] Can't Post

What is it about Tolkienís structuring that makes describing these events after the fact work? To me itís a good way to offer a little flavor to what could easily be said in few lines (in regards to the Eagles).
I think in this case, this is the culmination of Bilbo returning back to size. He has a minor part to play in the inheritance drama, a negligible one in the Battle, and misses its final stages.

That's why it works for me. I know some others don't think it works at all.

Considering that the Eagles have a given reason for their arrival, why canít the same be said for Beorn? Is it because we already know what we need to know of him? Or is he simply a eucatastrophe?

Well, in Fire and Water it is said explicitly that Beorn heard the news in his house. It makes sense that he would learn of the goblins and their plans, and hurry to join the fun.

At this point, what evidence is there to show that these commendations are genuine?
Do you mean the prophecies? How can we know?

Might they be given out of pity, or have these kings changed altogether?
Bard has nothing to gain from the Arkenstone any more: he gets his price, and the last thing he wants is to rebuild Dale with a perpetual feud with Dain.
The Elvenking seems indeed to honour Thorin; or at least, to remove from himself any claim of dishonestly appropriating his sword.

Is it the treasure that builds the foundations of peace among the three races, the comradery of battle, or something else?
It is the camraderie.
But perhaps it just brought them to their senses; and after all, prosperity is better when shared than when fought over.

"And so the healing begins. The original readers had no idea, of course, about the Halls of Mandos; with that in mind, does it make sense for these Elves to seem "glad" rather than "relieved", or is this Tokien unconsciously bringing his mythology into the story?"
- dernwyn



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CuriousG
Valinor


Nov 15 2012, 5:30pm

Post #4 of 4 (980 views)
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Bears, eagles, and treasure [In reply to] Can't Post

Considering that the Eagles have a given reason for their arrival, why canít the same be said for Beorn? Is it because we already know what we need to know of him? Or is he simply a eucatastrophe?

Telain said it better than I could.

At this point, what evidence is there to show that these commendations are genuine? Might they be given out of pity, or have these kings changed altogether? Is it the treasure that builds the foundations of peace among the three races, the comradery of battle, or something else?
I agree with Sador that it's the comadery of battle; it brought them to their senses, though at a wicked price. And I think the acts must be genuine in themselves because of the value of the gifts, especially the Arkenstone. If Bard were making a token gesture, he could have put a gold cup or something on Thorin's tomb, not the single most valuable item in the treasure hoard.

Orcrist doesn't have the same price tag as the Arkenstone, but as a sword originally crafted by Elves, Thranduil could have made the claim that it belongs to him more than to a dwarf, so giving it back to Thorin carries some weight that it too is no mere token gift.

 
 

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