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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Last Stage, part I - "And elves are still singing"

sador
Half-elven


Nov 12 2012, 12:55pm

Post #1 of 11 (1568 views)
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The Last Stage, part I - "And elves are still singing" Can't Post

Well, it appears that this discussion should be headed by a disclaimer: it was prepared some time in advance, and therefore could not be cut to size to fit the taste of the would-be participants; after all, I have joined these boards five years ago, and my models for discussions were formed back then.
Nobody is obliged, of course, to answer any of the questions, or any at all. Any comments regarding the chapter are welcome at any point – whether or not you've read the opening post.

* * *


Welcome to the new discussion of The Last Stage! This is the final chapter of The Hobbit, in which we have the final pay-off of Tolkien's remarks at the beginning of the book:

Quote

This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected. He may have lost the neighbours' respects, but he gained - well, you will see whether he gained anything in the end.


Bilbo's return home was never at doubt; however, Tolkien had left open the question of what, if at all, he had gained from the experience. We still need to return to this question.
I am planning on five threads – the first two covering the events described in this chapter, on the way to the Shire and back in it; and three regarding more general topics: poetry, politics and providence.

* * *



Quote

It was on May the First that the two came back at last to the brink of the valley of Rivendell, where stood the Last (or the First) Homely House. Again it was evening, their ponies were tired, especially the one that carried the baggage; and they all felt in need of rest. As they rode down the steep path, Bilbo heard the elves still singing in the trees, as if they had not stopped since he left; and as soon as the riders came down into the lower glades of the wood they burst into a song of much the same kind as before.


With this paragraph, the Last Stage of Bilbo's journey begins. It gives a sense of the completing of a cycle. It is just over a year since Bilbo set out – as Gandalf told Thorin, Thráin has left on "…the twenty-first of April, a hundred years ago last Thursday", and Bilbo is on his way back.
As Douglas Anderson notes (ch. 1, no. 50), this is the second time in the book in which a precise date is mentioned. Does this give the impression of returning to the civilized world? Or is the original mention too comic to produce such an effect?
Where else in the book are dates mentioned? What is the effect of them?
Bonus question: has Anderson made a mistake?
"the Last (or the First) Homely House"! Is this side-comment just an, err, homely joke? Or does it have any deeper significance?
I will discuss, G-d willing, the elves' songs in a later thread this week. But at the moment, I must note the ponies! Bear them in mind, we'll return to them below.


Quote

Then the elves of the valley came out and greeted them and led them across the water to the house of Elrond.

So they had to cross the bridge again! Was it the same bridge as before? Was there only one way to the House of Elrond? (compare The Ring Goes South) Is this safe, for a refuge which might be besieged (and according to The Tale of Years, actually was)? What would have happened had Smaug fund the valley, and alighted upon the bridge?

Anyway, they get down to Rivendell, and tell their marvelous tales, with all necessary spins and embellishments (ok, perhaps without them).

Quote

Gandalf it was who spoke, for Bilbo was fallen quiet and drowsy. Most of the tale he knew, for he had been in it, and had himself told much of it to the wizard on their homeward way or in the house of Beorn.

Indeed. For most of the tale, Bilbo was an active participant, or at least a spectator; while Gandalf would only know what he was told.
Why didn't Bilbo tell the story himself? Has he grown bashful or timid again? Does he just pale into insignificance next to the charismatic wizard? Or is he taking advantage of having someone else do the talking?

Bilbo doesn't fall asleep, as he needs to listen to some parts he didn't know; Gandalf tells (or reports) of the White Council, and the expulsion of the Necromancer from the tower, which the sequel names Dol Guldur.
We must return to this in a later thread; but the present post only focuses on Bilbo. Just one question:
The tale is described as being told in bits and pieces, so Bilbo kept awake. Did Gandalf interweave his own adventures with Thorin's, like Jackson probably will? Does this make any narrative sense, or is it just to keep Bilbo awake? Or did Gandalf add other bits of information, which we know nothing off?
And also: Is this the way Bilbo learned that the Old Forest Road Beorn recommended led to no good end? Did Gandalf tell about his way to the Mountain, and was it on the eastern side of Mirkwood?
Just for the fun of it: Rateliff speculates that had Throin and Bilbo followed the path to its end, they would have encountered the fearsome Mewlips. Surely a UUT more fitting to the Reading Room than a serious study!
But to make something of it: Did Gandalf encounter the Mewlips on his way north? Might this be the source of the hobbit tradition, which led to the inclusion of the poem in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil?
Ah well, next time we'll speculate of Princess Mee as the fairy wife one of the Tooks had. Let's stop being ridiculous, before this gets out of hand.

When Bilbo wakes up late at night, he acts offensive towards the noisy neighbours:

Quote

"Well, Merry People!" said Bilbo looking out. "What time by the moon is this? Your lullaby would waken a drunken goblin! Yet I thank you."
"And your snores would waken a stone dragon - yet we thank you," they answered with laughter.


That put him back in place! Or did it? He goes back to bed cheerfully. But anyway:
Do you find any significance in this banter? Do the drunk goblin and stone dragon ring any bells?

Quote

Weariness fell from him soon in that house, and he had many a merry jest and dance, early and late, with the elves of the valley.

Does this sound right? Aren't the elves too – well, large, and agile, and graceful for him?
For myself, I can't help thinking of the wedding scene in The Pickwick Papers (ch. 28):

Quote
However, there was no time to think more about the matter, for the fiddles and harp began in real earnest. Away went Mr. Pickwick - hands across - down the middle to the very end of the room, and half-way up the chimney, back again to the door - poussette everywhere - loud stamp on the ground - ready for the next couple - off again - all the figure over once more - another stamp to beat out the time - next couple, and the next, and the next again - never was such going; at last, after they had reached the bottom of the dance, and full fourteen couple after the old lady had retired in an exhausted state, and the clergyman's wife had been substituted in her stead, did that gentleman, when there was no demand whatever on his exertions, keep perpetually dancing in his place, to keep time to the music, smiling on his partner all the while with a blandness of demeanour which baffles all description.



At last, Bilbo gives Elrond "such small gifts as he would accept ". What? Where did he get them from? And starts on his way home.

Quote

"There is a long road yet," said Gandalf.
"But it is the last road," said Bilbo.

I just love this reply! Do you?

I also love the description of the river, "swollen both with the melting of the snows at the approach of summer, and with the daylong rain".
They find the place where they've buried the trolls' gold. Bilbo tries to give it all to Gandalf, who refuses.

Quote
So they put the gold in bags and slung them on the ponies, who were not at all pleased about it.


I find this the narrator's best aside in the book. Any more fans of it?
Or any discussion of the ponies in The Hobbit?
And, applying a silk handkerchief borrowed from Elrond to his face, Bilbo comes back home. Next time, we'll see what he finds there.



"As all things come to an end, even this story..."

Here we read of Bilbo, who is “quiet and drowsy”, that “every now and again he would open one eye” and listen to Gandalf’s tale. Is Tolkien deliberately echoing this passage in LOTR when he writes, “At that Bilbo opened an eye, almost as if he had heard … ‘You see, I am getting so sleepy’, he said.”?
- N.E. Brigand



The weekly discussion of The Hobbit is back. Join us in the Reading Room for The Return Journey!


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Nov 13 2012, 4:13am

Post #2 of 11 (237 views)
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Is this the last chapter [In reply to] Can't Post

or is it "the deep breath before the plunge?"

"the Last (or the First) Homely House"! Is this side-comment just an, err, homely joke? Or does it have any deeper significance?
The adjective "last" has many synonyms depending on its meaning: consequent, ensuing, eventual, following, succeeding; conclusive, crowning, decisive, definitive; farthermost, farthest, furthermost, furthest, remotest; lowermost, lowest, nethermost; endmost, extreme, outermost, outmost, utmost; penultimate; eminent, premier, superior; absolute, clear, deciding, decisive, definitive, last; determinate, determinative, dispositive, hands-down, inarguable, incontestable, incontrovertible, indisputable, indubitable, irrefutable, unanswerable, undebatable, undeniable, undisputable, unquestionable; unchallenged, uncontested, undisputed; unambiguous, unequivocal; certain, definite, positive, sure; cogent, compelling, convincing, persuasive, telling; consummate, last, max, maximum, most, nth, outside, paramount, supreme, top, utmost, uttermost;

Though to me these might be closest to the idea Tolkien was trying to express: unequaled (or unequalled), unmatched, unparalleled, unrivaled (or unrivalled), unsurpassed; biggest, hugest, largest; topmost, upmost, uppermost. (Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/last?show=0&t=1352777676)

(The question of what is meant by "Homely" remains.)

So they had to cross the bridge again! Was it the same bridge as before?

IIRC yes. There is only one way in or out of the place, as if Rivendell is a siding on a thoroughfare rather than having a throughway though it.

Was there only one way to the House of Elrond?

It seems a strange arrangement in perilous times, but yes (I think). Perhaps there was something like a postern gate that no one bothered to mention? It is not so different than the dead end that was Helm's Deep. In both cases confidence ran high that no hostile agents could breach the outer defences.

Is this safe, for a refuge which might be besieged (and according to The Tale of Years, actually was)?

It would depend on how well stocked their larders were, and who was without to come behind their enemies.

What would have happened had Smaug found the valley, and alighted upon the bridge?

Before or after Thorin returned to Erebor? Seriously though I suppose that if he could find the bridge, it would be too late for them anyway.

Why didn't Bilbo tell the story himself? Has he grown bashful or timid again? Does he just pale into insignificance next to the charismatic wizard? Or is he taking advantage of having someone else do the talking?

Surviving adventures is like that. Perhaps he was still trying to process all that he had been through. Or perhaps he didn't know how to describe what he had been through to people who hadn't been there. Perhaps he matured while he was abroad and did not feel the need to be the centre of attention? (He gained a quiet confidence while away?)

Do you find any significance in this banter? Do the drunk goblin and stone dragon ring any bells?

No bells for me, but the banter has a ring of jocularity that is found among equals or at least people that admire one another.

I just love this reply! Do you?

Yes, now that you mention it. It has an air of profundity without being over-wrought.

I find this the narrator's best aside in the book. Any more fans of it?

I wonder if the ponies voiced their displeasure?

The tale is described as being told in bits and pieces, so Bilbo kept awake. Did Gandalf interweave his own adventures with Thorin's, like Jackson probably will? Does this make any narrative sense, or is it just to keep Bilbo awake? Or did Gandalf add other bits of information, which we know nothing off?

I wonder if this is the point in the tale that Tolkien's children would have been nodding off? Have you ever spoken with someone who is on the edge of sleep, only to discover they don't remember a word you said?


(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Nov 13 2012, 4:13am)


sador
Half-elven


Nov 13 2012, 12:29pm

Post #3 of 11 (206 views)
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Me? Plunge? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The adjective "last" has many synonyms depending on its meaning

Well, IIRC, in A Short Rest Tolkien called it "The Last Homely House West of the Mountains", referring to the edge of the Wild. Here it is the first upon returning from there (note that according to movie-Aragorn, the Wild was east of Bree; but I don't think this has any basis in Tolkien).

I was wondering whether the use of "Last (or First)" was a return to the rather low-key, obvious hobbity humour - or if it was significant in terms of Bilbo's journey. Or perhaps both?


In Reply To
It seems a strange arrangement in perilous times, but yes (I think). Perhaps there was something like a postern gate that no one bothered to mention? It is not so different than the dead end that was Helm's Deep. In both cases confidence ran high that no hostile agents could breach the outer defences.


But from the caves of Helm's Deep there were secret ways that led up to the hills.
And Helm's Deep was a fortress, not the seat of the chief of a people.


In Reply To
Before or after Thorin returned to Erebor? Seriously though I suppose that if he could find the bridge, it would be too late for them anyway.


I was thinking of Esgaroth, and the dragon trying to creep along the bridge. I was wondering how that would work with Rivendell.
Seriously, I can't imagine how Rivendell would be protected except for by many outposts, and/or some superior kind of magic. And according to The Lord of the Rings, Elrond did have the most powerful of the Three - even if its powers are never specified.


In Reply To
Surviving adventures is like that. Perhaps he was still trying to process all that he had been through. Or perhaps he didn't know how to describe what he had been through to people who hadn't been there. Perhaps he matured while he was abroad and did not feel the need to be the centre of attention?


Well, he was always looking for an audience in The Lord of the Rings, so I tend to put it down to Gandalf's taking over the role of the talker, as was his wont.
But once we see the two books as separate entities, and consider just The Hobbit, with its end of Bilbo being happy in his seclusion - your reasoning makes a lot of sense.


In Reply To

It has an air of profundity without being over-wrought.

Well put. Thank you!


In Reply To

I wonder if the ponies voiced their displeasure?

Have you followed the Mark Reads series of The Hobbit? Chapter after chapter, Mark was expecting the ponies to talk, and being disappointed. Cool


In Reply To
Have you ever spoken with someone who is on the edge of sleep, only to discover they don't remember a word you said?


I am married to someone who is prone to this... Blush
And in my very limited experience with teaching, I have often felt so. Occasionally, I was pleasantly surprised by people actually remembering what I've said; but once you stand in front of the class and begin lecturing, you always notice those who are nodding.

"As all things come to an end, even this story..."

Here we read of Bilbo, who is “quiet and drowsy”, that “every now and again he would open one eye” and listen to Gandalf’s tale. Is Tolkien deliberately echoing this passage in LOTR when he writes, “At that Bilbo opened an eye, almost as if he had heard … ‘You see, I am getting so sleepy’, he said.”?
- N.E. Brigand



The weekly discussion of The Hobbit is back. Join us in the Reading Room for The Return Journey!


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Nov 13 2012, 3:57pm

Post #4 of 11 (225 views)
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"Last (or First)" [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Well, IIRC, in A Short Rest Tolkien called it "The Last Homely House West of the Mountains", referring to the edge of the Wild. Here it is the first upon returning from there...

... the use of "Last (or First)" was a return to the rather low-key, obvious hobbity humour...


Yes, of course... it's so obvious now that you mention it. Bilbo remained a linear thinker (and sharp of wit apparently) even after all he'd been through. Laugh


FarFromHome
Valinor


Nov 18 2012, 4:40pm

Post #5 of 11 (199 views)
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Just one thought... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Gandalf it was who spoke, for Bilbo was fallen quiet and drowsy. Most of the tale he knew, for he had been in it, and had himself told much of it to the wizard on their homeward way or in the house of Beorn.
Indeed. For most of the tale, Bilbo was an active participant, or at least a spectator; while Gandalf would only know what he was told.
Why didn't Bilbo tell the story himself? Has he grown bashful or timid again? Does he just pale into insignificance next to the charismatic wizard? Or is he taking advantage of having someone else do the talking?

Your question, combined with NE Brigand's in your footer:

Here we read of Bilbo, who is “quiet and drowsy”, that “every now and again he would open one eye” and listen to Gandalf’s tale. Is Tolkien deliberately echoing this passage in LOTR when he writes, “At that Bilbo opened an eye, almost as if he had heard … ‘You see, I am getting so sleepy’, he said.”?
has made me realise that this drowsiness is experienced in Rivendell by other hobbits too. It's in Frodo's experience there, as he listens to the songs of the Elves:
"Almost it seemed that the words took shape, and visions of far lands and bright things that he had never yet imagined opened out before him; and the firelit hall became like a golden mist above seas of foam that sighed upon the margins of the world. Then the enchantment became more and more dreamlike, until he felt that an endless river of swelling gold and silver was flowing over him, too multitudinous for its pattern to be comprehended; it became part of the throbbing air about him, and it drenched and drowned him. Swiftly he sank under its shining weight into a deep realm of sleep." (Many Meetings)
In his drowsiness, he too (like Bilbo in The Hobbit) hears a tale:
"There he wandered long in a dream of music that turned into running water, and then suddenly into a voice. It seemed to be the voice of Bilbo chanting verses. Faint at first and then clearer ran the words."
It struck me that what we get in this scene of The Hobbit is a hint of the way in which tales work on the imagination. You may start with a set of facts, such as the events Bilbo had told to Gandalf on the way back to Rivendell, but as the story is retold, and especially when you hear it under the influence of the drowsy subconscious, it takes on its full weight of enchantment.

So Bilbo's drowsiness may be more than just a case of bashfulness or insignificance - perhaps it's because he's in that receptive, creative state of mind where tales take on a life of their own. Actually, he reminds me a bit of how he was when Frodo first saw him in Rivendell, when Elrond wakes him:
"Wake up! I was not asleep, Master Elrond. If you want to know, you have all come out from your feast too soon, and you have disturbed me – in the middle of making up a song."
Maybe in this scene of The Hobbit Bilbo is just allowing the tale to flow over him and absorb him, the first step towards turning the events of his adventure into the enchanting tale he will tell in the "memoirs" we are reading.

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



sador
Half-elven


Nov 19 2012, 9:06am

Post #6 of 11 (180 views)
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An "elvish dream"? [In reply to] Can't Post

This might be relevant to the thread about poetry.

"As all things come to an end, even this story..."

Here we read of Bilbo, who is “quiet and drowsy”, that “every now and again he would open one eye” and listen to Gandalf’s tale. Is Tolkien deliberately echoing this passage in LOTR when he writes, “At that Bilbo opened an eye, almost as if he had heard … ‘You see, I am getting so sleepy’, he said.”?
- N.E. Brigand



The weekly discussion of The Hobbit is back. Join us in the Reading Room for The Return Journey!


telain
Rohan

Nov 19 2012, 4:00pm

Post #7 of 11 (186 views)
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directional? [In reply to] Can't Post

I always assumed (perhaps it is the geographer in me) that the first/last moniker was due to the direction in which they were travelling. Bilbo grew up in the Shire, which is West of Rivendell. Beyond Rivendell is the Mountains (= wilderness, or lack of civilization.) Therefore it might be common in the Shire and surrounding environs for Rivendell to be called "The Last Homely House West of the Mountains." However, since they are travelling back (i.e., returning "home" to what Bilbo might call the familiar or "civilized world") Rivendell is the now the "First Homely House," i.e., the first marker that they are on their way to more familiar ground, to something that reminds one of "home".

That last comment also might provide an explanation for the use of "homely", (i.e., more akin to "comfortable, familiarity,") since I wouldn't think Rivendell would be "plain" or "unattractive" in any way...


CuriousG
Valinor


Nov 19 2012, 10:44pm

Post #8 of 11 (208 views)
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Elves. Hmph. [In reply to] Can't Post

Does this give the impression of returning to the civilized world?
Yes, for me. Life is neat and orderly in the Shire, with tea at fixed times and life running on a predictable, respectable schedule. No adventures to disturb the routine, please! Though there are dates referred to elsewhere, such as Bilbo's birthday in Esgaroth and the special date needed to open the hidden door in Erebor. Even if they're not given as month-and-day dates, they are connected to calendars.

So they had to cross the bridge again! Was it the same bridge as before? Was there only one way to the House of Elrond? (compare The Ring Goes South) Is this safe, for a refuge which might be besieged (and according to The Tale of Years, actually was)? What would have happened had Smaug fund the valley, and alighted upon the bridge?
I think it's the same bridge, and Rivendell is not on a highway but set back from it. As for safety, it's never clear to me how much Tolkien reconciled The Hobbit with his other stories. He may not have thought while writing this that Rivendell was founded as a defensive refugee camp by Elrond after losing battles with Sauron in Hollin. He may have just thought of it as a sort of "elf town."

Ah, back to bridges and how they might thwart Smaug (as in the bridge in Esgaroth). He nevertheless managed to destroy Esgaroth without landing on it, so I'd say he could do the same to Rivendell. Gandalf later says to Frodo that if Smaug hadn't been eliminated, there might have been fire and swords at night in Eriador and no Queen (Arwen) in Gondor, meaning that Smaug could have been used in a successful attack on Rivendell. Gandalf doesn't seem to think that Vilya, as Ring of Air/Sky, would have warded off an aerial assault. Though Galadriel's river ring somehow kept the assaults from Dol Guldur from succeeding.

Why didn't Bilbo tell the story himself? Has he grown bashful or timid again? Does he just pale into insignificance next to the charismatic wizard? Or is he taking advantage of having someone else do the talking?
I think he's taking a break. Also, hobbits aren't usually given to bragging about themselves, so it's more modest to let Gandalf talk him up.

Do you find any significance in this banter?
I think it's only the teasing banter between friends.

Do the drunk goblin and stone dragon ring any bells?
Drunk elven guards in Thranduil's halls and trolls turned to stone; already the epic story is getting garbled--funny how fast that happens.

Does this sound right? Aren't the elves too – well, large, and agile, and graceful for him?
Great point. But if you're dancing around in a circle and not holding your partner, then height differences don't matter. So we can rule out romantic, slow dancing.

What? Where did he get them from?
He probably got more from Dain and the others than we realize. Or trinkets from the troll hoard. And please note, he and Gandalf kept the troll treasure for themselves without making any attempt to send the shares back to the other dwarves. I guess Bilbo is let out of this greedy sin by giving it all away later, as Frodo says.

"There is a long road yet," said Gandalf.
"But it is the last road," said Bilbo.
I just love this reply! Do you?
Yes. And somehow the mood reminds me of Frodo when he left Rivendell for the Shire, only he was told that his journey wouldn't end there
.

Quote
So they put the gold in bags and slung them on the ponies, who were not at all pleased about it.
I find this the narrator's best aside in the book. Any more fans of it?
Or any discussion of the ponies in The Hobbit?

It reminds me of the comment after the Shire was rescued and prospered wonderfully, so everyone was happy, except for those who had to cut the grass. There's always a curmudgeon in joyous situations, isn't there? Or, someone who has to pay the price for the prosperity of others.


sador
Half-elven


Nov 20 2012, 7:41pm

Post #9 of 11 (195 views)
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"Last Decent House" [In reply to] Can't Post

At least that is how it was called in the first drafts, before it changed to "Homely".



And are you a geographer as well? How cool!
In that case, may I ask you one question about hydrology?

It occured to me when thinking about Beorn and his coming from the Misty Mountains - wouldn't there be a stream coming down from the goblin's Back Door? Isn't this the natural place for the melting snow and puring rain to gather, and flow down to the Anduin?

"As all things come to an end, even this story..."

Here we read of Bilbo, who is “quiet and drowsy”, that “every now and again he would open one eye” and listen to Gandalf’s tale. Is Tolkien deliberately echoing this passage in LOTR when he writes, “At that Bilbo opened an eye, almost as if he had heard … ‘You see, I am getting so sleepy’, he said.”?
- N.E. Brigand



The weekly discussion of The Hobbit is back. Join us in the Reading Room for The Return Journey!

(This post was edited by sador on Nov 20 2012, 7:45pm)


sador
Half-elven


Nov 20 2012, 8:17pm

Post #10 of 11 (184 views)
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I saw two shooting stars last night / I wished on them but they were only satellites [In reply to] Can't Post

It's good that you''re back. You were sorely missed.


In Reply To
Though there are dates referred to elsewhere, such as Bilbo's birthday in Esgaroth and the special date needed to open the hidden door in Erebor. Even if they're not given as month-and-day dates, they are connected to calendars.


The brthday is - September 22nd. But that will only be mentioned in The Lord of the Rings.
Durin's Day is a purely astronomical date, not a point on the calendar; as is Midsummer's Eve.

Later, Tolkien made Midsummer a part of the Shire calendar - but that was because he decided that all sophisticated astronomical calendars must be ultimately derived from the Elves,
In The Hobbit, however, the impression is that the Elves follow a more 'natural' calendar, while the hobbits use the modern one, as the Shire is highly anachronistic and out-of-place in the world described.


In Reply To
Gandalf doesn't seem to think that Vilya, as Ring of Air/Sky, would have warded off an aerial assault. Though Galadriel's river ring somehow kept the assaults from Dol Guldur from succeeding.


That's an interesting idea!
Although perhaps the topography would make Smaug expose himself. How would Glaurung fare, if he needed to go down to Teiglin? Even if he could fly.


In Reply To

hobbits aren't usually given to bragging about themselves


Hobbits not bragging?
Exucse me, but I can't help myself.


Quote

I was fifty one years when I wrote this song
I'm fifty two now, but I won't be for long
People ask when will you grow up to be a man
But all the girls I loved at school
Are already pushing prams

I don't want to change the world
I'm not looking for a new England
I'm just looking for another girl




In Reply To

So we can rule out romantic, slow dancing.

See the Billy Bragg song quoted above.


In Reply To

There's always a curmudgeon in joyous situations, isn't there?

Eyeore!


In Reply To

Or, someone who has to pay the price for the prosperity of others.

Yes, that's what I thought.

I apologise for the above sillyness, Let's call it a night.






"As all things come to an end, even this story..."

Here we read of Bilbo, who is “quiet and drowsy”, that “every now and again he would open one eye” and listen to Gandalf’s tale. Is Tolkien deliberately echoing this passage in LOTR when he writes, “At that Bilbo opened an eye, almost as if he had heard … ‘You see, I am getting so sleepy’, he said.”?
- N.E. Brigand



The weekly discussion of The Hobbit is back. Join us in the Reading Room for The Return Journey!


telain
Rohan

Nov 21 2012, 5:07pm

Post #11 of 11 (1072 views)
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yes! [In reply to] Can't Post

I am a geographer and I occasionally make maps, too. Somehow, a local university sees fit to let me teach these topics from time to time...

The hydrology question: I still need to read the textual description, but a brief look at Karen Wynn Fonstead's atlas and my initial guess would be "yes."

Snowmelt/heavy precipitation would definitely flow overland and collect in a low spot, like a mountain valley, and would the water would continue to flow down the mountainside due to gravity (i.e., a stream.) That would certainly account for seasonal stream formation (peak flows). If the water table is high enough to remain in contact with the valley floor, that would contribute to more permanent stream formation. Whether that valley is in a watershed/drainage basin that would eventually flow into the Anduin? That I would need to investigate further... (and now that I'm interested -- I will!)

 
 

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