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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
"The Burglar" Bilbo Baggins Takes On a Whole New Meaning in AUJ
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Dec 30 2012, 2:50am

Post #26 of 29 (112 views)
Wow. [In reply to] Can't Post

I never thought of it that way. That is brilliant. And he did kind of still stumble on it. It also shows how the ring chose to leave gollum. ]Shocked

''We are very dangerous over short distances''


Aragalen the Green

Dec 30 2012, 3:06am

Post #27 of 29 (117 views)
Decisions, decisions! [In reply to] Can't Post

But even if we assume the Ring was the sole reason why Bilbo kept the Ring,--i.e., he otherwise wouldn't have kept it--- I would still call it Bilbo's "decision" to keep it, albeit a morally justifiable and excusable one under the circumstances. Maybe this is just a semantic difference on what "decision" means?

I did some re-reading of the discussions Gandalf had with both Bilbo and Frodo in the Shire concerning the Ring (A Long Expected Party, The Shadow of the Past). Gandalf made a point of noting the evil influence the Ring had over Bilbo--he lied about (or omitted mentioning ) having it, then lied about how he obtained it until Gandalf finally forced him into telling the truth. Both Frodo and Gandalf noted too how it was unlike Bilbo to have behaved in this way, as well as his subsequent possessiveness of it and difficulty in finally giving it up. As a focus, a channel for Sauron's power, I believe that in the Ring's need to find a way to return to Sauron, it influenced Bilbo to keep the Ring. Yes, Hobbits are resilient and Bilbo resisted much of the Ring's power over his life; however he could not have anticipated finding such a powerful and dangerous thing and was manipulated by it immediately. He had no defense against it.

Or maybe you're making a philosophical distinction as to whether one can be morally culpable for acts that were influenced by an outside force such as the Ring? Perhaps Smeagol is blameless for Deagol's murder because the Ring made him do it? Basically the same rationale as the insanity defense or involuntary intoxication defense to murder.

Smeagol was influenced by the Ring in the same immediate way, but his character was different than Bilbo's; although they shared a common distant ancestry. Even before he found the Ring, he was interested in "roots and beginnings; he dived into deep pools; he burrowed under trees and growing plants....he ceased to look up at the hill-tops...his head and his eyes were downward". Is Smeagol culpable in killing Deagol? Was it something he could have considered if he had not found the Ring? As far as the insanity defense, Smeagol was influenced by the Ring, an outside force. We don't (as far as I know, here in the US) have a consideration on whether a person can be influenced by an outside force in a non-physical way as a defense (hypnosis maybe?). Still, I would not like to a juror at Smeagol's trial. I do note that Smeagol did kill Deagol, but Bilbo did not kill Gollum.

It should be noted the the Ring does not 100% guarantee influence on everyone's acts. The character of the person plays a role, and a "decision" is made at some point.

Yes, very true, especially the examples you give. There is one difference however: Galadriel, Gandalf, Boromir, Aragorn, Faramir, even Frodo after he was warned by Gandalf; all knew of the Ring and who made it. Bilbo and Smeagol did not when they first encountered it. They had no defense. So in my opinion, the decision was not theirs, but rather Sauron's through the Ring.

This is a little more long-winded than I planned, but hopefully this makes some sense. This is the way I had viewed the "decisions" Bilbo and Smeagol made. And yes, these opinions are open to debate and reasonable minds may differ--I hope so! It makes for an interesting debate.


" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"


Dec 30 2012, 4:45pm

Post #28 of 29 (99 views)
No, sorry, didn't work for me - at all [In reply to] Can't Post

That's actually one of the scenes I'm most disappointed about. (Along with the Great Goblin's last words, and what Radagast got on his tongue.) Because it just seems like a hint to the LotR films, and doesn't let 'The Hobbit' stand alone. On the other hand I loved what they did with the "world of invisibility" now, with the lighter fuzziness and stuff.

Because the ring's evil spirit doesn't show to Bilbo in the books either, only to Frodo, when he uses it in Bree, at Weathertop and upon the stone seat at Amon Hen.

(This post was edited by Pousette on Dec 30 2012, 4:46pm)

Tol Eressea

Dec 31 2012, 2:59am

Post #29 of 29 (114 views)
Distinctions, distinctions :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

 I understand your distinctions. Your points are well stated.
Thanks right back Smile

A bag is like a hole that you can carry with you.


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