Chapter of the Week: The Hobbit - Chapter 10 - A Warm Welcome

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AC

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Nov 3, 2003, 1:15:41 AM11/3/03
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Chapter of the Week - The Hobbit - Chapter 10 - A Warm Welcome

To check out the other Chapters of the Week or to sign up to do a
chapter of your own, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org

SYNOPSIS
--------
Thorin and Company, having escaped the Elf King's dungeons, through
the plans of the clever Mr. Baggins, are now floating in barrels on
the Forest River. As the Forest River leaves Mirkwood, Bilbo catches
his first sight of the Lonely Mountain.

During this uncomfortable voyage, Bilbo takes the opportunity to
gather various bits of news from the raftsmen. We hear that the roads
out of the East have fallen into disuse, and that the waterways are
now the primary means of trade and transportation. We hear of great
floods and rains, and even a few earthquakes, all attributed to the
Dragon. Even the road through Mirkwood came to an uncertain end, and
so we learn that Thorin and Company would have had no better luck
going that route.

Bilbo sees the Long Lake, "so wide that the opposite shores looked
small and far, but it was so long that its northerly ended, which
pointed towards the Mountain, could not be seen." He sees Lake-town,
built out on the lake, and accessible by a great bridge.

Finally the raftsmen secure the barrels and head to a feast in
Lake-town. Bilbo, with the help of only a few of the Dwarves, frees
the company, and, with no better plan, head to Lake-town. Their
arrival causes quite a stir among the residents of the town. The
Master of Lake-town, while dubious, goes with public opinion and
treats them as guests of honor, despite the protestations of raft-men
who announce they are fugitives of the Elf-king.

The Dwarves, taking advantage of the hospitality, stay long enough to
mend their wounds and receive a new wardrobe. Only poor Bilbo,
suffering a cold, is not well and can only manage "Thag you very buch"
at banquets.

Finally, at the end of a fortnight, Thorin reveals to the Master and
his council that they must depart for the Lonely Mountain. Only then
does the Master start taking them seriously. The Master is obviously
happy to see them go, though he couches his feelings in fine words.

So, thirteen overconfident dwarves and one unhappy Hobbit depart
Lake-town by three large boats, with the goodwishes of the citizens,
starting the final leg of their quest.

POINTS OF INTEREST
------------------
- The narrator goes into some detail to describe the troubles in this
area of the Wilderland. Roads are no longer used, and waterways are
the only reliable source of transportation. The Woodelves and the
Lake-men apparently have a running dispute over maintenance of the
river bank.

- We even hear of floods and earthquakes, attributed to the dragon.
Is this possibly for the first substantial rumblings of Sauron rise?

- We hear a little more about the glorious days when there was still a
King under the Mountain, and Dale thrived, of how gold would flow on
the rivers, and how someday Thror or Thrain would return to reclaim
their realm.

- The Dwarves are obviously beaten up, but despite being liberated
from dire circumstances by Bilbo, still grumble. Only a few will even
help their burglar free the rest from their barrels.

- Despite the troubles, the guards of Lake-town are apparently as fond
of wine as the Elvenking's butler. Obviously Lake-town has not been
molested in a considerable length of time for this lax behavior to
have evolved.

- I always find the scene where Thorin crashes the banquet very
stirring. "I am Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror King under the
Mountain! I return!"

- We can see the lead up to later troubles when the raft-men of the
Elvenking try to convince the Master of Lake-town that these Dwarves
are nothing more than escaped vagabonds.

- Am I the only one, or do others see the Master of Lake-town as
resembling very much modern politicians. While he doesn't want to
irritate a powerful king, he also sees his own people caught up in the
return of the King of the Lonely Mountain. The narrator paints a not
very flattering picture of the Master.

- The Woodelves are very curious about who Mr. Baggins is. I suspect
that when all is said and done, a thorough review of the Elvenking's
security arrangements will occur.

- Of course, we also see a premonition of trouble. The Elvenking
guesses a good deal, and decides that no treasure will pass his way
without some say. The Elvenking does not resemble some of the
Elf-lords seen in many of Tolkien's other writings, seeming rather to
be a rather greedy character.

- When the Dwarves decide it is time to leave, we see the Master
setting Lake-town up for a piece of the pie. "What help we can offer
shall be yours, and we trust to your gratitude when your kingdoms is
regained." Already he had been inspiring talk rich presents coming
down from the Mountain. The Dwarves are not pleased by this sort of
talk, and when I first read this as a kid, I just knew trouble was
brewing.

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

Troels Forchhammer

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Nov 3, 2003, 9:02:37 AM11/3/03
to
in <72d2fd57.03110...@posting.google.com>,
AC <tao...@alberni.net> enriched us with:

>
> Chapter of the Week - The Hobbit - Chapter 10 - A Warm Welcome

<snip>

> - The narrator goes into some detail to describe the troubles in this
> area of the Wilderland. Roads are no longer used, and waterways are
> the only reliable source of transportation. The Woodelves and the
> Lake-men apparently have a running dispute over maintenance of the
> river bank.

I made a note of this, together with information from the previous
chapter that also pertains to the trade situation in those parts.

We learn that the waterways are the only reliable trade routes, which
strongly suggests that just about anything the Elves have imported has
gone through Laketown. That probably includes the wine from "kinsfolk
in the South".

I think it's interesting that the Elves import wines from "vineyards of
Men in distant lands" as well.

It would seem that there's quite a thriving trade in the region - I
wonder who else send their goods through Laketown? The Dwarves in the
Iron Hills? Other settlements of Men - e.g. the woodsmen?

<snip>

> - Despite the troubles, the guards of Lake-town are apparently as fond
> of wine as the Elvenking's butler. Obviously Lake-town has not been
> molested in a considerable length of time for this lax behavior to
> have evolved.

If the only troubles are of a natural kind; floods and earthquakes, as
is suggested, it is perhaps not surprising. They aren't quite as far
gone in their drinking as that - they do remember to ask the company
to put down any arms (with the sneaky Hobbit wriggling himself out of
that request ;)

> - I always find the scene where Thorin crashes the banquet very
> stirring. "I am Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror King under the
> Mountain! I return!"

I agree.

> - Am I the only one, or do others see the Master of Lake-town as
> resembling very much modern politicians. While he doesn't want to
> irritate a powerful king, he also sees his own people caught up in the
> return of the King of the Lonely Mountain. The narrator paints a not
> very flattering picture of the Master.

And of course that is confirmed in the end.
I don't doubt that there's a comment hidden there; he does appear very
like a modern politician (fitting the picture of our worst prejudices),
but I also see in him and his eventual fate a vague parallel (I don't
suggest allegory or even a direct derivation) to the driving out of the
merchants from the temple, but that probably belongs to the later
chapter.


> - We hear a little more about the glorious days when there was still a
> King under the Mountain, and Dale thrived, of how gold would flow on
> the rivers, and how someday Thror or Thrain would return to reclaim
> their realm.

I had that down as well. I wondered about these songs; were they truly
prophetic (in which case we might end up reviewing the question of
predestination vs. foretelling), or where the songs merely an expression
of wishful thinking that quite accidentally happened to come true (through
a liberal interpretation of later events to fit the old songs).

Gandalf, in the last chapter, IMO suggests that these are not only
prophecies, but that there is a power behind them that also helped making
them come true,

" 'Of course!' said Gandalf. 'And why should not they prove
true? Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies, because you
had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don't really
suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were
managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? "

I especially note the the implication of the last sentence - if Bilbo's
"adventures and escapes" were "managed" by other than mere luck - in
conjunction with the prophecies, what management does he refer to?

But perhaps I am once more out of bounds -

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail address is t.forch(a)mail.dk

AC

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Nov 3, 2003, 11:08:05 AM11/3/03
to
On Mon, 03 Nov 2003 14:02:37 GMT,
Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

<snip>

> Gandalf, in the last chapter, IMO suggests that these are not only
> prophecies, but that there is a power behind them that also helped making
> them come true,
>
> " 'Of course!' said Gandalf. 'And why should not they prove
> true? Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies, because you
> had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don't really
> suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were
> managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? "
>
> I especially note the the implication of the last sentence - if Bilbo's
> "adventures and escapes" were "managed" by other than mere luck - in
> conjunction with the prophecies, what management does he refer to?
>
> But perhaps I am once more out of bounds -

That management (though I would hesitate to use that word) is much more
strongly referred to in The Shadow of the Past in LotR, where Gandalf tells
Frodo that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. If it was Aragorn or even
Elrond saying things like this, I might be inclined to dismiss it, but when
Gandalf hints at some higher power manipulating things, it is much more
compelling.

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru

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Nov 3, 2003, 3:57:56 PM11/3/03
to
AC wrote:
> Chapter of the Week - The Hobbit - Chapter 10 - A Warm Welcome
First of all, a Warm 'Thank you' goes to Aaron.
[...]
> SYNOPSIS
> --------
[...]

> Bilbo sees the Long Lake, "so wide that the opposite shores looked
> small and far, but it was so long that its northerly ended, which
> pointed towards the Mountain, could not be seen." He sees Lake-town,
> built out on the lake, and accessible by a great bridge.

There are lots of lake-towns in the world, but this particular town
reminds me of Venice (the same source of money - trade).

BTW, the most famous 'fairy-tale', mythical lake-town in Russia is
Kitezh-grad. The legend says IIRC it disappeared in the times of the
Mongol invasion - saving its denizens by going under water, hidden
forever, only to be spotted by chance.

[...]

> POINTS OF INTEREST
> ------------------
> - The narrator goes into some detail to describe the troubles in this
> area of the Wilderland. Roads are no longer used, and waterways are
> the only reliable source of transportation. The Woodelves and the
> Lake-men apparently have a running dispute over maintenance of the
> river bank.

One more point for the hypothesis of 'greedy greedy Woodelves'.



> - We even hear of floods and earthquakes, attributed to the dragon.
> Is this possibly for the first substantial rumblings of Sauron rise?

I know that earthquakes and floods are generally correlated with dam-
building. Perhaps the Necromancer was building hydro plants somewhere in
Mirkwood.



> - We hear a little more about the glorious days when there was still a
> King under the Mountain, and Dale thrived, of how gold would flow on
> the rivers, and how someday Thror or Thrain would return to reclaim
> their realm.

Which Thrain :-)?



> - The Dwarves are obviously beaten up, but despite being liberated
> from dire circumstances by Bilbo, still grumble. Only a few will even
> help their burglar free the rest from their barrels.

Hunger, bruises and fatigue reinforce each other. Tolkien goes to some
length to stress the fact that the dwarves were by no means reluctant to
help Bilbo - just tired an awful lot.



> - Despite the troubles, the guards of Lake-town are apparently as fond
> of wine as the Elvenking's butler. Obviously Lake-town has not been
> molested in a considerable length of time for this lax behavior to
> have evolved.

<g>Who in his sane mind would trouble a rich trading town?</g> Of course,
this is the most coherent clue for us to determine population density in
the Wilderland.



> - I always find the scene where Thorin crashes the banquet very
> stirring. "I am Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror King under the
> Mountain! I return!"

Too melodramatic to my liking, but tastes certainly differ.



> - We can see the lead up to later troubles when the raft-men of the
> Elvenking try to convince the Master of Lake-town that these Dwarves
> are nothing more than escaped vagabonds.

Are the laws against runaway slaves etc. still in force in ME?



> - Am I the only one, or do others see the Master of Lake-town as
> resembling very much modern politicians. While he doesn't want to
> irritate a powerful king, he also sees his own people caught up in the
> return of the King of the Lonely Mountain. The narrator paints a not
> very flattering picture of the Master.

"Welcome to Ankh-Morpork!"



> - The Woodelves are very curious about who Mr. Baggins is. I suspect
> that when all is said and done, a thorough review of the Elvenking's
> security arrangements will occur.

... and corrective measures will include detector gates, razor wire,
signal mines and retinal identification locks. Chief Butler will be
promoted to Chief Recycler.



> - Of course, we also see a premonition of trouble. The Elvenking
> guesses a good deal, and decides that no treasure will pass his way
> without some say. The Elvenking does not resemble some of the
> Elf-lords seen in many of Tolkien's other writings, seeming rather to
> be a rather greedy character.

Any ideas on Jamie Andrews' hypothesis in another thread (i.e., TH being
Tolkien's last _written_ description of the Fall of Doriath)?

> - When the Dwarves decide it is time to leave, we see the Master
> setting Lake-town up for a piece of the pie. "What help we can offer
> shall be yours, and we trust to your gratitude when your kingdoms is
> regained." Already he had been inspiring talk rich presents coming
> down from the Mountain. The Dwarves are not pleased by this sort of
> talk, and when I first read this as a kid, I just knew trouble was
> brewing.

This is analogous to the LotR: the closer the Mountain, the greater is
the motivation to commit sins (greed in the Hobbit and lust for power in
the LotR).

Archie

AC

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Nov 3, 2003, 4:22:03 PM11/3/03
to
On Mon, 3 Nov 2003 23:57:56 +0300,
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote:

> AC wrote:
>> ------------------
>> - The narrator goes into some detail to describe the troubles in this
>> area of the Wilderland. Roads are no longer used, and waterways are
>> the only reliable source of transportation. The Woodelves and the
>> Lake-men apparently have a running dispute over maintenance of the
>> river bank.
> One more point for the hypothesis of 'greedy greedy Woodelves'.

Yes, I'm afraid so. While the High Elves may have grown out of the lust for
treasure and power, I think it's pretty clear their lesser cousins still
very much appreciated the glitter of gold.

>> - I always find the scene where Thorin crashes the banquet very
>> stirring. "I am Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror King under the
>> Mountain! I return!"
> Too melodramatic to my liking, but tastes certainly differ.

That's sorta the point though! Thorin is completely over the top. His ego
features prominently in this chapter, where, after he's cleaned up, seems to
act as if he's already king again.

>> - Of course, we also see a premonition of trouble. The Elvenking
>> guesses a good deal, and decides that no treasure will pass his way
>> without some say. The Elvenking does not resemble some of the
>> Elf-lords seen in many of Tolkien's other writings, seeming rather to
>> be a rather greedy character.
> Any ideas on Jamie Andrews' hypothesis in another thread (i.e., TH being
> Tolkien's last _written_ description of the Fall of Doriath)?

The resemblance between the Woodelf King and Thingol are pretty large. I
don't think you can make a one-on-one correlation between the two, however.
I think the *idea* of Thingol was lifted from the legendarium and popped
into TH, not Thingol himself.

>
>> - When the Dwarves decide it is time to leave, we see the Master
>> setting Lake-town up for a piece of the pie. "What help we can offer
>> shall be yours, and we trust to your gratitude when your kingdoms is
>> regained." Already he had been inspiring talk rich presents coming
>> down from the Mountain. The Dwarves are not pleased by this sort of
>> talk, and when I first read this as a kid, I just knew trouble was
>> brewing.
> This is analogous to the LotR: the closer the Mountain, the greater is
> the motivation to commit sins (greed in the Hobbit and lust for power in
> the LotR).

Jumping ahead in the book (which I suppose I shouldn't do), I feel a great
deal for the Lake-people, and believe their claims have great merit. Not
just because the Dwarves awoke Smaug, causing a great deal of damage, but
also because, no matter cynical the Master may have been, he did offer them
aid, comfort and supplies. Thorin and Company would have been in a good bit
worse shape if the folks of Lake-town hadn't been so generous.

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

Henriette

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Nov 4, 2003, 2:41:57 AM11/4/03
to
tao...@alberni.net (AC) wrote in message news:

(snip good summary)


>
> - Despite the troubles, the guards of Lake-town are apparently as fond
> of wine as the Elvenking's butler. Obviously Lake-town has not been
> molested in a considerable length of time for this lax behavior to
> have evolved.

Lax behavior yes, but as for the drinking, I feel the need to stand up
for the guards. There is no reason to think they drink excessively
like the sleeping Wood-elves butler (bottler) or the
Elves-Keeper-0f-the Keys. They don't notice much because they are
"drinking and laughing by a fire" (which may be a somewhat noisy open
fire) and within their hut.


>
> - Am I the only one, or do others see the Master of Lake-town as
> resembling very much modern politicians.

And obviously not just *modern* ones....
Thank you AC!

BTW This chapter somehow has never been one of my favorites.

Henriette

Henriette

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Nov 4, 2003, 2:48:46 AM11/4/03
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"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in message news:
>
> (snip) I wondered about these songs; were they truly

> prophetic (in which case we might end up reviewing the question of
> predestination vs. foretelling), or where the songs merely an expression
> of wishful thinking that quite accidentally happened to come true (through
> a liberal interpretation of later events to fit the old songs).

A very interesting point. I don't think it is just wishful thinking.
The subject of foretelling comes up too often in JRRT's writings to be
a mere coincidence or a matter of wishful thinking.

Henriette

AC

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Nov 4, 2003, 10:47:04 AM11/4/03
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On 3 Nov 2003 23:41:57 -0800,
Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> tao...@alberni.net (AC) wrote in message news:
>
> (snip good summary)
>>
>> - Despite the troubles, the guards of Lake-town are apparently as fond
>> of wine as the Elvenking's butler. Obviously Lake-town has not been
>> molested in a considerable length of time for this lax behavior to
>> have evolved.
>
> Lax behavior yes, but as for the drinking, I feel the need to stand up
> for the guards. There is no reason to think they drink excessively
> like the sleeping Wood-elves butler (bottler) or the
> Elves-Keeper-0f-the Keys. They don't notice much because they are
> "drinking and laughing by a fire" (which may be a somewhat noisy open
> fire) and within their hut.

Still, I see serious problems with lax security in much of the Wilderland.

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

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Nov 8, 2003, 1:28:15 AM11/8/03
to
"AC" <tao...@alberni.net> wrote in message:

> Chapter of the Week - The Hobbit - Chapter 10 - A Warm Welcome
>
> To check out the other Chapters of the Week or to sign up to do a
> chapter of your own, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org

Thanks for another expertly done chapter, AC. We are getting into some of
the shortest chapters in the book, but still lots to discuss here.

> POINTS OF INTEREST
> ------------------
> - The narrator goes into some detail to describe the troubles in this
> area of the Wilderland. Roads are no longer used, and waterways are
> the only reliable source of transportation. The Woodelves and the
> Lake-men apparently have a running dispute over maintenance of the
> river bank.

This does paint a picture of a region in a long trend of economic and
population decline. Sort of like Europe after a plague or a long war. Not
just from the dragon, but perhaps also from millenia of Sauron's influence,
Easterling raids and all the associated aftershocks.

> - We even hear of floods and earthquakes, attributed to the dragon.
> Is this possibly for the first substantial rumblings of Sauron rise?

Maybe Smaug once melted the snow on the peak with his breath, and maybe he
could make the ground shake and be felt as far as Laketown, but I think that
at least some natural disasters must have coincided and contributed to the
general apocalyptic atmosphere created by Smaug's appearance.

> - We hear a little more about the glorious days when there was still a
> King under the Mountain, and Dale thrived, of how gold would flow on
> the rivers, and how someday Thror or Thrain would return to reclaim
> their realm.

Tales of the "good old days" obviously getting exaggerated after generations
of retelling. Perhaps boats loaded with treasure once sailed down from the
Mountain, but only the most simple-minded people in the town could believe
that the river itself would actually turn to gold!

> - The Dwarves are obviously beaten up, but despite being liberated
> from dire circumstances by Bilbo, still grumble. Only a few will even
> help their burglar free the rest from their barrels.

Once again showing the hardiness of the Dwarves. I think it likely that some
percentage of humans would not be able to survive the same overnight barrel
voyage, being unable to circulate your arms and legs, and with the air
getting stuffy.

> - Despite the troubles, the guards of Lake-town are apparently as fond
> of wine as the Elvenking's butler. Obviously Lake-town has not been
> molested in a considerable length of time for this lax behavior to
> have evolved.

Perhaps, except for the dragon, Laketown is rather sheltered from the
troubles of the outside world, almost like the Shire. They have Mirkwood and
the Wood-elves separating them from the Goblins. Presumably if Easterlings
attacked, there would be advance warning from refugees. And maybe the
defensibility of the town makes them overconfident.

> - I always find the scene where Thorin crashes the banquet very
> stirring. "I am Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror King under the
> Mountain! I return!"

We've already seen a few times what a haughty grandstander Thorin is, so he
could hardly present himself any other way. Perhaps this helps to
immediately convince the townspeople over the Master's doubts.

> - We can see the lead up to later troubles when the raft-men of the
> Elvenking try to convince the Master of Lake-town that these Dwarves
> are nothing more than escaped vagabonds.

Obviously no love lost between these two races. I suppose without common
enemies in the Goblins and Wargs, the Elves and the Dwarves would be
constantly in a cold war, or maybe even a few hot ones.

> - Am I the only one, or do others see the Master of Lake-town as
> resembling very much modern politicians. While he doesn't want to
> irritate a powerful king, he also sees his own people caught up in the
> return of the King of the Lonely Mountain. The narrator paints a not
> very flattering picture of the Master.

Especially politicians who rise to their positions rather than being born
there. Laketown seems to be, if not a true democracy, then at least a
commercially-centered oligarchy. Apparently the Master's every word is not
law, and he has to consider the effect of all his decisions on public
opinion. There are probably a lot of rich, powerful men at the top of the
social strata that could easily replace him.

> - The Woodelves are very curious about who Mr. Baggins is. I suspect
> that when all is said and done, a thorough review of the Elvenking's
> security arrangements will occur.

Thranduil probably wouldn't feel too doubtful of his security if he knew of
the Ring. Who could be secured against something like that?

> - Of course, we also see a premonition of trouble. The Elvenking
> guesses a good deal, and decides that no treasure will pass his way
> without some say. The Elvenking does not resemble some of the
> Elf-lords seen in many of Tolkien's other writings, seeming rather to
> be a rather greedy character.

The Wood-elves do seem quite materialistic in this book, compared to their
nobler cousins, and even to their LOTR selves. Story-internal: Maybe after
centuries of hard feelings, and wrongs both real and imagined, between them
and the Dwarves, these Elves were spoiling for a fight, and the Battle of
the Five Armies cured them of that. Story-external: if they weren't at least
a little greedy, they wouldn't have shown up for Five Armies.

> - When the Dwarves decide it is time to leave, we see the Master
> setting Lake-town up for a piece of the pie. "What help we can offer
> shall be yours, and we trust to your gratitude when your kingdoms is
> regained." Already he had been inspiring talk rich presents coming
> down from the Mountain. The Dwarves are not pleased by this sort of
> talk, and when I first read this as a kid, I just knew trouble was
> brewing.

Yes, it does foreshadow the coming squabble. Also, it shows more of the
Master's shrewdness, openly appearing to have the Town's interests first in
his mind.

Also, I noticed a reference to "the Wain" in the stars, pointing north to
the Lonely Mountain. I suppose this is the Dwarvish name for the
constellation we call the Big Dipper, with the four trapezoidal stars being
the "wagon" part and the handle being the "harness." Assuming, of course,
that the stars in Middle-Earth are basically in the same arrangement as
today. Does the Annotated Hobbit have anything to say on this?

The Laketown causeway must be quite long, since we know from the
Silmarillion that dragons like Glaurung could hurl themselves across a
ravine. Just now I'm wondering if Tolkien meant to draw a comparison between
the Long Lake and Loch Ness in Scotland?

As Archie said, Laketown reminds me a lot of Venice,** Italy. Originally
built by people escaping those marauding dragons known as the Huns. But the
people never returned to dry land when the Huns left, and continued to live
on the soggy isles of Venice. I suppose by that time they discovered its
defensive value against Medieval European enemies, as well as the benefits
of water-borne commerce? Maybe it was the same with Laketown. A good defence
against Orcs and Easterlings, and waterborne trade is easy and profitable.
(Dorwinion by the Sea of Rhun may be even closer to Laketown in travel time
and commercial links than are the Iron Hills.) Also, there is a certain
romantic elegance about having canals for streets.

** [IIRC, original Latin name "Venii Itzia" == "I made it this far."]

--
Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Lord Pęlluin,) Ph.D., Count of Tolfalas


Count Menelvagor

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Nov 8, 2003, 6:18:23 PM11/8/03
to
"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in message news:<1etpb.1678$g4.3...@news2.nokia.com>...

> in <72d2fd57.03110...@posting.google.com>,
> AC <tao...@alberni.net> enriched us with:
> >
> > Chapter of the Week - The Hobbit - Chapter 10 - A Warm Welcome

> " 'Of course!' said Gandalf. 'And why should not they prove

> true? Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies, because you
> had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don't really
> suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were
> managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? "
>
> I especially note the the implication of the last sentence - if Bilbo's
> "adventures and escapes" were "managed" by other than mere luck - in
> conjunction with the prophecies, what management does he refer to?

I would say Tolkien hints at providence here. Compare Tom Bombadil's
"if chance you call it," Elrond's "by chance it may seem; but it is
not so" and Gandalf's intimation that Bilbo and Frodo were *meant* to
bear the Ring, but not by its maker.

Count Menelvagor

unread,
Nov 8, 2003, 6:30:24 PM11/8/03
to
"Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in message news:<320rb.339193$pl3.330870@pd7tw3no>...

> "AC" <tao...@alberni.net> wrote in message:
> > Chapter of the Week - The Hobbit - Chapter 10 - A Warm Welcome

> > - Am I the only one, or do others see the Master of Lake-town as


> > resembling very much modern politicians. While he doesn't want to
> > irritate a powerful king, he also sees his own people caught up in the
> > return of the King of the Lonely Mountain. The narrator paints a not
> > very flattering picture of the Master.
>
> Especially politicians who rise to their positions rather than being born
> there. Laketown seems to be, if not a true democracy, then at least a
> commercially-centered oligarchy. Apparently the Master's every word is not
> law, and he has to consider the effect of all his decisions on public
> opinion. There are probably a lot of rich, powerful men at the top of the
> social strata that could easily replace him.

Oligarchy, yes; an oilgarchy is not, in fact, very mcuh like democracy, however.

Count Menelvagor

unread,
Nov 8, 2003, 6:34:38 PM11/8/03
to
"Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in message news:<320rb.339193$pl3.330870@pd7tw3no>...
> "AC" <tao...@alberni.net> wrote in message:
> > Chapter of the Week - The Hobbit - Chapter 10 - A Warm Welcome

> > - Am I the only one, or do others see the Master of Lake-town as


> > resembling very much modern politicians. While he doesn't want to
> > irritate a powerful king, he also sees his own people caught up in the
> > return of the King of the Lonely Mountain. The narrator paints a not
> > very flattering picture of the Master.
>
> Especially politicians who rise to their positions rather than being born
> there. Laketown seems to be, if not a true democracy, then at least a
> commercially-centered oligarchy. Apparently the Master's every word is not
> law, and he has to consider the effect of all his decisions on public
> opinion. There are probably a lot of rich, powerful men at the top of the
> social strata that could easily replace him.

Oligarchy, yes; an oilgarchy is not, in fact, very mcuh like
democracy, however.

> ** [IIRC, original Latin name "Venii Itzia" == "I made it this far."]

Venetia < Venetum, which in turn comes from the oirignal inhabitants,
who spoke Venetic (an Indo-European language IIRC). Possibly related
to the name of the town of Vannes in Britanny (Gwened in Breton).

Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Nov 8, 2003, 7:24:50 PM11/8/03
to
"Count Menelvagor" <Menel...@mailandnews.com> wrote in message:
> "Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in message:

> > "AC" <tao...@alberni.net> wrote in message:
> > > Chapter of the Week - The Hobbit - Chapter 10 - A Warm Welcome
>
> > > - Am I the only one, or do others see the Master of Lake-town as
> > > resembling very much modern politicians. While he doesn't want to
> > > irritate a powerful king, he also sees his own people caught up in the
> > > return of the King of the Lonely Mountain. The narrator paints a not
> > > very flattering picture of the Master.
> >
> > Especially politicians who rise to their positions rather than being
born
> > there. Laketown seems to be, if not a true democracy, then at least a
> > commercially-centered oligarchy. Apparently the Master's every word is
not
> > law, and he has to consider the effect of all his decisions on public
> > opinion. There are probably a lot of rich, powerful men at the top of
the
> > social strata that could easily replace him.
>
> Oligarchy, yes; an oilgarchy is not, in fact, very mcuh like
> democracy, however.

Not much like a democracy at all, but with more than one decision maker, and
so not quite a dictatorship either. But apparently quite an effective form
of government, since it keeps popping up in countries and city-states
throughout history.

> > ** [IIRC, original Latin name "Venii Itzia" == "I made it this far."]
>
> Venetia < Venetum, which in turn comes from the oirignal inhabitants,
> who spoke Venetic (an Indo-European language IIRC). Possibly related
> to the name of the town of Vannes in Britanny (Gwened in Breton).

The Count's words have the ring of truth, which means the documentary I saw
on the Huns was full of lutefisk. I must pay less attention to TV in the
future.

<google> But I found this quote:

http://www.glilli.com/at.htm

"The Huns continued their long retreat across the Rhine...In 452 AD, Attila
set out to re-make his claim on Honoria...His first target was the great
city of Aquileia, which he laid siege to for three long months...The city's
inhabitants fled to the marshes, where the Huns dared not tread, for the
soft ground was too unstable for their horses. The fugitives established a
new city which they named Venne Atsium (trans.- "I made it this far."), or
as it is presently known today - Venice..."

Another junk source, it seems. But if there is anything to this alternate
etymology (local legend?) then perhaps we have a nice little Tolkienian
double-meaning here. <wink>

coyotes morgan mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Nov 8, 2003, 9:14:44 PM11/8/03
to
In article <6bfb27a8.03110...@posting.google.com>,
Menel...@mailandnews.com (Count Menelvagor) wrote:

> "Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote in message
news:<1etpb.1678$g4.3...@news2.nokia.com>...
> > in <72d2fd57.03110...@posting.google.com>,
> > AC <tao...@alberni.net> enriched us with:
> > >
> > > Chapter of the Week - The Hobbit - Chapter 10 - A Warm Welcome
>
> > " 'Of course!' said Gandalf. 'And why should not they prove
> > true? Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies, because you
> > had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don't really
> > suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were
> > managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? "
> >
> > I especially note the the implication of the last sentence - if Bilbo's
> > "adventures and escapes" were "managed" by other than mere luck - in
> > conjunction with the prophecies, what management does he refer to?

it should be obvious

it was due to the management of an englishman
named john ronald reuel tolkien

Jim Deutch

unread,
Nov 12, 2003, 11:52:19 AM11/12/03
to
On 8 Nov 2003 15:30:24 -0800, Menel...@mailandnews.com (Count
Menelvagor) wrote:

>Oligarchy, yes; an oilgarchy is not, in fact, very mcuh like democracy, however.

Truer wrods were sledom spoke. mvg on GWB: "Couldn't Exxon have come
up with someone who could speak English?"

Jim Deutch
--
"...the royally oiligarchy's got to go." - CKattau

Tamfiiris Entwife

unread,
Nov 13, 2003, 12:25:50 PM11/13/03
to
Žį kvaš žat Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld:

> Also, I noticed a reference to "the Wain" in the stars, pointing north to
> the Lonely Mountain. I suppose this is the Dwarvish name for the
> constellation we call the Big Dipper, with the four trapezoidal stars being
> the "wagon" part and the handle being the "harness." Assuming, of course,
> that the stars in Middle-Earth are basically in the same arrangement as
> today. Does the Annotated Hobbit have anything to say on this?

i dunno about that, but you may be interested to learn that the big
dipper is usually called Karlsvogna in Norway, and probably in other
scandinavian countries as well. vogna means "the wagon". (yessss!
scandinavian lore strikes again!)

although i've seen the claim that it's named after Charlemagne (Karl den
Store) somewhere, i put more trust in the explanation that it's named
after Thor, the god of thunder (Tordenkarlen, or Thunder-Man for those
of you in need of a new superhero). the god in his thundering wagon,
pulled by two goats, is one of the most vivid images from norse
mythology.

--
Tamf, lellow dwagin and CHOKLIT-eater at your service.

"Don't worry," he says,
And then says the thing
You should worry about. (1600s senryu)

Michael Cole

unread,
Nov 13, 2003, 11:29:30 PM11/13/03
to
Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld wrote:

> Also, I noticed a reference to "the Wain" in the stars, pointing
> north to the Lonely Mountain. I suppose this is the Dwarvish name for
> the constellation we call the Big Dipper, with the four trapezoidal
> stars being the "wagon" part and the handle being the "harness."
> Assuming, of course, that the stars in Middle-Earth are basically in
> the same arrangement as today. Does the Annotated Hobbit have
> anything to say on this?

I don't know about the book, but I have a ME constellation map. I don't
know the accuracy or the story
behind the naming, and it is incomplete. I shall post it to the TEUNC site
(for you). If anyone else wants to look at it, either give me a site to
place it, or an email address, and I'll mail it. Its only 17kb.


--
Regards,

Michael Cole

Dirk Thierbach

unread,
Nov 14, 2003, 4:38:33 AM11/14/03
to
Tamfiiris Entwife <nos...@nono.no> wrote:
> ?? kva? ?at Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld:

>> Also, I noticed a reference to "the Wain" in the stars, pointing
>> north to the Lonely Mountain. I suppose this is the Dwarvish name
>> for the constellation we call the Big Dipper, with the four
>> trapezoidal stars being the "wagon" part and the handle being the
>> "harness."

> [...] you may be interested to learn that the big dipper is usually


> called Karlsvogna in Norway, and probably in other scandinavian
> countries as well. vogna means "the wagon".

In German, there are two constellations called "kleiner Wagen" (small
wagon) and "grosser Wagen" (big wagon). The handle of the "small wagon"
is the polar star. (The translations of the latin names "ursa minor"
and "ursa major", "kleiner Baer" und "grosser Baer" are also used
sometimes).

So maybe that has a germanic-nordic background (but maybe not, because
both constellations look like a wagon, so it's not a very unlikely
name). If it has, Tolkien would have probably known it.

- Dirk


Henriette

unread,
Nov 14, 2003, 1:33:40 PM11/14/03
to
Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@gmx.de> wrote in message news:<pdke81-...@ID-7776.user.dfncis.de>...

>
> In German, there are two constellations called "kleiner Wagen" (small
> wagon) and "grosser Wagen" (big wagon). The handle of the "small wagon"
> is the polar star. (The translations of the latin names "ursa minor"
> and "ursa major", "kleiner Baer" und "grosser Baer" are also used
> sometimes).

That's what we say in the Netherlands: "grote beer" and "kleine beer".
We don't know about wagons either, we say the grote beer looks rather
like a saucepan...

Henriette

Pete Gray

unread,
Nov 14, 2003, 3:36:19 PM11/14/03
to
On Fri, 14 Nov 2003 10:38:33 +0100, Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@gmx.de>
wrote:

>Tamfiiris Entwife <nos...@nono.no> wrote:
>> ?? kva? ?at Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld:
>
>>> Also, I noticed a reference to "the Wain" in the stars, pointing
>>> north to the Lonely Mountain. I suppose this is the Dwarvish name
>>> for the constellation we call the Big Dipper, with the four
>>> trapezoidal stars being the "wagon" part and the handle being the
>>> "harness."
>
>> [...] you may be interested to learn that the big dipper is usually
>> called Karlsvogna in Norway, and probably in other scandinavian
>> countries as well. vogna means "the wagon".
>

It is also known as 'Charles' Wain' or King Charles' Wain' in the UK.

>In German, there are two constellations called "kleiner Wagen" (small
>wagon) and "grosser Wagen" (big wagon). The handle of the "small wagon"
>is the polar star. (The translations of the latin names "ursa minor"
>and "ursa major", "kleiner Baer" und "grosser Baer" are also used
>sometimes).
>
>So maybe that has a germanic-nordic background (but maybe not, because
>both constellations look like a wagon, so it's not a very unlikely
>name). If it has, Tolkien would have probably known it.

He just used the British name he was familiar with, I think.

--
Pete Gray
while ($cat!="home"){$mice=="play";}

Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Nov 15, 2003, 2:10:15 AM11/15/03
to
"Michael Cole" <michae...@hansen.com> wrote in message:

Thanks for the star map, Mike! I hope someone volunteers some webspace, it's
a worthy download.

Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Nov 15, 2003, 2:21:26 AM11/15/03
to
"Tamfiiris Entwife" <nos...@nono.no> wrote in message:
> Ţá kvađ ţat Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld:

>
> > Also, I noticed a reference to "the Wain" in the stars, pointing north
to
> > the Lonely Mountain. I suppose this is the Dwarvish name for the
> > constellation we call the Big Dipper, with the four trapezoidal stars
being
> > the "wagon" part and the handle being the "harness." Assuming, of
course,
> > that the stars in Middle-Earth are basically in the same arrangement as
> > today. Does the Annotated Hobbit have anything to say on this?
>
> i dunno about that, but you may be interested to learn that the big
> dipper is usually called Karlsvogna in Norway, and probably in other
> scandinavian countries as well. vogna means "the wagon". (yessss!
> scandinavian lore strikes again!)
>
> although i've seen the claim that it's named after Charlemagne (Karl den
> Store) somewhere, i put more trust in the explanation that it's named
> after Thor, the god of thunder (Tordenkarlen, or Thunder-Man for those
> of you in need of a new superhero). the god in his thundering wagon,
> pulled by two goats, is one of the most vivid images from norse
> mythology.

So, to some people it's known as Charles' Wagon?
[insert Chuck Wagon pun here]

Thanks for the Scandinavian lore, Tamf. People have always looked at the
stars, and I'm sure every culture sees its own images up there. Pity that so
many constellations are lost to us forever along with the cultures that
imagined them.

John Jones

unread,
Nov 13, 2003, 1:29:30 PM11/13/03
to
"Tamfiiris Entwife" <nos...@nono.no> wrote in message
news:MPG.1a1d7f7fd...@news.online.no...

> Žį kvaš žat Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld:
>
> > Also, I noticed a reference to "the Wain" in the stars, pointing north
to
> > the Lonely Mountain. I suppose this is the Dwarvish name for the
> > constellation we call the Big Dipper, with the four trapezoidal stars
being
> > the "wagon" part and the handle being the "harness." Assuming, of
course,
> > that the stars in Middle-Earth are basically in the same arrangement as
> > today. Does the Annotated Hobbit have anything to say on this?
>
> i dunno about that, but you may be interested to learn that the big
> dipper is usually called Karlsvogna in Norway, and probably in other
> scandinavian countries as well. vogna means "the wagon". (yessss!
> scandinavian lore strikes again!)
>

It's called Charles' Wain in England.

Igenlode W.

unread,
Nov 19, 2003, 4:18:52 PM11/19/03
to
[repost]

My own first encounter with Ursa Major was in the novels of
Arthur Ransome, where the children alluded to it as "The Saucepan"; and
I've always thought of it as the Saucepan ever since :-)
--
Igenlode <Igenl...@nym.alias.net> Lurker Extraordinaire

its: belonging to it - it's: "it is" (contraction )


Henriette

unread,
Nov 20, 2003, 4:12:16 PM11/20/03
to
Igenlode W. <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote in message news:<2003111923522...@nym.alias.net>...

> [repost]
> On 14 Nov 2003 Henriette wrote:
>
> > That's what we say in the Netherlands: "grote beer" and "kleine beer".
> > We don't know about wagons either, we say the grote beer looks rather
> > like a saucepan...
> >
> My own first encounter with Ursa Major was in the novels of
> Arthur Ransome, where the children alluded to it as "The Saucepan"; and
> I've always thought of it as the Saucepan ever since :-)

Well it does look like a saucepan, doesn't it? Here everyone says
either *small* saucepan ("steelpannetje")to Ursa Major or *big* bear
(grote beer).

Henriette

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