Chapter of the Week: Hobbit, chapter 2

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Een Wilde Ier

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Sep 9, 2003, 12:30:09 PM9/9/03
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Pradera wrote:

(Sheesh! I only volunteered as an emergency backup! Don't go jumping on
me all of ya already)

Okay, so my questions are:

1. Did Bilbo really had to clean his entire mansion _by himself_? No
maids? No housecleaner coming on every other tuesday and thursday except
on holidays?

2. Did Gandalf 'influence' Bilbo to go with the dwarves? And how strong
was that influence? Was it just an evil look, his charisma, or a bit of
wizardry?

3. Was Gandalf's horse by that time already Shadowfax, or was he just
fond of white horses?

4. What does it mean 'people spoke strangely'? Was language of Rhudaur so
different from that known in Shire?

Some geographical problems:
5. Where exactly are the 'Lone-lands'?
6. What was the 'rushing, red' river that they were walking along?
7. The castles on the hills - are these the forts of Weather Hills? Then
why did they look as if built by 'wicked people'?

8. 'So far they had not camped before on this journey' - so there must've
been an inn less than a day away from Trollshaws... I wonder how was the
business in those parts...

9. How come thirteen dwarves, even if soaked and tired, couldn't take on
three dumb trolls? What would be the best way to deal with the situation,
if Gandalf didn't come? What would Gandalf do if he were with them?

10. Names of the Trolls. Let's assume that there is an internal story
explanation for why would the troll be named William Huggins - what would
it be?

11. Why were the dwarves seemingly unarmed throughout the whole journey?
What about their axes? Why Thorin had to use a flaming branch instead of
something serious?

12. Can Trolls be saved after they turn to stone?

13. The greatest mystery of them all: how on Arda did the three stupid
Trolls get ahold of Turgon's swords???

14. Okay, so the dwarves were wet, tired and stupid, and they got caught.
But Elrond's people? They were running away in fear of _three_ trolls?
Just how dangerous are the trolls from Hobbit? (this is, I think, one of
the strongest arguments that Rivendell in late 3rd Age was inhabited by
very few people)


Well, that's it. If anyone has other questions, etc. etc.

--
Een Wilde Ier

He felt that his whole life was some kind of dream and he sometimes
wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it. - Douglas Adams

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

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Sep 9, 2003, 1:26:55 PM9/9/03
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Pradera wrote:
> (Sheesh! I only volunteered as an emergency backup! Don't go jumping on
> me all of ya already)
I am thankful to you and to Dr.Blofeld (nice kitty! nice eye patch!).

> Okay, so my questions are:
>
> 1. Did Bilbo really had to clean his entire mansion _by himself_? No
> maids? No housecleaner coming on every other tuesday and thursday except
> on holidays?
There are B'10 different kinds of bachelors: tidy and lazy. Bilbo was of
the tidy variety.


> 2. Did Gandalf 'influence' Bilbo to go with the dwarves? And how strong
> was that influence? Was it just an evil look, his charisma, or a bit of
> wizardry?
'We'll give him an offer he cannot refuse.' Gandalf's principal means of
influencing Mr.Baggins were, IMO, carefully chosen tempo, and his skill
at sharpening the choice between duty (or, in our case, given promise)
and soft-bellied whining. He arrived at the right moment, prodded Bilbo
on the account of dirty mantelpiece (here goes the answer to Q.No.1!) and
then let the letter do its magic on Bilbo. The contract was quite fair
(notwithstanding the gaping omission of Gandalf's share!!), and Bilbo was
not daunted by the funeral clause, so he decided to accept the written
offer (_businesslike_, although I doubt Bilbo had had any such contracts
before) and join the band.


> 3. Was Gandalf's horse by that time already Shadowfax, or was he just
> fond of white horses?
The 'Council of Elrond' chapter explains it all. Besides, Shadowfax was
not a 'White horse', by all means. At least, he had a ______ and a
______-____ ____.


> 4. What does it mean 'people spoke strangely'? Was language of Rhudaur so
> different from that known in Shire?
Bree pronunciation was already different from the Shire 'ialect, wasn't
it?
> Some geographical problems:
[All of those problems, of course, have already been noted by various
students of JRRT's corpus]

> 5. Where exactly are the 'Lone-lands'?
> 6. What was the 'rushing, red' river that they were walking along?
Carnen.

> 7. The castles on the hills - are these the forts of Weather Hills? Then
> why did they look as if built by 'wicked people'?
AFTER the Weather hills (Arthedan) there are the forts in Rhudaur, AFAIK.

> 8. 'So far they had not camped before on this journey' - so there must've
> been an inn less than a day away from Trollshaws... I wonder how was the
> business in those parts...
I can't come up with anything original. Sorry.

> 9. How come thirteen dwarves, even if soaked and tired, couldn't take on
> three dumb trolls? What would be the best way to deal with the situation,
> if Gandalf didn't come? What would Gandalf do if he were with them?
Surprise made the fight easier for the trolls.
Rule No.1: don't send bumbling bilboes as scouts. At least, send an
experienced dwarf with such a fool (so much for Dwarven tactical thinking
- Bard was RIGHT about stupid Dwarves who know only how to fight in mines
and caves).
Rule No.2: no news is bad news. If you think the other way, welcome to
the dinner - as its main course.
Rule No.3: if all the dwarves are caught and no wizard is anything nearer
than 20 miles, the game is over. Fin. Konetz. ***BURP***
BTW, Gandalf was a bit careless when he vanished without telling the
Dwarves. So, in a way, Gandalf was *the* scout of the Company, but the
Company did not know about it. Too bad.
If Gandalf somehow prevented the Dwarves from going straight to the fire,
they would have lost the brilliant chance of surprising 3 trolls and
getting the treasure that was at least as important as the whole hoard of
Erebor...

> 10. Names of the Trolls. Let's assume that there is an internal story
> explanation for why would the troll be named William Huggins - what would
> it be?
Likes to hug big fat sheep??

<snip q.11 - no idea whatsoever>

> 12. Can Trolls be saved after they turn to stone?

Ehhrm, redeemed - is that what you mean? Or 'depetrified'? I've got a
wild guess: if an innocent girl kisses a stoned<g> troll three times when
sakura is at full bloom, the troll may wake up. Or, perhaps, he can't.
Depends, you see, on the attractiveness of the girl.



> 13. The greatest mystery of them all: how on Arda did the three stupid
> Trolls get ahold of Turgon's swords???

Let's see: Balrogs are too proud to scavenge in the remnants of the Tower
of Gondolin, right? Whereas all others (Dragons, Orcs etc.) like
treasures immensely. BUT! Orcs can be (provisionally) ruled out since
they can't touch Elvish craft (the reaction of the Goblin King 3000 years
after the fall of Gondolin is telling). Dragons ain't got fingers to hold
swords, especially those that can do nasty things to them (Orcrist,
Glamdring, Codimordax). That leaves us with Men as the immediate
marauders in Gondolin. I reckon some Men (Easterlings?) at Morgoth's
service may well have taken part in the assault on the Hidden City, but
they were tooo afraid to take the swords right away (who wants to
brandish Elven swords at the parade on the Anfauglith?) and re-cached
them to return later (they even may have told their sons to get there).

After that the story gets quite dull. The swords are taken from Gondolin
and as the Easterlings(?) in question seem not to take part in the War of
the Jewels (an independent band?) or desert or do whatever may seem fit,
they escape from the Wrath of the Valar 'cross the Blue Mountains into
Eriador. It is blood, blood and blood from here (?). They get robbed(?),
the robbers get re-robbed(?) too, until at the end(?,?) of Third Age
(right before the Adventure?) three thuggish trolls presumably eat and
dump the last owners of the swords (??? ?.. ?.. ?.. ???).



> 14. Okay, so the dwarves were wet, tired and stupid, and they got caught.
> But Elrond's people? They were running away in fear of _three_ trolls?

[Scratches head] Were they? Or were those running away local shepherds?


> Just how dangerous are the trolls from Hobbit? (this is, I think, one of
> the strongest arguments that Rivendell in late 3rd Age was inhabited by
> very few people)

Ahem. You see, ordinary human weapons (w.e. of Numenorean blades) are
useless against trolls in the night. And humans don't fight at night,
unless forced to (or unless they have IR/amplifying goggles). Elves are
good at bow-shooting, but troll-fighting requires close combat, where
trolls have the advantage of being the Middle-Earth equivalent of a
moving reinforced pillbox with fists. If you recall Aragorn's ancestry,
you'd notice some interesting details in the biographies of some very
tough men, I'm afraid.

Archie
--
"I have told my sons that they are not under any
circumstances to take part in massacres, and that
the news of massacres of enemies is not to fill them
with satisfaction or glee."

Kurt Vonnegut, _Slaughterhouse-Five_

Jette Goldie

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Sep 9, 2003, 2:46:37 PM9/9/03
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<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message
news:MPG.19c8468dee...@news.mtu-net.ru...

> Pradera wrote:
> > (Sheesh! I only volunteered as an emergency backup! Don't go jumping on
> > me all of ya already)
> I am thankful to you and to Dr.Blofeld (nice kitty! nice eye patch!).
> > Okay, so my questions are:
> >
> > 1. Did Bilbo really had to clean his entire mansion _by himself_? No
> > maids? No housecleaner coming on every other tuesday and thursday except
> > on holidays?
> There are B'10 different kinds of bachelors: tidy and lazy. Bilbo was of
> the tidy variety.

You're not suggesting that he's a <shock!> *confirmed batchelor"??


--
Jette
"Work for Peace and remain Fiercely Loving" - Jim Byrnes
je...@blueyonder.co.uk
http://www.jette.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/


Taemon

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Sep 9, 2003, 3:03:23 PM9/9/03
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Again, I'm shocked at the rude behaviour of the dwarves. They left all the
dishes?! And did they really expect Bilbo to find that mantelpiece-note or
was that some of Gandalf's jokes?

Greetings, T.


Bill O'Meally

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Sep 9, 2003, 3:01:50 PM9/9/03
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"Een Wilde Ier" <theu...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:bjkv6h$k1v1c$2...@ID-121201.news.uni-berlin.de...
> Pradera wrote:

> 1. Did Bilbo really had to clean his entire mansion _by himself_? No
> maids? No housecleaner coming on every other tuesday and thursday
except
> on holidays?
>

No mention of it, but if he had a gardener, it is likely he had other
servants.

> 2. Did Gandalf 'influence' Bilbo to go with the dwarves? And how
strong
> was that influence? Was it just an evil look, his charisma, or a bit
of
> wizardry?
>

Gandalf just set things up with the idea that Bilbo would get swept up
in the adventure without being able to give things a second thought (at
least not til he was well along the road). No magic or coersion.

> 3. Was Gandalf's horse by that time already Shadowfax, or was he
just
> fond of white horses?

<ahem> Shadowfax was *not* white.

>
> 4. What does it mean 'people spoke strangely'? Was language of
Rhudaur so
> different from that known in Shire?

Probably the same language. The accent was strange.

>
> Some geographical problems:
> 5. Where exactly are the 'Lone-lands'?
> 6. What was the 'rushing, red' river that they were walking along?
> 7. The castles on the hills - are these the forts of Weather Hills?

That's always what I assumed.

Then
> why did they look as if built by 'wicked people'?

They simply looked wicked to Bilbo.

>
> 8. 'So far they had not camped before on this journey' - so there
must've
> been an inn less than a day away from Trollshaws... I wonder how was
the
> business in those parts...
>

I recall an inn a day's march east of Bree. Can't recall the name or how
well it did businesswise.


> 9. How come thirteen dwarves, even if soaked and tired, couldn't
take on
> three dumb trolls? What would be the best way to deal with the
situation,
> if Gandalf didn't come? What would Gandalf do if he were with them?
>
> 10. Names of the Trolls. Let's assume that there is an internal
story
> explanation for why would the troll be named William Huggins - what
would
> it be?

Maybe Bilbo made it up to add to the story's drama.

>
> 11. Why were the dwarves seemingly unarmed throughout the whole
journey?
> What about their axes? Why Thorin had to use a flaming branch
instead of
> something serious?
>
> 12. Can Trolls be saved after they turn to stone?
>
> 13. The greatest mystery of them all: how on Arda did the three
stupid
> Trolls get ahold of Turgon's swords???

It's explained. The trolls plundered other plunderers..

>
> 14. Okay, so the dwarves were wet, tired and stupid, and they got
caught.
> But Elrond's people? They were running away in fear of _three_
trolls?

Maybe there were more than the three.

> Just how dangerous are the trolls from Hobbit? (this is, I think,
one of
> the strongest arguments that Rivendell in late 3rd Age was inhabited
by
> very few people)


--
Bill

"Wise fool"
Gandalf, THE TWO TOWERS


teepee

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Sep 9, 2003, 4:27:17 PM9/9/03
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"Jette Goldie" <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote

> You're not suggesting that he's a <shock!> *confirmed batchelor"??

I suppose you believe Frodo was his 'nephew' as well.

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

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Sep 9, 2003, 6:14:58 PM9/9/03
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Jette Goldie wrote:
>
> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message
> news:MPG.19c8468dee...@news.mtu-net.ru...
> > Pradera wrote:
[snip]

> > > 1. Did Bilbo really had to clean his entire mansion _by himself_? No
> > > maids? No housecleaner coming on every other tuesday and thursday except
> > > on holidays?
> > There are B'10 different kinds of bachelors: tidy and lazy. Bilbo was of
> > the tidy variety.
>
> You're not suggesting that he's a <shock!> *confirmed batchelor"??
Of course not. But you are doing that <grin>! ("trust a woman's inner
voice... and you'll end up on the North Pole... deeply mistaken.")

Raven

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Sep 9, 2003, 6:08:51 PM9/9/03
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"Een Wilde Ier" <theu...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:bjkv6h$k1v1c$2...@ID-121201.news.uni-berlin.de...

> 1. Did Bilbo really had to clean his entire mansion _by himself_? No
> maids? No housecleaner coming on every other tuesday and thursday except
> on holidays?

Very probably he didn't have any maid or other servants permanently
attached to the smial. If he had, then that servant would have known of his
departure, and he would have avoided the embarrassing auction at his return.
It seems possible to me that he hired outside help occasionally, such as
after a party with many guests. But one rather tidy hobbit with a lot of
spare time on his hands can go through a lot of day-to-day cleaning. At
last we know that he dusted his mantelpiece every morning.

> 2. Did Gandalf 'influence' Bilbo to go with the dwarves? And how strong
> was that influence? Was it just an evil look, his charisma, or a bit of
> wizardry?

Possibly, Gandalf used his ring-augmented talent of raising people's
spirits, doing to Bilbo on a much smaller scale what he later did to
Théoden. But he could not have persuaded *any* hobbit, at least not without
going far beyond his authority.

> 3. Was Gandalf's horse by that time already Shadowfax, or was he just
> fond of white horses?

Shadowfax was light grey, not white, and Gandalf met that horse more than
half a century later.

> 4. What does it mean 'people spoke strangely'? Was language of Rhudaur
> so different from that known in Shire?

Why shouldn't it? Look at the regional dialects of any RL country. If
the language of Rhudaur were as different from the Shire-dialect as Texan is
from English Midlands (which I suppose is quite diverse anyway), then to
Bilbo the Rhudaur dialect would be a strange speech.
At that, it's very probably not Rhudaur that is referred to.

What route did they follow? TH says that they first passed through
hobbit-lands. Presumably this means the Shire east of Hobbiton. Then they
came to lands where people spoke strangely. This may have been Bree-land,
which by Bilbo's hobbitish-myopic standards would be quite outlandish; the
Lone-lands might then have been the lands surrounding the Road east of
Bree-land: the north-march of old Cardolan and the south-march of old
Arthedain. Possibly there were settlements of Dúnedain along the western
part of the Road, near Bree, that became fewer or vanished by the time of
Frodo's journey: the Forsaken Inn may have been one of theirs, still in use
when Bilbo went that way.
Anticipating question 7, I very much doubt that the evil-looking castles
were the forts of the Weather Hills, because it seems that they came within
sight of them early on the day that they reached a bridge across a river -
which could presumably be the Last Bridge, across the Hoarwell, where
Strider much later picked up the gem that Glorfindel had left. We know that
Frodo looked upon those crumbling castles after crossing the Hoarwell
bridge, as told in much more geographical detail in the FotR; and we know
that Bilbo's adventure with the trolls happened between the Hoarwell and the
Loudwater, north of the Road, because it was there that Strider's party came
across the weathered, petrified trolls. But what is puzzling is that they
left the Road and went into the Trollshaws in the first place. Perhaps they
took a wrong turn in the rain, off a road that must have been ancient,
overgrown and little used so late in the Third Age?
Judging by TH, they camped right near the river (near enough for a pony
to bolt into it), and from that camp saw the trolls' camp-fire. However,
according to the FotR, Strider and his company marched a mile along the Road
after the Hoarwell bridge before finding a ravine where they turned north,
leaving the Road. On the fifth day after leaving the Road they came upon
the old place with the trolls. I can only guess that Bilbo's company
crossed the Hoarwell bridge, left the Road, and some time later came to a
lesser river that did have a bridge across - a relic from before Rhudaur
fell. Perhaps they lost their way at some point after crossing the
Hoarwell.
One explanation is that there was a lesser river between the Hoarwell and
the Loudwater, and that the Road crossed it on a bridge that was still in
use in 2941. Bilbo and the Dwarves crossed it, and camped just north of it,
on the east side, perhaps on a ridge or hillock, in search of dry ground -
in the rain, the low ground would be wetter. They saw the campfire of the
trolls and had their adventure.
Then in 3018 Frodo and his friends came that way. At this time the
bridge used by Bilbo had finally fallen into ruins, leaving the Hoarwell
bridge as the Last Bridge. They left the Road long before coming to this
lesser river, and later came upon the place of Bilbo's first serious
adventure. We know from the FotR that this was not far north of the Road,
since they followed the track for only a few miles before they came to the
Road again.
Alternatively we can invoke the story-internal explanation that both TH
and the LotR were copies of ancient copies, and that in the case of TH a
hole of some days had been left - some days had been skipped over between
the bridge and the adventure with the trolls, perhaps due to an omission, TH
being the abridged version of Bilbo's original There And Back Again, or due
to a translation error between Westron and English.

> Some geographical problems:
> 5. Where exactly are the 'Lone-lands'?

Very probably the lands surrounding the Road between Bree-land and
Hoarwell.

> 6. What was the 'rushing, red' river that they were walking along?

Which rushing red river? The crossed a rushing river just before their
adventure with the trolls, but I don't see where it is described as red.

> 7. The castles on the hills - are these the forts of Weather Hills? Then
> why did they look as if built by 'wicked people'?

Been there done that.

> 8. 'So far they had not camped before on this journey' - so there
> must've been an inn less than a day away from Trollshaws... I
> wonder how was the business in those parts...

Que? "Now they had gone on far into the Lone-lands, where there were no
people left, no inns...", and "In the Lone-lands they had been obliged to
camp when they could..."

> 9. How come thirteen dwarves, even if soaked and tired, couldn't take on
> three dumb trolls? What would be the best way to deal with the
> situation, if Gandalf didn't come? What would Gandalf do if he were
> with them?

The trolls were dumb but not weak. I pride myself with being somewhat
more intelligent than the average rhinoceros [1], but even if I were
together with thirteen other people I wouldn't want to fight one barehanded,
let alone three.
If they had known before about the trolls, then I suppose there would be
two courses of action: run away, or attack the trolls all thirteen dwarves
together. Thorin - who presumably was the most skilled fighter of the
dwarves, of course - bashed two of the trolls before the third one got him
from behind. They could have sneaked up on the trolls and attacked them
with branches and knives. Still, it could be that Thorin, without any real
weapon, would have been overcome by one of the trolls alone once it had come
over the surprise at getting a brand in its eye.

> 10. Names of the Trolls. Let's assume that there is an internal story
> explanation for why would the troll be named William Huggins - what
> would it be?

The trolls of course spoke Westron, since Bilbo could understand them.
So their names were presumably Westron - the Westron equivalents of William
Huggins, Tom and Bert. But so little of Westron is known that figuring out
what these names were seems futile.
There is also the story-internal explanation again that TH was originally
written by Bilbo. He couldn't remember the exact conversation between the
trolls, of course, and had to reconstruct it with memory as well as
imagination as building blocks. So to make the tale easier to follow for an
audience he equipped the trolls with names common to hobbits or at least to
the lower class of hobbits. These names were then translated as faithfully
as possible into English.

> 11. Why were the dwarves seemingly unarmed throughout the whole journey?
> What about their axes? Why Thorin had to use a flaming branch instead of
> something serious?

The only explanation I can find is that the dwarves lived in relative
poverty but also in safety in the Blue Mountains. They would have sold any
weapons that they forged; the weapons that they had had in Erebor might have
been lost when the dragon came, or rusted away during the time between 2770,
when Smaug came to Erebor, and 2941. Then they set out towards Erebor too
suddenly to forge weapons beyond knives.

> 12. Can Trolls be saved after they turn to stone?

Probably not.

> 13. The greatest mystery of them all: how on Arda did the three stupid
> Trolls get ahold of Turgon's swords???

This is told in the books: they presumably came upon an old robber-hole.
The swords must have been snaffled by some of Morgoth's forces during the
fall of Gondolin. They could have been taken by men, or by orcs. If taken
by orcs, they could have been traded to easterlings who then carried them
east. Or whoever had them during the War of Wrath could have fled east,
surviving the war, and then holed up in the Misties. There the swords could
have passed from hand to hand until the trolls got hold of them, perhaps by
murdering and eating those who had them at the time. Or the possessors
could have died in their dwellings, and the swords left lying around for
millennia before the trolls found them by chance. Or the intervention of
Providence.

> 14. Okay, so the dwarves were wet, tired and stupid, and they got
> caught. But Elrond's people? They were running away in fear of
> _three_ trolls? Just how dangerous are the trolls from Hobbit? (this
> is, I think, one of the strongest arguments that Rivendell in late 3rd
> Age was inhabited by very few people)

I would flee from three trolls too, even if I did have a goodly chance of
defeating them but could gain nothing from it. A risk of dying and no
profit in conquering. And the late Third Age Noldor had more or less ceased
to take a part in the events in the world, so they would be less inclined to
slay or chase off the trolls for the benefit of others.

Crú.


AC

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Sep 9, 2003, 6:42:04 PM9/9/03
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On 9 Sep 2003 12:07:25 GMT,
Pradera <pra...@pradera.prv.pl> wrote:
>
> (Sheesh! I only volunteered as an emergency backup! Don't go jumping on
> me all of ya already)
>
> Okay, so my questions are:
>
> 1. Did Bilbo really had to clean his entire mansion _by himself_? No
> maids? No housecleaner coming on every other tuesday and thursday except
> on holidays?

Well, I gather old Holman did his gardening, so I don't find it too hard to
believe that he might have had some domestic help.

>
> 2. Did Gandalf 'influence' Bilbo to go with the dwarves? And how strong
> was that influence? Was it just an evil look, his charisma, or a bit of
> wizardry?

If never giving the poor hobbit a chance to breathe, then yes, I think he
did. My impression is that Bilbo really didn't have much of a chance to say
yes or no.

>
> 3. Was Gandalf's horse by that time already Shadowfax, or was he just
> fond of white horses?

Certainly not Shadowfax, who I doubt was even born yet. My impression is
that Shadowfax and Gandalf didn't meet until after Gandalf's escape from
Orthanc.

>
> 4. What does it mean 'people spoke strangely'? Was language of Rhudaur so
> different from that known in Shire?

I imagine it would be the same as someone from Washington State saying
Texans speak strangely.

>
> Some geographical problems:
> 5. Where exactly are the 'Lone-lands'?

> 6. What was the 'rushing, red' river that they were walking along?

These two I cannot guess at.

> 7. The castles on the hills - are these the forts of Weather Hills? Then
> why did they look as if built by 'wicked people'?

This would likely have been the lands subject to Angmar.

>
> 8. 'So far they had not camped before on this journey' - so there must've
> been an inn less than a day away from Trollshaws... I wonder how was the
> business in those parts...

There is that Lonely Inn which Aragorn speaks of, which was a day's march
from Bree, but, if we're sticking to story-internal explanations, perhaps
Bilbo was using a little artistic license.

>
> 9. How come thirteen dwarves, even if soaked and tired, couldn't take on
> three dumb trolls? What would be the best way to deal with the situation,
> if Gandalf didn't come? What would Gandalf do if he were with them?

Even Gandalf chose a rather more clever and stealthy approach to dealing
with the trolls than just blasting them. One gets the impression that
trolls are very tough creatures, and that beating on them might be a
difficult, and potentially extremely harmful adventure.

>
> 10. Names of the Trolls. Let's assume that there is an internal story
> explanation for why would the troll be named William Huggins - what would
> it be?

They adopted Westron and Westron names. Can't think of another one.

>
> 11. Why were the dwarves seemingly unarmed throughout the whole journey?
> What about their axes? Why Thorin had to use a flaming branch instead of
> something serious?

Maybe they left their packs behind. Sometimes I really wonder if those
Dwarves may have been among the denser of Durin's descendants.

>
> 12. Can Trolls be saved after they turn to stone?

Do you mean spiritually, or do you mean there's a formula that can bring
them back to life? If you mean the former, then I don't know. If you mean
the latter, then I doubt it.

>
> 13. The greatest mystery of them all: how on Arda did the three stupid
> Trolls get ahold of Turgon's swords???

I assume that they stole it from other, more clever thieves. Very likely
those thieves ended up as a pleasant respite from roast mutton.

>
> 14. Okay, so the dwarves were wet, tired and stupid, and they got caught.
> But Elrond's people? They were running away in fear of _three_ trolls?
> Just how dangerous are the trolls from Hobbit? (this is, I think, one of
> the strongest arguments that Rivendell in late 3rd Age was inhabited by
> very few people)

I think, even when looking for story-internal solutions, that we have to
take portions Bilbo's story with a grain of salt.

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

Pradera

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 7:00:19 PM9/9/03
to
On 10 wrz 2003, "Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam>
scribbled loosely:

>> 8. 'So far they had not camped before on this journey' - so there
>> must've been an inn less than a day away from Trollshaws... I
>> wonder how was the business in those parts...
> Que? "Now they had gone on far into the Lone-lands, where there
> were no
> people left, no inns...", and "In the Lone-lands they had been obliged
> to camp when they could..."

And yet there is that quote I quoted a page later. I guess it means that it
was their first day in the Lone-lands, and they were looking for their
first camping place.

--
Pradera
---
'Ronald Reagan once said that a great leader is simply an
average man who surrounds himself with the best.
That's why I never vote Republican'
Scott Summers, 'Cyclops'

http://www.pradera-castle.prv.pl/
http://www.tolkien-gen.prv.pl/

Pradera

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 7:05:50 PM9/9/03
to
On 10 wrz 2003, AC <tao...@alberni.net> scribbled loosely:

>> 12. Can Trolls be saved after they turn to stone?
>
> Do you mean spiritually, or do you mean there's a formula that can
> bring them back to life? If you mean the former, then I don't know.
> If you mean the latter, then I doubt it.

There is confusion about my question, I see, and I see that it's for good,
as everyone so far answers to both variants :) Personally, I meant
redemption. This is, of course, similar to 'can orcs be saved', and yet,
not really, as I don't remember what does Tolkien (including Letters) say
about souls of the trolls.

Hasdrubal Hamilcar

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 7:32:26 PM9/9/03
to

Pradera wrote:
> On 10 wrz 2003, AC <tao...@alberni.net> scribbled loosely:
>
>
>>>12. Can Trolls be saved after they turn to stone?
>>
>>Do you mean spiritually, or do you mean there's a formula that can
>>bring them back to life? If you mean the former, then I don't know.
>>If you mean the latter, then I doubt it.
>
>
> There is confusion about my question, I see, and I see that it's for good,
> as everyone so far answers to both variants :) Personally, I meant
> redemption. This is, of course, similar to 'can orcs be saved', and yet,
> not really, as I don't remember what does Tolkien (including Letters) say
> about souls of the trolls.
>


My reading of teh bible tells me that trolls will never come back to
lifespiritually until they say "benedictus, qui venit, in nomine domine"
(blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.) Until then, they are
cursed.

(I'm using troll in the GNU jargon file sense, mapped to corresponding
behaviours in the jews of the 1st century AD. Some of the people who
asked questions of the prophets, were real trolls.

Hasan

Taemon

unread,
Sep 10, 2003, 4:43:17 AM9/10/03
to
Pradera:

> >> 12. Can Trolls be saved after they turn to stone?

> There is confusion about my question, I see, and I see that it's for good,
> as everyone so far answers to both variants :) Personally, I meant
> redemption.

Saved from what? They were just being trolls. You chauvinist.

Greetings, T.


Conrad Dunkerson

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Sep 10, 2003, 12:37:29 PM9/10/03
to
"Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wi.rr.com> wrote in message news:<ysp7b.2237$8q2...@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com>...

>> Pradera wrote:
>> 7. The castles on the hills - are these the forts of Weather
Hills?
> That's always what I assumed.

>> Then why did they look as if built by 'wicked people'?
> They simply looked wicked to Bilbo.

It could also be a reference to the civil war... the area was
eventually conquered by Angmar. The particular structures Bilbo was
looking at could have been left over from some of the more unsavory
humans.

> I recall an inn a day's march east of Bree. Can't recall the name or how
> well it did businesswise.

The Last Inn.

> Maybe Bilbo made it up to add to the story's drama.

There are alot of 'oddities' in The Hobbit which can be explained by
this device. For instance... how exactly did the trolls' bag speak?
Did that really happen or did Bilbo make it up to explain how he had
bungled the burglaring? :]

Conrad Dunkerson

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Sep 10, 2003, 12:45:32 PM9/10/03
to
"teepee" <noe...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<3f5e378b$0$33800$65c6...@mercury.nildram.net>...
> "Jette Goldie" <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote

>> You're not suggesting that he's a <shock!> *confirmed batchelor"??
> I suppose you believe Frodo was his 'nephew' as well.

Yes, well... that was clear from the way Bilbo kept changing his
story;

"He's my nephew! No... my cousin on my father's side... er mother's
side, I meant to say cousin on my mother's side! Um... both sides?
Yes, that's it... he's my cousin on both sides AND my nephew. So you
see I HAD to take him in. All perfectly ordinary."


Preposterous. :]

Henriette

unread,
Sep 10, 2003, 1:47:28 PM9/10/03
to
> Pradera wrote:
>
> 14. Okay, so the dwarves were wet, tired and stupid, and they got caught.
> But Elrond's people? They were running away in fear of _three_ trolls?
> Just how dangerous are the trolls from Hobbit? (this is, I think, one of
> the strongest arguments that Rivendell in late 3rd Age was inhabited by
> very few people)
>
I have always assumed that in the course of telling the tale, JRRT
came to ascribe more power to the elves.

What surprises me upon re-reading, is the feeling of compassion of the
troll William for Bilbo. Agreed, he has a full stomach. Nevertheless
he says: "Poor little blighter!(Whatever that is, H.)Let him go!". Now
where do we ever read any of the bad guys says anything like that?

Henriette

Bill O'Meally

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Sep 10, 2003, 4:42:33 PM9/10/03
to

"Conrad Dunkerson" <conrad.d...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
news:1178b6d1.03091...@posting.google.com...


> "Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wi.rr.com> wrote in message
news:<ysp7b.2237$8q2...@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com>...

> > I recall an inn a day's march east of Bree. Can't recall the name or


how
> > well it did businesswise.
>
> The Last Inn.

Nope. It's The Forsaken Inn.

Pradera

unread,
Sep 10, 2003, 4:50:41 PM9/10/03
to
On 10 wrz 2003, "Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wi.rr.com> scribbled loosely:

>> > I recall an inn a day's march east of Bree. Can't recall the name or
> how
>> > well it did businesswise.
>>
>> The Last Inn.
>
> Nope. It's The Forsaken Inn.

The Last Inn was the competition across the street. They had cheaper beer,
but rooms were poor.

Een Wilde Ier

unread,
Sep 10, 2003, 4:53:46 PM9/10/03
to
Pradera wrote:

> On 10 wrz 2003, "Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wi.rr.com> scribbled loosely:
>
>
>>>>I recall an inn a day's march east of Bree. Can't recall the name or
>>
>>how
>>
>>>>well it did businesswise.
>>>
>>>The Last Inn.
>>
>>Nope. It's The Forsaken Inn.
>
>
> The Last Inn was the competition across the street. They had cheaper beer,
> but rooms were poor.
>

Hah! I know a Ranger who says he refers to the first one as the
"God-forsaken" Inn ;-)

--
Een Wilde Ier

I think the American people - I hope the American - I don't think, let
me - I hope the American people trust me. - George W. Bush

Linards Ticmanis

unread,
Sep 10, 2003, 9:02:39 PM9/10/03
to
Henriette wrote:

> What surprises me upon re-reading, is the feeling of compassion of the
> troll William for Bilbo. Agreed, he has a full stomach. Nevertheless
> he says: "Poor little blighter!(Whatever that is, H.)Let him go!". Now
> where do we ever read any of the bad guys says anything like that?

The trolls in the Hobbit hunt men as we hunt deer or hares. They're bad-
mouthed and dumb, but they seem to be evil only relatively towards men
(and dwarves), not absolutely.

Cannibalism is sort of a recurring theme in The Hobbit, BTW.

--

Linards Ticmanis

The Master said, "The business of laying on the colors follows the
preparation of the plain ground."


Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 2:11:41 AM9/11/03
to
> Pradera wrote:

(Good job, Pradera)

> Okay, so my questions are:
>
> 1. Did Bilbo really had to clean his entire mansion _by himself_? No
> maids? No housecleaner coming on every other tuesday and thursday except
> on holidays?

Since it's only him there, I assume he cleans up after himself as necessary.
The dusting and sweeping may take him awhile.

> 2. Did Gandalf 'influence' Bilbo to go with the dwarves? And how strong
> was that influence?

Probably no magic, just the suddenness and conviction of his urging, and
maybe an appeal to Bilbo's inner sense of honour and obligation.

<pins questions answered by others better than I could>

> 7. The castles on the hills - are these the forts of Weather Hills? Then
> why did they look as if built by 'wicked people'?

Ruins of Arnor or the successor kingdoms, maybe? We're probably not far
enough east for them to be Angmarian. The area has such a long history that
they could have been built by a lot of people (maybe even temporary
Orc-works?)

> 9. How come thirteen dwarves, even if soaked and tired, couldn't take on
> three dumb trolls? What would be the best way to deal with the
situation,
> if Gandalf didn't come? What would Gandalf do if he were with them?

Tough question. It seems the Trolls and their lair were a good point to
introduce Glamdring, Orcrist and Sting. If Gandalf was with them, and he
counselled leaving the Trolls alone, the Company is deprived of those
blades. OTOH, Gandalf may have considered it to be his and the Company's
duty to destroy the Trolls and make that part of the road safe.

> 10. Names of the Trolls. Let's assume that there is an internal story
> explanation for why would the troll be named William Huggins - what
would
> it be?

I agree that it is probably an English translation of Bilbo's Hobbitish
embellishment.

> 11. Why were the dwarves seemingly unarmed throughout the whole journey?
> What about their axes? Why Thorin had to use a flaming branch instead of
> something serious?

Such weapons as they had were probably in their luggage. They do seem
lightly armed for Dwarves on such a long trek, don't they? It seems like
hindsight to suggest that precisely because of the length of the journey, it
was in their interest to "travel light." Maybe the road was much safer when
they were exiled. Jumping ahead here, but maybe as they neared Lonely
Mountain, they expected to get what they needed from the Lake-Men or Cousin
Dain.

> 12. Can Trolls be saved after they turn to stone?

I'll address the physical side of the question. I doubt it, except maybe by
Act of Eru or Morgoth.

<pins another good question answered well>

> 14. Okay, so the dwarves were wet, tired and stupid, and they got
caught.
> But Elrond's people? They were running away in fear of _three_ trolls?
> Just how dangerous are the trolls from Hobbit? (this is, I think, one of
> the strongest arguments that Rivendell in late 3rd Age was inhabited by
> very few people)

Not making excuses for the Elves here, but maybe Rivendell had enough to
worry about with Orcs and Wargs to the east.

> Well, that's it. If anyone has other questions, etc. etc.

To the list I might add the question of who built the Trolls' lair? They
probably didn't do it themselves, being recent arrivals in the valley.
Especially the door with a lock and key. I could be wrong, and there may be
different sorts of Trolls, but it seems like the skill and dexterity to make
a lock and key (even Troll-sized) would be beyond them. Another ruin of the
Dunedain, perhaps, or the Elves of Eregion (or even Dwarf-work?)

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


Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 2:39:41 AM9/11/03
to
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message:

> I am thankful to you and to Dr.Blofeld (nice kitty! nice eye patch!).

"You're welcome" and "purr" from both of us.

> There are B'10 different kinds of bachelors: tidy and lazy. Bilbo was of
> the tidy variety.

(That's Binary 10 = Decimal 2, for anyone who's wondering.)

I say Bilbo was rather tidy, especially having frequent guests. Maybe the
Shire had Hobbit cleaners occasionally going door-to-door offering their
services? Bilbo could certainly afford it. (Note Gandalf's remark in the
last chapter about selling buttons.)

> > 4. What does it mean 'people spoke strangely'? Was language of Rhudaur
so
> > different from that known in Shire?
> Bree pronunciation was already different from the Shire 'ialect, wasn't
> it?

In the days when the fastest transport was a galloping horse, and an
agricultural population had no need to go anywhere, speech can develop
surprising local variation. Bilbo and his neighbors, in the heartland of
Hobbit culture, might be forgiven for believing that polite folk everywhere
spoke as they did. The Dwarves passing through the Shire, being foreigners,
can be expected to speak strangely.

Henriette

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Sep 11, 2003, 3:41:09 PM9/11/03
to
Linards Ticmanis <ticm...@coli.uni-sb.de> wrote in message news:<bjohjj$2r5mf$1...@hades.rz.uni-saarland.de>...

>
> The trolls in the Hobbit hunt men as we hunt deer or hares.

We, does not include me thank you!

> They're bad-
> mouthed and dumb, but they seem to be evil only relatively towards men
> (and dwarves), not absolutely.
>

Unlike the Orcs then, who seem to be totally evil. Nevertheless, no
one has any pity for the Trolls.

Henriette

Pradera

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 4:20:50 PM9/11/03
to
On 11 wrz 2003, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) scribbled loosely:

>> The trolls in the Hobbit hunt men as we hunt deer or hares.
>
> We, does not include me thank you!
>
>> They're bad-
>> mouthed and dumb, but they seem to be evil only relatively towards men
>> (and dwarves), not absolutely.
>>
> Unlike the Orcs then, who seem to be totally evil. Nevertheless, no
> one has any pity for the Trolls.

I don't think trolls can even be subject to moral terms like evil or good.
I see them more like badly treated animals, Morgoth's or Sauron's pet dogs,
made into vicious, brutal beasts not of their own will. That's why I asked
the question about troll redemption - if they have souls at all, they
should deserve a chance. If not, then they're not to blame for anything
they did...

Dragan Cvetkovic

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 4:24:16 PM9/11/03
to
Pradera <pra...@pradera.prv.pl> writes:

> I don't think trolls can even be subject to moral terms like evil or good.

Now, try to explain that to Detritus from City Watch of Ankh-Morpork
(Diskworld series by Terry Pratchett). He is quite a decent guy.

Bye, Dragan

--
Dragan Cvetkovic,

To be or not to be is true. G. Boole No it isn't. L. E. J. Brouwer

!!! Sender/From address is bogus. Use reply-to one !!!

Hasdrubal Hamilcar

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Sep 11, 2003, 5:46:56 PM9/11/03
to

Pradera wrote:

> On 11 wrz 2003, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) scribbled loosely:
>
>
>>>The trolls in the Hobbit hunt men as we hunt deer or hares.
>>
>>We, does not include me thank you!
>>
>>
>>>They're bad-
>>>mouthed and dumb, but they seem to be evil only relatively towards men
>>>(and dwarves), not absolutely.
>>>
>>
>>Unlike the Orcs then, who seem to be totally evil. Nevertheless, no
>>one has any pity for the Trolls.
>
>
> I don't think trolls can even be subject to moral terms like evil or good.
> I see them more like badly treated animals, Morgoth's or Sauron's pet dogs,
> made into vicious, brutal beasts not of their own will. That's why I asked
> the question about troll redemption - if they have souls at all, they
> should deserve a chance. If not, then they're not to blame for anything
> they did...
>


The story of the trolls turning to stone at sunlight, living under
bridges and harassing travellers is reminiscient of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Remember the 2nd sin of Sodom was killing and looting travellers who
stayed with them, generally causing disruption to the land. When they
were destroyed, Lot left the city at dawn, but his wife turned around
and look behind, and was turned into a pillar of salt (acc. to the
bible.) This may have some resemblance (at least superficial) to the
troll legend. I wonder if there is a link?


Hasan

Brenda Selwyn

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Sep 11, 2003, 6:27:18 PM9/11/03
to
>AC <tao...@alberni.net> wrote:

>On 9 Sep 2003 12:07:25 GMT,
>Pradera <pra...@pradera.prv.pl> wrote:

>> 3. Was Gandalf's horse by that time already Shadowfax, or was he just
>> fond of white horses?
>
>Certainly not Shadowfax, who I doubt was even born yet. My impression is
>that Shadowfax and Gandalf didn't meet until after Gandalf's escape from
>Orthanc.

Shadowfax born 2990, according to TTT Top Trumps, information supplied
by the Tolkien Society. So probably no.

I don't know much about equine matters, but isn't 28 fairly old for a
horse? Yet Shadowfax appears still in his prime. Are the Mearas
particularly long lived?

Brenda

--
*************************************************************************
Brenda Selwyn
"In England's green and pleasant land"

Brenda Selwyn

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 6:27:20 PM9/11/03
to
>"Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:

>In the days when the fastest transport was a galloping horse, and an
>agricultural population had no need to go anywhere, speech can develop
>surprising local variation. Bilbo and his neighbors, in the heartland of
>Hobbit culture, might be forgiven for believing that polite folk everywhere
>spoke as they did. The Dwarves passing through the Shire, being foreigners,
>can be expected to speak strangely.

Given the size of the Shire (40 by 50 leagues according to the LotR
Prologue, which I believe is roughly 120 by 150 miles), and the real
life variation in regional accent between say Bath and Basildon,
Winchester and Chesterfield, the good folk of Hobbiton probably
thought the inhabitants of Stock, Scary and Longbottom spoke funny.
In fact the apparent homogeneity of Hobbit speech in terms of
vocabulary is surprising, unless it was actually more variable and the
Red Book doesn't give details.

Being even further away, I would expect the Breeland to have not only
a different accent but its own dialect, with a unique vocabulary.
Certainly Harry the gatekeeper was able to tell from their speech that
Mr Underhill's party were from the Shire.

Linards Ticmanis

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 7:24:05 PM9/11/03
to
Henriette wrote:

>>The trolls in the Hobbit hunt men as we hunt deer or hares.
>
>
> We, does not include me thank you!

I meant we humans, not you and me personally. I'm not a hunter either.

>>They're bad-
>>mouthed and dumb, but they seem to be evil only relatively towards men
>>(and dwarves), not absolutely.
>>
>
> Unlike the Orcs then, who seem to be totally evil. Nevertheless, no
> one has any pity for the Trolls.

Well in Sam's "Troll sat alone" song they get a pretty decent treatment
IMHO.

Raven

unread,
Sep 11, 2003, 8:28:52 PM9/11/03
to
"Brenda Selwyn" <bre...@matson.demon.co.uk> skrev i en meddelelse
news:flt1mv4n362djco3u...@4ax.com...

> I don't know much about equine matters, but isn't 28 fairly old for a
> horse? Yet Shadowfax appears still in his prime. Are the Mearas
> particularly long lived?

Mearas were as long-lived as men. Still, Shadowfax would have been a
decrepit eighty-year-old during the WotR, if Gandalf rode him in 2941. At
any rate, it appears clear from Gandalf's tale at the council of Elrond that
he met Shadowfax for the first time after his escape from Orthanc, when he
sought the help of Théoden.

Karasu.


Henriette

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Sep 12, 2003, 2:22:47 AM9/12/03
to
Linards Ticmanis <ticm...@coli.uni-sb.de> wrote in message news:<bjr06l$305un$1...@hades.rz.uni-saarland.de>...
> Henriette wrote:
>
> > (snip) Nevertheless, no one has any pity for the Trolls.

>
> Well in Sam's "Troll sat alone" song they get a pretty decent treatment IMHO.

You cannot be precise enough when posting to AFT, so I should have
written: in Chapter 2 no one has any pity for the Trolls...

Tschüß,

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Sep 12, 2003, 2:28:11 AM9/12/03
to
Pradera <pra...@pradera.prv.pl> wrote in message news:<Xns93F3E349C626Dp...@130.133.1.4>...

>
> I don't think trolls can even be subject to moral terms like evil or good.
> I see them more like badly treated animals, Morgoth's or Sauron's pet dogs,
> made into vicious, brutal beasts not of their own will. That's why I asked
> the question about troll redemption - if they have souls at all, they
> should deserve a chance. If not, then they're not to blame for anything
> they did...
>
Troll redemption:-) I understand now what you mean by that. I vote for
that they do have souls.

Henriette

coyotes rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Sep 12, 2003, 2:31:11 AM9/12/03
to
In article <be50318e.03091...@posting.google.com>,
held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:

bring on the trolls
surely there must be trolls

A Tsar Is Born

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Sep 12, 2003, 11:24:43 AM9/12/03
to

"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:be50318e.03091...@posting.google.com...

> he says: "Poor little blighter!(Whatever that is, H.)

Blighter = an inhabitant of Blighty, which is the way Hindu servants in
India pronounced "Britain," thus became (in World War I) the way homesick
soldiers in the trenches referred to home, ergo (fe-fi-fo-fum) William
smells the blood of an Englishman.

But he might have been a Roossian, a French or Turk or Proossian, or perhaps
Eye-tal-eye-an.

Tsar Parmathule

A Tsar Is Born

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Sep 12, 2003, 11:26:07 AM9/12/03