Chapter of the Week: The Hobbit Ch. 16- A Thief in the Night

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zett

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Dec 14, 2003, 3:06:08 PM12/14/03
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Chapter of the Week: The Hobbit Ch. 16 A Thief in the Night

To host a chapter discussion or for more information go to:
http://parasha.maoltuile.org/

My apologies if I make even less sense than usual here, but I have had
maybe 5 hours sleep in the last 2 days. Anyway, here goes:

Summary

The siege of the Lonely Mountain is on. Dain's Dwarves are
approaching the encamped Elves and Men. With the fear of impending
war and Thorin's growing obsession with the Arkenstone, Bilbo is
spurred to take action. One night he offers to take Bombur's place
as watchman. Bombur, being weary and loathing the task agrees to
Bilbo's offer and gladly goes off to bed. Bilbo then slips on the
Ring and with the Arkenstone in hand goes off to carry out his plan-
to buy the peace by giving the Arkenstone to Bard for his use as a
bargaining chip. With the invisibility conferred by the Ring, Bilbo
gets by the Elvish sentinels, but he falls in a river and ends up
having to reveal himself to them. They take him before Bard and the
Elvenking. When he offers the stone to Bard, they are filled with
wonder and admiration for the hobbit- and offer to take him under
their protection. But being an honorable burglar, Bilbo will not
desert his friends, even though he is afraid of what Thorin might do
if he found out how Bard & co. got the Arkenstone. So back toward the
mountain he goes, but not before discovering that Gandalf is in the
camp. Gandalf mysteriously tells him: "There is news brewing that
even the Ravens have not heard." With that puzzling statement in his
head, he makes his way back to the Mountain- in time to wake Bombur so
no one is the wiser about switching the watch.

Points/questions:

The whole "Arkenstone of my _father_ " bit and how many Thrains there
were has been discussed here before, I think.

When Thorin says, "…I will be avenged on anyone who finds it [the
Arkenstone] and withholds it." I thought two things: "Oh poor Bilbo-
the fear and guilt he must feel!" and "Thorin sounds just like that
wanker Feanor."

Where did Bilbo keep the rope hidden while he was talking to Bombur?

Chuckle out loud moment when Bilbo says to the Elves: "I know your
king well by sight, though perhaps he doesn't know me to look at…"

Bilbo held onto the letter spelling out his share in the treasure- all
this time. Shrewd guy. Didn't it get wet? Didn't the ink run?

Een Wilde Ier

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Dec 14, 2003, 3:14:25 PM12/14/03
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zett wrote:

> Chapter of the Week: The Hobbit Ch. 16 A Thief in the Night

<snip>
> so back toward the


> mountain he goes, but not before discovering that Gandalf is in the
> camp. Gandalf mysteriously tells him: "There is news brewing that
> even the Ravens have not heard."

Another turn where Gandalf knows much more than the antagonists do, and
is guiding events in a certain direction.

> Points/questions:
>
> The whole "Arkenstone of my _father_ " bit and how many Thrains there
> were has been discussed here before, I think.

Really? Where, and by who?

> When Thorin says, "…I will be avenged on anyone who finds it [the
> Arkenstone] and withholds it." I thought two things: "Oh poor Bilbo-
> the fear and guilt he must feel!" and "Thorin sounds just like that
> wanker Feanor."

Pride certainly comes before a fall in Tolkien's mythology...

> Where did Bilbo keep the rope hidden while he was talking to Bombur?

Wound about his waist, under his coat?

> Chuckle out loud moment when Bilbo says to the Elves: "I know your
> king well by sight, though perhaps he doesn't know me to look at…"

LOL. I can well imagine Bildo'd embarressment (as a Hobbit from a
respectable family) at his pilferage from the Elvenking's larders!

> Bilbo held onto the letter spelling out his share in the treasure- all
> this time. Shrewd guy. Didn't it get wet? Didn't the ink run?

I would think that Hobbits (at least, respectable ones like B. Baggins)
are very fussy about such niceties and take great care in arranging
their business.

Een Wilde Ier

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Dec 14, 2003, 3:23:23 PM12/14/03
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Een Wilde Ier wrote:

> zett wrote:
<snip>

> Another turn where Gandalf knows much more than the antagonists do, and
> is guiding events in a certain direction.

"protagonists"!

Jon Meltzer

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Dec 14, 2003, 4:33:51 PM12/14/03
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"Een Wilde Ier" <theu...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:brigb2$3mpo3$1...@ID-121201.news.uni-berlin.de...

> zett wrote:
>
> > The whole "Arkenstone of my _father_ " bit and how many Thrains there
> > were has been discussed here before, I think.
>
> Really? Where, and by who?

Here's the story:

While writing "The Hobbit", Tolkien originally had Thror as Thorin's father
and Thrain as his grandfather. He later changed his mind, but missed
changing a couple of the old references in the final manuscript: the "here
of old was Thrain" text on the map, and "the Arkenstone of Thrain". When he
got letters about this he, in the fifties revision, retconned in an earlier
Thrain to fit those passages, and, in his sixties revision of the text,
added "Thrain the Old" to chapter 1.

Glenn Holliday

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Dec 14, 2003, 10:55:33 PM12/14/03
to
zett wrote:
>
> Where did Bilbo keep the rope hidden while he was talking to Bombur?

Reminded me of Sam and his rope. Perhaps he stashed it behind
the door before he went out to talk to Bombur.

--
Glenn Holliday holl...@acm.org

Glenn Holliday

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Dec 14, 2003, 10:57:39 PM12/14/03
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Some of the protagonists are being pretty antagonistic, so I think
both are appropriate :-)

--
Glenn Holliday holl...@acm.org

zett

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Dec 18, 2003, 10:25:55 PM12/18/03
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Een Wilde Ier <theu...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<brigb2$3mpo3$1...@ID-121201.news.uni-berlin.de>...
> zett wrote:
>
> > Chapter of the Week: The Hobbit Ch. 16 A Thief in the Night
> <snip>
> > so back toward the
> > mountain he goes, but not before discovering that Gandalf is in the
> > camp. Gandalf mysteriously tells him: "There is news brewing that
> > even the Ravens have not heard."
>
> Another turn where Gandalf knows much more than the antagonists do, and
> is guiding events in a certain direction.

I can't resist an X-Files reference here and say that Gandalf reminds
me of a non-evil version of the Cigarette Smoking Man. ;) Hey, maybe
we can start calling him the Pipe Smoking Wizard. Love the little
"antagonists" slip there, talk about appropriate!


>
> > Points/questions:
> >
> > The whole "Arkenstone of my _father_ " bit and how many Thrains there
> > were has been discussed here before, I think.
>
> Really? Where, and by who?

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&th=1433f783a9eb0b5d&rnum=2

I hope that pasted correctly. In case it didn't, it was, IIRC, a Dec.
1999 thread called Thror's Map and it was started by Steuard.

[snip]


> > Chuckle out loud moment when Bilbo says to the Elves: "I know your

> > king well by sight, though perhaps he doesn't know me to look at?"


>
> LOL. I can well imagine Bildo'd embarressment (as a Hobbit from a
> respectable family) at his pilferage from the Elvenking's larders!

I do agree with this, and yet I think that the Tookish side of him
might try not to care about respectability and get a very tiny and
infrequently felt thrill out of it.


>
> > Bilbo held onto the letter spelling out his share in the treasure- all
> > this time. Shrewd guy. Didn't it get wet? Didn't the ink run?
>
> I would think that Hobbits (at least, respectable ones like B. Baggins)
> are very fussy about such niceties and take great care in arranging
> their business.

And JRRT shows it to comic effect in that scene.

zett

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Dec 18, 2003, 10:32:11 PM12/18/03
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Glenn Holliday <holl...@acm.org> wrote in message news:<3FDD30B0...@acm.org>...

> zett wrote:
> >
> > Where did Bilbo keep the rope hidden while he was talking to Bombur?
>
> Reminded me of Sam and his rope. Perhaps he stashed it behind
> the door before he went out to talk to Bombur.

Maybe he did, but it just seemed to me from how quickly Bilbo went
into action after Bombur left that he had the rope and stone right
with him. Looks like if the rope was lying any distance away
something to the effect of "Bilbo got his rope/picked up his rope"
would have been written. But it doesn't really matter, it was just a
minor thing that popped into my head when I read that bit.

Henriette

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Dec 19, 2003, 8:12:54 AM12/19/03
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yze...@yahoo.com (zett) wrote in message news:<4bb40450.03121...@posting.google.com>...

(snip good summary, thank you zett!)



> The whole "Arkenstone of my _father_ " bit and how many Thrains there
> were has been discussed here before, I think.

Many of us were not here yet at that time. Besides, probably most
topics have been discussed before. Too bad for who gets annoyed; but
now they are discussed by different people and sometimes completely
new points of view come up.


>
> Chuckle out loud moment when Bilbo says to the Elves: "I know your

> king well by sight, though perhaps he doesn't know me to look at?"

I find it very amusing when JRRT writes: "Bilbo was saying in his best
business manner", and then what Bilbo says in his
best-business-manner.


>
> Bilbo held onto the letter spelling out his share in the treasure- all
> this time. Shrewd guy. Didn't it get wet? Didn't the ink run?

True, the ink is not mentioned, but it *does* say about Thorin's
letter: "crumpled and much folded", and IIRC in the Dutch translation
it even says the paper had got thin at the edges.

Henriette

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