Chapter of the Week: Chapter 8 - Flies and spiders

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Taemon

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Oct 20, 2003, 2:46:41 AM10/20/03
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For more information on this project, see http://parasha.maoltuile.org/.

Chapter Eight: Spiders and flies

Bilbo and the dwarves journey through the Mirkwood, a gloomy place with
little light and no food. Eventually they leave the path and get lost. Bilbo
saves the dwarves from the big spiders but for Thorin, who has been captured
by the Wood-elves.
(or: I assume you all read the chapter, on with the nitpicking)

Comments:

- “’Twelve yards! I should have thought it was thirty at least, but
my eyes don’t see as well as they used a hundred years ago.” Somehow, this
sentence always cracks me up. Thought I’d share.

- “... and on the end of the longest they fastened one of the large
iron hooks they had used for catching their packs to the straps about their
shoulders.” Trivial, but it nags me. They used “large iron hooks” on their
backpacks? Wouldn’t that be a bit ungainly and heavy?

- The moment that Bombur wants to get out of the boat, a deer jumps
out of the woods and makes him fall in the water. They haven’t seen a deer
in the Milkwood before. It seems that it is been hunted, for “they became
aware of the dim blowing of horns in the wood and the sound as of dogs
baying far off.” Isn’t it weird that the deer turns up at that very moment?
And who was hunting it? Seems to me that elves would never use dogs for
hunting, and they are by this time far into the forest so who else could it
be? Is this some trick of the wood itself, analogue to Caradhras? And what a
pity they killed the hart and couldn’t eat it.

- Bombur is able to catch the hook they throw towards him but is
fast asleep the moment they drag him onto land. I find it strange that he is
able to grap that hook so tightly.

- At this moment _another deer_ appears, seemingly a ghostly one.
What is this? I have learned in the meantime that white deer have a special
significance in Celtic folklore. I fail, however, to see the significance of
this one (and its offspring).

- Poor Bilbo, having to climb a tree. We all know how much hobbits
hate heights. Still, I cannot imagine a dwarf climbing a tree (expect when
attacked by a Warg)

- Bombur wakes up and he has forgotten everything from the start of
their journey on. Why doesn’t he panic? Does he get his memory back? Losing
six months of your life (and what kind of six months!) is a hard thing for
anyone.

- They left the path! Everyone knows you should never leave the
path! How could they be so stupid as to leave the path! They left the path!

- The scene with the elven party and the dwarves stumbling into it
seems a bit off to me. This sounds more like the traditional faeries than
the elves we know. To douse the light and run when someone intrudes into
your feast, alright, but then to relight the party and go on as if nothing
happened? And then, to do it _again_? Did the elves think the dwarves would
have just left in the meantime? Why didn’t they simply send some guards to
go and find them?

- “Bilbo Baggins! Hobbit! You dratted hobbit! Hi! Hobbit,
confusticate you, where are you?” Confusticate you. Bless the day that I
might use such a word. Does someone knows what it means? Even my
Webster’s doesn’t know it. Heck, it isn’t even properly translated in my
Dutch version.

- Bilbo falls asleep when he enters the circle. Why? That didn’t
happen the first time, although it does happen the third time, with Thorin.
Is it the same sleep? It is the same dream, but Bilbo didn’t lose his
memory, nor did Thorin.

- After the third intrusion, Bilbo loses the dwarves. How come? It
doesn’t sound very easy to lose thirteen yelling dwarves, even in a dark
forest. More magic? They shouldn’t have left the path!

- EEEEEEEEK! Spiders!

- The spiders didn’t sense Bilbo coming when he was invisible and
moved without a sound. So how did the spider that tried to catch him know
where he was?

- With all due respect for our brave hobbit, the slaying of tens of
gigantic spiders with a small sword is a bit unlikely. Those creepers are
_fast_, and strong. And only one stayed behind by the dwarves? And Bilbo
managed to free seven of the dwarves before any of the spiders got back?

- What does a whole colony of huge spiders live off? Lost Watchers?

- Spider thingy not convincing.

- The realisation of Thorin missing was just as great a shock to me
as to the dwarves, on first reading. I didn’t see it coming, with all the
spider battles going on. That big, brave dwarf!

- “[The Wood-elves]For most of them (together with their scattered
relations in the hills and mountains) were descended from the ancient tribes
that never went to Faerie in the West.” Faerie!? WTFOMGLOL!!1!!!!!!1!1!!

- “In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves, whom
they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the
dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was
their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw gold
and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay.” Is this the
story of the necklace? Can someone of the more knowledgeables among us help
me out?

- “If the elf-king had a weakness it was for treasure, especially
for silver and white gems; and though his hoard was rich, he was ever eager
for more, since he had not yet as great a treasure as other elf-lords of
old.” I was going to say, not very elfy, until I remembered old Feanor.
Still, not very elfy.

- “His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did
they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.” So how did he get
his hoard? And how did they get food?

- Poor Thorin. Locked up alone.

Simon J. Rowe

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Oct 20, 2003, 5:08:11 AM10/20/03
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Taemon wrote:

> Seems to me that elves would never use dogs for
> hunting, and they are by this time far into the forest so who else could
> it be?

And Huan belonged to who? Of course it was elves with hunting dogs.

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

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Oct 20, 2003, 9:30:39 AM10/20/03
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The sleazy Lake-men petitioned for a ban on fox-hunting.

Archie

Henriette

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Oct 20, 2003, 7:36:17 AM10/20/03
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"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message news:<bn00cg$rof89$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>...

(Snip clever and critical remarks and questions that I cannot answer)


>
> - The moment that Bombur wants to get out of the boat, a deer jumps

> out of the woods and makes him fall in the water. They haven?t seen a deer
> in the Milkwood before.

Maybe that is why the deer turns white, because it is in the Milkwood:-)

> Faerie!? WTFOMGLOL!!1!!!!!!1!1!!

Yes, where is our Count Menelvagor?
>
Good work Taemon! Is there anything you *liked* about the chapter?

Henriette

Bill O'Meally

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Oct 20, 2003, 10:04:39 AM10/20/03
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"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message
news:bn00cg$rof89$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de...

> - Bilbo falls asleep when he enters the circle. Why? That


didn't
> happen the first time, although it does happen the third time, with
Thorin.
> Is it the same sleep? It is the same dream, but Bilbo didn't lose his
> memory, nor did Thorin.

I guess they were starting to get pissed off by the second intrusion.

Which also brings up the question: whose spell is on the enchanted
stream? The similarities of what happened to Bombur, Bilbo and Thorin
suggest it is the Wood Elves'. All are cast into a sleep where they
dream about feasting. The only difference is that Bilbo and Thorin don't
lose their memory and are much more easily roused. Did the Elves enchant
the stream as a protection on the frontier of their realm?

--
Bill

"Wise fool"
Gandalf, THE TWO TOWERS
-- The Wise will remove 'se' to reply; the Foolish will not--


Taemon

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Oct 20, 2003, 11:41:49 AM10/20/03
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"Simon J. Rowe:

> > Seems to me that elves would never use dogs for
> > hunting, and they are by this time far into the forest so who else could
> > it be?
> And Huan belonged to who?

To Huan, methinks.

Greetings, T.


Taemon

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Oct 20, 2003, 11:45:17 AM10/20/03
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Henriette:

> > - The moment that Bombur wants to get out of the boat, a deer
jumps
> > out of the woods and makes him fall in the water. They haven?t seen a
deer
> > in the Milkwood before.
> Maybe that is why the deer turns white, because it is in the Milkwood:-)

Har har :-) Ehm, oops.

> Good work Taemon! Is there anything you *liked* about the chapter?

Uh-oh. Hey, I put some positive comments in it, too! Altough mainly
concerning Thorin, who is not my favorite dwarf. It was a very exciting
chapter altogether, the long trek through those dark wood, the leaving of
the path (ooo, I didn't see that coming), the spiders. But spider thingy not
very convincing, no.

Greetings, T.


AC

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Oct 20, 2003, 11:46:54 AM10/20/03
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On Mon, 20 Oct 2003 08:46:41 +0200,
Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
>
> - “... and on the end of the longest they fastened one of the large
> iron hooks they had used for catching their packs to the straps about their
> shoulders.” Trivial, but it nags me. They used “large iron hooks” on their
> backpacks? Wouldn’t that be a bit ungainly and heavy?

Hey, they're Dwarves.

>
> - The moment that Bombur wants to get out of the boat, a deer jumps
> out of the woods and makes him fall in the water. They haven’t seen a deer
> in the Milkwood before. It seems that it is been hunted, for “they became
> aware of the dim blowing of horns in the wood and the sound as of dogs
> baying far off.” Isn’t it weird that the deer turns up at that very moment?
> And who was hunting it? Seems to me that elves would never use dogs for
> hunting, and they are by this time far into the forest so who else could it
> be? Is this some trick of the wood itself, analogue to Caradhras? And what a
> pity they killed the hart and couldn’t eat it.

Well, I still think it could be Elves. There were also the woodsen.

>
> - Bombur wakes up and he has forgotten everything from the start of
> their journey on. Why doesn’t he panic? Does he get his memory back? Losing
> six months of your life (and what kind of six months!) is a hard thing for
> anyone.

It strikes me that Bombur was mainly worried about food.

>
> - They left the path! Everyone knows you should never leave the
> path! How could they be so stupid as to leave the path! They left the path!

I saw that coming when my dad first read me the book when I was four.

>
> - The scene with the elven party and the dwarves stumbling into it
> seems a bit off to me. This sounds more like the traditional faeries than
> the elves we know. To douse the light and run when someone intrudes into
> your feast, alright, but then to relight the party and go on as if nothing
> happened? And then, to do it _again_? Did the elves think the dwarves would
> have just left in the meantime? Why didn’t they simply send some guards to
> go and find them?

This is another example of why I feel the Elves are fundementally different
than in LotR or Silm.

> - What does a whole colony of huge spiders live off? Lost Watchers?

Likely the odd wayward Elf and those black squirrels.

> - “[The Wood-elves]For most of them (together with their scattered
> relations in the hills and mountains) were descended from the ancient tribes
> that never went to Faerie in the West.” Faerie!? WTFOMGLOL!!1!!!!!!1!1!!

As I recall, Tolkien referred to the West as Faerie on occasion. This is a
children's book after all.

>
> - “In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves, whom
> they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the
> dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was
> their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw gold
> and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay.” Is this the
> story of the necklace? Can someone of the more knowledgeables among us help
> me out?

I personally think that it does refer to Thingol, and is another piece of
the legendarium creeping in.

>
> - “If the elf-king had a weakness it was for treasure, especially
> for silver and white gems; and though his hoard was rich, he was ever eager
> for more, since he had not yet as great a treasure as other elf-lords of
> old.” I was going to say, not very elfy, until I remembered old Feanor.
> Still, not very elfy.

I dunno. Thingol seems to have had a thing for treasure as well.

>
> - “His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did
> they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.” So how did he get
> his hoard? And how did they get food?

Probably wine!

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

Taemon

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Oct 20, 2003, 1:52:40 PM10/20/03
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AC:

> Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
> > They used "large iron hooks" on their
> > backpacks? Wouldn't that be a bit ungainly and heavy?
> Hey, they're Dwarves.

Practical people, right?

> > And who was hunting it? Seems to me that elves would never use dogs for
> > hunting, and they are by this time far into the forest so who else could
it
> > be?

> Well, I still think it could be Elves.

Somehow, I don't picture elves on horses with a pack of slavering dogs
running after a fox.

> There were also the woodsen.

Eh?

> It strikes me that Bombur was mainly worried about food.

Well, I do, when I'm hungry.

> > - They left the path! Everyone knows you should never leave the
> > path! How could they be so stupid as to leave the path! They left the
path!
> I saw that coming when my dad first read me the book when I was four.

BUT IT WAS SO STUPID!

> > - "In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves,
whom
> > they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the
> > dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was
> > their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw
gold
> > and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay." Is this
the
> > story of the necklace? Can someone of the more knowledgeables among us
help
> > me out?
> I personally think that it does refer to Thingol, and is another piece of
> the legendarium creeping in.

Yes, the necklace story, right? I don't recall correctly. What was the name
of the piece again?

> I dunno. Thingol seems to have had a thing for treasure as well.

And he was an ass, but that's beside the point.

Greetings, T.


AC

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Oct 20, 2003, 1:55:48 PM10/20/03
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On Mon, 20 Oct 2003 19:52:40 +0200,
Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
> AC:
>
>> Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
>> > They used "large iron hooks" on their
>> > backpacks? Wouldn't that be a bit ungainly and heavy?
>> Hey, they're Dwarves.
>
> Practical people, right?
>
>> > And who was hunting it? Seems to me that elves would never use dogs for
>> > hunting, and they are by this time far into the forest so who else could
> it
>> > be?
>> Well, I still think it could be Elves.
>
> Somehow, I don't picture elves on horses with a pack of slavering dogs
> running after a fox.
>
>> There were also the woodsen.
>
> Eh?

I meant "woodsmen". Sorry.

>
>> It strikes me that Bombur was mainly worried about food.
>
> Well, I do, when I'm hungry.

And he seemed perpetually hungry.

>
>> > - They left the path! Everyone knows you should never leave the
>> > path! How could they be so stupid as to leave the path! They left the
> path!
>> I saw that coming when my dad first read me the book when I was four.
>
> BUT IT WAS SO STUPID!

And what kind of adventures would we have if the adventurers didn't do
stupid things?

>
>> > - "In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves,
> whom
>> > they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the
>> > dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was
>> > their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw
> gold
>> > and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay." Is this
> the
>> > story of the necklace? Can someone of the more knowledgeables among us
> help
>> > me out?
>> I personally think that it does refer to Thingol, and is another piece of
>> the legendarium creeping in.
>
> Yes, the necklace story, right? I don't recall correctly. What was the name
> of the piece again?

The Nauglamir.

>
>> I dunno. Thingol seems to have had a thing for treasure as well.
>
> And he was an ass, but that's beside the point.

Well, we know full well that Elves can be asses. Celeborn was an ass,
Thingol was an ass, and Thranduil was an ass.

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

Taemon

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Oct 20, 2003, 2:24:14 PM10/20/03
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AC:

> >> I saw that coming when my dad first read me the book when I was four.
> > BUT IT WAS SO STUPID!
> And what kind of adventures would we have if the adventurers didn't do
> stupid things?

Intelligent ones!

> > Yes, the necklace story, right? I don't recall correctly. What was the
name
> > of the piece again?
> The Nauglamir.

Ah, thanks. I didn't come further than "something with Nau".

> >> I dunno. Thingol seems to have had a thing for treasure as well.
> > And he was an ass, but that's beside the point.
> Well, we know full well that Elves can be asses. Celeborn was an ass,
> Thingol was an ass, and Thranduil was an ass.

I don't think Thranduil was an ass. Just not the most kingly king around.
Luckily, Legolas took after his mother (whoever she was).

Greetings, T.


coyotes morgan mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Oct 20, 2003, 2:51:25 PM10/20/03
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In article <bn17d8$sdbjm$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>, "Taemon"
<Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:

> AC:
>
> > Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
> > > They used "large iron hooks" on their
> > > backpacks? Wouldn't that be a bit ungainly and heavy?
> > Hey, they're Dwarves.
>
> Practical people, right?

what alternatives did they have?

Aris Katsaris

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Oct 20, 2003, 3:15:44 PM10/20/03
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"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message
news:bn00cg$rof89$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de...
> And who was hunting it? Seems to me that elves would never use dogs for
> hunting,

Why? Dogs have to eat also, you know. Huan was the dog of the
Celegorm and leader of his hunting packs. The Lay of Leithian
specifically mention that Huan had often hunted "hart and boar".

> - Bombur wakes up and he has forgotten everything from the start of
> their journey on. Why doesn’t he panic?

He's still with the people he knows. Not much to panic about.

> - “[The Wood-elves]For most of them (together with their scattered
> relations in the hills and mountains) were descended from the ancient tribes
> that never went to Faerie in the West.” Faerie!? WTFOMGLOL!!1!!!!!!1!1!!

Faerie. Yeah. A world that later Tolkien wouldn't use so much (or at all),
same as "Gnomes". Still.

> - “In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves, whom
> they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the
> dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was
> their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw gold
> and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay.” Is this the
> story of the necklace? Can someone of the more knowledgeables among us help
> me out?

Yeah, it seems to be the story of the Silmaril and the Nauglamir.

> - “If the elf-king had a weakness it was for treasure, especially
> for silver and white gems; and though his hoard was rich, he was ever eager
> for more, since he had not yet as great a treasure as other elf-lords of
> old.” I was going to say, not very elfy, until I remembered old Feanor.
> Still, not very elfy.

Hmm.... not sure what kind of elves you are thinking about but most
elven-kings did have a love of wealth and riches. Though it seemed to
concern more the prettiness of pretty things, rather than material wealth
to bargain with.

Elrond wasn't so obsessed of course, but then again he was never king.

> - “His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did
> they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.” So how did he get
> his hoard? And how did they get food?

A hunter-gatherer society, where food is concerned?

Aris Katsaris

Jette Goldie

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Oct 20, 2003, 5:34:40 PM10/20/03
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"Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wise.rr.com> wrote

> Which also brings up the question: whose spell is on the enchanted
> stream? The similarities of what happened to Bombur, Bilbo and Thorin
> suggest it is the Wood Elves'. All are cast into a sleep where they
> dream about feasting. The only difference is that Bilbo and Thorin don't
> lose their memory and are much more easily roused. Did the Elves enchant
> the stream as a protection on the frontier of their realm?
>


That was how I always read it.


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


Raven

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Oct 20, 2003, 5:52:47 PM10/20/03
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"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> skrev i en meddelelse
news:bn00cg$rof89$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de...

> - “In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves,
> whom they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that
> the dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took
> what was their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to
> shape his raw gold and silver, and had afterwards refused to give
> them their pay.” Is this the story of the necklace? Can someone of
> the more knowledgeables among us help me out?

This has been discussed some time ago, that either it referred to the
slaying of Thingol in Doriath, or a later, similar occurrence with Thranduil
in the position of Thingol except he wasn't slain - perhaps having learnt
from Thingol's fate. A rock solid conclusion was not made. The discussion
was held in the thread 'CRT editing "of the ruin of Doriath"' in rabt in
late June this year.

Raaf.


Bruce Tucker

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Oct 20, 2003, 6:34:29 PM10/20/03
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"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote

> - "In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves,
whom
> they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that
the
> dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what
was
> their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw
gold
> and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay." Is
this the
> story of the necklace? Can someone of the more knowledgeables among us
help
> me out?

It's been some time since I read the account of the ruin of Doriath in
_The Book of Lost Tales_, but this sounds more like that version than
the one that CT later cobbled together for _The Silmarillion_. In the
earlier version the necklace does not yet exist in Nargothrond and Hurin
(IIRC the names are different, but I don't recall what they are, so I'll
use the published versions for my sanity's sake) brings unwrought gold
and gems of Valinor to Thingol instead. The reason the Dwarves grow
angry and start the war is that Thingol keeps a hostage while he sends
the treasure back with them to Nogrod to be made into the necklace, and
when they return they demand an outrageous fee including Elven-maids for
wives, at which Thingol has them whipped for their insolence and offers
them but a few coins for the whole treasure - at which insult they leave
and return with an army. Something like that, anyway.

I'm guessing he hadn't written much if any of what became the source
material for the _Silmarillion_ version when he wrote TH, and he still
had in mind that the genesis of the war was a dispute over the matter of
the hostage and the trading of insults and denial of payment rather than
the unwillingness of either party to part with a silmaril, as seems to
be the cause in the published version.

--
Bruce Tucker
disinte...@mindspring.com


Count Menelvagor

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Oct 20, 2003, 9:05:34 PM10/20/03
to
held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote in message news:<be50318e.03102...@posting.google.com>...

> "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message news:<bn00cg$rof89$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>...
>
> (Snip clever and critical remarks and questions that I cannot answer)
> >
> > - The moment that Bombur wants to get out of the boat, a deer jumps
> > out of the woods and makes him fall in the water. They haven?t seen a deer
> > in the Milkwood before.
>
> Maybe that is why the deer turns white, because it is in the Milkwood:-)
>
> > Faerie!? WTFOMGLOL!!1!!!!!!1!1!!
>
> Yes, where is our Count Menelvagor?

Lurking abount in the odd dark corner, veiled in shadow.

If rereading The Hobbit causes eople to alk like fangirls, I'm mildly afraid to.

Michael Cole

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Oct 21, 2003, 12:51:20 AM10/21/03
to
Jette Goldie wrote:
> "Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wise.rr.com> wrote
>> Which also brings up the question: whose spell is on the enchanted
>> stream? The similarities of what happened to Bombur, Bilbo and Thorin
>> suggest it is the Wood Elves'. All are cast into a sleep where they
>> dream about feasting. The only difference is that Bilbo and Thorin
>> don't lose their memory and are much more easily roused. Did the
>> Elves enchant the stream as a protection on the frontier of their
>> realm?
>>
>
>
> That was how I always read it.

I always read it as the river, which was a southern tributary of the forest
river, had been tainted by the Necromancer...


--
Regards,

Michael Cole


Henriette

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Oct 21, 2003, 4:41:47 AM10/21/03
to
Menel...@mailandnews.com (Count Menelvagor) wrote in message news:<6bfb27a8.03102...@posting.google.com>...

> held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote in message news:<be50318e.03102...@posting.google.com>...
> > "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message news:<bn00cg$rof89$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>...
> >
> > > Faerie!? WTFOMGLOL!!1!!!!!!1!1!!
> >
> > Yes, where is our Count Menelvagor?
>
> Lurking abount in the odd dark corner, veiled in shadow.

Next sunday I am also going to be veiled in shadow when watching
Hector Berlioz' Les Troyens, which lasts for 5 hours (including two
short breaks).


>
> If rereading The Hobbit causes eople to alk like fangirls, I'm mildly afraid to.

It's just that some of the posters here are lastingly influenced by
the choice of words in your superb writings...

Henriette

Bill O'Meally

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Oct 21, 2003, 9:27:48 AM10/21/03
to


"Michael Cole" <michae...@hansen.com> wrote in message
news:bn2e0e$sbvjn$1...@ID-156864.news.uni-berlin.de...

How do you explain the similarities of the effects of the Enchanted
River and the spells cast on Bilbo and Thorin? Plus, the Forest R. is in
the Wood Elves' realm. Looking at the map, the Enchanted R. is nowhere
near where the Necromancer dwells.

Stan Brown

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Oct 21, 2003, 9:59:57 AM10/21/03
to
In article <XXRkb.59370$832....@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Bill O'Meally <OMea...@wise.rr.com> wrote:
>Which also brings up the question: whose spell is on the enchanted
>stream? The similarities of what happened to Bombur, Bilbo and Thorin
>suggest it is the Wood Elves'. All are cast into a sleep where they
>dream about feasting. The only difference is that Bilbo and Thorin don't
>lose their memory and are much more easily roused. Did the Elves enchant
>the stream as a protection on the frontier of their realm?

I don't think the enchanted river has to be part of the spell of
anyone in particular. It might just be its nature to be enchanted.
Think of the River Lethe in classical mythology, which gives
forgetfulness to whoever drinks from it. No one is "working the
spell"; it's just the nature of that river.

I wouldn't read too much into the fact that, once asleep, they all
dreamt of food. If you had been short on food for weeks I think you
would dream about it too!

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com
Tolkien FAQs: http://Tolkien.slimy.com (Steuard Jensen's site)
Tolkien letters FAQ:
http://users.telerama.com/~taliesen/tolkien/lettersfaq.html
FAQ of the Rings: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
Encyclopedia of Arda: http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm
more FAQs: http://oakroadsystems.com/tech/faqget.htm

Stan Brown

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Oct 21, 2003, 10:20:08 AM10/21/03
to
In article <bn00cg$rof89$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
>- The moment that Bombur wants to get out of the boat, a deer jumps
>out of the woods and makes him fall in the water. They haven?t seen a deer
>in the Milkwood before. It seems that it is been hunted, for ?they became

>aware of the dim blowing of horns in the wood and the sound as of dogs
>baying far off.? Isn?t it weird that the deer turns up at that very moment?

A white deer occurs in other legends too, and is usually considered
magical. Or it can be an omen of a change in fortune, as this one
obviously was.

>- Bombur is able to catch the hook they throw towards him but is
>fast asleep the moment they drag him onto land. I find it strange that he is
>able to grap that hook so tightly.

Haven't you ever had to pry a blanket or toy out of the hands of a
sleeping child? Dwarves were much stronger than men.

>- They left the path! Everyone knows you should never leave the
>path! How could they be so stupid as to leave the path! They left the path!

This again is a standard element of fairy stories. Someone wise
warns you not to do something, then you go and do it.

Heck, it's even a cliche of horror movies. Everyone knows you should
always stick together and not go off exploring the basement or
closets of the old house. So what do the cast members do,
immediately? Right, go off one by one to explore.

>- ?Bilbo Baggins! Hobbit! You dratted hobbit! Hi! Hobbit,
>confusticate you, where are you?? Confusticate you. Bless the day that I


>might use such a word.

It's one of Tolkien's made-up words. (Lewis Carroll did this too.)
At a guess it is intended to convey "confound" (to confuse or
perplex), "confuse", and other elements.Maybe the "-sticate" ending
is just intended to make the dwarves sound more grumpy.

>- ?[The Wood-elves]For most of them (together with their scattered


>relations in the hills and mountains) were descended from the ancient tribes

>that never went to Faerie in the West.? Faerie!? WTFOMGLOL!!1!!!!!!1!1!!

Faerie is Tolkien's old name for the Isle of Tol Eressëa. If you
real /The Silmarillion/ (which I recommend), you will find that in
the Elder Days, before Men had appeared, the Valar invited all the
Elves to move to Valinor. Some Elves accepted the offer: Elrond and
Galadriel are descended from those. Others did not: the Elves of
Mirkwood are descended from them. Of the Elves who began the Great
Journey, some stopped along the way and never came to the west
shores of Middle-earth. IDHTBIFOM, but I believe that the Elven-king
of /The Hobbit/ is of that kin.

>- ?In ancient days they had had wars with some of the dwarves, whom


>they accused of stealing their treasure. It is only fair to say that the
>dwarves gave a different account, and said that they only took what was
>their due, for the elf-king had bargained with them to shape his raw gold

>and silver, and had afterwards refused to give them their pay.? Is this the


>story of the necklace? Can someone of the more knowledgeables among us help
>me out?

Yes, this is the story of the Necklace of the Dwarves, the
Nauglafring or Nauglamir. Thingol, a great king of Elves in the
First Age, contracted with Dwarves to set his Silmaril in a
beautiful necklace, then an argument ensued and a Dwarvish army
sacked his kingdom. I believe that Glóin and Legolas refer to this
in Book II of LotR, either at the Council or at the dinner before
it.

Thingol lived underground, by the way, in caves that had been made
livable, letting out to a great forest. Some have speculated in this
group that the Elven-king of /The Hobbit/ was consciously imitating
some aspects of Thingol's reign.

>- ?His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did
>they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.? So how did he get


>his hoard? And how did they get food?

They got it from the Lake-men: tubs of butter and apples and wine.
How they paid for it is an excellent question, I agree. We know that
they didn't ship anything back, because all the barrels go back
empty (unless a Dwarf is hidden inside). Elves could teach useful or
delightful things, like archery and singing, and they could be
historians and tellers of tales. But somehow I don't imagine the
Lake-men wanting any of those things because archery and singing
aren't commercial enough.

Stan Brown

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Oct 21, 2003, 10:30:50 AM10/21/03
to
In article <bn00cg$rof89$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
>Confusticate you. Bless the day that I
>might use such a word. Does someone knows what it means?

A search at
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=confusticate&db=*
invites you to log on to a premium service to access "Webster's
Millennium Dictionary". I don't know whether that would lead to a
"real" story-external definition or just a definition using your
Tolkien quote as a cite.

I got interested and did a Google search. There's a whole domain,
<http://www.confusticate.com>, that looks kind of intriguing though
not Tolkien-related. But I hit pay dirt when "Confusticate and
bebother these dwarves" popped up. That reminded me to look in "An
Unexpected Party", and sure enough, Douglas Anderson in /The
Annotated Hobbit/ glosses that word as follows:

"The word /confusticate/ appears in the 1989 second edition of the
/Oxford English Dictionary/, where it is described as a fantastic
alteration of /confound/ or /confuse/. Usage of the word is cited
from as early as 1891, and in another example, it is described as
schoolboy slang. Tolkien's own usage from /The Hobbit/ is also
cited.

"/Confusticate/ is used similarly in two other instances: by Dori on
page 139[1], and collectively by the Dwarves on page 205[2]."

[1] In "Out of the Frying-Pan": Dori says "And here we are --
without the burglar, confusticate him!" and Bilbo pops off the Ring
and appears.

[2] This is the usage you asked about.

Bill O'Meally

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Oct 21, 2003, 1:04:28 PM10/21/03
to


"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
news:MPG.19ff05e66...@news.odyssey.net...

> I don't think the enchanted river has to be part of the spell of
> anyone in particular. It might just be its nature to be enchanted.
> Think of the River Lethe in classical mythology, which gives
> forgetfulness to whoever drinks from it. No one is "working the
> spell"; it's just the nature of that river.
>
> I wouldn't read too much into the fact that, once asleep, they all
> dreamt of food. If you had been short on food for weeks I think you
> would dream about it too!

Good points, except the dreams weren't simply of food, but of feasting
and merrymaking and a woodland king with a crown of leaves...

Taemon

unread,
Oct 21, 2003, 2:00:33 PM10/21/03
to
Count Menelvagor:

> > "Taemon":
> > > Faerie!? WTFOMGLOL!!1!!!!!!1!1!!


> If rereading The Hobbit causes eople to alk like fangirls, I'm mildly
afraid to.

No one accuses me of alking like fangirls and lives to tell the
tale!!!!111!!!1!!!

Greetings, T.


Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Oct 21, 2003, 8:39:52 PM10/21/03
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message:
>
> Comments:

>
> - “... and on the end of the longest they fastened one of the
large
> iron hooks they had used for catching their packs to the straps about
their
> shoulders.” Trivial, but it nags me. They used “large iron hooks” on their
> backpacks? Wouldn’t that be a bit ungainly and heavy?

I agree, but wouldn't Dwarven equipment be built to last? "They sure don't
make things like they used to."

<pins>

> - Bombur is able to catch the hook they throw towards him but is
> fast asleep the moment they drag him onto land. I find it strange that he
is
> able to grap that hook so tightly.

Maybe the spell is designed to start after you come out of the water?
Another clue that it is an Elven enchantment, not meant to be lethal, only
to protect their border. Although it could be a natural property of the
stream.

[I can't comment on the deer, as others have already done well.]

> - Poor Bilbo, having to climb a tree. We all know how much hobbits
> hate heights. Still, I cannot imagine a dwarf climbing a tree (expect when
> attacked by a Warg)
>

> - They left the path! Everyone knows you should never leave the
> path! How could they be so stupid as to leave the path! They left the
path!

That makes me wonder if all is not lost when you stray from the path.
(Although if you leave the path, finding it again is probably the least of
your troubles.) If you remember what side of the path you are on, you know
whether you should go north or south to find it. Poking your head above the
canopy to see the sun or stars tells you which way is north or south. The
trick then is to remember the direction as you climb down. (Much easier said
than done, to be sure.) Nowhere in the books is the compass mentioned, so we
can assume it wasn't invented yet.

> - The scene with the elven party and the dwarves stumbling into it
> seems a bit off to me. This sounds more like the traditional faeries than
> the elves we know. To douse the light and run when someone intrudes into
> your feast, alright, but then to relight the party and go on as if nothing
> happened? And then, to do it _again_? Did the elves think the dwarves
would
> have just left in the meantime? Why didn’t they simply send some guards to
> go and find them?

It does seem odd that the Elves are too busy partying to wonder what the
Dwarves are doing in their lands, and why they keep intruding. Although
Thranduil finally asks Thorin these questions as a captive. These are rather
antisocial Elves, no? Maybe living in Mirkwood makes them necessarily
watchful and distrustful, like Beorn.

<etymology of "confusticate" solved nicely by Stan>

> - Bilbo falls asleep when he enters the circle. Why? That didn’t
> happen the first time, although it does happen the third time, with
Thorin.
> Is it the same sleep? It is the same dream, but Bilbo didn’t lose his
> memory, nor did Thorin.
>
> - After the third intrusion, Bilbo loses the dwarves. How come? It
> doesn’t sound very easy to lose thirteen yelling dwarves, even in a dark
> forest. More magic? They shouldn’t have left the path!

The dreams, the difficulty finding each other and the stream all suggest
Elven enchantment to me. The Spiders do seem to fear some residual magic in
the Elf circles. (Steuard, step in any time with the appropriate FAQ
reference!) <wink>

Although it is a distressing time for the Dwarves and Hobbit, it always
makes me smile to imagine them playing blind-man's bluff and cursing each
other those three times.

> - The spiders didn’t sense Bilbo coming when he was invisible and
> moved without a sound. So how did the spider that tried to catch him know
> where he was?

Maybe the Spider sensed his body heat, or his scent?

> - With all due respect for our brave hobbit, the slaying of tens
of
> gigantic spiders with a small sword is a bit unlikely. Those creepers are
> _fast_, and strong. And only one stayed behind by the dwarves? And Bilbo
> managed to free seven of the dwarves before any of the spiders got back?

That does seem like a Wizardly feat of martial skill for Bilbo to suddenly
display on the Spiders' own ground.

> - What does a whole colony of huge spiders live off? Lost
Watchers?

Maybe the insects, small mammals, reptiles and birds that live there? Thick
forest, lots of herbivores in the canopy to eat those leaves, lots of
opportunity for predators. Remember the thousands of eyes that stared at
them whenever they lit a fire. Maybe those big Spiders even ate deer? I
wonder what kind of invertebrates (slugs, snails, etc.) might live in the
litter.

<excellent answers already given about Thranduil's people>

> - “His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did
> they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.” So how did he get
> his hoard? And how did they get food?

That bothers me too. They seem rather unproductive, even for Elves. Perhaps
they make a living harvesting whatever natural resources the forest has to
offer? Maybe they have a small cottage industry of value-added products? A
magic rocking chair or vial of Spider anti-venom might fetch a good price in
Laketown and help pay for their wine imports.

> - Poor Thorin. Locked up alone.

Well, "poor Thorin" has been saved from starvation, although at the price of
his freedom, and like a good leader he is probably tearing himself up
worrying about his followers.

By the way, they must have taken much more water than food, since they seem
to be dying of hunger before thirst. Usually thirst strikes travellers
earlier and is more fatal than hunger, no?

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


Michael Cole

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Oct 21, 2003, 10:23:55 PM10/21/03
to
Bill O'Meally wrote:
> "Michael Cole" <michae...@hansen.com> wrote in message
> news:bn2e0e$sbvjn$1...@ID-156864.news.uni-berlin.de...
>> Jette Goldie wrote:
>>> "Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wise.rr.com> wrote
>>>> Which also brings up the question: whose spell is on the enchanted
>>>> stream? The similarities of what happened to Bombur, Bilbo and
> Thorin
>>>> suggest it is the Wood Elves'. All are cast into a sleep where they
>>>> dream about feasting. The only difference is that Bilbo and Thorin
>>>> don't lose their memory and are much more easily roused. Did the
>>>> Elves enchant the stream as a protection on the frontier of their
>>>> realm?
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> That was how I always read it.
>>
>> I always read it as the river, which was a southern tributary of the
> forest
>> river, had been tainted by the Necromancer...
>
> How do you explain the similarities of the effects of the Enchanted
> River and the spells cast on Bilbo and Thorin?

I don't see a great similarity. As noted, "Bilbo and Thorin don't lose


their memory and are much more easily roused."

> Plus, the Forest R. is


> in the Wood Elves' realm.

I always considered Thranduils kingdom to be north of the Forest River, with
merely outposts south.

> Looking at the map, the Enchanted R. is
> nowhere near where the Necromancer dwells.

Yes, but it originates in the Mountains of Mirkwood, and Sauron was trying
to spread his influence northward. The whole forest region south of the
Forest River was not a pleasent location. More to the point, it just seems
that the Lethean river-style is more of an evil thing - it was not a
defensive tool of the elves, for if so, why not do the forest river. The
memory-loss stunt on unsuspecting travellers is more of a nasty thing (IMO)
than the elves would do - simply crossing the river is not threatening the
elves. Note that the dwarves were only put to sleep by the elves after
repeatedly annoying them.


--
Regards,

Michael Cole


Stan Brown

unread,
Oct 22, 2003, 12:07:15 AM10/22/03
to
In article <wGdlb.65226$832...@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Bill O'Meally <OMea...@wise.rr.com> wrote:

>Good points, except the dreams weren't simply of food, but of feasting
>and merrymaking and a woodland king with a crown of leaves...

Again, I think that is logical dream material just from the fact
that they were _in_ the woods. Also of course nobody had that dream
until after Bombur had told them about his -- suggestion is an
adequate explanation.

You could be right, however.

Bill O'Meally

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Oct 22, 2003, 12:41:16 AM10/22/03
to


"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message

news:MPG.19ffcc7bb...@news.odyssey.net...

Also of course nobody had that dream
> until after Bombur had told them about his -- suggestion is an
> adequate explanation.

Also a good point.

Kristian Damm Jensen

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Oct 22, 2003, 4:02:23 AM10/22/03
to
"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> skrev i en meddelelse
news:MPG.19ff0aa3b...@news.odyssey.net...

> In article <bn00cg$rof89$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:

<snip>

> If you
> real /The Silmarillion/ (which I recommend), you will find that in
> the Elder Days, before Men had appeared, the Valar invited all the
> Elves to move to Valinor. Some Elves accepted the offer: Elrond and
> Galadriel are descended from those. Others did not: the Elves of
> Mirkwood are descended from them. Of the Elves who began the Great
> Journey, some stopped along the way and never came to the west
> shores of Middle-earth. IDHTBIFOM, but I believe that the Elven-king
> of /The Hobbit/ is of that kin.

IDHTBIFOME, but I think you are slightly wrong. The Elven-king of The Hobbit
(Thranduil, as we learn his name to be in LOTR) (or at least his father)
went to Beleriand and saw the shores of Middle-Earth. He then turned back,
found the people of Mirkwood, who hadn't been that far, and became their
king.

Technically, Thranduil was a Sinda, ruling a population of Silvan elves.

And the Silvan, by the way *did* start on the Great Journey, but they
stopped before the Sindar did.

<snip>

> Thingol lived underground, by the way, in caves that had been made
> livable, letting out to a great forest. Some have speculated in this
> group that the Elven-king of /The Hobbit/ was consciously imitating
> some aspects of Thingol's reign.

Doesn't Tolkien write something along those lines in UT?

> >- ?His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did
> >they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.? So how did he get
> >his hoard? And how did they get food?
>
> They got it from the Lake-men: tubs of butter and apples and wine.

But this is trade, contradiction the text.

I agree withg the OP: this part of the text doesn't make sense.

<snip>

--
Kristian Damm Jensen
damm (at) ofir (dot) dk


Stuart Chapman

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Oct 22, 2003, 4:45:12 AM10/22/03
to

"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
news:MPG.19ff0aa3b...@news.odyssey.net...


> >- ?[The Wood-elves]For most of them (together with their
scattered
> >relations in the hills and mountains) were descended from the ancient
tribes
> >that never went to Faerie in the West.? Faerie!? WTFOMGLOL!!1!!!!!!1!1!!
>
> Faerie is Tolkien's old name for the Isle of Tol Eressëa. If you
> real /The Silmarillion/ (which I recommend), you will find that in
> the Elder Days, before Men had appeared, the Valar invited all the
> Elves to move to Valinor. Some Elves accepted the offer: Elrond and
> Galadriel are descended from those. Others did not: the Elves of
> Mirkwood are descended from them. Of the Elves who began the Great
> Journey, some stopped along the way and never came to the west
> shores of Middle-earth. IDHTBIFOM, but I believe that the Elven-king
> of /The Hobbit/ is of that kin.


I may be stupid, but these are getting too much....:-)

what is WTFOMGLOL & IDHTBIFOM?

I think I know what the F is, and of course LOL...

Stupot


Donald Shepherd

unread,
Oct 22, 2003, 6:10:28 AM10/22/03
to
In article <ssrlb.161125$bo1....@news-server.bigpond.net.au>,
stuart....@bigpond.com says...

> I may be stupid, but these are getting too much....:-)
>
> what is WTFOMGLOL & IDHTBIFOM?
>
> I think I know what the F is, and of course LOL...

WTF = What The F...
OMG = Oh My God
LOL = Laugh Out Loud

IDHTBIFOM = I Don't Have The Books In Front Of Me

Taemon

unread,
Oct 22, 2003, 7:34:11 AM10/22/03
to
Stan Brown:

> A white deer occurs in other legends too, and is usually considered
> magical. Or it can be an omen of a change in fortune, as this one
> obviously was.

Hm. I don't know. Were I Tolkien I'd made the other deer white and be done
with all the deers :-)

> >- Bombur is able to catch the hook they throw towards him but is
> >fast asleep the moment they drag him onto land. I find it strange that he
is
> >able to grap that hook so tightly.
> Haven't you ever had to pry a blanket or toy out of the hands of a
> sleeping child? Dwarves were much stronger than men.

True. Must be it.

> >- They left the path! Everyone knows you should never leave the
> >path! How could they be so stupid as to leave the path! They left the
path!
> This again is a standard element of fairy stories. Someone wise
> warns you not to do something, then you go and do it.

But that doesn't make it any less STUPID!

> >Confusticate you. Bless the day that I might use such a word.
> It's one of Tolkien's made-up words. (Lewis Carroll did this too.)

Really! Thanks, I didn't realise.

> Faerie is Tolkien's old name for the Isle of Tol Eressëa. If you
> real /The Silmarillion/ (which I recommend),

If I hadn't read it, I wouldn't have known about "the necklace story", would
I? But I thought that with "Faerie" Tolkien meant Valinor.

> Of the Elves who began the Great
> Journey, some stopped along the way and never came to the west
> shores of Middle-earth. IDHTBIFOM, but I believe that the Elven-king
> of /The Hobbit/ is of that kin.

Yes, it even says so in The Hobbit.

"They differed from the High Elves of the West, and were more dangerous and
less wise. For most of them (together with their scattered relations in the


hills and mountains) were descended from the ancient tribes that never went

ot Faerie in the West."

> They got it from the Lake-men: tubs of butter and apples and wine.
> How they paid for it is an excellent question, I agree.

Anybody has an idea?

Greetings, T.


Taemon

unread,
Oct 22, 2003, 7:27:38 AM10/22/03
to
Aris Katsaris:

> "Taemon":


> > And who was hunting it? Seems to me that elves would never use dogs for
> > hunting,
> Why? Dogs have to eat also, you know.

Well? So do giant spiders.

> Huan was the dog of the
> Celegorm and leader of his hunting packs. The Lay of Leithian
> specifically mention that Huan had often hunted "hart and boar".

Yeah, Huan also talked Elvish. Anyway, hunting with dogs is a very noisy and
cruel way of hunting. I just can't picture an elf going hunting other than
on foot, mostly single, with a bow.

> Hmm.... not sure what kind of elves you are thinking about but most
> elven-kings did have a love of wealth and riches. Though it seemed to
> concern more the prettiness of pretty things, rather than material wealth
> to bargain with.

That's what I meant. Thranduil sounds greedy here.

> > - “His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did
> > they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.” So how did he
get
> > his hoard? And how did they get food?
> A hunter-gatherer society, where food is concerned?

Yes, probably. Spider-beef? :-)

Greetings, T.


Taemon

unread,
Oct 22, 2003, 7:35:27 AM10/22/03
to
Stan Brown:

> I got interested and did a Google search. There's a whole domain,
> <http://www.confusticate.com>, that looks kind of intriguing though
> not Tolkien-related. But I hit pay dirt when "Confusticate and
> bebother these dwarves" popped up.

Funny, I followed the same leads :-) Bebother. Confusticate and bebother. I
really like that.

Greetings, T.


Stan Brown

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Oct 22, 2003, 9:41:49 AM10/22/03
to
In article <ssrlb.161125$bo1....@news-server.bigpond.net.au> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Stuart Chapman <stuart....@bigpond.com>
wrote:

>what is WTFOMGLOL & IDHTBIFOM?

The latter is "I don't have the book(s) in front of me".

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

unread,
Oct 22, 2003, 1:20:56 PM10/22/03
to
Taemon wrote:
> Aris Katsaris:
> > "Taemon":
[...]

> > Huan was the dog of the
> > Celegorm and leader of his hunting packs. The Lay of Leithian
> > specifically mention that Huan had often hunted "hart and boar".
>
> Yeah, Huan also talked Elvish. Anyway, hunting with dogs is a very noisy and
> cruel way of hunting. I just can't picture an elf going hunting other than
> on foot, mostly single, with a bow.

Why is hunting with dogs any more cruel than hunting in general? Dogs are
good at fetching ducks and snipes from the swamp; it is dogs that keep
the beast (bear, boar, beaver:0) occupied while the hunter reloads the
musket (or the Numenorean steel bow, for that matter).

Your average elf-hunter was as cruel as a rich white bastard on a safari
trip: who else could hunt Petty-dwarves like animals or runaway slaves
(maroons)?

Archie
(not yet a member of a hunters' society)

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

unread,
Oct 22, 2003, 1:22:08 PM10/22/03
to
Kristian Damm Jensen wrote:
> "Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:MPG.19ff0aa3b...@news.odyssey.net...
> > In article <bn00cg$rof89$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de> in
> > rec.arts.books.tolkien, Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
[...]

> > >- ?His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor did
> > >they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.? So how did he get
> > >his hoard? And how did they get food?
> >
> > They got it from the Lake-men: tubs of butter and apples and wine.
>
> But this is trade, contradiction the text.
>
> I agree withg the OP: this part of the text doesn't make sense.

I think I've got an explanation (as baseless as any other): hunting. Too
many stags in Northern Mirkwood. The elves shipped the meat in huge Volvo
fridge trucks.

Also notable is the omission of cattle-herding from the text. And wars of
conquest with loads of typically un-Elven rape, arson and plunder.

One more thing before we move onto the next chapter: how come the Elves
have jail cells? Are the things we are used to hearing about low crime
rate in immortal societies patently untrue?

Archie

Douglas Bailey

unread,
Oct 22, 2003, 1:00:01 PM10/22/03
to
put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru wrote:

> One more thing before we move onto the next chapter: how come the Elves
> have jail cells? Are the things we are used to hearing about low crime
> rate in immortal societies patently untrue?

No, but there are *some* criminals. And when the Elves say "life
sentence," they mean *life*. :-)

doug

--

---------------Douglas Bailey (trys...@world.std.com)---------------
I can't see the lines I used to think I could read between...
--Eno

Taemon

unread,
Oct 22, 2003, 1:32:11 PM10/22/03
to
Michael Cole:

> I don't see a great similarity. As noted, "Bilbo and Thorin don't lose
> their memory and are much more easily roused."

True, but their was the similarity of the dreams. Although the
suggestion-suggestion has its merits too. Maybe the elves built their magic
on that of the river? Being inspired by it, so to speak?

Greetings, T.


Taemon

unread,
Oct 22, 2003, 1:30:25 PM10/22/03
to
Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld:

> "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message:

> > Trivial, but it nags me. They used “large iron hooks” on their
> > backpacks? Wouldn’t that be a bit ungainly and heavy?
> I agree, but wouldn't Dwarven equipment be built to last? "They sure don't
> make things like they used to."

Couldn't dwarfs make things that are built to last but not ungainly and
heavy?

> <pins>

What's that?

> Maybe the spell is designed to start after you come out of the water?

That's an idea. That is certainly possible. Although, in that case, why
didn't he shout out?

> > - They left the path!

> That makes me wonder if all is not lost when you stray from the path.

Well, obviously. And later it is suggested that in this way they actually
took the more sensible road. But it stands, it wasn't a sensible _act_!

> (Although if you leave the path, finding it again is probably the least of
> your troubles.) If you remember what side of the path you are on, you know
> whether you should go north or south to find it.

Wouldn't work. "Don't leave the path" means there is magic at work, making
it certain you won't find the path again (I can't believe they didn't even
try to tie and end of rope to a tree near the path). In that case, it would
be a cold little trick (as the Dutch say) to make sure you don't know which
way north is either. Wouldn't it?

> It does seem odd that the Elves are too busy partying to wonder what the
> Dwarves are doing in their lands, and why they keep intruding. Although
> Thranduil finally asks Thorin these questions as a captive.

By that time, he's drunk ;-)

> These are rather antisocial Elves, no?

Quite.

> Maybe living in Mirkwood makes them necessarily
> watchful and distrustful, like Beorn.

I'd say living in harsh environment would make you even more hospitable.

> > - The spiders didn’t sense Bilbo coming when he was invisible
and
> > moved without a sound. So how did the spider that tried to catch him
know
> > where he was?
> Maybe the Spider sensed his body heat, or his scent?

That's perfectly possible! I settle for body heat.

> > - What does a whole colony of huge spiders live off? Lost
Watchers?
> Maybe the insects, small mammals, reptiles and birds that live there?
Thick
> forest, lots of herbivores in the canopy to eat those leaves, lots of
> opportunity for predators. Remember the thousands of eyes that stared at
> them whenever they lit a fire. Maybe those big Spiders even ate deer? I
> wonder what kind of invertebrates (slugs, snails, etc.) might live in the
> litter.

And probably the smaller among them. Still, there were a lot of them.
Although there are a lot less now. Maybe Bilbo was a blessing in disguise
for spiderkind :-)

> That bothers me too. They seem rather unproductive, even for Elves.
Perhaps
> they make a living harvesting whatever natural resources the forest has to
> offer? Maybe they have a small cottage industry of value-added products? A
> magic rocking chair or vial of Spider anti-venom might fetch a good price
in
> Laketown and help pay for their wine imports.

Craftiness! Like the native Americans in Death Valley, making tacky
jewellery for tourists! Oh, I can so picture this (seriously). Wooden
carvings of deer, flower perfume, elven bows...

> By the way, they must have taken much more water than food, since they
seem
> to be dying of hunger before thirst. Usually thirst strikes travellers
> earlier and is more fatal than hunger, no?

Good point, hadn't thought of that. But water is much heavier than food, so
that's strange.

Thank you for an insightful response.

Greetings, T.


Taemon

unread,
Oct 22, 2003, 1:33:29 PM10/22/03
to
Stuart Chapman:

Taemon:
> > >that never went to Faerie in the West.? Faerie!? WTFOMGLOL!!1!!!!!!11!!


> what is WTFOMGLOL & IDHTBIFOM?

AOL-speech. I was being "funny".

Greetings, T <rolling on the floor with laughter>


coyotes morgan mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Oct 22, 2003, 1:29:09 PM10/22/03
to
> Yeah, Huan also talked Elvish. Anyway, hunting with dogs is a very noisy and
> cruel way of hunting. I just can't picture an elf going hunting other than
> on foot, mostly single, with a bow.

views differ

most stories nowadays treat killing unicorns as a horrible sin
dunsany in the -daughter of elf lands king- regarded it as a valid pursuiot
of the upper class

Taemon

unread,
Oct 22, 2003, 1:48:13 PM10/22/03
to
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote:

> Taemon wrote:
> > Yeah, Huan also talked Elvish. Anyway, hunting with dogs is a very noisy
and
> > cruel way of hunting.
> Why is hunting with dogs any more cruel than hunting in general?

One person, with one dog for fetching, maybe. But there was a pack of dogs
at work here. They disrupt the whole forest around them. They scare all
animals around. They chase for hours. And you don't get to kill an animal
with a single clean shot, either.

Greetings, T.


Steuard Jensen

unread,
Oct 23, 2003, 12:02:14 AM10/23/03
to
Quoth "Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> in article
<slklb.142434$pl3.99526@pd7tw3no>:

> "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message:
> > How could they be so stupid as to leave the path!

[Explaining why it might not be so bad:]


> If you remember what side of the path you are on, you know whether
> you should go north or south to find it. Poking your head above the

> canopy... tells you which way is north... The trick then is to


> remember the direction as you climb down. (Much easier said than
> done, to be sure.)

I think you've answered the question right there, or at least, half
answered it. :) Not only would it be hard to keep track of the
direction as you climbed down, it could be hard to keep track of it as
you made your way through the forest.

(Now I'm imagining the Dwarves dividing into three groups and
"leapfroging" their way south. The three groups would stand in line
with each other pointing south, far enough apart so the first and last
groups could just see each other. The hindmost group would then make
its way to the front and line up as straight as possible with the
other two, and repeat. Hey, it might work.)

> > - After the third intrusion, Bilbo loses the dwarves. How come? It
> > doesn’t sound very easy to lose thirteen yelling dwarves, even
> > in a dark forest.

My impression of this scene was actually that Bilbo kept his head a
bit better than the others had: while they blundered about so randomly
that they strayed from the Elves' feasting site, he ended up running
around more or less in circles right there. Now, why he didn't end up
following them out of the glade I don't know; it may have been some
instinct on his part to stay in a place that he "knew" (even if only
very vaguely).

> The dreams, the difficulty finding each other and the stream all
> suggest Elven enchantment to me. The Spiders do seem to fear some
> residual magic in the Elf circles. (Steuard, step in any time with
> the appropriate FAQ reference!) <wink>

For my part, I would have guessed that the stream was just naturally
sleep-inducing. That fits well with the "fairy story" tone of _The
Hobbit_, and I think is at least as consistent with our other
knowledge of Middle-earth as a permanant Elven sleep spell on the
stream would be (the stream's effects seem to have been even stronger
than the sleep-cloak of Luthien herself).

The difficulty in finding each other I _do_ attribute to some spell of
the Elves, though I suspect the spell was just a general
disorientation effect rather than anything directly intended to make
the group separate from each other. Making it so the Dwarves couldn't
tell which way they were going or what direction sounds were coming
from would be very handy in keeping the Dwarves from following the
Elves; the resulting interference with their ability to organize and
find each other would be a nice side effect.

I've never been sure what to make of Bombur's "prophetic" dream. (Is
there any chance that it, like other prophetic dreams, was sent by the
Valar or Eru himself? After all, without Bombur's urging the Dwarves
might never have left the path, and then as Bilbo discovered they
might never have made it at all.) It would seem a little odd for the
Elves to have enchanted the stream to keep people away but then to
have caused those under its spell to dream about how cool the Elves
were. (But I guess that could have been an unintended side effect.)

Finally, there's nothing in the FAQs about the Elves' anti-spider
magic (or the spiders' innate aversion to the lingering smell of Elf,
or whatever it was that kept them off the path and out of the feast
rings). In fact, I don't know that I remember it being discussed
before, or at least not for quite some time (I haven't checked Google,
though, so for all I know I just overlooked an active discussion on it
last month :) ).

To be honest, this even seems a little contradictory. At the end of
the chapter, we learn that "The giant spiders were the only living
things that they had no mercy upon", which strikes me as an unusul
attitude for Elves. My impression had always been that the Wood-elves
and the spiders were in a sort of constant low-level war (Elves
raiding spider lairs, spiders seizing unwary Elves, that sort of
thing). But that's hard to credit if the spiders were so easily
repelled by so little as a recently-used picnic site. :) All I can
conclude, then, is that the Elves _had_ put some strong anti-spider
field around certain places in the forest... but I have no idea how
they would have done that.

> <excellent answers already given about Thranduil's people>

Agreed. (The specific reference that discusses them in _Unfinished
Tales_ is an appendix to "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn",
appropriately titled "The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves". :) )

> > - “His people neither mined nor worked metals or jewels, nor
> > did they bother much with trade or with tilling the earth.” So
> > how did he get his hoard? And how did they get food?

> Perhaps they make a living harvesting whatever natural resources the


> forest has to offer? Maybe they have a small cottage industry of
> value-added products?

A thriving "Elf-girl Escort Service" in Laketown? Private tutoring
for wealthy Laketown children? Vast coca plantations in hidden forest
glades? Remining spoils from the War of the Last Alliance?

(Only the second and fourth are even vaguely serious, of course. I
agree that the most likely answer is trade in forest products and
finely worked goods, whether the book says they didn't bother with
trade or not.)
Steuard Jensen

Jens Kilian

unread,
Oct 23, 2003, 6:30:46 AM10/23/03
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> writes:
> Craftiness! Like the native Americans in Death Valley, making tacky
> jewellery for tourists! Oh, I can so picture this (seriously). Wooden
> carvings of deer, flower perfume, elven bows...

No, that's the _Bored of the Ring_ elves, not the _Hobbit_ ones :-)
--
mailto:j...@acm.org phone:+49-7031-464-7698 (TELNET 778-7698)
http://www.bawue.de/~jjk/ fax:+49-7031-464-7351
As the air to a bird, or the sea to a fish,
so is contempt to the contemptible. [Blake]

Count Menelvagor

unread,
Oct 23, 2003, 6:39:20 PM10/23/03
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message news:<bn3s8j$t5htb$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>...

LIEK, MY BAD.

Count Menelvagor

unread,
Oct 23, 2003, 6:44:50 PM10/23/03
to
held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote in message news:<be50318e.03102...@posting.google.com>...

> > Lurking abount in the odd dark corner, veiled in shadow.
>
> Next sunday I am also going to be veiled in shadow when watching
> Hector Berlioz' Les Troyens, which lasts for 5 hours (including two
> short breaks).

Good stuff, but longish. Thye should cut ount the bllaets.

> >
> > If rereading The Hobbit causes eople to alk like fangirls, I'm mildly afraid to.
>

> It's just that some of the posters here are lastingly influenced by
> the choice of words in your superb writings...

I can LIEK TAEK NO R3SPONSIBILITY FOF D3RRIDINA'S RITINGS OMG

Count Menelvagor

unread,
Oct 23, 2003, 6:49:30 PM10/23/03
to
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message news:<MPG.1a00e49fdf...@news.mtu-net.ru>...

> Taemon wrote:
> > Aris Katsaris:
> > > "Taemon":

> Your average elf-hunter was as cruel as a rich white bastard on a safari

> trip: who else could hunt Petty-dwarves like animals or runaway slaves
> (maroons)?

Weird, apparently both elves and dwarves decided in the end it was no
big deal,because they hadn't declared themselves or wahtever.
Wouldn't it have been obvious that they were sentient?

And I bet they didn't even coonk them properlz. Elf cuisine is
appalling.

Count Menelvagor

unread,
Oct 23, 2003, 7:00:54 PM10/23/03
to
sbje...@midway.uchicago.edu (Steuard Jensen) wrote in message news:<apIlb.22$_4.4...@news.uchicago.edu>...

> Quoth "Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> in article
> <slklb.142434$pl3.99526@pd7tw3no>:
> > "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message:
> > > How could they be so stupid as to leave the path!

> I've never been sure what to make of Bombur's "prophetic" dream. (Is


> there any chance that it, like other prophetic dreams, was sent by the
> Valar or Eru himself? After all, without Bombur's urging the Dwarves
> might never have left the path, and then as Bilbo discovered they
> might never have made it at all.) It would seem a little odd for the
> Elves to have enchanted the stream to keep people away but then to
> have caused those under its spell to dream about how cool the Elves
> were. (But I guess that could have been an unintended side effect.)

The Elves were so arrogant they couldn't help it. But they completely
overrated themselves. I was at an elf-party once, and it was totally
lame. They didn't even serve bloond.

> A thriving "Elf-girl Escort Service" in Laketown? Private tutoring
> for wealthy Laketown children? Vast coca plantations in hidden forest
> glades? Remining spoils from the War of the Last Alliance?

Lembas is a HOT item on the street. And those elf-maidens are
wooo-GAH, as nayone who read Bored of teh Rings knows. (That
seduction scene at the beginning is the best part!)

Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Oct 23, 2003, 10:47:01 PM10/23/03
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message:
> Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld:
>
> > "Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message:
> > > Trivial, but it nags me. They used “large iron hooks” on their
> > > backpacks? Wouldn’t that be a bit ungainly and heavy?
> > I agree, but wouldn't Dwarven equipment be built to last? "They sure
don't
> > make things like they used to."
>
> Couldn't dwarfs make things that are built to last but not ungainly and
> heavy?

Of course, especially Mithril. But I suppose since Thorin & Co. aren't as
rich as they once were, they must rely on cast iron more than before. And a
Dwarf could probably bear a pack heavy enough to break a man's back. So the
weight of the hook is small relative to a full pack.

(BTW, when Dwarves mine, would they carry the ore on their backs, or did
they invent rail carts? Or small, specially-bred donkeys? Or enslaved Orcs?)

> > <pins>
>
> What's that?

That's <snip> spelled backwards. Perhaps you've seen other posters using
<nirg>.

> > Maybe the spell is designed to start after you come out of the water?
>
> That's an idea. That is certainly possible. Although, in that case, why
> didn't he shout out?

Now I'm just handwaving, but maybe Bombur was too startled to shout as he
fell, and too heavy and weak to lift his head out of the water for a shout.
Maybe the others were too startled by the deer to notice the splash.

> > > - They left the path!
> > That makes me wonder if all is not lost when you stray from the path.
>
> Well, obviously. And later it is suggested that in this way they actually
> took the more sensible road. But it stands, it wasn't a sensible _act_!
>
> > (Although if you leave the path, finding it again is probably the least
of
> > your troubles.) If you remember what side of the path you are on, you
know
> > whether you should go north or south to find it.
>
> Wouldn't work. "Don't leave the path" means there is magic at work, making
> it certain you won't find the path again (I can't believe they didn't even
> try to tie and end of rope to a tree near the path). In that case, it
would
> be a cold little trick (as the Dutch say) to make sure you don't know
which
> way north is either. Wouldn't it?

The rope idea sounds much smarter than climbing, as does Steuard's
"leap-frog" idea. In fact there's no good reason to climb above the canopy
and risk a fatal fall, except to see if the forest ends. But as we saw, they
were in a valley which kept Bilbo from seeing very far.

<pins>
Sorry, I mean <snip>...

> Thank you for an insightful response.

You're welcome, and thank you for the Chapter 8 thread.

Henriette

unread,
Oct 24, 2003, 3:26:31 AM10/24/03
to
Menel...@mailandnews.com (Count Menelvagor) wrote in message news:<6bfb27a8.0310...@posting.google.com>...

> held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote in message news:<be50318e.03102...@posting.google.com>...
>
> > Next sunday I am also going to be veiled in shadow when watching
> > Hector Berlioz' Les Troyens, which lasts for 5 hours (including two
> > short breaks).
>
> Good stuff, but longish. Thye should cut ount the bllaets.
>
What is French opera sans bllaets?? I'd rather they'd cut ount a piece
of your wings....

Henriette

Brenda Selwyn

unread,
Oct 24, 2003, 2:04:41 PM10/24/03
to
>"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:

>Uh-oh. Hey, I put some positive comments in it, too! Altough mainly
>concerning Thorin, who is not my favorite dwarf.

Something I've been thinking for a while - did Gandalf actually like
the dwarves very much? He seems to get exasperated with them rather a
lot. I wonder whether his various absences on "pressing business"
were just excuses to get out of their company for a while:-) One can
imagine him sitting at Radagast's kitchen table with a flagon of mead,
saying "Confusticate and bebother those dwarves...".

Brenda

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

Taemon

unread,
Oct 24, 2003, 2:25:44 PM10/24/03
to
Brenda Selwyn:

> Something I've been thinking for a while - did Gandalf actually like
> the dwarves very much?

Nobody seems to like the dwarves very much. This bothered me quite a lot, as
a child. When I grew older I came to realise the dwarves didn't give a damn
about who liked them or not and I was a peace again :-)

Greetings, T.


AC

unread,
Oct 24, 2003, 2:30:01 PM10/24/03
to
On Fri, 24 Oct 2003 19:04:41 +0100,
Brenda Selwyn <bre...@matson.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
>
>>Uh-oh. Hey, I put some positive comments in it, too! Altough mainly
>>concerning Thorin, who is not my favorite dwarf.
>
> Something I've been thinking for a while - did Gandalf actually like
> the dwarves very much? He seems to get exasperated with them rather a
> lot. I wonder whether his various absences on "pressing business"
> were just excuses to get out of their company for a while:-) One can
> imagine him sitting at Radagast's kitchen table with a flagon of mead,
> saying "Confusticate and bebother those dwarves...".

I don't think it's any particular dislike of Dwarves. Just think of all the
things that he said to Pippin!

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

Steve Hayes

unread,
Oct 25, 2003, 2:17:16 AM10/25/03
to
On Fri, 24 Oct 2003 19:04:41 +0100, Brenda Selwyn <bre...@matson.demon.co.uk>
wrote:

>>"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:


>
>>Uh-oh. Hey, I put some positive comments in it, too! Altough mainly
>>concerning Thorin, who is not my favorite dwarf.
>
>Something I've been thinking for a while - did Gandalf actually like
>the dwarves very much? He seems to get exasperated with them rather a
>lot. I wonder whether his various absences on "pressing business"
>were just excuses to get out of their company for a while:-) One can
>imagine him sitting at Radagast's kitchen table with a flagon of mead,
>saying "Confusticate and bebother those dwarves...".

He seemed to treat them with an amused tolerance most of the time.


--
Steve Hayes
E-mail: haye...@hotmail.com
Web: http://www.geocities.com/hayesstw/stevesig.htm
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/books.htm

Henriette

unread,
Oct 25, 2003, 6:10:51 AM10/25/03
to
Brenda Selwyn <bre...@matson.demon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<5dqipv0rq5g1gr307...@4ax.com>...

> >"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
>
> >Uh-oh. Hey, I put some positive comments in it, too! Altough mainly
> >concerning Thorin, who is not my favorite dwarf.
>
> Something I've been thinking for a while - did Gandalf actually like
> the dwarves very much? He seems to get exasperated with them rather a
> lot. I wonder whether his various absences on "pressing business"
> were just excuses to get out of their company for a while:-)

LOL

> One can
> imagine him sitting at Radagast's kitchen table with a flagon of mead,
> saying "Confusticate and bebother those dwarves...".
>

:-) Brenda, this is a very funny post!

Henriette

Taemon

unread,
Oct 26, 2003, 7:20:03 AM10/26/03
to
Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld:

> Of course, especially Mithril. But I suppose since Thorin & Co. aren't as
> rich as they once were, they must rely on cast iron more than before. And
a
> Dwarf could probably bear a pack heavy enough to break a man's back. So
the
> weight of the hook is small relative to a full pack.

Hm. I still think a dwarf could easily make a hook out of cast iron, meant
to bear a backpack, which is not fit to throw and haul in a boat. I think
it's silly.

> (BTW, when Dwarves mine, would they carry the ore on their backs, or did
> they invent rail carts? Or small, specially-bred donkeys? Or enslaved
Orcs?)

I think they invented carts. But no rail, oh no.

> > > <pins>
> > What's that?
> That's <snip> spelled backwards. Perhaps you've seen other posters using
> <nirg>.

...no. What does it mean, you add some text to the quotes? :-)

> The rope idea sounds much smarter than climbing, as does Steuard's
> "leap-frog" idea. In fact there's no good reason to climb above the canopy
> and risk a fatal fall, except to see if the forest ends. But as we saw,
they
> were in a valley which kept Bilbo from seeing very far.

I don't know, I don't think the tree climbing-idea was a bad one. It would
have worked, if it hadn't been for the valley. Still, I was surprised (in
hindsight) they got Bilbo so far as to climb a high tree.

> You're welcome, and thank you for the Chapter 8 thread.

You are most welcome.

Greetings, T.


Öjevind Lång

unread,
Oct 26, 2003, 10:28:55 AM10/26/03