Chapter Of The Week: The Hobbit, Chapter 1

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Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

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Sep 1, 2003, 2:00:41 AM9/1/03
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Long-timers, newbies and lurkers:

The alt.fan.tolkien (AFT) and rec.arts.books.tolkien (RABT) newsgroups are
proud to present to you this weekly series of discussion threads. The
purpose is to inspire some Tolkien book-reading and discussion on a regular
schedule, at a pace most people can manage, and at all levels of expertise
from complete newbies to lifelong Tolkien experts.

If you are new to these newsgroups, they are devoted to the books of J.R.R.
Tolkien (and miscellaneous topics.) See the FAQ which is posted regularly.

For complete details on this series, read the thread titled "An Idea:
Chapter Of The Week!" You may note that the Chapter 1 discussion has already
spontaneously begun (on AFT only) so you may continue there or join here as
you wish. The only requirement is that you have recently read Chapter 1 of
"The Hobbit."

The chapter schedule can be seen in the post titled "Sign-up Sheet (Re: An
Idea: Chapter Of The Week!)" It will also be posted on a webpage kindly
donated by David Flood, who should be posting a link soon, for those of you
who would like to volunteer to introduce a chapter, and want to see which
ones are available. (Thanks again, Dave.)

So, without further procrastination...

*cough cough*
<puts on tweed jacket>
<sits in comfy chair>
<sips hot CHOKLIT>

**********
CHAPTER OF THE WEEK
THE HOBBIT
Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party
**********

In Chapter 1, we are introduced to the two main characters, Bilbo Baggins
the Hobbit and an old acquaintance of his, Gandalf the Wizard. Gandalf
appears at Bilbo's Hobbit-hole unannounced and at first unrecognized. He is
looking for someone to include on an expedition he is helping to prepare,
and is considering Bilbo, who wants no part of it. When Gandalf leaves, he
marks Bilbo's door, so that the thirteen Dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield
can find him. The Dwarves appear next day, also unexpected, in groups, and
impose themselves on their Hobbit host. After tea, they clean up, relax and
make some music. Thorin then makes a speech outlining the expedition and
revealing to the shocked Bilbo his expected part in it. Bilbo faints, and
when he awakens, he is so offended by the scorn of the Dwarves that he
confirms his inclusion in the adventure. Gandalf and Thorin then tell the
full tale of the Dwarves' long-lost realm and treasure under Lonely
Mountain, taken by Smaug the Dragon, and their plans to reclaim it all.

You are by no means restricted to this list, but some possible points for
discussion are: What sort of person does Bilbo seem to be? What is meant by
the "Tookish" side of his nature? Why does Gandalf think Bilbo a likely
candidate for this adventure? Was it necessary for Gandalf to bring Bilbo
and the Dwarves together in the way that he did? What does the reaction of
Bilbo and the Dwarves to each other suggest about their future working
relationship? How well-planned does the expedition look? What would seem to
be its chances of success? Why does Bilbo, a bachelor living alone, keep a
pantry stocked well enough to feed thirteen Dwarves?

Comments on this chapter? The floor is open.

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


Flame of the West

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Sep 1, 2003, 8:34:15 AM9/1/03
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Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld wrote:

> Why does Bilbo, a bachelor living alone, keep a
> pantry stocked well enough to feed thirteen Dwarves?

He loved visitors, as Tolkien mentioned. In fact he
was running low: his pantry, though it fed 13 Dwarves
and a Wizard, would hardly have satisfied two hobbit
guests.


-- FotW

Reality is for those who cannot cope with Middle-earth.

AC

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Sep 1, 2003, 12:33:29 PM9/1/03
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On Mon, 01 Sep 2003 06:00:41 GMT,
Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:
>
> You are by no means restricted to this list, but some possible points for
> discussion are: What sort of person does Bilbo seem to be? What is meant by
> the "Tookish" side of his nature? Why does Gandalf think Bilbo a likely
> candidate for this adventure? Was it necessary for Gandalf to bring Bilbo
> and the Dwarves together in the way that he did? What does the reaction of
> Bilbo and the Dwarves to each other suggest about their future working
> relationship? How well-planned does the expedition look? What would seem to
> be its chances of success? Why does Bilbo, a bachelor living alone, keep a
> pantry stocked well enough to feed thirteen Dwarves?

Pretty clearly Tolkien is trying to set up the fact that we are dealing with
a very comfortable bachelor, the last person you would expect to become an
adventurer. However, we see in his memory of Gandalf's previous visits to
the Shire a certain spark. To carry this forward into LotR, I think this is
the genesis of the Hobbitish toughness that Gandalf alludes to. Obviously
most bachelors who lead quiet, food-filled lives are not going to fare
nearly so well.

The Dwarves are obviously dubious of the whole notion of Bilbo being a
burglar. In fact, it must be some great credit to Gandalf that they don't
simply walk away in disgust.

To be honest, I really don't think Thorin & Co. had much in the way of
plans. Obviously they were filled with a desire for what was their's, and
avenging themselves of the dragon. I can't see them being so foolish as to
knock on the front door of Erebor demanding the dragon get out. I don't
think they were desperate, either, as they apparently made a living in Erid
Luin.

As to the pantry issue, I bet even the poorer Hobbits are prepared for
company, not to mention their substantial needs.

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

Morgil

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Sep 1, 2003, 3:28:47 PM9/1/03
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"AC" <tao...@alberni.net> kirjoitti
viestissä:slrnbl6t6h...@whop-paC-006c.alberni.net...

> To be honest, I really don't think Thorin & Co. had much in the way of
> plans. Obviously they were filled with a desire for what was their's, and
> avenging themselves of the dragon. I can't see them being so foolish as
to
> knock on the front door of Erebor demanding the dragon get out. I don't
> think they were desperate, either, as they apparently made a living in
Erid
> Luin.

It was their plan to recruit a Hero to slay the Dragon
for money. Something that would go along well in
a traditional fairy tale, which Tolkien was in a way
parodying. Dwarves wanted a Beowulf - Gandalf
gave them Bilbo...

Morgil


Morgil

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Sep 1, 2003, 3:33:52 PM9/1/03
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"AC" <tao...@alberni.net> kirjoitti
viestissä:slrnbl6t6h...@whop-paC-006c.alberni.net...

Umm, why do you have replies set only to AFT??
(repsotting for RABTs benefit...)

> To be honest, I really don't think Thorin & Co. had much in the way of
> plans. Obviously they were filled with a desire for what was their's, and
> avenging themselves of the dragon. I can't see them being so foolish as
to
> knock on the front door of Erebor demanding the dragon get out. I don't
> think they were desperate, either, as they apparently made a living in
Erid
> Luin.

It was their plan to recruit a Hero to slay the Dragon

Alexander Giles

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Sep 1, 2003, 4:57:57 PM9/1/03
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Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in article
<dgB4b.879798$3C2.20...@news3.calgary.shaw.ca>...

>>
>>What sort of person does Bilbo seem to be?
>>

He's a dirty theif - stealing from other's what they earned rightly. Why
would Tolkien set such a role model (he was, according to Morgil,
supposidly linked to a 'hero').

Why does he do such a thing, or is it that he is instigating an evil in the
group, and subtly showing that a party of great will fail, but a party of
great that allows for some 'mischeif' will greatly succeed - maybe a subtle
blast at communism, or the reason it (would/could) fall?
--
Alexander Giles, London
"At the end of the day the king and the pawn go back in the same box"
xande...@hotpop.com

zett

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Sep 1, 2003, 6:44:27 PM9/1/03
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"Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in message news:<dgB4b.879798$3C2.20...@news3.calgary.shaw.ca>...
[much snippage]

> You are by no means restricted to this list, but some possible points for
> discussion are:

What sort of person does Bilbo seem to be? Someone who cares about his
standing with others, in the sense that it bothers him to not live up
to expectations. First he spends his pre-adventure life living up to
the Shire's expectations (respectability, being a good host, not
having adventures). Then when he realizes he is going to lose face
with the Dwarves, he gets all on his dignity and agrees to go on the
adventure with them. Then later when they are looking at the map and
stuff, he tries hard to sound smart so that he lives up to Gandalf's
expectations of him as the 'official burglar.'

What is meant by the "Tookish" side of his nature? The imaginative,
brave side of his personality.

Why does Gandalf think Bilbo a likely candidate for this adventure?

Just from reading this chapter, I can't see why Gandalf thought Bilbo
was "the man," as it were. Of course one learns from reading other
stuff (later parts of TH? UT?)that the dragon's lack of familiarity
with Hobbit scent and Hobbits' ability to move very quietly might
prove useful.

Was it necessary for Gandalf to bring Bilbo and the Dwarves together

in the way that he did? Yes, from a story external POV: it heightens
the comedy and the tension in the chapter. Story internal: it is hard
to see it just from reading the chapter, but reading other things one
finds out that Gandalf wanted to take the haughty Thorin down a peg-
and the reason for that I will state a little later.

What does the reaction of Bilbo and the Dwarves to each other suggest

about their future working relationship? It doesn't bode well. :)

How well-planned does the expedition look?

It looks very poorly planned, and I have to say that here in this
chapter Gandalf looks just as silly as anyone else. But, I think
Gandalf imagined Thorin in his foolish pride rushing the Front Gate
and getting them all killed. He wanted to saddle him with Bilbo to
teach him a little humility and therefore discretion- much better for
dealing with a dragon and coming out alive.

What would seem to be its chances of success? If it weren't for all
the pages left to read, I'd be sure it had a snowball's chance in
hell. <g>

Why does Bilbo, a bachelor living alone, keep a pantry stocked well

enough to feed thirteen Dwarves? Hobbits are chow hounds. Tolkien did
say he was fond of visitors, too. What I want to know is why was Bilbo
such a clothes horse? It does say "he had whole rooms devoted to
clothes" Makes him sound like Cher or something. Heh.

Just a couple of (IMO)outstanding moments I see every time I read this
chapter:

"By some curious chance one morning long ago in the quiet of the
world, when there was less noise and more green..." This bit is one of
the most perfectly fairy tale things I have ever read. I love it.

"Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!" I
have dropped this one into conversation often enough that my best
friend, who has never read a word of Tolkien, and never intends to
(again, why is she my best friend?)quotes it back at me when some
"adventure" comes up in our lives. :)

I could go on with all the other bits that make me die laughing or
whatever, but I've rambled on long enough.

Bill O'Meally

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Sep 1, 2003, 11:03:01 PM9/1/03
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"Morgil" <more...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:bj06ut$df6a9$1...@ID-81911.news.uni-berlin.de...


>
> "AC" <tao...@alberni.net> kirjoitti
> viestissä:slrnbl6t6h...@whop-paC-006c.alberni.net...
>

> > To be honest, I really don't think Thorin & Co. had much in the way
of
> > plans. Obviously they were filled with a desire for what was
their's, and
> > avenging themselves of the dragon. I can't see them being so
foolish as
> to
> > knock on the front door of Erebor demanding the dragon get out. I
don't
> > think they were desperate, either, as they apparently made a living
in
> Erid
> > Luin.
>
> It was their plan to recruit a Hero to slay the Dragon
> for money. Something that would go along well in
> a traditional fairy tale, which Tolkien was in a way
> parodying. Dwarves wanted a Beowulf - Gandalf
> gave them Bilbo...

As described in 'The Quest of Erebor', Gandalf realized that Thorin &
Co. had little in way of a plan, and feared that Thorin, being his
haughty self, would get them all killed. He wanted everything planned
out in advance so that it could be presented to Bilbo and they could get
on their way before Bilbo could give it a second thought. (And so that
the dwarves wouldn't have time to have second thoughts about Bilbo,
which they did anyway).
--
Bill

"Wise fool"
Gandalf, THE TWO TOWERS


Bill O'Meally

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Sep 1, 2003, 11:04:56 PM9/1/03
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"Alexander Giles" <xande...@hotpop.com> wrote in message
news:01c370cc$2fb47220$ede3edc1@biz...

> He's a dirty theif - stealing from other's what they earned rightly.
Why
> would Tolkien set such a role model (he was, according to Morgil,
> supposidly linked to a 'hero').
>
> Why does he do such a thing, or is it that he is instigating an evil
in the
> group, and subtly showing that a party of great will fail, but a party
of
> great that allows for some 'mischeif' will greatly succeed - maybe a
subtle
> blast at communism, or the reason it (would/could) fall?

He was not dirty.

Hasdrubal Hamilcar

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Sep 2, 2003, 12:14:05 AM9/2/03
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Alexander Giles wrote:
> Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in article
> <dgB4b.879798$3C2.20...@news3.calgary.shaw.ca>...
>
>>>What sort of person does Bilbo seem to be?
>>>
>
>
> He's a dirty theif - stealing from other's what they earned rightly. Why
> would Tolkien set such a role model (he was, according to Morgil,
> supposidly linked to a 'hero').
>
> Why does he do such a thing, or is it that he is instigating an evil in the
> group, and subtly showing that a party of great will fail, but a party of
> great that allows for some 'mischeif' will greatly succeed - maybe a subtle
> blast at communism, or the reason it (would/could) fall?

No, I think it is Tolkiens christian nature, Gandalf is calling Bilbo to
a wider world, by inviting him on this quest. Compare this quote from
Jesus (to a man who wanted to join him, but asked permission to bury his
father first. Jesus replied) "come follow me, and let the dead bury
their own dead."

It's this damn the torpedoes full steam ahead' attitude that Tolkien has
captured so well in this piece. Fussy orderly rule based hobbit gets a
dose of the wild side of life. Like yoda initiating Luke by throwing
his stuff all over the jungle floor. It's the attitude to take your
money and run--from this world. Do something, but don't stay behind on
lifes journey. That's how hero journeys begin, with the choice to go or
to stay behind. In every story you've probably been bothered to read,
the choice has been made to go.

Hasan

Linards Ticmanis

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Sep 2, 2003, 4:56:53 AM9/2/03
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Bill O'Meally wrote:

> He was not dirty.

Somehow I doubt Mirkwood had shower cabins installed every couple of
miles. ;-)

--

Linards Ticmanis

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


Stuart Chapman

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Sep 2, 2003, 5:12:41 AM9/2/03
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"Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in message
news:dgB4b.879798$3C2.20...@news3.calgary.shaw.ca...
> Long-timers, newbies and lurkers:


> You are by no means restricted to this list, but some possible points for
> discussion are: What sort of person does Bilbo seem to be? What is meant
by
> the "Tookish" side of his nature? Why does Gandalf think Bilbo a likely
> candidate for this adventure? Was it necessary for Gandalf to bring Bilbo
> and the Dwarves together in the way that he did? What does the reaction of
> Bilbo and the Dwarves to each other suggest about their future working
> relationship? How well-planned does the expedition look? What would seem
to
> be its chances of success? Why does Bilbo, a bachelor living alone, keep a
> pantry stocked well enough to feed thirteen Dwarves?
>
> Comments on this chapter? The floor is open.
>
> --
> Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Lord Pęlluin,) Ph.D., Count of Tolfalas
>
>


Read 'The Quest of Erebor' in UT.....

As discussed by others, Bilbo had a Tookish streak...enough to have an
unacknowledged yearning for adventure at least!

As to why Gandalf chose a hobbit to go along with Thorin & Co., Gandalf knew
that Smaug wouldn't know of the 'hobbit scent', and would thus be at a
disadvantage when the 'thief' entered Erebor.

The dwarves were skeptical of Bilbo, as described by Gandalf. The unexpected
party only reinforced this. Their expectations of Bilbo would have been low,
to say the least. It was only when Bilbo reappeared unexpectedly (with the
Ring's help) after the business with the orcs in the mountains that he
gained some esteem with them, and more particularly when he rescued them
from the spiders in Mirkwood.

The expedition was basically <not planned>. Look at the the dwarves'
reaction to the departure of Gandalf before they entered Mirkwood.....they
were literally 'babes in the wood'! Their only tactical advantage was
knowledge of the secret door to Erebor.....and as to how they planned to
defeat Smaug, they had no idea. It was only Smaug's rash attack on Dale and
the luck of Bard that enabled them to reclaim the Mountain.


Stupot


Pradera

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Sep 2, 2003, 5:48:11 AM9/2/03
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On 02 wrz 2003, Linards Ticmanis <ticm...@coli.uni-sb.de> scribbled
loosely:

>> He was not dirty.
>
> Somehow I doubt Mirkwood had shower cabins installed every couple of
> miles. ;-)

Hey, leave the 'how did the party wash in Mirkwood' discussion for later
chapters!

--
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/

Donald Shepherd

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Sep 2, 2003, 7:10:56 AM9/2/03
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On Tue, 02 Sep 2003 10:56:53 +0200, Linards Ticmanis <ticm...@coli.uni-
sb.de> alleged...

> Bill O'Meally wrote:
>
> > He was not dirty.
>
> Somehow I doubt Mirkwood had shower cabins installed every couple of
> miles. ;-)

There were streams... :P

Just as long as you made sure you had a nap afterwards.
--
Donald Shepherd
<donald_shepherd @ hotmail . com>

"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open
sewer and die." - Mel Brooks

Insane Ranter

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Sep 2, 2003, 9:59:44 AM9/2/03
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"Donald Shepherd" <donald_...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:MPG.19bf17bdd...@news.cis.dfn.de...

> On Tue, 02 Sep 2003 10:56:53 +0200, Linards Ticmanis <ticm...@coli.uni-
> sb.de> alleged...
> > Bill O'Meally wrote:
> >
> > > He was not dirty.
> >
> > Somehow I doubt Mirkwood had shower cabins installed every couple of
> > miles. ;-)
>
> There were streams... :P
>
> Just as long as you made sure you had a nap afterwards.

And set a spider trap


Hasdrubal Hamilcar

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Sep 2, 2003, 12:10:44 PM9/2/03
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Hasdrubal Hamilcar wrote:

>
>
> Alexander Giles wrote:
>
>> Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in article
>> <dgB4b.879798$3C2.20...@news3.calgary.shaw.ca>...
>>
>>>> What sort of person does Bilbo seem to be?
>>>>
>>
>>
>> He's a dirty theif - stealing from other's what they earned rightly. Why
>> would Tolkien set such a role model (he was, according to Morgil,
>> supposidly linked to a 'hero').
>>
>> Why does he do such a thing, or is it that he is instigating an evil
>> in the
>> group, and subtly showing that a party of great will fail, but a party of
>> great that allows for some 'mischeif' will greatly succeed - maybe a
>> subtle
>> blast at communism, or the reason it (would/could) fall?
>
>
> No, I think it is Tolkiens christian nature, Gandalf is calling Bilbo to
> a wider world, by inviting him on this quest. Compare this quote from
> Jesus (to a man who wanted to join him, but asked permission to bury his
> father first. Jesus replied) "come follow me, and let the dead bury
> their own dead."
>


Also compare the story of Zaccheus, where a short man,
sitting in a tree, and Jesus says 'get home Zack, I'm dining at your
house tonight.' His disciples grumble that he is a rich man, and a tax
collector (a sell-out to the Romans) but Zack gives half his wealth to
the poor and becomes a different man. (Luke 19)

That has some similarity to the beginning of the hobbit story, just a bit.

Taemon

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Sep 2, 2003, 1:57:57 PM9/2/03
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Stuart Chapman:

> As discussed by others, Bilbo had a Tookish streak...enough to have an
> unacknowledged yearning for adventure at least!

You know, this has been said over and over again and actually I doubt
whether this is really is true. True, he went with the dwarves. But he was
sort of forced in it by his own silly pride (as Zett pointed out in another
message) and he didn't like it one bit. He keeps on dreaming of his kettle
just starting to sing and we are constantly reminded that "it wasn't the
last time he made that wish". Then it just gets worse with hunger and fear
and danger and he just hates it all. Then there is a war and he never hated
adventure as much as in that moment. He goes home and stays there almost
until the end of his life. Tookish streak? Could have fooled me.

Greetings, T.


AC

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Sep 2, 2003, 2:06:57 PM9/2/03
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It was a Tookish "streak". There was still a good part respectable Baggins
in him. However, he was still, even after his return, considered odd by his
neighbors and relations, and I doubt you would find too many Hobbits who
mastered Sindarin, or translated Elvish lays about Gil-galad into Westron.
Heck, I bet you would have had a hard time finding more than a handful of
Hobbits in the entire Shire who even knew who Gil-galad was. I like to
think that Bilbo spent sixty years rechanneling his Tookish side towards
these particular and peculiar pursuits.

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

Ikema

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Sep 2, 2003, 9:43:29 PM9/2/03
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On Mon, 1 Sep 2003 22:33:52 +0300, "Morgil" <more...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

Holy De Sevu Batman!

Hasdrubal Hamilcar

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Sep 3, 2003, 9:57:34 AM9/3/03
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Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld wrote:


>
> **********
> CHAPTER OF THE WEEK
> THE HOBBIT
> Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party
> **********
>

I have a small story to share related to the foreward to the hobbit.
Note that Tolkien uses the words "dwarves" in the book. When he was
submitting LOTR to the publisher, the editor told him his usage was
incorrect, and asked him him if he was aware that the Oxford English
Dictionary (OED) use dwarfs as plural of dwarf. Tolkien rebutted "I
wrote the (entry for dwarfs) in the OED." Tolkien had worked on the OED
earlier.

Classic comeback. One in a zillion chance for that to happen everyday.

Hasan

Igenlode

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Sep 3, 2003, 11:31:18 AM9/3/03
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On 1 Sep 2003 Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld wrote:

> **********
> CHAPTER OF THE WEEK
> THE HOBBIT
> Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party
> **********

[snip]

> Comments on this chapter? The floor is open.

My own first thoughts on re-opening the first chapter...

The style reminds me very strongly of something, and I think it's
Kipling and the Just So Stories.

"...But also, and at the same time, in those High and Far-Off times,
there was a Painted Jaguar, and he lived on the banks of the turbid
Amazon too; and he ate everything that he could catch. When he could
not catch deer or monkeys he would eat frogs and beetles; and when he
could not catch frogs and beetles he went to his Mother Jaguar, and she
told him how to eat hedgehogs and tortoises."

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty dirty, wet
hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry,
bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a
hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."

WHich is odd, because the two men were at least a generation apart.
Tolkien *fought* in the Great War as a young man; Kipling lost his
late-born son in it. I'd say that in both cases the author was trying
to create his own original work in the style of folklore, if it were
'Lost Tales' we were talking about and not 'The Hobbit' :-)

Alternatively, it may simply be that accepted 'children's style' didn't
change much over a period of about fifty years.

More specific points:

Reading this chapter with hindsight, I was wondering if the reference to
a Took taking a 'fairy wife' could have been a hobbitish way of saying
that he married an elf (a faery bride?). On reflection, it seems very
unlikely - although it might account for the greater stature of the
Bullroarer!

If that's not what was meant, what *did* the hobbits mean? The
Wood-elves are the nearest thing we meet to fairies in this book...


Bilbo claims that Gandalf was supposed to be responsible for hobbits
"sailing in ships, sailing to other shores". Again, with hindsight -
knowing just how far the Shire *was* from the sea - I couldn't help
speculating as to whether these far-faring hobbits would have
encountered their ships at the Grey Havens or even down in Gondor... Or
could it be a dim hobbit-memory, passed down in folklore from who knows
where, of the Elves and Men who journeyed towards Valinor? Again, this
seems very unlikely.

Gandalf refers to "poor" Belladonna Took. Why? So far as we know, unlike
Frodo's mother, Bilbo's mother lived a long and peaceful life. Is he
pitying her for marrying anyone so boring as Bilbo's father? (And why
was she "famous" in her youth?)

Why exactly *does* Bilbo invite Gandalf to tea the next day when he
panics? Even given that meals are a universal hobbit panacea, it seems
an odd reaction.

Dwalin has a blue beard, apparently. All the others have
'natural'-coloured beards. Do dwarves naturally grow blue hair - and if
not, how does he dye it?

Balin and Dwalin are brothers. But one is much older (at least in
appearance) than the other. Was one born before the fall of the
Mountain, and then a new family started in exile? Or is there some other
reason for the large gap?

The book refers to "detachable party hoods". But when Dwalin hangs up
his garment at the beginning, it is a hooded *cloak*, with no
suggestion that the hood is taken off and the cloak retained. What do
the hoods detach from - and, if from cloaks, have the other dwarves then
not taken their cloaks off?

"the firelight flickered - it was April": what does *April* have to do
with it?

Where was Mount Gram? (and come to that, what are the wild Were-worms?)

Why does Gandalf choose Bilbo, and not (for example) one of his Tookish
relations? We know, from "Lord of the Rings", that the hobbits of
Buckland are much more adventurous than those of Hobbiton. If he wants
a hobbit, why pick the unpromising Bilbo? (Other than the fact that it
makes a better story contrast that way...)

Was it a dragon that drove Thorin's ancestors out of the far North to
the Lonely Mountain in the first place? (Clearly they should have gone
further south before settling, if so..!) Or was it something/someone
else, and if so who?
--
Igenlode Wordsmith <Igenl...@nym.alias.net>

See my film reviews at http://comments.imdb.com/CommentsAuthor?1448185

Jette Goldie

unread,
Sep 3, 2003, 3:22:24 PM9/3/03
to

"Igenlode" <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote

> Dwalin has a blue beard, apparently. All the others have
> 'natural'-coloured beards. Do dwarves naturally grow blue hair - and if
> not, how does he dye it?
>

Woad.


>
> "the firelight flickered - it was April": what does *April* have to do
> with it?


English weather. Those gusty little breezes that come down
the chimney in April.


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


Pradera

unread,
Sep 3, 2003, 3:32:31 PM9/3/03
to
On 03 wrz 2003, Igenlode <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> scribbled
loosely:

> On 1 Sep 2003 Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld wrote:
>
>> **********
>> CHAPTER OF THE WEEK
>> THE HOBBIT
>> Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party
>> **********
>
> [snip]

> a Took taking a 'fairy wife' could have been a hobbitish way of saying
> that he married an elf (a faery bride?). On reflection, it seems very
> unlikely - although it might account for the greater stature of the
> Bullroarer!

Well, the narrator does call it 'absurd', and I think that's exactly what
is meant - an elven wife. One of the elves coming through Shire to the
sea, probably.

> Bilbo claims that Gandalf was supposed to be responsible for hobbits
> "sailing in ships, sailing to other shores". Again, with hindsight -
> knowing just how far the Shire *was* from the sea - I couldn't help
> speculating as to whether these far-faring hobbits would have
> encountered their ships at the Grey Havens or even down in Gondor... Or
> could it be a dim hobbit-memory, passed down in folklore from who knows
> where, of the Elves and Men who journeyed towards Valinor? Again, this
> seems very unlikely.
>

There is at least one known example of a hobbit gone to the sea - it's in
the LotR appendices.



> Gandalf refers to "poor" Belladonna Took. Why? So far as we know,
unlike
> Frodo's mother, Bilbo's mother lived a long and peaceful life. Is he
> pitying her for marrying anyone so boring as Bilbo's father? (And why
> was she "famous" in her youth?)
>

Probably a gender thing. Beladonna was trying to become a strong female
character in a patriarchic halfling society, and failed. There was a
reason her son was a bachelor. This is a good field for gender studies of
the Shire.



> Dwalin has a blue beard, apparently. All the others have
> 'natural'-coloured beards. Do dwarves naturally grow blue hair - and if
> not, how does he dye it?
>

I think it's a natural blueish, like some dogs and horses have, not a
regular blue.



> Balin and Dwalin are brothers. But one is much older (at least in
> appearance) than the other. Was one born before the fall of the
> Mountain, and then a new family started in exile? Or is there some
other
> reason for the large gap?
>

Balin is born 2763, Smaug descends on Erebor in 2770, Dwalin born in
2772.

> "the firelight flickered - it was April": what does *April* have to do
> with it?
>
> Where was Mount Gram? (and come to that, what are the wild Were-worms?)
>

Mount Gram is in Misty Mountains. The Battle of Green Fields, I think it
was called. Were-worms are creatures of hobbit fairy-stories, as
presented in Adventures of Tom Bombadil.

> Why does Gandalf choose Bilbo, and not (for example) one of his Tookish
> relations? We know, from "Lord of the Rings", that the hobbits of
> Buckland are much more adventurous than those of Hobbiton. If he wants
> a hobbit, why pick the unpromising Bilbo? (Other than the fact that it
> makes a better story contrast that way...)
>

Probably _because_ of the contrast. A more adventurous, less cautious
hobbit would die on first more dangerous stop (in a brave charge on
trolls, probably).

the softrat

unread,
Sep 3, 2003, 11:39:18 PM9/3/03
to
On Wed, 03 Sep 2003 19:22:24 GMT, "Jette Goldie"
<j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote:

>Sumbiddie said:
>>
>> "the firelight flickered - it was April": what does *April* have to do
>> with it?
>
>
>English weather. Those gusty little breezes that come down
>the chimney in April.

Whan that Aprille with his showers soot!


the softrat ==> Careful!
I have a hug and I know how to use it!
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
'Tis an ill wind that blows no minds.

Conrad Dunkerson

unread,
Sep 4, 2003, 8:34:35 AM9/4/03
to
Pradera <pra...@pradera.prv.pl> wrote in message news:<Xns93EBDB1A47E66p...@130.133.1.4>...

> On 03 wrz 2003, Igenlode <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> scribbled

> Well, the narrator does call it 'absurd', and I think that's exactly what

> is meant - an elven wife. One of the elves coming through Shire to the
> sea, probably.

It may be worth noting that the 'absurd' comment was added later. It
is possible that Tolkien played with the idea of Bilbo having elvish
ancestry [hence his pointed ears :) ] until he decided to link 'The
Hobbit' firmly with his wider mythology and far more 'noble' elves
than the 'tra-la-lally' crowd he portrayed in TH.

>> Dwalin has a blue beard, apparently. All the others have
>> 'natural'-coloured beards. Do dwarves naturally grow blue hair -
and if
>> not, how does he dye it?

> I think it's a natural blueish, like some dogs and horses have, not a
> regular blue.

I've generally assumed that the dwarves beards had regular hair colors
but were named somewhat figuratively. The pirates 'Bluebeard' and
'Yellowbeard' did not actually have beards of those colors... they
were grey and blonde respectively. I'd think Dwalin had a black beard
which was going grey and thus might look 'bluish' in certain lights...
similar to the 'natural bluish' you describe.

Of course, this IS 'The Hobbit' and the particularly whimsical start
of it at that... in which case Tolkien might well have been describing
a set of 'garden gnome' type characters with very colorful beards and
outfits.

> Mount Gram is in Misty Mountains.

Karen Wynn Fonstad actually places it a bit west of the main Misties
as I recall, but I have never been able to find a precise location for
it in Tolkien's works and thus assume she simply guessed.

> Were-worms are creatures of hobbit fairy-stories, as presented in
> Adventures of Tom Bombadil.

I'd generally assumed that the 'were-worm' stories were based on
distant accounts of wingless dragons. Which would have to be rather
terrifying to hobbits.

Pradera

unread,
Sep 4, 2003, 2:30:51 PM9/4/03
to
On 04 wrz 2003, conrad.d...@worldnet.att.net (Conrad Dunkerson)
scribbled loosely:

>> Mount Gram is in Misty Mountains.
>
> Karen Wynn Fonstad actually places it a bit west of the main Misties
> as I recall, but I have never been able to find a precise location for
> it in Tolkien's works and thus assume she simply guessed.

We can guess that, though, from the fact that the goblins came from there,
and those are the nearest goblin-infested mountains in the area...

Richard Fish

unread,
Sep 4, 2003, 6:18:15 PM9/4/03
to

"Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in message
news:dgB4b.879798$3C2.20...@news3.calgary.shaw.ca...

<snip>
> Comments on this chapter? The floor is open.
>
One thing I noticed on this re-reading is that Bilbo's fingers are described
as "long and brown". Perhaps the people who claim Tolkien's works were
racist could be pointed to the fact that Bilbo himself could be of a "tan"
colour? Or does this just mean they were always dirty? :-)

Richard.

PS. On a kind of related note, I got a beach towel for going on my holiday
soon, and was very amused when I realised what the make on the label was -
"BILBO"!! I wonder how they got away with it?!


RoRowe

unread,
Sep 4, 2003, 6:36:13 PM9/4/03
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message news:<bj2ln4$egtla$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>...

> Stuart Chapman:
>
> > As discussed by others, Bilbo had a Tookish streak...enough to have an
> > unacknowledged yearning for adventure at least!
>
> ... and he didn't like it one bit. He keeps on dreaming of his kettle

> just starting to sing and we are constantly reminded that "it wasn't the
> last time he made that wish". Then it just gets worse with hunger and fear
> and danger and he just hates it all. Then there is a war and he never hated
> adventure as much as in that moment.
>
I think Bilbo had the heart of an adventurer all along, a "Tookish
streak" if you will. But he needed a push out the door to get him
started. As to Bilbo constantly wishing he were back home, I think a
more traditional hero might have some of the same thoughts. Tolkien
treats us to the more traditional hobbit side of Bilbo's internal
dialog. But usually Bilbo comes through for his comrades when needed.
At least he does his best which is all one needs to be a hero in
Middle-earth.

On another topic (still from TH ch.1) Bilbo tells us that Gandalf
"gave Old Took a pair of magic diamond studs that fastened themselves
and never came undone till ordered". Do we know anything more about
these studs? Does Tolkien mention Gandalf giving magic gifts to anyone
else?

David Flood

unread,
Sep 4, 2003, 8:15:21 PM9/4/03
to
"Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in message news:<dgB4b.879798$3C2.20...@news3.calgary.shaw.ca>...
> Long-timers, newbies and lurkers:
<snip>
> The chapter schedule can be seen in the post titled "Sign-up Sheet (Re: An
> Idea: Chapter Of The Week!)" It will also be posted on a webpage kindly
> donated by David Flood, who should be posting a link soon, for those of you
> who would like to volunteer to introduce a chapter, and want to see which
> ones are available. (Thanks again, Dave.)

<bows>

I have finally gotten around to putting this up:

http://parasha.maoltuile.org/

All corrections and suggestions for improvement are welcome ;-)

D.

Henriette

unread,
Sep 5, 2003, 2:29:31 AM9/5/03
to
redi...@dublin.ie (David Flood) wrote in message news:<e9276b66.03090...@posting.google.com>...

>
> I have finally gotten around to putting this up:
>
> http://parasha.maoltuile.org/
>
> All corrections and suggestions for improvement are welcome ;-)
>
Thank you for your work, Wilde Ier. Please sign me up for the next
chapter (Queer Lodgings). As for suggestions for improvement, a little
colour and illustrations in due time would be nice :-) I saw a nice
colourful illustration of quilts recently...

H.

Brenda Selwyn

unread,
Sep 5, 2003, 3:46:22 PM9/5/03
to
>AC <tao...@alberni.net> wrote:

>To be honest, I really don't think Thorin & Co. had much in the way of
>plans. Obviously they were filled with a desire for what was their's, and
>avenging themselves of the dragon. I can't see them being so foolish as to
>knock on the front door of Erebor demanding the dragon get out. I don't
>think they were desperate, either, as they apparently made a living in Erid
>Luin.

Yes - from black-smithing and coal mining. This must have been quite
a come-down, particularly for Thorin, and probably made his desire for
reclamation and vengeance all the stronger. And while Thorin admits
that they have "a good bit laid by", it seems to have taken a while to
get to that point, and even then must have seemed nothing in
comparison to their previous wealth.

Was there likely to have been much demand for coal in Middle Earth at
that time? I don't recall any mention of it being used as a fuel. In
iron smelting perhaps?

Brenda

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

Brenda Selwyn

unread,
Sep 5, 2003, 3:46:23 PM9/5/03
to
>Pradera <pra...@pradera.prv.pl> wrote:

>On 03 wrz 2003, Igenlode <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> scribbled
>loosely:

>> Why does Gandalf choose Bilbo, and not (for example) one of his Tookish
>> relations?
>>

>Probably _because_ of the contrast. A more adventurous, less cautious
>hobbit would die on first more dangerous stop (in a brave charge on
>trolls, probably).

Bilbo was also a good choice because he had no dependents or strong
emotional ties. Both his parents were both dead and, unusually for a
Hobbit, he was an only child and had never married. Nor did he appear
to have any very close friends. So there was nothing to prevent him
leaving in a hurry, and no concerns "back home" to distract him from
the quest; if there had been he might have turned back before they
reached the Trollshaws.

AC

unread,
Sep 5, 2003, 4:02:21 PM9/5/03
to
On Fri, 05 Sep 2003 20:46:22 +0100,
Brenda Selwyn <bre...@matson.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>AC <tao...@alberni.net> wrote:
>
>>To be honest, I really don't think Thorin & Co. had much in the way of
>>plans. Obviously they were filled with a desire for what was their's, and
>>avenging themselves of the dragon. I can't see them being so foolish as to
>>knock on the front door of Erebor demanding the dragon get out. I don't
>>think they were desperate, either, as they apparently made a living in Erid
>>Luin.
>
> Yes - from black-smithing and coal mining. This must have been quite
> a come-down, particularly for Thorin, and probably made his desire for
> reclamation and vengeance all the stronger. And while Thorin admits
> that they have "a good bit laid by", it seems to have taken a while to
> get to that point, and even then must have seemed nothing in
> comparison to their previous wealth.
>
> Was there likely to have been much demand for coal in Middle Earth at
> that time? I don't recall any mention of it being used as a fuel. In
> iron smelting perhaps?

There was always Saruman...

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

Taemon

unread,
Sep 5, 2003, 4:42:28 PM9/5/03
to
David Flood:

> I have finally gotten around to putting this up:

Where is the reserve-list? Because I am first on it!

Greetings, T.


BaronjosefR

unread,
Sep 5, 2003, 6:14:31 PM9/5/03
to
>> Why does Gandalf choose Bilbo, and not (for example) one of his Tookish
>> relations? <<<<<<<<<<<


Because all the references to Bilbo in the book wouldn't have worked without
him being a major character.

Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Sep 5, 2003, 6:33:08 PM9/5/03
to
"David Flood" <redi...@dublin.ie> wrote in message:

>
> <bows>
>
> I have finally gotten around to putting this up:
>
> http://parasha.maoltuile.org/
>
> All corrections and suggestions for improvement are welcome ;-)

Excellent work, David. Good use of italics. I'm satisfied, but go ahead and
use your, Henriette's or others' ideas to spruce it up if you like. It is,
after all, your page.

I think the first week of our little project is going well. My thanks to
everyone who has joined in so far, and thanks also to those who are just
reading along.

[I have been avoiding interfering with this thread so as not to shape or
contaminate the opinions being expressed here. I've done that enough in the
introduction. But that's a matter of personal style. Other presenters are
free to reply to their own threads as much as they see fit. I, for one,
intend to participate fully in the discussion of other chapters.]

Note to potential volunteers: The next free chapter seems to be Chapter 8.
Unless an earlier volunteer cancels and you take her/his place, you will
have at least six weeks to think of the body of your post. If you have a
chapter preference, now's the time to grab it. They're going fast! <nirg>

I may do another Hobbit chapter (there are only 19 of them) but I'll wait a
few weeks and let everyone who has a favorite one get a chance to look at
David's page. (I, of course, am also on the backup list.)

The link to the schedule, once again, is:
http://parasha.maoltuile.org/
(Everyone who does an introduction post should mention it.)

Taemon

unread,
Sep 6, 2003, 3:25:49 AM9/6/03
to
RoRowe:

> I think Bilbo had the heart of an adventurer all along, a "Tookish
> streak" if you will. But he needed a push out the door to get him
> started.

But he doesn't like it one bit! And he never learns to like it either!

> As to Bilbo constantly wishing he were back home, I think a
> more traditional hero might have some of the same thoughts.

But not all of the time. Or at least, interspersed with "Wow! The sights
I've seen!"

> Tolkien treats us to the more traditional hobbit side of Bilbo's internal
> dialog. But usually Bilbo comes through for his comrades when needed.
> At least he does his best which is all one needs to be a hero in
> Middle-earth.

Ah, but one can be a hero while safely at home :-) I think Bilbo would have
preferred that. I don't consider him any more an adventurer than Frodo was.
Now Merry and Pippin, they don't have to go along but still do and I get the
impression it's not only out of friendship. Compare those two with the
complaining Bilbo who only goes out of silly pride and doesn't dare to turn
back. I really see not the least of an "adventurous streak" in Bilbo.

Greetings, T.

Taemon

unread,
Sep 6, 2003, 3:28:06 AM9/6/03
to
Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld:

> Note to potential volunteers: The next free chapter seems to be Chapter 8.
> Unless an earlier volunteer cancels and you take her/his place, you will
> have at least six weeks to think of the body of your post. If you have a
> chapter preference, now's the time to grab it. They're going fast! <nirg>

Then I claim chapter eight, since I'd like to do at least one Hobbit
chapter.

Greetings, T.


Igenlode

unread,
Sep 5, 2003, 7:48:58 PM9/5/03
to
On 3 Sep 2003 Pradera wrote:

> On 03 wrz 2003, Igenlode scribbled loosely:

[snip]


> > with hindsight -
> > knowing just how far the Shire *was* from the sea - I couldn't help
> > speculating as to whether these far-faring hobbits would have
> > encountered their ships at the Grey Havens or even down in Gondor... Or
> > could it be a dim hobbit-memory, passed down in folklore from who knows
> > where, of the Elves and Men who journeyed towards Valinor? Again, this
> > seems very unlikely.
> >
> There is at least one known example of a hobbit gone to the sea - it's in
> the LotR appendices.

'very unlikely' as in 'very unlikely to be a memory of Valinor', I
meant :-)

Where is there a hobbit gone to the sea - other than Frodo and company,
who are travelling much later? I had a look through all the appendices,
but couldn't find one, and I have no recollection of such an
individual. I might have missed it while skimming the Tale of Years...

[snip]
> Belladonna was trying to become a strong


> female character in a patriarchic halfling society, and failed.
> There was a reason her son was a bachelor. This is a good field for
> gender studies of the Shire.

Is this an in-joke - like Mesmeralda Took - or is there some actual
basis for this in Tolkien?

[snip]

> > Balin and Dwalin are brothers. But one is much older (at least in
> > appearance) than the other. Was one born before the fall of the
> > Mountain, and then a new family started in exile? Or is there some
> > other reason for the large gap?
> >
>
> Balin is born 2763, Smaug descends on Erebor in 2770, Dwalin born in
> 2772.

Nine years' difference? I'd scarcely expect Bilbo to pick out Dwalin as
"a very old-looking dwarf" compared to his brother a hundred years or
so later! Yet doesn't he go on alluding to him as 'old Dwalin' later on?

I suppose he must have been misled by the white beard...

[snip]

> > Why does Gandalf choose Bilbo, and not (for example) one of his Tookish
> > relations? We know, from "Lord of the Rings", that the hobbits of
> > Buckland are much more adventurous than those of Hobbiton. If he wants
> > a hobbit, why pick the unpromising Bilbo? (Other than the fact that it
> > makes a better story contrast that way...)
> >
> Probably _because_ of the contrast. A more adventurous, less cautious
> hobbit would die on first more dangerous stop (in a brave charge on
> trolls, probably).
>

I seem to remember that Bilbo nearly got them all killed by trying to
prove himself on the trolls as it was; a little more caution might have
paid off! But of that, more later in its proper place...
--
Igenlode <Igenl...@nym.alias.net> Lurker Extraordinaire

loose (archaic): set free, unleash - lose: mislay, be defeated

Öjevind Lång

unread,
Sep 6, 2003, 10:24:49 AM9/6/03
to
"Richard Fish" <richar...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> One thing I noticed on this re-reading is that Bilbo's fingers are
described
> as "long and brown". Perhaps the people who claim Tolkien's works were
> racist could be pointed to the fact that Bilbo himself could be of a "tan"
> colour? Or does this just mean they were always dirty? :-)

Well, he smoked a lot of baccy.

Öjevind


Pradera

unread,
Sep 6, 2003, 11:12:52 AM9/6/03
to
On 06 wrz 2003, Igenlode <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> scribbled
loosely:

>> > with hindsight -


>> > knowing just how far the Shire *was* from the sea - I couldn't help
>> > speculating as to whether these far-faring hobbits would have
>> > encountered their ships at the Grey Havens or even down in
>> > Gondor... Or could it be a dim hobbit-memory, passed down in
>> > folklore from who knows where, of the Elves and Men who journeyed
>> > towards Valinor? Again, this seems very unlikely.
>> >
>> There is at least one known example of a hobbit gone to the sea -
>> it's in the LotR appendices.
>
> 'very unlikely' as in 'very unlikely to be a memory of Valinor', I
> meant :-)
>
> Where is there a hobbit gone to the sea - other than Frodo and
> company, who are travelling much later? I had a look through all the
> appendices, but couldn't find one, and I have no recollection of such
> an individual. I might have missed it while skimming the Tale of
> Years...

Appendix C, The genealogical tree of Tooks, one of the Tooks, Isengar
(1262-1360, said to have gone to sea in his youth)

Taemon

unread,
Sep 6, 2003, 11:37:53 AM9/6/03
to
Richard Fish:

> One thing I noticed on this re-reading is that Bilbo's fingers are
described
> as "long and brown". Perhaps the people who claim Tolkien's works were
> racist could be pointed to the fact that Bilbo himself could be of a "tan"
> colour? Or does this just mean they were always dirty? :-)

There is also a reference to this in Lord of the Rings. "His brown
hobbitfingers", when talking about Sam. Then again, it also says something
about Sam "comforting" Frodo with his hands so what do I know.

Greetings, T.


AC

unread,
Sep 6, 2003, 12:14:54 PM9/6/03
to
On Sat, 6 Sep 2003 09:25:49 +0200,
Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
> RoRowe:
>
>> I think Bilbo had the heart of an adventurer all along, a "Tookish
>> streak" if you will. But he needed a push out the door to get him
>> started.
>
> But he doesn't like it one bit! And he never learns to like it either!

He certainly seemed to like it by the time he hit eleventy one.

<snip>

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

Jette Goldie

unread,
Sep 6, 2003, 1:03:57 PM9/6/03
to

"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote in message
news:bjcv0j$hp4rg$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de...

I'd assumed this was because they (the Hobbits generally and Sam
and other gardeners in particular) spent a lot of time in the outdoors,
so their hands were "weathered" to a nice dark tan colour, unlike
people who spend lots of time indoors, such as university lecturers
and the children reading his stories. I'd be willing to bet that somewhere
in Tolkien's own childhood was a brown-handed outdoorsy person
(gardener, farmer, etc) who had been a source of comfort to the child JRRT.


--
Jette
je...@blueyonder.co.uk
http://www.jette.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk
The difference between men and boys
is the cost of their toys"


Taemon

unread,
Sep 6, 2003, 1:30:32 PM9/6/03
to
Jette Goldie:

> Taemon:


> > There is also a reference to this in Lord of the Rings. "His brown
> > hobbitfingers", when talking about Sam.

> I'd assumed this was because they (the Hobbits generally and Sam
> and other gardeners in particular) spent a lot of time in the outdoors,

Might be. But it says specifically "his brown _hobbitfingers_", suggesting
this is an aspect of hobbits. Can't find the quote, of course. And anyway,
it's not in The Hobbit :-)

Greetings, T.


RoRowe

unread,
Sep 6, 2003, 1:50:27 PM9/6/03
to
Taemon

> > I think Bilbo had the heart of an adventurer all along, a "Tookish
> > streak" if you will. But he needed a push out the door to get him
> > started.
>
> But he doesn't like it one bit! And he never learns to like it either!

Your perspective is interesting to me. I never thought much of
Bilbio's grumblings about the lack of food, and so on. I know some
great people who have the unfortunate habit of grumbling all the time.
I just assumed Bilbo was one of them except Bilbo was more colorful.

I actually thought Bilbo got into the swing of things as his trip
progressed. Especially when he used the arkenstone to negotiate just
before the Battle. Although, I must admit that I haven't read the
later chapters in TH in quite a while. I'll keep your perspective in
mind as we work our way through the rest of the book. I also want to
observe more about how Bilbo's behavior changed after he took the
Ring.



> Now Merry and Pippin, they don't have to go along but still do and I get the
> impression it's not only out of friendship.

Of course Pippin didn't need a streak. He was a full on Took! :)

RR

Igenlode

unread,
Sep 7, 2003, 5:02:28 PM9/7/03
to
On 4 Sep 2003 Richard Fish wrote:

[snip]

> PS. On a kind of related note, I got a beach towel for going on my holiday
> soon, and was very amused when I realised what the make on the label was -
> "BILBO"!! I wonder how they got away with it?!
>

A character in George McDonald Fraser's "The Pyrates" (which I reread
twice recently; I only intended to read it once, but on reaching the
end I found myself beginning again within the week) used the name
"Black Bilbo", which was said to be appropriate, since he was a deadly
swordsman. It was from this source that I first learned that 'bilbo' in
English used to refer to a certain type of sword akin to the famous
supple 'Toledo blade'.

The OED derives it from 'Bilbao' in Spain. Tolkien would presumably
have been familiar with this, but I suspect he picked the name simply
for its humorous sound, rather than for deliberately incongruous
connotations.


--
Igenlode <Igenl...@nym.alias.net> Lurker Extraordinaire

** Sometimes change is improvement. Sometimes it is only change. **

Een Wilde Ier

unread,
Sep 8, 2003, 10:42:51 AM9/8/03
to

Done. Anyone else like to volunteer?

D.

Öjevind Lång

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Sep 8, 2003, 12:27:00 PM9/8/03
to
"Igenlode" <Use-Author-Address-Header@[127.1]> hath written:

[snip]

> A character in George McDonald Fraser's "The Pyrates" (which I reread
> twice recently; I only intended to read it once, but on reaching the
> end I found myself beginning again within the week) used the name
> "Black Bilbo", which was said to be appropriate, since he was a deadly
> swordsman. It was from this source that I first learned that 'bilbo' in
> English used to refer to a certain type of sword akin to the famous
> supple 'Toledo blade'.
>
> The OED derives it from 'Bilbao' in Spain. Tolkien would presumably
> have been familiar with this, but I suspect he picked the name simply
> for its humorous sound, rather than for deliberately incongruous
> connotations.

He might also have been influenced by the fact that In George Makepeace
Thackeray's humorous fairy story "The Rose and the Ring" there is a fat,
decidedly unheroic prince called Bulbo.

Öjevind


Taemon

unread,
Sep 8, 2003, 1:42:41 PM9/8/03
to
RoRowe:

> I actually thought Bilbo got into the swing of things as his trip
> progressed. Especially when he used the arkenstone to negotiate just
> before the Battle.

Then's the point where he becomes very serious and even grim. Before that,
he was only afraid and hungry :-)

> Although, I must admit that I haven't read the
> later chapters in TH in quite a while. I'll keep your perspective in
> mind as we work our way through the rest of the book.

Good! I will, too. Haven't read it in quite a while.

> I also want to observe more about how Bilbo's behavior changed after he
took the
> Ring.

Not much, I think.

> > Now Merry and Pippin, they don't have to go along but still do and I get
the
> > impression it's not only out of friendship.
> Of course Pippin didn't need a streak. He was a full on Took! :)

I know. But I see nothing at all Pippin-like in Bilbo.

Greetings, T.


Henriette

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 3:26:49 AM9/9/03
to
Een Wilde Ier <theu...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<bji4hb$hr3r7$1...@ID-121201.news.uni-berlin.de>...

>
> Done. Anyone else like to volunteer?
>
Wilde Ier, your new page is very pretty!
BTW Should Pradera not have started with Chapter 2 yesterday?

Henriette

Een Wilde Ier

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 7:24:10 AM9/9/03
to
Henriette wrote:
> Een Wilde Ier <theu...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<bji4hb$hr3r7$1...@ID-121201.news.uni-berlin.de>...
>
>>Done. Anyone else like to volunteer?
>>
>
> Wilde Ier, your new page is very pretty!

Why, thank you Henriette ;-)

I've done a little work on writing the stylesheet for the page (picking
colours is the difficult part). This work will be interrupted by study
for a Management Strategy college exam for tomorrow morning /shudder/

> BTW Should Pradera not have started with Chapter 2 yesterday?

Yes, he SHOULD have...

--
Een Wilde Ier

It's very interesting when you think about it, the slaves who left here
to go to America, because of their steadfast and their religion and
their belief in freedom, helped change America. - George W. Bush

AC

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 10:16:53 AM9/9/03
to
On Tue, 09 Sep 2003 12:24:10 +0100,
Een Wilde Ier <theu...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Henriette wrote:
>
>> BTW Should Pradera not have started with Chapter 2 yesterday?
>
> Yes, he SHOULD have...

I say we get a lynch mob together and visit his house. I've got dibs on the
first beating!

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

Een Wilde Ier

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 12:09:38 PM9/9/03
to
AC wrote:

> On Tue, 09 Sep 2003 12:24:10 +0100,
> Een Wilde Ier <theu...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>>Henriette wrote:
>>
>>
>>>BTW Should Pradera not have started with Chapter 2 yesterday?
>>
>>Yes, he SHOULD have...
>
>
> I say we get a lynch mob together and visit his house. I've got dibs on the
> first beating!

I'll, uhh, guard the fridge...


--
Een Wilde Ier

Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary
spirit and go into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility
to poverty, racism, and militarism. - Martin Luther King Jr.

Pradera

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 12:20:33 PM9/9/03
to
On 09 wrz 2003, Een Wilde Ier <theu...@hotmail.com> scribbled loosely:

>>>Henriette wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>BTW Should Pradera not have started with Chapter 2 yesterday?
>>>
>>>Yes, he SHOULD have...
>>
>>
>> I say we get a lynch mob together and visit his house. I've got dibs
>> on the first beating!
>
> I'll, uhh, guard the fridge...

BTW, could someone cross-post the 2nd chapter thingy from RABT, silly me
forgot to do it, and since I've plonked myself sometime ago, I can't do it
myself :)

Een Wilde Ier

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 12:43:10 PM9/9/03
to
Pradera wrote:
> On 09 wrz 2003, Een Wilde Ier <theu...@hotmail.com> scribbled loosely:
>
>
>>>>Henriette wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>BTW Should Pradera not have started with Chapter 2 yesterday?
>>>>
>>>>Yes, he SHOULD have...
>>>
>>>
>>>I say we get a lynch mob together and visit his house. I've got dibs
>>>on the first beating!
>>
>>I'll, uhh, guard the fridge...
>
>
> BTW, could someone cross-post the 2nd chapter thingy from RABT, silly me
> forgot to do it, and since I've plonked myself sometime ago, I can't do it
> myself :)
>

Hah! Hah! Hah! That'll teach you! ;-)


--
Een Wilde Ier

Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature
because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods. - George
W. Bush

RoRowe

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 12:55:59 PM9/9/03
to
AC <tao...@alberni.net> wrote in message news:<slrnblro6j...@whop-paC-006c.alberni.net>...

> On Tue, 09 Sep 2003 12:24:10 +0100,
> Een Wilde Ier <theu...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > Henriette wrote:
> >
> >> BTW Should Pradera not have started with Chapter 2 yesterday?
> >
> > Yes, he SHOULD have...
>
> I say we get a lynch mob together and visit his house. I've got dibs on the
> first beating!

And all this time I thought Pradera was a she.

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

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 1:48:09 PM9/9/03
to
RoRowe wrote:
> AC <tao...@alberni.net> wrote in message news:<slrnblro6j...@whop-paC-006c.alberni.net>...
> > On Tue, 09 Sep 2003 12:24:10 +0100,
> > Een Wilde Ier <theu...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > > Henriette wrote:
[snip]

> And all this time I thought Pradera was a she.
<tng n chk>
A she-what? A she-lob?..
Ugh. Have you ever heard of _Prydera_, BTW?
</tng n chk>

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_

Pradera

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 2:10:02 PM9/9/03
to
On 09 wrz 2003, roro...@netscape.net (RoRowe) scribbled loosely:

I get that a lot. Must be something feminine about the way I post...

Hasdrubal Hamilcar

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 2:23:28 PM9/9/03
to

Pradera wrote:

> On 09 wrz 2003, roro...@netscape.net (RoRowe) scribbled loosely:
>
>
>>AC <tao...@alberni.net> wrote in message
>>news:<slrnblro6j...@whop-paC-006c.alberni.net>...
>>
>>>On Tue, 09 Sep 2003 12:24:10 +0100,
>>>Een Wilde Ier <theu...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>>Henriette wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>BTW Should Pradera not have started with Chapter 2 yesterday?
>>>>
>>>>Yes, he SHOULD have...
>>>
>>>I say we get a lynch mob together and visit his house. I've got dibs
>>>on the first beating!
>>
>>And all this time I thought Pradera was a she.
>
>
> I get that a lot. Must be something feminine about the way I post...
>

It's the webpage. pradera-castle sounds so feminine. "Castle Pradera"
sounds more masculine.

Maybe it comes across that way in translation. It also sounds a tad
homely.

Hasan

Een Wilde Ier

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 3:56:23 PM9/9/03
to
Hasdrubal Hamilcar wrote:
>
>
> Pradera wrote:
>
>> On 09 wrz 2003, roro...@netscape.net (RoRowe) scribbled loosely:
<snip>

>>> And all this time I thought Pradera was a she.
>>
>>
>>
>> I get that a lot. Must be something feminine about the way I post...
>>
>
> It's the webpage. pradera-castle sounds so feminine.

"Girlie" is the word you're looking for ;-)


--
Een Wilde Ier

A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely
foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. - Douglas
Adams

Hasdrubal Hamilcar

unread,
Sep 9, 2003, 4:58:39 PM9/9/03