Chapter of the Week - The Hobbit, Chapter 13 - Not At Home

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

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Nov 19, 2003, 6:53:07 PM11/19/03
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Chapter of the Week The Hobbit, Chapter 13: Not At Home.

This chapter comes a bit too early to fit the schedule, but next week I
am going on a business trip, so I hope that I have found enough points
for the core discussion thread to last for a week. For the next few days,
I am also able to contribute my own comments and replies.

To check out the other Chapters of the Week or to sign up to do a
chapter of your own, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org (courtesy of Dr.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld and David Flood with their respective cats)


Synopsis
========
After Smaug's attack on the western slope of Erebor thirteen Dwarves and
Bilbo are trapped inside the mountain in the tunnel. They dare not go out
through the door nor descend into the dragon's lair. Finally, Thorin
orders some of the dwarves to try the secret door only to find that the
upper end of the tunnel is blocked forever. The dwarves panic, but
Mr.Bilbo Baggins is mysteriously calm and reassuring. He suggests going
to the lair all together. Having no alternative, the dwarves do his
bidding.
At the opening of the tunnel Bilbo stumbles and rolls headlong into the
treasure hall. The dragon is nowhere to be seen or heard, but Mr.Baggins
notes a silvery glint atop the heap of treasure. Bilbo reveals his
whereabouts by shouting out loud. It becomes obvious that Smaug is not at
home.
Bilbo obtains a torchlight from the dwarves and explores the hall while
the dwarves hide in the tunnel. He finds Arkenstone, a beautiful gem
wrought by Dwarven masters, on top of the hoard - and hides it in his
pocket after a short struggle with his conscience.
Near the main entrance to the hall a bat frightens Bilbo and his torch
goes out. Dwarves help Bilbo and then scatter around the hall, fueled by
their love for gems, gold etc. Thorin Oakenshield rewards Bilbo with a
mithril coat of mail. He is constantly looking for Arkenstone
Bilbo stays as practical as possible and urges Thorin and other Dwarves
to find the way out. Thorin leads the party through the maze of slimy
passages into the great chamber of Thror, ruined and frightening like the
last day of Pompeii. The Dwarves and Bilbo run to the Front Gate and see
at last the broad light of day and the valley of Dale. Tolkien explains
to us that only two nights and the day between have passed since Smaug's
mighty attack.
At Bilbo's prompt Balin suggests going to Ravenhill at the Southwest spur
of the Lonely Mountain. It takes them nearly half a day to get there.
They are tired and anxious to know where Smaug might be. Looking West and
East they see nothing. Looking South they see no sign of the dragon but
lots of gathering birds. The Dwarves and Bilbo have no idea what that may
mean.

Points to discuss
=================
1. [I am following the Entwife's entsteps here] 'Not at Home' is a pretty
descriptive title for the chapter. Tolkien pumps up suspense, leaving the
Dwarves and the Readers intrigued as to Smaug's whereabouts. Nearly any
step made by the characters in this chapter can prove disastrous if Smaug
is nearby.

2. Bilbo feels "a strange lightening of the heart". Chronologically
*SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*
it coincides (IMHO only - the timing is now fuzzy) with Smaug's death.
How in Middle-earth could he feel it?? This is too psychic of him. Does
anyone know if Tolkien was interested in paranormal phenomena? BTW, Bungo
Baggins seems to have been a very optimistic hobbit with a limitless
supply of adages and proverbs.

3. Our Burrahobbit has lighter heart now, but the fear doesn't go away.
On the way down Bilbo takes prudent steps to detect any dragon's
activity. The tension is building to a climax when Bilbo shouts out loud.
A *very risky* thing to do, but it did relieve the tension considerably.
We alternately see two sides of Bilbo's character: desperate, risk-taking
courage and fully rational assessment of the dangers (hence the justified
fear).

4. The Dwarves have overreacted; they are too slow to realize that Smaug
is not at home, whereas in the tunnel they were as un-stealthy as
possible.

5. Bilbo steals Arkenstone.
a) Does everyone agree that this is theft? Why is it not?
b) Why is Bilbo doing that: lust for gems, intervention from above [or
below - 'Morgoth's summons'??] (please discuss moral implications of this
variant), expectations of greater bargaining power?
c) Does Bilbo's action make any difference for the outcome (what
'troubles' did it cause)?

6. What is Arkenstone's real significance for the Dwarves in general and
Thorin in particular? A heirloom? The token of power? Anything else?

7. Why does Bilbo call out Dwarves in this sequence: Thorin; Balin; Oin;
Gloin; Fili; Kili?

8. Why are golden harps magical?

9. It is interesting to note that Bilbo must feel very uneasy when Thorin
rewards him with a mithril mailcoat. With Arkenstone in his pocket,
Mr.Baggins must be rather ashamed of breaching Thorin's trust.

10. What really makes me smile is Bilbo's helm. Now he is the only hobbit
to have a crown surrogate. Not Rorimas "Go[l]dfather" Brandybuck, not
Paladin II Took, but a Baggins! BTW, where is the helm at the time of the
War of the Ring?

11. Bilbo's calm reasoning is impressive. In thriller movies (tsk tsk
tsk) his call would have been unheeded. In the tale, he actually manages
to persuade Thorin to leave the treasure hall.

12. The passage with 'stairs, stairs yet more stairs' is painfully
familiar. Isn't the idea extended in the LotR? And what is the business
with dwarven stairs being unfit for Hobbits' legs? Does the difference in
height matter that much?

13. The great chamber of Thror parallels the Mazarbul chamber. The same
picture of devastation and tragedy. I would also compare it with Heoroth.
Any other literary analogues?

14. How could they sense an easterly breeze when they are shielded from
the East by a mountain spur? It is probable that the wind 'falls' from
the spur or is SE-SSE instead, but somehow it is less convincing.

15. Bilbo uses "Dear me" - a recognizable euphemism.

16. Thorin's laughing after the party passed through the chamber. WHY? Is
he that insensitive and battle-hardened? Strange, very strange. Is it a
deliberate brush stroke by Tolkien to show the inhumane power of the
treasure? Am I reading too much into the story?

17. Cram 'is biscuitish, keeps good indefinitely, is supposed to be
sustaining, and is certainly not entertaining, being in fact very
uninteresting except as a chewing exercise.' I have yet to find biscuits
that keep good indefinitely (that is, are properly dehydrated and
foiled). Cram is Tolkien's first(?) attempt at explaining the logistics
of long marches without too many real-life complications. Next: lembas.

18. The guards slept. That sums it all for the fat and lazy Dwarven
kingdom of Erebor of old.


Archie

Stan Brown

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Nov 20, 2003, 12:19:40 AM11/20/03
to
In article <MPG.1a263ca0ea...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
wrote:

>Bilbo feels "a strange lightening of the heart". Chronologically
>it coincides (IMHO only - the timing is now fuzzy) with Smaug's death.
>How in Middle-earth could he feel it?? This is too psychic of him.

I don't think we need to make Bilbo a psychic.

He and the Dwarves had been shut in the Mountain for days, believing
that the only way out was past a live and angry dragon. Now that the
dragon is not at home, Bilbo feels he might actually make it out of
the Mountain alive.

Wouldn't you feel a lot better as that hope began to grow in your
heart?

--
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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Nov 20, 2003, 12:31:31 AM11/20/03
to
In article <MPG.1a2618f75...@news.odyssey.net> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm>
wrote:

>In article <MPG.1a263ca0ea...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
>rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
>wrote:
>>Bilbo feels "a strange lightening of the heart". Chronologically
>>it coincides (IMHO only - the timing is now fuzzy) with Smaug's death.
>>How in Middle-earth could he feel it?? This is too psychic of him.
>
>He and the Dwarves had been shut in the Mountain for days, believing
>that the only way out was past a live and angry dragon. Now that the
>dragon is not at home, Bilbo feels he might actually make it out of
>the Mountain alive.

Only one problem with what I wrote: Bilbo felt his "strange
lightening of the heart" before venturing into Smaug's bedroom to
find the dragon gone.

I think the s.l. of the h. was just due to the relief of having a
plan of action instead of continuing to cower passively in a dark
tunnel.

Stan Brown

unread,
Nov 20, 2003, 12:34:53 AM11/20/03
to
In article <MPG.1a263ca0ea...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
wrote:
>5. Bilbo steals Arkenstone.
> a) Does everyone agree that this is theft? Why is it not?

Bilbo himself had a reasonable explanation: Thorin had said Bilbo
might choose his own fourteenth share. Bilbo knows in his heart that
Thorin didn't really mean to include the Arkenstone. On the other
hand, Dwarves are known for driving hard bargains and sticking to
the letter of a contract; I cannot fault Bilbo for adopting a
similar posture.

>6. What is Arkenstone's real significance for the Dwarves in general and
>Thorin in particular? A heirloom? The token of power? Anything else?

A pretty and valuable gem, apparently the most valuable object in
Thror's hoard. AFAIR we are not given any indication that it was
magical.

Stan Brown

unread,
Nov 20, 2003, 12:38:24 AM11/20/03
to
In article <MPG.1a263ca0ea...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
wrote:
>17. Cram 'is biscuitish, keeps good indefinitely, is supposed to be
>sustaining, and is certainly not entertaining, being in fact very
>uninteresting except as a chewing exercise.' I have yet to find biscuits
>that keep good indefinitely

Sailors on British vessels in the 18th and 19th centuries lived on
something like cram. It didn't do moldy, but did apparently host
maggots as the months went by. There's a scene in one of the
/Horatio Hornblower/ books of the sailors knocking their biscuits on
the table to shake out the maggots.

>Cram is Tolkien's first(?) attempt at explaining the logistics
>of long marches without too many real-life complications.

Aren't you forgetting Beorn's twice-baked honey cakes?

Bill O'Meally

unread,
Nov 20, 2003, 12:46:46 AM11/20/03
to

<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message
news:MPG.1a263ca0ea...@news.mtu-net.ru...

> 2. Bilbo feels "a strange lightening of the heart". Chronologically
> *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*
> it coincides (IMHO only - the timing is now fuzzy) with Smaug's death.

I thought that too when I read the passage. However, after Smaug rose up
and flew to attack Esgaroth, the Dwarves and Bilbo wait in the passage
"for days and days" ( of course, the phrase "as it seemed" is added). It
wouldn't take Smaug long to make the flight, and the battle didn't seem
to take more than a few hours.

If the "for days and days" is correct, then the time frame wouldn't be
correct for Bilbo's sudden lightening of the heart. However, the
company's perception of time could just have been off in that dark
passage. Perhaps the Ring was starting to provide some prescience?
--
Bill

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


Bill O'Meally

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Nov 20, 2003, 1:01:41 AM11/20/03
to

"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
news:MPG.1a261d576...@news.odyssey.net...


> In article <MPG.1a263ca0ea...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
> wrote:

> >Cram is Tolkien's first(?) attempt at explaining the logistics
> >of long marches without too many real-life complications.
>
> Aren't you forgetting Beorn's twice-baked honey cakes?

The original biscotti? (Italian for 'twice baked')

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

unread,
Nov 20, 2003, 2:23:06 AM11/20/03
to
Stan Brown wrote:
> In article <MPG.1a263ca0ea...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
> wrote:
> >Bilbo feels "a strange lightening of the heart". Chronologically
> >it coincides (IMHO only - the timing is now fuzzy) with Smaug's death.
> >How in Middle-earth could he feel it?? This is too psychic of him.
>
> I don't think we need to make Bilbo a psychic.
>
> He and the Dwarves had been shut in the Mountain for days, believing
> that the only way out was past a live and angry dragon. Now that the
> dragon is not at home, Bilbo feels he might actually make it out of
> the Mountain alive.
>
> Wouldn't you feel a lot better as that hope began to grow in your
> heart?
Remember, this "lightening of heart" was _before_ Bilbo learnt that Smaug
was away.

Archie

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

unread,
Nov 20, 2003, 2:32:03 AM11/20/03
to
Stan Brown wrote:
> In article <MPG.1a263ca0ea...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
> wrote:
> >5. Bilbo steals Arkenstone.
> > a) Does everyone agree that this is theft? Why is it not?
>
> Bilbo himself had a reasonable explanation: Thorin had said Bilbo
> might choose his own fourteenth share. Bilbo knows in his heart that
> Thorin didn't really mean to include the Arkenstone. On the other
> hand, Dwarves are known for driving hard bargains and sticking to
> the letter of a contract; I cannot fault Bilbo for adopting a
> similar posture.

Bilbo does what he thinks is wrong. IMO, he's taken his "Burglar" role
too serious: first he steals from the Dragon, then he double-crosses his
companions.



> >6. What is Arkenstone's real significance for the Dwarves in general and
> >Thorin in particular? A heirloom? The token of power? Anything else?
>
> A pretty and valuable gem, apparently the most valuable object in
> Thror's hoard. AFAIR we are not given any indication that it was
> magical.

If it were, it surely would have deserved a separate FAQ :-)

Archie

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

unread,
Nov 20, 2003, 4:25:31 AM11/20/03
to
Stan Brown wrote:
> In article <MPG.1a263ca0ea...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
> wrote:
> >17. Cram 'is biscuitish, keeps good indefinitely, is supposed to be
> >sustaining, and is certainly not entertaining, being in fact very
> >uninteresting except as a chewing exercise.' I have yet to find biscuits
> >that keep good indefinitely
>
> Sailors on British vessels in the 18th and 19th centuries lived on
> something like cram. It didn't do moldy, but did apparently host
> maggots as the months went by. There's a scene in one of the
> /Horatio Hornblower/ books of the sailors knocking their biscuits on
> the table to shake out the maggots.

I am all too familiar with this problem ;-(navy biscuits).



> >Cram is Tolkien's first(?) attempt at explaining the logistics
> >of long marches without too many real-life complications.
>
> Aren't you forgetting Beorn's twice-baked honey cakes?

/me smacks forehead against the wall. The wall falls to pieces. Sorry.

Archie

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

unread,
Nov 20, 2003, 4:25:43 AM11/20/03
to
Bill O'Meally wrote:
> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message
> news:MPG.1a263ca0ea...@news.mtu-net.ru...
>
> > 2. Bilbo feels "a strange lightening of the heart". Chronologically
> > *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*
> > it coincides (IMHO only - the timing is now fuzzy) with Smaug's death.
>
> I thought that too when I read the passage. However, after Smaug rose up
> and flew to attack Esgaroth, the Dwarves and Bilbo wait in the passage
> "for days and days" ( of course, the phrase "as it seemed" is added). It
> wouldn't take Smaug long to make the flight, and the battle didn't seem
> to take more than a few hours.
That is, Smaug dies (IMHO) at 6 a.m. at the latest (the days are short).
Smaug was busy destroying Esgaroth... and a movie director (*not* PJ!)
could have made this into a longish cliffhanger. We are not told IIRC how
long the tunnel was.

We need not assume psychic connection to be instantaneous (Gorlim's
spirit warned Beren when it was too late).



> If the "for days and days" is correct, then the time frame wouldn't be
> correct for Bilbo's sudden lightening of the heart. However, the
> company's perception of time could just have been off in that dark
> passage. Perhaps the Ring was starting to provide some prescience?

I vehemently deny all such innuendo against Mr.Baggins who is
definitely _not_ another Kwisatz Haderach 8-)

Archie

Troels Forchhammer

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Nov 20, 2003, 10:21:19 AM11/20/03
to
in <MPG.1a26a87b2e...@news.mtu-net.ru>,
put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> enriched us with:

>
> Stan Brown wrote:
>> In article <MPG.1a263ca0ea...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
>> rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
>> wrote:
>>> 5. Bilbo steals Arkenstone.
>>> a) Does everyone agree that this is theft? Why is it not?
>>
>> Bilbo himself had a reasonable explanation: Thorin had said Bilbo
>> might choose his own fourteenth share. Bilbo knows in his heart that
>> Thorin didn't really mean to include the Arkenstone. On the other
>> hand, Dwarves are known for driving hard bargains and sticking to
>> the letter of a contract; I cannot fault Bilbo for adopting a
>> similar posture.
>
> Bilbo does what he thinks is wrong. IMO, he's taken his "Burglar" role
> too serious: first he steals from the Dragon, then he double-crosses
> his companions.

In the previous chapter, /Inside Information/, Bilbo conversed a bit
with Smaug, who raised the point of how Bilbo was to get his treasure
home. We learn that Bilbo, under the influence of the dragon, grew
worried,

" Now a nasty suspicion began to grow in his mind - had the
dwarves forgotten this important point too, or were they
laughing in their sleeves at him all the time? That is the
effect that dragon-talk has on the inexperienced. Bilbo of
course ought to have been on his guard; but Smaug had rather
an overwhelming personality."

Some of that worry might linger despite Thorin's assurances that they
hadn't thought about that bit, and that they would "do whatever [they]
can for [him], and take [their] share of the cost when the time comes."

I think it possible that Bilbo, subconsciously perhaps, wanted to pick
a share that was easily portable - and if that gave him a chance to
'pay back' the Dwarves then that much the better.

The question of theft is, IMO, more problematic. There are certainly
both pros and cons to the accusation of theft. He was offered to
choose for himself his share of the treasure (without any restrictions),
but he also knows that the Arkenstone was not supposed to be included
in that. I don't know that I'd call it theft, exactly, but there does
seem to be some breaking of trust involved.

>>> 6. What is Arkenstone's real significance for the Dwarves in
>>> general and Thorin in particular? A heirloom? The token of power?
>>> Anything else?

I think it, to Thorin, symbolizes the King under the Mountain - not
an official token of power like the traditional Orb, but more personally
to Thorin; a symbol of the pride of his family and their rule under the
Mountain.


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

cdg

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Nov 20, 2003, 10:46:01 AM11/20/03
to
put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru wrote:
> Chapter of the Week The Hobbit, Chapter 13: Not At Home.

> 17. Cram 'is biscuitish, keeps good indefinitely, is supposed to be

> sustaining, and is certainly not entertaining, being in fact very
> uninteresting except as a chewing exercise.' I have yet to find biscuits
> that keep good indefinitely (that is, are properly dehydrated and
> foiled). Cram is Tolkien's first(?) attempt at explaining the logistics
> of long marches without too many real-life complications. Next: lembas.

Two recipes for hard tack (modern-day cram)
[copied from misc.survivalism]

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2 cups flour, 1 cup water. Put flour in mixing bowl and mix in the
water a little at a time until you've got a dough. It might be a little
less than a cup or more. You add water only until it's a dough consistency.
Roll dough out about 1/4 inch thick. THicker is harder on the teeth and
jaws if you don't break it up first
Cut dough into squares about 2 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide. Prick
holes in tops of squares about 4 rows of fork holes. Put squares on cookie
sheet or pizza pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for the first 15 minues. Turn oven down to 250 and
continue to bake another 30 minutes, then down to 200 and watch for another
30 minutes. Flip with a spatula during process. Bake until hard and either
still white or just begins to turn color. Do NOT BURN. Let stand.

VERY IMPORTANT: NEXT DAY bake your hard tack again at 225 degress for 45
minutes. This finishes the drying out process. Let cool then package
hardtack . Will last at least 6 months or several years. There is still
some hard tack from the American Civil War in museums.

Civil War period hard tack contained salt but not sure of proportions.

It can be broken up and pieces put in mouth and let saliva work on it or

TO PREPARE Boken Hard Bread/Tack

Split hard tack, allow one per person. In large saucepan put hard tack
cover with water soak overnight. Using same water salt to taste and bring
hard bread to near boil but DO NOT BOIL. Drain Immediately. Keep hot.
Serve with backon, or as a side dish covered in gravy with meat or Pour
molasses over for snack or use instead of serving potatoes or rice.

Cael
Instant Knowledge Y2K Links & Book Reviews
http://home.istar.ca/~cael/y2klinks.htm

----

"Mysterion" <zo...@supernet.com> wrote in message:

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup Rye flour
1 cup whole Wheat flour
1 cup oatmeal (pulverized into a flour-like state)
1.5 cups (plus) all purpose flour
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1tsp salt, plus a generous dash of seasoned salt
enough water to form dough (about 2 cups)

I rolled it out to about a quarter inch thick and pierced it with a fork
Baked on floured cookie sheet for 20 minutes per side at 375 degrees and
then for another 2 hours at 175 degrees.

I thought it tasted okay, but the kids just loved it and the whole batch was
gone within the week so I have no idea how long it would have lasted.

AC

unread,
Nov 20, 2003, 12:32:02 PM11/20/03
to
On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 02:53:07 +0300,
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote:
> Points to discuss
>=================
> 1. [I am following the Entwife's entsteps here] 'Not at Home' is a pretty
> descriptive title for the chapter. Tolkien pumps up suspense, leaving the
> Dwarves and the Readers intrigued as to Smaug's whereabouts. Nearly any
> step made by the characters in this chapter can prove disastrous if Smaug
> is nearby.

I agree. It was a very eery chapter. I remember reading it as a kid and
thinking "those silly Dwarves have got to get out of there".

>
> 2. Bilbo feels "a strange lightening of the heart". Chronologically
> *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*
> it coincides (IMHO only - the timing is now fuzzy) with Smaug's death.
> How in Middle-earth could he feel it?? This is too psychic of him. Does
> anyone know if Tolkien was interested in paranormal phenomena? BTW, Bungo
> Baggins seems to have been a very optimistic hobbit with a limitless
> supply of adages and proverbs.

I don't think it was ESP as such. But foreboding is found elsewhere in
Tolkien's works.

> 5. Bilbo steals Arkenstone.
> a) Does everyone agree that this is theft? Why is it not?

It was certainly theft.

> b) Why is Bilbo doing that: lust for gems, intervention from above [or
> below - 'Morgoth's summons'??] (please discuss moral implications of this
> variant), expectations of greater bargaining power?

To be honest with you, I don't think Bilbo rightly knew why he did it. It
seemed extremely impulsive. Though it turned out to be an important act
later in the book, at the time neither I (nor he, I think) could really say
why he stole the Arkenstone.

> c) Does Bilbo's action make any difference for the outcome (what
> 'troubles' did it cause)?

Well, we'll just have to read and see... :-)

>
> 6. What is Arkenstone's real significance for the Dwarves in general and
> Thorin in particular? A heirloom? The token of power? Anything else?

We could start with the fact that, as described, it has to be one of the
largest gemstones ever found. It was also an heirloom.

> 11. Bilbo's calm reasoning is impressive. In thriller movies (tsk tsk
> tsk) his call would have been unheeded. In the tale, he actually manages
> to persuade Thorin to leave the treasure hall.

All things considered that was an impressive feat.

--
Aaron Clausen

tao_of_cow/\alberni.net (replace /\ with @) or mightym...@yahoo.ca

AC

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Nov 20, 2003, 12:33:42 PM11/20/03
to
On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 02:53:07 +0300,
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote:
>
> 13. The great chamber of Thror parallels the Mazarbul chamber. The same
> picture of devastation and tragedy. I would also compare it with Heoroth.
> Any other literary analogues?

Turgon's hall at Nevrast comes to mind.

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

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Nov 20, 2003, 12:49:12 PM11/20/03
to
Troels Forchhammer wrote:
> in <MPG.1a26a87b2e...@news.mtu-net.ru>,
> put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru
> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> enriched us with:
> > Stan Brown wrote:
> >> In article <MPG.1a263ca0ea...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
> >> rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
> >> wrote:
> >>> 5. Bilbo steals Arkenstone.
> >>> a) Does everyone agree that this is theft? Why is it not?
[...]

> > Bilbo does what he thinks is wrong. IMO, he's taken his "Burglar" role
> > too serious: first he steals from the Dragon, then he double-crosses
> > his companions.
>
> In the previous chapter, /Inside Information/, Bilbo conversed a bit
> with Smaug, who raised the point of how Bilbo was to get his treasure
> home. We learn that Bilbo, under the influence of the dragon, grew
> worried,
[snip the relevant quote]
That's how Morgoth's lies work: first they sow suspicion and then
suspicions are turned into nasty actions - and voil`a - the lie becomes
true.

> Some of that worry might linger despite Thorin's assurances that they
> hadn't thought about that bit, and that they would "do whatever [they]
> can for [him], and take [their] share of the cost when the time comes."

> I think it possible that Bilbo, subconsciously perhaps, wanted to pick
> a share that was easily portable - and if that gave him a chance to
> 'pay back' the Dwarves then that much the better.

Gandalf picked a kleptomaniac, then...

[...]
> ...I don't know that I'd call it theft, exactly, but there does


> seem to be some breaking of trust involved.

Agreed.



> >>> 6. What is Arkenstone's real significance for the Dwarves in
> >>> general and Thorin in particular? A heirloom? The token of power?
> >>> Anything else?
>
> I think it, to Thorin, symbolizes the King under the Mountain - not
> an official token of power like the traditional Orb, but more personally
> to Thorin; a symbol of the pride of his family and their rule under the
> Mountain.

A-ha! So Arkenstone was a _symbol_ of pride, but the seventh Ring was
_the source_ of power. In human societies, it is unusual to have powerful
artefacts hidden. The Rings were, however, exactly of that kind. Hmmm...
Perhaps we can compare the Rings with the control over *seemingly
independent* media - politicians like to keep their brainwashing
facilities secret. Quite unlike nukes, in fact (cf. the Prologue where
Tolkien concentrates on debunking the "Ring = A-bomb" belief - I am more
or less sure that the "Ring=mind domination" theory was fully adopted
and elaborated in later years).

Archie

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

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Nov 20, 2003, 12:49:23 PM11/20/03
to
cdg wrote:
> put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru wrote:
> > Chapter of the Week The Hobbit, Chapter 13: Not At Home.
>
> > 17. Cram 'is biscuitish, keeps good indefinitely, is supposed to be
> > sustaining, and is certainly not entertaining, being in fact very
> > uninteresting except as a chewing exercise.' I have yet to find biscuits
> > that keep good indefinitely (that is, are properly dehydrated and
> > foiled). Cram is Tolkien's first(?) attempt at explaining the logistics
> > of long marches without too many real-life complications. Next: lembas.
[...]

> VERY IMPORTANT: NEXT DAY bake your hard tack again at 225 degress for 45
> minutes. This finishes the drying out process. Let cool then package
> hardtack . Will last at least 6 months or several years. There is still
> some hard tack from the American Civil War in museums.
Do rats dare to eat it? (*not* soft rats!)


> Civil War period hard tack contained salt but not sure of proportions.
Snipped and saved for future reference.

Three eternal Russian questions:

1.Who's to blame? ["Kto vinovat?"]
2.What shall we do? ["Chto delat'?"]
(the above are two booktitles, BTW)
3.How do we make biscuits?
(...in case of famine, getting into jail, etc...)

Archie

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

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Nov 20, 2003, 1:30:44 PM11/20/03
to
AC wrote:
> On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 02:53:07 +0300,
> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote:
> >
> > 13. The great chamber of Thror parallels the Mazarbul chamber. The same
> > picture of devastation and tragedy. I would also compare it with Heoroth.
> > Any other literary analogues?
>
> Turgon's hall at Nevrast comes to mind.
No tragedy there, no skulls, no bones... Since you mentioned, I'd weave
one of my favourite bits into this thread:

"...but the sound of his feet rang upon the paved floor as the steps of
doom, and echoes ran before him along the pillared aisles."

...and...

"Tuor spoke, and his voice rang as a challenge in the roof: 'By this
token I will take these arms unto myself, and upon myself whatsoever doom
they bear."

Pretty impressive, if you ask me.

Archie (not ashamed of being a bit sentimental here)

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

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Nov 20, 2003, 1:30:52 PM11/20/03
to
AC wrote:
> On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 02:53:07 +0300,
> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote:
> > Points to discuss
> >=================
[...]

> > 2. Bilbo feels "a strange lightening of the heart". Chronologically
> > *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*
> > it coincides (IMHO only - the timing is now fuzzy) with Smaug's death.
> > How in Middle-earth could he feel it?? This is too psychic of him. Does
> > anyone know if Tolkien was interested in paranormal phenomena? BTW, Bungo
> > Baggins seems to have been a very optimistic hobbit with a limitless
> > supply of adages and proverbs.
>
> I don't think it was ESP as such. But foreboding is found elsewhere in
> Tolkien's works.
That response could be satisfactory when we didn't know what Osanwe-kenta
is. Now we can hear inner voices >:-) clamouring "Explanations!
Explanations!" and foreboding various punishments if we don't comply :-(.

> > 5. Bilbo steals Arkenstone.
[...]


> > b) Why is Bilbo doing that: lust for gems, intervention from above [or
> > below - 'Morgoth's summons'??] (please discuss moral implications of this
> > variant), expectations of greater bargaining power?
>
> To be honest with you, I don't think Bilbo rightly knew why he did it. It
> seemed extremely impulsive. Though it turned out to be an important act
> later in the book, at the time neither I (nor he, I think) could really say
> why he stole the Arkenstone.

In another post I said that Bilbo was a kleptomaniac and Gandalf did not
choose him for nothing. He was even stealing his own silver spoons...



> > c) Does Bilbo's action make any difference for the outcome (what
> > 'troubles' did it cause)?
>
> Well, we'll just have to read and see... :-)

[in a voice of a 6-year old child] "That's unfaaair. Why can't you tell
me what happens next?" %-(



> >
> > 6. What is Arkenstone's real significance for the Dwarves in general and
> > Thorin in particular? A heirloom? The token of power? Anything else?
>
> We could start with the fact that, as described, it has to be one of the
> largest gemstones ever found.

Feanor would say: "Mine is bigger!" (But were the Silmarils that big?)

> ... It was also an heirloom.
A silent H? Oh well. <blushes>



> > 11. Bilbo's calm reasoning is impressive. In thriller movies (tsk tsk
> > tsk) his call would have been unheeded. In the tale, he actually manages
> > to persuade Thorin to leave the treasure hall.
>
> All things considered that was an impressive feat.

Bilbo was aided by Smaug, IMHO: his manure and slime were adding a tiny
bit of discomfort, I'm afraid.

Archie

Jette Goldie

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Nov 20, 2003, 3:03:57 PM11/20/03
to

"Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wise.rr.com> wrote in message
news:9NYub.47592$Vu6....@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com...

>
>
>
>
> "Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
> news:MPG.1a261d576...@news.odyssey.net...
> > In article <MPG.1a263ca0ea...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
> > rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
> > wrote:
>
> > >Cram is Tolkien's first(?) attempt at explaining the logistics
> > >of long marches without too many real-life complications.
> >
> > Aren't you forgetting Beorn's twice-baked honey cakes?
>
> The original biscotti? (Italian for 'twice baked')


The word "biscuit" in English derives from the French
word meaning "twice baked".

Not *quite* the same as US cookies.


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


Hasan Murtaza

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Nov 20, 2003, 11:11:37 PM11/20/03
to

put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru wrote:
> Chapter of the Week The Hobbit, Chapter 13: Not At Home.
>

>

> 2. Bilbo feels "a strange lightening of the heart". Chronologically
> *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*
> it coincides (IMHO only - the timing is now fuzzy) with Smaug's death.
> How in Middle-earth could he feel it?? This is too psychic of him. Does
> anyone know if Tolkien was interested in paranormal phenomena? BTW, Bungo
> Baggins seems to have been a very optimistic hobbit with a limitless
> supply of adages and proverbs.
>

I don't know if this is psychic, but it could be unconscious. I felt
some type of lightening of the heart when Saddam was turfed out of Iraq,
but that by watching it on CNN. I don't think this is ES perceptive.

Bilbo's unconscious could be responsible for the lightening of the heart
(it usually is), by simply calculating that Smaug would have to be dead
before leaving his treasure for 3 days with burglars inside the mountain.

> 3. Our Burrahobbit has lighter heart now, but the fear doesn't go away.
> On the way down Bilbo takes prudent steps to detect any dragon's
> activity. The tension is building to a climax when Bilbo shouts out loud.
> A *very risky* thing to do, but it did relieve the tension considerably.
> We alternately see two sides of Bilbo's character: desperate, risk-taking
> courage and fully rational assessment of the dangers (hence the justified
> fear).
>
> 4. The Dwarves have overreacted; they are too slow to realize that Smaug
> is not at home, whereas in the tunnel they were as un-stealthy as
> possible.
>
> 5. Bilbo steals Arkenstone.
> a) Does everyone agree that this is theft? Why is it not?
> b) Why is Bilbo doing that: lust for gems, intervention from above [or
> below - 'Morgoth's summons'??] (please discuss moral implications of this
> variant), expectations of greater bargaining power?

I think it is not theft: I think Bilbo's explantion is simple enough,
whil obeying the letter of the agreement with Thorin, but not obeying
the spirit of it. His 'uncomfortable feeling' that 'trouble would come
out of it' is his conscience unconsciously pricking him.

I doubt that he was thinking rationally, he simply picked it up on
impulse. It is the type of serendipity that benefits Bilbo throughout
the chapter. Just think of what would have hapenned if there was a
dragon in the mountain at the time they went down there.


> c) Does Bilbo's action make any difference for the outcome (what
> 'troubles' did it cause)?
>
> 6. What is Arkenstone's real significance for the Dwarves in general and
> Thorin in particular? A heirloom? The token of power? Anything else?
>

I think as an heirloom it cements Thorin's status as heir to the
kingship of the mountain. That is extremely important for him.

> 7. Why does Bilbo call out Dwarves in this sequence: Thorin; Balin; Oin;
> Gloin; Fili; Kili?
>
> 8. Why are golden harps magical?
>
> 9. It is interesting to note that Bilbo must feel very uneasy when Thorin
> rewards him with a mithril mailcoat. With Arkenstone in his pocket,
> Mr.Baggins must be rather ashamed of breaching Thorin's trust.
>

He said he would tell the dwarves "some-time." ;)


>
> 13. The great chamber of Thror parallels the Mazarbul chamber. The same
> picture of devastation and tragedy. I would also compare it with Heoroth.
> Any other literary analogues?
>

No, but I think that Tolkien must have known about the legend of King
Frederick or Redbeard sleeping in his great hall under the mountain,
sleeping until the crows no longer fly around the mountain.

The abandoned, messy hall left with stuff all over the floor sounds a
bit like that.

regards,
Hasan

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

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Nov 20, 2003, 11:43:02 PM11/20/03
to
Hasan Murtaza wrote:
> put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru wrote:
> > Chapter of the Week The Hobbit, Chapter 13: Not At Home.
> > 2. Bilbo feels "a strange lightening of the heart". Chronologically
> > *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*
> > it coincides (IMHO only - the timing is now fuzzy) with Smaug's death.
> > How in Middle-earth could he feel it?? This is too psychic of him. Does
> > anyone know if Tolkien was interested in paranormal phenomena? BTW, Bungo
> > Baggins seems to have been a very optimistic hobbit with a limitless
> > supply of adages and proverbs.
> I don't know if this is psychic, but it could be unconscious. I felt
> some type of lightening of the heart when Saddam was turfed out of Iraq,
> but that by watching it on CNN. I don't think this is ES perceptive.
Was he :-)? It seems that he's alive and kicking from the underground.

> Bilbo's unconscious could be responsible for the lightening of the heart
> (it usually is), by simply calculating that Smaug would have to be dead
> before leaving his treasure for 3 days with burglars inside the mountain.

You've got a point here. Usually it doesn't work this way, though. When
thinking _rationally_, Bilbo is constantly apprehensive of the
possibility that Smaug is *nearby*.

[...]


> > 5. Bilbo steals Arkenstone.
> > a) Does everyone agree that this is theft? Why is it not?
> > b) Why is Bilbo doing that: lust for gems, intervention from above [or
> > below - 'Morgoth's summons'??] (please discuss moral implications of this
> > variant), expectations of greater bargaining power?
>
> I think it is not theft: I think Bilbo's explantion is simple enough,
> whil obeying the letter of the agreement with Thorin, but not obeying
> the spirit of it. His 'uncomfortable feeling' that 'trouble would come
> out of it' is his conscience unconsciously pricking him.

<nods slightly>, but disagrees with Hasan's desire to exonerate the
Burglar.



> I doubt that he was thinking rationally, he simply picked it up on
> impulse. It is the type of serendipity that benefits Bilbo throughout
> the chapter. Just think of what would have hapenned if there was a
> dragon in the mountain at the time they went down there.

Hmmm. 1 Roasted Hobbit, 13 Grilled Dwarves. No sugar, no salt. Bilbo has
indeed shown uncanny intuition.



> > 6. What is Arkenstone's real significance for the Dwarves in general and
> > Thorin in particular? A heirloom? The token of power? Anything else?
>
> I think as an heirloom it cements Thorin's status as heir to the
> kingship of the mountain. That is extremely important for him.

Mmmm. So Arkenstone would be instrumental in attracting Dwarves to Erebor
and Men to Dale - maybe it's a good approximation to the political value
of the gem.

> > 9. It is interesting to note that Bilbo must feel very uneasy when Thorin
> > rewards him with a mithril mailcoat. With Arkenstone in his pocket,
> > Mr.Baggins must be rather ashamed of breaching Thorin's trust.
>
> He said he would tell the dwarves "some-time." ;)

And he sticks to that promise...



> > 13. The great chamber of Thror parallels the Mazarbul chamber. The same
> > picture of devastation and tragedy. I would also compare it with Heoroth.
> > Any other literary analogues?
> No, but I think that Tolkien must have known about the legend of King
> Frederick or Redbeard sleeping in his great hall under the mountain,
> sleeping until the crows no longer fly around the mountain.

Interesting. I'll look it up today.



> The abandoned, messy hall left with stuff all over the floor sounds a
> bit like that.

It surely sounds a bit like my room at time of overclocked work (except
for the 'abandoned' adjective) :-(

Archie

Hasan Murtaza

unread,
Nov 21, 2003, 7:02:17 AM11/21/03
to

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

> Hasan Murtaza wrote:
>
>>put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru wrote:
>>
>>>Chapter of the Week The Hobbit, Chapter 13: Not At Home.
>>>2. Bilbo feels "a strange lightening of the heart". Chronologically
>>>*SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*
>>>it coincides (IMHO only - the timing is now fuzzy) with Smaug's death.
>>>How in Middle-earth could he feel it?? This is too psychic of him. Does
>>>anyone know if Tolkien was interested in paranormal phenomena? BTW, Bungo
>>>Baggins seems to have been a very optimistic hobbit with a limitless
>>>supply of adages and proverbs.
>>
>>I don't know if this is psychic, but it could be unconscious. I felt
>>some type of lightening of the heart when Saddam was turfed out of Iraq,
>>but that by watching it on CNN. I don't think this is ES perceptive.
>
> Was he :-)? It seems that he's alive and kicking from the underground.
>

Some say that he is sitting in the north, Russia or Byelorussia. I
don't know why, must be some old arrangement though.

Some people in Iraq don't feel safe yet, thinking that he may yet return.

Hasan

Stan Brown

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Nov 21, 2003, 3:10:10 PM11/21/03
to
In article <MPG.1a26a87b2e...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
wrote:

>Bilbo does what he thinks is wrong. IMO, he's taken his "Burglar" role
>too serious: first he steals from the Dragon,

He clearly did not steal from the dragon. It is not stealing to take
something _from_ a thief and give it to its rightful owner.

AC

unread,
Nov 21, 2003, 4:25:44 PM11/21/03
to
On Fri, 21 Nov 2003 15:10:10 -0500,
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> In article <MPG.1a26a87b2e...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
> wrote:
>>Bilbo does what he thinks is wrong. IMO, he's taken his "Burglar" role
>>too serious: first he steals from the Dragon,
>
> He clearly did not steal from the dragon. It is not stealing to take
> something _from_ a thief and give it to its rightful owner.

Well, he didn't actually give it to the rightful owner until said owner was
dead or dying (can't quite remember which right now).

Henriette

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Nov 21, 2003, 6:07:14 PM11/21/03
to
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message news:
>
> (snip) (courtesy of Dr.
> Ernst Stavro Blofeld and David Flood with their respective cats)

LOL. How do you know Dr. Ernst has a cat as well? Are you somewhat
psychic like Bilbo?
(snip)

Thank you Archie, for a nice piece of work!

I remember Pradera once wrote in Polish the (Polish)words for "the"
and "a" do not exist, so he said in English he always added them more
or less at random. Now I notice that you always write Arkenstone,
where I would write The Arkenstone. Maybe a minor detail, but I was
wondering if that has to do with the construction of Russian.


>
> 2. Bilbo feels "a strange lightening of the heart". Chronologically
> *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*
> it coincides (IMHO only - the timing is now fuzzy) with Smaug's death.

Like AC says somewhere in this thread, that is not the only time
foreboding occurs in JRRT's works. I wish people would accept that and
not insist it is mere coincidence.


>
> 5. Bilbo steals Arkenstone.
> a) Does everyone agree that this is theft? Why is it not?

I see, that some people in this thread think it is not (I think it
is). In that case maybe we can reach consensus by saying it is at
least dishonest.



> I have yet to find biscuits
> that keep good indefinitely (that is, are properly dehydrated and
> foiled).

The Dutch also have a tradition of being good at "ship biscuits" which
last almost indefinitely and are quite tasty.

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Nov 21, 2003, 6:08:39 PM11/21/03
to
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message news:
>
> Bilbo does what he thinks is wrong. IMO, he's taken his "Burglar" role
> too serious: first he steals from the Dragon, then he double-crosses his
> companions.
>
LOL!

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Nov 21, 2003, 6:12:56 PM11/21/03
to
cdg <cgrot...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:

>
> Two recipes for hard tack (modern-day cram)
> [copied from misc.survivalism]
>
(snip recipe)Thank you for the recipe, I am surely going to try it!

Henriette

Jette Goldie

unread,
Nov 21, 2003, 6:37:37 PM11/21/03
to

"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:be50318e.03112...@posting.google.com...

> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message news:
> >
> > (snip) (courtesy of Dr.
> > Ernst Stavro Blofeld and David Flood with their respective cats)
>
> LOL. How do you know Dr. Ernst has a cat as well? Are you somewhat
> psychic like Bilbo?
>

Because he's Ernst Stavro Blofeld! Of course he has a cat -
a white fluffy one he strokes while he plans the destruction
of James Bond!

:-)

Glenn Holliday

unread,
Nov 21, 2003, 9:19:57 PM11/21/03
to
put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru wrote:
>
> 5. Bilbo steals Arkenstone.
> a) Does everyone agree that this is theft? Why is it not?
> b) Why is Bilbo doing that: lust for gems, intervention from above [or
> below - 'Morgoth's summons'??] (please discuss moral implications of this
> variant), expectations of greater bargaining power?

Let's blame the influence of the Ring! And also the influence of
Smaug's conversation with Bilbo.

> c) Does Bilbo's action make any difference for the outcome (what
> 'troubles' did it cause)?

Tolkien has Bilbo take the stone in order to make it available as
a plot gimmick later, when Bilbo uses it as a bargaining chip.
When we get to that chapter :-) perhaps I'll argue that Bilbo
decided to use and give up the stone because his conscience
wouldn't let him keep stolen goods.

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

Glenn Holliday

unread,
Nov 21, 2003, 9:23:11 PM11/21/03
to
put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru wrote:
>
> 10. What really makes me smile is Bilbo's helm. Now he is the only hobbit
> to have a crown surrogate. Not Rorimas "Go[l]dfather" Brandybuck, not
> Paladin II Took, but a Baggins! BTW, where is the helm at the time of the
> War of the Ring?

In the museum. Bilbo retrieve the mithral coat because he thought
it would be useful. I imagine he thought the ceremonial helm would
be too conspicuous.

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

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

unread,
Nov 22, 2003, 3:07:45 AM11/22/03
to
Hasan Murtaza wrote:
>
>
> put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru wrote:
>
> > Hasan Murtaza wrote:
> >
> >>put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru wrote:
> >>
[...]

> >>I don't know if this is psychic, but it could be unconscious. I felt
> >>some type of lightening of the heart when Saddam was turfed out of Iraq,
> >>but that by watching it on CNN. I don't think this is ES perceptive.
> >
> > Was he :-)? It seems that he's alive and kicking from the underground.
>
> Some say that he is sitting in the north, Russia or Byelorussia. I
> don't know why, must be some old arrangement though.

TOP SECRET INSTRUCTIONS: "When forced from Barad-dur, return to Angband."
$-|

Archie (and now we're safely on topic again)

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

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Nov 22, 2003, 4:01:35 AM11/22/03
to
Stan Brown wrote:
> In article <MPG.1a26a87b2e...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
> wrote:
> >Bilbo does what he thinks is wrong. IMO, he's taken his "Burglar" role
> >too serious: first he steals from the Dragon,
>
> He clearly did not steal from the dragon. It is not stealing to take
> something _from_ a thief and give it to its rightful owner.

Why is he called the official Burglar of the team then? And aren't 'to
steal' and 'stealthy' cognate words? Smaug possessed the treasure by
right of conquest :-), long enough for all terms to pass, and openly
enough to call it 'bona fide' possession (a bit fuzzy on the specific law
terms here). I bet he would have won in any modern court given size of
the treasure.

Archie (cynical? YEAH!)

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

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Nov 22, 2003, 4:01:39 AM11/22/03
to
AC wrote:
> On Fri, 21 Nov 2003 15:10:10 -0500,
> Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> > In article <MPG.1a26a87b2e...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
> > rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
> > wrote:
> >>Bilbo does what he thinks is wrong. IMO, he's taken his "Burglar" role
> >>too serious: first he steals from the Dragon,
> >
> > He clearly did not steal from the dragon. It is not stealing to take
> > something _from_ a thief and give it to its rightful owner.
>
> Well, he didn't actually give it to the rightful owner until said owner was
> dead or dying (can't quite remember which right now).

Sorry for misunderstanding: stealing from the Dragon referred to the
chalice.

Archie

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

unread,
Nov 22, 2003, 4:01:41 AM11/22/03
to
Henriette wrote:
> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message news:
> >
> > (snip) (courtesy of Dr.
> > Ernst Stavro Blofeld and David Flood with their respective cats)
>
> LOL. How do you know Dr. Ernst has a cat as well? Are you somewhat
> psychic like Bilbo?
Errm. I always presumed that Bond movies are a faithful rendition of RL
characters and situations :-)
(snip)

> I remember Pradera once wrote in Polish the (Polish)words for "the"
> and "a" do not exist, so he said in English he always added them more
> or less at random. ...
The same goes for Russian: I have learnt a few ground rules for article
choice (esp. "The articles are not normally used with proper nouns"), but
'gray zone' cases make me guess.

Of course, it is said that Russian has an indefinite article (please
close your ears) - a 3-letter word *** :-).
> ...Now I notice that you always write Arkenstone,


> where I would write The Arkenstone. Maybe a minor detail, but I was
> wondering if that has to do with the construction of Russian.

Sorry about that. Will make amends ASAP.



> > 2. Bilbo feels "a strange lightening of the heart". Chronologically
> > *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS* *SPOILERS*
> > it coincides (IMHO only - the timing is now fuzzy) with Smaug's death.
>
> Like AC says somewhere in this thread, that is not the only time
> foreboding occurs in JRRT's works. I wish people would accept that and
> not insist it is mere coincidence.

Exactly.

> > 5. Bilbo steals Arkenstone.
> > a) Does everyone agree that this is theft? Why is it not?
> I see, that some people in this thread think it is not (I think it
> is). In that case maybe we can reach consensus by saying it is at
> least dishonest.

You seem to be a consensus builder... Nice to hear this suggestion... I
subscribe to it...

> > I have yet to find biscuits
> > that keep good indefinitely (that is, are properly dehydrated and
> > foiled).
>
> The Dutch also have a tradition of being good at "ship biscuits" which
> last almost indefinitely and are quite tasty.

Now comes a serious OT question: what reasons were there for the rise to
prominence of Britain in place of the Pays-Bas as a maritime and colonial
power? This question has been raised recently (last 10 yrs) in quite a
few economics papers, but since the authors are Brits or Americans I
don't think they're unbiased. Maybe you can direct me to some Dutch
books/authors writing on the topic (I'd look them up for English
translations in the LC and British Library catalogues). TIA.

Archie

Henriette

unread,
Nov 22, 2003, 4:44:24 AM11/22/03
to
"Jette Goldie" <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote in message news:<5lxvb.7468$Ns1.63...@news-text.cableinet.net>...

> "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:

> > How do you know Dr. Ernst has a cat as well? Are you somewhat


> > psychic like Bilbo?
>
> Because he's Ernst Stavro Blofeld! Of course he has a cat -
> a white fluffy one he strokes while he plans the destruction
> of James Bond!
>

Oh I see! I am not familiar with that Dr Ernst (and hardly with James
Bond).

BTW I like "our" Dr Ernst's conclusive posts, at the end of the week
of each new chapter of TH.

Henriette

Stan Brown

unread,
Nov 22, 2003, 12:06:24 PM11/22/03
to
In article <slrnbrt0mn.1is....@namibia.tandem> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote:
>On Fri, 21 Nov 2003 15:10:10 -0500,
>Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
>> In article <MPG.1a26a87b2e...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
>> rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
>> wrote:
>>>Bilbo does what he thinks is wrong. IMO, he's taken his "Burglar" role
>>>too serious: first he steals from the Dragon,
>>
>> He clearly did not steal from the dragon. It is not stealing to take
>> something _from_ a thief and give it to its rightful owner.
>
>Well, he didn't actually give it to the rightful owner until said owner was
>dead or dying (can't quite remember which right now).

Perhaps I snipped too severely. What he "stole" from the dragon, in
context, was that cup he grabbed on his first foray down the tunnel,
and he gave it to Thorin immediately.

He never did steal the Arkenstone, since legally it was his right to
choose his own fourteenth share. It's not his fault that Thorin
spoke more generously than what was actually in his heart.

Stan Brown

unread,
Nov 22, 2003, 12:13:03 PM11/22/03
to
In article <MPG.1a2955f488...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
wrote:

>Stan Brown wrote:
>> In article <MPG.1a26a87b2e...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
>> rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
>> wrote:
>> >Bilbo does what he thinks is wrong. IMO, he's taken his "Burglar" role
>> >too serious: first he steals from the Dragon,
>>
>> He clearly did not steal from the dragon. It is not stealing to take
>> something _from_ a thief and give it to its rightful owner.
>
>Why is he called the official Burglar of the team then?

That's part of the joke. But remember that "expert treasure-hunter"
is supposed to be an equally good job description.

>And aren't 'to steal' and 'stealthy' cognate words?

Maybe, but so what?

> Smaug possessed the treasure by right of conquest :-),

Right of conquest does not convey the right to anything, unless by
treaty between the parties.

> long enough for all terms to pass,

If that means anything, I don't know what. When you steal something,
the mere passage of time does not make it yours.

> and openly enough to call it 'bona fide' possession
>(a bit fuzzy on the specific law terms here).

Evidently. I don't see any way that "bona fide" is relevant here.

> I bet he would have won in any modern court given size of the treasure.

You might enjoy /Expecting Someone Taller/ by Tom Holt. In it, an
ordinary Englishman gets hold of the Ring(*) by accident. Part of
the book involves tracing the legal ownership of the Ring under
divine law, Gibichung law, etc.

(*) Not _our_ Ring, the Ring of teh Nibelung.

Odysseus

unread,
Nov 23, 2003, 5:15:19 AM11/23/03
to
Stan Brown wrote:
>
> Sailors on British vessels in the 18th and 19th centuries lived on
> something like cram. It didn't do moldy, but did apparently host
> maggots as the months went by. There's a scene in one of the
> /Horatio Hornblower/ books of the sailors knocking their biscuits on
> the table to shake out the maggots.
>
Weevils, weren't they?

--
Odysseus

Henriette

unread,
Nov 23, 2003, 2:35:00 PM11/23/03
to
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message news:<MPG.1a296052c3...@news.mtu-net.ru>...

> Henriette wrote:
>
> Of course, it is said that Russian has an indefinite article (please
> close your ears) - a 3-letter word *** :-).

I have no idea what you refer at, but it looks like that is just as
well...

> > ...Now I notice that you always write Arkenstone,
> > where I would write The Arkenstone. Maybe a minor detail, but I was
> > wondering if that has to do with the construction of Russian.
> Sorry about that. Will make amends ASAP.

Please don't mention it. I probably make more mistakes in English then
you do, but it is often interesting to know the linguistic reason.


>
> Now comes a serious OT question: what reasons were there for the rise to
> prominence of Britain in place of the Pays-Bas as a maritime and colonial
> power? This question has been raised recently (last 10 yrs) in quite a
> few economics papers, but since the authors are Brits or Americans I
> don't think they're unbiased. Maybe you can direct me to some Dutch
> books/authors writing on the topic (I'd look them up for English
> translations in the LC and British Library catalogues). TIA.
>

Today I was in Rotterdam, and my friends there told me it is the
world's largest harbour. Did you know? I didn't. But as for your
question, when you take a look at the globe. Do you see Pays-Bas? No?
But you see Britain? Easily? Could that not be a reason? And
(whispers)we were a colonial power (Indonesia, Surinam and the
Netherlands Antiles). Is that of some help? No? If it isn't, I'll be
happy to find some literature on the subject.

Henriette

Jeen Broekstra

unread,
Nov 23, 2003, 2:58:34 PM11/23/03
to
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote:
> > The Dutch also have a tradition of being good at "ship
> > biscuits" which last almost indefinitely and are quite tasty.
> Now comes a serious OT question: what reasons were there for
> the rise to prominence of Britain in place of the Pays-Bas as
> a maritime and colonial power? This question has been raised
> recently (last 10 yrs) in quite a few economics papers, but
> since the authors are Brits or Americans I don't think they're
> unbiased. Maybe you can direct me to some Dutch books/authors
> writing on the topic (I'd look them up for English
> translations in the LC and British Library catalogues). TIA.

My history on the 17th century is a bit shaky, but perhaps the
main reason was that the Dutch were not very interested in
colonial power per se, it was merely a way to make profit; which
is nicely illustrated by the fact that most Dutch colonies in
that period were established by a company - the Dutch East Indies
Company - instead of by the Republic itself. Indeed, it has been
said that in fact the Republic was run by the company board of
directors (the "Lords seventeen") instead of by the
States-General (parliament).

This situation resulted in short-sightedness on the part of the
Dutch Powers-that-Be: if it didn't turn a direct profit, they
didn't want to invest in it. England developed its maritime
power and its colonial empire 'for king and country', as a status
symbol as much as anything. The Dutch lost their naval supremacy
primarily because they didn't feel like spending too much money
on their navy.

With naval supremacy lost, the Republic was still rich from the
profits the established colonies brought. But when the prices of
the goods brought from the far east went down in the 18th century
(because of competition, presumably), the Dutch economy went down
the drain.

That, and it's a small pimple of a country of course, compared to
England. It could never have hoped to compete in earnest for a
long time - they fought four wars in that period, only the first
one went well for the Dutch if I remember correctly[1].

Jeen
[1] Remember from history class, of course. I wasn't there. Duh.
--
Jeen Broekstra http://www.cs.vu.nl/~jbroeks/

"Benson, you are so free of the ravages of intelligence"
-- Time Bandits

Raven

unread,
Nov 23, 2003, 5:52:31 PM11/23/03
to
"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:be50318e.03112...@posting.google.com...

> Please don't mention it. I probably make more mistakes in English then
> you do, but it is often interesting to know the linguistic reason.

That's "than", dear. :-)
But this little mistake doesn't prove you to be bad at English, as many
native speakers of English make the same and similar mistakes --- I wonder
if Rattus Mollis takes notes.

[The Netherlands no longer a great maritime power like Britain]

> Today I was in Rotterdam, and my friends there told me it is the
> world's largest harbour. Did you know? I didn't. But as for your
> question, when you take a look at the globe. Do you see Pays-Bas? No?
> But you see Britain? Easily? Could that not be a reason? And
> (whispers)we were a colonial power (Indonesia, Surinam and the
> Netherlands Antiles). Is that of some help? No? If it isn't, I'll be
> happy to find some literature on the subject.

Could be precisely that, the much smaller population. Portugal was also
a country which built a vast empire, but couldn't retain it for lack of
manpower. And did anybody mention the once so feared and great Vikings? We
Weejuns are fewer than half of you Dutch, Enthierre, and Scandinavia taken
together, even if we were united, are still much fewer than, say, the
Spaniards.

Raaf.


Henriette

unread,
Nov 24, 2003, 5:49:47 AM11/24/03
to
"Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message news:<hRbwb.5131$jD3....@news.get2net.dk>...

> "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse news:
>
> > Please don't mention it. I probably make more mistakes in English then
> > you do, but it is often interesting to know the linguistic reason.
>
> That's "than", dear. :-)

LOL. Like I wrote that on purpose. Please do tell me Rare, if you are
sure I make a mistake.

> But this little mistake doesn't prove you to be bad at English, as many
> native speakers of English make the same and similar mistakes --- I wonder
> if Rattus Mollis takes notes.

Most likely. He encourages people to write their own English,
meanwhile he makes notes and rolls on the floor laughing.
>
(snip)


> And did anybody mention the once so feared and great Vikings? We
> Weejuns are fewer than half of you Dutch, Enthierre,

What a lot of room you must have.

Henriette

Raven

unread,
Nov 24, 2003, 4:46:48 PM11/24/03
to
"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:be50318e.03112...@posting.google.com...

> "Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message
news:<hRbwb.5131$jD3....@news.get2net.dk>...

> > I wonder if Rattus Mollis takes notes.

> Most likely. He encourages people to write their own English,
> meanwhile he makes notes and rolls on the floor laughing.

Squeaking, as likely.

> > And did anybody mention the once so feared and great Vikings? We
> > Weejuns are fewer than half of you Dutch, Enthierre,

> What a lot of room you must have.

Yeah, most of it is grey. Until we found oil we ploughed rocks for a
living, except those who took employ in the merchant fleet.

Raaf.


Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Nov 25, 2003, 8:50:06 AM11/25/03
to
in <MPG.1a2742b19...@news.mtu-net.ru>,
put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> enriched us with:
>
> AC wrote:
>>
>> On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 02:53:07 +0300,
>> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote:
>>>

<snip>

>>> 6. What is Arkenstone's real significance for the Dwarves in
>>> general and Thorin in particular? A heirloom? The token of
>>> power? Anything else?
>>

>> We could start with the fact that, as described, it has to be one
>> of the largest gemstones ever found.
>
> Feanor would say: "Mine is bigger!" (But were the Silmarils that big?)

In /The Annotated Hobbit/ Douglas Anderson has an, IMO, interesting
comparison between the Arkenstone and the Silmarils.

Both the Arkenstone and the Silmarils are very big jewels that shine
with their own inner light (that is, the Arkenstone only gave "a pale
white glint" when Bilbo first enters the dark cave in ch. 13), and
they both reflect light that falls on them rather spectacularly.

The comparison, however, goes deeper than that. Douglas Anderson
writes, "When Tolkien (probably in the 1930s) translated some of the
"Annals of Valinor" from his legendarium into Anglo-Saxon, he used
/eorclanstánas/ sepcifically to refer to the Silmarils" - the same
word which is the origin for "Arkenstone" (the original meaning of
which, again according to Anderson, is "precious stone").

I don't think that the Arkenstone is magical (except, perhaps, for
its ability to shine palely in complete darkness) nor that it is
derived from the Silmarils, but it would appear that the Arkenstone
and the Silmarils have a common origin somewhere in Germannic or
Anglo-Saxon myth.bv


>> ... It was also an heirloom.
> A silent H? Oh well. <blushes>

Re another recent discussion; what would happen if Smaug felt Bilbo's
heir - Frodo appearing in the Hobbit ;-)

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

Stan Brown

unread,
Nov 25, 2003, 10:17:18 AM11/25/03
to
In article <i6Jwb.3436$k4.7...@news1.nokia.com> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Troels Forchhammer
<Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:
>Both the Arkenstone and the Silmarils are very big jewels that shine
>with their own inner light (that is, the Arkenstone only gave "a pale
>white glint" when Bilbo first enters the dark cave in ch. 13), and
>they both reflect light that falls on them rather spectacularly.

The Arkenstone was "like a globe with a thousand facets". I always
thought of the Silmarils as unfaceted. Anyone have a citation to
settle that one way or the other?

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Nov 26, 2003, 3:25:50 AM11/26/03
to
in <MPG.1a2d3c86d...@news.odyssey.net>,
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> enriched us with:

>
> The Arkenstone was "like a globe with a thousand facets". I always
> thought of the Silmarils as unfaceted. Anyone have a citation to
> settle that one way or the other?

I don't know of such a passage. The description in the Silm doesn't, as far
as I can find, include that information.

The interesting (to me, right now) runs,

" As three great Jewels they were in form.
[...]
Therefore even in the darkness of the deepest treasury the
Silmarils of their own radiance shone like the stars of Varda;
and yet, as were they indeed living things, they rejoiced in
light and received it and gave it back in hues more marvellous
than before. "

I think I've taken the Jewel shape a little narrowly - for some reason I've
only thought of faceted jewels. Maybe the part about giving light back "in
hues more marvellous than before" has something to do with that - I think
I've connected that with the refraction in facets, but that can of course
also be done in spherical shape (e.g. the rainbow).

That didn't anwer your question, of course ;-)

The passage about shining in the "darkness of the deepest treasury" is,
IMO,
interesting in this connection because it contains an analogy to the
Arkenstone - this was exactly what it did in Smaug's lair. I'm not sure
what
exactly to make of the "like the stars of Varda" - how bright is that? If
it
is meant to say that a Silmaril was about as bright as a single start when
seen from earth, then it would seem to fit also the description of the
Arkenstone giving a "pale white glint" - that wouldn't, however, fit my
image of the Silmarils - I have always imagined them far brighter (e.g. the
brightness of Eärendil's Silmaril when seen from earth).

Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Nov 26, 2003, 4:21:59 AM11/26/03
to
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message:

> Chapter of the Week The Hobbit, Chapter 13: Not At Home.
>
> This chapter comes a bit too early to fit the schedule, but next week I
> am going on a business trip, so I hope that I have found enough points
> for the core discussion thread to last for a week. For the next few days,
> I am also able to contribute my own comments and replies.
>
> To check out the other Chapters of the Week or to sign up to do a
> chapter of your own, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org (courtesy of Dr.

> Ernst Stavro Blofeld and David Flood with their respective cats)

<pins synopsis>

Thank you for Chapter 13, Archie.

My very humble thoughts on Archie's questions:

> Points to discuss
> =================
> 1. [I am following the Entwife's entsteps here] 'Not at Home' is a pretty
> descriptive title for the chapter. Tolkien pumps up suspense, leaving the
> Dwarves and the Readers intrigued as to Smaug's whereabouts. Nearly any
> step made by the characters in this chapter can prove disastrous if Smaug
> is nearby.

The chapter has great atmosphere (even if the chamber does not.) Besides the
terror of their own immediate danger, there is also the melancholy of being
surrounded by the ruins of the once-great Kingdom of Erebor, and the wonder
of whether it will ever regain its old glory.

> 3. Our Burrahobbit has lighter heart now, but the fear doesn't go away.
> On the way down Bilbo takes prudent steps to detect any dragon's
> activity. The tension is building to a climax when Bilbo shouts out loud.
> A *very risky* thing to do, but it did relieve the tension considerably.
> We alternately see two sides of Bilbo's character: desperate, risk-taking
> courage and fully rational assessment of the dangers (hence the justified
> fear).

I like the way it's casually mentioned that as he wanders the room he
occasionally trips on "some golden thing," showing how his concern for their
safety has taken precedence above all this fabulous treasure.

> 5. Bilbo steals Arkenstone.
> a) Does everyone agree that this is theft? Why is it not?

I agree that Dwarvish contract law is in operation here, and Thorin should
have chosen his words more carefully. It doesn't seem like an error a Dwarf
would make in dealing with another Dwarf. <wink>

> b) Why is Bilbo doing that: lust for gems, intervention from above [or
> below - 'Morgoth's summons'??] (please discuss moral implications of this
> variant), expectations of greater bargaining power?

I don't know what makes him keep it a secret at the time, but picking up
this sought-for jewel seems a natural impulse.

> c) Does Bilbo's action make any difference for the outcome (what
> 'troubles' did it cause)?
>

> 6. What is Arkenstone's real significance for the Dwarves in general and
> Thorin in particular? A heirloom? The token of power? Anything else?

I think it's a mixture of the stone's financial value, the family heirloom
value and the symbol-of-power value. No idea in what order Thorin places the
three values.

> 7. Why does Bilbo call out Dwarves in this sequence: Thorin; Balin; Oin;
> Gloin; Fili; Kili?

Thorin: the leader.
Balin: seems to be developing the closest trust with Bilbo?
The others: they have the stuff for lighting torches?

> 9. It is interesting to note that Bilbo must feel very uneasy when Thorin
> rewards him with a mithril mailcoat. With Arkenstone in his pocket,
> Mr.Baggins must be rather ashamed of breaching Thorin's trust.


>
> 10. What really makes me smile is Bilbo's helm. Now he is the only hobbit
> to have a crown surrogate. Not Rorimas "Go[l]dfather" Brandybuck, not
> Paladin II Took, but a Baggins! BTW, where is the helm at the time of the
> War of the Ring?

I wonder if he feels ridiculous because of the way the helmet looks, or
because the idea of a Hobbit putting on regal garments is ridiculous to his
people?

> 11. Bilbo's calm reasoning is impressive. In thriller movies (tsk tsk
> tsk) his call would have been unheeded. In the tale, he actually manages
> to persuade Thorin to leave the treasure hall.

Did anyone speculate previously whether Gandalf planted some seed of wisdom
in Bilbo's mind before leaving? If not, it could just be his unique Hobbit
perspective on the situation letting him see some things more sensibly than
the Dwarves. Of course the Dwarves are still the experts on military
preparations, defending the Mountain, etc.

> 12. The passage with 'stairs, stairs yet more stairs' is painfully
> familiar. Isn't the idea extended in the LotR? And what is the business
> with dwarven stairs being unfit for Hobbits' legs? Does the difference in
> height matter that much?

It would matter a lot when the stairs go on for a while. Also, hard stone
stairs, not earth or wood (as Hobbits would make?)

> 17. Cram 'is biscuitish, keeps good indefinitely, is supposed to be
> sustaining, and is certainly not entertaining, being in fact very
> uninteresting except as a chewing exercise.' I have yet to find biscuits


> that keep good indefinitely (that is, are properly dehydrated and

> foiled). Cram is Tolkien's first(?) attempt at explaining the logistics
> of long marches without too many real-life complications. Next: lembas.

Is this maybe another Tolkien WWI memory, of army food? I remember hearing
that some British soldiers in WWII were eating rations prepared for the
previous war.

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


Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Nov 26, 2003, 4:25:52 AM11/26/03
to
"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message:
> "Jette Goldie" <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote in message:
> > "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message:

>
> > > How do you know Dr. Ernst has a cat as well? Are you somewhat
> > > psychic like Bilbo?
> >
> > Because he's Ernst Stavro Blofeld! Of course he has a cat -
> > a white fluffy one he strokes while he plans the destruction
> > of James Bond!
> >
> Oh I see! I am not familiar with that Dr Ernst (and hardly with James
> Bond).
>
> BTW I like "our" Dr Ernst's conclusive posts, at the end of the week
> of each new chapter of TH.

Well, Henriette, I'm not trying to sound like an expert on "The Hobbit,"
which I'm not, I'm just another poster here. I also try to ask some
questions that haven't been asked, which is pleasantly difficult when the
thread is a good long one. The closest persons to being experts, I think,
are Conrad and Steuard, who are too silent in our lovely series. And
besides, the cat would be displeased at any challenges to cat authority.
<nirg>

****************

Now may be a good time to point out that Chapter 14 won't be posted until
Dec. 8 (by request, IIRC.) This will give us a bit of a break, to re-examine
past chapters and maybe post a comment we forgot to make. According to the
schedule, Chapters 17 and 18 are due the weeks of Christmas and New Year, so
we can probably expect posting to be down as people will have things to do.
Do we have enough volunteers for the remaining Hobbit chapters? Chapters 15,
16, and 18 are still unclaimed, according to the schedule:

http://parasha.maoltuile.org

It might also be a good idea to post some messages to some carefully chosen,
relatively troll-free newsgroups, informing them of the upcoming LOTR
discussion threads in January, inviting interested newbies to join in.

Stan Brown

unread,
Nov 26, 2003, 6:03:21 AM11/26/03
to
In article <Ak_wb.498974$pl3.115981@pd7tw3no> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld
<eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:
>It might also be a good idea to post some messages to some carefully chosen,
>relatively troll-free newsgroups, informing them of the upcoming LOTR
>discussion threads in January, inviting interested newbies to join in.

"Carefully chosen" on what basis? The list of groups where such an
article would be on topic is mighty short.

Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Nov 26, 2003, 8:07:47 PM11/26/03
to
"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message:

> rec.arts.books.tolkien, Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld
> <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:
> >It might also be a good idea to post some messages to some carefully
chosen,
> >relatively troll-free newsgroups, informing them of the upcoming LOTR
> >discussion threads in January, inviting interested newbies to join in.
>
> "Carefully chosen" on what basis? The list of groups where such an
> article would be on topic is mighty short.

That's true, which is why it's best left up to individual discretion.
Ideally, maybe some posters here are regulars on some small newsgroups and
are familiar with posters there who would be interested. One of our
hoped-for early goals with this series was to attract a new core of on-topic
posters.

Stan Brown

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Nov 27, 2003, 11:26:25 AM11/27/03
to
In article <D7cxb.501987$pl3.341410@pd7tw3no> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld
<eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:
>That's true, which is why it's best left up to individual discretion.
>Ideally, maybe some posters here are regulars on some small newsgroups and
>are familiar with posters there who would be interested.

Let me make my point more clearly: People on Usenet who are
interested in Tolkien already subscribe to a Tolkien newsgroup.

If you post Tolkien announcements to another group, it's just wasted
bandwidth as far as that group is concerned.

Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Nov 27, 2003, 6:20:45 PM11/27/03
to
"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message:
>
> Let me make my point more clearly: People on Usenet who are
> interested in Tolkien already subscribe to a Tolkien newsgroup.
>
> If you post Tolkien announcements to another group, it's just wasted
> bandwidth as far as that group is concerned.

Point taken. Thanks for thinking more clearly than me. We don't want to spam
anyone. So let us spread knowledge of the groups by word-of-mouth to anyone
who might be interested and leave it at that.

BTW Stan, have you considered introducing a Hobbit chapter? The following
three are still unclaimed:

Dec 12th, 2003 15. The Gathering of the Clouds
Dec 15th, 2003 16. A Thief in the Night
Dec 29th, 2003 18. The Return Journey

Stan Brown

unread,
Nov 27, 2003, 11:30:26 PM11/27/03
to
In article <hFvxb.507184$6C4.342548@pd7tw1no> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld
<eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:
>BTW Stan, have you considered introducing a Hobbit chapter? The following
>three are still unclaimed:
>
>Dec 12th, 2003 15. The Gathering of the Clouds
>Dec 15th, 2003 16. A Thief in the Night
>Dec 29th, 2003 18. The Return Journey

Thanks for asking, but I don't think I could do them justice. The
only chapter I've got anything on is 17, which is taken -- and even
there I have only one good question to pose.

Henriette

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Nov 28, 2003, 12:43:15 PM11/28/03
to
"Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in message news:<Ak_wb.498974$pl3.115981@pd7tw3no>...

> "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message:
> >
> > BTW I like "our" Dr Ernst's conclusive posts, at the end of the week
> > of each new chapter of TH.
>
> Well, Henriette, I'm not trying to sound like an expert on "The Hobbit,"
> which I'm not, I'm just another poster here. I also try to ask some
> questions that haven't been asked, which is pleasantly difficult when the
> thread is a good long one.

I did not mean conclusive in the sense of giving an expert opinion,
but in the sense of giving some feedback on that particular thread, a
sort of synopsis, after about a week. A sort of meta-communication (I
hope that is English). I still stick to the opinion that it is nice
you are doing that!

> The closest persons to being experts, I think,
> are Conrad and Steuard, who are too silent in our lovely series.

Many people are silent in our lovely series, but then I am silent in a
lot of other series which other posters may consider lovely. Let's not
focus on who does not join our party, but on the posters who do and on
the party itself! I think they are really nice and a lot comes up.


>
> Do we have enough volunteers for the remaining Hobbit chapters? Chapters 15,
> 16, and 18 are still unclaimed, according to the schedule:
>
> http://parasha.maoltuile.org
>

We have a lot of volunteers who are standing silently on the reserve
list waiting to have a go. I think now is about the time for them to
step forward! Donald, Count, Taemon, TradeSurplus, RoRowe, Wilde Ier?
In my opinion Dr Ernst should be spared as he is already doing the
conclusive posts.

Henriette

Hasdrubal Hamilcar

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Nov 28, 2003, 1:02:08 PM11/28/03
to

Henriette wrote:

> "Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in message news:<Ak_wb.498974$pl3.115981@pd7tw3no>...
>
>>"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message:
>>
>>>BTW I like "our" Dr Ernst's conclusive posts, at the end of the week
>>>of each new chapter of TH.
>>
>>Well, Henriette, I'm not trying to sound like an expert on "The Hobbit,"
>>which I'm not, I'm just another poster here. I also try to ask some
>>questions that haven't been asked, which is pleasantly difficult when the
>>thread is a good long one.
>
>
> I did not mean conclusive in the sense of giving an expert opinion,
> but in the sense of giving some feedback on that particular thread, a
> sort of synopsis, after about a week. A sort of meta-communication (I
> hope that is English). I still stick to the opinion that it is nice
> you are doing that!
>
>
>>The closest persons to being experts, I think,
>>are Conrad and Steuard, who are too silent in our lovely series.
>
>
> Many people are silent in our lovely series, but then I am silent in a
> lot of other series which other posters may consider lovely. Let's not
> focus on who does not join our party, but on the posters who do and on
> the party itself! I think they are really nice and a lot comes up.
>


I think we can extend the pleasure of the COTW series by making one
timely bit of planning: reserving some of the slots in the LOTR series
for later, so that latecomers can also have a chance to be a part of the
discussion. Otherwise the slots might fill up before they can get a
chance to sign up, a year or so later.

The movies will only fuel interest for another generation or so,
(remember how long ago star wars was?)

Hasan


Taemon

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Nov 28, 2003, 2:14:41 PM11/28/03
to
Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld:

> three are still unclaimed:
>
> Dec 12th, 2003 15. The Gathering of the Clouds
> Dec 15th, 2003 16. A Thief in the Night
> Dec 29th, 2003 18. The Return Journey

I will take 18, if that's okay.

Greetings, T.


Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

unread,
Nov 29, 2003, 10:10:10 AM11/29/03