Chapter of the Week: The Hobbit, Chapter 7 Queer Lodgings

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Henriette

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Oct 13, 2003, 8:01:07 AM10/13/03
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Synopsis:

Gandalf, Bilbo and the thirteen dwarves are carried away on the backs
of the great eagles towards The Carrock. This great rock is called
thus by Beorn, a
"skin-changer", changing in identity from man to bear. Gandalf
introduces the company to him, one pair at the time, so as not to
annoy this quick-tempered being, and tells about their adventures with
the Wargs and goblins. While they enjoy Beorn's hospitality, waited
upon by his domestic animals, Beorn has a danced meeting in the night
with lots of other bears and in the daytime he checks out their story.
When he finds out it is true, he turns out more friendly and becomes
very helpful when Gandalf tells him about their quest, offering
advice, food, and ponies and a a horse to bring them to a path through
the dangerous forest of Mirkwood, which leads straight to the Lonely
Mountain. With Beorn following them on the side in bear-shape, they
reach this path and are told not to leave it ever. To the great
distress of the dwarves and Bilbo, even though he says he sends the
(terrified) Bilbo with them, Gandalf leaves them for "some pressing
business away south" on the horse he was supposed to send back to
Beorn. The dwarves and Bilbo send back their ponies and plunge into
the forest.

Thoughts, comments and questions.

*"What is finer than flying?", says the eagle on which Bilbo is
sitting. Bilbo does not agree, but I do. JRRT describes the flight
beautifully.
*Isn't it nice how eagles have their own polite
farewell-greeting:"Farewell wherever you fare, till your eyries
receive you at the journey's end!" with the matching correct reply,
just as the dwarves have their own:"At your service" greeting when
they arrive (with a bow and a wave of their hoods before their knees)?
*Bilbo weeps, when Gandalf announces he is leaving shortly. I noticed
before that JRRT is very tolerant about men who cry; their manliness
does not suffer
from it one bit. This may be OK nowadays in some broad-minded circles,
but it must have been a remarkable opinion in the
stiff-upper-lip-England of that time.
*In my eyes Gandalf makes Beorn appear appalling: "you must be careful
not to annoy him, or heaven knows what will happen"/"he growls"/"he is
never very
polite"/ "he is a fierce enemy"/"he can be appalling when he is
angry"/"he gets angry easily"/"he is not the sort of person to ask
questions of"/etc. Still over time I have grown more sympathetic
towards Beorn. He really has a sense of humour, he has a nice rolling
laugh and a deep rolling voice, he is straightforward (like the
softrat he says what comes to his mouth) and he is vegetarian.
*In this chapter stonegiants are mentioned again, and giants are
mentioned twice. Beorn also must be enormous: Bilbo "could easily
have trotted through his legs without ducking his head to miss the
fringe of the man's brown tunic".
*I sincerely dislike the cheating way in which Gandalf introduces the
dwarves, although I understand he probably has no choice.
*Like Meneldil, Beorn has a knowledge of extremely different
languages. Apart from conversing with Gandalf and company in their
tongue, he also growls in the
tongue of bears, and he talks in a "queer language like animal noises
turned into talk" to his domestic animals.
*Pradera once drew my attention to the fact of with which sense of
detail JRRT writes. In this chapter he really shows this ability in
describing Beorn's house (which had WINGS) and its surroundings.
*Why does Beorn say: "They don't look dangerous", when he first sees
Gandalf and Bilbo, and lets out a "great rolling laugh"? Do they look
so non-threateningly to him? Still the horses stay with him until they
are dismissed.
*Gandald calls Radagast "his cousin". I can't remember ever again
having read somewhere they were related.
*Why does Beorn have a wood-fire burning 24/7? It is summer and when
they come outside "into a sort of veranda", it "was still warm".
*I like this very much: "Bilbo had never seen half of the flowers in
Beorn's garden before" and this: "There must have been a regular
bears' meeting outside here last night (...) all dancing outside from
dark to nearly dawn". What a wonderful way of holding a meeting!
*Mysterie abounds:
1) On the morning after the 2nd night, Beorn awakes the company and
says to Bilbo: "Not eaten up by Wargs or goblins or wicked bears yet I
see", which
strongly suggests he knew about Bilbo's fears of the night before. How
could he know this?
2) Where does Bilbo's sudden remark: "What did you do with the goblin
and the Warg?" come from, and why does he ask this?
3) The "black and strong" stream in Mirkwood "carries enchantment and
a great drowsiness and forgetfulness". Wonderful description.
4)Bilbo's feeling about Mirkwood: "a sort of watching and waiting
feeling".
5)Gandalf about Bilbo: "I have told you before that he has more about
him than you guess, and you will find that out before long". Now how
does he know this? (In this respect I am especially curious for
Taemon's reply.)
*Although Beorn has warned them to send back horse and ponies at the
edge of Mirkwood, Gandalf does not obey, saying "he will look after
that". Still Beorn
"shambles of quickly" after the ponies instead of chasing Gandalf.
Why?
* In this chapter "hobgoblins" are mentioned for the first time. What
are they? And the first mentioning of Sauron by the name of
"Necromancer".
* Another set of urgent last words from Gandalf. Not "Fly you fools!",
but "Don't leave the path!"
* Other publications chapter 7 reminded me of:
1)Trygve Gulbranssen's trilogy about the history of the Bjørndal
family ("Ingen vei går udenom"(?)), of which the first book has a
lovely title (in Dutch: "En eeuwig zingen de bossen"). The books
starts from the point of view of a bear, and bears remain an important
issue.
2) Harry Potter: Mrs. Rowling would have called the skin-changer an
"animagus"./The mentioning of giants./The recurring fact that everyone
knows Thorin Oakenshield, just like everyone knows Harry Potter. Beorn
does know Thorin, but he never heard of Gandalf.
3) Gandalf's smoke rings reminded me of the word "narco-terrorist"
from the humorous LotR e-text. Maybe it is time to re-post this URL,
so newbees can have a look a it! (I lost it during my last PC-crash).

Henriette

P.S. Do sign up yourself for also initiating a chapter of The Hobbit
or the LotR
at Wilde Ier's pretty site: http://parasha.maoltuile.org/ or send an
e-mail to Dr Ernst.

Jette Goldie

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Oct 13, 2003, 8:23:54 AM10/13/03
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"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote

> *Bilbo weeps, when Gandalf announces he is leaving shortly. I noticed
> before that JRRT is very tolerant about men who cry; their manliness
> does not suffer
> from it one bit. This may be OK nowadays in some broad-minded circles,
> but it must have been a remarkable opinion in the
> stiff-upper-lip-England of that time.

Actually no, that's a mistaken impression. Weeping was always
acceptable for men, when the situation merited it. Weeping for
no good reason, or weeping *instead* of "pulling yourself together
and solving the problem" was not acceptable. The "stiff upper
lip" meant you held your feelings in until you had dealt with
things, or until you were in suitable company (one did not
weep in front of one's servants, for example - *they* had to see
you as able to cope).

Having a crying jag on the football pitch because you missed
a goal was NOT acceptable, however! (would that it still wasn't!)


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


Taemon

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Oct 13, 2003, 2:05:54 PM10/13/03
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Henriette:

> 5)Gandalf about Bilbo: "I have told you before that he has more about
> him than you guess, and you will find that out before long". Now how
> does he know this? (In this respect I am especially curious for
> Taemon's reply.)

What? What? What?

Greetings, T.


Stan Brown

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Oct 13, 2003, 2:18:04 PM10/13/03
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In article <be50318e.03101...@posting.google.com> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>1) On the morning after the 2nd night, Beorn awakes the company and
>says to Bilbo: "Not eaten up by Wargs or goblins or wicked bears yet I
>see", which
>strongly suggests he knew about Bilbo's fears of the night before. How
>could he know this?

Because Bilbo had voiced those fears to the company, only a couple
of paragraphs before: 'Bilbo thought he knew what the wizard meant.
"What shall we do," he cried, "if he leads all the Wargs and the
goblins down here? We shall all be caught and killed! I thought you
said he was not a friend of theirs."'

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

Stan Brown

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Oct 13, 2003, 2:20:26 PM10/13/03
to
In article <be50318e.03101...@posting.google.com> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>*Although Beorn has warned them to send back horse and ponies at the
>edge of Mirkwood, Gandalf does not obey, saying "he will look after
>that". Still Beorn
>"shambles off quickly" after the ponies instead of chasing Gandalf.
>Why?

Perhaps he heard Gandalf tell the dwarves "I am not sending it back,
I am riding it." Perhaps he trusted Gandalf more than the Dwarves.
Most likely he saw that Gandalf was heading back toward Beorn's
home, and simply tracked him in parallel.

Stan Brown

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Oct 13, 2003, 2:26:59 PM10/13/03
to

By the bye, "Beorn" is cognate to Danish Bjørn or Swedish Björn,
which means "bear". Tolkien does this again in LotR when he names an
old man Gamling, which in Scandinavian languages means -- old one.


I have a question of my own about this chapter of /The Hobbit/.

Gandalf, telling the Dwarves and Bilbo about Beorn before their
visit, says: "I once saw him sitting all alone on the top of the
Carrock at night watching the moon sinking towards the Misty
Mountains, and I heard him growl in the tongue of bears; 'The day
will come when they will perish and I shall go back!' That is why I
believe he once came from the mountains himself."

Now, the goblins have been in the Misty Mountains for generations
(thousands of years, as we find out in LotR). Yet Beorn is a man,
with at least roughly a man's lifespan. (Sixty years later he is
dead and his descendants collect tolls.) So why would he expect the
goblins to perish in his lifetime?

Raven

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Oct 13, 2003, 4:21:01 PM10/13/03
to
"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:be50318e.03101...@posting.google.com...

> *"What is finer than flying?", says the eagle on which Bilbo is
> sitting. Bilbo does not agree, but I do. JRRT describes the flight
> beautifully.

Ahh, it's too long since I went skydiving.

> *In this chapter stonegiants are mentioned again, and giants are
> mentioned twice. Beorn also must be enormous: Bilbo "could easily
> have trotted through his legs without ducking his head to miss the
> fringe of the man's brown tunic".

Bilbo was probably waist-high to me. This indicates that Beorn's knees
would be a bit above my waist if he stood next to me.

> *Why does Beorn say: "They don't look dangerous", when he first sees
> Gandalf and Bilbo, and lets out a "great rolling laugh"? Do they look
> so non-threateningly to him? Still the horses stay with him until they
> are dismissed.

Bilbo would very probably look harmless to Beorn, because of his size.
Gandalf had his sword, but perhaps he exuded an air of non-aggression that
made Beorn trust that he was as unwilling as Bilbo was unable to offer
violence.

> *Gandald calls Radagast "his cousin". I can't remember ever again
> having read somewhere they were related.

Probably not a reference to blood kinship - in the greater context where
Gandalf and Radagast were both Maiar and emissaries from the Valar. But it
is common in many cultures to refer to each other as "brother", "sister" or
"cousin". Gandalf might have used "cousin" instead of "associate" or
"fellow member of the Heren Istarion". Much the same difference to Beorn,
but he would be able to relate to "cousin" more easily.

> 5)Gandalf about Bilbo: "I have told you before that he has more about
> him than you guess, and you will find that out before long". Now how
> does he know this? (In this respect I am especially curious for
> Taemon's reply.)

Same sort of foresight that he has also on other occasions, which we
would call "clairvoyant" in our world?

> *Although Beorn has warned them to send back horse and ponies at the
> edge of Mirkwood, Gandalf does not obey, saying "he will look after
> that". Still Beorn
> "shambles of quickly" after the ponies instead of chasing Gandalf.
> Why?

Gandalf is riding his borrowed pony back to Beorn. Seldom does thief
ride back to the stable, remember?

> * In this chapter "hobgoblins" are mentioned for the first time. What
> are they?

Probably just big goblins. Goblins and hobgoblins are then two
alternative names for orcs.

> 3) Gandalf's smoke rings reminded me of the word "narco-terrorist"
> from the humorous LotR e-text. Maybe it is time to re-post this URL,
> so newbees can have a look a it! (I lost it during my last PC-crash).

http://tolkien.slimy.com/etext/EtextChps.html

Raaf.


Brenda Selwyn

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Oct 13, 2003, 5:51:53 PM10/13/03
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>held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:

>*Gandald calls Radagast "his cousin". I can't remember ever again
>having read somewhere they were related.

Interesting. Maybe Tolkien did have in mind at the time that they
were (HoME anyone?).

But as he actually calls him "my good cousin Radagast", I think it's
more likely to be a colloquial usage meaning "a member of a kindred
group" (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=cousin), or a close
friend or associate.

This isn't Tolkien's only loose use of relationship terms; Frodo is
not Bilbo's nephew, yet Bilbo describes him as such in his birthday
party speech. There is also a reference to Bilbo being known as
"Uncle Bilbo" by some of the younger Tooks and Brandybucks.

It's not unusual in England (though perhaps less common now than
formerly (fortunately, since I don't care for it)) for young children
to be encouraged to call their parents' friends "Uncle" and "Auntie"
as a sign of respect, even though they are not related in any way. I
don't know whether this is a specifically English thing.

Brenda

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

ste...@nomail.com

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Oct 13, 2003, 5:58:49 PM10/13/03
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In rec.arts.books.tolkien Brenda Selwyn <bre...@matson.demon.co.uk> wrote:
:>held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:

:>*Gandald calls Radagast "his cousin". I can't remember ever again
:>having read somewhere they were related.

: Interesting. Maybe Tolkien did have in mind at the time that they
: were (HoME anyone?).

The idea of Gandalf being a Maiar did not appear until well
into the writing of the LotR. When he wrote the Hobbit,
Gandalf was apparently just a wizard. Late in the writing
of LotR Gandalf was from Numenor, presumably human, and I imagine
that is more or less what he was in the Hobbit.

: But as he actually calls him "my good cousin Radagast", I think it's


: more likely to be a colloquial usage meaning "a member of a kindred
: group" (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=cousin), or a close
: friend or associate.

Whatever he thought of the nature of Gandalf and Radagast,
he probably did not intend them to be cousins literally.

Stephen

Maxie 3141

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Oct 13, 2003, 7:57:29 PM10/13/03
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Brenda wrote:

<< It's not unusual in England (though perhaps less
<<common now than formerly (fortunately, since I
<<don't care for it)) for young children to be
<<encouraged to call their parents' friends "Uncle"
<<and "Auntie" as a sign of respect, even though they
<< are not related in any way. I don't know whether
<<this is a specifically English thing.

I don't think it's specifically an English thing: we do it in the southern
United States too. (I live in Memphis, Tennessee.) In our family, my brothers
and sisters & I always called our mother's best friend "Aunt" Lilly, and my
best friend from high school's kids used to call me "Uncle" Maxie.

I never thought of it as being a sign of respect, though. For us Maxwells &
Browns it was a sign of affection: it was shorthand for "This person is a
member of your family you happen not to to share blood kinship with, but rather
are bound to by choice and love." My siblings & I didn't call ALL our parents'
close friends Aunt and Uncle; in fact it was just Lilly, whom we all loved at
least as much as our blood aunts.

By the way, why do you dislike the custom?

Stan Brown

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Oct 13, 2003, 8:07:58 PM10/13/03
to
In article <bmf76p$ssl$1...@msunews.cl.msu.edu> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, <ste...@nomail.com> wrote:
>The idea of Gandalf being a Maiar did not appear until well
>into the writing of the LotR.

If it did, it was excised before the first published version, which
nowhere uses the word.

(And please, the singular of "two Maiar" is "one Maia". Gandalf was
no more a Maiar than I am a New Yorkers.)

ste...@nomail.com

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Oct 13, 2003, 8:55:03 PM10/13/03
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In rec.arts.books.tolkien Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
: In article <bmf76p$ssl$1...@msunews.cl.msu.edu> in
: rec.arts.books.tolkien, <ste...@nomail.com> wrote:
:>The idea of Gandalf being a Maiar did not appear until well
:>into the writing of the LotR.

: If it did, it was excised before the first published version, which
: nowhere uses the word.

I meant that the idea did not appear to Tolkien until well


into the writing of the LotR.

: (And please, the singular of "two Maiar" is "one Maia". Gandalf was

: no more a Maiar than I am a New Yorkers.)

Oh calm down.

Stephen

AC

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Oct 13, 2003, 8:57:52 PM10/13/03
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On Mon, 13 Oct 2003 14:26:59 -0400,
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
>
> By the bye, "Beorn" is cognate to Danish Bjørn or Swedish Björn,
> which means "bear". Tolkien does this again in LotR when he names an
> old man Gamling, which in Scandinavian languages means -- old one.
>
>
> I have a question of my own about this chapter of /The Hobbit/.
>
> Gandalf, telling the Dwarves and Bilbo about Beorn before their
> visit, says: "I once saw him sitting all alone on the top of the
> Carrock at night watching the moon sinking towards the Misty
> Mountains, and I heard him growl in the tongue of bears; 'The day
> will come when they will perish and I shall go back!' That is why I
> believe he once came from the mountains himself."
>
> Now, the goblins have been in the Misty Mountains for generations
> (thousands of years, as we find out in LotR). Yet Beorn is a man,
> with at least roughly a man's lifespan. (Sixty years later he is
> dead and his descendants collect tolls.) So why would he expect the
> goblins to perish in his lifetime?

Beorn is an enignmatic figure, sort of the Tom Bombadil of The Hobbit, in my
opinion. Or, to put it another way, your guess is as good as mine.

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

the softrat

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Oct 13, 2003, 9:18:30 PM10/13/03
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On 13 Oct 2003 23:57:29 GMT, maxi...@aol.com (Maxie 3141) wrote:

>Brenda wrote:
>
><< It's not unusual in England (though perhaps less

<snip>


><<this is a specifically English thing.
>
>I don't think it's specifically an English thing: we do it in the southern
>United States too. (I live in Memphis, Tennessee.) In our family, my brothers

<snip>


>least as much as our blood aunts.
>

It was done in New England too. I don't know if it is still done or
not.

the softrat ==> Careful!
I have a hug and I know how to use it!
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
"Will the two hobbits please climb out of the balrog costume?!"
-- Peter Jackson (alleged)

Flame of the West

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Oct 13, 2003, 6:22:59 PM10/13/03
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Raven wrote:

> Ahh, it's too long since I went skydiving.

Did you survive your previous attempts?

-- FotW

"Making Usenet a better place since 1999"

Henriette

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Oct 14, 2003, 12:09:19 AM10/14/03
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message news:<MPG.19f4b66b6...@news.odyssey.net>...

> In article <be50318e.03101...@posting.google.com> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >1) On the morning after the 2nd night, Beorn awakes the company and
> >says to Bilbo: "Not eaten up by Wargs or goblins or wicked bears yet I
> >see", which strongly suggests he knew about Bilbo's fears of the night
> >before. How could he know this?
>
> Because Bilbo had voiced those fears to the company, only a couple
> of paragraphs before: 'Bilbo thought he knew what the wizard meant.
> "What shall we do," he cried, "if he leads all the Wargs and the
> goblins down here? We shall all be caught and killed! I thought you
> said he was not a friend of theirs."'
>
But Beorn was not there, when Bilbo voiced his fears. Beorn was far
away checking out Gandalf's story of their adventures.

Henriette

Henriette

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Oct 14, 2003, 12:20:14 AM10/14/03
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message news:<MPG.19f4b6f5b...@news.odyssey.net>...

> In article <be50318e.03101...@posting.google.com> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >*Although Beorn has warned them to send back horse and ponies at the
> >edge of Mirkwood, Gandalf does not obey, saying "he will look after
> >that". Still Beorn "shambles off quickly" after the ponies instead of chasing
> >Gandalf. Why?
>
> Perhaps he heard Gandalf tell the dwarves "I am not sending it back,
> I am riding it."

All the more reason to chase after Gandalf! Although I wonder if he
could have kept up as Gandalf "was soon lost to sight".
(snip)


> Most likely he saw that Gandalf was heading back toward Beorn's
> home, and simply tracked him in parallel.

Gandalf "turned his horse and rode down into the West". Beorn
"shambles off quickly" after the ponies. No, if his animals were like
children to him, this seems strange, but it is possible that, like you
wrote, he trusted Gandalf more than the Dwarves.....

Henriette

Henriette

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Oct 14, 2003, 12:23:38 AM10/14/03
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"Jette Goldie" <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote in message news:<uPwib.5425$Yg6.48...@news-text.cableinet.net>...

> "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote
> > *Bilbo weeps, when Gandalf announces he is leaving shortly. I noticed
> > before that JRRT is very tolerant about men who cry; (snip)

> > it must have been a remarkable opinion in the
> > stiff-upper-lip-England of that time.
>
> Actually no, that's a mistaken impression. Weeping was always
> acceptable for men, when the situation merited it.
(snip rest of explanation about when a man was or wasn't allowed to cry).

Thank you Jette for explaining. This sounds more human than what I was always told.

Henriette

Henriette

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Oct 14, 2003, 12:30:45 AM10/14/03
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message news:<MPG.19f4b87e1...@news.odyssey.net>...

> By the bye, "Beorn" is cognate to Danish Bjørn or Swedish Björn,
> which means "bear". Tolkien does this again in LotR when he names an
> old man Gamling, which in Scandinavian languages means -- old one.
>

You may have noticed I mention the trilogy about the Bjørndal-family
at the end of my post on chapter 7, the book in which Bears are such
an important issue. Now I did not know Bjørn was a Danish word(I
thought it was Norwegian)and I never noticed the resemblance to Beorn
before. Like Raven once said: all the things one learns at AFT!

Henriette

Henriette

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Oct 14, 2003, 12:45:12 AM10/14/03
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"Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message news:<fvEib.1801$0r3...@news.get2net.dk>...

>
> Ahh, it's too long since I went skydiving.

Just spread your black wings!


>
> Bilbo was probably waist-high to me. This indicates that Beorn's knees
> would be a bit above my waist if he stood next to me.

LOL.


>
> Bilbo would very probably look harmless to Beorn, because of his size.
> Gandalf had his sword, but perhaps he exuded an air of non-aggression that
> made Beorn trust that he was as unwilling as Bilbo was unable to offer
> violence.

Yes, but why then does he let out a great rolling laugh? I think I
would have been somewhat offended by this laugh, were I Gandalf.


>
> > *Gandald calls Radagast "his cousin". I can't remember ever again
> > having read somewhere they were related.
>
> Probably not a reference to blood kinship - in the greater context where
> Gandalf and Radagast were both Maiar and emissaries from the Valar. But it
> is common in many cultures to refer to each other as "brother", "sister" or
> "cousin". Gandalf might have used "cousin" instead of "associate" or
> "fellow member of the Heren Istarion". Much the same difference to Beorn,
> but he would be able to relate to "cousin" more easily.

Brenda also suggests this and it sounds reasonable, thank you.


>
> > 5)Gandalf about Bilbo: "I have told you before that he has more about
> > him than you guess, and you will find that out before long". Now how
> > does he know this? (In this respect I am especially curious for
> > Taemon's reply.)
>
> Same sort of foresight that he has also on other occasions, which we
> would call "clairvoyant" in our world?

Ofcourse. But clairvoyance is a ridiculous word to our Taemon...


>
> Gandalf is riding his borrowed pony back to Beorn. Seldom does thief
> ride back to the stable, remember?

Gandalf "turned his horse and rode down into the West". "he galloped
away and was soon lost to sight". To me this does not sound like a
thief riding back to the stable.


>
> > * In this chapter "hobgoblins" are mentioned for the first time. What
> > are they?
>
> Probably just big goblins. Goblins and hobgoblins are then two
> alternative names for orcs.

Just guessses, aren't they, cousin Raaf?


>
> > 3) Gandalf's smoke rings reminded me of the word "narco-terrorist"
> > from the humorous LotR e-text. Maybe it is time to re-post this URL,
> > so newbees can have a look a it! (I lost it during my last PC-crash).
>
> http://tolkien.slimy.com/etext/EtextChps.html
>

Thank you! I look forward to re-read some of the chapters.

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 12:52:06 AM10/14/03
to
Brenda Selwyn <bre...@matson.demon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<6j7mov8vtscn93d84...@4ax.com>...

> >held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>
> >*Gandald calls Radagast "his cousin". I can't remember ever again
> >having read somewhere they were related.
>
> Interesting. Maybe Tolkien did have in mind at the time that they
> were (HoME anyone?).
>
> But as he actually calls him "my good cousin Radagast", I think it's
> more likely to be a colloquial usage meaning "a member of a kindred
> group" (http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=cousin), or a close
> friend or associate.
>
Thank you, I was not aware of this meaning of the word "cousin". We
use the Dutch equivalent of the words "brother" and "sister" to mean
"a member of a kindred group", as do you as well, I believe.

> It's not unusual in England (though perhaps less common now than
> formerly (fortunately, since I don't care for it)) for young children
> to be encouraged to call their parents' friends "Uncle" and "Auntie"
> as a sign of respect, even though they are not related in any way. I
> don't know whether this is a specifically English thing.
>

Same here: less common now than formerly. Nowadays children are
encouraged to call their parent's friends (and often their parents as
well...) by their first names.

Henriette

Stan Brown

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Oct 14, 2003, 2:13:32 AM10/14/03
to
In article <be50318e.03101...@posting.google.com> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message news:<MPG.19f4b66b6...@news.odyssey.net>...
>> Because Bilbo had voiced those fears to the company, only a couple
>> of paragraphs before:
>>
>But Beorn was not there, when Bilbo voiced his fears. Beorn was far
>away checking out Gandalf's story of their adventures.

And when he returned, most likely Gandalf or one of the dwarves told
him.

Taemon

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 2:57:32 AM10/14/03
to
Maxie 3141:

> I don't think it's specifically an English thing: we do it in the southern
> United States too.

We did it, too. My mother's best friend and my mother's sister were both
called "Tante Wil". My mother used to distinguish them by calling one of
them "onze Wil" (our Wil) but that didn't help because the one was related
but totally disliked and the other not kin but much loved. I still don't
know who "onze Wil" is. I don't call the friend "Tante" anymore since I'm
now all grown-up and stuff but actually I'm a bit sorry about that. I like
the endearment.

Greetings, T.


Kristian Damm Jensen

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 4:55:24 AM10/14/03
to
"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:be50318e.03101...@posting.google.com...
> Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
news:<MPG.19f4b87e1...@news.odyssey.net>...
>
> > By the bye, "Beorn" is cognate to Danish Bjørn or Swedish Björn,
> > which means "bear". Tolkien does this again in LotR when he names an
> > old man Gamling, which in Scandinavian languages means -- old one.
> >
> You may have noticed I mention the trilogy about the Bjørndal-family
> at the end of my post on chapter 7, the book in which Bears are such
> an important issue. Now I did not know Bjørn was a Danish word(I
> thought it was Norwegian)

The difference is quite small, depending, of course, on what you mean by
Norwegian, since that is not a language. Norway has (at least?) two official
languages Bokmål, which strongly resembles Danish, and Nynorsk, which does
not.

Bjørn and Björn really are the same word, since the difference only is in
the alfabet. Danish ø corresponds to Swedish ö. I am not certain, which of
the two letters are used in Norway.

And one last thing: Bjørn is not only a word, it is a name, in all three
(four) languages.


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


TT Arvind

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 6:49:55 AM10/14/03
to
þus cwæð Stan Brown:

>
> By the bye, "Beorn" is cognate to Danish Bjørn or Swedish Björn,
> which means "bear".

I wonder if JRRT was engaging in some clever word-play on the Old Norse
björn (which meant "bear") and the Anglo-Saxon beorn (which meant noble
or warrior).

> Tolkien does this again in LotR when he names an
> old man Gamling, which in Scandinavian languages means -- old one.

Gamling would probably also be a legitimate form in A-S (from "gamel"
meaning old), although I've never actually seen it. Softrat, do you know
if it exists?

--
Meneldil

Drive defensively. Buy a tank.

TT Arvind

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 6:59:04 AM10/14/03
to
þus cwæð Kristian Damm Jensen:

> The difference is quite small, depending, of course, on what you mean by
> Norwegian, since that is not a language. Norway has (at least?) two official
> languages Bokmål, which strongly resembles Danish, and Nynorsk, which does
> not.

Isn't this a slightly extreme view? It would make far more sense to say
that Norwegian is a language with two very similar written forms,
particularly since nearly all Norwegians speak dialects which are neither
exact bokmål nor exact nynorsk. Extending that, I suppose you could say
that Scandinavian is one language with four written forms.


Meneldil den måtehalden

TT Arvind

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 7:03:20 AM10/14/03
to
žus cwęš the softrat:

> On 13 Oct 2003 23:57:29 GMT, maxi...@aol.com (Maxie 3141) wrote:
> >Brenda wrote:
[children calling parents' friends uncle and aunt]

> >>It's not unusual in England
> >I don't think it's specifically an English thing: we do it in the southern
> >United States too.
> It was done in New England too.

Fascinating. And here I was thinking it was just Indian usage, created
by translating directly out of our langauges...

--
Meneldil

Cogito ergo doleo.

Kristian Damm Jensen

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 7:18:54 AM10/14/03
to
"TT Arvind" <ttar...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:MPG.19f5e7473...@News.CIS.DFN.DE...

> þus cwæð Kristian Damm Jensen:
>
> > The difference is quite small, depending, of course, on what you mean by
> > Norwegian, since that is not a language. Norway has (at least?) two
official
> > languages Bokmål, which strongly resembles Danish, and Nynorsk, which
does
> > not.
>
> Isn't this a slightly extreme view?

I don't think so.

> It would make far more sense to say
> that Norwegian is a language with two very similar written forms,
> particularly since nearly all Norwegians speak dialects which are neither
> exact bokmål nor exact nynorsk.

While it is correct, that most Norwegians speak some sort of dialect that is
somewhere between Nynorsk and Bokmål, those *are* officially two distinct
languages by Norwegian law, and taught as such in primary school.

Of course Nynorsk is in a sense an artificial language, created by
collecting dialects from remote villages in the 19th century.

Maybe we should leave further explanation to our feathered friend, the
Raven?

> Extending that, I suppose you could say
> that Scandinavian is one language with four written forms.

Some think so, I know. And the distinction between language and dialect is
blurred. But I think this is ridiculous. The repective vocabularies differs
too much, as does the grammar.

How is it Öjevind, is Scanian a seperate language?

Also, take a look at http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=739

TT Arvind

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 8:06:57 AM10/14/03
to
þus cwæð Kristian Damm Jensen:

> While it is correct, that most Norwegians speak some sort of dialect that is


> somewhere between Nynorsk and Bokmål, those *are* officially two distinct
> languages by Norwegian law, and taught as such in primary school.

The word used to describe the two, if I'm not mistaken, is "språkform"
and not "språk". Isn't it more accurate to translate that as "written
form" than "language"?

No må vi berre venta, for Ramn kjem til å ha mykje å seia...

> Some think so, I know. And the distinction between language and dialect is
> blurred. But I think this is ridiculous. The repective vocabularies differs
> too much, as does the grammar.

In India, forms demonstrating much larger variations of grammar and
vocabulary than the Scandinavian languages are acknowledged as only being
dialects. Perhaps that background influences me.

--
Meneldil

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of
themselves.
- Dorothy Parker

Kristian Damm Jensen

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 8:20:50 AM10/14/03
to
"TT Arvind" <ttar...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:MPG.19f5f7387...@News.CIS.DFN.DE...

> In India, forms demonstrating much larger variations of grammar and
> vocabulary than the Scandinavian languages are acknowledged as only being
> dialects. Perhaps that background influences me.

Well, as they say: "A language is a dialect with a government."

Jette Goldie

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 9:23:53 AM10/14/03
to

"TT Arvind" <ttar...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:MPG.19f5e84aa...@News.CIS.DFN.DE...


Nah, you'll find something similar in just about every culture - and
it's usually a sign of respect for someone who is *beloved* - not
automatically applied to every friend of ones parents.


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


Jared

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Oct 14, 2003, 10:59:53 AM10/14/03
to

"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:be50318e.03101...@posting.google.com...
> Synopsis:
[snip]

> *Pradera once drew my attention to the fact of with which sense of
> detail JRRT writes. In this chapter he really shows this ability in
> describing Beorn's house (which had WINGS) and its surroundings.

Yes, but could it fly?

Jared


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

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 1:14:40 PM10/14/03
to
Henriette wrote:
> Synopsis:
[...]

> *Isn't it nice how eagles have their own polite
> farewell-greeting:"Farewell wherever you fare, till your eyries
> receive you at the journey's end!" with the matching correct reply,
> just as the dwarves have their own:"At your service" greeting when
> they arrive (with a bow and a wave of their hoods before their knees)?
Welcome to Japan.

[...]
> *In my eyes Gandalf makes Beorn appear appalling: "you must be careful
> not to annoy him, or heaven knows what will happen"/"he growls"/"he is
> never very
> polite"/ "he is a fierce enemy"/"he can be appalling when he is
> angry"/"he gets angry easily"/"he is not the sort of person to ask
> questions of"/etc. Still over time I have grown more sympathetic
> towards Beorn. He really has a sense of humour, he has a nice rolling
> laugh and a deep rolling voice, he is straightforward (like the
> softrat he says what comes to his mouth) and he is vegetarian.
Does it mean that Beorn talks grass?

> *In this chapter stonegiants are mentioned again, and giants are
> mentioned twice. Beorn also must be enormous: Bilbo "could easily
> have trotted through his legs without ducking his head to miss the
> fringe of the man's brown tunic".
And the tunic may be knee-long, so by crude calculations we get ...
Sauron's height (3 meters) for Beorn. Unless Beorn had a shorter torso
than I do :-).

> *I sincerely dislike the cheating way in which Gandalf introduces the
> dwarves, although I understand he probably has no choice.
Is it CHEATING at all?

[...]


> *Pradera once drew my attention to the fact of with which sense of
> detail JRRT writes. In this chapter he really shows this ability in
> describing Beorn's house (which had WINGS) and its surroundings.

Now we have to decide if Beorn's house could FLY (not an unreasonable
guess, since in Russian folk tales witches' dwellings have this ability -
they have wings and chicken legs).

> *Why does Beorn say: "They don't look dangerous", when he first sees
> Gandalf and Bilbo, and lets out a "great rolling laugh"? Do they look
> so non-threateningly to him? Still the horses stay with him until they
> are dismissed.
It's their military training (nods to David).

> *Gandald calls Radagast "his cousin". I can't remember ever again
> having read somewhere they were related.

Does G. consider Radagast to be a SOB?

> *Why does Beorn have a wood-fire burning 24/7? It is summer and when
> they come outside "into a sort of veranda", it "was still warm".
Californians may want to respond to this question.

> *I like this very much: "Bilbo had never seen half of the flowers in
> Beorn's garden before" ...
Bilbo looks rather English in his likings, doesn't he?

> ...and this: "There must have been a regular
> bears' meeting outside here last night (...) all dancing outside from
> dark to nearly dawn". What a wonderful way of holding a meeting!
I concur.

> *Mysterie abounds:


> 1) On the morning after the 2nd night, Beorn awakes the company and
> says to Bilbo: "Not eaten up by Wargs or goblins or wicked bears yet I
> see", which
> strongly suggests he knew about Bilbo's fears of the night before. How
> could he know this?

Deduction?

> 2) Where does Bilbo's sudden remark: "What did you do with the goblin
> and the Warg?" come from, and why does he ask this?
He's curious.

> 3) The "black and strong" stream in Mirkwood "carries enchantment and
> a great drowsiness and forgetfulness". Wonderful description.
And not exactly original. I keep forgetting :-), but was there a stream
in the Greek Underworld with exactly the same properties?

[...]

> 5)Gandalf about Bilbo: "I have told you before that he has more about
> him than you guess, and you will find that out before long". Now how
> does he know this? (In this respect I am especially curious for
> Taemon's reply.)

I re-direct the question to Steuard, Stan and others with the Annotated
Hobbit. IOW, was this phrase present in the 1937 edition?

> *Although Beorn has warned them to send back horse and ponies at the
> edge of Mirkwood, Gandalf does not obey, saying "he will look after
> that". Still Beorn

> "shambles of quickly" after the ponies instead of chasing Gandalf.
> Why?
He must have agreed on Gandalf's return in advance.

> * In this chapter "hobgoblins" are mentioned for the first time. What
> are they?

That has been discussed before. My own first take on the question is to
say "corrupted Hobbits" or "a smaller breed of Orcs (snagas) as viewed by
Men and Hobbits". Of course, this is an opinion and surely differs from
that of the pundits.
[...]

> * Other publications chapter 7 reminded me of:
[...]
> 2) Harry Potter: Mrs. Rowling would have called the skin-changer an
> "animagus"./
BTW, I haven't had time to read HP lately (see .sig to know the reason),
but will attempt it some time this winter.

> ...The mentioning of giants.
All right. Now you've convinced me they exist in Middle-Earth.

> .../The recurring fact that everyone
> knows Thorin Oakenshield, just like everyone knows Harry Potter. Beorn
> does know Thorin, but he never heard of Gandalf.
Gandalf may have been active in Eriador at that time. Beorn does not seem
to me particularly long-lived (that is, we suspect that he's dead by the
time of the LotR - known from Gloin's words at the Council).

And Beorn doesn't know Thorin Oakenshield personally, he only heard about
him - a War Hero (TM), after all.

[...]
> P.S. Do sign up yourself for also initiating a chapter of The Hobbit
> or the LotR
> at Wilde Ier's pretty site: http://parasha.maoltuile.org/...
Ok, Heanriette, do *you* know what a "parasha" is? Besides being a good
female name (diminutive from Paran'ya/Praskov'ya), it is an argot for
"latrine".


Archie, Ph.D. now 8-)
--
"Education is like a communicable sexual disease:
it disqualifies you from certain jobs,
and you have the urge to pass it on."

Terry Pratchett

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

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 1:23:05 PM10/14/03
to
Stan Brown wrote:
[...]

> I have a question of my own about this chapter of /The Hobbit/.
>
> Gandalf, telling the Dwarves and Bilbo about Beorn before their
> visit, says: "I once saw him sitting all alone on the top of the
> Carrock at night watching the moon sinking towards the Misty
> Mountains, and I heard him growl in the tongue of bears; 'The day
> will come when they will perish and I shall go back!' That is why I
> believe he once came from the mountains himself."
>
> Now, the goblins have been in the Misty Mountains for generations
> (thousands of years, as we find out in LotR). Yet Beorn is a man,
> with at least roughly a man's lifespan. (Sixty years later he is
> dead and his descendants collect tolls.) So why would he expect the
> goblins to perish in his lifetime?
Gandalf was simply showing off. His knowledge of bears' tongue must have
been flawed. IMHO, Beorn was saying sth. like "My soul will be able to go
there when they perish".

Archie

The American

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 11:45:33 AM10/14/03
to

"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
news:MPG.19f4b87e1...@news.odyssey.net...
>
>
> I have a question of my own about this chapter of /The Hobbit/.
>
> Gandalf, telling the Dwarves and Bilbo about Beorn before their
> visit, says: "I once saw him sitting all alone on the top of the
> Carrock at night watching the moon sinking towards the Misty
> Mountains, and I heard him growl in the tongue of bears; 'The day
> will come when they will perish and I shall go back!' That is why I
> believe he once came from the mountains himself."
>
> Now, the goblins have been in the Misty Mountains for generations
> (thousands of years, as we find out in LotR). Yet Beorn is a man,
> with at least roughly a man's lifespan. (Sixty years later he is
> dead and his descendants collect tolls.) So why would he expect the
> goblins to perish in his lifetime?
>

Everyone hopes for good things to happen in their lifetimes.
And he could have been just thinking about a section of the Mountains not
the entire range.
Or he could have been talking about his future bride-to-be's parents.
:-)

T.A.


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

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Oct 14, 2003, 2:15:38 PM10/14/03
to
Brenda Selwyn wrote:
> >held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
> [...]
[...]

> It's not unusual in England (though perhaps less common now than
> formerly (fortunately, since I don't care for it)) for young children
> to be encouraged to call their parents' friends "Uncle" and "Auntie"
> as a sign of respect, even though they are not related in any way. I
> don't know whether this is a specifically English thing.
It is not (used in Russia, too).

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_

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

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Oct 14, 2003, 2:15:51 PM10/14/03
to
Henriette wrote:
> Brenda Selwyn <bre...@matson.demon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<6j7mov8vtscn93d84...@4ax.com>...
> > >held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
[...]

> Same here: less common now than formerly. Nowadays children are
> encouraged to call their parent's friends (and often their parents as
> well...) by their first names.
Yikes.

Jette Goldie

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 12:18:42 PM10/14/03
to

<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message
news:MPG.19f664814...@news.mtu-net.ru...

> Henriette wrote:
> > Brenda Selwyn <bre...@matson.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:<6j7mov8vtscn93d84...@4ax.com>...
> > > >held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
> [...]
> > Same here: less common now than formerly. Nowadays children are
> > encouraged to call their parent's friends (and often their parents as
> > well...) by their first names.
> Yikes.


Don't worry, Archie, that is NOT common - nor is it particularly
new. Didn't CS Lewis mention similar *parents* in The
Voyage of the Dawn Treader ?

Jamie Andrews; real address @ bottom of message

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 12:19:23 PM10/14/03
to
In rec.arts.books.tolkien Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> *Pradera once drew my attention to the fact of with which sense of
> detail JRRT writes. In this chapter he really shows this ability in
> describing Beorn's house (which had WINGS) and its surroundings.

In re-reading TH lately, I was also struck by the deep and
thorough sense of detail here. For instance, look at everything
that is implied by Beorn being (like) a bear.

The original inspiration for Beorn seems to have been the
_berserkr_ of the Norse sagas. The word is used to refer to men
who enter battle in a kind of, well, berserk frenzy. So, I
wonder if Tolkien's original mental image was of Beorn as he
appears later, in the Battle of Five Armies. _Berserkr_
literally means "bear-shirt", and Shippey and others trace the
chain of reasoning that may have led Tolkien and others to
suppose that the word implied that the _berserkr_ had some
connection to the bear, for instance by being a skin-changer.
Thus Tolkien depicts Beorn as just that; although we never
explicitly see him change his skin, it is clear that he does.

Now that we know Beorn is (like) a bear, what do bears like
to eat? Honey. Thus Beorn eats honey and a lot of the food he
serves has honey in it.

Now, where does honey come from? Bees. Thus Beorn is a
beekeeper.

Now, what is the best place for bees to produce honey?
Near large fields filled with one of their favourite flowers,
the small and plain-looking clover.

Thus, as Gandalf, Bilbo and the dwarves draw nearer to
Beorn's house, they are walking through huge fields filled with
clover and alive with the humming of bees.

A lesser writer might have deduced that Beorn liked honey
and left it at that. JRRT constructs a whole corner of his
world in which his character (inspired by a single word from
Norse sagas) can live.

--Jamie. (nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita)
andrews .uwo } Merge these two lines to obtain my e-mail address.
@csd .ca } (Unsolicited "bulk" e-mail costs everyone.)

Henriette

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Oct 14, 2003, 12:34:50 PM10/14/03
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message news:<MPG.19f55e153...@news.odyssey.net>...

> In article <be50318e.03101...@posting.google.com> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >But Beorn was not there, when Bilbo voiced his fears. Beorn was far
> >away checking out Gandalf's story of their adventures.
>
> And when he returned, most likely Gandalf or one of the dwarves told
> him.
>
They do not see him in between they wonder where he is and the moment
he wakes them up.

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 12:41:10 PM10/14/03
to
"Kristian Damm Jensen" <REdam...@ofir.dk> wrote in message news:<bmgdla$m601p$1...@ID-146708.news.uni-berlin.de>...

(snip)


>
> And one last thing: Bjørn is not only a word, it is a name, in all three
> (four) languages.

So the name actually means Bear? In Dutch we do not have mammal names
for a first name, only bird's names. But I do know the German name
Wolf.

Henriette

Hasdrubal Hamilcar

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 2:19:42 PM10/14/03
to

The American wrote:

> "Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
> news:MPG.19f4b87e1...@news.odyssey.net...
>

>>Gandalf, telling the Dwarves and Bilbo about Beorn before their
>>visit, says: "I once saw him sitting all alone on the top of the
>>Carrock at night watching the moon sinking towards the Misty
>>Mountains, and I heard him growl in the tongue of bears; 'The day
>>will come when they will perish and I shall go back!' That is why I
>>believe he once came from the mountains himself."
>>
>>
>
>

> Everyone hopes for good things to happen in their lifetimes.


I'd bet that Osama bin Laden is also saying the same thing as Beorn,
sitting on a hill at Karrokha in Pakistan, watching at the setting moon,
in the mountains of Afghanistan, growling in the tongue of his own
people 'the day will come when they shall go and I shall go back.' Note
the superficial resemblance to Beorn, tall and grizzled.

;)

Don't (Baron, you!) jump on me for saying this, this is just plain old
fun and games.


Bill O'Meally

unread,
Oct 14, 2003, 2:26:12 PM10/14/03
to


"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:be50318e.03101...@posting.google.com...

I have always assumed it was one of Beorn's animals that told him. This
seems most likely. In fact, I don't doubt Beorn instructed his animals
to apprise him of all his guest's doings while he was out. He doesn't
fully trust them until he checks out their story for himself.
--
Bill

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


Yuk Tang

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Oct 14, 2003, 4:23:02 PM10/14/03
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"Jette Goldie" <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote in
news:JNSib.6589$bx1.57...@news-text.cableinet.net:
> "TT Arvind" <ttar...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:MPG.19f5e84aa...@News.CIS.DFN.DE...
>>
>> Fascinating. And here I was thinking it was just Indian usage,
>> created by translating directly out of our langauges...
>
> Nah, you'll find something similar in just about every culture -
> and it's usually a sign of respect for someone who is *beloved* -
> not automatically applied to every friend of ones parents.

If my village is at all typical of a rural community, then in such a
place everyone is related to each other. Those of around the same
generation, if not from the immediate family, will probably be cousins
to some degree, while those from the generation before would be aunts
and uncles.

When people grow up they'll be travelling around, and meet people from
other communities. But this wouldn't be the case with children.


--
Cheers, ymt.
Email to: jim dot laker one at btopenworld dot com

Hasdrubal Hamilcar

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Oct 14, 2003, 4:38:22 PM10/14/03
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Hasdrubal Hamilcar wrote:


There is no use in making fun of another mans misfortune. Sorry I said it.

Hasan


Raven

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Oct 14, 2003, 4:37:47 PM10/14/03
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"Kristian Damm Jensen" <REdam...@ofir.dk> skrev i en meddelelse
news:bmgpmj$mciti$1...@ID-146708.news.uni-berlin.de...

> Well, as they say: "A language is a dialect with a government."

"A language is a dialect with an army and a navy", close enough - it's
the same relation between a religion and a cult. As for Norwegian, what I
learnt in school was that Bokmål and Nynorsk are not dialects, they are two
distinct "skriftspråk" (written languages) or "målformer" [1]. The *spoken*
language is divided into a number of dialects. Nynorsk resembles the rural
dialects of western Norway closest, because it was primarily based on them
on the grounds that Ivar Aasen (Norway's Panini?) considered them to be the
least changed since before Danish rule.
Politically there are three distinct Scandinavian languages, of course.
Linguistically there is one, divided into a large number of dialects, and
two dialects from one country may be as different from each other as either
is from a third dialect from a neighbouring country. Nørrejysk vs.
Synnejysk vs. Nørrebro vs. Oslodialect, anyone?

The Swedes offer, directly and indirectly, illumination on the conflict
between Nynorsk and Bokmål. One item of illumination is that while "Norway"
is "Noreg" in Nynorsk and "Norge" in Bokmål, it is pronounced "Nårje" in
Swedish. And I read that if the countryname had developed regularly from
the Genitive of the Viking name, it should have been "Nårje". So it is
really neither of the Norwegian forms which is correct, it's the Swedish.
The second item is a satire from the Swedish magazine "Vepsen" (The Wasp)
from the beginning of the 20. century. A Swedish visitor in Norway stands
before a barricade in a city street, asking an armed man how the revolution
is going in Norway. The response is "So far we are fighting over how to
spell it".

[1] They used to say that Norway actually has three different "målformer":
bymål (same as Bokmål), landsmål (same as Nynorsk) and slagsmål (brawl).

Hrafn.


Raven

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Oct 14, 2003, 5:27:26 PM10/14/03
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"Flame of the West" <Fo...@solinas.nospam.org> skrev i en meddelelse
news:bmfscl$l3g$7...@bob.news.rcn.net...
> Raven wrote:

> > Ahh, it's too long since I went skydiving.

> Did you survive your previous attempts?

No.

Oh, it's you. Nearly Headless Nick, meet Flame of the West. Flame, say
hello to Nick, and don't mind the draft.

Corvo.


Raven

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Oct 14, 2003, 4:46:38 PM10/14/03
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"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:be50318e.03101...@posting.google.com...
> "Kristian Damm Jensen" <REdam...@ofir.dk> wrote in message
news:<bmgdla$m601p$1...@ID-146708.news.uni-berlin.de>...

> > And one last thing: Bjørn is not only a word, it is a name, in all three
> > (four) languages.

> So the name actually means Bear? In Dutch we do not have mammal names
> for a first name, only bird's names. But I do know the German name
> Wolf.

"Bjørn" means, literally, "Bear". Another form of the name is "Bjarne",
but this is not in independent use as a common noun for "bear". At any
rate, the various Germanic words for bear actually mean "brown". Presumably
the ancestors to the Germanic peoples used some cognate to Latin "ursus",
but developed such a great respect for that animal that they dared not use
the proper word for it. They referred to the "urs" or whatever it was
called as "the brown one". Then "brown" *became* the new word for that
animal; the old word was forgotten entirely; and the colour "brown" and the
animal "brown" began to differ in form until they were two separate words.
Don't the Russians call the bear "medved", meaning "honey eater"?

Voron.


Raven

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Oct 14, 2003, 5:28:27 PM10/14/03
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"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:be50318e.03101...@posting.google.com...
> "Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message
news:<fvEib.1801$0r3...@news.get2net.dk>...

> > Bilbo was probably waist-high to me. This indicates that Beorn's
> > knees would be a bit above my waist if he stood next to me.

> LOL.

"I'll bite your knee-caps off!"

> Yes, but why then does he let out a great rolling laugh? I think I
> would have been somewhat offended by this laugh, were I Gandalf.

Why shouldn't Beorn laugh? He was not noted for his quiet politesse, was
he? At any rate, we don't know if Beorn was laughing in relief that the
visitors were harmless, derisively because they were midgets next to him,
happy to have visitors for a change, or if he happened to be happy at the
time and liked to laugh for pure joy then.

> Ofcourse. But clairvoyance is a ridiculous word to our Taemon...

There is much in Tolkien's subcreation that does not only transcend
modern knowledge, but goes strictly against it. Flying creatures big as
buses, for instance, or continents supposedly having changed very radically
into the shapes they have today during the time that Homo Sapiens has been
in existence. That's okay. We don't read Tolkien's books as science text
books, and clairvoyance is perfectly permissible in Tolkien's books.

> > Probably just big goblins. Goblins and hobgoblins are then two
> > alternative names for orcs.

> Just guessses, aren't they, cousin Raaf?

Not really.

Raaf.


Jetro de Château

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Oct 14, 2003, 6:19:30 PM10/14/03
to
> I don't think it's specifically an English thing: we do it in the southern
> United States too. (I live in Memphis, Tennessee.) In our family, my
brothers
> and sisters & I always called our mother's best friend "Aunt" Lilly, and
my
> best friend from high school's kids used to call me "Uncle" Maxie.
>
> I never thought of it as being a sign of respect, though. For us Maxwells
&
> Browns it was a sign of affection: it was shorthand for "This person is a
> member of your family you happen not to to share blood kinship with, but
rather
> are bound to by choice and love." My siblings & I didn't call ALL our
parents'
> close friends Aunt and Uncle; in fact it was just Lilly, whom we all loved
at
> least as much as our blood aunts.
>
> By the way, why do you dislike the custom?

Child abuse comes to mind. Also the use of 'uncle' for a divorced mothers
date. I also seem to remember a negative use of uncle in The Who's 'Tommy'
but don't recall the details.

Anyway, I'm Dutch and also used to call my parents better friends uncle and
aunt.


Öjevind Lång

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Oct 14, 2003, 6:37:20 PM10/14/03
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"Kristian Damm Jensen" <REdam...@ofir.dk>wrote:

[snip]

> How is it Öjevind, is Scanian a seperate language?

Well, I don't think so. Like all other Scandinavian dialects within the
borders of Sweden, it has been exposed to a lot of normative influences from
Standard Swedish. It still deviates more from the standard norm than most
dialects, though; visitors from central and nothtern Sweden sometimes have
difficulties understanding what we say, especially during their first days
in the province.
Of course, before the Swedish conquest in 1658, Scania was a Danish
province and its language was regarded as Danish. (There are still some
striking affinities.) Ultimately, Swedish, Danish and the two official
versions of Norwegian are all regarded as "separate languages" for political
reasons.

Öjevind


Öjevind Lång

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Oct 14, 2003, 6:44:53 PM10/14/03
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"Maxie 3141" <maxi...@aol.com> skrev i meddelandet
news:20031013195729...@mb-m14.aol.com...

> Brenda wrote:
>
> << It's not unusual in England (though perhaps less
> <<common now than formerly (fortunately, since I
> <<don't care for it)) for young children to be
> <<encouraged to call their parents' friends "Uncle"
> <<and "Auntie" as a sign of respect, even though they
> << are not related in any way. I don't know whether
> <<this is a specifically English thing.
>
> I don't think it's specifically an English thing: we do it in the southern
> United States too. (I live in Memphis, Tennessee.) In our family, my
brothers
> and sisters & I always called our mother's best friend "Aunt" Lilly, and
my
> best friend from high school's kids used to call me "Uncle" Maxie.

It's not even limited to the English-speaking world. The same custom exists
in Sweden, though it is dying out.

Öjevind


Brenda Selwyn

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Oct 14, 2003, 7:27:26 PM10/14/03
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>"Jette Goldie" <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote:

>Don't worry, Archie, that is NOT common - nor is it particularly
>new. Didn't CS Lewis mention similar *parents* in The
>Voyage of the Dawn Treader ?

Well remembered. Eustace Scrubb "didn't call his Father and Mother
'Father' and 'Mother', but Harold and Alberta. They were very
up-to-date and advanced people. They were vegetarians, non-smokers
and teetotallers...".

Shocking! :-)

If anything, the practice is becoming less common. I seem to recall
it being quite trendy when I was a child (though my parents never went
in for it). I was rather surprised when I heard one of my son's
school friends calling his mother by her first name recently, as I
hadn't come across it for so long.

Brenda

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

Brenda Selwyn

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Oct 14, 2003, 7:27:28 PM10/14/03
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>"Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote:

> Politically there are three distinct Scandinavian languages, of course.
>Linguistically there is one, divided into a large number of dialects, and
>two dialects from one country may be as different from each other as either
>is from a third dialect from a neighbouring country. Nørrejysk vs.
>Synnejysk vs. Nørrebro vs. Oslodialect, anyone?

Where does Icelandic fit into this? I thought I recalled reading that
it is related to Norwegian as Middle English is to modern English, but
now you are telling me there's no such thing as Norwegian.

Brenda Selwyn

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Oct 14, 2003, 7:27:30 PM10/14/03
to
>"Jette Goldie" <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote:

>Nah, you'll find something similar in just about every culture - and
>it's usually a sign of respect for someone who is *beloved* - not
>automatically applied to every friend of ones parents.

Perhaps my experience has been unusual, but where I've come across it
it has been applied to all the parents' friends, even not very close
ones. Then it becomes either forced affection, or a sign of partial
deference - "Mrs Selwyn" being too formal, just "Brenda" too familiar.
Partly why I don't care for it I think.

It's different when it comes to beloved blood relations - I used to
call one of my mum's cousins "auntie" when I was a child (on the other
hand, my husband used to call his mother's cousin "cousin"). But I
feel uncomfortable being called auntie by someone to whom I am not
related and not even particularly close.

the softrat

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Oct 14, 2003, 11:13:59 PM10/14/03
to
On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 12:03:20 +0100, TT Arvind <ttar...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>žus cwęš the softrat:
>> On 13 Oct 2003 23:57:29 GMT, maxi...@aol.com (Maxie 3141) wrote:
>> >Brenda wrote:
>[children calling parents' friends uncle and aunt]

>> >>It's not unusual in England

>> >I don't think it's specifically an English thing: we do it in the southern
>> >United States too.

>> It was done in New England too.
>

>Fascinating. And here I was thinking it was just Indian usage, created
>by translating directly out of our langauges...

Nyah! Nyah! You're not so unique after all!

the softrat ==> Careful!
I have a hug and I know how to use it!
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
My karma ran over my dogma.

the softrat

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Oct 14, 2003, 11:14:01 PM10/14/03
to
On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 11:59:04 +0100, TT Arvind <ttar...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>þus cwæð Kristian Damm Jensen:
>
>> The difference is quite small, depending, of course, on what you mean by
>> Norwegian, since that is not a language. Norway has (at least?) two official
>> languages Bokmål, which strongly resembles Danish, and Nynorsk, which does
>> not.
>
>Isn't this a slightly extreme view? It would make far more sense to say
>that Norwegian is a language with two very similar written forms,
>particularly since nearly all Norwegians speak dialects which are neither
>exact bokmål nor exact nynorsk. Extending that, I suppose you could say
>that Scandinavian is one language with four written forms.
>
>Meneldil den måtehalden

And all North India and Pakistan speaks one language with a lot of
mispronunciations?

the softrat

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Oct 14, 2003, 11:14:05 PM10/14/03
to
On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 16:18:42 GMT, "Jette Goldie"
<j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote:
>
><put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message
>news:MPG.19f664814...@news.mtu-net.ru...
>> Henriette wrote:
>> > Brenda Selwyn <bre...@matson.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:<6j7mov8vtscn93d84...@4ax.com>...
>> > > >held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>> [...]
>> > Same here: less common now than formerly. Nowadays children are
>> > encouraged to call their parent's friends (and often their parents as
>> > well...) by their first names.
>> Yikes.
>
>Don't worry, Archie, that is NOT common - nor is it particularly
>new. Didn't CS Lewis mention similar *parents* in The
>Voyage of the Dawn Treader ?

Unfortunately it is very true of Southern California and hence TV and
the movies and thence will creep over the whole world.

BOOWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

the softrat

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Oct 14, 2003, 11:14:06 PM10/14/03
to
On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 11:49:55 +0100, TT Arvind <ttar...@hotmail.com>
wrote:

>þus cwæð Stan Brown:
>>
>> By the bye, "Beorn" is cognate to Danish Bjørn or Swedish Björn,
>> which means "bear".
>
>I wonder if JRRT was engaging in some clever word-play on the Old Norse
>björn (which meant "bear") and the Anglo-Saxon beorn (which meant noble
>or warrior).
>
>> Tolkien does this again in LotR when he names an
>> old man Gamling, which in Scandinavian languages means -- old one.
>
>Gamling would probably also be a legitimate form in A-S (from "gamel"
>meaning old), although I've never actually seen it. Softrat, do you know
>if it exists?

I dunno (and my books are two whole rooms away!). Probably.

the softrat

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Oct 14, 2003, 11:14:07 PM10/14/03
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On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 20:14:40 +0300,
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote:
>
>> *Why does Beorn have a wood-fire burning 24/7? It is summer and when
>> they come outside "into a sort of veranda", it "was still warm".
>Californians may want to respond to this question.
>
In them there those Medieval-like times, one NEVER let the fire go out
in a climate like England (or colder). Notice also the Hall of Fire in
Rivendell. California has nothing to do with it.
>
>> 3) The "black and strong" stream in Mirkwood "carries enchantment and
>> a great drowsiness and forgetfulness". Wonderful description.
>And not exactly original. I keep forgetting :-), but was there a stream
>in the Greek Underworld with exactly the same properties?
>
I think that it is Celtic, like the white deer.

Bill O'Meally

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Oct 15, 2003, 12:34:33 AM10/15/03