Chapter of the Week: The Hobbit - Chapter 12 - Inside Information

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Elwë Singollo

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Nov 16, 2003, 2:52:23 PM11/16/03
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Chapter of the Week: The Hobbit
Chapter 12 - Inside Information


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


SYNOPSIS

The door is now open and it is time for Bilbo to do what he was hired for.
The hobbit walks deeps into the Lonely Mountain and arrives inside a big
cave at the end of the passage, in which two things are sleeping. Of course,
one of them is the treasure, which is huge but difficult to evaluate in the
darkness, but there is also something (or someone!) less enchanting: Smaug
the dragon. Bilbo takes advantage of the dragon's sleep to steal a cup that
he brings back to the dwarves as a proof that he found the treasure. The
overall happiness following the hobbit's return comes to a brutal end when
Smaug wakes up and discovers the theft. Irritated, he leaves his cave in
order to catch and kill the intruder. Bilbo and the dwarves have no other
choice but to jump into the dark passage, before being spotted by Smaug.

After the attack, Bilbo decides to go down once again into the dragon's
lair, to see what they can do with this annoying beast. He wants to do so at
noon, when the dragon should be sleeping, but when he arrives, Smaug is only
seemingly asleep, for he is waiting for the thief to come back. Even if he
can't see Bilbo, who is wearing his ring, he can smell the hobbit and knows
he is there. A conversation follows, during which each protagonist tries to
flatter the other one in order to gather some information. Eventually, Bilbo
irritates the worm and has to run up to the surface, barely escaping Smaug's
fire and steam.

Fearing another attack from the dragon, Bilbo urges the dwarves to hide
themselves in the passage and to close the door behind them, which they do
just in time to avoid Smaug's second attack.

While the dragon flies Southwards to punish the inhabitants of Lake-Town for
the help they provided to Thorin's party, the dwarves and their thief sit in
the dark, talking about possible ways to eliminate the perfidious beast.

POINTS OF DISCUSSION

1) It is time for Bilbo to go down into the mountain. And
he doesn't seem to worry about it. It was already pointed out in last week's
chapter that Bilbo seemed to have gained confidence in himself. At the
beginning of the book, do you remember how he reacted when he was sent by
the dwarves to observe the trolls ? Well now, our Hobbit looks pretty sure
he can handle the job, and he even interrupts Thorin in his speech to get
straight to the point : he will go down! It was stated last week that this
sudden gain in self-confidence was probably due to the mountain making Bilbo
feel more at home, but couldn't it be also due to the ring? Well, if I knew
I can go in a dragon lair unseen, I wouldn't be as scared as if I knew the
dragon could see me. Still, Bilbo is afraid, but he doesn't want to show is
anxiety to the dwarves

2) Now that Bilbo has reached the treasure and seen Smaug,
maybe we should talk a little bit about dragons. We know Glaurung, "Father
of Dragons", was the first one, and didn't have wings. Later came
Ancalagon, loosed from Angband during the war of Wrath, and this dragon was
winged. Now we are talking about Smaug, the last great dragon, who is also
winged. If Ancalagon is probably one of Smaug's ancestors, are these two
dragons related to Glaurung, even if he is named Father of Dragons? How can
one explain such a morphological difference between members of the same
family? Besides, it seems that some dragons existed, which were not
fire-drakes, does anyone have some information on them?

3) Besides having a well-developed sense of smell, Smaug
also has a good visual memory to notice the disappearance of the cup Bilbo
took with him. And despite the ridiculous value of this cup compared to the
entire treasure, the Dragon doesn't support the loss of the object and gets
very upset. It is interesting to note that this behavior is sometimes
observed among men in today's world.

4) Everyone has his failings, and dwarves are no
exception. But one cannot say that they are cowards : they are always ready
to help someone who is in danger. This is once again demonstrated in this
chapter, when Smaug searches the mountain to kill the thief : despite the
danger the dwarves who were on the doorstep didn't abandon Bombur and Bofur,
who stayed at the bottom of the mountain. Cords were dropped, and the two
dwarves were saved just before the Dragon's fire reached the mountain side,
where the door stood. Knowing the egoistic nature of dwarves, this still
surprises and impresses me.

5) Another interesting fact about dragon is that they have
a huge physical strength (without speaking of their 'chemical' strength),
but they often prefer to use their wit, which is well-developed, too. One
would rather imagine that big beasts like dragons would not be of the
smartest kind, but they are surprisingly as smart as they are powerful. And
when Bilbo goes down for the second time in his lair (this time he is not
sleeping), the two protagonists have no other choice but to use their own
wits : Smaug cannot use his brutal force to kill the thief, as he is not
able to see him and, on the other hand, Biblo is not strong enough to defeat
the dragon. Hence they speak, and here comes my favorite part of the
chapter, when they presents themselves : "My armour is like tenfold shields,
my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my
wings a hurricane, and my breath death!" is Smaug's self-description. And
one of Bilbo's many enigmas about himself his : "I am the clue-finder, the
web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number."

6) While they are talking together, Bilbo and Smaug try to
gather information from their interlocutor. From Bilbo's enigmas, the dragon
understands that the dwarves were helped by the inhabitants of Lake-Town.
Bilbo persuades Smaug to show him his well-protected belly, which allows the
hobbit to discover a soft spot in the dragon's armor. Even if this seems to
be details, these two pieces of information have a crucial importance in
Smaug's fall : The dragon decides to go punish Lake-Town, and Bard will get
Bilbo's information from an unexpected friend, which will help him to kill
the beast.
Even if they didn't talk together, it reasonable to say that Smaug would
have guessed by himself that the Dwarves and the hobbits received some kind
of help, and that it should have come from Lake-Town, but if Bilbo had not
seen the Smaug's vulnerability, one can wonder how the story would have
ended.

7) When he returns to the doorstep, Biblo is not in a good
mood and he even throws a rock to the thrush, who is still listening to
their conversation. Doesn't he remember that the bird helped him to solve
the door's riddle the day before? This is not the way to behave with an old
thrush, but of course, the poor hobbit didn't know what important part this
bird still had to play in the story.

8) Trapped in the passage, the dwarves start talking about
the treasure that they hope to recover as soon as possible. For the first
time, Thorin speaks of the Arkenstone : "It was like a globe with a thousand
faces; it shone like silver in the firelight, like water in the sun, like
snow under the stars, like rain upon the Moon!"
This surely was an impressive stone, and it will play an important role in
the story.

Please add anything you feel is related to this chapter. Let's have a
productive talk

--Elwë Singollo


AC

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Nov 16, 2003, 4:54:22 PM11/16/03
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On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 19:52:23 GMT,
Elwë Singollo <elwe.s...@doriath.me> wrote:
> Chapter of the Week: The Hobbit
> Chapter 12 - Inside Information

<snip excellent summation>

> 2) Now that Bilbo has reached the treasure and seen Smaug,
> maybe we should talk a little bit about dragons. We know Glaurung, "Father
> of Dragons", was the first one, and didn't have wings. Later came
> Ancalagon, loosed from Angband during the war of Wrath, and this dragon was
> winged. Now we are talking about Smaug, the last great dragon, who is also
> winged. If Ancalagon is probably one of Smaug's ancestors, are these two
> dragons related to Glaurung, even if he is named Father of Dragons? How can
> one explain such a morphological difference between members of the same
> family? Besides, it seems that some dragons existed, which were not
> fire-drakes, does anyone have some information on them?

To be honest with you, I'm not entirely sure that's how it works with
dragons. I personally don't think they do breed, but are creations of
Morgoth possessed by an evil spirit. Thus Glaurung isn't the Father of
Dragons because he's the ancestor of the rest, but rather because he was the
first.

--
Aaron Clausen

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

Matthew Bladen

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Nov 16, 2003, 5:19:26 PM11/16/03
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In article <slrnbrfsge.vk....@Maureen.alberni.net>, AC
<mightym...@yahoo.ca> says...

I'm working on an old memory here, but I believe there's a reference to
two dragons escaping the ruin of Angband and fleeing into the East in
one of the Quenta Silmarillion or Annals of Beleriand drafts; I don't
have the books to hand, unfortunately, so I can't find the exact
reference, but the authorial intention seems to me to be that these two
dragons then mated and were the ancestors of the later dragons such as
Smaug and Scatha. Maybe one was winged and the other wingless? (I leave
it to others to argue about the probability of viable offspring from
such a union)

Although now I think about it there's a much clearer reference to
dragons breeding in _The Hobbit_ itself, from Chapter One:

"I don't see that this will help us much," said Thorin
disappointedly after a glance. "I remember the Mountain well
enough and the lands about it. And I know where Mirkwood is, and
the Withered Heath where the great dragons bred."

--
Matthew

Stan Brown

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Nov 17, 2003, 12:24:26 AM11/17/03
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In article <5907da2442c89bbf...@news.teranews.com> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Elwë Singollo <elwe.s...@doriath.me>
wrote:

>2) Now that Bilbo has reached the treasure and seen Smaug,
>maybe we should talk a little bit about dragons. We know Glaurung, "Father
>of Dragons", was the first one, and didn't have wings. Later came
>Ancalagon, loosed from Angband during the war of Wrath, and this dragon was
>winged. Now we are talking about Smaug, the last great dragon, who is also
>winged. If Ancalagon is probably one of Smaug's ancestors, are these two
>dragons related to Glaurung, even if he is named Father of Dragons? How can
>one explain such a morphological difference between members of the same
>family?

Well, we are all descended from protozoa, but we look rather
different.

Seriously, I think however Morgoth was breeding dragons, he started
with great huge crawling fire-spouting lizards, and then moved on to
breed winged versions later.

Glaurung was the 1.0 version of a dragon, and Ancalagon was the 2.0
release. :-)

--
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

Michael Cole

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Nov 17, 2003, 12:52:52 AM11/17/03
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Stan Brown wrote:
> In article <5907da2442c89bbf...@news.teranews.com> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, Elwë Singollo <elwe.s...@doriath.me>
> wrote:
>> 2) Now that Bilbo has reached the treasure and
>> seen Smaug, maybe we should talk a little bit about dragons. We know
>> Glaurung, "Father of Dragons", was the first one, and didn't have
>> wings. Later came Ancalagon, loosed from Angband during the war of
>> Wrath, and this dragon was winged. Now we are talking about Smaug,
>> the last great dragon, who is also winged. If Ancalagon is probably
>> one of Smaug's ancestors, are these two dragons related to Glaurung,
>> even if he is named Father of Dragons? How can one explain such a
>> morphological difference between members of the same family?
>
> Well, we are all descended from protozoa, but we look rather
> different.
>
> Seriously, I think however Morgoth was breeding dragons, he started
> with great huge crawling fire-spouting lizards, and then moved on to
> breed winged versions later.
>
> Glaurung was the 1.0 version of a dragon, and Ancalagon was the 2.0
> release. :-)

It was just a real bitch trying to apply the Service Packs. Asbestos
Gloves, anyone...


--
Regards,

Michael Cole


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

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Nov 17, 2003, 2:00:12 AM11/17/03
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Elwë Singollo wrote:
> Chapter of the Week: The Hobbit
> Chapter 12 - Inside Information
>
>
> 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
>
>
> SYNOPSIS
[...]

>
> POINTS OF DISCUSSION
>
> 1) It is time for Bilbo to go down into the mountain. And
> he doesn't seem to worry about it. It was already pointed out in last week's
> chapter that Bilbo seemed to have gained confidence in himself. At the
> beginning of the book, do you remember how he reacted when he was sent by
> the dwarves to observe the trolls ? Well now, our Hobbit looks pretty sure
> he can handle the job, and he even interrupts Thorin in his speech to get
> straight to the point : he will go down! It was stated last week that this
> sudden gain in self-confidence was probably due to the mountain making Bilbo
> feel more at home, but couldn't it be also due to the ring? Well, if I knew
> I can go in a dragon lair unseen, I wouldn't be as scared as if I knew the
> dragon could see me. Still, Bilbo is afraid, but he doesn't want to show is
> anxiety to the dwarves
While some may maintain that Bilbo has 'grown' during the Adventure, I
would not think so. He is alternately courageous and weak from day 0:
note his behaviour at the Unexpected Party.


> 2) Now that Bilbo has reached the treasure and seen Smaug,
> maybe we should talk a little bit about dragons. ...
Stan Brown drew my attention to the 'practical immortality' of the
dragons as mentioned early in the Hobbit. In the Silm, written from an
Elven viewpoint, "long and slow is the life of dragons". To reconcile the
two, I think it is safe to assume that dragons have a very long life, but
not immortal in the sense of the Elves.

> ...We know Glaurung, "Father


> of Dragons", was the first one, and didn't have wings. Later came
> Ancalagon, loosed from Angband during the war of Wrath, and this dragon was
> winged. Now we are talking about Smaug, the last great dragon, who is also
> winged. If Ancalagon is probably one of Smaug's ancestors, are these two
> dragons related to Glaurung, even if he is named Father of Dragons? How can
> one explain such a morphological difference between members of the same

> family? ...
A dominant allele? Modern scientists have not walked half of the way
Morgoth had walked in genetic engineering (and that is a good thing, I
suppose).



> 3) Besides having a well-developed sense of smell, Smaug
> also has a good visual memory to notice the disappearance of the cup Bilbo
> took with him. And despite the ridiculous value of this cup compared to the
> entire treasure, the Dragon doesn't support the loss of the object and gets
> very upset. It is interesting to note that this behavior is sometimes
> observed among men in today's world.

I have to defend poor Smaug. He's rational: when one spots a small
deviation from the norm, one should investigate it before troubles begin.



> 4) Everyone has his failings, and dwarves are no
> exception. But one cannot say that they are cowards : they are always ready
> to help someone who is in danger. This is once again demonstrated in this
> chapter, when Smaug searches the mountain to kill the thief : despite the
> danger the dwarves who were on the doorstep didn't abandon Bombur and Bofur,
> who stayed at the bottom of the mountain. Cords were dropped, and the two
> dwarves were saved just before the Dragon's fire reached the mountain side,
> where the door stood. Knowing the egoistic nature of dwarves, this still
> surprises and impresses me.

As per PoME, Bifur, Bombur and Bofur are not Longbeards. This may help
explain the reluctance of the others to help them (if it hadn't been for
Thorin). Tribal logic, tribal morality...



> 5) Another interesting fact about dragon is that they have
> a huge physical strength (without speaking of their 'chemical' strength),
> but they often prefer to use their wit, which is well-developed, too. One
> would rather imagine that big beasts like dragons would not be of the
> smartest kind, but they are surprisingly as smart as they are powerful. And
> when Bilbo goes down for the second time in his lair (this time he is not
> sleeping), the two protagonists have no other choice but to use their own
> wits : Smaug cannot use his brutal force to kill the thief, as he is not

> able to see him ...
It simply pleases him to have somebody to talk to before he eats that
'somebody'. Bilbo terminates the conversation in a fortunate moment.

[...]

> 6) While they are talking together, Bilbo and Smaug try to
> gather information from their interlocutor. From Bilbo's enigmas, the dragon
> understands that the dwarves were helped by the inhabitants of Lake-Town.
> Bilbo persuades Smaug to show him his well-protected belly, which allows the
> hobbit to discover a soft spot in the dragon's armor. Even if this seems to
> be details, these two pieces of information have a crucial importance in
> Smaug's fall : The dragon decides to go punish Lake-Town, and Bard will get
> Bilbo's information from an unexpected friend, which will help him to kill
> the beast.
> Even if they didn't talk together, it reasonable to say that Smaug would
> have guessed by himself that the Dwarves and the hobbits received some kind

> of help, and that it should have come from Lake-Town, ...
I disagree. Bilbo committed a fatal error - that is, fatal for those
Lake-men who could have been evacuated/prepared had they had more time.

> ...but if Bilbo had not


> seen the Smaug's vulnerability, one can wonder how the story would have
> ended.

Cf. the UT. Devastation of the North...

In my opinion, Bilbo comes out of the tunnel with non-trivial and smart
guesses as to what the Dragon might have in mind. His logic in the Hobbit
rivals Gandalf's strategic thinking in the LotR.

> 8) Trapped in the passage, the dwarves start talking about
> the treasure that they hope to recover as soon as possible. For the first
> time, Thorin speaks of the Arkenstone : "It was like a globe with a thousand
> faces; it shone like silver in the firelight, like water in the sun, like
> snow under the stars, like rain upon the Moon!"

Which brings us to the point: did Dwarves do space-travel? (How else can
one talk about rain upon the Moon?)

Archie

Henriette

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Nov 17, 2003, 2:54:02 AM11/17/03
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"Elwë Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> wrote in message news:

(Snip good synopsis. We do not agree on one point though:)

> A conversation follows, during which each protagonist tries to
> flatter the other one in order to gather some information.

Bilbo is the flattering one. Smaug is very straightforward and
sarcastic. Still they both try to accomplish their own goals.


>
> POINTS OF DISCUSSION
>
> 1) It is time for Bilbo to go down into the mountain. And

> he doesn't seem to worry about it. (snip)he even interrupts Thorin in his

> speech to get straight to the point : he will go down!

IMO he does worry. He is really scared and wants to get it over and
done with.

> It was stated last week that this
> sudden gain in self-confidence was probably due to the mountain making Bilbo
> feel more at home, but couldn't it be also due to the ring? Well, if I knew
> I can go in a dragon lair unseen, I wouldn't be as scared as if I knew the
> dragon could see me. Still, Bilbo is afraid, but he doesn't want to show is
> anxiety to the dwarves

I think that he is scared to death but determined to see it through.
At one point he is so scared that JRRT wites: "Going on from there was
the bravest thing he ever did. (...)He fought the real battle in that
tunnel alone, (...)


>
> 3) Besides having a well-developed sense of smell, Smaug
> also has a good visual memory

And good hearing ("I hear your breath"). And an *extremely*
well-developed sense of feeling: "I feel your hair", when Bilbo has
not even stepped out of the tunnel entrance yet?


> to notice the disappearance of the cup Bilbo
> took with him. And despite the ridiculous value of this cup compared to the
> entire treasure, the Dragon doesn't support the loss of the object and gets
> very upset. It is interesting to note that this behavior is sometimes
> observed among men in today's world.

A clear example of JRRT's good observation skills and wisdom.


>
> 4) Everyone has his failings, and dwarves are no
> exception. But one cannot say that they are cowards : they are always ready

> to help someone who is in danger. (snip)


> Knowing the egoistic nature of dwarves, this still surprises and impresses me.

Exactly. We are also reminded in this chapter that "before they had
any particular reasons for being grareful to him", they came to the
aid of Bilbo in the case of the trolls.


>
> 5) Another interesting fact about dragon is that they have
> a huge physical strength (without speaking of their 'chemical' strength),
> but they often prefer to use their wit, which is well-developed, too. One
> would rather imagine that big beasts like dragons would not be of the

> smartest kind, but they are surprisingly as smart as they are powerful. (snip)

People who are strong or good at sports, are not necessarily stupid,
as prejudice wants it. The same goes probably for beasts...
>
Nice points of discussion: thank you Elwë!

I have 2 other points:

* Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?
* The effect of the dragon words resemble somewhat the effect of
Saruman's words, except that in Saruman's case we also hear about the
beauty of his voice.

Henriette

Elwë Singollo

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Nov 17, 2003, 9:42:22 AM11/17/03
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> > A conversation follows, during which each protagonist tries to
> > flatter the other one in order to gather some information.
>
> Bilbo is the flattering one. Smaug is very straightforward and
> sarcastic. Still they both try to accomplish their own goals.

Right, it is not accurate to use "flatter" to describe Smaug's attitute
towards Bilbo. Still, the dragon encourages Bilbo to give him his "titles"
to get indices and understand who the thieve is and where he comes from.


>
> > It was stated last week that this
> > sudden gain in self-confidence was probably due to the mountain making
Bilbo
> > feel more at home, but couldn't it be also due to the ring? Well, if I
knew
> > I can go in a dragon lair unseen, I wouldn't be as scared as if I knew
the
> > dragon could see me. Still, Bilbo is afraid, but he doesn't want to show
is
> > anxiety to the dwarves
>
> I think that he is scared to death but determined to see it through.
> At one point he is so scared that JRRT wites: "Going on from there was
> the bravest thing he ever did. (...)He fought the real battle in that
> tunnel alone, (...)

Indeed, in the first paragraphs, Bilbo seems extremely confident. It is only
later, when he is alone in the tunnel, that we understand that the Hobbit
is, in fact, scared to death. Bilbo is a gifted actor, for he was able to
fool the dwarves about how he was feeling. His apparent self-confidence
raised him at Thorin's level. I don't have the book at hand now, but I think
it is even written that he became the real head of the party, after he came
back with the cup.


> > 5) Another interesting fact about dragon is that they
have
> > a huge physical strength (without speaking of their 'chemical'
strength),
> > but they often prefer to use their wit, which is well-developed, too.
One
> > would rather imagine that big beasts like dragons would not be of the
> > smartest kind, but they are surprisingly as smart as they are powerful.
(snip)
>
> People who are strong or good at sports, are not necessarily stupid,
> as prejudice wants it. The same goes probably for beasts...

True, but this is quite surprising. This myth of strong people/animals not
being sharp is often present in fantastic stories, where small but smart
heroes can beat huge beasts by using their wits. I think it is very
interesting that Tolkien described "his" dragons as being smart chaps. They
are that more dangerous and it makes them impressive ennemies.

> I have 2 other points:
>
> * Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?

Would it make reference to Glaurung and other wingless dragons who looked
like worms? And the use of this nickname might have been broaden to all kind
of dragons, including the winged ones?
Perhaps should we say "winged-worms" when talking about Smaug...

> * The effect of the dragon words resemble somewhat the effect of
> Saruman's words, except that in Saruman's case we also hear about the
> beauty of his voice.

Saruman's power of persuasion was even greater than the dragon's IMHO.
Besides, Saruman's power was his voice, but as far as dragons are concerned,
their power are rather in their sight (at least for Glaurung : remember that
Turin was not under Glaurung's spell when the worm talked to him, but when
Turin looked at the dragon in the eyes). Smaug's voice does not seem to have
a "magic" power on Bilbo. He was only very clever in what to say to get
information from Bilbo...

Elwë

>
> Henriette


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

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Nov 17, 2003, 12:48:09 PM11/17/03
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Henriette wrote:
> "Elwė Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> wrote in message news:
[...]

> > A conversation follows, during which each protagonist tries to
> > flatter the other one in order to gather some information.
>
> Bilbo is the flattering one. Smaug is very straightforward and
> sarcastic. Still they both try to accomplish their own goals.
Smaug is sarcastic because he has determined from Bilbo's voice that he's
not a warrior.

[...]


> I think that he is scared to death but determined to see it through.
> At one point he is so scared that JRRT wites: "Going on from there was
> the bravest thing he ever did. (...)He fought the real battle in that
> tunnel alone, (...)

It is very nice and very psychological to see a turning-point pinned down
and described meticulously.

> And good hearing ("I hear your breath"). And an *extremely*
> well-developed sense of feeling: "I feel your hair", when Bilbo has
> not even stepped out of the tunnel entrance yet?

He's a perfect killing machine, isn't he?

[...]


> > 4) Everyone has his failings, and dwarves are no
> > exception. But one cannot say that they are cowards : they are always ready
> > to help someone who is in danger. (snip)
> > Knowing the egoistic nature of dwarves, this still surprises and impresses me.
>
> Exactly. We are also reminded in this chapter that "before they had
> any particular reasons for being grareful to him", they came to the
> aid of Bilbo in the case of the trolls.

Not without dissenting voices... In fact, Dwarves are as human as humans
can be.

[...]


> People who are strong or good at sports, are not necessarily stupid,
> as prejudice wants it. The same goes probably for beasts...

We must take note, however, that Smaug is one of the smartest - he
managed to survive without even letting any heroic warrior close. Cf. the
dragons in _Farmer Giles of Ham_.

> Nice points of discussion: thank you Elwė!
Seconded.

> I have 2 other points:
>
> * Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?

'cause he ain't got wings (the Worm of Angband). It is also pejorative.
What's more, I haven't seen any flying worms lately.

> * The effect of the dragon words resemble somewhat the effect of
> Saruman's words, except that in Saruman's case we also hear about the
> beauty of his voice.

A trait characteristic of dragons in _almost any_ mythology.
Especially so in Middle-Earth. I can compare Smaug with the sirens (as
far as voice is concerned) and Medusa Gorgona/ the vasilisks (perilous
eyes - not unlike certain women).

Archie

Pete Gray

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Nov 17, 2003, 2:33:40 PM11/17/03
to
On 16 Nov 2003 23:54:02 -0800, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:

>
>* Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?

It's the old English word for 'dragon' (well, 'wyrm' is). 'Dragon'
comes from French/Latin, so you can guess why Tolkien liked 'worm'.


--
Pete Gray
while ($cat!="home"){$mice=="play";}

Brenda Selwyn

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Nov 17, 2003, 3:31:08 PM11/17/03
to
>held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:

>* Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?

Because the term is often used for wingless dragon-like creatures in
British mythology; see
http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/legends/the_dragon.html

Also the wonderfully named "Laidley Worm of Spindleton Heugh":
http://www.england-in-particular.info/bamb.html

Brenda

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

Jette Goldie

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Nov 17, 2003, 3:33:38 PM11/17/03
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"Brenda Selwyn" <bre...@matson.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:iqbirvklb3p97eudg...@4ax.com...

> >held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>
> >* Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?
>
> Because the term is often used for wingless dragon-like creatures in
> British mythology; see
> http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/legends/the_dragon.html
>
> Also the wonderfully named "Laidley Worm of Spindleton Heugh":
> http://www.england-in-particular.info/bamb.html
>


I had a friend from Orkney whose name was Orm - he said
that this meant "something like a dragon" in Norse?


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


Raven

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Nov 17, 2003, 2:25:56 PM11/17/03
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"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:be50318e.03111...@posting.google.com...

> * Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?

The old mythological sources, I suppose. A modern depiction of a dragon
has it look somewhat like a cross between a crocodile and a T. Rex, with
wings added. In the old myths they were more like giant snakes. Some
modern fantasy writers still have them as gigantic snakes with wings and
with dentures that look somewhat like a lion's and somewhat like that of a
great white shark.

Raaf.


ALuddy

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Nov 17, 2003, 4:23:27 PM11/17/03
to
Henriette wrote:

> I have 2 other points:
>
> * Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?

One does not necessarily refer to one's enemies in a complimentary or
accurate manner. A survivor of WWI would no doubt remember the
reference to the Germans as Huns, and a scholar, Tolkien no doubt knew
that the Huns and the Germans were very different people.

One-White-Tree

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Nov 17, 2003, 4:46:41 PM11/17/03
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<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message news:<MPG.1a22abae8d...@news.mtu-net.ru>...

> Elwë Singollo wrote:
> > Chapter of the Week: The Hobbit
> > Chapter 12 - Inside Information
> >
> >
> > 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
> >
> >
> > SYNOPSIS
> [...]
> >
> > POINTS OF DISCUSSION
> >
> > 1) It is time for Bilbo to go down into the mountain. And
> > he doesn't seem to worry about it. It was already pointed out in last week's
> > chapter that Bilbo seemed to have gained confidence in himself. At the
> > beginning of the book, do you remember how he reacted when he was sent by
> > the dwarves to observe the trolls ? Well now, our Hobbit looks pretty sure
> > he can handle the job, and he even interrupts Thorin in his speech to get
> > straight to the point : he will go down! It was stated last week that this
> > sudden gain in self-confidence was probably due to the mountain making Bilbo
> > feel more at home, but couldn't it be also due to the ring? Well, if I knew
> > I can go in a dragon lair unseen, I wouldn't be as scared as if I knew the
> > dragon could see me. Still, Bilbo is afraid, but he doesn't want to show is
> > anxiety to the dwarves
> While some may maintain that Bilbo has 'grown' during the Adventure, I
> would not think so. He is alternately courageous and weak from day 0:
> note his behaviour at the Unexpected Party.

Surely not... Bilbo in this chapter manages to travel down that dark
tunnel and comes face-to-invisible-face with a Dragon! Compare this
with the Hobbit who had a nervous reaction and collapsed, making
high-pitched noises, in his *own house*.

Perhaps he has not become 'more' brave, but he has learned how to
better control and deal with his fears?

As to this possibly being to the Ring's influence, one can't discount
the morale-boosting effect of actually having a magic ring that makes
you invisible, no matter what kind it is. Sting had a similar effect
on Bilbo, too, IIRC.

One-White-Tree

Raven

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Nov 17, 2003, 4:46:31 PM11/17/03
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"Jette Goldie" <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> skrev i en meddelelse
news:Cgaub.2977$VX4.26...@news-text.cableinet.net...

> I had a friend from Orkney whose name was Orm - he said
> that this meant "something like a dragon" in Norse?

Orm was in use as a name in Norse, and it means dragon. Worm. Linn.
Lind-orm. A dangerous creature associated with golden treasure which it
guarded. And this seems to have been a motif for other Germanic peoples
than just the Norse.
The Vikings liked kennings in their poetry, that is poetic
circumlocutions. "Wave-horse" for ship. A generous person could be
referred to by a double kenning: "worm-lair's giver". "Worm-lair" was a
kenning for treasure, "treasure's giver" a kenning for a generous person.
IIRC the Norse form was "linnr-bóls gjafi".
In modern Scand, "orm" is simply a lesser-used synonym for snake, or is
figuratively used where English has "weasel", and I know of no people who
are named so here. It is also used in compound species-names, such as
huggorm (roughly "bite-worm"), the only venomous snake native to
Scandinavia.

Corbie.


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

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Nov 17, 2003, 7:39:25 PM11/17/03
to
One-White-Tree wrote:
> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message news:<MPG.1a22abae8d...@news.mtu-net.ru>...
> > Elwë Singollo wrote:
> > > Chapter of the Week: The Hobbit
> > > Chapter 12 - Inside Information
> > >
> > >
> > > 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
> > >
> > >
> > > SYNOPSIS
> > [...]
> > >
> > > POINTS OF DISCUSSION
[...]

> > While some may maintain that Bilbo has 'grown' during the Adventure, I
> > would not think so. He is alternately courageous and weak from day 0:
> > note his behaviour at the Unexpected Party.
>
> Surely not... Bilbo in this chapter manages to travel down that dark
> tunnel and comes face-to-invisible-face with a Dragon! Compare this
> with the Hobbit who had a nervous reaction and collapsed, making
> high-pitched noises, in his *own house*.
>
> Perhaps he has not become 'more' brave, but he has learned how to
> better control and deal with his fears?
>
> As to this possibly being to the Ring's influence, one can't discount
> the morale-boosting effect of actually having a magic ring that makes
> you invisible, no matter what kind it is. Sting had a similar effect
> on Bilbo, too, IIRC.

One needs something to have it boosted... (my own experience tells me
that there is some difference between having a weapon and not having, but
it is less than the one between having guts and not having them).
Besides, Bilbo realises full well that Sting is of no use. ...However, he
harbours false hopes as to the effectiveness of the Ring. Perhaps, you
are right and Bilbo's inner battle was won by the illusion of
invisibility.

Archie

Bill O'Meally

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Nov 17, 2003, 10:16:23 PM11/17/03
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"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:be50318e.03111...@posting.google.com...


>
> And good hearing ("I hear your breath"). And an *extremely*
> well-developed sense of feeling: "I feel your hair", when Bilbo has
> not even stepped out of the tunnel entrance yet?


LOL! It's *air*, Henriette. "I feel your *air*". :-)
--
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 17, 2003, 10:21:28 PM11/17/03
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"Elwë Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> wrote in message
news:5907da2442c89bbf...@news.teranews.com...

> 4) Everyone has his failings, and dwarves are no
> exception. But one cannot say that they are cowards : they are always
ready
> to help someone who is in danger.

Is that why they let poor Bilbo go down into Smaug's lair *three times*
before they figured it was safe enough? And don't even get me started
on the adventure with the Trolls!

This is once again demonstrated in this
> chapter, when Smaug searches the mountain to kill the thief : despite
the
> danger the dwarves who were on the doorstep didn't abandon Bombur and
Bofur,
> who stayed at the bottom of the mountain. Cords were dropped, and the
two
> dwarves were saved just before the Dragon's fire reached the mountain
side,
> where the door stood. Knowing the egoistic nature of dwarves, this
still
> surprises and impresses me.

I guess they do have a sense of duty. They probably would have attempted
to rescue Bilbo too had he fallen into any trouble.

coyotes morgan mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Nov 17, 2003, 11:41:16 PM11/17/03
to
In article <cXaub.8282$v55....@news.get2net.dk>, "Raven"
<jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote:

> "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:be50318e.03111...@posting.google.com...
>
> > * Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?

because worm doesnt mean the same thing today as it did once upon a time
originally it refered to variety of crawly things with little or no legs
like worms and snakes and dragons

Troels Forchhammer

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Nov 18, 2003, 5:12:25 AM11/18/03
to
In message <cXaub.8282$v55....@news.get2net.dk>,
Raven <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> enriched us with:

>
> "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:be50318e.03111...@posting.google.com...
>>
>> * Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?
>
> The old mythological sources, I suppose.

Anything in the old Norse myths (and real life) that is today
referred to as dragons were originally worms - e.g. the shop
"Ormen Lange" (The Long Worm) and other worms.

It is retained in Danish only in the name for the adder ("hugorm")
and snake pit, "ormegård" ("worm yard", I believe - 'gård' in
this refers to a fenced-in area). IIRC the Swedes still use "orm"
for snakes also (in some cases at least).

The Norse mythology is of course filled with worms, but
unfortunately my dictionary doesn't contain these ;-)

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


Henriette

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Nov 18, 2003, 5:53:44 AM11/18/03
to
"Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wise.rr.com> wrote in message news:<bagub.38462$Vu6....@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com>...

> "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:be50318e.03111...@posting.google.com...
> >
> > And good hearing ("I hear your breath"). And an *extremely*
> > well-developed sense of feeling: "I feel your hair", when Bilbo has
> > not even stepped out of the tunnel entrance yet?
>
> LOL! It's *air*, Henriette. "I feel your *air*". :-)

Definitely Hair in my book (3rd ed. 13th impr.).....

Henriette

One-White-Tree

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Nov 18, 2003, 6:37:57 AM11/18/03
to
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message news:<MPG.1a23a4cc95...@news.mtu-net.ru>...

I was thinking more along the lines of in 'Riddles of the Dark', when
Bilbo reflects on Sting's nature as a weapon of war forged long ago.
It seems to calm him down a little... whether he appreciates its'
lineage, or it gives his imagination something else to focus on, who
knows?

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

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Nov 18, 2003, 8:34:58 AM11/18/03
to
One-White-Tree wrote:
> <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message news:<MPG.1a23a4cc95...@news.mtu-net.ru>...
> > One-White-Tree wrote:
> > > <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message news:<MPG.1a22abae8d...@news.mtu-net.ru>...
> > > > Elwë Singollo wrote:
> > > > > Chapter of the Week: The Hobbit
> > > > > Chapter 12 - Inside Information
[...]

> > One needs something to have it boosted... (my own experience tells me
> > that there is some difference between having a weapon and not having, but
> > it is less than the one between having guts and not having them).
> > Besides, Bilbo realises full well that Sting is of no use. ...However, he
> > harbours false hopes as to the effectiveness of the Ring. Perhaps, you
> > are right and Bilbo's inner battle was won by the illusion of
> > invisibility.
> >
> > Archie
>
> I was thinking more along the lines of in 'Riddles of the Dark', when
> Bilbo reflects on Sting's nature as a weapon of war forged long ago.
> It seems to calm him down a little... whether he appreciates its'
> lineage, or it gives his imagination something else to focus on, who
> knows?
This explanation is quite possible. Thanks.

Archie

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

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Nov 18, 2003, 8:34:56 AM11/18/03
to
Bill O'Meally wrote:
> "Elwë Singollo" <elwe.s...@doriath.me> wrote in message
> news:5907da2442c89bbf...@news.teranews.com...
[...]

> This is once again demonstrated in this
> > chapter, when Smaug searches the mountain to kill the thief : despite
> the
> > danger the dwarves who were on the doorstep didn't abandon Bombur and
> Bofur,
> > who stayed at the bottom of the mountain. Cords were dropped, and the
> two
> > dwarves were saved just before the Dragon's fire reached the mountain
> side,
> > where the door stood. Knowing the egoistic nature of dwarves, this
> still
> > surprises and impresses me.
>
> I guess they do have a sense of duty. They probably would have attempted
> to rescue Bilbo too had he fallen into any trouble.
And buried him at their own expense (as stipulated in the contract).

Archie

Bill O'Meally

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Nov 18, 2003, 10:17:33 AM11/18/03
to


"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:be50318e.03111...@posting.google.com...
> "Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wise.rr.com> wrote in message
news:<bagub.38462$Vu6....@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com>...
> > "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> > news:be50318e.03111...@posting.google.com...
> > >
> > > And good hearing ("I hear your breath"). And an *extremely*
> > > well-developed sense of feeling: "I feel your hair", when Bilbo
has
> > > not even stepped out of the tunnel entrance yet?
> >
> > LOL! It's *air*, Henriette. "I feel your *air*". :-)
>
> Definitely Hair in my book (3rd ed. 13th impr.).....

Which brings up the question: did Smaug have a Cockney accent?

John Jones

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Nov 17, 2003, 4:59:23 PM11/17/03
to
"Pete Gray" <ne...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message
news:9b8irv80os6ammtgg...@4ax.com...

> On 16 Nov 2003 23:54:02 -0800, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>
> >
> >* Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?
>
> It's the old English word for 'dragon' (well, 'wyrm' is). 'Dragon'
> comes from French/Latin, so you can guess why Tolkien liked 'worm'.
>
And there are plenty of places in England called 'Wormhill' or 'Wormlow' (or
'Drakelow'): dragons notoriously coiled around hills.

Stan Brown

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Nov 18, 2003, 10:23:42 PM11/18/03
to
In article <MPG.1a2452a8f1...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
wrote:

>Bill O'Meally wrote:
>> I guess they do have a sense of duty. They probably would have attempted
>> to rescue Bilbo too had he fallen into any trouble.
>And buried him at their own expense (as stipulated in the contract).

Not quite. "... all traveling expenses guaranteed in any event;
funeral expenses to be defrayed by us or our representatives, if
occasion arises and the matter is not otherwise arranged for."

Note the contrast: traveling expenses were guaranteed "in any
event", funeral expenses only "if ... the matter is not otherwise
arranged for" -- i.e., if they couldn't get one of Bilbo's relatives
to take on the expense.

AC

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Nov 19, 2003, 12:10:33 AM11/19/03
to
On Tue, 18 Nov 2003 22:23:42 -0500,
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
> In article <MPG.1a2452a8f1...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
> wrote:
>>Bill O'Meally wrote:
>>> I guess they do have a sense of duty. They probably would have attempted
>>> to rescue Bilbo too had he fallen into any trouble.
>>And buried him at their own expense (as stipulated in the contract).
>
> Not quite. "... all traveling expenses guaranteed in any event;
> funeral expenses to be defrayed by us or our representatives, if
> occasion arises and the matter is not otherwise arranged for."
>
> Note the contrast: traveling expenses were guaranteed "in any
> event", funeral expenses only "if ... the matter is not otherwise
> arranged for" -- i.e., if they couldn't get one of Bilbo's relatives
> to take on the expense.

This brings a startling revelation. There must have been lawyers in Middle
Earth. Can you imagine Thorin with the barrister?

--
Aaron Clausen

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

Dirk Thierbach

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Nov 19, 2003, 4:40:48 AM11/19/03
to
Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Definitely Hair in my book (3rd ed. 13th impr.).....

In my book, it's also "air". (4th ed., 1982, Allen & Unwin).

- Dirk

Andrew Criddle

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Nov 19, 2003, 5:04:46 AM11/19/03
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message news:<MPG.1a24ac4c...@news.odyssey.net>...

> In article <MPG.1a2452a8f1...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
> wrote:
> >Bill O'Meally wrote:
> >> I guess they do have a sense of duty. They probably would have attempted
> >> to rescue Bilbo too had he fallen into any trouble.
> >And buried him at their own expense (as stipulated in the contract).
>
> Not quite. "... all traveling expenses guaranteed in any event;
> funeral expenses to be defrayed by us or our representatives, if
> occasion arises and the matter is not otherwise arranged for."
>
> Note the contrast: traveling expenses were guaranteed "in any
> event", funeral expenses only "if ... the matter is not otherwise
> arranged for" -- i.e., if they couldn't get one of Bilbo's relatives
> to take on the expense.
>
> --
I've always taken 'not otherwise arranged for' to mean that
if you were eaten by trolls or spiders or Dragons that removed
the need for the Dwarves to pay for your funeral.

Andrew Criddle

Troels Forchhammer

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Nov 19, 2003, 7:12:16 AM11/19/03
to
In message <hKqub.42229$Vu6....@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com>,
Bill O'Meally <OMea...@wise.rr.com> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> Which brings up the question: did Smaug have a Cockney accent?


Nah - he wouldn't - he was putting on hairs ...

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

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Nov 19, 2003, 1:03:42 PM11/19/03
to
Stan Brown wrote:
> In article <MPG.1a2452a8f1...@news.mtu-net.ru> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, <put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru>
> wrote:
> >Bill O'Meally wrote:
> >> I guess they do have a sense of duty. They probably would have attempted
> >> to rescue Bilbo too had he fallen into any trouble.
> >And buried him at their own expense (as stipulated in the contract).
>
> Not quite. "... all traveling expenses guaranteed in any event;
> funeral expenses to be defrayed by us or our representatives, if
> occasion arises and the matter is not otherwise arranged for."
>
> Note the contrast: traveling expenses were guaranteed "in any
> event", funeral expenses only "if ... the matter is not otherwise
> arranged for" -- i.e., if they couldn't get one of Bilbo's relatives
> to take on the expense.
Sackville-Bagginses? They would do it with pleasure - at the cheapest
cemetery.

Archie

Öjevind Lång

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Nov 19, 2003, 4:54:34 PM11/19/03
to
"Troels Forchhammer" <Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

[snip]

> Anything in the old Norse myths (and real life) that is today
> referred to as dragons were originally worms - e.g. the shop
> "Ormen Lange" (The Long Worm) and other worms.
>
> It is retained in Danish only in the name for the adder ("hugorm")
> and snake pit, "ormegård" ("worm yard", I believe - 'gård' in
> this refers to a fenced-in area). IIRC the Swedes still use "orm"
> for snakes also (in some cases at least).

That's right. "Orm" is the standard word for "snake" in Swedish to this day.
"Worm" (the little wriggly thing you put on a fishing-hook) is called
"mask". However, one species of snake, "grass snake", is called "snok" in
Swedish., No doubt it is cognate with the English word "snake".

Öjevind


Henriette

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Nov 20, 2003, 4:39:06 PM11/20/03
to
Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@gmx.de> wrote in message news:<0eqr81...@ID-7776.user.dfncis.de>...

> Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > Definitely Hair in my book (3rd ed. 13th impr.).....
>
> In my book, it's also "air". (4th ed., 1982, Allen & Unwin).
>
Thank you for letting us know. "Air" makes definitely a lot more sense...
All the things we learn in these chapter discussions!

Tschüß,

Henriette

Henriette

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Nov 20, 2003, 4:56:43 PM11/20/03
to
"Elwë Singollo" <Elwe.S...@doriath.me> wrote in message news:<3fb8de4f$1...@epflnews.epfl.ch>...
>
> (snip) It is only
> later, when he is alone in the tunnel, that we understand that the Hobbit
> is, in fact, scared to death. Bilbo is a gifted actor, for he was able to
> fool the dwarves about how he was feeling.

LOL. I think so too, but it is always implied that he is a gifted
actor, never mentioned with so many words.
>
> I think it is very
> interesting that Tolkien described "his" dragons as being smart chaps. They
> are that more dangerous and it makes them impressive ennemies.

Yes, it is a rather unusual combination in fiction: big *and* smart.
>
> Saruman's power of persuasion was even greater than the dragon's IMHO.

Yes.

> Besides, Saruman's power was his voice, but as far as dragons are concerned,
> their power are rather in their sight (at least for Glaurung : remember that
> Turin was not under Glaurung's spell when the worm talked to him, but when
> Turin looked at the dragon in the eyes). Smaug's voice does not seem to have
> a "magic" power on Bilbo. He was only very clever in what to say to get
> information from Bilbo...
>
Maybe not his voice as such, but still it is written: "Now a nasty
suspicion began to grow in his mind (...)That is the effect
dragon-talk has on the unexperienced".

Henriette

Henriette

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Nov 20, 2003, 5:07:39 PM11/20/03
to
<put-the-no-mail-...@mail.ru> wrote in message news:<MPG.1a233324aa...@news.mtu-net.ru>...
> Henriette wrote:
> [...]
> > I think that he is scared to death but determined to see it through.
> > At one point he is so scared that JRRT wites: "Going on from there was
> > the bravest thing he ever did. (...)He fought the real battle in that
> > tunnel alone, (...)
> It is very nice and very psychological to see a turning-point pinned down
> and described meticulously.

Yes. It is one of my favorite quotes.


>
> > * Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?

> 'cause he ain't got wings (the Worm of Angband). It is also pejorative.
> What's more, I haven't seen any flying worms lately.

Well, the Worm on the cover of my Hobbit book definitely *does* have
wings, unlike some other creatures we meet in JRRT's books!
>
> > * The effect of the dragon words resemble somewhat the effect of
> > Saruman's words, except that in Saruman's case we also hear about the
> > beauty of his voice.
> A trait characteristic of dragons in _almost any_ mythology.
> Especially so in Middle-Earth. I can compare Smaug with the sirens (as
> far as voice is concerned) and Medusa Gorgona/ the vasilisks (perilous
> eyes - not unlike certain women).
>
Compare Smaug with the sirens! All the things people try to make me
believe at AFT! Now that would be a challenge, to find someone who in
a movie could do this sirenvoice of Smaug and the vasilisk eyes......

Henriette

Jamie Andrews; real address @ bottom of message

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Nov 20, 2003, 10:30:30 PM11/20/03
to
In rec.arts.books.tolkien Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> * The effect of the dragon words resemble somewhat the effect of
> Saruman's words, except that in Saruman's case we also hear about the
> beauty of his voice.

Shippey in _JRRT: AoTC_ points out that JRRT has both Smaug
and Saruman speak like modern, urbane politicians, in contrast
to some of the other many styles of speech present in _TH_ and
_LOTR_. JRRT also has them (Saruman more than Smaug) use
euphemistic words politician-style to mask their true intent, a
device worthy of George Orwell.

--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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Nov 21, 2003, 3:12:14 AM11/21/03
to
m...@privacy.net (Jamie Andrews; real address @ bottom of message) wrote in message news:<bpk0sl$1o0641$2...@ID-193590.news.uni-berlin.de>...

> In rec.arts.books.tolkien Henriette <held...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> > * The effect of the dragon words resemble somewhat the effect of
> > Saruman's words, except that in Saruman's case we also hear about the
> > beauty of his voice.
>
> Shippey in _JRRT: AoTC_ points out that JRRT has both Smaug
> and Saruman speak like modern, urbane politicians, in contrast
> to some of the other many styles of speech present in _TH_ and
> _LOTR_. JRRT also has them (Saruman more than Smaug) use
> euphemistic words politician-style to mask their true intent, a
> device worthy of George Orwell.
>
Well, not bad at all then for a foreigner to pick that up! (H. pats
herself approvingly on the shoulder). Aren't those many styles of
speech fascinating! Thank Jamie you for the feedback.

Henriette

Henriette

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Nov 21, 2003, 3:18:47 AM11/21/03
to
"John Jones" <john_r...@tiscali.co.uk> wrote in message news:<3fba7e28$1...@mk-nntp-2.news.uk.tiscali.com>...

> "Pete Gray" <ne...@redbadge.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:9b8irv80os6ammtgg...@4ax.com...
> >
> > It's the old English word for 'dragon' (well, 'wyrm' is). 'Dragon'
> > comes from French/Latin, so you can guess why Tolkien liked 'worm'.
> >
> And there are plenty of places in England called 'Wormhill' or 'Wormlow' (or
> 'Drakelow'): dragons notoriously coiled around hills.

Isn't that nice!

When I first read this post I started wondering why if England has so
many places called that, we don't even have *one*. After a while it
dawned on me that we don't have any hills in the Low Lands to begin
with ....

Henriette

Henriette

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Nov 21, 2003, 3:30:50 AM11/21/03
to
Brenda Selwyn <bre...@matson.demon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<iqbirvklb3p97eudg...@4ax.com>...

> >held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>
> >* Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?
>
> Because the term is often used for wingless dragon-like creatures in
> British mythology; see
> http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/legends/the_dragon.html

Thank you, that was an enlightening read. Isn't it amazing that we
Dutch also say both worm *and* wurm? Never for a dragon though, only
for these creepy crawly leg- and wingless useful slimy creatures.
>
> Also the wonderfully named "Laidley Worm of Spindleton Heugh":
> http://www.england-in-particular.info/bamb.html

Nice romantic stories, thank you! Poor stepmothers, who are always
portrayed so wicked in fairy-tales...

Henriette

Henriette

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Nov 21, 2003, 3:35:20 AM11/21/03
to
ALuddy <alu...@nospam.adelphia.net> wrote in message news:<j%aub.1851$_i1.13...@news2.news.adelphia.net>...
> Henriette wrote:
>
> > I have 2 other points:
> >
> > * Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?
>
> One does not necessarily refer to one's enemies in a complimentary or
> accurate manner. A survivor of WWI would no doubt remember the
> reference to the Germans as Huns, and a scholar, Tolkien no doubt knew
> that the Huns and the Germans were very different people.

LOL. Thank you very much everyone who took the trouble to answer my
question from different perspectives....

Henriette

Jetro de Château

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Nov 21, 2003, 7:15:59 AM11/21/03
to
Henriette wrote:

>>> * Why is a dragon sometimes referred to as a Worm?
>> 'cause he ain't got wings (the Worm of Angband). It is also
>> pejorative. What's more, I haven't seen any flying worms lately.
>
> Well, the Worm on the cover of my Hobbit book definitely *does* have
> wings, unlike some other creatures we meet in JRRT's books!

But dragons in many mythologies are snakelike creatures (with or without
wings) and so the pejorative 'Worm' applies rather nicely.

Smaug of coarse had wings, as a later chapter involving arrows and a
plummeting firebreather will explain.


the softrat

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Nov 21, 2003, 11:29:06 AM11/21/03
to
On 21 Nov 2003 00:18:47 -0800, held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote:
>
>When I first read this post I started wondering why if England has so
>many places called that, we don't even have *one*. After a while it
>dawned on me that we don't have any hills in the Low Lands to begin
>with ....
>
D'oh!

the softrat
Curmudgeon-at-Large
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
Please don't congregate in groups.

Hasan Murtaza

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Nov 21, 2003, 2:41:36 PM11/21/03
to

Troels Forchhammer wrote:
> It is retained in Danish only in the name for the adder ("hugorm")
> and snake pit, "ormegård" ("worm yard", I believe - 'gård' in
> this refers to a fenced-in area). IIRC the Swedes still use "orm"
> for snakes also (in some cases at least).
>

I wonder what Grima Wormtongue in LOTR has to do with reptiles. Gandalf
described him as a fork-tongued thing, is there merely symbolism or was
he really reptilian in LOTR?

thanks,
Hasan

Jette Goldie

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Nov 21, 2003, 3:03:48 PM11/21/03