The Hobbit Chapter 5: Riddles in the Dark

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zett

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Sep 28, 2003, 9:41:19 PM9/28/03
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If you wish to host a chapter discussion go to:
http://parasha.maoltuile.org/

Synopsis:

In the attempt to escape the goblins, Bilbo is knocked out and left
behind. He awakes in pitch darkness, alone. Deciding there is
nothing to do but go forward, he feels his way along, and puts his
hand on a ring on the floor. He unthinkingly pockets it and keeps
going. Eventually he comes to the edge of a lake, where he encounters
Gollum. They agree to have a riddle contest. The prize if Bilbo
wins: Gollum shows Bilbo the way out. The prize if Gollum wins: he
shows Bilbo the way in: in to Gollum's stomach, that is. It is a near
thing for Bilbo when he runs out of riddles; while desperately trying
to think of one he sticks his hand in his pocket and feels the
long-since-forgotten ring. In surprise he blurts out "What have I got
in my pocket?" Gollum thinks this is Bilbo's real riddle, and Bilbo
doesn't tell him any different. When Gollum can't guess, Bilbo
demands to be shown the way out. Gollum, feigning to assist Bilbo,
goes to his island to get his magic invisibility ring so he can sneak
up on him to kill him- but discovers it is gone and immediately
suspects that Bilbo has it. He comes after Bilbo in a rage- Bilbo
runs for it and the ring slips on his finger. Bilbo learns from
overhearing Gollum that he is now invisible and uses that to escape
Gollum, the goblins, and the inside of the mountain.

Comments and questions:

1. Gollum is wonderfully creepy from the get go. His devious scheming
to fill his belly at Bilbo's ultimate expense cracks me up: "Praps ye
sits here and chats with it a bitsy, my precious." and "Is it nice,
my precious? Is it juicy? Is it scrumptiously crunchable?" Near the
end of the riddle game when Gollum gets out and sits right by Bilbo
and starts pawing and pinching him, I imagine he is seeing how much
fat is on him and is wondering how well he will go with a Chianti and
fava beans.

2. One of the delightful things about reading this chapter for the
first time in The Annotated Hobbit was the discovery that there's a
Real Life tradition of making and guessing riddles, going back to
antiquity- and seeing how Tolkien dipped into that tradition.

3. The first phrase we hear from Gollum: "Bless us and splash us, my
precious!" reminds me of baptism. (Do not fear! I am not about to make
an allegory accusation!) I am curious about the etymology of the
‘bless us and splash us' part. Does anyone know of a similar phrase
that specifically invokes baptism along with asking for a general
blessing? Was it some West Midlands expression or something?

4. It says that the Goblins didn't find the dagger Sting because
Bilbo wore it inside his breeches. That sounds downright
uncomfortable, if not outright dangerous! Remember, it was just a
knife sized thing for an Elf, but it was big enough for a sword to a
Hobbit. I don't see how he could have hidden something like that.

5. If you were in a similar situation to Bilbo, and you blundered onto
an object that had no known value in getting you out of danger, would
you keep it? Of course it was necessary for the story… but did Bilbo's
keeping the ring make any sense at that moment?

6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?

AC

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Sep 28, 2003, 11:17:03 PM9/28/03
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On 28 Sep 2003 18:41:19 -0700,
zett <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Comments and questions:
>
> 1. Gollum is wonderfully creepy from the get go. His devious scheming
> to fill his belly at Bilbo's ultimate expense cracks me up: "Praps ye
> sits here and chats with it a bitsy, my precious." and "Is it nice,
> my precious? Is it juicy? Is it scrumptiously crunchable?" Near the
> end of the riddle game when Gollum gets out and sits right by Bilbo
> and starts pawing and pinching him, I imagine he is seeing how much
> fat is on him and is wondering how well he will go with a Chianti and
> fava beans.

This is a great scene. When I read this to my kids, they shivered at the
thought of Gollum sitting next to poor, hapless Bilbo Baggins.

> 5. If you were in a similar situation to Bilbo, and you blundered onto
> an object that had no known value in getting you out of danger, would
> you keep it? Of course it was necessary for the story… but did Bilbo's
> keeping the ring make any sense at that moment?

Yes, I think most of us would keep it. It might not be necessary to us, but
something like that might have value.

>
> 6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?

I'm certain he probably built it from various scraps he'd found around.

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

Stan Brown

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Sep 28, 2003, 11:57:07 PM9/28/03
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In article <4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, zett <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>1. Gollum is wonderfully creepy from the get go.

snip


> "Is it nice, my precious? Is it juicy? Is it scrumptiously crunchable?"

"Scrumptiously crunchable" is one of my favorite lines too.
Unfortunately I find _myself_ using it of particularly toothsome
foods now. It does get me some strange looks.

Before I go on with comments, I want to say a thank you to you for
taking on this chapter. I'm not very good at doing the sort of
chapter-by-chapter project that has been started, but I am glad to
see it in progress.

>2. One of the delightful things about reading this chapter for the
>first time in The Annotated Hobbit was the discovery that there's a
>Real Life tradition of making and guessing riddles, going back to
>antiquity- and seeing how Tolkien dipped into that tradition.

There is a rich tradition in literature too, usually with severe
penalties for attempting the riddle(s) and failing. Just off the top
of my head:

Near the beginning of the story, Oedipus saves the city of Thebes
from the Sphinx, which posed a riddle to all travelers (IIRC) and
killed any who could not answer.

I'm pretty sure one of the Norse myths has one of the gods in a
riddle-game with a mortal, but I could be wrong because I don't have
details. Or maybe I'm just thinking of de Camp & Pratt's /The
Compleat Enchanter/, part of which is set in the world of Ragnarok
and includes a riddle-game.

The first two acts of Puccini's opera /Turandot/ are dominated by a
riddle game: the princess Turandot poses three riddles to anyone who
asks for her hand: if the suitor can answer all three he can marry
her, but if not he is executed.

>3. The first phrase we hear from Gollum: "Bless us and splash us, my
>precious!" reminds me of baptism. (Do not fear! I am not about to make
>an allegory accusation!) I am curious about the etymology of the

>?bless us and splash us' part.

Sam uses "bless us" in LotR. I think it was a fairly common mild
English oath. Tolkien would certainly have used it in preference to
"Damme" in a book intended for children.

>5. If you were in a similar situation to Bilbo, and you blundered onto
>an object that had no known value in getting you out of danger, would

>you keep it? Of course it was necessary for the story? but did Bilbo's


>keeping the ring make any sense at that moment?

I got the impression that he picked it up and put it in his pocket
rather absent mindedly. "He put the ring in his pocket almost
without thinking; certainly it did not seem of any particular use at
the moment." Of course in hindsight after LotR we know that the Ring
probably influenced Bilbo; but at the time I think it was entirely
casual.

>6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?

An excellent question, and one I never thought about before. He
could hardly have stolen it from the Goblins: since their road ended
at the shore, they would not have had any reason to cross the lake
and therefore would not have kept a boat.

--
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

Henriette

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Sep 29, 2003, 1:57:30 AM9/29/03
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yze...@yahoo.com (zett) wrote in message news:<4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com>...

> If you wish to host a chapter discussion go to:
> http://parasha.maoltuile.org/
>
(snip)
> Comments and questions:
>
> 1. Gollum is wonderfully creepy from the get go. (snip)

Apart from that, he is also said to be: "slimy and dark", so I was
quite surprised to see the movies-Gollum.
>
> 5. (snip)but did Bilbo's keeping the ring make any sense at that moment?

The ring was working its will.

Thank you zett, for a nice introduction! I have a question and a
remark to add:

Question: In this chapter JRRT uses the words "miserabler" and
"tireder". I am sure my teacher of English would have crossed out
these words angrily with a red pen and would have put: more
miserable/tired, instead. So, what is happening here?

Remark: isn't it wonderful bats are flying within a mountain?

Henriette

Colin Davies

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Sep 29, 2003, 5:36:49 AM9/29/03
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yze...@yahoo.com (zett) wrote in message news:<4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com>...
>
> 5. If you were in a similar situation to Bilbo, and you blundered onto
> an object that had no known value in getting you out of danger, would
> you keep it? Of course it was necessary for the story? but did Bilbo's

> keeping the ring make any sense at that moment?

Of course, the ring wanted to be picked up and carried out of the
darkness of the cave and mountains. The power of the ring was at work.
What the ring didn't expect was to be picked up by a Hobbit.


>
> 6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?

He made it from wood collected from the Orcs dwellings?

Colin

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

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Sep 29, 2003, 10:41:14 AM9/29/03
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Henriette wrote:
> yze...@yahoo.com (zett) wrote in message news:<4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com>...
> > If you wish to host a chapter discussion go to:
> > http://parasha.maoltuile.org/
[...]

> Question: In this chapter JRRT uses the words "miserabler" and
> "tireder". I am sure my teacher of English would have crossed out
> these words angrily with a red pen and would have put: more
> miserable/tired, instead. So, what is happening here?
It is getting curiouser and curiouser, as Carroll's Alice used to say. A
book for children, what would you demand from it.


> Remark: isn't it wonderful bats are flying within a mountain?
Those aren't bats, they are ba*SLAP!! Yeah, flying bastards, that's what
I meant.

Archie

Bill O'Meally

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Sep 29, 2003, 10:06:34 AM9/29/03
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"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
news:MPG.19e1779a9...@news.odyssey.net...


> There is a rich tradition in literature too, usually with severe
> penalties for attempting the riddle(s) and failing. Just off the top
> of my head:
>
> Near the beginning of the story, Oedipus saves the city of Thebes
> from the Sphinx, which posed a riddle to all travelers (IIRC) and
> killed any who could not answer.
>
> I'm pretty sure one of the Norse myths has one of the gods in a
> riddle-game with a mortal, but I could be wrong because I don't have
> details. Or maybe I'm just thinking of de Camp & Pratt's /The
> Compleat Enchanter/, part of which is set in the world of Ragnarok
> and includes a riddle-game.
>
> The first two acts of Puccini's opera /Turandot/ are dominated by a
> riddle game: the princess Turandot poses three riddles to anyone who
> asks for her hand: if the suitor can answer all three he can marry
> her, but if not he is executed.
>

And let's not forget:
1) What is your name?
2) What is your quest?
3) What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

--
Bill

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


Raven

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Sep 29, 2003, 2:03:09 PM9/29/03
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"zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com...

> 4. It says that the Goblins didn't find the dagger Sting because
> Bilbo wore it inside his breeches. That sounds downright
> uncomfortable, if not outright dangerous! Remember, it was just a
> knife sized thing for an Elf, but it was big enough for a sword to a
> Hobbit. I don't see how he could have hidden something like that.

Not dangerous, if it were in a good sheath. If it were the length of his
hipbone, stretching from pelvis to knee, he would be able to wear it like
that and walk, and yet it would qualify as a short sword for him.

> 5. If you were in a similar situation to Bilbo, and you blundered onto
> an object that had no known value in getting you out of danger, would

> you keep it? Of course it was necessary for the story. but did Bilbo's


> keeping the ring make any sense at that moment?

He could have guessed that it might be valuable, and pocketed it like I
would pocket small coins that I find. Perhaps in the remote hope of bribing
orcs or throwing it as a decoy. Also, story-internally, this was a ring
that influenced people to pick it up.

> 6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?

One guess is that it was a coracle, made from ribs and hide of orcs.

Hrafn.


Raven

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Sep 29, 2003, 1:56:48 PM9/29/03
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"Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wise.rr.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:K%Wdb.359$832...@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com...

> 3) What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Standard reply to that one: an African one or a European one?

Corvus.


Taemon

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Sep 29, 2003, 5:02:58 PM9/29/03
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Isn't it weird that the goblins could see Bilbo when he tried to squeeze
through the door? There is, to my mind, no other reference of someone who is
visible while wearing the ring (expect for the Unspeakable Idiot with the
yellow bootsies).

Greetings, T.


The American

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Sep 29, 2003, 5:05:58 PM9/29/03
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"Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message
news:1T0eb.309$MJ5...@news.get2net.dk...

> "zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com...
>
> > 6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?
>
> One guess is that it was a coracle, made from ribs and hide of orcs.
>

I was going to say it could have been just a log or large piece of wood,
then I remembered the whole "under the mountain" part.
Not much driftwood under a mountain.
:-)

Still, he could have stolen wood materials from the goblins.
Gollum was from a fisher folk.
Maybe he was a fairly good boat builder when he wasn't slacking off stealing
eggs.

T.A.


AC

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Sep 29, 2003, 5:23:08 PM9/29/03
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On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 20:03:09 +0200,
Raven <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote:
> "zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com...
>
>> 6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?
>
> One guess is that it was a coracle, made from ribs and hide of orcs.

You know, I'm going to pick that as my new image for Gollum's boat. It fits
so well with the creapiness of the whole scene.

--
Aaron Clausen

tao...@alberni.net

Jette Goldie

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Sep 29, 2003, 5:43:56 PM9/29/03
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"The American" <a_real_...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:vnh7lrm...@corp.supernews.com...

>
> "Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message
> news:1T0eb.309$MJ5...@news.get2net.dk...
> > "zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> skrev i en meddelelse
> > news:4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com...
> >
> > > 6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?
> >
> > One guess is that it was a coracle, made from ribs and hide of orcs.
> >
>
> I was going to say it could have been just a log or large piece of wood,
> then I remembered the whole "under the mountain" part.
> Not much driftwood under a mountain.
> :-)


Rivers come in from outside - and you would be quite surprised
at what flows in with them when they flood.


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


Richard Fish

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Sep 29, 2003, 6:07:02 PM9/29/03
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"Bill O'Meally" <OMea...@wise.rr.com> wrote in message
news:K%Wdb.359$832...@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com...

African or European?

coyotes morgan mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Sep 29, 2003, 7:22:26 PM9/29/03
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In article <bla6m0$a2ssv$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>, "Taemon"
<Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:

they saw his shadow
which as stated is weakly visible in the sunlight

zett

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Sep 29, 2003, 9:39:31 PM9/29/03
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AC <tao...@alberni.net> wrote in message news:<slrnbnf91f...@clausen.alberni.net>...

> On 28 Sep 2003 18:41:19 -0700,
> zett <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Comments and questions:
> >
> > [snipped]
> This is a great scene. When I read this to my kids, they shivered at the
> thought of Gollum sitting next to poor, hapless Bilbo Baggins.

> > I can feel Gollum's cold clamminess against my side and feel his fingers pinching me, when I read it! Tolkien knew how to write a scene and make it intensely felt/experienced. It is wonderful.

[more of my and AC's comments snipped]

6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?
>
> I'm certain he probably built it from various scraps he'd found around.

I thought that too at first, but it seems like it would be hard to
find just the right stuff to make a boat. Wouldn't one have to have
not only boards, but nails or something to put them together- and a
hammer to hammer the nails? And a saw to cut the wood? And pitch or
something to make it waterproof? Then again, maybe it wasn't much more
than a slightly carved plank or two...Gollum was willing to float down
the Anduin on a plain ol' log- maybe Bilbo just called it a boat. :)

zett

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Sep 29, 2003, 10:33:59 PM9/29/03
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Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message news:<MPG.19e1779a9...@news.odyssey.net>...
> In article <4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, zett <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> >1. Gollum is wonderfully creepy from the get go.
> snip
> > "Is it nice, my precious? Is it juicy? Is it scrumptiously crunchable?"
>
> "Scrumptiously crunchable" is one of my favorite lines too.
> Unfortunately I find _myself_ using it of particularly toothsome
> foods now. It does get me some strange looks.

Imagine the strange looks it'd get ya if ya used it as a pick up line
in a bar. :)



> Before I go on with comments, I want to say a thank you to you for
> taking on this chapter. I'm not very good at doing the sort of
> chapter-by-chapter project that has been started, but I am glad to
> see it in progress.

*Thank You* for your kind words. I am not good at this sort of thing
myself, but I love this particular part of The Hobbit so much I
couldn't pass up the opportunity to "talk" about it.

[snipped Real Life riddle comment]



> There is a rich tradition in literature too, usually with severe
> penalties for attempting the riddle(s) and failing. Just off the top
> of my head:
>
> Near the beginning of the story, Oedipus saves the city of Thebes
> from the Sphinx, which posed a riddle to all travelers (IIRC) and
> killed any who could not answer.

This is the only other "riddle story" I was familiar with besides in
The Hobbit.

> I'm pretty sure one of the Norse myths has one of the gods in a
> riddle-game with a mortal, but I could be wrong because I don't have
> details. Or maybe I'm just thinking of de Camp & Pratt's /The
> Compleat Enchanter/, part of which is set in the world of Ragnarok
> and includes a riddle-game.

In footnote 22 of this chapter D. Anderson notes the Old Norse Saga of
King Heidek the Wise where the king is in a contest of wisdom with
Odin. Maybe that is where you read it?

> The first two acts of Puccini's opera /Turandot/ are dominated by a
> riddle game: the princess Turandot poses three riddles to anyone who
> asks for her hand: if the suitor can answer all three he can marry
> her, but if not he is executed.

Couldn't she have just said, "Let's just be friends, ok?" ??? :)

> >[snip] I am curious about the etymology of the


> >?bless us and splash us' part.
>
> Sam uses "bless us" in LotR. I think it was a fairly common mild
> English oath. Tolkien would certainly have used it in preference to
> "Damme" in a book intended for children.

Sam says "Lor bless me, sir" right before Gandalf hauls him in through
the window of Bag End. What I wonder about though, is not the use of
an oath at all, but one that specifically mentions water in some way.
Maybe it doesn't have any special etymology- maybe Gollum just threw
in the splash us part 'cause he was around water all the time
anyway...I will have to go Ask Jeeves- I seem to have good luck
finding language info on that site.

[snip]



> >6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?
>
> An excellent question, and one I never thought about before. He
> could hardly have stolen it from the Goblins: since their road ended
> at the shore, they would not have had any reason to cross the lake
> and therefore would not have kept a boat.

I did think of this after I posted the question- it does say the Great
Goblin sent goblins down there when he fancied fish from the lake.
Maybe the boat was originally there for them to fish from, and Gollum
commandeered it? :shrug:

[snipped sig]

the softrat

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Sep 29, 2003, 11:20:09 PM9/29/03
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On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 21:43:56 GMT, "Jette Goldie"
<j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote:
>"The American" <a_real_...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>news:vnh7lrm...@corp.supernews.com...
>> "Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message
>> news:1T0eb.309$MJ5...@news.get2net.dk...
>> > "zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> skrev i en meddelelse
>> > news:4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com...
>> > > 6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?
>> >
>> > One guess is that it was a coracle, made from ribs and hide of orcs.
>> >
>> I was going to say it could have been just a log or large piece of wood,
>> then I remembered the whole "under the mountain" part.
>> Not much driftwood under a mountain.
>
>Rivers come in from outside - and you would be quite surprised
>at what flows in with them when they flood.

I think, Jette, if you really did a survey that you would find that
many, many more rivers flow *out* of mountains than into them.
(There is a geological reason for that.)

the softrat ==> Careful!
I have a hug and I know how to use it!
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
Dough, the stuff, that buys my beer, Ray, the guy that tends the
bar, Me, the guy, who drinks my beer, Far, the distance to the
bar, So, I think I'll have a beer, La, Laa lAA lAh LaH LAA
LAAAH! Tea, no thanks I want a beer, which brings us back to
Dough Dough Dough!

A Tsar Is Born

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Sep 29, 2003, 11:53:53 PM9/29/03
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"zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com...

> 2. One of the delightful things about reading this chapter for the
> first time in The Annotated Hobbit

Did you read the original version of the chapter, by the way -- changed
dramatically after he began LotR and decided it didn't quite fit.

>was the discovery that there's a
> Real Life tradition of making and guessing riddles, going back to
> antiquity- and seeing how Tolkien dipped into that tradition.

Yes, it's a big Norse Saga thing, and we know JRRT loved those.
Poul Anderson, a high quality Danish-American writer of fantasy and sci-fi
who died the other day, once (in Three Hearts and Three Lions) had a knight
from the 20th century knocked back into a saga (he turns out to be Roland's
Viking pal, Ogier the Dane), who gets into a riddle contest with a giant,
and asks him things like "What's yellow, weighs 2000 lbs and sings?" and
"What's green, grows around a house, and has wheels?" He wins the contest. I
read that at about 14 and howled my head off. Those were simpler times.


> 3. The first phrase we hear from Gollum: "Bless us and splash us, my
> precious!" reminds me of baptism.

Interesting. Hadn' t made that association before.
(And I'll never be able to forget it now.... ; )


> 4. It says that the Goblins didn't find the dagger Sting because
> Bilbo wore it inside his breeches. That sounds downright
> uncomfortable, if not outright dangerous! Remember, it was just a
> knife sized thing for an Elf, but it was big enough for a sword to a
> Hobbit. I don't see how he could have hidden something like that.

Sting is of extremely variable size, like Pinocchio's nose and other ...
symbols.
If it were just a dagger, it could hardly have broken through Shelob's
belly. But it's just a dagger here.

Bilbo varies in size, too.

> 5. If you were in a similar situation to Bilbo, and you blundered onto
> an object that had no known value in getting you out of danger, would

> you keep it? Of course it was necessary for the story. but did Bilbo's


> keeping the ring make any sense at that moment?

It's a bit of jewelry. What would you do -- just drop it?
Yes, his action makes complete sense.

> 6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?

He made it himself. He cut down some trees he found growing in the center of
the mountain ... remember, in Arda trees don't need sunlight to grow (as
they do in our world), as there were forests for centuries or more before
there ever was a sun.

Tsar Parmathule


Stan Brown

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Sep 30, 2003, 12:00:55 AM9/30/03
to
In article <bla6m0$a2ssv$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de> in

You might want to go back and reread the chapter. They saw him when
he entered the chamber because the Ring had slipped off his finger.
Then he slipped it on again and they didn't see him. When he got to
the door, the sunlight made him cast a shadow, which they saw.
(Earlier in the chapter we had been told that in full sunlight an
invisible Ring-wearer would cast a faint shadow.)

At no point could they see _Bilbo_ while he wore the Ring.

Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld

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Sep 30, 2003, 12:53:21 AM9/30/03
to
"zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote in message:

<pins>

> Comments and questions:
>
> 1. Gollum is wonderfully creepy from the get go. His devious scheming
> to fill his belly at Bilbo's ultimate expense cracks me up: "Praps ye
> sits here and chats with it a bitsy, my precious." and "Is it nice,
> my precious? Is it juicy? Is it scrumptiously crunchable?" Near the
> end of the riddle game when Gollum gets out and sits right by Bilbo
> and starts pawing and pinching him, I imagine he is seeing how much
> fat is on him and is wondering how well he will go with a Chianti and
> fava beans.

I wonder where and when in his life Tolkien might have met such people to
influence his creation of Gollum's character?

> 2. One of the delightful things about reading this chapter for the
> first time in The Annotated Hobbit was the discovery that there's a
> Real Life tradition of making and guessing riddles, going back to
> antiquity- and seeing how Tolkien dipped into that tradition.

Regretfully I can't comment much on this, although I always believed it to
be an ancient and highly respected art, even in our world.

> 3. The first phrase we hear from Gollum: "Bless us and splash us, my
> precious!" reminds me of baptism. (Do not fear! I am not about to make
> an allegory accusation!) I am curious about the etymology of the
> 'bless us and splash us' part. Does anyone know of a similar phrase
> that specifically invokes baptism along with asking for a general
> blessing? Was it some West Midlands expression or something?

I never considered that before. I thought it referred to the water he always
lived near. But it might also be a reference to baptism. Very observant.

> 4. It says that the Goblins didn't find the dagger Sting because
> Bilbo wore it inside his breeches. That sounds downright
> uncomfortable, if not outright dangerous! Remember, it was just a
> knife sized thing for an Elf, but it was big enough for a sword to a
> Hobbit. I don't see how he could have hidden something like that.

I agree with other posters that he could have hidden it in its sheath along
his thigh without too much trouble. Maybe the Goblins thought him not as
dangerous as the Dwarves and didn't search him as carefully as them. (I
wonder if the Goblins looked for hidden weapons or valuables in their
beards?)

> 5. If you were in a similar situation to Bilbo, and you blundered onto
> an object that had no known value in getting you out of danger, would

> you keep it? Of course it was necessary for the story. but did Bilbo's


> keeping the ring make any sense at that moment?

I agree that it was partly an instinctive thing, partly Ring influence.

> 6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?

The boat could have been of Goblin-make, since the Great Goblin fancied
fish.** They could even have built it to explore the lake when they
discovered it, just to see if it contained anything useful or dangerous.
Obviously they found nothing too dangerous, or they would have filled in
that part of the passage. I doubt Gollum built it, especially if the right
materials were hard to find, and if there was a decent little Goblin boat to
steal. Gollum is from a tribe of fisher-folk, although we don't know if they
had much boat technology at the time he went underground. The Goblin-hide
boat idea is gruesome but definitely fits.

** [or his predecessor liked fish, if Goblins aren't immortal - and even if
they are, I'd guess the office of "Great Goblin" would have a rather high
turnover rate.]

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


Michael Cole

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Sep 30, 2003, 3:59:34 AM9/30/03
to
zett wrote:


> 6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?
>>
>> I'm certain he probably built it from various scraps he'd found
>> around.
>
> I thought that too at first, but it seems like it would be hard to
> find just the right stuff to make a boat. Wouldn't one have to have
> not only boards, but nails or something to put them together- and a
> hammer to hammer the nails? And a saw to cut the wood? And pitch or
> something to make it waterproof? Then again, maybe it wasn't much more
> than a slightly carved plank or two...Gollum was willing to float down
> the Anduin on a plain ol' log- maybe Bilbo just called it a boat. :)

I always considered the boat as something along the lines of a coracle.

http://www.data-wales.co.uk/coracle1.htm

No read need for hammer or nails, and only a single plank of wood to sit on
(and perhaps one for the oar, 'though if my memory is correct, he paddled
with his hands.


--
Regards,

Michael Cole


Jussi Jaatinen

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Sep 30, 2003, 5:41:55 AM9/30/03
to

Michael Cole wrote:

> No read need for hammer or nails, and only a single plank of wood to sit on
> (and perhaps one for the oar, 'though if my memory is correct, he paddled
> with his hands.

The boat could also be made of goblin skins set over some kind of frame.
Obviously, wood would be a bit scarce inside a mountain.

-JJ

Donald Shepherd

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Sep 30, 2003, 8:08:21 AM9/30/03
to
In article <gdshnv85k5jhc254a...@4ax.com>,
sof...@pobox.com says...

> On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 21:43:56 GMT, "Jette Goldie"
> <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote:
> >Rivers come in from outside - and you would be quite surprised
> >at what flows in with them when they flood.
>
> I think, Jette, if you really did a survey that you would find that
> many, many more rivers flow *out* of mountains than into them.
> (There is a geological reason for that.)

They're lazy and just go with the flow?

Henriette

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Sep 30, 2003, 8:29:05 AM9/30/03
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message news:<MPG.19e2ca042...@news.odyssey.net>...

> In article <bla6m0$a2ssv$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
> >Isn't it weird that the goblins could see Bilbo when he tried to squeeze
> >through the door? There is, to my mind, no other reference of someone who is
> >visible while wearing the ring (expect for the Unspeakable Idiot with the
> >yellow bootsies).
>
> You might want to go back and reread the chapter. (snip)

> At no point could they see _Bilbo_ while he wore the Ring.
>
Yes Taemon, go back and reread the chapter, and when will you stop insulting Tom B.?

Henriette

johnj

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Sep 29, 2003, 1:51:12 PM9/29/03
to
"Stan Brown" <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
news:MPG.19e1779a9...@news.odyssey.net...

> There is a rich tradition in literature too, usually with severe
> penalties for attempting the riddle(s) and failing. Just off the top
> of my head:
>
> Near the beginning of the story, Oedipus saves the city of Thebes
> from the Sphinx, which posed a riddle to all travelers (IIRC) and
> killed any who could not answer.
>
> I'm pretty sure one of the Norse myths has one of the gods in a
> riddle-game with a mortal, but I could be wrong because I don't have
> details. Or maybe I'm just thinking of de Camp & Pratt's /The
> Compleat Enchanter/, part of which is set in the world of Ragnarok
> and includes a riddle-game.
>
> The first two acts of Puccini's opera /Turandot/ are dominated by a
> riddle game: the princess Turandot poses three riddles to anyone who
> asks for her hand: if the suitor can answer all three he can marry
> her, but if not he is executed.
>

It's common enough in folk music as well: the obvious example being
'Scarborough Fair' ("Tell her to buy me an acre of land/Between the salt
water and the sea strand" and so on).

Jette Goldie

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Sep 30, 2003, 12:22:32 PM9/30/03
to

"the softrat" <sof...@pobox.com> wrote in message
news:gdshnv85k5jhc254a...@4ax.com...

> On Mon, 29 Sep 2003 21:43:56 GMT, "Jette Goldie"
> <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote:
> >"The American" <a_real_...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> >news:vnh7lrm...@corp.supernews.com...
> >> "Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in
message
> >> news:1T0eb.309$MJ5...@news.get2net.dk...
> >> > "zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> skrev i en meddelelse
> >> > news:4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com...
> >> > > 6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a
mountain?
> >> >
> >> > One guess is that it was a coracle, made from ribs and hide of
orcs.
> >> >
> >> I was going to say it could have been just a log or large piece of
wood,
> >> then I remembered the whole "under the mountain" part.
> >> Not much driftwood under a mountain.
> >
> >Rivers come in from outside - and you would be quite surprised
> >at what flows in with them when they flood.
>
> I think, Jette, if you really did a survey that you would find that
> many, many more rivers flow *out* of mountains than into them.
> (There is a geological reason for that.)
>


Around here they flow in AND out of mountains - you do get
small streams beginning in springs under mountains, but
rivers tend to be bigger and flow into caves under them.

I've seen driftwood in underground caverns. Not often because
you don't get me into caverns very often (claustrophobic) but
sometimes.

Jamie Andrews; real address @ bottom of message

unread,
Sep 30, 2003, 12:45:21 PM9/30/03
to
In rec.arts.books.tolkien zett <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> 5. If you were in a similar situation to Bilbo, and you blundered onto
> an object that had no known value in getting you out of danger, would
> you keep it? Of course it was necessary for the story but did Bilbo's

> keeping the ring make any sense at that moment?

One of the interesting things about reading this in _The
Annotated Hobbit_ is noting the things that *didn't* change
between the first and final editions. Ever since hearing about
the extensive changes that Tolkien made in this chapter, I had
wondered what exactly the changes were. It turns out that most
of them have to do with Gollum and Bilbo's direct interaction
about the ring, the result of the riddle-game and Bilbo's
escape. Other changes earlier in the chapter are mostly in
order to set this up and to make Gollum's character fit more
closely with how he appears in LOTR.

One part that *didn't* change was the part describing how
Bilbo came on the ring by chance, before meeting Gollum, and the
comment that it was "a turning-point in his career". So, JRRT
always thought that it was important (indeed it is central to
Bilbo's later accomplishments), and always wanted to set up the
situation such that Bilbo found the ring and was thus the
"rightful owner" of a lost object.

--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.)

Raven

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Sep 29, 2003, 5:29:46 PM9/29/03
to
"Taemon" <Tae...@zonnet.nl> skrev i en meddelelse
news:bla6m0$a2ssv$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de...

Well, it was stated that the Ring didn't confer total invisibility. In
bright sunlight your shadow could be faintly seen, and it was this that the
goblins saw.

Raaf.


Raven

unread,
Sep 30, 2003, 2:00:42 PM9/30/03
to
"Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> skrev i en meddelelse
news:5%7eb.36871$O85.4425@pd7tw1no...

> I wonder where and when in his life Tolkien might have met such people to
> influence his creation of Gollum's character?

Some of the less savoury officers in the Trench War?
("If you're looking for the General I know where he is, I know where he
is, I know where he is...")

Gavran.


Raven

unread,
Sep 30, 2003, 2:02:33 PM9/30/03
to
"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:be50318e.03093...@posting.google.com...

> Yes Taemon, go back and reread the chapter, and when will
> you stop insulting Tom B.?

Taemon is just envious at old Tom for the lovely and sensual wife he has.
I know I am. :-)

Raaf.


zett

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Sep 30, 2003, 3:54:51 PM9/30/03
to
"Michael Cole" <michae...@hansen.com> wrote in message news:<blbd5c$a79b2$1...@ID-156864.news.uni-berlin.de>...

> zett wrote:
> > 6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?

> I always considered the boat as something along the lines of a coracle.


>
> http://www.data-wales.co.uk/coracle1.htm
>
> No read need for hammer or nails, and only a single plank of wood to sit on
> (and perhaps one for the oar, 'though if my memory is correct, he paddled
> with his hands.

Thanks Michael. I learned something new! I'd seen the word coracle
before, but I didn't know what they were like.
Also, I went back and checked the chapter, and it says Gollum paddled
with his feet.

zett

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Sep 30, 2003, 4:25:36 PM9/30/03
to
Jussi Jaatinen <1...@1.au> wrote in message news:<3F795266...@1.au>...
Ooh! Goblin skins. I like it. Suitably creepy. And the book does say
Gollum ate Goblin when he could get it, so using the skins makes
perfect sense.

Demosthenes7891

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Sep 30, 2003, 4:48:38 PM9/30/03
to

And Gollum was once a Hobbit of the Stoor bloodline... they were the only
hobbits to settle near water. He probably knew how to build a boat from the
materials at hand (like leftover Goblin). Perhaps an orc's skin stretched
tightly over its rib-cage... then again, bones might be too dense for that
particular use ;)

Wellington

zett

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Sep 30, 2003, 4:49:23 PM9/30/03
to
held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote in message news:<be50318e.0309...@posting.google.com>...
> yze...@yahoo.com (zett) wrote in message news:<4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com>...
> > If you wish to host a chapter discussion go to:
> > http://parasha.maoltuile.org/
> >
> (snip)
> > Comments and questions:
> >
> > 5. (snip)but did Bilbo's keeping the ring make any sense at that moment?
>
> The ring was working its will.

I think we can all see that with our post-LoTR hindsight, but my
question (rather poorly worded, I am afraid)is more about looking
strictly at the story at hand and asking whether or not an action like
that is a sign of Tolkien having accurately written about human
nature. I think it is. I think it makes perfect psychological sense
to have Bilbo do what he did, even if the Ring wasn't magic/evil in
any way. I think most people would just act in that instinctive
matter, even though when hard cold logic is applied to it, it
*doesn't* really make sense. How would a ring help someone get out of
a dark tunnel? But most of us *would* pick it up. It is little
touches like that that makes Tolkien seem so perceptive and a superior
writer.

> Thank you zett, for a nice introduction! I have a question and a
> remark to add:
>
> Question: In this chapter JRRT uses the words "miserabler" and
> "tireder". I am sure my teacher of English would have crossed out
> these words angrily with a red pen and would have put: more
> miserable/tired, instead. So, what is happening here?

To quote Tolkien's comment about *dwarves* from Letters: "I am afraid
it is just a piece of private bad grammar, rather shocking in a
philologist..." :) Also, I think he was imitating Lewis Carroll a bit.
>
> Remark: isn't it wonderful bats are flying within a mountain?

I hadn't really thought about it. To my mind, bats go with a dark
mountain like peanut butter goes with jelly. Or was something like
that what you were getting at? :)

Demosthenes7891

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Sep 30, 2003, 4:51:35 PM9/30/03
to
>And let's not forget:
>1) What is your name?
>2) What is your quest?
>3) What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
>
>--
>Bill
>
>"Wise fool"
>Gandalf, THE TWO TOWERS
>-- The Wise will remove 'se' to reply; the Foolish will not--

African or European?

Wellington

zett

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Sep 30, 2003, 5:00:26 PM9/30/03
to
"Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message news:<1T0eb.309$MJ5...@news.get2net.dk>...
> "zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com...

>
> > 4. It says that the Goblins didn't find the dagger Sting because
> > Bilbo wore it inside his breeches. That sounds downright
> > uncomfortable, if not outright dangerous! [snip]
>
> Not dangerous, if it were in a good sheath. If it were the length of his
> hipbone, stretching from pelvis to knee, he would be able to wear it like
> that and walk, and yet it would qualify as a short sword for him.

Oh good answer. I hadn't thought about it like that. I don't recall
Sting having a sheath, but I suppose it must have had one.

[snippage]

> > 6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?
>

> One guess is that it was a coracle, made from ribs and hide of orcs.

*Ribs* and hide of orcs. Even creepier than Jussi's answer. I LIKE it.

zett

unread,
Sep 30, 2003, 5:15:38 PM9/30/03
to
"A Tsar Is Born" <Atsarisb...@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<l77eb.12304$yU5....@nwrdny01.gnilink.net>...

> "zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
> news:4bb40450.03092...@posting.google.com...
> > 2. One of the delightful things about reading this chapter for the
> > first time in The Annotated Hobbit
>
> Did you read the original version of the chapter, by the way -- changed
> dramatically after he began LotR and decided it didn't quite fit.

No, unfortunately I have only ever read the revised version. As I
understand, the original is hard to get.


>
> >was the discovery that there's a
> > Real Life tradition of making and guessing riddles, going back to
> > antiquity- and seeing how Tolkien dipped into that tradition.
>
> Yes, it's a big Norse Saga thing, and we know JRRT loved those.

[Poul Anderson riddle story discussion snipped]

Poul A. is one of those authors I keep meaning to read. But that would
require me to spend less time lurking on this NG...decisions,
decisions...



> > 3. The first phrase we hear from Gollum: "Bless us and splash us, my
> > precious!" reminds me of baptism.
>
> Interesting. Hadn' t made that association before.
> (And I'll never be able to forget it now.... ; )
>

I never made the association until right before posting for this
discussion. And this makes my, um, lessee...about sixth or seventh
reading of The Hobbit. And of course, it is not a story internal
reference to baptism- but I keep wondering about the linguistic
history (if there is any linguistic history) behind the phrase. It
keeps bearing on my mind that someone somewhere has used a phrase like
it- now if only I could remember...



> > 4. It says that the Goblins didn't find the dagger Sting because

> > Bilbo wore it inside his breeches. [snip]

> Sting is of extremely variable size, like Pinocchio's nose and other ...
> symbols.
> If it were just a dagger, it could hardly have broken through Shelob's
> belly. But it's just a dagger here.
>
> Bilbo varies in size, too.

You mean he was surrounded by a TARDIS' field? ;)


> > 5. If you were in a similar situation to Bilbo, and you blundered onto
> > an object that had no known value in getting you out of danger, would
> > you keep it? Of course it was necessary for the story. but did Bilbo's
> > keeping the ring make any sense at that moment?
>
> It's a bit of jewelry. What would you do -- just drop it?
> Yes, his action makes complete sense.

As I posted to Henriette, I do think it makes perfect sense, but I
wondered if other people felt that way about that scene, or if it was
just me.

[snip]

coyotes morgan mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Sep 30, 2003, 5:18:22 PM9/30/03
to
In article <20030930165135...@mb-m06.aol.com>,
demosth...@aol.com (Demosthenes7891) wrote:

i wouldve thought peristalsis propagation would be about the same in all people

the softrat

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Sep 30, 2003, 5:35:08 PM9/30/03
to
On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 16:22:32 GMT, "Jette Goldie"
<j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote:
>
>Around here they flow in AND out of mountains - you do get
>small streams beginning in springs under mountains, but
>rivers tend to be bigger and flow into caves under them.
>
Is Nessie really just a cave troll?

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

Turn on, tune in, drop out. Do not attempt while in an aeroplane.

zett

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Sep 30, 2003, 5:37:22 PM9/30/03
to
"Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld" <eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote in message news:<5%7eb.36871$O85.4425@pd7tw1no>...

> "zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote in message:
>
> <pins>
>
> > Comments and questions:
> >
> > 1. Gollum is wonderfully creepy from the get go. [snip]I imagine he is seeing how much fat is on [Bilbo] and is wondering how well he will go with a Chianti and fava beans.

>
> I wonder where and when in his life Tolkien might have met such people to
> influence his creation of Gollum's character?

Good question. I hope he didn't get the ideas from anyone he met- but
I did read something somewhere (though it's probably urban legend
:shrugs:)that said there was cannibalism in the WWI trenches. Though I
suspect it really just came from that good ol' grim- I mean Grimm-
fairy tale tradition of being pretty gross and scary. And I think the
dear ol' Prof. had a dark side. You ever read 'The Mewlips' or 'The
Sea Bell'? both those poems make me feel very uneasy. Oh, and 'Shadow
Bride' too. :gets creeped out and leaves thread:
>
[snip]

the softrat

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Sep 30, 2003, 5:39:03 PM9/30/03
to
On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 04:53:21 GMT, "Dr. Ernst Stavro Blofeld"
<eblo...@SPECTRE.org> wrote:
>
>I wonder where and when in his life Tolkien might have met such people to
>influence his creation of Gollum's character?
>
Book publishers, senior university staff and solicitors.


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

Keep this up and we'll have a vicious triangle.

Taemon

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Sep 30, 2003, 6:11:39 PM9/30/03
to
Raven:

> > Isn't it weird that the goblins could see Bilbo when he tried to squeeze
> > through the door? There is, to my mind, no other reference of someone
who
> > is visible while wearing the ring (expect for the Unspeakable Idiot with
> > the yellow bootsies).
> Well, it was stated that the Ring didn't confer total invisibility. In
> bright sunlight your shadow could be faintly seen, and it was this that
the
> goblins saw.

Yes, isn't that weird? I repeat, there is, to my mind, no other reference of
such an occurence. When you put the ring on no one sees you, broad daylight
or no. Isn't that true?

Greetings, T.


Taemon

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Sep 30, 2003, 6:12:06 PM9/30/03
to
Henriette:

> Yes Taemon, go back and reread the chapter, and when will you stop
insulting Tom B.?

When he ditches the boots?

Greetings, T.


ste...@nomail.com

unread,
Sep 30, 2003, 6:40:27 PM9/30/03
to
In rec.arts.books.tolkien Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
: Raven:

No, according to "The Hobbit" that is not true.
"He wanted it because it was a ring of power, and if you slipped
that ring on your finger, you were invisible; only in the full
sunlight could you be seen, and then only by your shadow, and
that would be shaky and faint."
I do not think this idea is ever repeated in "The Lord of the Rings"
however, and I have no idea if Tolkien abandoned this idea, or
just never felt like mentioning it again.

Stephen

coyotes morgan mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Sep 30, 2003, 8:27:36 PM9/30/03
to
In article <blcv2p$asmqh$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de>, "Taemon"
<Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:

when bilbo is approaching the dwarves outside
he makes sure to stay in the shadows so that balin wont see him

Stan Brown

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Sep 30, 2003, 8:55:05 PM9/30/03
to
In article <blcv2p$asmqh$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:

>Yes, isn't that weird? I repeat, there is, to my mind, no other reference of
>such an occurence. When you put the ring on no one sees you, broad daylight
>or no. Isn't that true?

I can't think of any instance in LotR when Frodo or Sam or Bilbo put
on the Ring in _full_sunlight_, except maybe on Amon Hen. Anybody
remember what the weather was there? if it was overcast, Frodo would
not have cast a shadow.

Tom Bombadil's house: indoors
The inn at Bree: the same
Weathertop: night
Amon Hen: ???
Anduin: who could see a thin shadow on water, in any weather?
Cirith Gorgor (Sam): a deep cleft in the rocks, so no direct sun
Sammath Naur: indoors


--
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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Sep 30, 2003, 8:57:28 PM9/30/03
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In article <4bb40450.03093...@posting.google.com> in
rec.arts.books.tolkien, zett <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>No, unfortunately I have only ever read the revised version. As I
>understand, the original is hard to get.

/The Annotated Hobbit/ second edition is currently in print and
traces all changes. (Used copies of the first edition were always
available, whenever I checked. In fact, I've got one I;'d like to
unload now. Make me an offer.)

ste...@nomail.com

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Sep 30, 2003, 11:28:48 PM9/30/03
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In rec.arts.books.tolkien Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote:
: In article <blcv2p$asmqh$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de> in
: rec.arts.books.tolkien, Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:

:>Yes, isn't that weird? I repeat, there is, to my mind, no other reference of
:>such an occurence. When you put the ring on no one sees you, broad daylight
:>or no. Isn't that true?

: I can't think of any instance in LotR when Frodo or Sam or Bilbo put
: on the Ring in _full_sunlight_, except maybe on Amon Hen. Anybody
: remember what the weather was there? if it was overcast, Frodo would
: not have cast a shadow.

Skies were clear that morning.

"The rising sun lit them from beneath with flames of murky
red; but soon it climbed above them into a clear sky."

And the place where he put on the Ring was not shaded by trees.
"For some while he climbed, not caring which way he went,
until he came to a grassy place. Rowan-trees grew about it,
and in the midst was wide flat stone. The little upland lawn
was open upon the East and was filled now with the early
sunlight."

I suppose you could argue that "early sunlight != broad daylight".
It would not surprise me if Tolkien sort of forgot about that
whole idea. It seems to fit better with "Ring as handy magical
device with slight drawback" than with "Ring as object of ultimate
evil and power".

Stephen

ALuddy

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Oct 1, 2003, 12:29:33 AM10/1/03
to
Stan Brown wrote:

> In article <blcv2p$asmqh$1...@ID-135975.news.uni-berlin.de> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, Taemon <Tae...@zonnet.nl> wrote:
>
>
>>Yes, isn't that weird? I repeat, there is, to my mind, no other reference of
>>such an occurence. When you put the ring on no one sees you, broad daylight
>>or no. Isn't that true?
>
>
> I can't think of any instance in LotR when Frodo or Sam or Bilbo put
> on the Ring in _full_sunlight_, except maybe on Amon Hen. Anybody
> remember what the weather was there? if it was overcast, Frodo would
> not have cast a shadow.
>
> Tom Bombadil's house: indoors
> The inn at Bree: the same
> Weathertop: night
> Amon Hen: ???
> Anduin: who could see a thin shadow on water, in any weather?
> Cirith Gorgor (Sam): a deep cleft in the rocks, so no direct sun
> Sammath Naur: indoors

I was about to post this same thing, and had it typed up and
everything, but decided to read a few more before hitting [Send].
Good thing. I also included the Party Tree, which was of course
evening. As for Amon Hen, the area is forested, and with the
scattered shadows of leaves (or, given the time of year, branches), a
thin shadow would have been about as hard to spot as on water.

Wait a minute: "... until he came to a grassy place. Rowan-trees grew
about it, and in the midst was a wide flat stone. The little upland
lawn was open to the East and was filled now with the early sunlight."
And further on "The Man gasped, stared for a moment amazed, and then
ran wildly about. seeking here and there among the rocks and trees."
Hmmn. Jury is out on that one.

Bill O'Meally

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Oct 1, 2003, 12:53:21 AM10/1/03
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"coyotes morgan mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges"
<mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:mair_fheal-30...@c98.ppp.tsoft.com...

Hee Hee. I get it.

Henriette

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Oct 1, 2003, 4:21:33 AM10/1/03
to
"Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message news:<3nkeb.231$Kq7...@news.get2net.dk>...

>
> Taemon is just envious at old Tom for the lovely and sensual wife he has.
> (snip)
>
Taemon has *no* idea what singing lessons, the taking home of
waterlilies and a complete change of style of clothing may do for a
man.....

Henriette

Henriette

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Oct 1, 2003, 4:47:24 AM10/1/03
to
yze...@yahoo.com (zett) wrote in message news:<4bb40450.0309...@posting.google.com>...

> held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote in message news:<be50318e.0309...@posting.google.com>...
> >
> > The ring was working its will.
>
> I think we can all see that with our post-LoTR hindsight, but my
> question (rather poorly worded, I am afraid)is more about looking
> strictly at the story at hand and asking whether or not an action like
> that is a sign of Tolkien having accurately written about human
> nature. I think it is. (snip)

Oh I see. In that case I think some people would have, and some
wouldn't.


>
> > Question: In this chapter JRRT uses the words "miserabler" and

> > "tireder". (snip)


>
> To quote Tolkien's comment about *dwarves* from Letters: "I am afraid
> it is just a piece of private bad grammar, rather shocking in a
> philologist..." :) Also, I think he was imitating Lewis Carroll a bit.

Thank you and thank you Archie, for mentioning the similarity with
Lewis Carroll. Nevertheless I am still wondering if that is all there
is too it, as both the Germans and the Dutch *do* say e.g.
miserabel/miserabeler or schön/schöner. Maybe it is Old English?


> >
> > Remark: isn't it wonderful bats are flying within a mountain?
>
> I hadn't really thought about it. To my mind, bats go with a dark
> mountain like peanut butter goes with jelly. Or was something like
> that what you were getting at? :)

Come to think of it, you are correct: it is not so strange. I had been
wondering how they could have come *within* the mountain, but if
Gandalf, 13 Dwarves and Bilbo can, surely bats can.

So let's contemplate a moment on the fact that sometimes people *do*
change their mind during discussions.....

Henriette

Kristian Damm Jensen

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Oct 1, 2003, 6:41:09 AM10/1/03
to
"zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> skrev i en meddelelse
news:4bb40450.03093...@posting.google.com...
<snip>

> Oh good answer. I hadn't thought about it like that. I don't recall
> Sting having a sheath, but I suppose it must have had one.

It is mentioned several times in LOTR.

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


zett

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Oct 1, 2003, 12:37:35 PM10/1/03
to
"Kristian Damm Jensen" <REdam...@ofir.dk> wrote in message news:<bleb83$ao6b3$1...@ID-146708.news.uni-berlin.de>...

> "zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> skrev i en meddelelse
> news:4bb40450.03093...@posting.google.com...
> <snip>
> > Oh good answer. I hadn't thought about it like that. I don't recall
> > Sting having a sheath, but I suppose it must have had one.
>
> It is mentioned several times in LOTR.

Yeah you are right. I was too focused on TH for a minute. IIRC, it
was said to be from an 'old shabby leathern scabbard' when Bilbo gives
Sting to Frodo at Rivendell.

zett

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Oct 1, 2003, 12:49:48 PM10/1/03
to
Stan Brown <the_sta...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message news:<MPG.19e3f087b...@news.odyssey.net>...

> In article <4bb40450.03093...@posting.google.com> in
> rec.arts.books.tolkien, zett <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> >No, unfortunately I have only ever read the revised version. As I
> >understand, the original is hard to get.
>
> /The Annotated Hobbit/ second edition is currently in print and
> traces all changes.

Yeah, after I posted what I did, I realized that I was not paying
enough attention: I quit looking at the annotations when they quit
talking about riddles specifically. If I had been paying attention, I
would have seen that the changes are laid out, right there. D'uh.
:laughs at self:

(Used copies of the first edition were always
> available, whenever I checked. In fact, I've got one I;'d like to
> unload now. Make me an offer.)

I meant that I had never read the original version of The Hobbit
itself. And I was under the impression that it was hard to get and
expensive when it could even be found.
I had a copy of the first ed. of The Annotated Hobbit until this year,
but I gave it to a friend when I got my second ed.

Jette Goldie

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Oct 1, 2003, 1:10:50 PM10/1/03
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"the softrat" <sof...@pobox.com> wrote in message
news:vmtjnv8tklou3iql6...@4ax.com...

> On Tue, 30 Sep 2003 16:22:32 GMT, "Jette Goldie"
> <j...@blueyonder.com.uk> wrote:
> >
> >Around here they flow in AND out of mountains - you do get
> >small streams beginning in springs under mountains, but
> >rivers tend to be bigger and flow into caves under them.
> >
> Is Nessie really just a cave troll?


Nessie would appear to be a spirit..... or the result of too
many spirits ;-)


--
Jette Goldie
je...@blueyonder.co.uk
INTERACTION - the 63rd Worldcon
"A European Worldcon in Glasgow"
http://interaction.worldcon.org.uk/


Demosthenes7891

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Oct 1, 2003, 5:11:14 PM10/1/03
to
>> i wouldve thought peristalsis propagation would be about the same in
>all people
>
>Hee Hee. I get it.
>--
>Bill

I don't... am I slow, or is this some obscure reference to something I'm not
familiar with? I feel like the butt of some horrible joke :)

Wellington

Bill O'Meally

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Oct 1, 2003, 9:02:53 PM10/1/03
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"Demosthenes7891" <demosth...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20031001171114...@mb-m19.aol.com...

No, you're not slow. Coyotes is just quite the wit. When I mentioned an
'unladen swallow' I was referring to the bird. Peristalsis is the
rhythmic smooth muscle contraction that propels food through our
digestive tract...

Hasdrubal Hamilcar

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Oct 2, 2003, 2:14:02 PM10/2/03
to

zett wrote:
> "Raven" <jonlennar...@damn.get2net.that.dk.spam> wrote in message news:<1T0eb.309$MJ5...@news.get2net.dk>...
>

>
>

>>>6. Gollum's boat. How did he get a boat in the middle of a mountain?
>>
>> One guess is that it was a coracle, made from ribs and hide of orcs.
>
>
> *Ribs* and hide of orcs. Even creepier than Jussi's answer. I LIKE it.

Why bother to assemble it, make use of the orc torso "au naturel", and
make a gutted-orc boat?

You could join 2 or 3 of them together.

Hasan

Taemon

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Oct 2, 2003, 3:24:19 PM10/2/03