Chapter Of The Week: LotR: The Prologue Part 1 - Concerning Hobbits

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AC

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Jan 11, 2004, 8:20:26 PM1/11/04
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Chapter of the Week
The Lord of the Rings - Prologue - 1. Concerning Hobbits

Having successfully completed The Hobbit, we now go on to The Lord of the
Rings. A larger endeavor, it should also prove to be very interesting.
Again, I would like to thank Dr. Ernst for this idea, which has proven very
successful and has generated a lot of positive debate.

An apology for the length of this, but being an essay rather than a
narrative, the Prologue can only suffer so much boiling down. Due to
the length, I am dividing this into four posts rather than one. If anyone
has any other points to make (I'm sure I've missed quite a bit), don't
hesitate to post them.

To read previous Chapters of the Week, or to sign up yourself for one, go to
http://parasha.maoltuile.org/ . Long time and new posters are invited to
take on a chapter.

Synopsis
--------
The Prologue opens with a detailed essay on Hobbits. We first learn of
the Red Book of Westmarch, which Bilbo's own story "There and Back
Again" makes up the first part.

We learn that Hobbits are an unobtrusive and very ancient people, whose
numbers have now dwindled. They like well-tended countrysides, and
have little liking or understanding for most machines, though they are
skilful with tools. They are shy of the Big Folk, and quick of hearing
and sharp eyed, and though they tend towards being overweight, are
nimble in their movements. They can disappear quickly and quietly,
though the skill is not magical in nature.

Hobbits were apparently taller in the past, but now rarely reach three
feet tall. As a famous exception is Bandobras Took, the Bullroarer,
who was four foot five and capable of riding horse. Two other tall
hobbits are hinted at, but one will have to read the rest of the book
to learn of that matter.

Hobbits dress in bright colors (particular yellow and green), rarely wear
shoes, since they are in possession of thick curly hair on their feet.
Despite no particular expertise in the area of shoemaking, they are good
with tools. As to their faces, they are "good-natured rather than
beautiful, broad, bright-eyed and red-cheeked", and again we are reminded of
their particular fondness of food and drink.

Hobbits are relatives of Men, far nearer to us than Elves and Dwarves.
They spoke the languages of Men and shared their likes and dislikes.
Though their origins are lost in the Elder Days, they had managed to
live quietly in Middle-earth without much notice.

Hobbits lived largely where they still linger today; in the North-West
of the Old World, east of the Sea. They have no great love of learning
(other than geneaology), but apparently the more important families
owned books and gathered news from Elves, Dwarves and Men. They
themselves had no records before the founding of the Shire, and their
legends don't extend farther back than their Wandering Days. It can be
gathered that Hobbits (like so many others) moved Westward, and at one
time dwelt in the upper vales of the Anduin. Their legends speak of
their moving when Men began multiplying, and a shadow fell upon
Greenwood the Great and it became Mirkwood.

We learn that Hobbits were divided into three major breeds; the Harfoots,
Stoors and Fallohides. The Harfoots were browner of skin, smaller and
shorter, beardless and preferred highlands and hillsides. Fallohides were
fairer of skin and of hair, taller and slimmer and loved trees and
woodlands. The Harfoots had much to do with Dwarves in ancient times, and
lived in the foothills of Mountains, but moved westward early, wandering in
Eriador. They represent the average Hobbit, being the most numerous, and
preserved the ancestral habit of living in holes. The Stoors were broader
and heavier in build, preferring flat lands and riversides, and apparently
could grow something of a beard.

Though it seems, despite differing times for their migration, much
mingling occured between the Hobbitian branches, they were later
mingled, though the Fallohidish strain was still strong in the greater
families, such as the Tooks and Brandybucks.

Though most of the Hobbits earliest settlements in Eriador were long
abandoned, Bree survived to Bilbo's time as an important settlement.
It was in these early days that Hobbits learned to read and write from
the Dunedain, and adopted Westron, though keeping a few words of their
own.

In the year 1,600 of the Third Age, the Fallohide brothers Marcho and
Blanco received permission from Argeleb II at Fornost to cross the
Baranduin. This is the beginning of the Shire Reckoning, as the
Hobbits took all the land between the Baranduin and the Far Downs as
theirs, providing they do little more than keep the road in repair and
acknowledge the King's lordship. When the last king died, the Hobbits
took one of their own chieftains as Thain, and though there were a few
troublesome periods, the Hobbits largely prospered. Though the Hobbits
forgot it, however, they were sheltered, and they ceased to worry about
the outside world.

Hobbits were not a warlike people, though they could defend themselves,
as at the Battle of Greenfields in SR (Shire Reckoning) 1147, the scene
of Bandobras Took's great victory over the Orcs. Most of their weapons
ended up at the Mathom-house at Michel Delving. Despite apparent
softness, Hobbits were tough, able to survive rough-handling, and still
preserved some ability with arms.

All Hobbits had originally lived in holes, but in later times only the
very poor or the very rich still maintained the tradition. Houses were
common, built in Hobbitish fashion, and were favored especially by
tradesmen. The craft of building may have come from Elves or Men, but
Hobbits developed it in their own way. Round windows and round doors
were still a peculiarity of Hobbit architecture.

Hobbit houses and holes were usually large, and occupied by large
families. Hobbits remained a clannish people, and thus were
preoccupied with familial relations, making detailed family-trees.

Points of Interest
------------------
- It has often been pointed out, but Hobbits seem to marvelously echo
the likes and prejudices of their creator. They have no skill or
desire for big, complicated machines, but rather like an ordered
countryside of wilderness and farmland.

- It is interesting that Hobbits themselves have dwindled (after a
fashion), originally being much taller, but in the hypothetical now,
rarely achieving three feet tall.

- It is a wonder, in a way, that this peculiar branch of Atani managed
to stay so very unnoticed, not really even entering any records until
they entered the realm of Arnor.

- The Prologue has some importance for me in the respect that it was on
my third or fourth re-reading that the location of the Shire, in the
North-West of the Old World, first hit fully home and I realized that
Tolkien intended Middle-Earth to be our world. This was long before I
read Silm and HoME, so it was quite a revelation.

- Has anybody tried to determine, from the descriptions of the Hobbits
we meet, which had the heaviest strains of Stoor, Harfoot or Fallohide?

- The Hobbits must have spent at least some time in close assocation
with the Dunedain to learn their letters from them. I wonder if there
were a few who ended up as courtiers and the like at Fornost.

- The later kings were very generous to the Hobbits, letting them have
some of the finest and most fertile land in Eriador for the price of
tending a bridge, aiding messengers and recognizing their lordship.

- Despite a few bad points, it is hard not to admire a people who manage
to live in a relatively small corner of the world, keeping it and their
affairs so well-ordered, that weapons become little more than museum
pieces.

- We get a hint of how severe the insular nature of Hobbit culture is by
the end of the Third Age. Despite living so close to such fabulous
places as the three Elf-towers and the Grey Havens, they seemed not to
have had any interest in going there, and in fact, even came to
distrust Elves or those that had dealings with them.

- It is obvious that Hobbits are clannish in nature, which explains at
least in part why they managed to stay so well-ordered. It also seems
to have generated an obsession with geneaologies.

--
Aaron Clausen

tao_of_cow/\alberni.net (replace /\ with @)

AC

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Jan 11, 2004, 8:21:21 PM1/11/04
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Chapter of the Week
The Lord of the Rings - Prologue - 2. Concerning Pipe-weed

Synopsis
--------
Not a terrible amount to this section, but this is one very large claim to
fame of Hobbits, and one that seems to have found itself wound up in the
affairs of the Great and the Wise. Much of this section is from a
commentary of one Meriadoc Brandybuck, later Master of Buckland.

It is with great pride that Hobbits claim the smoking of pipe-weed as their
invention. It seems a little sticky as to which Hobbits; Shire-born or of
Bree, who first actually put the herb in his pipe and smoked it, but Master
Meriadoc obviously claims it for Tobold Hornblower of Longbottom in the
Southfarthing, which remained a source of the best pipe-weed. Naturally,
the Hobbits of Bree claim it as their own, thus producing what likely
amounts to one of the greater rivalries among Hobbits. Master Meriadoc does
admit that Bree is the center of the artform, and that Prancing Pony is the
home.

Master Meriadoc Brandybuck then goes on to trace its geographical origins in
Gondor, and likely originally from Numenor. The Numenoreans, apparently
deficient in this particular area of knowledge, called it sweet galenas and
esteemed it only for the fragrance of its flowers. Again we are reminded
that this artform is of Hobbitish origins, though apparently a certain
Wizard had some renown in the smoking of pipe-weed.

Points of Interest
------------------
- Me thinks that only Professor Tolkien would have made tobacco into a
matter of earth-shattering importance.

- While the Hobbits may be proud of spreading the "art" of smoking
pipe-weed, I would imagine that nowadays the Shire might be the seen of many
a class action lawsuit.

- It has been noted by others that tobacco is a New World plant. I doubt
that it came from Numenor, but I think it is possible that, after the
Downfall, when the Numenoreans sailed far and wide in the west, they might
have brought this particular herb back.

- I don't know about anybody else, but I find that it feels quite right that
the Prancing Pony should be the center of the smoking of pipe-weed.

AC

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Jan 11, 2004, 8:33:07 PM1/11/04
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Chapter of the Week

The Lord of the Rings - Prologue - 2. Concerning Pipe-weed

Synopsis
--------
Not a terrible amount to this section, but this is one very large claim to
fame of Hobbits, and one that seems to have found itself wound up in the
affairs of the Great and the Wise. Much of this section is from a
commentary of one Meriadoc Brandybuck, later Master of Buckland.

It is with great pride that Hobbits claim the smoking of pipe-weed as their
invention. It seems a little sticky as to which Hobbits; Shire-born or of
Bree, who first actually put the herb in his pipe and smoked it, but Master
Meriadoc obviously claims it for Tobold Hornblower of Longbottom in the
Southfarthing, which remained a source of the best pipe-weed. Naturally,
the Hobbits of Bree claim it as their own, thus producing what likely
amounts to one of the greater rivalries among Hobbits. Master Meriadoc does
admit that Bree is the center of the artform, and that Prancing Pony is the
home.

Master Meriadoc Brandybuck then goes on to trace its geographical origins in
Gondor, and likely originally from Numenor. The Numenoreans, apparently
deficient in this particular area of knowledge, called it sweet galenas and
esteemed it only for the fragrance of its flowers. Again we are reminded
that this artform is of Hobbitish origins, though apparently a certain
Wizard had some renown in the smoking of pipe-weed.

Points of Interest
------------------


- Me thinks that only Professor Tolkien would have made tobacco into a
matter of earth-shattering importance.

- While the Hobbits may be proud of spreading the "art" of smoking
pipe-weed, I would imagine that nowadays the Shire might be the seen of many
a class action lawsuit.

- It has been noted by others that tobacco is a New World plant. I doubt
that it came from Numenor, but I think it is possible that, after the
Downfall, when the Numenoreans sailed far and wide in the west, they might
have brought this particular herb back.

- I don't know about anybody else, but I find that it feels quite right that
the Prancing Pony should be the center of the smoking of pipe-weed.

--

AC

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Jan 11, 2004, 8:33:57 PM1/11/04
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Chapter of the Week
The Lord of the Rings - Prologue - 3. Of the Ordering of the Shire

Synopsis
--------
Here we get a good deal of information on the geographical divisions and the
political makeup (such as it is) of the Shire. It was divided into four
Farthings (North, South, East and West) as well some outlying territory; the
East and West Marches, Buckland and (after SR 1462) the Westmarch. The
Farthings themselves were further divided into folklands, such as Tookland,
though that rule apparently no longer held true for many families, such as
the Bagginses.

The Shire had, at best, a very loose government. Laws, or as they were
called by the Hobbits, The Rules, were attributed to the king of old. For
the most part, Hobbits seemed to have been able to manage their own affairs
with few if any real problems.

The Tooks held a special place in the Shire, for they held the office of
Thain (passed to them from the Oldbucks). The Thain (the chief Took) was as
close as it got to a military command and head of state, though that doesn't
seem to have meant very much by Bilbo's time. Still, the Tooks were
accorded special respect, despite supplying a few Hobbits in each generation
who had queer habits, some of which even had an adventurous temperment. The
head of the Took family had enough eminence that he was called The Took, and
when required, a number was added to his name (ie. Isengrim the Second).

The Mayor of Michel Delving was the only real official in the Shire, elected
every seven years, and responsible for presiding over banquets given at
Shire holidays (which apparently were fairly common throughout the year), as
well as holding the position of Postmaster and First Shirriff. The
Messenger Service was the larger of the two, since literate Hobbits wrote a
considerable number of letters.

The Shirriffs, as the police of the Shire were called, were considerably
smaller in number (three in each Farthing), and spent more time finding
stray beasts than people. Shirriffs wore no uniform, but could be
recognized by a feather in their caps. A larger body, of varying size
(depending on the need) "beat the bounds" making sure strangers didn't cause
problems. Apparently these "Bounders" had increased greatly in size as the
story opens; the first sign of troubles to come.

Points of Interest
------------------
- It is interesting to see that some older layer of Hobbit society, the
folklands had survived, though it appears to have been waning by the end of
the Third Age.

- It has been pointed out before, but is worth mentioning again, that
Hobbits were an exceedingly co-operative people to survive with a police
force of twelve individuals, and with very little in the way of central
government. I rather wonder if the authority of the chiefs of families,
such as The Took, were responsible for this, managing their families'
affairs to minimize trouble.

- Upon rereading this section, I was struck for the first time by the notion
that Hobbit legal traditions were attributed originally to the Dunedain.
Was this attribution to the king merely to lend some authority to The Rules,
or did Hobbits owe them to the Numenoreans?

- To fit Shire government into a more modern political understanding, it
seems to me that the Thain was a head of state and commander and chief while
the Mayor was head of government. I imagine this has been obvious to
others, but I never really thought about it that much before. I wonder
whether the Mayor's election every seven years at the Free Fair on the
White Downs was a general election or not.

- How fitting in this little utopia that the busiest branch of government
were the mail men.

- I find it a little amusing to imagine a bunch of Hobbits running around
the countryside making sure the odd Dwarf and Wizard behaved themselves.

AC

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Jan 11, 2004, 8:35:05 PM1/11/04
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Chapter of the Week
The Lord of the Rings - Prologue - 4. Of the Finding of the Ring

There isn't too much point in creating a detailed synopsis of this section,
as there is much more detail in The Hobbit as to the events that lead to
Bilbo's finding the Ring, and of the Gollum and the Riddle Game. So I will
dispense with that for this section and just list a few interesting points.

Points of Interest
------------------
- It is important to remember that, when Tolkien's conception of Bilbo's
ring finally came to the point that it was the Ruling Ring of Sauron the
Great, the story in the pre-LotR editions of the Hobbit did not fit well at
all. Here we see Tolkien rewriting a little history, and also using the
change of story to show something of the Ring's effect upon its owner.
Still, I have to admit I've always found it a little clumsy, though I could
not see any better way for Tolkien to have done it.

- It seems pretty strange that Gollum would be the inspiration of Bilbo's
story of the Ring being a present. I can see why the original story made
Gandalf more than a little suspicious.

- Bilbo's romantic side certainly shines through. The old cloak and hood
were preserved so carefully, while Darvish mail that we later learn in is
worth more than the Shire is lent to a museum.

- I realize that Bilbo did do some wandering, but I'm amazed that he stayed
put for the most part for sixty years after his Adventure.

On Shire Records
----------------
An interesting section to review some important points.

- It is interesting to see that the Shire becomes something of a center of
scholership after the War of the Ring. Considering the provincial nature of
its inhabitants prior to the War, it is a somewhat surprising role.

- We learn that the Red Book of the Westmarch began as Bilbo's diary, which
Frodo brought back to the Shire. The most important version is the copy
made of the Thain's Book (kept in Minas Tirith and written by one Findegil)
which resided at Great Smials. It was in Gondor that The Tale of Aragorn
and Arwen was added (attributed to Barahir, grandson of Faramir).

- It is Findegil's copy of the Red Book that the Silmarillion apparently
comes from (I'm assuming that is what Bilbo's "Translations from the Elvish"
is).

- Meriadoc and Peregrin, as well as becoming the pre-eminent Hobbits in the
Shire (and likely all of Middle Earth), became, to some degree scholars
themselves. They brought many volumes, due to their contacts in Gondor and
Rohan. Meriadoc seems to have been something of a Renaissance Hobbit (so to
speak), composing on such diverse topics as Herblore of the Shire and
Reckoning of Years, not to mention a linguistic treatise (Old Words and
Names in the Shire).

- Peregrin may not have been quite the scholar, but he was certainly a
patron. Most notable to me is that the Shire comes to hold so much of the
histories of the Numenoreans, including the most extensive materials on
Numenor and the arising of Sauron.

- Rivendell remained, at least for a time, an important center of lore, even
after Elrond's departure. His sons stayed there, as well as what must have
been the last Noldor.

- Celeborn dwelt there as well. It is interesting to note that it is said
that when he sought the Grey Havens, the last living memory of the Elder
Days departed. This is a little funny, because, unless I'm wrong, Cirdan
remained, and he saw at least as much (if not more) of the Elder Days that
Celeborn, including the Great Journey from Cuivienen (see PoME p.390 note
29).

Christopher Kreuzer

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Jan 11, 2004, 10:18:11 PM1/11/04
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"AC" <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote

> - The later kings were very generous to the Hobbits, letting them
have
> some of the finest and most fertile land in Eriador for the price of
> tending a bridge, aiding messengers and recognizing their lordship.


I think this was because Arnor was much reduced in size and
population?
Bit like the situation in what became Rohan. Decimated by plague and
needed repopulating? Possibly, as the hobbits were good farmers, the
advantage would be that they would supply food for Arnor.

Christopher

--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard


Christopher Kreuzer

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Jan 11, 2004, 10:23:16 PM1/11/04
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"AC" <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote

> - While the Hobbits may be proud of spreading the "art" of smoking
> pipe-weed, I would imagine that nowadays the Shire might be the

scene of many
> a class action lawsuit.

Indeed. Also disgracefully overdone in the films as well. A classic
case for retrospective censorship of Tolkien... Replace pipeweed with
er, someone help me out here!

> - It has been noted by others that tobacco is a New World plant. I
doubt
> that it came from Numenor, but I think it is possible that, after
the
> Downfall, when the Numenoreans sailed far and wide in the west, they
might
> have brought this particular herb back.

I don't know the quote myself, but I believe pipeweed originated from
plants descending from those of Numenor.

Christopher Kreuzer

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Jan 11, 2004, 10:25:38 PM1/11/04
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"AC" <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote

> Chapter of the Week
> The Lord of the Rings - Prologue - 3. Of the Ordering of the Shire

zzzzzzzzzz

<sorry>

> - I find it a little amusing to imagine a bunch of Hobbits running
around
> the countryside making sure the odd Dwarf and Wizard behaved
themselves.

:-)

AC

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Jan 11, 2004, 10:27:53 PM1/11/04
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On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 03:23:16 GMT,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> "AC" <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote

>
>> - It has been noted by others that tobacco is a New World plant. I
> doubt
>> that it came from Numenor, but I think it is possible that, after
> the
>> Downfall, when the Numenoreans sailed far and wide in the west, they
> might
>> have brought this particular herb back.
>
> I don't know the quote myself, but I believe pipeweed originated from
> plants descending from those of Numenor.

That was the gist of the passage. Another possibility is that tobacco
plants were brought to the New World by post-Downfall Numenoreans.

Christopher Kreuzer

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Jan 11, 2004, 10:56:32 PM1/11/04
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"AC" <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote

> On Shire Records
> ----------------


> - It is interesting to see that the Shire becomes something of a
center of

> scholarship after the War of the Ring. Considering the provincial


nature of
> its inhabitants prior to the War, it is a somewhat surprising role.

But they were geneaologists, which is good training for scholarship.
Maybe it is also a slightly clumsy way for Tolkien to bolster his
'translator' role and give the impression of writing a real history
and explaining how it was recorded. Ditto for much of this section,
which I find interesting mainly for more history on Pippin, Merry and
Sam's families, as well as references to Aragorn and Faramir's family.

> - It is Findegil's copy of the Red Book that the Silmarillion
apparently
> comes from (I'm assuming that is what Bilbo's "Translations from the
Elvish"
> is).

Undoubtedly. It is described as being "almost entirely concerned with
the Elder Days". HoME and Unfinished Tales would also be from this
part of the book, though HoME also includes Christopher Tolkien's
notes on the 'translation' process! Write out the sequence in full and
then add yourself in as a commentator and see how many layers of
people have written about this history of a history!

> - Celeborn dwelt there [Rivendell] as well. It is interesting to


note that it is
> said that when he sought the Grey Havens, the last living memory of
the Elder
> Days departed. This is a little funny, because, unless I'm wrong,
Cirdan
> remained, and he saw at least as much (if not more) of the Elder
Days that
> Celeborn, including the Great Journey from Cuivienen (see PoME p.390
note
> 29).

No. Cirdan had gone. He went on the last ship from the Grey Havens.

From 'The Silmarillion' (Of the Rings Of Power and the Third Age):
[Cirdan speaking to Gandalf] "I will dwell by the grey shores,
guarding the Havens until the last ship sails. Then I shall await
thee."

I find it more strange for what it says about Bombadil and Treebeard.
Did they die or leave before Celeborn left? Maybe Celeborn stayed a
very long time indeed.

AC

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Jan 11, 2004, 11:00:19 PM1/11/04
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On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 03:56:32 GMT,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> "AC" <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote
>
>> On Shire Records
>> ----------------
>> - It is interesting to see that the Shire becomes something of a
> center of
>> scholarship after the War of the Ring. Considering the provincial
> nature of
>> its inhabitants prior to the War, it is a somewhat surprising role.
>
> But they were geneaologists, which is good training for scholarship.
> Maybe it is also a slightly clumsy way for Tolkien to bolster his
> 'translator' role and give the impression of writing a real history
> and explaining how it was recorded. Ditto for much of this section,
> which I find interesting mainly for more history on Pippin, Merry and
> Sam's families, as well as references to Aragorn and Faramir's family.

The notion of the Red Book was, in fact, what I'd call a major addition to
the mythology. While the character of Eriol/Aelfwine, who visits Tol
Eressea, seems never to have been quite abandoned as the means of
transmission of the mythology, we now have Tolkien positing another route
via the Red Book, made up of Bilbo's and Frodo's writings.

>> - Celeborn dwelt there [Rivendell] as well. It is interesting to
> note that it is
>> said that when he sought the Grey Havens, the last living memory of
> the Elder
>> Days departed. This is a little funny, because, unless I'm wrong,
> Cirdan
>> remained, and he saw at least as much (if not more) of the Elder
> Days that
>> Celeborn, including the Great Journey from Cuivienen (see PoME p.390
> note
>> 29).
>
> No. Cirdan had gone. He went on the last ship from the Grey Havens.
>
> From 'The Silmarillion' (Of the Rings Of Power and the Third Age):
> [Cirdan speaking to Gandalf] "I will dwell by the grey shores,
> guarding the Havens until the last ship sails. Then I shall await
> thee."
>
> I find it more strange for what it says about Bombadil and Treebeard.
> Did they die or leave before Celeborn left? Maybe Celeborn stayed a
> very long time indeed.

I never read the passage as Cirdan saying he himself was leaving, though I
obviously could be wrong. There were certainly other Elves left, including
a few of the Noldor.

Tar-Elenion

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Jan 11, 2004, 11:37:31 PM1/11/04
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In article <slrnc046uj.1t8....@namibia.tandem>,
mightym...@yahoo.ca says...

Compare to the version in App. B
"'Take this ring, Master,' he said, 'for your labours will be heavy; but
it will support you in the weariness that you have taken upon yourself.
For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in a
world that grows chill. But as for me, my heart is with the Sea, and I
will dwell by the grey shores until the last ship sails. I will await
you.'"


> >
> > I find it more strange for what it says about Bombadil and Treebeard.
> > Did they die or leave before Celeborn left? Maybe Celeborn stayed a
> > very long time indeed.
>
> I never read the passage as Cirdan saying he himself was leaving, though I
> obviously could be wrong. There were certainly other Elves left, including
> a few of the Noldor.
>

"At the Grey Havens dwelt Cirdan the Shipwright, and some say he dwells
there still, until the Last Ship sets sail into the West. In the days of
the Kings most of the High Elves that still lingered in Middle-earth
dwelt with Cirdan or in the seaward lands of Lindon. If any now remain
they are few."
App A.


--
Tar-Elenion

Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.
Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Henriette

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Jan 12, 2004, 10:17:48 AM1/12/04
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AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<slrnc03tip.1rc....@namibia.tandem>...

> Chapter of the Week
> The Lord of the Rings - Prologue - 1. Concerning Hobbits
>
> Due to the length, I am dividing this into four posts rather than one.

(snip) Great job done AC, and a brilliant synopsis, thank you!

Now I may appear as capricious as my starsign wants me to be, but I
simply cannot skip the author's Foreword and hop to the Prologue
without quoting some phrases. To show my good will I'll skip the other
Forewords, the Maps, and the notes of the translator in my Italian
edition.

Prof. Tolkien:
Quote1 (On LOTR)"It had to be typed, and re-typed by me; the cost of
professional typing by the ten-fingered was beyond my means".........
Quote2 "I wished first to complete and set in order the mythology and
legends of the Elder Days, [...]I had little hope that other people
would be interested in this work[...]. When those whose advice and
opinion I sought corrected little hope to no hope, I went back" [...}.
*In this Foreword for the world to read, JRRT explicitly denies LOTR
is an allegory of or even inspired by WWII. Most of us know this,
still the question keeps popping up.
Quote3: "To them, and to all who have been pleased by this book,
especially those Across the Water for whom it is especially intended,
I dedicate this edition". Lovely.

(snip)


> Hobbits dress in bright colors (particular yellow and green)

Like Tom Bombadil. JRRT must have liked clothes in bright colours,
although he, living in his day and surroundings, was most likely not
often able to wear them himself.

> Hobbits [...] have no great love of learning (other than geneaology),

"Chuckle-moment": (hobbits)"liked to have books with things that they
already knew, set out fair and square with no contradictions".
>
> Points of Interest
> ------------------
(snip AC's points and substitute them for my own......)
This quote I dedicate to Raven: "the wolves that had once come
ravening"(...)

Who am I? But is this grammatically correct: "Indeed, few Hobbits had
ever seen or sailed upon the Sea"?

This I find a strange contradiction: "for sport killing nothing that
lived" and: "If any Hobbit stooped for a stone, it was well to get
quickly under cover, as all trespassing beasts knew very well".!

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Jan 12, 2004, 10:22:26 AM1/12/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message news:<EqoMb.13375$nj5.14...@news-text.cableinet.net>...

> "AC" <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote
>
> > - While the Hobbits may be proud of spreading the "art" of smoking
> > pipe-weed, I would imagine that nowadays the Shire might be the
> > scene of many a class action lawsuit.
>
> Indeed. Also disgracefully overdone in the films as well. A classic
> case for retrospective censorship of Tolkien... Replace pipeweed with
> er, someone help me out here!
>
Well, I *do* find this a suggestive sentence: "For ages folk in the
Shire smoked various herbs, some fouler, some sweeter".

Henriette

Gregg Cattanach

unread,
Jan 12, 2004, 11:31:18 AM1/12/04
to
"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:be50318e.04011...@posting.google.com...

> Who am I? But is this grammatically correct: "Indeed, few Hobbits had
> ever seen or sailed upon the Sea"?
>
I can't imagine what would be wrong with that sentence, other that 'Sea'
being capitalized, which is probably right in ME where there really is only
one sea.

> This I find a strange contradiction: "for sport killing nothing that
> lived" and: "If any Hobbit stooped for a stone, it was well to get
> quickly under cover, as all trespassing beasts knew very well".!
>

They could throw stones with great accuracy, apparently, but not to hunt for
sport or to kill, but to scare intruders away, etc.

Gregg C.


A Tsar Is Born

unread,
Jan 12, 2004, 12:21:05 PM1/12/04
to

"AC" <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
news:slrnc03ue8.1e4....@namibia.tandem...

> - It is interesting to see that the Shire becomes something of a center of
> scholership after the War of the Ring. Considering the provincial nature
of
> its inhabitants prior to the War, it is a somewhat surprising role.

It's not so much that the Shire became a center of scholarship as that
Tolkien strongly implies that ALL the other sources for these legends were
destroyed in the upheavals that ruined the kingdoms of Gondor, Arnor and
Rohan, and the ONLY versions of the "true history" of the first ages that
have come down to us are the versions in the Shire records. In which,
naturally, hobbits bulk larger than they would in the records of, say,
Gondor.

(Similarly, what would we know of ancient Israel if the Bible had not
survived and we only had Egyptian and Assyrian and Greek records?)

Tsar Parmathule


Bill O'Meally

unread,
Jan 12, 2004, 12:52:46 PM1/12/04
to


"AC" <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message

news:slrnc0451p.1dk....@namibia.tandem...

Praps 'taters as well?

--
Bill

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


Elwë Singollo

unread,
Jan 12, 2004, 2:06:29 PM1/12/04
to
> Points of Interest
> ------------------
> - It is important to remember that, when Tolkien's conception of Bilbo's
> ring finally came to the point that it was the Ruling Ring of Sauron the
> Great, the story in the pre-LotR editions of the Hobbit did not fit well
at
> all. Here we see Tolkien rewriting a little history, and also using the
> change of story to show something of the Ring's effect upon its owner.
> Still, I have to admit I've always found it a little clumsy, though I
could
> not see any better way for Tolkien to have done it.
>

There are two different accounts of the finding of the ring. On one side,
there is Bilbo's story : he told Gandalf and the dwarves that the ring was
the prize of the game, and as Gollum couldn't find it, he showed Bilbo's the
way out. On the other side, there is the real story, which took Gandalf a
long time to obtain, for Bilbo was quite reluctant to admit that he didn't
really win the ring...

As you wrote, the finding of the ring in the first edition of the hobbit was
different from what we can read in the post-LOTR versions of the book. But
was the first version of the story Bilbo's account of how he obtained the
ring?
If yes, then is it legitimate to say that the first edition of the hobbit,
would be Bilbo's story as he wrote it in his red book, and the actual
edition includes the corrections made by Frodo to his uncle's travel book
after he inherited it? (At this time, he knew how Bilbo got his hand on the
ring...)?

Elwë

Jette Goldie

unread,
Jan 12, 2004, 4:13:21 PM1/12/04
to

"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote

> This I find a strange contradiction: "for sport killing nothing that
> lived" and: "If any Hobbit stooped for a stone, it was well to get
> quickly under cover, as all trespassing beasts knew very well".!
>


They don't kill for sport - but do hunt for food and
kill beasts/vermin in defence. (of self and of their
livestock/crops)


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


Tamzin

unread,
Jan 12, 2004, 6:01:51 PM1/12/04
to

"Henriette" wrote
> "Christopher Kreuzer" wrote
> > "AC" wrote

> >
> > > - While the Hobbits may be proud of spreading the "art" of smoking
> > > pipe-weed, I would imagine that nowadays the Shire might be the
> > > scene of many a class action lawsuit.
> >
> > Indeed. Also disgracefully overdone in the films as well. A classic
> > case for retrospective censorship of Tolkien... Replace pipeweed with
> > er, someone help me out here!
> >
> Well, I *do* find this a suggestive sentence: "For ages folk in the
> Shire smoked various herbs, some fouler, some sweeter".

No wonder those hobbits were all so laid back :o)

Tamzin


Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Jan 12, 2004, 6:06:52 PM1/12/04
to
"Tar-Elenion" <tar_e...@hotmail.com> wrote

[concerning Cirdan's leaving or staying in ME]

> > > From 'The Silmarillion' (Of the Rings Of Power and the Third
Age):

[Cirdan speaking to Gandalf]

"Take now this Ring, for thy labours and thy cares will be heavy, but
in all it will support thee and defend thee from weariness. For this
is the Ring of Fire, and herewith, maybe, thou shalt rekindle hearts
to the valour of old in a world that grows chill. But as for me, my
heart is with the Sea, and I will dwell by the grey shores, guarding


the Havens until the last ship sails. Then I shall await thee."

> Compare to the version in App. B
>
> "'Take this ring, Master,' he said, 'for your labours will be heavy;
but
> it will support you in the weariness that you have taken upon
yourself.
> For this is the Ring of Fire, and with it you may rekindle hearts in
a
> world that grows chill. But as for me, my heart is with the Sea, and
I
> will dwell by the grey shores until the last ship sails. I will
await
> you.'"

Of course the Silm. passage is much nicer! Nice archaic language.

By compare, do you mean that in the Silm. passage: " *Then* I shall
await thee..." (my emphasis) means that Cirdan awaits Gandalf's
passage on the Last Ship? And the preceding sentence means that Cirdan
will now stop guarding the Havens *and* will stop dwelling by the grey
shores. Whereas the App. B passage is less clear and "I will await
you" doesn't imply Cirdan sails West with the Keepers of the Three
Rings? I think "I will await you" strongly implies that he means he
awaits Gandalf and the last ship and the two things go together.

> "At the Grey Havens dwelt Cirdan the Shipwright, and some say he
dwells
> there still, until the Last Ship sets sail into the West. In the
days of
> the Kings most of the High Elves that still lingered in Middle-earth
> dwelt with Cirdan or in the seaward lands of Lindon. If any now
remain
> they are few."
> App A.


Is this passage written from a POV after the Ringbearers have
departed? Or is it a fragment from a POV in the period between "the
days of the Kings" (the Kings maybe being the Kings of Arnor and/or
Gondor) and the War of the Ring?

I read it as both. A Hobbit scribe writing in the Fourth Age, but
copying oral legends from an earlier age.

Fourth Age POV: "At the Grey Havens dwelt [during the Third Age]


Cirdan the Shipwright, and some say he dwells there still, until the
Last Ship sets sail into the West."

ie. Most say Cirdan left, but legends still persist.

Third Age POV: "In the days of the Kings most of the High Elves that


still lingered in Middle-earth dwelt with Cirdan or in the seaward
lands of Lindon."

ie. "the Kings" are the High Kings of Arnor and maybe also the Kings
of Gondor. This makes sense because we are in App. B.

Fourth Age POV: "If any now remain they are few."

Which is a good way to end the little note by our hobbit scribe.
Speaking of which, the archaic language of the Silm. passage says to
me that it may a more primary text and that our hobbit scribe
translated it badly to get the App. A text.

You quoted these passages, but didn't say what you thought?
Do you think Cirdan was on the Ringbearers' ship?
Maybe it is all too unclear?

zett

unread,
Jan 12, 2004, 8:55:22 PM1/12/04
to
AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<slrnc03tip.1rc....@namibia.tandem>...

> Chapter of the Week
> The Lord of the Rings - Prologue - 1. Concerning Hobbits

[massive snip]

> We learn that Hobbits were divided into three major breeds; the Harfoots,
> Stoors and Fallohides. The Harfoots were browner of skin, smaller and
> shorter, beardless and preferred highlands and hillsides. Fallohides were
> fairer of skin and of hair, taller and slimmer and loved trees and
> woodlands. The Harfoots had much to do with Dwarves in ancient times, and
> lived in the foothills of Mountains, but moved westward early, wandering in
> Eriador. They represent the average Hobbit, being the most numerous, and
> preserved the ancestral habit of living in holes. The Stoors were broader
> and heavier in build, preferring flat lands and riversides, and apparently
> could grow something of a beard.
>
> Though it seems, despite differing times for their migration, much
> mingling occured between the Hobbitian branches, they were later
> mingled, though the Fallohidish strain was still strong in the greater
> families, such as the Tooks and Brandybucks.
>

[snip]

> - Has anybody tried to determine, from the descriptions of the Hobbits
> we meet, which had the heaviest strains of Stoor, Harfoot or Fallohide?

[snip]

I haven't thought about it to any huge degree, but I had a few musings
over it, and this is what I came up with: (just my opinions, I didn't
dig through texts or anything for this)

Like the book says, there was mingling, so just think of this as the
strain with the probably highest percentage of blood:

Pippin: Fallohide by virtue of being a Took
Frodo: Harfoot and Fallohide, with the Fallohide strain winning out,
apparently. :)
Bilbo: ditto
Merry: Harfoot
Sam: Harfoot
Farmer Maggot: Stoor (who else just loves Farmer Maggot?)
Lobelia: Harfoot
Ted Sandyman: Stoor
Fatty Bolger: Harfoot
I won't go list everyone at the Birthday Party. ;)

I do have an observation about the "breeds" and the migration...since
the Fallohides were supposedly more bold and adventurous than the
other strains, it doesn't quite jibe that they'd be the last to cross
the Misty Mts...

Also a (probably really stupid) question. Many things are written in
the prologue in the present tense...is it referring to our present
time, or the time of the composition of the Red Book? I think it means
late 3rd Age/Early 4th...but it would be cool to think that maybe,
just maybe, there *could* still be a few Hobbits quietly and
unobtrusively toodling around Western Europe.

zett

unread,
Jan 12, 2004, 9:49:54 PM1/12/04
to
AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<slrnc03uai.1e4....@namibia.tandem>...

> Chapter of the Week
> The Lord of the Rings - Prologue - 2. Concerning Pipe-weed

I forgot to say this in my post to Part 1, but let me take the
opportunity to say now: Well done! Four posts' worth. You're a brave
and hardy soul. :)
[snip]

>The Numenoreans, apparently deficient in this particular area of
>knowledge, called it sweet galenas and esteemed it only for the

>fragrance of its flowers. [snip]

I always found this line odd- I had to help grow tobacco at one time,
but I don't recall the flowers having much, if any, smell. Of course
there are more strains of tobacco than the Burley I dealt with...the
flowers are pretty, though.


>
> Points of Interest
> ------------------
> - Me thinks that only Professor Tolkien would have made tobacco into a
> matter of earth-shattering importance.

:chuckle:

>
> - While the Hobbits may be proud of spreading the "art" of smoking
> pipe-weed, I would imagine that nowadays the Shire might be the seen of many
> a class action lawsuit.

LOL! Do you suppose they would retain counsel from the firm of Grubb,
Grubb and Burrowes?


>
> - It has been noted by others that tobacco is a New World plant. I doubt
> that it came from Numenor, but I think it is possible that, after the
> Downfall, when the Numenoreans sailed far and wide in the west, they might
> have brought this particular herb back.

Just a general comment about anachronism nit-picking (not directed at
anyone in particular). Here you have given a plausible explanation for
how a New World plant could have gotten to Middle-earth. If, as
happened in the real world, horses could get re-introduced to the New
World, why can't New World things be introduced (re-introduced) to the
Old? I dunno, I just never was one for worrying about anachronisms.
It's fantasy, go with the flow, I always say.


>
> - I don't know about anybody else, but I find that it feels quite right that
> the Prancing Pony should be the center of the smoking of pipe-weed.

You are not the only one. I feel the same way.

AC

unread,
Jan 12, 2004, 10:00:27 PM1/12/04
to
On 12 Jan 2004 17:55:22 -0800,
zett <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> I do have an observation about the "breeds" and the migration...since
> the Fallohides were supposedly more bold and adventurous than the
> other strains, it doesn't quite jibe that they'd be the last to cross
> the Misty Mts...

Well, it would be pretty bold to remain so near to Greenwood the Great after
it became Mirkwood.

>
> Also a (probably really stupid) question. Many things are written in
> the prologue in the present tense...is it referring to our present
> time, or the time of the composition of the Red Book? I think it means
> late 3rd Age/Early 4th...but it would be cool to think that maybe,
> just maybe, there *could* still be a few Hobbits quietly and
> unobtrusively toodling around Western Europe.

I think that was Tolkien's point when he talks about Hobbits having dwindled
in size, meaning that now (as in our time) they would, if they actually
existed, be of smaller stature than they had been. Perhaps he was trying to
link them, like he had to Elves, to real-world legendary creatures such as
pixies and the like.

zett

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Jan 12, 2004, 10:01:59 PM1/12/04
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message news:<EqoMb.13375$nj5.14...@news-text.cableinet.net>...
> "AC" <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote
>
> > - While the Hobbits may be proud of spreading the "art" of smoking
> > pipe-weed, I would imagine that nowadays the Shire might be the
> scene of many
> > a class action lawsuit.
>
> Indeed. Also disgracefully overdone in the films as well. A classic
> case for retrospective censorship of Tolkien... Replace pipeweed with
> er, someone help me out here!
>
[snip]

And what about the *underage drinking?!* Really! We simply *must*
register a complaint with the Methodists' Ladies' Society immediately!
:fans self: :gets the vapors: :faints:

:)

TeaLady (Mari C.)

unread,
Jan 12, 2004, 10:25:35 PM1/12/04
to
held...@hotmail.com (Henriette) wrote in
news:be50318e.04011...@posting.google.com:

> This I find a strange contradiction: "for sport killing nothing
> that lived" and: "If any Hobbit stooped for a stone, it was
> well to get quickly under cover, as all trespassing beasts knew
> very well".!
>
>

The thrown stone could be aimed to startle, or provide just enough
"ouch" to convince the trespasser to move on, quickly, without
killing it.

--
mc

Tar-Elenion

unread,
Jan 12, 2004, 11:56:42 PM1/12/04
to
In article <gMFMb.14102$WW5.15...@news-text.cableinet.net>,
spam...@blueyonder.co.uk says...

Yes, I think the passage in RoP does have Cirdan leaving on that ship
with Elrond and Gandalf, and that App. A indicates that Cirdan stays.

>
> > "At the Grey Havens dwelt Cirdan the Shipwright, and some say he
> > dwells there still, until the Last Ship sets sail into the West. In the
> > days of the Kings most of the High Elves that still lingered in Middle-earth
> > dwelt with Cirdan or in the seaward lands of Lindon. If any now remain
> > they are few."
> > App A.
>
>
> Is this passage written from a POV after the Ringbearers have
> departed? Or is it a fragment from a POV in the period between "the
> days of the Kings" (the Kings maybe being the Kings of Arnor and/or
> Gondor) and the War of the Ring?

I think it is suggested in the Prologue that it is written post
departure:
"The most important copy, however, has a different history. It was kept
at Great Smials, but it was written in Gondor, probably at the request of
the great-grandson of Peregrin, and completed in S.R. 1592 (F.A. 172).
Its southern scribe appended this note: Findegil, King's Writer, finished
this work in IV 172. It is an exact copy in all details of the Thain's
Book in Minas Tirith. That book was a copy, made at the request of King
Elessar, of the Red Book of the Periannath, and was brought to him by the
Thain Peregrin when he retired to Gondor in IV 64."

"At Great Smials the books were of less interest to Shire-folk, though
more important for larger history. None of them was written by Peregrin,
but he and his successors collected many manuscripts written by scribes
of Gondor: mainly copies or summaries of histories or legends relating to
Elendil and his heirs."

>
> I read it as both. A Hobbit scribe writing in the Fourth Age, but
> copying oral legends from an earlier age.

There may be some oral legend as well, but also records from Minas
Tirith. App. A. was drawn (in part) from The Book of the Kings, and The
Book of the Stewards (per 1st ed. IIRC), which Pippin was allowed access
to. If I were to speculate, my opinion would be that Findegil added that
passage, but that is only speculation, I don't think it would have been
added that way under the direction of Merry or Pippen, since they would
still know of the High Elves in Rivendell at least.

>
> Fourth Age POV: "At the Grey Havens dwelt [during the Third Age]
> Cirdan the Shipwright, and some say he dwells there still, until the
> Last Ship sets sail into the West."
>
> ie. Most say Cirdan left, but legends still persist.
>
> Third Age POV: "In the days of the Kings most of the High Elves that
> still lingered in Middle-earth dwelt with Cirdan or in the seaward
> lands of Lindon."
>
> ie. "the Kings" are the High Kings of Arnor and maybe also the Kings
> of Gondor. This makes sense because we are in App. B.

"It was probably at Great Smials that The Tale of Years was put together,
with the assistance of material collected by Meriadoc. Though the dates
given are often conjectural, especially for the Second Age, they deserve
attention. It is probable that Meriadoc obtained assistance and
information from Rivendell, which he visited more than once. There,
though Elrond had departed, his sons long remained, together with some of
the High-elven folk."

>
> Fourth Age POV: "If any now remain they are few."
>
> Which is a good way to end the little note by our hobbit scribe.
> Speaking of which, the archaic language of the Silm. passage says to
> me that it may a more primary text and that our hobbit scribe
> translated it badly to get the App. A text.

I don't recall who was suppossed to have written Rings of Power, but an
interesting suggestion I read recently was that Rings of Power was a
sort of 'revisionist' history. :)


>
> You quoted these passages, but didn't say what you thought?
> Do you think Cirdan was on the Ringbearers' ship?
> Maybe it is all too unclear?

My opinion is that Cirdan remained behind. I don't think he Sailed West
until, at the least, Sam left (or even later). He may have left with
Celeborn. If Conrad shows up, I think he takes the opposite veiw.

>
> Christopher

Count Menelvagor

unread,
Jan 13, 2004, 1:19:11 AM1/13/04
to
"Tamzin" <tamzin...@OBEYMEtheponies.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message news:<btv8v8$cho$1...@news5.svr.pol.co.uk>...
> "Henriette" wrote

> > Well, I *do* find this a suggestive sentence: "For ages folk in the
> > Shire smoked various herbs, some fouler, some sweeter".
>
> No wonder those hobbits were all so laid back :o)

Like, don't bogart the weed, dood!

(Balrogs, BTW, prefer to smoke ground smurrows.)

Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Jan 13, 2004, 2:46:10 AM1/13/04
to
in <slrnc06nqb.1a0....@namibia.tandem>,
AC <mightym...@yahoo.ca> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> Perhaps he was trying to link them, like he had to Elves, to
> real-world legendary creatures such as pixies and the like.

Brownies, gnomes etc?

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

John Jones

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Jan 12, 2004, 1:34:41 PM1/12/04
to
"AC" <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
news:slrnc03uc5.1e4....@namibia.tandem...
> Chapter of the Week

> The Lord of the Rings - Prologue - 3. Of the Ordering of the Shire
>
> Synopsis
> --------
> - It has been pointed out before, but is worth mentioning again, that
> Hobbits were an exceedingly co-operative people to survive with a police
> force of twelve individuals, and with very little in the way of central
> government. I rather wonder if the authority of the chiefs of families,
> such as The Took, were responsible for this, managing their families'
> affairs to minimize trouble.
>
We are, I suppose, too used to living in a society in which the government
takes it upon itself to supervise every detail of our lives. In the past,
certainly before the Great War, the people used to run their own affairs
perfectly well by themselves, or at least with the aid or interference of
local magnates only.

~ Q ~

unread,
Jan 13, 2004, 9:48:30 AM1/13/04
to
zett - typed:

> Just a general comment about anachronism nit-picking (not directed at
> anyone in particular). Here you have given a plausible explanation for
> how a New World plant could have gotten to Middle-earth. If, as
> happened in the real world, horses could get re-introduced to the New
> World, why can't New World things be introduced (re-introduced) to the
> Old? I dunno, I just never was one for worrying about anachronisms.
> It's fantasy, go with the flow, I always say.

The problem of how far to take deconstruction is a matter of opinion but
I agree that many take it far too seriously. A problem with doing so is
that one can forget that there's a world of storytelling beyond Tolkien
which would be fruitful & enjoyable to read instead. It also helps put
Tolkien in perspective by comparison to older fiction.

Did Tolkien make life far more difficult for contemporary fantasy
writers? Some jumped on the bandwagon with pitiful results. Some have
said that Tolkien plundered so much from so many myths & legends, it's
almost impossible to write fantasy without being accused of undue
influence. My view is that's there's a grain of truth but underestimates
our imaginations. I would accuse Tolkien of upping the ante rather than
plundering - hardly a sustainable accusation at that!

--
The map is not the territory


Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Jan 13, 2004, 5:50:29 PM1/13/04
to
"Tar-Elenion" <tar_e...@hotmail.com> wrote

> My opinion is that Cirdan remained behind. I don't think he Sailed
West
> until, at the least, Sam left (or even later). He may have left with
> Celeborn. If Conrad shows up, I think he takes the opposite veiw.


I take the position that it is all rather unclear. Some of the passages
about when and if Celeborn, Cirdan, Sam, Legolas and Gimli sailed West
are conjecture and speculation.

What I find surprising is the statement that *even though* it is said
that there is "no record" of *when* Celeborn left, it is said, with more
certainty than for other statements (eg. Sam's or Gimli's departure),
that Celeborn *did* leave:

"...and with him went the last living memory of the Elder Days in ME."

This certainty seems to imply that though the exact date is not known,
it *is* known that he was the last with memories of the Elder Days. I
would read this as indicating that Cirdan left before Celeborn.

But that doesn't help in deciding when Cirdan left. If you take the
"last ship" bit as literal, then no other ships are allowed after Cirdan
leaves, which is silly. I would think rather that "last ship" refers
just to the last ship from the Havens, which supports the Cirdan and Sam
theory.

I personally think Sam didn't go West. But I'm sure there's a Letter to
correct me on this...

Yuk Tang

unread,
Jan 13, 2004, 5:50:59 PM1/13/04
to
"John Jones" <jo...@jones5011.fsnet.co.uk> wrote in
news:bu0usf$iql$1...@news8.svr.pol.co.uk:
>
> We are, I suppose, too used to living in a society in which the
> government takes it upon itself to supervise every detail of our
> lives. In the past, certainly before the Great War, the people
> used to run their own affairs perfectly well by themselves, or at
> least with the aid or interference of local magnates only.

Didn't the health of the majority of the population actually improve
during WWII, with rationing and the idea that everyone should be
maintained working fit, as opposed to being free to starve? One of the
reasons the NHS came into being was that it was recognised that
laissez-faire doesn't always work, that in some areas it's more
efficient to have centralised, or state control.

Look at the railways, for example. Privatised, they eat up more in
subsidies than it cost to run the old British Rail, and the services
are worse. Re-nationalisation of the railways would be an extremely
popular policy.


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

Bruce Tucker

unread,
Jan 13, 2004, 6:09:24 PM1/13/04
to
Please, let's not turn this thread and this newsgroup into a forum for
debate on the relative merits of privatisation, nationalisation, and
Thatcherism.

--
Bruce Tucker
disinte...@mindspring.com


Henriette

unread,
Jan 14, 2004, 2:42:55 AM1/14/04
to
"Gregg Cattanach" <gcattana...@prodigy.net> wrote in message news:<qZzMb.56117$Xo2....@newssvr31.news.prodigy.com>...

> "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:be50318e.04011...@posting.google.com...
> > Who am I? But is this grammatically correct: "Indeed, few Hobbits had
> > ever seen or sailed upon the Sea"?
> >
> I can't imagine what would be wrong with that sentence, other that 'Sea'
> being capitalized, which is probably right in ME where there really is only
> one sea.

I thought it might be better to write: "Indeed, few Hobbits had ever
seen the Sea or sailed upon it". It has to do with the word "upon"
(seen upon?, sailed upon). But as nobody reacts shockedly here and
Prof. Tolkien's works have been thoroughly revised, I am most likely
either mixing up English and Dutch grammatical rules or just simply
mistaken.


>
> > This I find a strange contradiction: "for sport killing nothing that
> > lived" and: "If any Hobbit stooped for a stone, it was well to get
> > quickly under cover, as all trespassing beasts knew very well".!
> >
> They could throw stones with great accuracy, apparently, but not to hunt for
> sport or to kill, but to scare intruders away, etc.

OK, thank you, I see. I realise now the implications of the word
"trespassing" had somehow escaped my notice.

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Jan 14, 2004, 4:15:58 AM1/14/04
to
Menel...@mailandnews.com (Count Menelvagor) wrote in message news:<6bfb27a8.04011...@posting.google.com>...

> "Tamzin" <tamzin...@OBEYMEtheponies.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message news:<btv8v8$cho$1...@news5.svr.pol.co.uk>...
> > "Henriette" wrote
>
> > > Well, I *do* find this a suggestive sentence: "For ages folk in the
> > > Shire smoked various herbs, some fouler, some sweeter".
> >
> > No wonder those hobbits were all so laid back :o)

I hope you know the effects only from hear-say:-)


>
> Like, don't bogart the weed, dood!
>
> (Balrogs, BTW, prefer to smoke ground smurrows.)

Hey Conte! You have learned how to type!

BTW Tamzin, have you yet met Count Menelvagor? He also has his
birthday in the merry month of May. (whispers: Sssh! he thinks he is a
Balrog. Maybe the ground smurrows, whatever they are...)

Henriette

Steuard Jensen

unread,
Jan 14, 2004, 12:12:46 PM1/14/04
to
Quoth "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> in article
<EqoMb.13375$nj5.14...@news-text.cableinet.net>:

> "AC" <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote
> > - While the Hobbits may be proud of spreading the "art" of smoking
> > pipe-weed, I would imagine that nowadays the Shire might be the
> > scene of many a class action lawsuit.

> Indeed. Also disgracefully overdone in the films as well. A classic
> case for retrospective censorship of Tolkien... Replace pipeweed
> with er, someone help me out here!

I'm not sure if you're joking, but I seem to recall that Michael
Martinez made a rather similar argument in all seriousness. I
disagree with him fairly strongly, but I do understand his concern.

In case you're not aware of it, the commentary tracks for FotR
included the revelation that much of the early work on the movies
assumed that they would be forced into just this sort of censorship.
They even introduced the idea that Gandalf had recently quit smoking
(or was trying to quit) and was constantly chewing toffees as a sort
of replacement. As I recall, there are still glimpses of that in the
actual movie: when Gandalf and Frodo are riding in the cart together
near the beginning of the movie, Gandalf is frequently seen to be
chewing something.

How close we came, eh? :)
Steuard Jensen

Steuard Jensen

unread,
Jan 14, 2004, 12:44:31 PM1/14/04
to
Quoth "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> in article
<VC_Mb.14987$OS.165...@news-text.cableinet.net>:

> "Tar-Elenion" <tar_e...@hotmail.com> wrote
> > My opinion is that Cirdan remained behind. I don't think he Sailed
> > West until, at the least, Sam left (or even later). He may have
> > left with Celeborn. If Conrad shows up, I think he takes the
> > opposite veiw.

Really? Well look at that, he did. :) A relevant post (and thread)
where he sets out his argument can be found at this Google address:

http://groups.google.com/groups?threadm=GBJe6.11186%24mA1.659465%40bgtnsc06-news.ops.worldnet.att.net

(Message-ID: <GBJe6.11186$mA1.6...@bgtnsc06-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>)

Now that I've looked at that, I'm torn on this question, and I think
I'd need to dig into the full context of the relevant texts myself to
come to any sort of resolution that satisfied me. I've generally been
of the "Cirdan stayed longer than Elrond" opinion myself, but Conrad
makes a good case. (Mind you, at least in that thread as archived by
Google he never responded to your final objection about the meaning of
"High Elves", which I agree with. But Google stupidly splits threads
whose subject line changes without any hint of it in the original, so
it's hard to know if the discussion actually went on.)

> "...and with him went the last living memory of the Elder Days in ME."

> This certainty seems to imply that though the exact date is not
> known, it *is* known that he was the last with memories of the Elder
> Days. I would read this as indicating that Cirdan left before
> Celeborn.

Well, either before him or together with him.

> I personally think Sam didn't go West. But I'm sure there's a Letter
> to correct me on this...

Yup. :) I used to be fond of the sad idea that Sam went to the
Havens, but was either denied permission to sail West or simply found
it abandoned, and that he spent the rest of his life there, gazing out
across the waves. But then someone showed me a letter stating
unequivocally that Sam did sail across the Sea: Letter #154 says

certain 'mortals'... may pass with the Elves to Elvenhome. Thus
Frodo ... and Bilbo, and eventually Sam.

That did it for me: I've set aside my sad theory and embraced what
seems clearly to have been Tolkien's intent. I seem to recall some
fairly authoritative confirmation that Gimli passed West as well
(saying that Galadriel had something to do with him getting
permission).
Steuard Jensen

Doug McDonald

unread,
Jan 14, 2004, 1:05:28 PM1/14/04
to
Steuard Jensen wrote:
>
>
> > "...and with him went the last living memory of the Elder Days in ME."
>
> > This certainty seems to imply that though the exact date is not
> > known, it *is* known that he was the last with memories of the Elder
> > Days. I would read this as indicating that Cirdan left before
> > Celeborn.
>
> Well, either before him or together with him.


Well, in Tolkien's other writings it is said that Cirdan
would remain until the last ship sailed. Clearly Frodo's was not the
last, since Sam left too. And it is clear that all Elves in
Middle Earth could leave too, for a long time. And Cirdan
most certainly remembered the Elder Days in ME.

I think that the top quote is simply a mistake, the meaning being
the last person with memory of Valinor, i.e. Galadriel
and Glorfindel, and perhaps Celeborn, depending on which
version of his history Tolkien was using at the time.

There almost certainly remained Sylvan Elves who had
been in ME from almost the beginning.

Doug McDonald

John Jones

unread,
Jan 13, 2004, 9:37:31 AM1/13/04
to
"zett" <yze...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:4bb40450.04011...@posting.google.com...

>
> And what about the *underage drinking?!* Really! We simply *must*
> register a complaint with the Methodists' Ladies' Society immediately!
> :fans self: :gets the vapors: :faints:
>
<kicks zett awake> But who was underage?

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Jan 14, 2004, 4:29:52 PM1/14/04
to
"Steuard Jensen" <sbje...@midway.uchicago.edu> wrote
> Quoth "Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk>

> > "AC" <mightym...@yahoo.ca> wrote
> > > - While the Hobbits may be proud of spreading the "art" of smoking
> > > pipe-weed, I would imagine that nowadays the Shire might be the
> > > scene of many a class action lawsuit.
>
> > Indeed. Also disgracefully overdone in the films as well. A classic
> > case for retrospective censorship of Tolkien... Replace pipeweed
> > with er, someone help me out here!
>
> I'm not sure if you're joking, but I seem to recall that Michael
> Martinez made a rather similar argument in all seriousness. I
> disagree with him fairly strongly, but I do understand his concern.

I saw and agreed with Martinez's points.
I'm just not as rabid as he...

> In case you're not aware of it, the commentary tracks for FotR
> included the revelation that much of the early work on the movies
> assumed that they would be forced into just this sort of censorship.


I wasn't aware of that. Thanks!

GoldenUsagi

unread,
Jan 14, 2004, 9:43:40 PM1/14/04
to
>We first learn of
>the Red Book of Westmarch, which Bilbo's own story "There and Back
>Again" makes up the first part.

I'm just getting into Tolkien's mythology, and have been confused on this
point. Is the Red Book of Westmarch supposed to have contained the text of TH
or the text of TH and LOTR?

AC

unread,
Jan 14, 2004, 11:35:07 PM1/14/04
to
On 15 Jan 2004 02:43:40 GMT,

Both, and the Silmarillion as well (as it contains Bilbo's Translations from
Elvish, which apparently concern the Elder Days). The story internal
explanation, as near as I can tell, is that The Hobbit, LotR and Silm are
based on the Red Book.

Steuard Jensen

unread,
Jan 15, 2004, 12:49:00 AM1/15/04
to
Side note: please make sure to include a line of attribution for any
quoted material in your message! (I usually include email address,
name, and Message-ID for the most recent post, and names or email
addresses only for earlier ones. You can leave out the Message-ID if
it's not convenient, but _some_ attribution is important.)

Quoth mina...@aol.com (GoldenUsagi) in article
<20040114214340...@mb-m15.aol.com>:

[AC wrote:]

My understanding is that the Red Book proper consisted of TH and LotR,
and was accompanied by several additional volumes of material
corresponding in part to the Appendices and _The Silmarillion_ (which
should probably be thought of as excerpts from the full texts).

The precise statement in the Prologue to LotR is:

"It was in origin Bilbo's private diary, which he took with him to
Rivendell. Frodo brought it back to the Shire, together with many
loose leaves of notes, and... nearly filled its pages with his
account of the War. But annexed to it and preserved with it,
probably in a single red case, were the three large volumes, bound
in red leather, that Bilbo gave to him as a parting gift. To these
four volumes there was added in Westmarch a fifth containing
commentaries, genealogies, and various other matter concerning the
hobbit members of the Fellowship."

That probably covers it. :) Welcome to Tolkien, incidentally, and to
the group.
Steuard Jensen

Kristian Damm Jensen

unread,
Jan 15, 2004, 2:49:40 AM1/15/04
to

Pippin was 28-29 at the time of LotR, thus 5 years short of coming of
age when they visit The Prancing Pony.

(When he meets Bergil in Minas Tirith he claim to be 29, and since he
was born in 2990 this only fits if he was born in January, February or
beginning of March. (He may even have celebrated his birthday in
Lorien.))

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


Troels Forchhammer

unread,
Jan 15, 2004, 5:32:44 AM1/15/04
to
in <3efNb.6$_4.2...@news.uchicago.edu>,
Steuard Jensen <sbje...@midway.uchicago.edu> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> But Google stupidly splits threads whose subject line changes without
> any hint of it in the original, so it's hard to know if the discussion
> actually went on.)

I tried searching for the message ID of Tar-Elenion's message (in the
message body of other messages, that is) without luck. Conrad usually
quotes the message ID of the post he's responding to, so I think there's
a good chance that he never did respond to it (of course someone else
might have without quoting the ID and Conrad could have responded to
that, but there are no other messages on Google containing "LotR only
the Noldor" either).

John Jones

unread,
Jan 14, 2004, 2:30:30 PM1/14/04
to
"Yuk Tang" <jim.l...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:Xns946FE9719EB7A...@130.133.1.4...
The above two paragraphs are not only wrong, but wrong-headed; however, I
will agree with Bruce Tucker.
My post was not intended to agree or disagree with government in times past,
but to point out that self-government existed until quite recently.

Tamzin

unread,
Jan 15, 2004, 5:05:45 PM1/15/04
to

"Henriette" wrote
> (Count Menelvagor) wrote

> > "Tamzin" wrote > > > "Henriette" wrote


> >
> > > > Well, I *do* find this a suggestive sentence: "For ages folk in the
> > > > Shire smoked various herbs, some fouler, some sweeter".
> > >
> > > No wonder those hobbits were all so laid back :o)
>
> I hope you know the effects only from hear-say:-)


The stories that tell of me walking into a wall at a party are entirely
unfounded :o)


> > Like, don't bogart the weed, dood!
> >
> > (Balrogs, BTW, prefer to smoke ground smurrows.)
>
> Hey Conte! You have learned how to type!
>
> BTW Tamzin, have you yet met Count Menelvagor? He also has his
> birthday in the merry month of May. (whispers: Sssh! he thinks he is a
> Balrog. Maybe the ground smurrows, whatever they are...)

Those ground smurrows are powerful indeed!

Tamzin


Tar-Elenion

unread,
Jan 15, 2004, 6:41:59 PM1/15/04
to
In article <g%tNb.6742$k4.1...@news1.nokia.com>,
Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid says...

Correct, he did not respond to it. We did have a brief discussion last
year however:
<http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-
8&th=c848cecc077917a4&rnum=2>

Igenlode Wordsmith

unread,
Jan 15, 2004, 10:18:06 PM1/15/04
to
On 12 Jan 2004 Gregg Cattanach wrote:

> "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:be50318e.04011...@posting.google.com...

> > This I find a strange contradiction: "for sport killing nothing that


> > lived" and: "If any Hobbit stooped for a stone, it was well to get
> > quickly under cover, as all trespassing beasts knew very well".!
> >
> They could throw stones with great accuracy, apparently, but not to hunt for
> sport or to kill, but to scare intruders away, etc.
>

Reading this, I was a little puzzled: having gone to such lengths to
establish Hobbits as deadly marksmen, Tolkien doesn't ever use this in
the actual book, does he? The Battle of Bywater, perhaps... but it's
scarcely a crucial trait for any of the four hobbits among the
Fellowship. Hobbits are skilled archers - but they don't get bows from
Galadriel, they get brooches :-)
--
Igenlode <Igenl...@nym.alias.net> Lurker Extraordinaire

But we must not be hasty; for it is easier to shout 'stop!' than to do it.

the softrat

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 3:37:03 AM1/16/04
to

And the Silmarillion!


the softrat
"LotR: You've seen the epic. Now experience the Whole Story!"
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
-- Steven Wright

Pradera

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 3:55:20 AM1/16/04
to
On 16 sty 2004, Igenlode Wordsmith <Use-Author-Supplied-Address-Header@
[127.1]> scribbled loosely:

> Reading this, I was a little puzzled: having gone to such lengths to
> establish Hobbits as deadly marksmen, Tolkien doesn't ever use this in
> the actual book, does he? The Battle of Bywater, perhaps... but it's
> scarcely a crucial trait for any of the four hobbits among the
> Fellowship. Hobbits are skilled archers - but they don't get bows from
> Galadriel, they get brooches :-)

There is a difference between being a sport marksman, or even a good
hunter, and a combat archer. Hobbits just can't fight, usually - at least
not before they walk across half of ME and back again ;), so giving them
bows would just mean they'd hurt somebody in the heat of a battle out of
anxiety.
Take a sports archer from the olympics and tell him to shoot at a band of
charging orcs...

--
Pradera
---
'Ronald Reagan once said that a great leader is simply an
average man who surrounds himself with the best.
That's why I never vote Republican'
Scott Summers, 'Cyclops'

http://www.pradera-castle.prv.pl/
http://www.tolkien-gen.prv.pl/

Henriette

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 5:38:15 AM1/16/04
to
"Tamzin" <tamzin...@OBEYMEtheponies.freeserve.co.uk> wrote in message news:<bu72pv$auq$1...@newsg3.svr.pol.co.uk>...

>
> Those ground smurrows are powerful indeed!

Are they the basis for the entirely unfounded stories that tell of you
walking into a wall at a party?

Henriette

Bill O'Meally

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 10:08:21 AM1/16/04
to


"Igenlode Wordsmith" <Use-Author-Supplied-Address-Header@[127.1]> wrote
in message news:2004011606470...@gacracker.org...


> On 12 Jan 2004 Gregg Cattanach wrote:
>

> > They could throw stones with great accuracy, apparently, but not to
hunt for
> > sport or to kill, but to scare intruders away, etc.
> >
> Reading this, I was a little puzzled: having gone to such lengths to
> establish Hobbits as deadly marksmen, Tolkien doesn't ever use this in
> the actual book, does he?

Bill Ferny with the apple in the schnozolla.

--
Bill

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


AC

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 11:59:43 AM1/16/04
to
On Fri, 16 Jan 2004 03:18:06 GMT,
Igenlode Wordsmith <Use-Author-Supplied-Address-Header@[> wrote:
> On 12 Jan 2004 Gregg Cattanach wrote:
>
>> "Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:be50318e.04011...@posting.google.com...
>
>> > This I find a strange contradiction: "for sport killing nothing that
>> > lived" and: "If any Hobbit stooped for a stone, it was well to get
>> > quickly under cover, as all trespassing beasts knew very well".!
>> >
>> They could throw stones with great accuracy, apparently, but not to hunt for
>> sport or to kill, but to scare intruders away, etc.
>>
> Reading this, I was a little puzzled: having gone to such lengths to
> establish Hobbits as deadly marksmen, Tolkien doesn't ever use this in
> the actual book, does he? The Battle of Bywater, perhaps... but it's
> scarcely a crucial trait for any of the four hobbits among the
> Fellowship. Hobbits are skilled archers - but they don't get bows from
> Galadriel, they get brooches :-)

When Sam nails Bill Ferney with an apple, I always attribute that to Hobbit
marksmanship.

Tamzin

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 5:04:58 PM1/16/04
to

"Henriette" <held...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:be50318e.0401...@posting.google.com...

I think they must have been! I certainly wasn't paying much attention to
details that night :oD

Tamzin (I'm older and wiser now. But not one of The Wise although you might
find that hard to believe <g>)

Tamzin


Morgoth's Curse

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 5:13:00 PM1/16/04
to
On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 16:31:18 GMT, "Gregg Cattanach"
<gcattana...@prodigy.net> wrote:

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

>news:be50318e.04011...@posting.google.com...
>> Who am I? But is this grammatically correct: "Indeed, few Hobbits had
>> ever seen or sailed upon the Sea"?
>>
>I can't imagine what would be wrong with that sentence, other that 'Sea'
>being capitalized, which is probably right in ME where there really is only
>one sea.
>

>> This I find a strange contradiction: "for sport killing nothing that
>> lived" and: "If any Hobbit stooped for a stone, it was well to get
>> quickly under cover, as all trespassing beasts knew very well".!
>>
>They could throw stones with great accuracy, apparently, but not to hunt for
>sport or to kill, but to scare intruders away, etc.
>

>Gregg C.
>
As any farmer who has had to contend with marauding deer, rabbits,
groundhogs, blackbirds, etc. can testify, the restraint of the hobbits
was actually remarkable. :)

`Morgoth's Curse

Biloba Grubb from Stock

unread,
Jan 16, 2004, 5:32:04 PM1/16/04
to
On 12 Jan 2004 Gregg Cattanach wrote:

>Reading this, I was a little puzzled: having gone to such lengths to
>establish Hobbits as deadly marksmen, Tolkien doesn't ever use this in
>the actual book, does he? The Battle of Bywater, perhaps... but it's
>scarcely a crucial trait for any of the four hobbits among the
>Fellowship. Hobbits are skilled archers - but they don't get bows from
>Galadriel, they get brooches :-)

Well, the Battle of Bywater is pretty important, though I do like
Sam's quick aim of an apple in Bree (g), and knowing they have this
skill and do things like hunt in the Northfarthing (Sam's cousin Hal)
makes the success of the uprising in "The Scouring of the Shire" more
believable. And the last stroke of the War happens on the doorstep of
Bag End -- Gríma kills Saruman, but the hobbits kill Gríma, and that
is the end of it.

As for the hobbits of the Fellowship during their travels, I think
JRRT didn't emphasize their marksmanship (though all but Frodo do
wield their swords respectably when it comes to it, killing orcs and a
troll and severely wounding both the Chief of the Nazgul and a nasty
Mother of all Spooky Spiders). Marksmanship was a secondary one for
hobbits in this tale: "This quest may be attempted by the weak with
as much hope as the strong" and "Even if you chose for us an
elf-lord...he could not storm the Dark Tower, nor open the road to the
Fire by the power that is in him." Throughout he was contrasting and
comparing hobbits and Men. Ultimately you have all these combat
veterans going forth willingly into a trap, using their weapons and
reputations only to convince Sauron they mean business even though
they know they have no real chance of militarily defeating him. And
it works, while the real threat to the Dark Lord, Frodo in Mordor, is
saying it will not be his part to ever use a sword again. It was a
moral battle JRRT was writing of, one of the spirit, where