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BarbaraN
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Hobbit: Chapters 16-19

[ Edited ]
Chapters 16-19

Hobbit spoilers allowed.

Chapter XVI, A Thief in the Night
Chapter XVII, A Cloud Burst
Chapter XVIII, The Return Journey
Chapter XIX, The Last Stage

Message Edited by BarbaraN on 02-11-2008 07:25 AM
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lorien
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Re: Hobbit: Chapters 16-19

Balin and Dain

Just to finish up a bit on the history of Balin. I was kind of surprised that Balin did not succeed Thorin as King Under the Mountain. He was from Durin's line, had lived there before and was second-in-command of the original little group that freed the mountain from Smaug. But I guess Dain, as leader of the Iron Mountain dwarves and who also was of the line of Durin, had stronger rights. Dain was King Under the Mountain during the period we will be covering under the next series of books. It was he who sent Goin (from the original 13 dwarves) and his son Gimli to the Council of Elrond.

In the time between The Hobbit and LOTR, Balin led a company of dwarves to Moria to reconquer the kingdom of Khazad-dum. Ori and Oin, of the original 13, went with him. Balin retook Moria from the orcs and became Lord of Moria and continued the mithril mining efforts. It was the mining for mithril (this is the stuff that Bilbo's chain mail shirt was made of) that reawakened the Balrog with dire concequences. Balin was killed by orcs and interred in the Chamber of Mazarbul. It was his tomb that Gimili and The Fellowship encountered in their passage through Moria.
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lorien
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Re: Hobbit: Chapters 16-19

Women

Has anyone noticed that there are zero woman in The Hobbit? The only time I even recall the gender being mentioned is in reference to Smaug's preference to eating young maidens. A great deal of importance is given the lineage and who was whose father or son. But did they accomplish this without the benefit of woman?

At least in LOTR people do have mothers and there are a few prominent women. Though not many.

I find this a bit strange since Tolkien did have a very strong mother who was also a single mom through most of his boyhood. He also had great admiration for his wife that seemed to go beyond thinking of her as wallpaper. And The Hobbit was a children's story and he did have a daughter. I would have thought he'd slip in at least a queen for the Elvenking. That would have at least given Legolas a mother.
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lorien
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Re: Hobbit: Chapters 16-19

This post looks a bit ahead to some things in LOTR so comments may be spoilers but they are not significant. I just wanted to post these thoughts before I forgot them.

The Hobbit and LOTR do seem to mirror each other. We talked earlier about how the first chapter of each book were very similar with The Hobbit starting out with "The Unexpected Party" and LOTR starting out with "The Long Awaited Party." I noticed also that the climatic point of the final battle of each was heralded by the cry of "the eagles are coming." And in both cases the hearer loses consciousness. Both sagas take about one year, though LOTR seems like it should be longer--just more seems to happen.

The Hobbit ends with a rendition of "The roads go ever on" marking the end of Bilbo's adventure, and LOTR has him sing a similar version of the same song to mark the theoretical end of his part in the story at the end of "The Unexpected Party." Then Frodo reprises the song as he starts his adventure in the next chapter "The Return of the Shadow."
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lorien
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Re: Hobbit: Chapters 16-19

I noticed at that Gandalf returns and he certain seems to have a lot of knowledge of what is going to happen and what has happened that he seemed to have expected. I do wonder again if he is not controlling events, at least partially (but not fully it would seem). Or if he just has a good deal of current information of what is happening everywhere east of the Misty Mountains.

I start to wonder again about the subject brought up in the discussions of The Quest of Erebor and other topics in Chapter 1 if Gandalf did have a plan and this was all part of it or if it was just pure luck? If it was Gandalf's plan was it totally controlled by or just manipulation by him?
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lorien
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Arkenstone/Silmarils

This is way out of my league but it might be a topic you advanced people might want to knock around a bit. Is the Arkenstone a Silmaril?

http://lotrscrapbook.bookloaf.net/essay/muse/annaestel_arkenstone.html

The only thing I know about them is that they were the light from two trees that became three gems (why three and not two or even four I don't know). I also know that one was retrieved from Melkor by Luthien of Beren & Luthien fame and later one was set in the heavens as the Evening Star, one was cast into the water and the third was cast into a volcano. It is the latter that is speculated as being the Arkenstone.
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lorien
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Re: Hobbit: The Common Man as Hero

Tolkien focuses on the diminutive hobbit who accomplishes so much and whose actions have far reaching effects. Bilbo's little adventure not only was important in Gandalf's immediate plans to thwart the necromancer (as we discussed in Chapter 1) but, of course, set the stage for our next book, Fellowship of the Ring. This seems to be an important theme for Tolkien and he brings it up in his Letter 131 that I mentioned elsewhere.

Page 149- Letters

"...among other things, the first example of the motive (to become dominant in Hobbits) that the the great policies of world history, 'the wheels of the world', are often turned not by the Lords and Governors, even gods, but by the seemingly unknown and weak..."
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lorien
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Re: Hobbit: The Common Man as Hero


lorien wrote:
Tolkien focuses on the diminutive hobbit who accomplishes so much and whose actions have far reaching effects. Bilbo's little adventure not only was important in Gandalf's immediate plans to thwart the necromancer (as we discussed in Chapter 1) but, of course, set the stage for our next book, Fellowship of the Ring. This seems to be an important theme for Tolkien and he brings it up in his Letter 131 that I mentioned elsewhere.

Page 149- Letters

"...among other things, the first example of the motive (to become dominant in Hobbits) that the the great policies of world history, 'the wheels of the world', are often turned not by the Lords and Governors, even gods, but by the seemingly unknown and weak..."




Maybe this is good thought to leave with Bilbo and The Hobbit as we move to LOTR:

pg 362 AH

"Then the prophecies of the old songs have turned out to be true, after a fashion!" said Bilbo.

"Of course!" said Gandalf. "And why should not they prove true? Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies just because you helped them come about. You don't really suppose do you that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck? Just for your sole benefit? You're a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I'm quite fond of you. But you are really just a little fellow, in a wide world after all."
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thartter
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Re: Hobbit: A Thief in the Night

This chapter brings up an issue that puzzles me.  Bilbo talks Bombur into letting him take over his watch so he can deliver the Arkenstone of Thrain to Bard, confident that Bombur won't discover him because he'll be sleeping the night away.  Regarding Bombur: "he could sleep at any time, and ever since the adventure in the forest he was always trying to recapture the beautiful dreams he had then". 
 
What's the significance of the river Bombur fell into, back in "Flies and Spiders" and the effects it had on him, immediately after he fell into it and much later after he had recovered?  If I remember correctly, a similar experience befalls Frodo in LOTR.  What's the symbolism there?  It's probably a common theme but I'm just not up on that, and not really having a solid idea is BUGGING me. 
 
Any thoughts? 
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lorien
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Re: Hobbit: A Thief in the Night


thartter wrote:
This chapter brings up an issue that puzzles me. Bilbo talks Bombur into letting him take over his watch so he can deliver the Arkenstone of Thrain to Bard, confident that Bombur won't discover him because he'll be sleeping the night away. Regarding Bombur: "he could sleep at any time, and ever since the adventure in the forest he was always trying to recapture the beautiful dreams he had then".
What's the significance of the river Bombur fell into, back in "Flies and Spiders" and the effects it had on him, immediately after he fell into it and much later after he had recovered? If I remember correctly, a similar experience befalls Frodo in LOTR. What's the symbolism there? It's probably a common theme but I'm just not up on that, and not really having a solid idea is BUGGING me.
Any thoughts?





Hi thatter,

Actually, I missed this connection with Bombur falling asleep on guard duty and falling in the river and right now I don't remember where the incident took place with Frodo. We did have a bit of discussion on this Enchanted River incident. See the earlier Chapter group thread:

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/bn/board/message?board.id=tolkien&thread.id=750&jump=true
(I Don't know how to get you to the specific messages so you will have to search them out)

But I'm not sure if that discussion is appropriate to the connection you are bringing up here. I will have to go back and reread this section about the "guard duty" dreaming to refresh my memory. In the meantime, can you remember the specific incident with Frodo? I'm still a fairly unseasoned reader, though I suspect by the time this group is finished with LOTR I will know it pretty well! :smileywink:
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thartter
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Re: Hobbit: A Thief in the Night

Well, apparently I'm a less seasoned reader than you, Lorien, because I went back to The Two Towers to "The Passage of the Marshes" chapter which is where (I was certain) Frodo falls into the Dead Marshes - and its not there! I was thinking it happened around the time Gollum explains that the marshes cover graves from a great old battle, where if you look (when the candles are lit) you can see the faces of the dead, but "You cannot reach them, you cannot touch them...Only shapes to see, perhaps, not to touch."  Maybe Frodo falling in was just in the movie rather than the book.  Tricksy!
 
Thanks for pointing out the earlier thread on this topic. I had missed it.  Rereading the pages where Bombur falls into the river I realize now that its a dark hart that causes Bombur to fall in when it leaps westward over the river.  Then once Bombur has been retrieved and they are all safe on the other side, the white hind and fawns appear on the path.  At that point Tolkien implies that the white deer and the sounds of the hunt they heard were signs: "if they could have kept up their courage and their hope, to thinner trees and places where the sunlight came again."  I suppose the dark hart was the sign of impending danger.
 
I think I'll need to read up on celtic mythology to understand more of this.! 
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lorien
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Re: Hobbit: A Thief in the Night

Thanks for pointing out the earlier thread on this topic. I had missed it. Rereading the pages where Bombur falls into the river I realize now that its a dark hart that causes Bombur to fall in when it leaps westward over the river. Then once Bombur has been retrieved and they are all safe on the other side, the white hind and fawns appear on the path. At that point Tolkien implies that the white deer and the sounds of the hunt they heard were signs: "if they could have kept up their courage and their hope, to thinner trees and places where the sunlight came again." I suppose the dark hart was the sign of impending danger.

I think I'll need to read up on celtic mythology to understand more of this.!

----------------------

Brilliant, thatter! I had not made this connection! Now the "butterflies" make more sense to me. It is all in the symbols and what you quoted was very revealing:

"if they could have kept up their courage and their hope, to thinner trees and places where the sunlight came again."
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lorien
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Re: Hobbit: A Thief in the Night

[ Edited ]
Well, apparently I'm a less seasoned reader than you, Lorien, because I went back to The Two Towers to "The Passage of the Marshes" chapter which is where (I was certain) Frodo falls into the Dead Marshes - and its not there! I was thinking it happened around the time Gollum explains that the marshes cover graves from a great old battle, where if you look (when the candles are lit) you can see the faces of the dead, but "You cannot reach them, you cannot touch them...Only shapes to see, perhaps, not to touch." Maybe Frodo falling in was just in the movie rather than the book. Tricksy!
---------------------------

Hold that thought, thatter. You may have confused the details with the movie representation but you remembered the symbolism. Your overall impression is correct. We can take this up again when we get to that section. Tolkien does indeed use a lot of symbolism and I think that is consistent with his background and important to understanding what he is trying to convey. So I think these are points that we do want to talk about and speculate on.

TT: "The Passages of the Marshes

page 613 (single volume)
"Come, Mr Frodo!" said Sam. "Don't look at them! Gollum ways we mustn't" [...]

"All right," said Frodo, as if returning out of a dream.

page 616

Frodo and Sam got up, rubbing their eyes, like children wakened from an evil dream...
----------------

Maybe after we finish reading each book we should all rewatch the movie pertinent to that book and discuss the difference and why they were done. It could be very enlightening. I too find myself assuming a movie event is in the book.

Message Edited by lorien on 02-29-2008 09:53 AM
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thartter
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Re: Hobbit: A Thief in the Night

lorien,
 
That's a good idea!  I'm in.  I thought the movies were really good, and I'll bet that there are lots of differences between the books and movies that would be interesting to ponder.  :smileyhappy:
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TiggerBear
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Re: Hobbit: A Thief in the Night

That's a good idea! I'm in. I thought the movies were really good, and I'll bet that there are lots of differences between the books and movies that would be interesting to ponder.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not to mention the movies seem to assume you've read the books. The responses and emotional notes are often left in place with the triggering acts removed.
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thartter
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Re: Hobbit: A Thief in the Night

TiggerBear,
 
I agree.  The movies DO seem to assume you've read the books.  I saw FotR with a small group, and I was the only one who had read the book, even though it has been many years earlier.  Afterwards, I asked everyone what they thought, and they admitted they didn't really understand what was going on.  I imagine it will besomewhat the same with The Hobbit, if they actually make it.  I guess if you're making a 2-hour movie out of a book that is as rich as these, you just have to skip alot.
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BarbaraN
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Re: Hobbit: A Thief in the Night


thartter wrote:
TiggerBear,
I agree. The movies DO seem to assume you've read the books. I saw FotR with a small group, and I was the only one who had read the book, even though it has been many years earlier. Afterwards, I asked everyone what they thought, and they admitted they didn't really understand what was going on. I imagine it will besomewhat the same with The Hobbit, if they actually make it. I guess if you're making a 2-hour movie out of a book that is as rich as these, you just have to skip alot.





It might make a difference as to what version of the film you saw. In the group we have been using the extended version because it is far more comprehensive than the theatrical. Many scenes had to be cut to make the film acceptable to theater showing. The extended version puts them back in. Here is a list I posted earlier on some of the additions:

Fellowship
- 46 scenes
- 6 totally new
- 20 with new footage added

Over half the scenes are new or have new material added. And so far, I don't find anything superfluous.

Two Towers
- 66 scenes
- 15 totally new
- 18 extended

Again about half the scenes are new or have new material added--and it is all still working with no feeling of something just stuck in. The additions are so seamless that I wonder how they could have done without anything in the theatrical version.

Return of the King
- 76 scenes
- 14 new
- 21 extended

The extended version is hours longer than the theatrical plus it has an extra 6 DVDs on extras, mainly behind the scenes commentaries. It is really a bargain and worth the investment if you are interested in the film. For a listing of what is on the DVDs click the "Scenes" tab at this address:

http://video.barnesandnoble.com/DVD/Lord-of-the-Rings-The-Motion-Picture-Trilogy/Peter-Jackson/e/794...
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thartter
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Re: Hobbit: A Thief in the Night

I have enjoyed the theatrical versions enough to rewatch them several times, and watching a movie more than once for me is very rare.  So I'm sure I would especially enjoy these uncut versions.  I really have no excuse now NOT to get this set since my DVD player at my copy of The Two Towers.  Thanks so much for the tip!:smileyvery-happy:   
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TiggerBear
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Re: Hobbit: A Thief in the Night

BarbaraN

I've seen both versions of all the films, several times. Yes the bits in the extended version are nice, but still soooooo
much nuance left out of both. No matter which version you pick they do assume you have read the books. I've never shown
the movies to anyone I didn't immediately give a copy of the pertaining book to. People who haven't read them have a lot of
trouble with them.
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oldBPLstackdenizen
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Re: Hobbit: A Thief in the Night

I think sneaking off with the Arkenstone, like "A Thief In The Night" was one of the bravest and smartest things that Bilbo does in the whole Adventure ( even though I don't think his knees were probably knocking in fear - like they might have been when he was approaching Smaug in his lair - Bilbo does seem much more "cool, calm and collected" in this case ) ---
You do have to wonder what inspired him to come up with his plan...
 
One might also have to wonder why he kept The Arkenstone to begin with ( especially since Thorin was busy searching for it already -and proclaiming his claim to it, as well  ) -  was it simply because Bilbo himself had been bedazzled by its magnificence and magical qualities - or was there already the tiniest seed of an idea in his mind of what he might be able to do with it? Either way, it seems like it was a very impulsive action for this unassuming hobbit to take at the time ( taking The Arkenstone into his own keeping ) - a very odd happenstance, altogether - could it be that in the same way The Ring "found him" ( instead of the other way around ) - The Arkenstone also "chose" Bilbo to be its keeper ( by way of whatever "intelligence" this "magical" gem might posess? ) ---
 
I think it's more likely, though, that it is simply a matter of "Fate" (  in this instance ) - where Bilbo was "meant" to find this gem, and he acted without at first thinking out the consequences of his action ( in keeping it ) - very impulsively - perhaps because his actions were being guided by "Fate"? ( and so, he acted without thinking? ) ---
 
When I first read the story, I was suprised and excited at the passage where Gandalf "reveals" his presence at the scene of action...
 I don't think I ever thought of Gandalf as "controlling" the course of events in any way, however - but I remember feeling a sense of relief that he had "reappeared" - and a sense that maybe, one way or another, things were going to "work out for the best", somehow...
I felt Gandalf's strong character had been drawn in such a vivid manner - ( especially as the Wise Father/Grandfather/Uncle Figure ) - that there was a feeling of excitement ( and even joy ) at his returning to the midst of the action....
 
Ardo Whortleberry
Tolkien Reader 
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^

Ardo Whortleberry
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