Which chapter did you enjoy reading the most, Roast Mutton or A Short Rest?
That's a really tough question. I think they were really different.
Roast Mutton was funny with the trolls, and it has a bit of tension in it - what will the Trolls do with Bilbo and the Dwarves, will they be saved...
A Short Rest, on the other hand, is very interesting when it comes to comparing the way the Elves are portrayed in this book with the way they are in LotR and The Silmarillion.
Why do you think the trolls have traditional english names (which is rare in Tolkien's work)?
At least for me (and the friend who read that chapter to me *coughs* I made her, but she liked doing it anyway.
) it was rather funny to stumble across such names in one of Tolkien's books. It seems pretty absurd, in a way. And I fancy the idea of thinking of ordinary people who you could meet in your everyday life, and compare them to the trolls. (If anybody can understand what I mean... Sorry, dunno how to put it.)
What do you think that contributed the most to Bilbo's sucess with the trolls: luck, intelligence or courage?
I think it was luck. Bilbo didn't really know what to do. The Trolls could just have picked him up and eaten him, and eaten the Dwarves, too, one by one. These wee fellows wouldn't have stood a chance of fighting the Trolls, and if Gandalf hadn't arrived on time, things would probably have taken the worst turn.
If you read The Lord of the Rings, do you notice some differences between Rivendell/Elrond/Elvish culture in The Hobbit and there?
Oh yes! *nods* In this book, the Elves are just rather strange fellows, singing stupid songs and feeling far superior to everybody else, but in fact being, well, ridiculous? (Except for Elrond reading the runes and stuff.) Their ancient culture and everything is being hinted at, but it isn't as important as in the other books. Elrond is being portrayed as a man with knowledge, but even he doesn't feel as wise as in the other books, to my mind.
How do you feel about elvish culture in general?
It is pretty interesting and, in a way, intriguing. The Elves in Tolkien's works have so much background, so much history, and that's very interesting to me. But I have always (except for their portrayal here in Rivendell in The Hobbit) felt them to be dangerous, too.
Tarma, your idea that the seriousness of the Elves in LotR is influenced by Sauron returning and the danger that comes along with that is very interesting. There might be something in it, I never thought of it like this before!
But on the other hand, I also still think that it has much to do with this being a children's book and being about Bilbo and the Dwarves, as you said as well.
But the other one... Great idea!
(By the way, I saw a city called "Bruchsal" yesterday - pretty close to "Bruchtal", how Rivendell is being called in German.