Holts Reads " The Hobbit"

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Postby Tambaqui Balthazar » Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:02 am

Which chapter did you enjoy reading the most, Roast Mutton or A Short Rest?

I think they are equally interesting, but I like the Roast Mutton chapter more because mainly because I enjoyed reading about the Troll's stupidity (In a sense) and loved how the dwarves put Bilbo to work straight away as a burgler.
When reading about the trolls in the book, I am amazed that they could talk, interact and such, almost like a human where compared to JK's work, the troll is basically portrayed as less intelligence and just an ordinary creature..

Why do you think the trolls have traditional english names (which is rare in Tolkien's work)?

It really doesn't make sense to me as to why they would have normal, ordinary everyday names but maybe they are just different species to dwarves, elvish, and hobbits, maybe Tolkien just named them differently and english like, to help separate the different race in this book.

What do you think that contributed the most to Bilbo's sucess with the trolls: luck, intelligence or courage?

Well I wouldn't say intelligence because he was caught by the troll and an intelligent hobbit would approach it differently. I think it more luck and courage because it was what contributed to Bilbo getting the key to the troll's cave.

If you read The Lord of the Rings, do you notice some differences between Rivendell/Elrond/Elvish culture in The Hobbit and there?

I haven't read the LOTR books, but I have seen the movie and the elves in the movie, notibly Elrond and Legolas. As I watched them and read The Short Rest chapter last night, I was so amused and shocked that the elves were more happy go lucky sort of fun than what I've seen on LOTR. I am not suprised on Elrond's character because he seems so calm and acts like a true leader when I read about him.

I was amused by the elves singing and laughing about the dwarves and Frodo.

How do you feel about elvish culture in general?

Well since I've only just learnt about elvish based on this chapter, so I can't really just judge them like you all do since you have read LOTR and Tolkien's book. But what I've mentioned about Elves are above, I think they seems based on the book, The Hobbit they seems to be energetic, happy and friendly race, but they seem to annoy the other species like the Dwarves which we learnt from from The Short Rest chapter.
The leader Elrond seems more different to the elves, he seems a more serious, rational type of person. I think that what seems to distinguish between Elrond and the other elves.
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Postby Prof. Ruben Orion » Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:57 pm

You know what to do... smile.gif

Chapters open for discussion:
Over Hill and Under Hill
Riddles in the Dark



Guiding questions (again, answer only those you wish):
Bilbo feels the excitement of the adventure and misses home at the same time. How do you picture The Shire as opposed to the scary Mountain path?
"It turned out a good thing that night that they had brought little Bilbo with them, after all." Do you think Gandalf wouldn't have noticed the goblins if it wasn't for Bilbo?
What did you think of the goblins? Scary or funny? Intelligent or dumb?
"He guessed as well as he could, and crawled along for a good way, till suddenly his hand met what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal lying on the floor of the tunnel. It was a turning point in his career, but he did not know it. He put the ring in his pocket almost without thinking; certainly it did not seem of any particular use at the moment." Do you think Tolkien "knew" what the ring was when he wrote this?
Gollum is one of the most controversial characters in Tolkien's books. What's your oppinion of him, based on this chapter?
If you know Gollum from other works (LOTR books/films), do you consider this Gollum different? Perhaps, meaner or wilder?
Confess us! How many riddles did you answer properly? (for those reading the book for the second time, try remembering the first time you read it)
Was Bilbo's last riddle/question fair? And was Gollum palying a fair game, anyway?
What did you like the most about these two chapters?

There you go!
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Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:52 pm

Bilbo feels the excitement of the adventure and misses home at the same time. How do you picture The Shire as opposed to the scary Mountain path?

The language in the book, as Bilbo is remembering the Shire, is so evocative of the halycon days of autumn and the time of harvest. I think that his memories of The Shire are perhaps enhanced by the reality of the bitter cold and biting wind. Was it really that blissful in the Shire at harvest time? Does Bilbo forget about the sweating of labour, the scratching of hay when it falls down the back, the very dirty face, hands, feet and clothing which one has at the end of a day of labouring to bring in the fruits of the summer? Maybe so, but it still seems a LOT more friendly and comfortable than being on that Mountain path!

"It turned out a good thing that night that they had brought little Bilbo with them, after all." Do you think Gandalf wouldn't have noticed the goblins if it wasn't for Bilbo?

Of course. smile.gif I think that this was part of the toughening up time for Bilbo. One has to let others 'apparently' notice, or find, something in order to help them experience things that they need for further tasks.

What did you think of the goblins? Scary or funny? Intelligent or dumb?

The goblins, I think, are rather intelligent in their own way, and on their own turf, I could consider them a foe to respect.

"He guessed as well as he could, and crawled along for a good way, till suddenly his hand met what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal lying on the floor of the tunnel. It was a turning point in his career, but he did not know it. He put the ring in his pocket almost without thinking; certainly it did not seem of any particular use at the moment." Do you think Tolkien "knew" what the ring was when he wrote this?

I really don't think that he knew, at least using his intellect, what the Ring was at that time. In his mind he may well have had all the story already plotted out, but mind is a lot different from intellect. If you mean by "knew" a gnosis sort of knowing, yes. If you mean his intellect 'knew', no.

Gollum is one of the most controversial characters in Tolkien's books. What's your opinion of him, based on this chapter?If you know Gollum from other works (LOTR books/films), do you consider this Gollum different? Perhaps, meaner or wilder?

In this chapter, Gollum actually seems like more of a caricature of some sort of creature than an actual 'person'. His personality doesn't really seem to develop until LoTR, in my opinion. Now, he seems just a way to get that magic ring to Bilbo.

Confess us! How many riddles did you answer properly? (for those reading the book for the second time, try remembering the first time you read it)

I'm terrible at riddles! I don't remember that I did very well at all in answering them; maybe I might have guessed a couple (maybe).

Was Bilbo's last riddle/question fair? And was Gollum playing a fair game, anyway?

I think that his last question was fair - but only because Gollum accepted it and tried to answer. I think Gollum could have challenged it and Bilbo, because "the riddle-game was sacred and of immense antiquity" would have had to change his question. I think that Gollum was trying to play fair, at least at first, but later on he just wanted to win the game because he was hungry and Bilbo seemed like he'd be a good meal. (Kind of like Harry thinking that Professor Slughorn would be attractive to Aragog because of the vast amount of flesh he would provide.)

What did you like the most about these two chapters?

There were two things I liked.
One was the turning point for Bilbo, which actually I think wasn't so much when he found the ring lying on the floor in the tunnel and put it in his pocket, as when he drew out his dagger that he got from the trolls, realized it was an elvish blade, was comforted and decided to go forward. "Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!"
The other was when Bilbo had a flash of what it might be like to be Gollum "A sudden understanding, a pity mixed with horror, well up in Bilbo's heart: a glimpse of endless unmarked days without light or hope of betterment, hard stone, cold fish, sneaking and whispering." He didn't kill Gollum, but instead leapt over him and eventually won his way past the goblins and out to freedom.
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Postby Venefica vom Lehn » Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:17 pm

Bilbo feels the excitement of the adventure and misses home at the same time. How do you picture The Shire as opposed to the scary Mountain path?
The Shire is such a comfy place where everybody knows everyone else and knows everything that's going on everywhere around. The Mountain path, however, is completely new territory for Bilbo. He has never been so high up before, he doesn't know the kind of landscape, he isn't with the people he used to know all his life, he doesn't know when he'll have his next meal. It's just all different, bigger, scarier and so much more dangerous!

"It turned out a good thing that night that they had brought little Bilbo with them, after all." Do you think Gandalf wouldn't have noticed the goblins if it wasn't for Bilbo?
I don't know. In the book it's portrayed as if he wouldn't, but that doesn't really fit into the picture of Gandalf I have, especially knowing his Maia-background. It would have been highly unfitting if he hadn't noticed them and hadn't been able to save them.


What did you think of the goblins? Scary or funny? Intelligent or dumb?
Scary. At least for me and my poor nerves. wink.gif
In LotR, the Orcs that are shown are (if I remember that correctly) always serving someone, either Saruman or Sauron. These Orcs, however, (for goblins are Orcs, in a way) have another Orc as chief. To me, they seem to be more independent, and also in a way more brutal. The Orcs in LotR weren't allowed to harm the Hobbits, but these here never got any command like that.

"He guessed as well as he could, and crawled along for a good way, till suddenly his hand met what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal lying on the floor of the tunnel. It was a turning point in his career, but he did not know it. He put the ring in his pocket almost without thinking; certainly it did not seem of any particular use at the moment." Do you think Tolkien "knew" what the ring was when he wrote this?
I think he had a faint idea. He probably did not fully know it, for, as far as I know, he only realised that the story he was writing on when he was asked to write a sequel to The Hobbit (which is now known to us as LotR) some time after he had begun writing it. (Sorry, awfully long sentece...)

Gollum is one of the most controversial characters in Tolkien's books. What's your oppinion of him, based on this chapter?
I think when I first read The Hobbit (prior to reading LotR), I did pity him a little bit. He knew all those riddles, so I guessed that he once must have been at least from a fairly decent people and not too different from those we now consider to be "good". But I was also scared of him, and that was probably stronger.

If you know Gollum from other works (LOTR books/films), do you consider this Gollum different? Perhaps, meaner or wilder?
In The Hobbit, Gollum is on his own territory. He knows his ways around, he knows how he can harm or even kill Bilbo, and that makes him absolutely dangerous. In LotR, he tried most of the time to do the will of the ringbearer.

Confess us! How many riddles did you answer properly? (for those reading the book for the second time, try remembering the first time you read it)
Even though I had read it all before, I didn't guess all this time. wink.gif
(Just a note on one of the riddles, though. At last year's Ring*Con during a lecture about Old English and Old English riddles, the lecturer (probably was Dr. Rainer Nagel, but I'm not totally sure) told us that the English word "daisy" actually stems from "day's eye" - and that's another name for the Sun! That explains why the two "eyes" are the same. Found this pretty interesting.)

What did you like the most about these two chapters?
I loved the descriptions, especially of the thunderstorm coming up. When Tolkien describes everything and then says that the readers probably know what he's talking about anyway, I just loved that.
Seeing Bilbo totally on his own again is also pretty interesting, because he seems to handle this situation a lot better than with the trolls.
And meeting characters such as the goblins/Orcs and Gollum and comparing them to the way they are portrayed in LotR, that's interesting.


The thing I always had in mind when reading "Riddles in the Dark" was that the version we now have in our copies is, in most cases, not the version that was published first.
I'm not completely sure if I still remember this correctly, but in the first version Tolkien had Bilbo win the contest and Gollum then gave him the Ring as prize and lead him out. While writing LotR and realizing the role of the Ring and of Gollum, Tolkien saw that this didn't fit in - Gollum was at that stage totally addicted to the Ring and wouldn't just have given it away, that wouldn't have been correct to the nature of the Ring. So he then changed that, and now every copy of The Hobbit except for those of the very first edition has this changed chapter in it.


Tarma, I like your idea of Gollum being more or less a carricature.
Actually, when I reread that chapter now, I didn't picture him in my mind as the Gollum from the films, but more from illustrations by John Howe or even like the picture Alan Lee did of Grendel, the monster in "Beowulf". He's still different, and it's more difficult to picture him being, well, modelled after an actual person, if you know what I mean?

And I think you chose two very good points in the story - those two are both really important, you just made me realize that.
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Postby Prof. Ruben Orion » Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:03 pm

Bilbo feels the excitement of the adventure and misses home at the same time. How do you picture The Shire as opposed to the scary Mountain path?
Completely different. The Shire is, on my opinion, the best place in Middle-earth. It might not have the historical background that other places do, but its landscapes are just amazing and, most of all, the hobbits' way of life is everywhere on that country.
As for your questions, Tarma, I don't think Bilbo really knew what it was like to harvest and do those substantially hard tasks he mentioned that sound very pretty but are also very tiring. He was a rich hobbit, even before he got the treasure and I don't think he would do those kind of things. He would have the poetical view he transmitted us and which we enjoy, although some of us know that it is jus ta poetical view of it.

"It turned out a good thing that night that they had brought little Bilbo with them, after all." Do you think Gandalf wouldn't have noticed the goblins if it wasn't for Bilbo?
I agree with you both, Vene and Tarma. I do think that the literary purpose of that was to show that Bilbo was being useful after all and that he might be much more in the future. It serves storyline and it is needed. However, I really cannot picture Gandalf being that careless... He's so clever and always so aware of what's happening around him. He's a Maia and all. It simply just doesn't fit him... at least to the LOTR Gandalf, it doesn't.


What did you think of the goblins? Scary or funny? Intelligent or dumb?
I think they were a bit hysterical with that thing about beater and biter but, apart from that, rather clever and mean. mad.gif I also thought of that, Vene. How come they had their own leader? It just sounds... weird. They seem much more intelligent than the LOTR ones.

"He guessed as well as he could, and crawled along for a good way, till suddenly his hand met what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal lying on the floor of the tunnel. It was a turning point in his career, but he did not know it. He put the ring in his pocket almost without thinking; certainly it did not seem of any particular use at the moment." Do you think Tolkien "knew" what the ring was when he wrote this?
Now that I read what you wrote, Vene, I think he already knew something. He changed the book after or while he was writing The Lord of the Rings and he probably revised that chapter thoroughly. Yes, he knew what it was, though I'm curious and would very much like to read the original text.

Gollum is one of the most controversial characters in Tolkien's books. What's your oppinion of him, based on this chapter?
Well, Gollum is probably my favourite character of all time. I just LOVE him, his personality, his reality, his world, his mind, his naïveness, his fate.
It is kind of difficult to separate this Gollum from the one in LOTR, but there are some moments when we see that this character was already well-developped when Tolkien wrote this (or probably it appears that way, now that he revised it).
"Suddenly Gollum sat down and began to weep, a whistling and gurgling sound horrible to listen to." ; "...It slipped from us, after all these ages and ages! It's gone, gollum."

If you know Gollum from other works (LOTR books/films), do you consider this Gollum different? Perhaps, meaner or wilder?
I think he was meaner, yes. He also seemed much more confident and secure. Thi Gollum frightens me and the one in LOTR doesn't. I don't know how to explain it, but, for some reason, I think he was wilder here, for he had no human contact for ages and he became a bit like those creatures of the tunnels we heard of.

Confess us! How many riddles did you answer properly? (for those reading the book for the second time, try remembering the first time you read it)
I must say I didn't get any of those when I first read that. And still, now, I didn't get like... half. Yay for me and riddles. Why do you think I seldomly played "Who am I?". tongue.gif

Was Bilbo's last riddle/question fair? And was Gollum palying a fair game, anyway?
I don't think it was a fair question. Okay, it was not meant to be a question but, when he saw that Gollum had taken it as part of the game, he should've presented another riddle. Gollum wasn't playing a very fair game with him, it's true, but everyone has its own morality. smile.gif However, I do think Bilbo redeemed himself when he chose not to kill him.

What did you like the most about these two chapters?
I, too, would like to point the sentence that Tarma quoted. That was really the first time we see Bilbo becoming who he was meant to be. I do think it is a very subtle, but important part of the story.
Also, I can't help quoting this, it was so funny:
"Why, O why did I ever leave my hobbit-hole!" said poor Mr. Baggins bumping up and down on Bombur's back.
"Why, O why did I ever bring a wretched little hobbit on a treasure hunt!" said poor Bombur, who was fat, and staggered along with the sweat dripping down his nose in his heat and terror.


*gives a cookie to Tarma for being such a regular poster!*
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Postby Venefica vom Lehn » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:20 am

*pouts* Ruben, I want a cookie, too... laugh.gif


Aaanyway. On to the next chapter!

We are now reading chapter six - Out of the Frying-pan into the Fire!

Guiding questions for you:

Why, do you think, did Bilbo not tell the true story about Gollum and the Ring?
Do you think Gandalf suspected or knew that Bilbo wasn't telling the truth? If so, why didn't he question him?


"Escaping goblins to be caught by wolves" he said, and it became a proverb.
What do you think about this statement? Why did Tolkien include it?


In this chapter, Tolkien mentions twice that Gandalf is afraid, wizard though he was. How does that fit in with your image of this character?

The chapter ends with Bilbo's dream.
Dreams are mentioned quite a lot in Tolkien's works - Bilbo's dream here, Frodo's dream in the house of Tom Bombadil, and the dream that in the RotK Extended Edition is given to Éowyn ("I dreamed I saw a great wave, climbing over green lands and above the hills. I stood upon the brink. It was utterly dark in the abyss before my feet. A light shone behind me, but I could not turn. I could only stand there, waiting."). What do you think, why did he do that, include all those dreams?
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Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:15 pm

Why, do you think, did Bilbo not tell the true story about Gollum and the Ring?
Do you think Gandalf suspected or knew that Bilbo wasn't telling the truth? If so, why didn't he question him?


I think there were a couple of reasons why Bilbo did not tell the true story about Gollum and the Ring.
1) The dwarves had been belittling him and his abilities. For once he does something that really gets their attention as something admirable (and stealthy). I can see he'd feel reluctant to say 'oh it is just this ring and I just happened to find it and it wasn't me who did it, but the ring.
2) The ring was already exerting his influence upon him -- Bilbo is a truthful Hobbit (I think most Hobbits just find it easier to say what is true because that is their nature?) and for such a thing to happen, his telling a deliberate lie, meant that something outside of himself was starting to poison him.
I think that it is stated, purely clearly, that Gandalf suspected something was up -- because he had studied Hobbits for so very long a time, and there was something about the whole explanation which rang false to him.


"Escaping goblins to be caught by wolves" he said, and it became a proverb.
What do you think about this statement? Why did Tolkien include it?


I think it is just something very liken unto "Out of the frying pan into the fire" and is very indicative of going from one 'terrible' situation, feeling relieved about it, and then going into one that is worse! Why did Tolkien include it? No idea, except that it flows with the story very nicely. smile.gif

In this chapter, Tolkien mentions twice that Gandalf is afraid, wizard though he was. How does that fit in with your image of this character?

It simply does not fit into my image of Gandalf at all. The only reason I see him being 'afraid' is that he felt responsible for the welfare of the dwarves and hobbit. But 'fear' for himself? No.

The chapter ends with Bilbo's dream.
Dreams are mentioned quite a lot in Tolkien's works - Bilbo's dream here, Frodo's dream in the house of Tom Bombadil, and the dream that in the RotK Extended Edition is given to Éowyn ("I dreamed I saw a great wave, climbing over green lands and above the hills. I stood upon the brink. It was utterly dark in the abyss before my feet. A light shone behind me, but I could not turn. I could only stand there, waiting."). What do you think, why did he do that, include all those dreams?


I think he wanted to include information about the folks' beliefs and feelings, conscious and subconscious, and that a dream, or set of dreams, were the only way to present them. Also, it is interesting because dreams are also a means of foretelling, or divination, which says interesting things about Tolkien himself. It appears that he may well have believed in dreams as a valid form of communication from what is called 'the future' to a current time, in order to warn about or prepare for changes.

Note: I don't actually like the sterotyping that is done of wolves, here. A true wolf would, I feel, have nothing to do with goblins. I see that he says both 'wolves' and 'wargs', but to me there is a distinct difference. A wolf is of nature; the wargs were 'things' misbred from the wolf species. (My opinion--was it talked about later on, in LotR? Something similar was done with elves, as we found out in LotR.)


ps Thank you for the cookie, Ruben! *munch* *munch* NummmmMMMM biggrin.gif
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Postby Venefica vom Lehn » Sat Oct 07, 2006 5:47 pm

Tarma, I like your point that Gandalf could probably be afraid for those he is responsible for, in a way. That might explain it a bit, cos him fearing for himself doesn't fit in with my picture of him, too.

When I reread that dream now, it reminded me a bit of the Frodo-scene at the end of RotK - when Frodo realizes that he can't stay in the Shire. It was similar for Bilbo, too - he wanted to go away from the Shire, as much as he loved it - wanted to see the world, get around, and find his peace again. The peace that the whole adventure and especially the Ring have stolen.

You also got me thinking on one point - is there anything in Tolkien's universe except for some of the Ainur that is really evil without having been "corrupted" from something good to something bad, like the Orcs? The Balrogs are evil, yes, but they are Maia. There are some trees, like Old Man Willow, that aren't exactly nice, but are they really evil? The Men and Elves and Dwarves and everyone who were so much after power that they started to get evil were very often corrupted, too - by the Ring, by the Silmarils, by that Dwarvish necklace (forgot the name....) in the Silmarillion...
It doesn't really seem to fit that wolves would be truly evil. Nothing is told of how and why they got evil, and usually in Tolkien's works (at least that's how it seems to me now) evil always has a story.
What do you think?
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Postby Venefica vom Lehn » Sun Oct 15, 2006 12:41 pm

Sorry, sorry, sorry for the delay!

We are now reading Chapter Seven - Queer Lodgings. And because of the delay I think we should continue to talk about this chapter until October 23rd to give more people a chance to still join in.



Okay, on to questions...

What do you think about Beorn? His animals, his home, his character?
How would you have felt to stay at his home?


When Gandalf leaves them, the dwarves and Bilbo are really sad and discouraged. What does his disappearance stir in you?

Just those few questions this time, so you're free to use your imagination and talk about anything you want to. biggrin.gif
Maybe life is like rain. Alive if you let it be; lousy and depressing if you don't.
Taken from 50% Chance of Lightning by Cristina Salat.

~ venefica vom Lehn ~ Staff-member of the HOLTolkienSociety ~ Hufflepuff Seventh Year ~

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Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Mon Oct 16, 2006 7:37 am

We are now reading Chapter Seven - Queer Lodgings.

Okay, on to questions...

What do you think about Beorn? His animals, his home, his character?
How would you have felt to stay at his home?


This is one of my favourite chapters in the whole story -- I absolutely love the whole idea of "He lives in an oak-wood and has a great wooden house; and as a man he keeps cattle and horses which are nearly as marvellous as himself. They work for him and talk to him. He does not eat them; neither does he hunt or eat wild animals. He keeps hives and hives of great fierce bees, and lives most on cream and honey. As a bear he ranges far and wide. ..."

I don't know how comfortable I'd be to stay at his home; I think it would really depend on if he invited me there or not. I'd much prefer to encounter one of his horses and have them invite me in and tell him that they invited me. I think that then he'd feel okay about it, since one of his horses invited me there. I'd feel very strange about being there because of a sort of trickery, as was employed by Gandalf. I find the thought very comfortable of talking with the horses and cattle (and other animal people) because I do that already. (Yes, Professor Angel's class of Animal Mythology was (and is) in resonance with me and my way of life.)

As for his character, he is protective of those he feels responsible for. He is like the Mamabear with baby cubs. Don't ever bother the cubs of a Mamabear if you value your health and/or continued residence in your body. *shrug* I like the way he watched over his equine friends after the Dwarves (and Hobbit) left his residence. I don't think he was guarding the Dwarves (and Hobbit) so much as making sure his pony friends are okay.

I wonder if the long-bodied large grey dogs were something like Irish Wolfhounds or Scottish Deerhounds. I have a bit of difficulty with the 'intelligence' of the sheep, but then, I've not been around many of them since I realized I actually am communicating, in a very viable way, with what most two-leggeds call animals. Perhaps things would be different now.


When Gandalf leaves them, the dwarves and Bilbo are really sad and discouraged. What does his disappearance stir in you?

Not much, actually, except a bit of wanting to say 'grow up' to the Dwarves. tongue.gif

I wish that there was something of Beorn in the LotR movie -- of that family anyway. But they cut him and Tom Bombadil, in order for it not to be hours and hours longer, I guess... *mutters*
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Postby Venefica vom Lehn » Mon Oct 16, 2006 7:55 pm

I agree with you, Tarma - having been invited to stay there would make me much more comfortable in Beorn's house! Otherwise I would probably be really scared, because he seems to be so strong and everything, even in his human form.
What irritates me a bit about him is that he seems to think like a human even when he's been transformed into a bear, because most times you hear about were-beings, they lose their human sides during the transformance.
Maybe life is like rain. Alive if you let it be; lousy and depressing if you don't.
Taken from 50% Chance of Lightning by Cristina Salat.

~ venefica vom Lehn ~ Staff-member of the HOLTolkienSociety ~ Hufflepuff Seventh Year ~

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Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:45 pm

I'm remembering other examples, though -- Professor McGonagall surely doesn't think like a cat when she turns into one.

I actually felt no sense of irritation of him having similiar thoughts while occupying a bear body. Perhaps Beorn is not strictly a 'were, but an animagus of sorts? Also, the Eagle was able to hold quite an extended conversation with Gandalf. Perhaps Tolkien doesn't limit the intelligence of a 'person' to the form they occupy.

Maybe he is referring to other 'tribal beliefs', where animal people DO have thoughts like two-leggeds. Many of the traditions of the Indians of North America give credence to the knowing that animal people are simply a member of the tribe of 'all people'.
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Postby Venefica vom Lehn » Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:39 pm

Of course, how could I have forgotten the Animagi! *shakes her head* You're absolutely right, once again, Tarma. biggrin.gif
Maybe life is like rain. Alive if you let it be; lousy and depressing if you don't.
Taken from 50% Chance of Lightning by Cristina Salat.

~ venefica vom Lehn ~ Staff-member of the HOLTolkienSociety ~ Hufflepuff Seventh Year ~

Nothing has [color=orange]ever felt so right and natural and true and good.[/color]
Taken from Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden.

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Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:31 am

That was never any 5 minutes! Monty Python

Anyway, I was thinking about what you said about being comfortable there. I don't know that I would be really comfortable in his house... I might be wondering if he would change his mind about how welcome I was. ohmy.gif Even if a horse invited me, I'd be wondering, because it is Beorn's home.

Quite frankly, I can think of no reason that Beorn himself would invite me to stay. So, I think while it is a great place to visit, I don't know I'd feel comfortable staying for any length of time.
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Postby Venefica vom Lehn » Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:05 pm

Okay, on to the next discussion!
*sets out a plate of cookies*

We are now discussing Chapter Eight, Flies and Spiders.


Describe the impression this chapter had on you - overall impression, and how it changed in the course of the chapter.

Which situation was most scary for you personally?

Which elves do you like better - the ones in Rivendell, or the Wood-Elves described in this chapter? (We will get to see more of them, of course, but judging on your first impression.) Where are differences apparent between those two kindreds?


And this is the new schedule:

Week 1 (September 12th - September 18th) - Chapter 1
Week 2 (September 19th - September 25th) - Chapters 2 & 3
Week 3 (September 26th - October 2nd) - Chapters 4 & 5
Week 4 (October 3rd - October 9th) - Chapter 6
Weeks 5 and 6 (October 10th - October 23rd) - Chapter 7
Week 7 (October 24th - October 30th) - Chapter 8
Week 8 (October 31st - November 6th) - Chapters 9 & 10
Week 9 (November 7th - November 13th) - Chapters 11 & 12
Week 10 (November 14th - November 20th) - Chapters 13 & 14
Week 11 (November 21st - November 27th) - Chapters 15 & 16 & 17
Week 12 (November 28th - December 5th) - Chapters 18 & 19
Last edited by Venefica vom Lehn on Tue Oct 24, 2006 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Maybe life is like rain. Alive if you let it be; lousy and depressing if you don't.
Taken from 50% Chance of Lightning by Cristina Salat.

~ venefica vom Lehn ~ Staff-member of the HOLTolkienSociety ~ Hufflepuff Seventh Year ~

Nothing has [color=orange]ever felt so right and natural and true and good.[/color]
Taken from Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden.

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Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:11 am

Describe the impression this chapter had on you - overall impression, and how it changed in the course of the chapter.

This chapter was the start of it being less of a 'nice fairy tale' and got into a gritty situation. For some reason, the whole business with the spiders was eerie. It was, to me, liken unto drifting into a bad dream, when they all entered into Mirkwood.

Which situation was most scary for you personally?

The whole business with the spiders!

At the same time, though, this is where Bilbo starts showing what he is capable of, in terms of bravery, initiative and creativeness.

Which elves do you like better - the ones in Rivendell, or the Wood-Elves described in this chapter? (We will get to see more of them, of course, but judging on your first impression.) Where are differences apparent between those two kindreds?

I really don't like how the Wood-Elves are described in this chapter! It is difficult for me to reconcile Legolas, a Wood-Elf, with these folks! The wood-elves seemed a lot more stand-offish; they didn't want to have anything to do with folks who might 'interrupt' their feast -- even though they most likely were very aware of the dangerous creatures that the dwarves and Bilbo might encounter. They don't show the compassion that Elrond and the other elves in Rivendell had for the dwarves and hobbit (even though it was a 'distant' sort of compassion).
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Postby Venefica vom Lehn » Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:43 pm

Describe the impression this chapter had on you - overall impression, and how it changed in the course of the chapter.
I think it is one of the creepiest and scariest chapters of the whole book. It really is like a nightmare. At the beginning I was really waiting and waiting for something good to come and change the situation, but it just kept getting worse and worse, somehow.

Which situation was most scary for you personally?
When I read the description of the spider making its web around Bilbo, that was scariest for me. I usually don't have a problem with spiders, but if they get too big they're not exactly my favourite animals any longer. wink.gif And those descriptions about the hairy legs and everything were far too vivid for my liking. wink.gif

Which elves do you like better - the ones in Rivendell, or the Wood-Elves described in this chapter? (We will get to see more of them, of course, but judging on your first impression.) Where are differences apparent between those two kindreds?
The Elves in Rivendell are more, well, elf-like to my understanding. Probably because the Elves we mainly see in LotR and the Silmarillion are those Elves who did travel to the Undying Lands, and not those who, like these Wood-Elves, stayed behind.
I have to admit, though, that I completely forgot that these Elves did not go to Valinor. And having read this chapter and seen those strange and, well, silly? Elves, I have to say that I now have a different look at Legolas in the films. wink.gif
Maybe life is like rain. Alive if you let it be; lousy and depressing if you don't.
Taken from 50% Chance of Lightning by Cristina Salat.

~ venefica vom Lehn ~ Staff-member of the HOLTolkienSociety ~ Hufflepuff Seventh Year ~

Nothing has [color=orange]ever felt so right and natural and true and good.[/color]
Taken from Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden.

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Postby Venefica vom Lehn » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:42 pm

Here we go again... *pours some tea for tarma and herself* cool.gif

We are now discussing Chapters 9 and 10 - Barrels Out Of Bond and A Warm Welcome.


What do you think about Bilbo's plan? And how would you have reacted to it if you had been one of the dwarves?

Why, oh why do the Wood-Elves have so many separate prison cells? wink.gif (Just something that irritated me while reading...)

And what do you think of the Wood-Elves getting drunk?

From the descriptions, did you like the Wood-Elves' palace? Why / why not?


Now that Men come into the story for the first time, what is your impression of them?

Do you think the song really meant Thorin and company, or was it just coincidence?

Why is Bilbo unhappy at the end of this chapter?
Maybe life is like rain. Alive if you let it be; lousy and depressing if you don't.
Taken from 50% Chance of Lightning by Cristina Salat.

~ venefica vom Lehn ~ Staff-member of the HOLTolkienSociety ~ Hufflepuff Seventh Year ~

Nothing has [color=orange]ever felt so right and natural and true and good.[/color]
Taken from Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden.

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Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:32 am

Thank you for the tea, Vene. smile.gif

I waited, just in case someone else wanted to answer first, but finally couldn't wait any more! Now we are getting into the nitty-gritty of The Hobbit.

What do you think about Bilbo's plan? And how would you have reacted to it if you had been one of the dwarves?

I think that, as a plan, it is rather clever. But I really do think that if I was a dwarf, I'd be really looking for an alternative method of getting out of there!

Why, oh why do the Wood-Elves have so many separate prison cells? (Just something that irritated me while reading...)

That's odd, because it didn't occur to me to be irritated. Maybe I thought that they had put cells in natural pockets of the cave? Hmmm. Good point!

And what do you think of the Wood-Elves getting drunk?

I find it logical, even if it doesn't fit with the rest of the Lord of the Ring books. *g* It fits this story! And besides, how else would Bilbo, doughty hobbit that he is, have burglarized the keys?

From the descriptions, did you like the Wood-Elves' palace? Why / why not?

I am just so surprised it is not in the trees! I somehow think that a Wood-Elf palace would be in trees and 'above ground'. I think I would like it fine, but am just surprised that 'wood-elves' live there. *shrug* I don't know why.

Now that Men come into the story for the first time, what is your impression of them?

I don't think very highly of Men, as portrayed by Tolkien, quite frankly. Greedy, grasping, power-hungry and rude -- there are so few 'men' who have chosen to be honorable and true.

Do you think the song really meant Thorin and company, or was it just coincidence?

I think it was a deliberate reminder to the dwarves. *cg*

Why is Bilbo unhappy at the end of this chapter?

I think he felt distinctly underappreciated. He did something which was, in retrospect, rather impossible and was just taken for granted. Besides, he had a cold. That could cause anyone to feel unhappy. dry.gif

Nice questions. Nice tea. cool.gif
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Postby Venefica vom Lehn » Wed Nov 08, 2006 10:45 pm

We are now reading chapter 11 - On the Doorstep and chapter 12 - Inside Information.

I am sorry that I do not have any questions for you right now. I'm currently packing my stuff for Ring*Con, leaving tomorrow! *excited*
So please feel free to just linger on any point you would like to discuss. Or maybe you could ask questions? smile.gif
*scuttles off to check her list again in order not to forget important stuff - like her Hobbit ears* biggrin.gif
Maybe life is like rain. Alive if you let it be; lousy and depressing if you don't.
Taken from 50% Chance of Lightning by Cristina Salat.

~ venefica vom Lehn ~ Staff-member of the HOLTolkienSociety ~ Hufflepuff Seventh Year ~

Nothing has [color=orange]ever felt so right and natural and true and good.[/color]
Taken from Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden.


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