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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 9:39 pm 
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We'll have plenty of opportunities to talk about Éowyn later in the discussion!

I think it may be almost time to move on to the next chapter.

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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 9:59 pm 
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I do sense a little champing at the bit here. :D

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 10:19 pm 
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Last edited by Jnyusa on Sat Sep 06, 2008 3:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 10:22 pm 
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No problem, Jn.

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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 3:51 pm 
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I've unstickied this thread and started a new one for the next chapter, stickying that one so that it remains on top. But please feel free to add any observations about this chapter.

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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 9:07 pm 
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Late in the arrival, but here is my two cents.


I think it is important for Bilbo to have been a bachelor. While he is intrinsically tied to the events of LOTR, the adventure is not his. Had Bilbo been married and had children, the logical choice would have been to make the adventure a geneological inheritance on his own family. Frodo being thrust into the adventure, woefully unprepared but still capable makes for a much more fulfilling completion of the hero's journey.

Also, I believe Bilbo's journey and the Hobbit culture necessitate his being a single anyway. Bilbo's experience, and how it affects his personality and perceptions of life and the world about him creates such a departure from the norm that no Hobbit would even consider him marriage material considering societal constraints and Bilbo is just as likely to judge no Hobbit suitable for himself because of his experiences and perceptions about the world around him. You will also note that Frodo ends up in similar status.

Sam, Merry and Pippen all do not follow this path of bachelorism. I believe Sam was not only fighting for the Shire and Frodo, but just as importantly, Rosie. Frodo makes Sam's family his surrogates, just as he was a part of the Tooks and then Bilbo's surrogate family. Merry doesn't suffer from the ring itself, and perhaps that is why he moves on. Pippen is the youngest of the group, and essentially is able to re-adjust.

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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 3:38 pm 
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A goof! A goof!

I don't know why I never noted it before....

Gaffer Gamgee wrote:
And Mr Drogo was staying at Brandy Hall with his father-in-law, old Master Gorbadoc, as he often did after his marriage (him being partial to his vittles, and old Gorbadoc keeping a mighty generous table): and he went out boating on the Brandywine River; and he and his wife were drownded, and poor Mr. Frodo only a child and all.


Except for one problem: when Drogo and Primula drownded in 1380, Gorbadoc Brandybuck (according to Appendix C) had been dead for 17 years!


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 4:32 pm 
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The mystery of the Drogo/Primula boating accident deepens! It was clearly a paranormal event.

:spin:

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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 4:59 pm 
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I love the word "drownded".


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 6:33 pm 
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Perhaps we have a part that can be played in the movie by Frelga's dead Russian actor.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:30 pm 
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Yes I'm really late to this thread but I'll give it a shot anyways :)

Personally I would have found it almost impossible to believe that Bilbo had gotten married if I had read the Hobbit before first reading LOTR. For me its because quite honestly I can't see him finding anyone among the hobbit folk even remotely suitable for his taste (or Frodo's for that matter). After the journey Bilbo had changed so much that he was no longer one of the hobbits (if he ever was that is). Who would have he been able to live with? Even Frodo before he went on his trip was significantly different from Bilbo if only due to Bilbo's experiences. No a personality like Frodo's (before his adventure) made a good protégé but I can't see Bilbo being able to marry someone like that.

Just my 0.02$ :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2008 10:33 pm 
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That's why we have the discussion set up this way, swiz: so that no one is ever too late to comment on any particular chapter.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2008 12:29 am 
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I must say this set up has worked wonderfully. I can't imagine myself posting something about the first chapter in a thread where everyone else was discussing chapter 5! :rofl:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:53 pm 
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I haven't read the chapter yet, but I just read through this thread. I haven't decided yet if I want to do it this way, where I can then concentrate on issues you guys have brought up... or if I want to come up with my own issues, and post those as well as reaction to the discussion... Anyway, I thought I'd comment on some of what was discussed before I read it.

Particularly the issue of Bilbo being a bachelor and adopting Frodo. It occured to me reading this thread, that Bilbo's adoption of Frodo might have been from the very beginning, a plan to get rid of the ring.

It seems likely to me that Bilbo would have recognized some effect of the ring from the very beginning, either through his desire to use it more, or possibly his inability to "settle down" and be a normal hobbit. It's possible he recognized the ring as malevolent from a very early time. Then through the same reasoning people had here of why Bilbo had to be a bachelor... he would have realized he would never marry or have an heir... and so he had to find an heir, and in fact groom that heir to be able to handle the ring... otherwise he'd never be rid of it.

This follows (I think) with VtF's discussion of the versions of the party chapter... as with each revision we get closer to the inevitable truth that with the ring being what it was... Bilbo wouldn't have gotten married, couldn't have beared giving the ring to his son, and would struggle mightily with giving it away even if he had planned to for Frodo's entire life.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:54 pm 
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I hope I am not too late to the discussion, and that a different perspective will be welcomed.

The chapter has, to my eye, a very deliberate introductory structure. There are three or four paragraphs that reacquaint us with Bilbo, and give the briefest of back stories regarding Frodo, before the reader is transported into the present, and the discussions in The Ivy Bush tavern. The first character to speak in this present world; the narrative as happening, is Gaffer Gamgee. It is through his eyes that the events and personalities of Bilbo, Frodo and the upcoming party are presented. I am certain this is no accident of Tolkien's. The choice of Hamfast Gamgee at what is the very beginning of the narrative introduces the reader to the whole bookending of Lord of the Rings. The tale begins, and ends, with the Gamgees. I think there is a very simple reason for this; whether intended originally by Tolkien or not (and I am inclined to the latter), Sam Gamgee is the pivotal hero of the Lord of the Rings.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:05 pm 
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Never too late; we set this discussion up in this way so that people could always come back and comment on previous chapters fairly easily without interrupting the current discussion.

And how boring would the world be without different perspectives?

Tolkien himself called Sam the "chief hero" of LOTR (letter 131). Whether that shows that was his original intention, I can't really say.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:26 pm 
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I suppose LotR is unusual in that all the drafts and changes can be followed. Ordinarily I would say there's no way to know whether the beginning of a story is as originally written, really the beginning, or whether a later idea or insight brought the writer back to it much later.

It seems entirely possible that Sam was not seen as the hero from the start; Tolkien does write about him in such a dismissive way sometimes! Or maybe Tolkien knew what he was about and wanted readers to get a wrong impression, so they would be that much more surprised and moved by Sam's later heroism.

One could almost theorize that he was reinforcing the class-based clichés about Sam only in order to explode them later.

But I speak as someone who's read only a few bits of HoMe and who last read the letters some years ago.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:10 pm 
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Well, since Sam didn't even exist when the first drafts were written, and didn't appear until well into the drafting of the first part of the story, if we seriously mean "from the start" than the answer is clearly no.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:12 pm 
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See? All you have to do around here is post, and Tolkien scholars drop from the rafters and answer your question. :D

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:43 pm 
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I maintain that it is Aragorn who is the protagonist of the story, and that the hobbits (while important) are secondary characters. The story can be construed as a culmination of the Akallabêth.

And I suppose if you want to get right down to the roots, it is a final ending of the War of Wrath.

It seems to me that the hobbits are central to this act of the story, but not on the broader scope of it.

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