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This is going to be odd... reading such a classic of fantasy like this! Should be interesting...

Also, I should note that, I'm reminded in reading the preface that this is a "corrected" version, and has the Riddle Game (in chapter 5) changed to reflect how things pan out in Lord of the Rings, or some such. (I'm not really sure how it was before honestly, or what changed!) So I'm wondering if anyone else will have a different version when we get there...

"A very comfortable tunnel without smoke..." do many underground tunnels contain smoke? Hum. Anyhow, reading this description always makes me tempted to have an underground house. :p

You know, I'm wondering now where the inspiration for the hobbits came from. If they were just created whole-cloth by Tolkien, unlike the elves and dwarves which came from folklore, or what. (Of course, it's even harder probably to tell nowadays since they in turn have influenced various things, like halflings in D&D...)

So... I'm guessing Tolkien was a believer of Nature over Nurture. :p Okay okay, it's probably not fair to declare what someone believes based on what they might make use of to tell a story. Anyhow...

Given Bilbo's initial reaction to the idea of adventure, one wonders how things would have turned out in his life had Gandalf never strolled by his hobbit-hole... would a desire for adventure eventually have reared its head regardless? If so, would he have heeded it, or just sat around and been miserable as a "respectable" hobbit? Or would such a taste never have come up, and he'd have been completely content in his respectability? Given how he reacts after Gandalf introduces himself, I tend to lean toward a desire for adventure making itself known somehow, sooner or later, but it's interesting to ponder. Well, I think so. *cough* anyhow...

Geez, reading this chapter is making me hungry. Also: rude dwarves! What do they think this is, a cafe? Even if a couple of them do lend a hand. A very brief one.

And just in case everything seemed to be getting serious, we get told about how a battle was won, and golf invented, all at the same time. :p

"A most specially greedy, strong and wicked worm called Smaug"... I wonder if that superlative description might be just a teeeeny bit biased? Not that I'm going to argue it, if Thorin's story is at all accurate.

Dwarves: Still rude! Seriously, I'm starting to wonder if part of the reason I've never liked dwarves as much as other fantasy races in general has been because of this book, now that I think it over!


Remember, Friday we cover Chapters 2 and 3!

Comments

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stormfeather
Sep. 7th, 2012 04:05 pm (UTC)
I think the narrator is someone generally in our (or Tolkien's, specifically) time, who for whatever reason knows of the Old Things and knows the old stories or whatever. At least, that's the impression I remember getting from this plus the trilogy.

And if golf were invented back then by a hobbit, it wouldn't be an anachronism!
khedron
Sep. 9th, 2012 04:22 am (UTC)
And if golf were invented back then by a hobbit, it wouldn't be an anachronism!

Heh!

I've always -- well, for the past 20 some years, at any rate -- had the mental image of the Hobbit starting out as Tolkien telling stories to his kids. There's a lot I'll forgive a modern narrator sitting around a camp fire that I'd question in a novel taking itself seriously.
stormfeather
Sep. 10th, 2012 05:29 pm (UTC)
True, this is why I try not to get TOO nitpicky with things like this, or the Alice books - because they have that sort of hand-wavey vibe.
stormfeather
Sep. 7th, 2012 04:06 pm (UTC)
As for the Dwarves' rudeness, it is obviously down to a difference in cultural expectations. :) Also, as far as the dwarves are concerned, Bilbo's going to be leaving town with them for an extended period, so they're doing him a favor by helping him eat up all the perishable foodstuffs!

If that's the case, remind me never to put myself at the mercy of dwarven culture. :p And I'm quite sure Bilbo's neighbors would be all too happy to help him out by eating perishables, once they realize he's gone for a while!
khedron
Sep. 9th, 2012 05:14 am (UTC)
If that's the case, remind me never to put myself at the mercy of dwarven culture. :p

I think someone said that when we were talking about Dragon Age (#1), too!