Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Page | Next Page

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!


Sep. 9th, 2012 04:33 am (UTC)
My take on the smoke line was always that it was meant to indicate proper ventilation, clear flues for fireplaces, etc.

When I moved into my first Chicago apartment, I was surprised by the extra-high ceilings and odd covered bits on the wall. As I understand it, they were sconces for gas lights. Given when this was written, that seems plausible to me.

Reading this now, I'm struck as never before by how wealthy the Bagginses are. Kitchens, plural! The most luxurious hobbit-hole to be found around. Bilbo is definitely an old bachelor. It really does make the adventuring seem like a character change, as it ought. (As a kid, I just took that for granted.)

Finally, I was wondering just the other day how tall hobbits were, since my 2-year-old just hit 3'. And ... yeah, that's about how tall hobbits are. Shorter even, if they've half the height of an average person. That's crazy! OK, it makes the part about riding dogs as ponies reasonable (or was that just in D&D?). But she can't reach the sink faucets yet! Farming? House-building -- ahh, maybe that's why they prefer holes instead of frame houses. Adventuring? ... Well, maybe. (But she's more gnome than hobbit.) Having a 3' person running about the house, as graceful as an egg beater, does give me a much different appreciation for all the funny looks the hobbits get in the books.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 10th, 2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
FWIW, Peter Dinklage is 4'5", which is nearly 50% taller than E., so 1.5x-2x taller than suggested hobbits. That's a huge difference.