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Now that the movies are on a roll(let's keep our hairy toes and pointy ears crossed) how many of you are going to re-read the book,that is The Hobbit?I started last week,in a cosy corner of my college library and once the exams are over I hope to make some time and finish it.It was so absorbing and awesome,like back when I read it for the first time and I had a hard time putting it down.So for people unlike lucky-Leelee(who has family book reading sessions of The HobbitSmile SmilieSmile Smilie) how many of you are going to be reliving The Hobbit before the movie releases?

Dum dee dum

Oh yes, Odette...def going to re-read this....(How lucky is LeeLee to have family book reading sessions!!....)...you know this book is really deep....what do you think of Bilbo's decision to basically steal the Arkenstone....??.....Well, it is quite clear Thorin saw it as a betrayal......but Gandalf congratulated Bilbo.....i think Bilbo was right to do it...but , oh dear, I dont think i could have done it.....what do you think??.....

I always seem to be reading something from Tolkien......  Cant wait for the films and hopeing that they stick to the written materials as much as possible.

Well, we can hope Brego, there is always hope.

I am torn about the taking of the Arkenstone. Personally, if I knew how much, how terribly much it meant to Thorin I should not have touched it with a ten foot pole except to retrieve it and give it to him. After all it was not as if Bilbo was a part of the history and emotion that was the Arkenstone. his people did not suffer or toil, to me it was simply not his right, whatever Gandalf said. But Gandalf having said those words at all tells me that in the end it somehow had to do with the wishes of Illuvatar and so what was, was.

I agree Lee Lee. However I think that Bilbo probably meant for it to be some type of bargaining chip to be used to broker some kind of peace between the other free folk.  The greed awakened in the Dwarves after seeing so much of there previous wealth scared Bilbo.  I think Bilbo realised as soon as he witnessed the change in the Dwarves demeanor that action would need to be taken if a peacful outcome was to be achieved.  Then of course the Orc gang came along...

I wander how the design of the Arkenstone is coming along and what it will look like...  Sad that the stone now lies hidden under the mountain lying in state on poor old Thorin's chest.  Makes me sad.

I admit that what Bilbo did was slightly wrong but it was Thorin's stubborn and changed behavior which drove him to do it.And Bilbo knew that Thorin desired nothing more than the Arkenstone,so what better to use to blackmail him into a treaty.

I think Bard and his people deserved a share but not the Woodland Elves.I don't  like them at all.

I absolutely agree Odette, but everyone has there own opinion

I have decided not to re-read the Hobbit until I have seen the movie. I am a purist and it is best that the details about what really happens (meaning: what happens in the book) is a bit blurry. That way I might not be so annoyed about the changes that PJ are bound to make. Wink Smilie

I am really really really looking forward to seeing Mikael Persbrandt as Beorn. He is fierce! 

Yes Amarie I agreeblush,but I was way too blurry having read the book almost 10 years back,had to go through it.

I remembered only bits about Beorn and the Dwarves and Smaug and nothing else.Pathetic.

What really surprised me was the magnetism of the book.I read it when I was 11 and now that I read it again I still got so happy and energized.

Do I have problems or does the book wield such serious magic for everyone?

I can't wait to see Beorn and the Eagles and that Bilbo-Gollum riddle scene...

Ah me Brego I think you are right about the Arkenstone. And, at first I too was deeply saddened at the thought that there it rested upon Thorin's now quiet breast for all time. But as Fili and Kili( I still feel like weeping when I think of their deaths) also lie there and the stone was about them and their people, I now feel it belongs under the mountain and does not belong to anyone else to even touch it.

I too have a real problem with those wood elves, to me they are so unelven like as to make me feel almost hostile to them. And their king, what a if you pardon my language, WIERDO. And selfish and greedy and well I think the only thing he should have received was a bunch of fivers on the nose. I

Yeah I agree Leels.What belongs to the earth,should rest there.And if a thing of beauty is made it should be put into a museum kind of place,where everyone can appreciate it,with due credit to the creator(think FeanorSmile Smilie)

I have a deep dislike for the Woodland Elves.I hated it when they used to vanish with all their lights and food when the dwarves or Bilbo chanced upon them.They should have helped instead of acting like bulbs.Poor dwarves and Bilbo were starving and thirstySad Smilie

But Thorin will never have my sympathy.Poor Fili and KiliSad Smilie

Lee Lee true regarding the Wood Elves seeming selfish and rude.  However we must remember that fresh in the memory of Thranduil and his people are the hideous actions of the Dwarves in Doriath many thousands of years earlier.  The Sindar would mistrust the Dwarves and would consider them incredibly devious and probably suspected exactly what Thorin and co were up to. They would dislike the unfriend Dwarves as much as the Dwarves disliked them.  Remember the Lothlorien Elves mentioning to Gimli that they had not had dealings with the Naugrim since the dark days...

I wonder what would have happened if Gandalf had been with them when they came close to Thranduil's halls....  How would Thranduil have reacted and would Gandalf have been honest with him?

To add...

The text notes that if the Elves have a fault, it is distrust of strangers, and thus it would seem they have a magical (and arguably 'automatic' or at least very quick) defense against strangers who appear to run at them in the night (externally I think we have here an echo of mortals breaking a fairy-ring: the immortals 'vanish' -- with the mortals cast into bewilderment and dream).


Anyway, did the Elves try to feast again? Yes; but they are minding their own business, and after the first encounter the Dwarves might have guessed they had put the Elves on edge, who now could reasonably be expected to be more wary.

Moreover I think the text even confirms the idea that it was the Dwarves who roused the Spiders (arguably putting the Elves in danger even if the Dwarves knew it wasn't intentional):

 

'After blundering frantically in the gloom, falling over logs, bumping crash into trees, and shouting and calling till they must have waked everything in the forest for miles, at last they managed...'

 

Thorin admits that the Dwarves likely frightened the Elves, thus his plan to send Bilbo, but the Elves are already in defense mode -- again especially now -- yet they do not harm anyone, only flee and try to attend to their business (which they have every right to attend to). And the Dwarves 'shout and call' a second time... and a third time: 'the wood was filled again with their clamour and their cries.'


As Brego noted, the text also notes the ancient days when there had been strife with Dwarves, and that Thorin was thought an enemy simply by being a dwarf -- or at least possibly so, giving more credence to why the Elves thought what they thought.
 

I do understand the Elbes distrust for strangers, however, sine they have lived so very long and have seen for their very own selves the consequences of selfish rude behaviour in others from antiquity, they know better. There is never an excuse in my opinion , to be in your face selfish and rude, judging one and all by the actions of a few from the long past so that they were simply perpetrating more ill will. That is so far from wise they might as well have been orcs.  Sorry but that is how I felt when I read the Hobbit.

But remember that Thranduil and the Elves thought the Dwarves were attacking them. Thorin even admits that they likely frightened the Elves, and the fact that there were old memories (not unreasonably) fuelled their perception of things.

Thranduil questioned them, but the Dwarves: 'They were surly and angry and did not even pretend to be polite.' And Balin even needles the king that the spiders might be the pets of the Elves! And 'him' is Thorin:

'They gave him food and drink, plenty of both if not very fine; for Wood Elves were not goblins and were reasonably well behaved even to their worst enemies (...).'  

Wisdom and tolerance might be more expected in general from the long lived Elves, but keep in mind the specific circumstances the Elves were dealing with here -- from their perspective at least (not the wider perspective of the reader), the Wood Elves can only know so much regarding their 'attackers'.

That is true, I concede that, but what of their being in a hurry to go and help themselves to the wealth underneath the belly of Smaug. They just seemed so ..........greedy and that repulsed me.What of that dear friend?

As I see it, the dwarfs did have a treasure chest there before smaug took over the mountain and after the demise of smaug they were able to plough through the treasure and find their missing heirlooms including the Arkenstone. I think the extra horde accumulated during smaug's reign of terror increased their desire yes! I'd like to think that they knew that much of the extra stash did not belong to them but to those who were the victims of smaug's terror.

(...) but what of their being in a hurry to go and help themselves to the wealth underneath the belly of Smaug. They just seemed so ..........greedy and that repulsed me. What of that dear friend? 

 

Well, regarding the dragon's hoard, the story relates that if the Elf-king had a weakness it was for treasure. Yet still I consider...

A) Tolkien seemingly provides a claim, of sorts, to some of the hoard, as it's noted that the Elves felt that Dwarves had stolen their treasure at some point (although the Dwarves told a different account).

And heading for the Mountain...

B) 'But the king [Thranduil], when he received the prayers of Bard, had pity, for he was the lord of a good and kindly people; so turning his March, which had at first been directed towards the Mountain, he hastened now down the river to the Long Lake.'

C) And when Bard wished to set upon Dwarves with archers and spearmen, Thranduil said: 'Long will I tarry, ere I begin this war for gold. The Dwarves cannot pass us, unless we will, or do anything that we cannot mark. Let us hope still for something that will bring reconciliation. Our advantage in numbers will be enough, if in the end it must come to unhappy blows.'

The goblins changed things, as we know, and after the battle the Elvenking accepted the reward of the emeralds of Girion. The treasure was mingled with much of the wealth of Girion's halls and towns, and the Elves had already allied with the Men, and were apparently content with this measure.

There was more than one claim for the hoard; but anyway, Thranduil's weakness for treasure is not the only consideration here in my opinion (not that you said it was, of course).

Even if the Org gang had not turn up for the party, would there really have been a peaceful ending? I mean Thorin had been pondering whether it would have been possible to take back the Arkenstone with the help of his kindred. 

 

Also consider than in the end Thorin refused to reedeemed the Arkenstone and the hosts departed with it. Wouldn't there have been a grudge between the dwarves, men and elves which might have lead to worst things. As mush as I absolutely hate what Bilbo did, in the end lets just say it was planned by Eru for the benefit of those who were to reside in that part!

Thank you Galin. Thorin it is lovely to see you, I wish you were able to join us daily; and you are right. Thank you both.

As usual well researched Galin.
We also have to keep in mind the ring spell which the Dwarves were inflicted by, thanks to Sauron.  Although the Dwarf rings had been taken back or destroyed by the time the Hobbit came along, Smaug's stash in some ways would have been incredibly seductive to Thorin and Co.  Their change of behavior is palpable once they sight the treasure.

There was a similar reaction to gold and treasure by Mim the Dwarf when he claimed the treasure of Thingol, ages before, in Doriath. Hurin certainly had a different reaction to Mims guile in claiming the stash and dealt with him very harshly because of it.

I am reading The Two Towers currently, which bears much on the happenings of the four hobbits in this book.

The release of the first Hobbit movie is over 17 months away which leaves me plenty of time to re-read the book properly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have just had the pleasure of reading The Hobbit and the trilogy to my girlfriend (her first time). She loved it and I must say that I seemed to have gotten more out of it reading it out-loud to someone than reading it to myself by oil lamp before bed.

 

I read the books at least bi-annually, but I definitely seemed to squeeze a little more feeling out of certain parts than reading inwardly. It sure made me look like a wimp though, I didn't really think of the fact that the books bring me to tears on a regular basis and that "Homeward Bound", "The Scouring of The Shire" and "The Grey Havens" seem to keep up a constant snivel. Oh, well. I don't know if I am even going to watch the hobbit movie. I can't sit through the LOTR movies because of changes and errors. We will see :p

I don't re-read books by myself that much, but who knows..

Maybe I'll make an exception on The Hobbit, since I've had the newest release (at least here in Finland) of it in my bookshelf for about 2-3 years. I bought it from a random bookstore at that time, but I forgot to read it.

I read books at times, but I mostly enjoy writing, 'cause in that profession, you are the one who delivers the text for others to read. Wink Smilie

You have a natural ability with the pen/cil for putting across a story with  great imagey in your writings OW.

Do you plan on having your writings published?  I visit the "Journal" often and have read your works in this section and it just makes for great reading, musing.

Were are you Withy, come back home please.

I am torn whether to go and see the movie or not. None of my family , totally devoted to the works of Tolkien, all of them including Beowolf and such are refusing to go. My little one at first begged to go but I said certainly not, the orcs would terrify her, she is particularly sensitive and has nightmares, but I thought perhaps I would go and share with her, but now I just don't know. Am I being a traitor to the professor, I think I might be. I suppose of Royd Tolkien or perhaps even Adam Tolkien attends I might. Or if our Vir attends and does not hate the film I might go. I just am not sure.

Yes, it's a shame that Thorin Oakenshield never actually got to hold the Arkenstone for himself in life, but was laid to rest on his bosom at his burial deep inside the Lonely Mountain.  As he says just before his passing "Since I leave now all gold and silver and go where it is of little worth".

That Thorin wished to part in friendship and leave behind the bitterness is a wonderful gesture on his part.    This journey definitely molded a dwarf lord from what was, to a King Under The Mountain.