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Currently I am reading Fellowship of the ring again. And I have some observations or things I wonder about.

Tolkien wrote:
They went out into the hall. Bilbo chose his favourite stick from the stand; then he whistled. Three dwarves came out of different rooms where they had been busy.
'Is everything ready?' asked Bilbo. 'Everything packed and labelled?'
'Everything,' they answered.
'Well, let's start then!' He stepped out of the front-door.


Some how I never noticed these 3 dwarves. Any thoughts on who they might be?? Just take a guess. Maybe Tolkien explains it in one of his letters, I am not sure.

I find this one intriguing. Frodo and Gandalf talk about which version about how Bilbo got the ring he had told to them both. The true version. At least they both believe it.

'What do you know already?'
'Only what Bilbo told me. I have heard his story: how he found it, and how he used it: on his journey, I mean.'
'Which story, I wonder,' said Gandalf.
'Oh, not what he told the dwarves and put in his book,' said Frodo. 'He told me the true story soon after I came to live here. He said you had pestered him till he told you, so I had better know too. "No secrets between us, Frodo," he said; "but they are not to go any further. It's mine anyway."'


So, now I am wondering... what did we read in 'The Hobbit' actually. The story Bilbo wrote down in his book (not the true version)?

Oh I forgot how much I loved Gandalf. If it was not only by this
line:
He went on with his tea. The knock was repeated, much louder, but he took no notice. Suddenly the wizard's head appeared at the window.
'If you don't let me in, Frodo, I shall blow your door right down your hole and out through the hill,' he said.
Big Smile Smilie
Ooii Rhaps, thanks for opening this thread. You saved me some work Wink Smilie

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So, now I am wondering... what did we read in 'The Hobbit' actually. The story Bilbo wrote down in his book (not the true version)?


As far as I know, the Hobbit we read is the actual story that happens. Tolkien I suppose changed the original one in which Gollum shows him the way out and that's the story he told to the Dwarves. There's a mention at the start of LOTR about all this. Did you skip it or what?
I agree with Floyd about the Hobbit being the real story of how Bilbo found the ring. If you remember in the Hobbit, Bilbo never confessed to the dwarves how he was able to approach the spiders in Mirkwood, or sneak around the halls of the elven king or approach Smaug without getting toasted. He keeps his magic ring as his little secret. The dwarves just think he is an excellent little burgler, although I think Thorin knew he was up to something. When Biblo wrote his book, its my opinion that he never mentioned his magic ring.

Glad you are re-reading the FOTR. I try to re-read the Hobbit and LOTR series at least once every 3 years or so. I always seem to find something new that I missed (or forgotten); or pieces of the puzzle fit a little better as I understand more about Tolkiens work. Happy reading!
I remember reading this somewhere:

JRRT had written the original Hobbit, in which the story about the finding of the ring was the one that Bilbo told to the Dwarves. It said that Gollum gave the ring to Bilbo and showed him the way out of the caves when Bilbo won the riddle game. However, when writing LOTR, Tolkien got in trouble over this, because it contradicted with the description of the ring's power to induce lust in the bearer's mind. So Tolkien changed it around and rewrote the chapter. In this rewritten edition, he included the confession that Bilbo later made to Gandalf about the finding of the ring.

Tolkien also says that when Frodo wrote the books from Bilbo's notes. He was unwilling to change Bilbo's original text so some copies of the original text still remain.

Correct me if I'm wrong. There are many people more qualified here to talk about this.
Quote:

Tolkien wrote:
They went out into the hall. Bilbo chose his favourite stick from the stand; then he whistled. Three dwarves came out of different rooms where they had been busy.
'Is everything ready?' asked Bilbo. 'Everything packed and labelled?'
'Everything,' they answered.
'Well, let's start then!' He stepped out of the front-door.

Some how I never noticed these 3 dwarves. Any thoughts on who they might be?? Just take a guess. Maybe Tolkien explains it in one of his letters, I am not sure.


I was wondering the same actually!
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So, now I am wondering... what did we read in 'The Hobbit' actually. The story Bilbo wrote down in his book (not the true version)?

In Bilbo's book, he lied on how he took the Ring from Gollum. Frodo later corrected it. That book was known as the Red Book of Westmarch.

I think it is rather impossible to miss those dwarves, especially since Gandalf arrives in Hobbiton with Dwarves, with Dwarfish fireworks. Those Dwarves come from Erebor, so it is logical that Bilbo later on leaves the Shire along with them, they both have to travel east : Bilbo to RIvendell, the Dwarves back to Erebor.
Virumor has the correct answer to the two questions.

We can find in the Prologue to LotR three pages into Part 4 'Of the finding of the Ring', the two accounts of its finding and how they appeared in print, or at least in the diferent editions of the Red Book of Westmarch.

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A few of them (Dwarves) remained in Bag End. - from fifth page of Chapter 1, Book I, FotR, 'A Long-Expected Party'
Very good question, it never came to my mind until you brought it up. Even though i'm pretty sure the way it was written, was the way that it happened... Although, I like to think of "The Hobbit" actually being the "Red Book of Westmarch" and the way that we read it, was not the true story. Smile Smilie
I agree with you, Turin. Except that, correct me if I'm wrong, the Red Book of Westmarch would contain both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, as "There and Back Again" and "The Lord of the Rings", respectively. Or am I thinking of something else? My brain is fried from...well, fried from things in the past, so things elude me...anyway, I too think of it in terms of that JRRT found the Red Book and translated it to the text that it is now. Or at least that is what my heart wants to believe.Smile Smilie

I love Gandalf for the same reason you do Rhapsody-his "quick to anger, but just as quick to laughter" personality and his strength of will...also it is amazing how much detail you pick up each time you reread FOTR that you may not have remembered from last time.
ya L. i believe you are right, about "Red Book of Westmarch" actually consisting of The HObbit, and LOTR; although i'm not 100% positive, my brain eludes me also, but i won't divulge into detail why Smoke Smilie Smoke Smilie Smoke Smilie
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In Bilbo's book, he lied on how he took the Ring from Gollum. Frodo later corrected it. That book was known as the Red Book of Westmarch.


I agree, because why would write Bilbo, at that moment, how he got the ring with all the Nazgul & nasties on the loose? That Frodo corrected it later on makes sense, but the whole talk between Frodo and Gandalf made me smile and wonder what kind of versions of the events regarding the story "The Hobbit" were out there.

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I think it is rather impossible to miss those dwarves, especially since Gandalf arrives in Hobbiton with Dwarves, with Dwarfish fireworks.


Gandalf arrived alone with his cart and Fireworks... so were those Dwarves well hidden in the cart then? Where does it say that it was Dwarfish fireworks (in FOTR)? Just curious if you can point me to the right quote, otherwise I will have to read that chapter again.
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agree, because why would write Bilbo, at that moment, how he got the ring with all the Nazgul & nasties on the loose?


I wouldn't expect him to write it, in the heat of the moment! he would have wrote it when he was snug, and secure in Hobbiton or Riverdale; I also don't recall reading about Nazgúls in The Hobbit, but i could be wrong.

Bilbo did write The Hobbit part of the "Red Book of Westmark", or atleast the draft, because at the end of ROTK (P 373) "At the beginning there were many leafs covered in Bilbo's thin wandering hand; But most of it was written in Frodo's firm flowing script." Let's consider the fact the The Hobbit is minuscule in length, compared to LOTR. So that could confirm that Frodo wrote LOTR, and Bilbo The Hobbit!

i don't have the book on me, so i can't quote it for you, but i'm certain it mentions the fireworks, in FOTR, being Dwarvish.
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Gandalf arrived alone with his cart and Fireworks... so were those Dwarves well hidden in the cart then? Where does it say that it was Dwarfish fireworks (in FOTR)? Just curious if you can point me to the right quote, otherwise I will have to read that chapter again.

OK, i got it mixed up. The Dwarves arrived a bit earlier :

** Days passed and The Day drew nearer. An odd-looking waggon laden with odd-looking packages rolled into Hobbiton one evening and toiled up the Hill to Bag End. The startled hobbits peered out of lamplit doors to gape at it. It was driven by outlandish folk, singing strange songs: dwarves with long beards and deep hoods. A few of them remained at Bag End. **

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So, now I am wondering... what did we read in 'The Hobbit' actually. The story Bilbo wrote down in his book (not the true version)?


The first edition of 'The Hobbit' was very different to the one we read today. In it, Gollum it very helpful and nice. He was actually going to give BIlbothe Ring wilfully, but Bilbo had already picked it up in the tunnel. He showed him the way out. But Tolkien changed it to fit in more with TLOTR. To make this plausible, he said the first edition was what Bilbo told the dwarves, and the revise edition was the truth.

Yes, I think Loni has the nub of it: that is basicaly what Tolkien said on the page preceeding the maps in the revised edition to The Hobbit, at least that is where it is found in my recent paperback edition.
Nyaha!!!! I am proud to have known that!!!!

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Where does it say that it was Dwarfish fireworks


No, no, they weren't Dwarvish fireworks. Gandalf's fireworks were not only "brought by him, but made by him and let off by him." At least I think that's what it says in FOTR. Gandalf made them HIMSELF. Quite brainy, isn't he?
Thanks a bunches Virumor!!! I was thinking: did I miss something? Smile Smilie This whole re-reading has been a nice experience so far.

Regarding Bilbo writing it down with the nasties on the loose. From what I understand is that Gandalf and Bilbo had quite a talk years before Bilbo's Big Birthday bash. And I wonder if people would have written down the true version with the ring influencing his mind & actions. Bilbo admits in that chapter (The Long Expected party) that he feels the eye:

Bilbo drew his hand over his eyes. I am sorry,’ he said. ‘But I felt so queer. And yet it would be a relief in a way not to be bothered with it any more. It has been so growing on my mind lately. Sometimes I have felt it was like an eye looking at me. And I am always wanting to put it on and disappear, don’t you know; or wondering if it is safe, and pulling it out to make sure. I tried locking it up, but I found I couldn’t rest without it in my pocket. I don’t know why. And I don’t seem able to make up my mind.’

Did he put it on before? Did he alarm the Nazgul before that? It at least worries Gandalf since around that time (see Appendix A) the guard on the Shire is doubled.

3001 Bilbo's farewell feast Gandalf suspects his ring to be the One Ring. The guard on the Shire is doubled. Gandalf seeks for news of Gollum and calls on the help of Aragorn.

As for the dwarves, now that I have read the Hobbit, I find that them being there and escorting Bilbo to Rivendell a nice touch. Smile Smilie


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No, no, they weren't Dwarvish fireworks. Gandalf's fireworks were not only "brought by him, but made by him and let off by him." At least I think that's what it says in FOTR. Gandalf made them HIMSELF. Quite brainy, isn't he?


Yes I agree!! It even has Gandalf's runes on it.

At Bilbo’s front door the old man began to unload: there were great bundles of fireworks of all sorts and shapes, each labelled with a large red G and the elf-rune. That was Gandalf’s mark, of course, and the old man was Gandalf the Wizard, whose fame in the Shire was due mainly to his skill with fires, smokes, and light.
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No, no, they weren't Dwarvish fireworks. Gandalf's fireworks were not only "brought by him, but made by him and let off by him." At least I think that's what it says in FOTR. Gandalf made them HIMSELF. Quite brainy, isn't he?

It is said nowhere in the books that Gandalf made them HIMSELF. I have provided a quote which makes it clear that the fireworks were in Gandalf's possession, due to the G-rune but it's yet unclear whether he made them himself, or he let it be made for him by the Dwarves. The book does not speak about that. I like to think that the Dwarves made their firework for Gandalf, who operated the fireworks, because for instance one of the fireworks is a image of the Lonely Mountain, and then Smaug comes flying. Also for practical reasons, i can't see when Gandalf would have the time to keep himself busy with making fireworks, especially the kind of fireworks of which is spoken of in the book.

And btw Rhapsody : nice Liv Tyler-avatar...
It isn't Liv Tyler Virumor... think Mists of Avalon...
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It is said nowhere in the books that Gandalf made them HIMSELF


Read this: ( From the FOTR)

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The fireworks were by Gandalf: they were not only brought by him, but designed and made by him; and the special effects, set pieces, and flights of rockets were let off by him. - A Long-Expected Party, around about Paragraph thirtynine.


The original published edition (1937) of The Hobbit was:
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... the account Bilbo set down in his memoirs and he seems never to have altered it himself, not even after the Council of Elrond. Evidently it still appeared in the original Red Book, as it did in several of the copies and abstracts. But many copies contain the true account (as an alternative), derived no doubt from notes by Frodo or Samwise, both of whom learned the truth, though they seem to have been unwilling to delete anything actually written by the old hobbit himself. - from the Forward to LotR
The later published revised editions of The Hobbit incorported the true account: actually altered by Tolkien so as to change the Ring from the innocent "present for winning the riddle game" to the "later to be discovered evil precious thing" in order to fit the plot of the LotR.
I must admit I've only read "Riddles in the DArk" in the first edition. You see, I don't OWN a copy. My mate's mum does. I was at her house, and I read some. Naturally I chose Riddles in the Dark to start, being the most affected chapter.
I haven't actually seen the first edition, I'm only going by what I make from Tolkien's inserts into the more modern editions of the two books towards his rationalization of the differences between their storys. It all has to due with the evolution of the LotR and the need to get the first signs of the Ring's evil nature into The Hobbit.

I am currently reading for the first time the The Letters of J.R.R.Tolkien and will add anything germain to the subject, if and when I get to that part of the book. At present I am only into his 1944 letters.
Read those. I must admit I did skip a few pages. It's just, Tolkien was kind of.... going on a bit. About stuff I already knew...... But I read the rest!!! Tis a thick book. He was one heck of a letterwriter, wasn't he?
I'm wondering. How nice it would be to have Tolkien here with us discussing? I'd want to give him a nice little headache you know!! Though he'd probably get kicked from the chat-room for flooding Wink Smilie
Ah, how nice it would be to talk to Prof. Tolkien himself. I'll bet he would just blow all of our minds. What an interesting person.

One of my favorite parts of FOTR is in A Conspiracy Unmasked when Frodo, Pippen and Sam get to Crickhollow to find baths drawn for them by Merry. The silliness and singing that goes on in that part of the chapter is wonderful!
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I am currently reading for the first time The Letters of J.R.R.Tolkien and will add anything germane to the subject, if and when I get to that part of the book.
I found it in Letter No. 109. In 1947 Rayner Unwin (who as a youngster had written the first review of The Hobbit manuscript for his father) was shown the still-a-work-in-progress First Book of the LotR by his father, and among his comments sent to Tolkien by the father was the following:
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... Converting the original Ring into this new and powerful instrument takes some explaining away and Gandalf is hard put to it to find reasons for many of the original Hobbit's actions, but the linking of the books is well done on the whole ...
To which Tolkien replied to in a letter to the father, Sir Stanley Unwin his publisher, on 31 July 1947 was:
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... I hope it will come off, and Gandalf finally be revealed as perceptive rather than 'hard put to it'. Still I must bear this in mind , when I revise chapter II for press: I intend, in any case, to shorten it. The proper way to negotiate the difficulty would be slightly to remodel the former story in its chapter V. That is not a practical question; though I certainly hope to leave behind me the whole thing revised and in final form, for the world to throw into the waste-paper basket. All books come there in the end, in this world, anyway.

... Also: it is inevitable that the knowledge of the previous book should be presumed; but there is in existence a Forward, or opening chapter, 'Concerning Hobbits'. That gives the gist of Chapter V 'Riddles in the Dark', ...

Talking about revising The Hobbit. Any alteration of any radical kind is of course impossible, and unnecessary. But there are still quite a number of misprints in it. I have twice I think, sent in lists of these, and hope they have been corrected this time. Also there are minor errors, which the researches of fans have revealed, and some closer attention of my own has discovered. I wish there could be a chance of putting them right. I enclose the list again. - from The Letters of J.R.R.Tolkien edited by Humphrey Carpenter
And of course the necessary changes were later made in the revised edition of The Hobbit and the first edition of the LotR

So sometimes the collector of a first edition, while having a thing of value, misses the wealth of reading the true story.
A small doubt. I don't remember if it gets cleared later or not, but I thought I should post it before I forget, if it doesn't get resolved later!!

I'm on the chapter "Three is Company" right now and have just met Gildor. I was just wondering what the "sniffing" of the black riders was all about...

Forgive me if this is a stupid question or if the answer is too obvious!!!
The Nazgûl can't see in the light, hence they use their nose to search for the Hobbits. But they only do this when they're not on their horse, as their horses can both see perfectly in the light and the dark.

Gandalf explains this to Frodo in the beginning of the chapter "Many meetings".
I'm not sure if their horses could see in the dark; they are real horses. Can real horses see in the dark? Twilight yes, but pitch black?

However, Virumor is correct, the Ringwraiths must use their noses in the light, for only at night can their glowing eyes see. Sunlight probably overides any seeing they could do with their eyes seeing as how they don't have eyelids to keep the burning rays out. They could see at the Battle of Pellennor Fields, due to the smoke from Mount Doom blocking out the sun. In fact, they maybe why Aragorn's torch kept them at bey on Weathertop.

(Grondy merely fixed one of his spelling errors.)
Actually it was Strider who explained it to the hobbitses in chapter "Strider " :

**'I was very anxious to find some sign of Gandalf; but it was a mistake for three of us to go up and stand there so long. For the black horses can see, and the Riders can use men and other creatures as spies, as we found at Bree. They themselves do not see the world of light as we do, but our shapes cast shadows in their minds, which only the noon sun destroys; and in the dark they perceive many signs and forms that are hidden from us: then they are most to be feared. And at all times they smell the blood of living things, desiring and hating it. Senses, too, there are other than sight or smell. We can feel their presence – it troubled our hearts, as soon as we came here, and before we saw them; they feel ours more keenly. Also,' he added, and his voice sank to a whisper, 'the Ring draws them.' **
Yes, you are right about that Virumor; though in the chapter you quoted earlier, Gandalf did tell Frodo that they were real horses.