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Namarie, and I hope you do in fact have a moment here and there to come and join in.

Even if no one really contributes, I have made up my mind to just give a sort of summary of the pages , a couple a day until the book is finished. It would grieve me terribly to think that millions of persons come next December go to view The Hobbit and never have read or even found out what is on even on chapter in the book. So this way a person can turn to a chapter and page or pages and see what was going on in a manner of speaking. And get something of the flavour or feeling at least. So whatever you or anyone feel you can contribute in thought or understanding of this brilliant piece of work will be much appreciated.

Mae Govannen! I agree, the thought of people wandering Bilbo's path with no basic structure could be confusing and having a guide would be extremely helpful. I look forward to seeing yours and other's insights on Tolkien  

Ah yes the dish washing song and the song of the historical record of the Dwarves of Erebor. I simply love the way that the Dwarves get straight to it and summarise hundreds of years of history into a few short lines of song. I too was taken away while reading this Poem. Its informative and Heartbreaking. Imagine the damage Smaug could have done during the War Of The Ring if Gandalf had not devised his downfall! Too awful to even think about.



pages 18 19

Now things start to get down to business and Gandalf and Thorin play their cards as such with little Bilbo adding to the mix. While the hobbit is recovering from his shriek fit, in the other room serious doubts about his ability to be of any help whatsoever on the expedition come forth and Gandalf admits that while Bilbo Baggins is indeed and excitable little creature he still could be as fierce as a dragon in a pinch. More doubts and once more Bilbo's Tookish side took offence and in came he to put his two cents on the table. He again says he never had a mark on the door, the dwarves were mistaken by coming to the house of Baggins and he even makes a bit of a rude comment about their having funny faces. He plucks up his Tookish strength and assures them whatsoever it is they want him to do he will do his best no matter what the cost.

Gandalf assures all there was indeed a mark put by him on the door in answer to the dwarves hopin he could find them their burlar and he states in no uncertain terms that that is just what in fact he has done.

In my minds eye I can see Bilbo's Shriek Fit....  I think he also had one many years later when confronted by Gandalf regarding getting rid of the Ring.

pages twenty and twenty one;


And now comes a truly breathtaking moment, the shape of the adventure to come is to present itself through a mysterious piece of parchment much like a map that Gandalf spreads across the table under the yellow light of a big red shaded lamp.

All look and find it to be a map of the mountain which does nothing for the great Thorin Oakenshield. It is old, and besides Thorin remembers clearly all the marked places and more besides. It is then that Gandalf brings the dwarves' attention to a rune mark on the west side of the mountain. He tells them about a secret passage to the lower halls.. Gandalf hands Thorin a strange mysterious key that went with the map of sorts and talk falls upon the great dragon Smaug and his inability to fit into a small hole, etc.

They talk of ways of getting into the mountain and Thorin complains of the lack of heroes and mighty warriors to help them after for they all seem to be fighting far away and heros are simply in scarce supply and unable to be recruited for the journey. What to do, what to do?

Hello there!  This is my second time on PT.  I am so enjoying the discussion of 'The Hobbit'.  I began reading Tolkien at 19 years old in 1976.  When our son was 5 years old I introduced him to 'The Hobbit'.  I haven't read it since.  Though, I have read the trilogy about 20 times, at least.  Thank you for doing this.  I am looking forward to this journey with you.  Like the rest of you, the first pages take me to the Shire, to soft chairs and sweet scents.  Pure bliss!

Ahh the map.  Even though I have looked at this a thousand times I still often gaze at it and ponder what it would be like to take such a wonderful adventure into the unknown.  JRRT has such a unique way on drawing and painting.  Almost childish in their wonder, but crammed full of information for the avid reader.  I love his rendering of Smaug.  Very unique.

Do enjoy yourselves.   pages twenty three and twenty four.

Talk now focuses on the dragons and how they loved gold and every precious thing and would keep them all their lives, which was sometimes practically forever, and never enjoy a single one of the things.  The high dwarf now talks of his youth and his adventurous streak and how thankfully he and some others were out side on the particular day the impressive and feared Smaug came, sounding as it is written in The Hobbit  like a hurricane coming from the north. He burned up the mountainside  and settled himself inside the mountain and so it was to that day.And all the poor warriors of dale who were dispatched with by that hateful worm.

Thorin Oakenshield's father and grandfather came forth alive with singed beards and the amazed Thorin asked how they had escaped outside. He was forthwith told to be silent and they added in the right time he would know the answer.And so the devestated dwarves had to until that very hour make livings as best they could. But the stalwart and still angry Thorin said he meant to get back all that Smaug had robbed them of, and no one doubted his intentions.

I've said it before, the ruin of Erebor and Dale must have been like an apocalypse for Man, Dwarf and Nature itself.  I think that Tolkien's Dragons are incredibly well written.  Not just a big fire breathing beast, they truly are the most evil manifestation of hate ever written.  Smaug is just so intriguing, however I jump ahead..... 

Brego, you do not jump ahead when you are merely generalizing about something introduced already. Smaug is the personification of evil, both the chatty cunning aspect that sweeps so many into what they never would have dared touch had evil shown its more straightforward malevolent side, and also that very side, the rage, the burning up of all life around just to be cruel, just because evil did not get its way. I think that perhaps unconsciously watching evil take his beloved friends of the tea club, one by one, see the suffering and grief, the mental sickness following shock and trauma, he might have transferred some of the evil of war into this particular dragon anyway.

Talk now turns to Thorin's father and grandfather and how they had made the escape all those long years ago. Gandalf reminds him that Azog the goblin dispatched his poor grandfather in the mines of Moria.

And then he tells of Thorin's dear father, how he went away a h undred years ago last thursday and never heard of again. Then the blockbuster news that it was that very father that handed over that very map. And he says that the father no longer remembered his own name nor ever gave the name of Thorin. And on this note I might add that in a letter to whom I cannot recall, Tolkien talks about people who are captured in war time and tortured and give information they would never give otherwise.And he talks about them losing their sanity and how they cannot be judged, for they did all they could. It broke my heart, for no human being should be pushed to that point that he or she can no longer function, that the world they are in and the circumstances can no longer be endured so that that most precious of gifts, the mind is allowed to disintegrate to nothingness. After reading his words I  grieved all the more about Thorin's father, what he endured, the hell he suffered drip by drip, the heartless mirth at his suffering, the hopelessness until there was nothing left.

I am sure Gandalf had a lump in his throat as he tells how he tried to save Thorin's esteemed father, but he was witless and unhelpful and Gandalf barely escaped with his own life intact. Knowing Gandalf's gentle heart as we do I honestly think he shed some tears as he made his flight away from that dread dark place, knowing the dwarf would suffer more and more until he himself was nomore and even Gandalf could do nothing.

More and more we are reminded of the greatness of Mithrandir. Sometimes Tolkien glosses over Gandalfs great adventures and tells of them in very few words. His actions, all of them, truly altered the entire history of the third and fourth age for the good and for the ultimate empowerment of light over dark. I for one hope that he managed to find peace and friendship in the West on his return to his long home to the Undying Lands. I see him in my mind in the gardens on Lorien sitting with Bilbo and Frodo puffing out smoke rings.

That is a point worth pondering, how Gandalf did after leaving Middle-Earth. I suspect in a way pretty much the same as our Frodo Baggins of the Shire. Frodo found no true peace or joy once he came home, for to his dismay he found it not to be home anymore, his wounds both physical and emotional were too great for the simple Hobbit life to heal. And I think that our Gandalf was truly happy to be back home, in the lofty sacred place once more, but he too, having been touched by the sorrows and griefs of Middle-Earth, and knowing that all evil was not stamped out, well perhaps he too while sitting and thinking, had pangs of sorrow that had stayed with him as a wound also, a wound that could not truly pass until all evil was stamped out.

I expect folk will have noticed that in Thror's map East is at the top. This has led to speculation in some quarters that East might be a sacred direction for the Dwarves. However, the real reason is rather odd; as I noted on another forum -

  The answer is quite mundane - in their book JRR Tolkien : Artist and Illustrator, Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull reveal that originally Tolkien drew Thror’s map, with North at the top, in ’portrait’ format: the idea being that he wanted the publishers to include it at the correct place in the body of the text, and with the ’moon letters’ arranged so that the reader could only read them by holding them up to the light. [as in the story>.

However.. Allen and Unwin thought that would cost too much; and anyway, they wanted to have the two maps [Thror’s; and the Wilderland map> as endpapers. Tolkien reluctantly agreed; and re-drew Thror’s map, in _landscape_ format. But during this process, the cardinal points went through 90 degrees, and so East ended up at the top of the page.

How fascinating Geordie, thank you, I never knew of this at all. Life is stranger than what we write at times!


Pages 25 thru 27, ending this chapter.

Gandalf was asked what on earth he was doing in the place of the dread Necromancer but he was basically told to mind his own business, the wizard would only hint at his being there to find out things.Thorin says darkly that that they have repaid the goblins by ending their miserable lives, then he says the unthinkable that they should now turn their attention to the Necromancer. Gandalf of course sternly rebukes this idea, reminding the dwarves that Sauron's power is just too great by far to even think of such folly.

Mithrandir makes the strong statement that Thorin's father wished for his son to read the map and use the key and that both mountain and dragon were enough trouble to get into.

Bilbo then talks rather out of turn and says that an attempt should be made to get into the side door. He is beyond weary now and suggests strongly they should go to bed and get some rest before they go. Thorin corrects him by saying ' before we go'The dwarves had the cheek to preorder sumptuous breakfasts and as Bilbo fell asleep he could hear Thorin humming about the mountain and gold and his dreams were dreadful which caused him to sleep well past the break of dawn.




As if the Dragon info wasn't terrifying enough we now hear of the Necromancer of Guldur.  Slowly but surely the true measure of the hard work which lies ahead for the company and more so for Mithrandir becomes apparent.

This is so true.mself.


pages 28 and 29 of my copy.


When Bilbo Baggins of the Shire awoke, and went into the kitchen the terrific mess that awaited him shocked his senses and brought the terrible truth to his still tired brain- the dwarves had really been and it was with a great sigh of relief that he saw they had left. A tiny bit of the Tookiish side felt sad and the no nonesens side rebuked  hmself. Just then in walked Gandalf and asked the hobbit just when he was going to join the others. He tells Baggins the dwarves had left a message and Bilbo was astonished, he knew of no message.

Among other things the dwarves said in the letter they would get things ready as it were and meet Baggins at eleven oclock at the Green Dragon in at Baywate.He had it seemed only ten minute.

Long after Blbo thought about how he found himself with no hat, walking stick no money ,house a mess , keys given to Gandalf running running and finally exhausted coming to the Green Dragon inn.

I do hope my little summeries are not boring everyone to death, but even if it appears like the sound of one hand clapping with little or no response, it was my intention from the beginning to simply go through the entire book and show in increments each days two pages summarized so that one can simply take about sixty seconds and find out roughly what was going on , and in that way if not able to or not intending to read the book, have some little knowledge of what was put down by our professor so as to have an inkling about it all by the time the movie is viewed. So please if you have criticisms let me know, just p.m. me and help me along. Thank you.

Pages thirty and thirty one.

Bilbo, out of breath when he arrived at the inn was out of sorts when he realized he had also come without a single pocket handkerchier. Balin was waiting for him at the door of the inn and as Bilbo came puffing up on time he gave him a well done. The others came around the corner on ponies, one also for Bilbo and they were laden with supplies and the ponies were under a heavy amount of things. It was almost May when they pushed off and began the great adventure to face the dragon Smaug. Dwaln lent a travel stained cloak and hood of green , much too big, to the hobbit and he looked rather hilarious.

Just a tiny while later up rode Gandalf , seated upon a magnificent white steed. Happily he had brought pocket handkerchiefs, lots of them, pipe and tobacco for dear Bilbo.Now it was a jolly company that sang and talked as they rode all the day, except when stopping for meals.

Now tension starts to build because first they travelled through peaceful hobbit lands, then lands where the speach was strange, further they passes through the lone lands Evil looking castles were passed and now it was raining and cold and wet wet wet.

By this time Bilbo was mighty sorry he had come, he grumbled and complained and noone took notice. Finally night was nigh and they crossed over the river at the bottom of the valley.The gusting winds finally blew the clouds away and it was with weariness I think that the small party searched for somewhere dry to light a fire and find a place to lie down and sleep.

pages thirty two and thirty three;

The dreadful weather held and worst of all the company suddenly noticed that Gandalf had simply disappeared. They knew it had to come sooner or later, but just having him on the road made them feel merrier and now nothing. On top of it not one of the dwarves, usually gifted at lighting fires could make even the smallest most feeble of fires, nothing And of course the horse with the most food packed upon it bolted for absolutely no good reason, and the twins nearly drowned trying to pull it back out of the river.

It was about then that one of the dwarves Balin to be precise, called from his look out position that he could see a nice red fire going  at a little distance away. Then came the inevitable quarrel between dwarves as to whether or not they ought to attempt going to fire.The quarrels were against because it was unmapped land and hardly known and noone seemed to ever have heard of a king in these parts; and for because as one said there were after all fourteen to the party,well that is if you counted the missing Gandalf. So away they walk into the woods where they stopped and told Bilbo it was now his turn as the party's only burglar. He was to hoot like an owl if anything went amiss and of course the hobbit had no clue how to hoot. He was an absolute silent walker however so this much he knew he could do brilliantly.

No criticism from me Lee Lee. Keep them coming! The weather. For me the first sign that this trek is not going to be easy. The calm before the storm has come and gone and we are now entering a stage where there is no turning back. Also I love how Tolkien describes, (usually briefly) ponies and horses. You can tell that he was once a horse man for the British Army.

I think Tolkien was hinting to the adults--over the heads of the children for whom he wrote The Hobbit--that Gandalf's real job in ME was not the dwarves' gold.  His real mission was far more serious and dangerous, and that is why he often disappeared with or without prior notice.  Tolkien explains more about this in his Appendices to LOTR, while only hinting in his storyline here.  We have to remember, seeing as we do over the kids' heads, that Gandalf was there to contradict the work of Sauron.  He was working on that by this quest to Erebor.  He was also working with the White Council to uncover Sauron's whereabouts and thwart his plots against the Free Peoples of ME.  But of course, we did not know (since Tolkien had not given it away) that the Necromancer was indeed Sauron.  All we knew is that the dwarves had been told to mind their own business and stick to the Road.  And of course, Gandalf had a good reason for giving that advice, since the King's influence had waned and trolls had come down into those hills...

Just finished a quick speed read of The Hobbit to refresh my memory. I assume it is acceptable to jump in this thread at any time?

Allysa hello and welcome. And any pages I have gone over may be commented on absolutely. But nothing further at that point please. My main objective is to go slowly and be inspired by the reading of every couple of pages to go further until the book is done. I could not bear to think that millions would think that what Peter Jackson has done with the LORD or The Hobbit is absolutely true to the book if they are not, that would do injustice to the real creator John Ronald Ruel Tolkien. That would be the saddest thing.

thirty three and thirty four

What our little hero saw were three gynormous trolls eating a cooked mutton on spits and ill manners prevailing they were licking the gravy off their hands. A barrel of good drink was there and they were quaffing it down.

A sort of quarrel was ensuing, one troll complaining about eating nothing but mutton, another explaining he could not expect folk to just come back expecting they would be consumed; he goes on to say the complainer has already eaten half a village since coming down from the mountain.

Bilbo being nothing of a pickpocket was in turmoil of mind, part of him wishing to be at home and part of him feeling he simply could not return to Thorin with nothing. In the end he venture to put a tiny hand into the pocket of William the Troll.Just as everything else, this went wrong. A purse , huge enough to be a bag to anyone else was seized by the hobbit and of course it spoke and asked him just who he was. That  caused the troll to seize the poor creature by the neck. The trolls gathered about him and had not the faintest clue what he was so being practical they asked him. He said he was a hobbit and they straight away thought how best to cook him. The only drawback was his diminutive size, he would only make a mouthful. Bilbo was frantically trying to figure out how to make owl noises.s

Diana, welcome and forgive me for not responding before this. I somehow scrolled down quickly and did not even notice your post until this very minute and was so excited to see you have come to visit as you can. Namarie and I hope I will see your name much in the future on posts on at least this thread.

I shall admit freely that I just hated the part with the trolls, Being an elf in Middle-Earth and in my heart I cannot bear things that exult in harm, evil of any sort or just ugliness of manners and speech. I felt quite despairing for Bilbo and the dwarves and I could feel the cold and damp, the inviting fire and the smell of a sheep on the spit and then the anguish of being caught instead of enjoying a little good food and having warmth for a few hours before returning to the grind. At any rate it was night when I and my family read The Hobbit once a week for our Hobbit club and I just felt darkness enveloping my senses as we read.

PAGES 36  37

Bilbo is treated very badly. First he is held by his furry feet, shaken, then held by his hair. The trolls want to know if there are any others like him lurking about , for they wish to gather enough to make a nice rich pie. Bibo momentariy forgets he is not to tell that he is with anyone and blurts out that there are lots with him, then coming to himself he says none.  The troll William so full of mutton and drink wishes to let him go but the other more vocal troll Bert refuses until Bilbo explains the riddle of lots and none. A fight ensues with vicious whacks between the two, while the third Tom hits them both with a branch to stop the fighting.

The little Hobbit, his feet crushed, himself terribly winded and exhausted did not jump up and run for it, but lay just outside the flicker of the fire. And just then in walks Balin as bold as you please. The trolls howled at seeing a dwarf and the next thing Balin knew he was inside a sack. And here is where the seasoned dwarves did a foolish thing. Each one in his turn sneaked up to the fire to take a look and frumph! each found himself securely tied into a sack, the trolls were no fools. Each except for the leader Thorin Oakenshield who expected something of the sort and stood a distance outside of the glare of the fire and watched the proceedings.

PAGES    39  40  


   (page 38 of my copy is a picture entitled The Trolls.)


Thorin demanded to know who was bothering his company and Bilbo, who every one had forgot, cried out the explanation of the trolls and what they had done to the companions. At that Thorin's blood boiled so to speak and he grabbed a large branch, lit it on fire and attacked the trolls inflicting pain and stopping them a little. Bilbo did his best to help, but in the end it was the tiresome William who sneaked up behind Thorin our champion and put a sack over him and now the fight was over.

Thankfully Gandalf, almost by divine appointment showed up and began a little mischief between the trolls which escalated and it was when they were still quarreling about how the captives should be prepared to be eaten that a strange voice a little like Williams called out' Dawn take you all'(direct quote) and just like that the three trolls were turned to stone by the breaking of the dawn.


PAGES 41  42


So then the trolls were made into statues forever and the next task was For Gandalf their rescuer to untie all the bags and let out the nearly suffocated dwarves who were in no good mood having had to listen to the three enemies deciding how to cook them. Gandalf ,being the keen witted and practical wizard he was told them they must find the cave or hiding place of the trolls and there too they would probably find something to eat. Away they went then. The place was found but the door to the cave could not be budged no matter how hard the company tried. Even various spells Gandalf tried were of no avail.

It was then that Bilbo produced a very large key he had found back at the fire and asked if if might be what was needed to open the door. Whereupon everyone crossly demanded why he had not mentioned this before.

Bones and a foul smell permeated the air and there were clothes and coins and a potful of gold ;,and many swords of various kinds hanging upon the walls.Two having gorgeous scabbards and ornamented hilts were chosen by Gandalf and Thorin. Bilbo took for himself a knife in a leather sheaf, good enough for a short sword. Carefully picking food and drink that was still fit to eat they made themselves a good meal of bread and cheese , bacon and ale.

Being so very exhausted the lot now slept and did nothing further until the next noonday. They and the ponies took away the gold and in a secret place hid it, putting it under many spells. Having done this they mounted the ponies once more and then started off once more on the road towards the East.

PAGES 41  42


So then the trolls were made into statues forever and the next task was For Gandalf their rescuer to untie all the bags and let out the nearly suffocated dwarves who were in no good mood having had to listen to the three enemies deciding how to cook them. Gandalf ,being the keen witted and practical wizard he was told them they must find the cave or hiding place of the trolls and there too they would probably find something to eat. Away they went then. The place was found but the door to the cave could not be budged no matter how hard the company tried. Even various spells Gandalf tried were of no avail.

It was then that Bilbo produced a very large key he had found back at the fire and asked if if might be what was needed to open the door. Whereupon everyone crossly demanded why he had not mentioned this before.

Bones and a foul smell permeated the air and there were clothes and coins and a potful of gold ;,and many swords of various kinds hanging upon the walls.Two having gorgeous scabbards and ornamented hilts were chosen by Gandalf and Thorin. Bilbo took for himself a knife in a leather sheaf, good enough for a short sword. Carefully picking food and drink that was still fit to eat they made themselves a good meal of bread and cheese , bacon and ale.

Being so very exhausted the lot now slept and did nothing further until the next noonday. They and the ponies took away the gold and in a secret place hid it, putting it under many spells. Having done this they mounted the ponies once more and then started off once more on the road towards the East.

Page 43 is the last page to this chapter and you have Thorin quietly questioned Gandalf about where he had disappeared to and why he came back just in time to save their very lives and Gandalf explains that he saw a couple of those from Imladrsi, Rivendell and that had been in a hurry due to the trolls . When Gandalf had looked behind him and saw the fire he headed back instantly. Thorin was immensely grateful and thanked his dear friend.


There adventure with the trolls made the company very somber and they ceased from singing and telling stories for days. Danger seemed close and besides that they were hungry. Even with the plunder from the dreadful trolls there was little rations, the horses, surrounded by succulent grass at least had plenty to eat.

Then they came to the first of the mountains of the Misty Mountain and Bilbo was more than overwhelmed, for Balin had explained they had to find a way over or under or whatever of this mountain before they even came to Wilderland and that itself was a vast deal away from the other side to the Lonely Mountain in the East where the great Smaug held captive their own treasures.

And now Gandalf completely takes over explaining that the correct path needs to be found or the dwarfs and hobbit may be lost and then die from starvation and the elements. He further explains that as they have arrived at the end of the Wild there is in fact a hidden road that will them them to Elrond and Imladris and what is more Gandalf has sent word that they are to be expected. This was received with gladness Morning and afternoon passed and it was hard going. After winding paths and gullies with deep waterfalls, ravines it was exhausting.

The Troll Hoard!  Imagine looking through the artifacts from Ages past.  I'm sure if you knew what to look for there would have been marvelous items, weapons and trinkets of great power.  The swords for me are a wonderful reminder of the vast amounts of time which had past, forgotten by most modern folk.  Names and languages lost or forgotten, even by some of the Elven folk.

Its here that we see that Tolkien invests greedy lust into most of his dark characters.  Orcs, Dragons, Trolls, Sauron and even the first Dark Lord Morgoth lust after gold and jewels even though really these items are useless to them.  All they do is hoard them, especially the Dragons and what do they do with them?  Nothing.  Another message regarding life from Mr Tolkien.

Very true Brego. I myself could care less about such things, I am amazed at the murderous covetous thoughts that circle round a piece of pressed down coal. Which is not to say I don't think they are pretty and indeed I work with gems at times when decorating. But I give it away it is not that much to me. But we all have our little weaknesses and it is surprising what we can fall to if we don't hold out for always being the very best and noblest version of ourselves. One can topple a family into ruin by a credit card and the lust of newly purchased things, one can hurtle a loved one or loved ones into grief and sorrow following the lust of being high or addicted to racing at high speed , or the lust of staying up all night for that wierd high that comes to many in the dark so that their minds fail them and they are plunged into madness or mental illness that affects all around them. And Sauron had studied not only all this wondrous craftsmanship but the mind and behaviour of humans, elves, dwarves so that he could do the right thing at the right time and lure or harass or whatever it took to capture those in Middle Earth and harm them , torture them, enslave them all for his lust of power. Even little Bilbo Baggins of the Shire gave in to his Tookish side for the plesure of 'an adventure and the thrill that comes of it.' And his pride kept him on the journey up until a certain point.

Pages 46 47

The path that our Gandalf had chosen and one he obviously had to know well since many of the stones, white stones, marking it were very small or partially hidden by mosses. But even for the wizard the going was still slow. As the day waned and tea time had long gone by and the much needed moon had not yet risen, it became a little dangerous; Bilbo's pony stumbled and the company lead by Gandalf came so suddenly to a sharp fall into the ground that Gandalf's own steed nearly tumbled down the steep slope.

It was joyous however to Gandalf for he told the others they had arrived at long last and hark , below them , far below them was a valley filled with the noise of water busily tumbling over rock,the heady scent of trees and even better, across the water was the joyful homely site of lights.

Forever after our dear Bilbo Baggins of the Shire never forgot each detail of the journey down down to the welcome waiting for him and the others.The closer they got the warmer and more fragrant the night air and truth to be told the hobbit drifted into light sleep so that he nearly fell off his pony.

The blessed stars were out in their icy finery now and somewhere from the trees came laughter and song about the small company of wizard, dwarves and hobbit and finally here and there in the dark night the hobbit could catch glimpses of the elves who he both loved and feared.

Pages 48 49

The elves were merry that glorious night in June and they teased gently the hobbit and the dwarves. This did not please the dwarves one wit as they thought Elves foolish(they knew not who elves truly were or they might not have thought them foolish) The company was advised to alight from their steeds to cross the bridge and so they did. The elves, very merry talked to the Hobbit who was enchanted with them and wondered how on earth these folk could seem to know all there was to know about him when he himself had never laid eyes on a single one of tthe elves, no not ever.

The bridge had to be crossed to get to the last Homely place as it was called and some of the elves called out to Thorin to be careful not to dip his long beard into the foaming water. The elves had gracioulsly invited the party to stay with them and talk and have a lovely talk session and though extremely weary Bilbo would have loved to do so, the dwarves were all for making it across the bridge and supping with those who were starting the fires yonder. The banter carried on until the wizard himself advised the elven folk to lower their voices for caution and safety sake against any from the enemy.

 For a fortnight the company stayed and listened to tales of stirring adventure, grief, sorrow and victory if there was any and it was spell binding.They were loathe to leave, it was indeed a struggle.

The host of their visit was the magnificent Elrond. The book says of him" He was as noble and as fair in face as an elf lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king of dwarves, and as kind as summer."

Oh our first visit to Imladris. Gosh I would love that walk across the blessed stone bridge and hear the Angelic voices of the beautiful people of Lord Elrond. I love the teasing of the Dwarves and the Invisable Elves who are hiding in the Forest somewhere. I am hoping that in the film, the Elves who call out to the company are cast as children. We haven't seen young Elflings on screen yet and as the words spoken in the book are quite Childish I think it would be considered canon. I also love that Gandalf can chastise the Elves as a sort of Elder. This is the start of Tolkien's magical side.

Lovely description Brego. And that is brilliant for I myself was musing on the manner of the teasing this very morning and it does sound like at least not older than juvenile elves, it would be enchanting to see the children, just enchanting. I love it.

Yes Lee Lee.  I must mention your new avatar!  Is that really you, or is it Eowen/  I cannot tell...

Brego you can find out for yourself, go to forums, then general discussion. Go down to Faces and then go down the column to Amarie's post. Then click on planet tolkien staff members and there you will see Taz;, our darling Pet Shop Boy and the rest of us including me. Read our bios and get to know us. Sadly our Vir, my hero Tin Tin slash Poirot has not yet posted his bio. He has his mysterious reasons and I respect that. Go for it. Smile Smilie

Brego, one of my immediate family members agreed emphatically that Tolkien was in fact talking about the young elves in that jolly setting. For one thing Elves matured much much more slowly, he reasoned that is why lady Arwen could fall in love with a mortal so young herself. Second he mentioned the way that Gandalf gently told the elves to be quiet in case an enemy ear listened in and told told them good night. Now as |I read it for one thing the dinner and the festivities had not started yet, so why say good night to them. The fact they were teasing poor Thorin and the way they asked if the company was going to visit with them that night is typical of the way children would ask , being more self absorbed and thinking the exhausted company would want to hang with them when food and bathing and a good bed awaited them. So I sincerely think it was the children or if the little ones were already abed it was the teens,young and older who were sitting about hiding in the trees as children would do and I wish fervently the writers of The Hobbit actually scoured each page of the actual book and picked up on this. But the way things go at times one wonders if they will simply have regular adult elves slipping into senile silly behaviour. Who knows,

                            Pages 50  51

The house of half elven Lord Elrond was magically almost one could say divinely perfection on every level and the truth was evil could not come in . In only a matter of forty eight hours healing began upon bodies, in minds and hearts and even the ponies grew well and sleek and were more than content. The sweet and noble and magnificent and almost in some ways frightening elves kindly mended clothing and were there to help in every way.

The swords confiscated from the troll's cave were shown to Lord Elrond who was skilled in all runes. He assured them they were made by the high elves from Gondolin to slay the Goblins and that thrilled Thorin who reverently decided to keep his. He was eager to slay more goblins and Elrond assured him he probably would.

Then Elrond asked for the map and he studie it some minutes. Personally he did not feel happy over dwarves and their too deep love of jewels etc but his memory of the ruin of Dale and all the happiness caused him great anger at dragons, especially the one that did this.  The moon was shining bright as he read the map and then he commented on the moon letters he could see after he held the map up against the whilte light of the moon. Thorin was instantly alert and asked what moon letters were. Elrond Half Elven explained the dwarfs once wrote this runes in silver and unless one held them up against the moon and not just that, unless it was held up against the very same moon shape that had occurred on the night it was actually written one could not read it. So he said these had been written on a midsummer's eve.

Gandalf and Thorin cried out at the same time for the meaning, both a tad annoyed that this great personage should have noticed this before either of them."Durin explained Thorin was the father of the race of dwarves and Durin's Day was the dwarve's new year,the first day of the last moon of autumn which ushered in the winter months.of them. This is what Elrond read" Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's Day will shine upon the key hole 

 So therefore it was  the first day of the last moon of the Autumn on the very threshold of the Winter months.

I love your rendering of the first meeting my dearest quimell’ Lee Lee you and I think that we are on the very same wave length regading the Elves. I still don't understand why Gandalf couldn't read the runes on the swords. Lord Galin's explaination did not help, which is unusual. I'm starting to think that it's an extremely rare case of a JRRT continuity error. (there I mentioned it...)


Brego, Je ne sais pas ce mot, n'est-il catalan ou quelque chose?


Page 52 this is the last page of the chapter


Durin contined to explain that even now after so many many many years it was still,when the last moon of Autumn and the sun are together that it was yet called Durin's Day. But he indicated that it was of no moment to them now since noon now could guess when such a moment would come to pass.

Elrond ascertained there were no more runes to be read, at least by the light of this particular moon. All adjourned down to the rushing water to watch the graceful elves dance about and sing, for it was Midsummer's eve. And next morning Midsummer itself dawned as fresh, beautiful and wondrous lovely as it possibly could, a good send off to the little company of dwarves and one tiny burglar plus now and then a wizard on a mission.

Brego i do not think Gandalf could not read the runes, perhaps he knew very well what they said but chose not to say at the time. Or perhaps he only made a study of those runes which were germaine to his quest. But I am sure he knew.




A myriad of paths leading upward to the mountains proved to be a waste of time for they ended up nowhere, simply illusions and as the author says 'cheats' and as for the passes, here was the great danger for on many were infestations of pure evil and all sorts of dread dangers. Therefore the company had to cling to the knowledge imparted by Elrond and that of Gandalf and thus made their way.

HARDSHIP now was the word to use for their seemingly ceaseless journey upward, cold and hurtling boulders to avoid, enforced silences due to the fearful echoes that would scurry screaming throughout the mountains if loud words were spoken or sung, and the painful knowledge when he looked over to the West, faint and bluish where his own home now lay pummelled Bilbo's thoughts .Only the constant noise of water tumbling , shrieking moaning winds and cracking rock to listen to .

In his thoughts Bilbo Baggins of the Shire thought of the activities going on right now in the Shire, lovely things, berries and haymaking. His companions were also thinking of what they were missing. All was gloom.

Lord Galin's explaination did not help, which is unusual. I'm starting to think that it's an extremely rare case of a JRRT continuity error. (there I mentioned it...) 


Well if you mean the blood, it wasn't my explanation technically (not that you meant it was), but Tolkien's, for his unfinished revision to The Hobbit (sometimes called the 1960 Hobbit).


From an external perspective the Gandalf of The Hobbit was not yet the Gandalf of The Lord of the Rings. He was a 'wizard' yes, and so 'wize' enough, but he wasn't yet imagined as the Gandalf we would come to know.


I mean, if one simply reads The Hobbit there's no great cause to question why Gandalf the wizard couldn't read these runes. And that's the way Tolkien wrote this story -- but once Gandalf's character and history is more developed, and he ultimately becomes an emissary from the Valar, wandering about Middle-earth for well over a thousand years by the time these swords were found...

... then it seems a bit odd that he seemingly can't read some runes that say Orcrist for example! And we know it shouldn't be a language problem...

... especially Orcrist -- as it begins with Orc(h) (the form Orchrist is being used for the runes in the films), which should be an easy enough Sindarin word compared to Westron orc -- and it ends in -rist. Gandalf is on his way to Imladris(t) 'deep dale of the cleft', keeping in mind Orcrist means 'Goblin-cleaver'


But could the runes themselves be so different as to confuse Gandalf? Well maybe, but JRRT didn't take that path it seems (although on the web here and there one can find the 'Gondolinic runes' explanation, suggested by fans, and based on an oldish set of runes by Tolkien).

Rather Tolkien covers the runes in dried blood, which is natural enough for swords I think. And that's why Olorin, the wise Maia from the West who became Gandalf the Istar and must have encountered all sorts of runes and languages when he was out Grey-wandering in Middle-earth for so many years, hanging out once in a while with loremasters (including Elrond), now 'cannot' read the runes.

But I do not recall Galin that the text anywhere reads that Gandalf could not read those runes. The time in the troll's cave and until Imladris was not the time to discuss such things, he may have looked at the runes and known exactly what they said but did not feel to comment. And out of respect and honor he may have again in the very house of Elrond let the host who after all had been in the long ago wars standing with some of the very comrades that owned the swords speak about all and cipher the runes. And later on when both Thorin and Gandalf called out together to know what the runes said the text declares that they were vexed, not because they had not the experience to cipher the runes but because it was not they that had thought to hold the map up to the moonlight and notice them so they could be understood.. I just don't believe that Gandalf could not read the runes.

Thanks again Galin. You once answered this query in another thread which I can't quote the title of. But as usual your explanation is greatly valued and enlightening. Lee Lee it's not French....... Also re Gandalf, from memory he states that once the company makes Rivendel that perhaps Lord Elrond could translate the runes. I like your idea that perhaps Gandalf could read them, but perhaps wanted to keep this info to himself for some great reason. Moon Runes! Another fabulous example of Tolkens fantastic imagination!

But I do not recall Galin that the text anywhere reads that Gandalf could not read those runes. 


Gandalf half draws the blades and looked at them curiously and said (in part): '... but when we can read the runes on them, we shall know more about them.'

The wizard took the time to look at them 'curiously' but acts like he can't read the runes. And later it's noted that: 'Elrond knew all about runes of every kind,...' and Elrond actually speaks directly to Thorin about Orcrist, and tells Gandalf the name of Glamdring, as if he doesn't know.

For years now people all over the web have asked this question, because even without Gandalf stating 'I can't read the runes' (in such a specific way), I think the implication is strong enough to make the question legitimate enough.


And Tolkien seemingly agrees: this is where an author has to decide what is problematic, and what is plausible enough to explain the problem; and I think the fact that JRRT chose to revise this shows that he agrees that it's made plain enough that Gandalf can't read the runes, so he employs an obvious and easy answer.

No one could read the runes on the swords, until cleaned.


Of course JRRT didn't actually employ his reason in a Tolkien-published version of The Hobbit, as the whole project was abandoned (although some revisions were made to the published text after 1960). Anyway, for me, rather than imagine Gandalf keeping this information to himself for some reason, I would rather think that the runic system of isolated Gondolin had 'perhaps' become variant enough that even Gandalf might be somewhat confused, and maybe rare enough that he had yet to study this specific 'Gondolinic' system in enough measure.

Not great! but still.


Or on the other hand, I can 'imaginatively insert' Tolkien's idea of the dried blood into the published text -- it's Tolkien-imagined and Tolkien-written after all, if not Tolkien-published.

I stand firm good sirs that Gandalf could very well read all runes and this is a direct quote from page 51 in my copy of The Hobbit;

"What do they say?" asked Gandalf and Thorin together, abit vexed perhaps that even Elrond should have found this out first., though really there had not been a chance before and there would not be another until goodness knows when."   I am quite certain that between proper grave protocol as being a guest in the house of a ruler of a people, and no opportunity it turned to Elrond to perform the ciphering

You two are frightening. I am sure Taz was unwell, perhaps in a delirium when he allowed me to be part of this esteemed counsel, where Val is a real mariner, Amarie a real engineer, a shipwright for heaven's sake and beautiful, and Vir,Loss Rednell Taz himself and all the rest are geniuses in their own sphere, and well I have only steadfastness to claim. And when you titans of knowledge take the stage I only wish to obey Gandalf and fly away and hide until you have departed. And yet for all that I stand firm sirs, I firmly believe our dearest wizard knew how to read every sort of rune and did not for protocol's sake being a guest in an exalted house under and exalted leader of a noble and amazing people, and also he did not wish to , simple as that. Smile Smilie

Well, if Tolkien himself revised this...

... hey I'm all for trying out reasonable internal explanations rather than just saying 'it's a mistake'. JRRT did the same thing, or even added purpose to his 'mistakes', like when he purposely used Dwarves instead of Dwarfs according to Appendix F (ahem). 

And if memory serves, he even explained the map question (referring to geordie's post above), although I can't recall where at the moment, if so.

But what I'm wondering is, why isn't Tolkien's own internal explanation good enough

Ahem, yes , well you have the knowledge professor Galin, I bow to your wisdom.

And  silly me dear Brego, you must forgive me, I automatically thought you were speaking in our world languages and it quite freaked me out. But you must have spoken that word from the later Quenya meaning perhaps lady? How elegant and mannerly you are. I love that.

Yes dear Lee Lee, probably badly used however. And fear not, I do actually think that of course our Mithradir could read the blessed runes. And thanks again Galin.

Ahem, yes , well you have the knowledge professor Galin, I bow to your wisdom. 


Well it's not wisdom Leelee, it's merely the fact that I've read (what little there is) of the 1960 Hobbit.

And in my last post I was just wondering why there is (seeming) resistance to JRRT's idea, that's all, not demanding that you or anyone must change your opinion regarding other explanations.


The reason I ask? because upon revealing the 'blood-stained' idea on the web so far, I have met with a measure of resistance elsewhere (not just here with you and Brego for example, as Brego also posted earlier that the idea did not help). People appear to prefer the idea of the Gondolinic runes, for example, or you seem to prefer that Gandalf chose not to interpret the names when he found the swords, and later deferred to Elrond in his own house.


So the resistance in general has me a bit confused, as Tolkien's idea seems quite simple and therefore elegant to me, and it also preserves that Gandalf could read the runes. But as Tolkien himself never published this explanation in any case, I'm not arguing that anyone must bow to this idea, or bow to my opinion that it works well.


Moreover, one is free to disagree with Tolkien when it comes to an idea he wrote but never published (and even when JRRT himself publishes something, of course, but there it's harder to sell that something isn't really internally true in my opinion). I disagree about Galadriel being 'unstained' for example.

But anyway, I don't want to derail this thread more, and someone will probably ask why Gandalf seemingly couldn't read the runes, sooner or later.


Not badly used Brego, I simply was not thinking Elvish. I kept thinking somehow it was a form of a word i had no memory or knowledge of. Tres Bien Merci.

Galin, ,I must ask you, are you a scholar, teacher like our Gandalf-Olerin? If so that would explain your meticulous and impressive way you have of research.

Brego, you will laugh at me, I do myself, but as soon as I found out you are an Aussie, of course I saw you as one of the Wiggles, I love them all, on the beach, shrimp and such on the barby , a beach towel and stack of books on Tolkien and a lap top! It is strange about first impressions isn't it.

We are entering the phase of The Hobbit where I, having worked many years with broken battered and at risk children and have used my writing skills from my work as editor of a newspaper to write stories for these children, to help them cope and have hope, ,it is at this fork in the road as it were,, that I do not any more agree that The Hobbit is a suitable book for children under twelve. It is only my opinion, but it is based on actual case work of my own showing the deep harm certain images have on children under that age, no matter how 'mature' they appear to be. For instance the part coming of the demise of the ponies, while this might be nothing to a teen, to a child with a tender heart or emotional trauma who might see his or herself as the pony, it could deepen their fears of the world being a place where they will surely be harmed again, perhaps worse than what they have come through. A child from a secure loving background, where father and mother are sane, responsible, loving and non violent can take things that so many, and the number has skyrocketed in the last ten years, cannot, so that for me this is now an adult or at least a book for much older children now and I treat it as such.

Therefore, any children reading along with us, I urge you to get permission from mummy, daddy or your caregiver to read this thread, or do not read that which I may warn has great violence or emotional threats to frighten you. I would rather that you read along with an adult who can skim past certain parts so as not to cause any potential harm, or just wait to enjoy it in full at an older age. I know of a couple of dear visitors and regulars here ho are around the twelve year old mark.

And with that in mind I just may skim over certain parts allowing those following along to go and get their or someone;s copies and read for themselves, fill in the gaps of the text. My intention is simply to give the flavour of things on this thread, to interest those mature enough to get down to reading for themselves this wondrous great tale, not to traumatize those who cannot bear certain things. As I explained on another thread I and my family along with our tiny one started The Hobbit book club and it took about a month of club meetings to read through. Knowing my little one's fears and anxieties we completely skimmed over certain parts and she still understood the gravity of fighting for one's freedom and a proper way of life and the strife the dwarves went through, etc. But certain things were not read and so at the end she was delighted and learned much about real life. But was not harmed in the doing so. Just so you dear reader will not get annoyed with me. The well being of our young particpants is very very important to me.

Therefore for those contributing thought here please keep the children in mind. If I feel any part of any contribution too much for the children I will contact you and ask you to change the comment to fit the criteria. Just so we are straight on this.

PAGES 54  55

The dwarves had hoped that they might just arrive at their destination on Durin's Day but it was Gandalf who had shaken his head in the negative. unlike any dwarves who had not taken the journey in a great great while, the wizard had and he realized that even those like him and Elrond could find themselves in great peril if travelling over The Edge of The Wild.

It was not long before things happened. Any one who has journeyed in a very mountainous area, especially one bereft of much in trees, only barren grey and formidable rock knows how sound travels and falling rock or splintering rock can sound terribly frightening. And so it was that Bilbo and company found themselves lodged on dreary night under a hanging rock and the noise was tremendous. It was then that the shaking and quaking Bilbo Baggins, under his blanket happened to look afar and to his amazement there were some rock giants playing a sort of rock ball, throwing boulders to one another and sometimes smashing them to bits by hurtling to the craggy rocs far below.

The ponies were not thrilled by the noise and were disturbe and then rain and wind began and Thorin had enough and complained bitterly. Gandalf, himself feeling a little cross then commissioned Fili and Kili who had very sharp sight to go and find better shelter if that were possible. They crawled back and said they had indeed found such and it was dry and the cave did not go very far back. Gandalf grilled them about this for he knew if they did not that all such caves were usually not unihabited by someone or other.

Galin, I must ask you, are you a scholar, teacher like our Gandalf-Olerin?


No Leelee, I'm just a Tolkien fan. And I know I can be pedantic sometimes, but I'm always having fun when discussing Tolkien.

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