Monday, October 15, 2012

The Hobbit Read-a-long: Chapters 3-5

Chapters 3-5

I have heard that there are still forgotten treasures of old to be found in the deserted caverns of the mines of Moria, since the dwarf and goblin war.

I've made a page at the top with the reading schedule easy to find, if you need it.

In this section, we meet a silly group of elves at Rivendell, where the band stops to ask Elrond for help reading their map. This trip also develops Bilbo's love for the place, as we see in The Lord of the Rings. After leaving the elves, the troupe tries to make it through the mountains, but decide to wait out the raging storm on the front porch of some Goblins. The goblins aren't to thrilled with having a bunch of dwarves on their lawn, so they steal them and Bilbo to make a nice meal. Gandalf rescues them, cutting some goblins along the way, but in the escape, Bilbo becomes separated from the group, and bumbles into Gollum's lair. We get our first look at this slimy, demented character so prominent in LOTR, and how Bilbo lives up to his position as a thief.

What did you all think of this section? We get quick glimpses of races and locations we come to know better in LOTR. What do you think of their portrayal here? Any thoughts in general on this section?


To me, this section seem to contain a good bit of foreshadowing for LOTR, or what seems like foreshadowing (since Tolkien could have added some during his edits. Several things are there, like the moon letters, and the trip through the mountains, that remind me of events in LOTR. Even Bilbo's fascination with the elves' singing reminds me of Samwise's fascination as well.

It never struck me when I read this and LOTR before, about how much Gandalf orchestrated the whole thing. In this reread, it seems like Gandalf must have seen what Frodo does, and who he is related to, and therefore must push Bilbo out into this adventure. Try thinking about in a wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey way- what real use is there of Bilbo acting as a thief in this troupe? We'll get back to this later on.


Vonnie Rivera said...

Yes, just like you, I am noticing a lot of things that I don't remember reading and/or I am becoming more aware of with this re-read. For example, I recall Gandalf tricking Bilbo into agreeing into this adventure, but I didn't remember how clever Gandalf was when trying to get out of tricky situations. When reading these chapters, I kept mixing Gandalf's character to the serious one that is portrayed in the films along with Dumbledore (It doesn't help that I'm reading Harry Potter at the same time lol). I just forgot how fun Gandalf's character is.

Also, we are starting to see the different races that are more elaborated in LOTR. And yes, I too see the foreshadowing. If I haven't read the LOTR trilogy or watched the movies, then perhaps I would not have notice the foreshadowing or would have wanted more descriptions of all the mythical creatures.

I have to admit that I got supper giddy when Gollum showed up. He's one of my favorite characters and I just love the way Tolkien portrays him. I could easily picture him in my mind. I also enjoyed the fact that Tolkien states that he had no idea where Gollum comes from but soon gives a clue that he used to be a hobbit by saying, "Gollum brought up memories of ages and ages before, when he lived with his grandmother in a hole in a bank by a river..." I don't remember if Gollum shows up again in the rest of the book, but I am hoping that he does.

Sarah Williams said...

Gollum is a great character to love and hate. I had the same reaction when the new trailer for the movie came out (just before I got to the Gollum section in the book).

When I read this the first time, I read the Hobbit, then went into my first reading of LOTR, so that is probably the reason I didn't notice them before.