The name's Luna.
24/Los Angeles/wannabe blogger & researcher
Just another freak in the Freak Kingdom.
A place for me to ramble about books I love... also probably the only blog I'll ever have that will keep its theme. I don't want my page to be a mess so I'm only going to shelve books starting with what I've read in the past year.
I'm not always eloquent, and I'm certainly not pretentious. I am just a huge nerd who lurks in used bookstores and likes to read and do research for fun.
This is definitely one of my favorite chapters. Bilbo escapes Gollum and finds himself on the opposite side of the Misty Mountains. I listened to some of the lecture this week, and Prof. Olsen summed up what I was thinking very well- Bilbo has "lost hood, cloak, food, pony, his buttons, and his friends" but he has found courage, wit and (what I noted most when reading) his sword. He's had the sword all along but it's only now that he seems to be comfortable holding it and using it, even if he's not eager to actually hurt someone with it. Before his adventure if you tried to hand him a sword I doubt if he would have even taken it. The sword is a symbol that Bilbo is now pretty much a full-blown adventurer; he carries his sword comfortably, has endured many missed meals and uncomfortable nights, he's got a magic ring that lets him get into all kinds of mischief, and he's willing (although "very miserable he felt about it") to head back into danger to save his friends.
I thought Bilbo's return to the group was highly amusing. The dwarves up to this moment have had no respect for Bilbo, and even though he knows this he is eager to prove himself. The dwarves are all very frustrated with Bilbo and not at all willing to go back into the tunnels to find him (which honestly is pretty understandable as they don't have a magic ring to help them and are probably assuming Bilbo's been captured and eaten already). I liked the short reference to how much things have changed since they first met in Bilbo's kitchen. Now it's the dwarves that are all flustered about Bilbo, and Dori even says (before Bilbo makes himself visible) "And here we are -- without the burglar, confusticate him!", echoing the same word Bilbo used when frustrated with the dwarves' behavior in his kitchen. I had a smile on my face the whole time I was reading Bilbo trying to up his adventurer street cred.
"Indeed Bilbo was so pleased with their praise that he just chuckled inside and said nothing whatever about the ring; and when they asked him how he did it, he said "Oh just crept along, you know -- very carefully and quietly."
The moment that follows is the first that Bilbo is really seen as a part of the gang. You can feel that warm feeling of pride and acceptance (and a whole lot of swagger) that Bilbo is feeling as he tells his embellished story. The dwarves "shuddered most appreciatively at his description of Gollum" and by the end of his tale "looked at him with quite a new respect, when he talked about dodging guards, jumping over Gollum, and squeezing through, as if it was not very difficult or alarming."
Even though Bilbo has become a legitimate adventurer, he still doesn't quite fit in, and in that way he remains relatable to the reader. He is unique in this party- he's had a "normal" life, like us, and even though he's growing used to being on this adventure, his reference of what living should be like is still there- he still longs for the comforts of home, he still complains and almost gets left behind in his inexperience.
So anyway, Bilbo & co. are making their way through 'the Wild'. Bilbo's going on like four days with no food and being a rather good sport about it, in my opinion. The whole group is rather grumpy about being caught up in a landslide and still being on the run from the goblins, and of course things get worse before they get better. The situation they find themselves in, a bunch of old men stuck in trees as a pack of wild dogs stalks them from below, is another of those moments that's both funny and terrifying. At first it seems like a situation that they might be able to escape, but it soon becomes much more dire- being torn apart by a wild dog is awful enough, but when the goblins catch up and begin singing and dancing around the trees with sadistic glee things become even more horrifying. This lecture really covers all the aspects of the different beings in the Wild very well, so I'm not going to go into this part in great detail.
I had a couple other things I wanted to talk about, but I'm ADDing out over here so I'm going to wrap this up with my favorite passages from the chapter.
"At times they were pushing through a sea of bracken with tall fronds rising right above the hobbit's head; at times they were marching along quiet as quiet over a floor of pine-needles; and all the while the forest-gloom got heavier and the forest-silence deeper. There was no wind that evening to bring even a sea-sighing into the branches of the trees."
" 'What shall we do, what shall we do!' he cried. 'Escaping goblins to be caught by wolves!' he said, and it became a proverb, though we now say 'out of the frying-pan into the fire' in the same sort of uncomfortable situations."
(A bit of that humor that I love in The Hobbit and in the HP series -- escaping psychotic goblins that want to torture you for fun to be caught by intelligent wolves who want to tear you limb from live. "Uncomfortable" to say the very least.)
"So ended the adventures of the Misty Mountains. Soon Bilbo's stomach was feeling full and comfortable again, and he felt he could sleep contentedly, though really he would have liked a loaf and butter better than bits of meat toasted on sticks. He slept curled up on the hard rock more soundly than ever he had done on his feather-bed in his own little hole at home. But all night he dreamed of his own house and wandered in his sleep into all his different rooms looking for something that he could not find nor remember what it looked like."
(I loved this because it seems like Bilbo is finally feeling a bit of satisfaction in this adventure. He still dreams of home but my immediate interpretation of the dream was that it represents how he would feel if he had given up on the adventure before starting or at any point after- he would have always felt that he was missing something. I don't think that's correct, but it was my first impression.)
Finished just in time!
Off to work,