2011/08/22

The Hobbit Group Read-a-Long Discussion Part 2


Sorry everyone my post scheduler did not work for the day that I wanted this post to go up....ugggh. 

The march with Bilbo has continued this past week in The Hobbit Read-a-Long Round 2. It seems that the dwarves are starting to respect Gandalf's decision in choosing Bilbo to come along on the trip to regain their treasure from the dragon.

This week, Andrea (Little Red Reviewer) took on the challenge of coming up with this week’s discussion questions. Thank you Andrea! She sent out a list of questions giving responders the option of answering all or just some of the questions.  
Remember these are my answers of the read-a-long. Go ahead and visit Little Red Reviewer and see her answers and thoughts about the second part of the The Hobbit.

Here you go ans see what my thoughts are thus far:

There's some thought that Gandalf purposely didn't prepare the dwarves and Bilbo very well, that much of their trials is him testing them. What do you think of that theory, and what do you think he's testing/preparing them for?

I think that Gandalf did do this on purpose to the party in fact. It is like a life lesson, if you are thrown lemons you do what you can what life throws at you. After that you hope for the best. The party sure is gelling together as a good cohesive unit on the venture to regain the treasure from the dragon.

What did you think of Bilbo's escape plan from the Wood-Elves?
Well the party was stuck in a fortress that there were two way to get in and out. I think that it was great thinking for Bilbo. The downside of the plan from the dwarf’s point of view was being stuck in a used barrel floating down the river. Some of the barrel smelled better than others, but now some of the party is scared for life. With them smelling whine or fruit the whole way.  
For what Bilbo had to work with it did an adequate job, but the problem was he forgot to think of himself getting in a barrel as the elves were tossing the barrels. To me Bilbo sure does not think a plan ALL the way through at times. At the moment, it may sound great, but later he gets the oh crap factor. He gets bite in the hind end. I give the plan a B-

Do you like Tolkien's writing style?

I like the way that Tolkien tells the story. It is like my father or grandfather is telling me a story before going to bed as a child. He also allows the reader to have an imagination.  Two people can picture a character in his book(s) differently. I like the freedom that he shows.
Some authors get to descript and does not allow the reader to have much of an imagination, thus losing the readers interest.

What did you think of Smaug? How does he compare to other fantasy novel dragons you've come across?

Smaug is the classic dragon; deeply magical, he hoards treasure and burns innocent towns. He is something the people around the mountain fears. Something different about Smaug is his smart and tries trickery to get at HIS enemies. He is much like Ursula K. Le Guin, world of Earthsea, but the dragons do in fact change from the beginning of LeGuin’s series.
In the beginning with unbounded greed for hoards of precious jewelry; later, they grow in stature and nobility, to become virtual demi-gods who speak the "Language of Creation" as their mother tongue. Later still, it is revealed that they share an ancestry with humanity, and that some rare humans (always women) can change into dragons at will.

How in the world is a hobbit and a bunch of unorganized dwarves who have hardly any weapons going to defeat an angry and greedy dragon?

This is going to be an interesting feat to see if the party can defeat the dragon that is both fierce and good at trickery, as well as intelligent. With the limited weapons it is going to be something on how they are going to take down this beast. The dwarves do know that there is a kink in the amour for the dragon. Bilbo did see that Smaug’s left breast is exposed at told the rest of the party.
Will the thrush (it looks like a robin) get some reinforcements for the party that is not really sure which way is up. 

We will see at the last this of this thrilling adventure.  Then we will be seeing whar happens in the end with the dysfunctional party.


3 comments:

  1. I love how you graded Bilbo's escape plan! you're right, he doesn't think things all the way through. But, as everyone keeps reminding me, this is a classic YA book, and I don't know about you but I sure didn't think anything all the way through when I was a preteen (or teen, for that matter).

    Smaug is pretty bad-ass. as some at a book-ish discussion I was at the other day said: "best dragon conversation EVER!"

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  2. There's some thought that Gandalf purposely didn't prepare the dwarves and Bilbo very well, that much of their trials is him testing them. What do you think of that theory, and what do you think he's testing/preparing them for?
    I think that Gandalf did not do it as a test, he did it to form them to what they needed to be to complete the quest.

    What did you think of Bilbo's escape plan from the Wood-Elves?
    I think given there only two options available, wait for the wizard to rescue them, or take the best chance to escape. I don’t think they would have gotten very far rushing the front gate. They all got away alive and without immediate pursuit which I would think to be the most important part of a prison break. Granted there were psychological issues that resulted… but if they lived till old age in the elf fortress I am pretty sure they would be scarred by more than just hating apples. I don’t see how Bilbo could have gotten into a barrel, and if I were in his position I would accept that that is a flaw in the plan and hope that I could swim ashore and follow the river to lake town downstream somewhere and keep up with the barrels if I could not hold on. Even with the downsides, I would still give this plan an A because it worked. Why fix what isn’t broken.

    Do you like Tolkien's writing style?
    I like his writing style in this story in particular. I believe I read somewhere that it was written for children, so it is simpler than LOTR. I really enjoy the deeper parts to all of his stories, such as the elven language he created from scratch, the deep mythology of the world, and the songs in the books.

    What did you think of Smaug? How does he compare to other fantasy novel dragons you've come across?
    I have not read about any other dragons recently so I can’t really compare. Smaug is always who I think of when I think of dragons. I think he has the perfect balance of wits and hubris.

    How in the world is a hobbit and a bunch of unorganized dwarves who have hardly any weapons going to defeat an angry and greedy dragon?
    Well… good luck, how else?

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  3. @little red- There are still not many dragons protaryed as cool as Tolkien did with Smaug.

    @samrite-I agree that this is the perfect book for children and plus you can read a chapter a night to them as well. Sure do wish o could just get up and go away from months on end.

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