I’m participating in a Hobbit read along. Links to the earlier chapters/bloggers can be found here.
This chapter jumped around a bit so I’m just going to do like David did and give some thoughts I had while reading.
- We begin to see Bilbo maturing into a “Hero”! He’s just escaped from the goblins AND his encounter with Gollum. Yet, he worries that the dwarves might still be under the mountain and he is thisclose to turning around and going right back into all that mess he just escaped from so he can rescue them! What’s worse, as soon as he decides this, he stumbles upon their camp where the dwarves are arguing that they don’t need to go back and rescue him! Ouch. To be fair though, Thorin and Co. still weren’t sure Bilbo was worth the trouble and fortunately Bilbo was able to use his cleverness and a lucky find to escape on his own and then win the dwarves’ respect.
- We see the first instance here of the Ring’s influence. Bilbo decides not to mention the Ring when describing his escape, showing that already, Bilbo is getting possessive of the Ring. I wonder how much of LotR Tolkien had thought of at this point? Had he already decided how important this Ring was going to be? Fitting with the overall style of The Hobbit, the Ring is made to seem more of a trinket than anything else. A trinket with invisibility powers but a trinket nonetheless.
- It’s interesting to me how different Gandalf is in The Hobbit than he is in LotR. He seems a bit more sorcerous (is that a word? I don’t know), yet still slightly human. Bilbo asks about their escape from the mountains and Tolkien writes that Gandalf was happy to do so because he loved to talk about how clever he is. A little arrogant, no? But much more Earth-y than he is in LotR, where he’s more secretive and seems much more the Istari (is there a singular form?) that he is.
- What’s with the random wolf/ Warg attack? It shows how dangerous their journey is, I guess, while also showing dangers in the wider world not related to them and their journey. And it provides an exciting story for the chapter title. But it’s so…random. It really just seems an excuse to introduce the eagles (and redeem the dwarves, especially Thorin and Dori). And it always makes me think of the almost exact same situation the Fellowship runs into when coming down off Caradhras. Except no tree climbing there; apparently Gandalf learned his lesson.
- The Eagles! They always show up in the nick of time. A fine introduction for a good race. They keep to themselves, but they help out when needed. And we get to see some of their relationship with Gandalf too.
What did y’all think?
Chapter 7: Queer Lodgings coming next Tuesday from Rob at The Old Book Junkie!