October 23, 2018, 09:18:10 AM

Author Topic: Chapter Eight  (Read 886 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

April 28, 2013, 10:21:48 PM

HealerOne

  • Staffer
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
    • Chasing the Tale
Chapter Eight
Flies and Spiders


With the words of warning about staying on the path ringing in their ears, the dwarf party sets off into the forest. They come upon the Dark Water which they had been warned not to drink - running in a stream across the path. Due to Bilbo’s cleverness they are able to proceed across the river without touching the water – all but the dwarf Bombur, that is. He falls into the water and thus into a deep sleep. Burdened thereafter with carrying Bombur, they trudge on. Eventually the food and water begins to dwindle and the group becomes anxious that they will never get out of the endless dark forest. When Bombur wakes up –desperately hungry - and the very last of their provisions are eaten, they hear sounds of merriment and see lights of the woodland elves feasting in the forest. Desperate for food they go off the path and try to invite themselves to dine with the wood elves. They are spurned and instead they find themselves hopelessly lost in the black-as-coal forest.  Bilbo is captured by giant spiders. Bilbo uses his sword - which he dubs Sting – to kill the spiders. By a great deal of luck and with the help of the Ring, Bilbo is able to find the others who are also bound in the webs of the giant spiders. He cleverly tricks the spiders away from the dwarves, then circles back and frees them. A great battle against the spiders begins. Again Bilbo tricks the spiders by disappearing and taunting them. When the party eventually all safely meets up again, Bilbo explains the magic of the Ring to the dwarves. Shortly after, they realize that Thorin has been captured and carted off by the wood elves.     

~ Symbolically, why is it necessary that Bilbo walks alone through the dark forest of Mirkwood?

~ What do you think about the transformation that Bilbo has in this chapter?

~ This chapter stresses trickery and luck. Which do you think is more important to the story?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 09:21:55 AM by atschpe »


Logged
May 05, 2013, 08:26:37 AM
Reply #1

Evreka

  • Quibbling Queen
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1700
    • Try & Trix
Before the 14 companions get into the forest, they are told twice, by what have been honest and wise allies so far whatever you do, do NOT leave the path. (This is not meant to be a quote, just my words to describe the advice they get.) Then when they are finally nearing the end, they do do just that... Further, despite their past experiences of getting into something all together, without sending out spies first, they all go together!  :surprised: Don't they ever learn of their mistakes!?  :crabbegoyle:

What's interesting, I think, is that when they are in the goblins' tunnels under the mountain, they have neither food nor water, nor their package, yet it is clear to all of them that they have to move forward and hope they'll eventually reach the way out. There, they can not know that they follow the right track, yet they move steadily forward.

Here, in the Mirkwood, they know they are on the right track that will eventually get them out in the quickest and safest route possible; yet they leave it!? Common sense ought to tell them that however far the forest stretches, as long as they stay on the path, they are going forward towards the end, but once they step to the side they are both risking to loose the right way and making the time spent in the woods longer! Seems to me they won't survive long without Gandalf around...  :( :fredgeorge:

Why do YOU think they step away from the path in the forest, when they didn't in the mountains?

Another thing I ponder is who has enchanted the river? Given what Bombur dreams of, it seems to me that it is the elves who are responsible. Why would some other creature make you dream of their feasts? And yet, why would they?  :mcgonagall2: The river is quite a long way away from their home, after all. Maybe it's a way to stop the goblins from invading their lands from the west? What do you think?

I think the funniest part of this chapter is the image I get in my head after their last attempt to ask the elves for help, when 13 of the intruders start to run around randomly in the dark, each screaming for all other 13 companions. What a hullabaloo they make! No wonder the elves want nothing to do with them!  :fredgeorge: You'd think a more natural cause of event would be for each of them to stay still while calling for the others so that they could use their hearing to find out the right direction for finding each other again! Further, as everything has already blacked out twice at earlier attempts, why weren't they holding together in a tight-knit clump when Thorin went in?  :o Their strategies seem to lack even the slightest bit of common sense.... :ron:

It's amazing how much damage one little invisible hobbit can do with a blade and some stones, faced with hundreds of very angry spiders. But the main question I ponder is why the elves took Thorin with them after the third interuption, but not Bilbo after the second?  :ron: Any ideas?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 08:32:45 AM by Evreka »
Logged
May 11, 2013, 04:55:14 AM
Reply #2

HealerOne

  • Staffer
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
    • Chasing the Tale
It's amazing how much damage one little invisible hobbit can do with a blade and some stones, faced with hundreds of very angry spiders. But the main question I ponder is why the elves took Thorin with them after the third interuption, but not Bilbo after the second?  :ron: Any ideas?

Maybe because they  hate the dwarves and really have little interest in the Hobbit?  Maybe??

Ok back to the discussion of the alchemical operations happening in this book. Fermentation is happening now! It's the operation in which the  person being transformed is plunged into darkness and despair and is tested in the most awful of ways. I think we can agree that  being trussed up in a web by giant spiders is a pretty awful! Bilbo is tested and tortured by the forest and his own hungry.  They descend into a deep dark forest.  Then Bilbo must climb a tree (vertically ascending into the light) and afterwards  suddenly plunges back down into a deeper darker place than he was before. The Dark Night of the Soul begins. The party gives into their base longings and go off the path which they have been forewarned NOT to do!  That's when they encounter the spiders.  Bilbo uses his wits (and the ring) to escape and then save the others. Still they have to have a big battle in order to defeat those sneaky spiders! But now the Dark night of the Spirit begins when the dwarves realize Thorin is missing. He was taken by the Wood elves...
Logged
May 25, 2013, 05:43:38 AM
Reply #3

ss19

  • DS's resident Clever Clogs
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 590
Before the 14 companions get into the forest, they are told twice, by what have been honest and wise allies so far whatever you do, do NOT leave the path. (This is not meant to be a quote, just my words to describe the advice they get.) Then when they are finally nearing the end, they do do just that... Further, despite their past experiences of getting into something all together, without sending out spies first, they all go together!  :surprised: Don't they ever learn of their mistakes!?  :crabbegoyle:

What's interesting, I think, is that when they are in the goblins' tunnels under the mountain, they have neither food nor water, nor their package, yet it is clear to all of them that they have to move forward and hope they'll eventually reach the way out. There, they can not know that they follow the right track, yet they move steadily forward.

Here, in the Mirkwood, they know they are on the right track that will eventually get them out in the quickest and safest route possible; yet they leave it!? Common sense ought to tell them that however far the forest stretches, as long as they stay on the path, they are going forward towards the end, but once they step to the side they are both risking to loose the right way and making the time spent in the woods longer! Seems to me they won't survive long without Gandalf around...  :( :fredgeorge:

Why do YOU think they step away from the path in the forest, when they didn't in the mountains?

I think this basically just shows that when starving and dying of thirst, the hunger (and thirst) drive can be so strong that it makes you forget everything else.  The fact at that point, to them, was that there is no food or water for them if they stay on that path, but there's the potential of finding food and water if they follow the sound of merrymaking in the forest (happy people must not be starving).


Another thing I ponder is who has enchanted the river? Given what Bombur dreams of, it seems to me that it is the elves who are responsible. Why would some other creature make you dream of their feasts? And yet, why would they?  :mcgonagall2: The river is quite a long way away from their home, after all. Maybe it's a way to stop the goblins from invading their lands from the west? What do you think?

I'm thinking it's probably the wood elves protecting their territory/home from invaders of any kind.  There was a boat in that enchanted river (that Bilbo and company stole), which means someone was using it to cross the river when they need to, but that someone was on the other side where the boat was docked, the side where all the elves were when Bilbo and friends found them.


I think the funniest part of this chapter is the image I get in my head after their last attempt to ask the elves for help, when 13 of the intruders start to run around randomly in the dark, each screaming for all other 13 companions. What a hullabaloo they make! No wonder the elves want nothing to do with them!  :fredgeorge: You'd think a more natural cause of event would be for each of them to stay still while calling for the others so that they could use their hearing to find out the right direction for finding each other again! Further, as everything has already blacked out twice at earlier attempts, why weren't they holding together in a tight-knit clump when Thorin went in?  :o Their strategies seem to lack even the slightest bit of common sense.... :ron:

Again, they were starving and dehydrated, so it's not surprising to me that their brains wouldn't work so well at that point and they'd do stupid things and be unable to strategize.


It's amazing how much damage one little invisible hobbit can do with a blade and some stones, faced with hundreds of very angry spiders. But the main question I ponder is why the elves took Thorin with them after the third interuption, but not Bilbo after the second?  :ron: Any ideas?

My impression is that it was simply a matter of the wood elves finally getting fed up after these idiots persisted and tried their little trick 3 times in a row, that they ran out of patience and stepped in to capture Thorin.  While the wood elves were interrogating Thorin, they did specifically mention that Thorin and his friends interrupted the elves 3 times, which implies to me that that's what finally made them angry.

« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 05:45:42 AM by ss19 »
Logged
May 25, 2013, 10:11:15 AM
Reply #4

Evreka

  • Quibbling Queen
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 1700
    • Try & Trix
I think this basically just shows that when starving and dying of thirst, the hunger (and thirst) drive can be so strong that it makes you forget everything else.  The fact at that point, to them, was that there is no food or water for them if they stay on that path, but there's the potential of finding food and water if they follow the sound of merrymaking in the forest (happy people must not be starving).
True, this  makes sense... It's just that, because of Bombur's condition and the dreams he tell of, it seems quite remarkable that they don't connect the noices they hear with Bombur's echantment. Especially as he woke up there and then. So even as they are in such poor condition, I think they should be somewhat more weary of this decision....  ?


Again, they were starving and dehydrated, so it's not surprising to me that their brains wouldn't work so well at that point and they'd do stupid things and be unable to strategize.
The only problem I have with this explanation is that they survive all the things that happens next - without any water or food. So they are hardly dying at this point. Still, I guess they aren't in a very good shape and feeling hopeless to boot, of course makes for poor choices.


It's amazing how much damage one little invisible hobbit can do with a blade and some stones, faced with hundreds of very angry spiders. But the main question I ponder is why the elves took Thorin with them after the third interuption, but not Bilbo after the second?  :ron: Any ideas?
My impression is that it was simply a matter of the wood elves finally getting fed up after these idiots persisted and tried their little trick 3 times in a row, that they ran out of patience and stepped in to capture Thorin.  While the wood elves were interrogating Thorin, they did specifically mention that Thorin and his friends interrupted the elves 3 times, which implies to me that that's what finally made them angry.
Good idea! This makes perfect sense.  :harry:
Logged