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Author Topic: Chapter Seventeen  (Read 604 times)

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June 02, 2013, 11:54:51 AM

atschpe

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Chapter 17
The Clouds Burst

Bard arrives with some back up to try and persuade Thorin again, but to no avail. Surprise, surprise. So he shows Thorin the Arkenstone, which nearly leads to Hobbiticide, if it weren't for Gandalf revealing himself. Gandalf then demands that Thorin should let Bilbo speak: the stone is his 14th share, as detailed in the contract. So Thorin pays to get it back, hoping his Dwarf brethren will arrive in time to battle so he might be able to withhold said payment. But not only do they arrive and commence  the battle, but soon the skies darken heralding the Goblins and Wargs to join the fray. The sight of Eagles finally bring hope to Bilbo, who had kept himself out of harm's way, yet he is soon knocked unconscious by a falling stone.

Pondery Points:
  • What does Arkenstone symbolise here?
  • We have a continually growing battle. Dwarves vs. Elves and Men, then Goblins and Wargs and finally the Eagles. What does each group bring to the field in expectations, qualities and change of the situation?
  • Bilbo tries to stay out of harms way. Where would you have been? What do you think of his decision to do this? Do you think his being knocked unconscious serves him right?


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June 16, 2013, 01:24:04 AM
Reply #1

ss19

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See, this is what doesn't make sense to me about Bilbo's strategy using the Arkenstone.  Bilbo steals the Arkenstone from Thorin, defying his wishes by giving the Arkenstone to the enemy, in the process angering him to the point of kicking Bilbo out of their camp.  The enemy then tries to use the Arkenstone to negotiate with Thorin to trade it for a fourteenth of the remaining treasures, leaving Bilbo with nothing.  So, instead of this strategy, why couldn't Bilbo just let Thorin have his Arkenstone in the first place peacefully without causing any problems, then take Bilbo's 14th share of the remaining treasures, and go to the enemy to give them his 14th share?  The end result would have been the exact same thing as what he had hoped to (but had no assurance he would) achieve with his strategy: Bilbo has nothing, Thorin has his Arkenstone, and the enemy gets Bilbo's 14th share.  The only difference in the second scenario is that everybody would have been happy, there's no stealing and no back-stabbing involved, and no negotiation or battles would have been necessary.  Bilbo was entitled to his 14th share, and after he gets it, he's free to give it to anyone he wants to - nothing more to it.  Why create all the drama of stealing the Arkenstone to achieve the same results but with a lot more anger and uncertainty involved for all?
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June 16, 2013, 10:29:00 PM
Reply #2

Evreka

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See, this is what doesn't make sense to me about Bilbo's strategy using the Arkenstone.  Bilbo steals the Arkenstone from Thorin, defying his wishes by giving the Arkenstone to the enemy, in the process angering him to the point of kicking Bilbo out of their camp.  The enemy then tries to use the Arkenstone to negotiate with Thorin to trade it for a fourteenth of the remaining treasures, leaving Bilbo with nothing.  So, instead of this strategy, why couldn't Bilbo just let Thorin have his Arkenstone in the first place peacefully without causing any problems, then take Bilbo's 14th share of the remaining treasures, and go to the enemy to give them his 14th share?  The end result would have been the exact same thing as what he had hoped to (but had no assurance he would) achieve with his strategy: Bilbo has nothing, Thorin has his Arkenstone, and the enemy gets Bilbo's 14th share. 
I don't think this is entirely true. If Bilbo didn't go to the enemy and offered them something tangible to argue with, the enemy would have engaged in war. With the back door caved in, Bilbo would have been stuck inside with the dwarves for however long. Once the war was a reality, Bilbo could not have slipped out with his share and offered them anything at all. They could have taken some or all of his share, but it wouldn't have stopped their warfare with the dwarves. It is only through the Arkenstone that Thorin agrees to trade rather than go to war.

For once, I am happy the Hobbit is so very clearly a book for kids, given the way Tolkien chooses to gloss over the fighting scenes. For anyone familiar with LOTR it is apparent how he'd treat it if he weren't addressing children!  :voldemortak: A mid-way description might have been the most engaging one, but his "adult" version has a tendency to drag on in parts, in my opinion.

It's amazing how quickly the story of the dragon's death and the "unguarded" treasure can spread, considering how the goblins are capable of coming there so fast! :o Did they cross the Mirkwood or did they go around it?  :crabbegoyle: And, perhaps even more surprising, if the birds could warn the dwarves of the men and elf armies, why did the goblins attack appear out of the blue? This doesn't seem logical to me....

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June 19, 2013, 12:11:45 AM
Reply #3

HealerOne

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Here's some thoughts on this question;

"What does Arkenstone symbolise here?"

My feeling is the Arkenstone was the symbol of Thorin family and the greatness of the family. He knew the stone had been owned by his father, so that makes it extra special to him. Finding the Arkenstone is like finding the 'Holy Grail' for the dwarves. However it is a 'thing', a symbol of power and not 'the power'. (Make sense?) Thorin's greed for the stone was sort of blinding him to the fact that he had regained his place as leader. He'd found the treasure and Dragon was dead - but he wanted more. His greed for the stone was standing in the way of him being a really insightful leader.
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