The Hobbit Read Along Part II

So much, and incredible amount, of stuff happened in chapters 6-12. It’s been well over a decade.. uh.. maybe 2 decades since I read this and I can’t believe some of the things I forgot about.

Snobbery once again is our wonderful host and she has a great synopsis with snarky commentary over at her place, so make sure to check that out. She has also provided the following discussion topics:

Do you think Gandalf is always this impatient with everyone, or does he subscribe to some of the prejudices against dwarves that everyone else in Middle-Earth seems to have?

I think Gandalf is eager to be off on to his ‘other business’. While Thorin is the leader, the dwarves seem to be more of a comity than a chain-of-command lot. I can see why Gandalf has to push them along at times and in some ways pull rank as the All Powerful and Wise Wizard.

For those of you reading the first time, what do you think Gandalf’s “other business” is?  What could be so important that he keeps leaving our party?

Ha! i think Gandalf is bored with the little folks and wants to go visit friends and relatives in the area. Like he mentions a necromancer (perhaps spying is considered ‘other business’) and his brother Radagast. He could also be off collecting herbs and medicinal mushrooms, or dungeon prowling. He is a wizard and part of being a wizard is maintaining a aura of mystery and importance.

Let’s talk about Bilbo’s character.  He’s come a pretty long way from his hobbit-hole and seems to be rising to the various challenges set before him fairly well.  At what point did he (in your eyes) go from being a fraidy-hobbit to the dragon-challenging character we see at the end of this section?

This actually occurred for me in Part I, when he challenged Gollum to the Riddle Battle and in the end had to put on the ring and follow Gollum and then do this brave and challenging thing by leaping over him to get away. But we see more instances of him coming out of his shell. Even simple things that being the sharpest eyes in the party put him in a role of responsibility he wasn’t use to.

Other Tidbits:

I can’t believe I forgot about the Wargs and everyone nearly burning the trees. I did remember the Eagles though.

I can see how the Little Kid Me forgot about Beorn. But I find his character interesting this time around, especially how he treats his animals well. Though having goats and dogs set the table might be a bit much.

Gandalf’s reference to finding a Giant door stopper to plug up the Goblins int he mountain had me laughing.

When the Eagles feed the dwarves and Bilbo, they bring them a small sheep, rabbits, and hares. What is the difference between rabbits and hares? Ear size? Do they taste the same?

6 thoughts on “The Hobbit Read Along Part II”

  1. Rabbits and hares are the same family, but different genera. Hares have longer ears, stronger hind legs and generally move faster. Hares also give birth to young with hair that can see, whereas rabbits have young that are born hairless and blind. I think rabbits tend to live in burrows as well, but hares generally have nests aboveground.

    I’m happy you mentioned the Necromancer. I’m actually DYING to talk about this, but I don’t want to spoil things yet. 😉

    1. Thanks for the lesson on hares vs. rabbits. If I wasn’t so lazy, I guess I could have looked it up. But it is usually funner to hear what others have to say on such things.

  2. What a great post! I read “The Hobbit” late in life; 14 years ago in my early 20s. Thanks for helping me revisit this wonderful time in my life. The animated version captured my imagination when I was about 6-8.

  3. Tom Shippey actually has a short section, in “J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century,” on hobbits as compared to rabbits, when considering Bilbo in The Hobbit. Mr. Baggins gets compared to a bunny or rabbit numerous times, from Beorn to the eagles to the trolls….

Comments are always appreciated, so don't be shy!