mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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Or, There & Back Again. (101)

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Ancalagon sleeps
on a pile of bones & swords.
His treasure is Death.

I can't help but compare Gandalf to The Doctor sometimes. The start of this books, for instance; he's much more Odin-the-Jerk than Gandalf-the-Grey. Like the Doctor, he needs to hang out with hobbits to mellow out. Anyhow, I wanted to re-read this before I saw the movie, & there! I did. After reading Song of the Vikings I couldn't un-see all the Norse mythology underpinning the book; even more so than the Lord of the Rings I think. I mean, there is a were-bear! I also couldn't help but see things from a bit of a Dungeons & Dragons perspective. I mean, right off the bat: size Small, non-magical, very quiet. Then later, when Bilbo is left in the goblin warrens: they have a good sense of direction, recuperate from falls & bruises easily, & have a great store of wisdom. Would -4 Strength, +2 Constitution, +2 Dexterity & +2 Wisdom, along with size Small be too over-powered? I suppose so, but I'm just reading what we've got in the text, after all! Reading it with the awareness that it had become a trilogy, I couldn't help but pick out where I would divide it up. After the eagles rescue them from the wargs, I think, for the first film; I'd let Gandalf do his first goodbye, here, so he could be in the beginning of the second movie escorting them to Beorn's. Then I think I'd end the second one with the dwarves in barrels, bobbing out of the hall of the elvenking. I should mention here that while I do think it is a little silly to make The Hobbit a trilogy, it really is more like The Quest of Erebor, as Stephen Colbert explained to Peter Jackson. It is actually "The Hobbit & the Appendices of the Lord of the Rings" as a trilogy. A few closing notes, here, before I go look for tickets to buy to see the movie today: it has always, ever since I was a wee Mordicai, tickled me that Gandalf pulls the same trick on Beorn as he pulled on Bilbo; Tolkien doesn't make it explicit, but the way the dwarves show up at Bag-End is the same way they they crash Beorn's mead-hall. In Mirkwood, when Bilbo climbs to the tree tops, he sees all those black butterflies & they are explicitly called "black emperors." Am I crazy to think that Godspeed You! Black Emperor took inspiration from here? I hope so, I really do. Lastly, my favorite piece of flattery that Bilbo lands on Smaug is "Chiefest & Greatest of Calamities." Stay classy, master burglar!

Tags: books, haiku, tolkien

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