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My notes from a close read of The Hobbit.

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Thorin’s company in order of appearance at the Unexpected Party. (p8-11)

  • Dwalin (p8)
    • blue beard
    • gold belt
    • dark green hood
    • bright eyes
    • had tea and three cakes
    • plays a viol as big as himself (p14)
  • Balin (p9)
    • white beard
    • scarlet hood
    • beer and seed cake
    • plays a viol as big as himself (p14)
    • visits bilbo after his return to The Shire. (p271)
  • Kili (p9)
    • yellow beard
    • silver belt
    • blue hood
    • keeps a bag of tools (p13)
    • plays a little fiddle (p13)
  • Fili (p9)
    • yellow beard
    • silver belt
    • blue hood
    • keeps a spade
    • plays a little fiddle (p13)
  • Dori (p10)
    • may have had a gold or silver belt
    • may have had a purple, grey, brown, or white hood
    • may have had ale, porter, or coffe at the party
    • definitely had cakes
    • plays a flute, kept in his coat (p13)
  • Nori (p10)
    • may have had a gold or silver belt
    • may have had a purple, grey, brown, or white hood
    • may have had ale, porter, or coffe at the party
    • definitely had cakes
    • plays a flute, kept in his coat (p13)
  • Ori (p10)
    • may have had a gold or silver belt
    • may have had a purple, grey, brown, or white hood
    • may have had ale, porter, or coffe at the party
    • definitely had cakes
    • plays a flute, kept in his coat (p13)
  • Oin (p10)
    • may have had a gold or silver belt
    • may have had a purple, grey, brown, or white hood
    • may have had ale, porter, or coffe at the party
    • definitely had cakes
    • good at starting fires (p31)
  • Gloin (p10)
    • may have had a gold or silver belt
    • may have had a purple, grey, brown, or white hood
    • may have had ale, porter, or coffe at the party
    • definitely had cakes
    • was following close behind Dori, Nori, Ori, and Oin on the night of the party, and arrived at Bilbo’s door at the same time.
    • good at starting fires (p31)
  • Bifur (p11)
    • not explicitly mentioned, but may have had a gold or silver belt
    • yellow hood
  • Bofur (p11)
    • not explicitly mentioned, but may have had a gold or silver belt
    • yellow hood
  • Bombur (p11)
    • not explicitly mentioned, but may have had a gold or silver belt
    • pale green
    • plays a drum
  • Thorin (p11)
    • not explicitly mentioned, but may have had a gold or silver belt
    • sky blue hood with a silver tassle
    • wears yellow stockings on the night with the trolls (p39)
    • plays a golden harp
    • was the bottom of the pile of dwarves entering Bilbo’s door.
    • enjoyed a red wine at the unexpected party.
    • died at the battle of five armies in a circle of defenders, his companions, elven spearmen, lake men, and dwarves Dain, of the Iron Hills
      • “fallen pierced with many spears” p260
      • born by Beorn out of the fray
  • Gandalf (p11)
    • Slays the Great Goblin (p61) presumably with Glamdring

In aggregate

  • Fili and Kili play “little fiddles”, which they kept in their bags of tools. (p13)
  • Dwalin and Balin had “viols as big as themselves”. (p14)
  • Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, and Gloin each wore either a gold or silver belt. Among them they had two purple hoods and one grey, brown, and white. The order and assignment are left to conjecture. p10
  • Dori, Nori, and Ori played “flutes kept somewhere inside their coats.” p13
  • Dori and Nori “shared the hobbit’s [Bilbo’s] views about meals, plenty and often.” p30
  • On the night of meeting the trolls, Oin and Gloin fail to start a fire, a task for which they were normally adept. (p31)
  • When the trolls caught them, Bifur and Bofur put up a good fight. (p37)
  • Fili and Kili die at the Battle of Five armies “defending [Thorin] with shield and body.” (p261)

More facts

  • “Lone-lands” is given as the name of the region around hobbit lands. This is a probable idiomatic translation of “Eriador”. (p29)
  • Thorin’s company passes through a “deep valley with a river” with an “ancient stone bridge” before encountering the Trolls. (p30) This corresponds with the “Last Bridge” as drawn on Christopher Tolkien’s map of Middle-earth during the events of Lord of the Rings.

Concerning the Trolls

  • Trolls can have multiple heads. (p33)
  • The purses of trolls are mischievous and can talk. (p34) This is a rare overt case of magic in the Legendarium.
  • Trolls wear clothes and speak in The Hobbit. (p33)
  • William (Bill) Huggins (p35)
    • Dies stooping (p39)
  • Bert
    • Loses an eye to Thorin’s branch. (p37) This may allude to the occasion at the Battle of Nanduhirion where Thorin earned the eipithet “Oakenshield” by defending himself with a branch.
    • Dies looking at William (p39)
  • Tom
    • Loses a tooth to Thorin’s branch (p37)
    • Dies looking at William (p39)
  • Of the Troll hoard
    • Orcrist
      • means Orc Cleaver in the ancient language of Gondolin (p49)
      • known as “Biter” to Goblins (p60)
    • Glamdring:
      • means Foe Hammer (p49) in the ancient language of Gondolin (p49)
      • known as “Beater” to Goblins (p63)

More facts

  • Gandalf has a wand (p55)
  • After the meeting with the Trolls, Thorin’s company “forded a river at a wide shallow place full of the noise of stones and foam,” (p43) Clearly a reference to the crossing at the Loudwater, Bruinen. “The far bank was steep and slippery.”
  • (p44) describes the region of Rhudaur near Imladris in the foothills of the Hithaeglir: scree slopes, green patches of mos and grass denoting water; heather and rock.

  • Moon Runes must be read when the moon shines behind them and has the same shape and season in which they were written. The dwarves invented them. (p50)

  • The moon runes on Thror’s map were written on a midsummer’s eve in a crescent moon.
  • Durin’s Day is the last new moon of autumn (p50)

  • The mountain path climbs the south side of a ravine with a conical rock before the goblin cave entrance, as illustrated (p57) or the “Front Portch” as known by the goblins (p59)

  • Goblins eat ponies, horses, and donkeys, and are always hungry (p59)
  • (p59) presents support for Tolkien as a luddite.
  • (p64) Bilbo finds the ring: “He guessed as well as he could, and crawled along for a good way, till suddenly his hand met what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal lying on the floor of the tunnel.”
  • (p65) Concerning Hobbits, “they can move very quietly, and hide easily, and recover wonderfully from falls and bruises, and they have a fund of wisdom and wise sayings that men have mostly never heard or have forgotten long ago.”
  • Gollum is “Dark as darkness” (p67)
  • Gollum’s name comes from his swallowing noise. ‘And when he said /gollum/ he made a horrible swallowing noise in his throat. That is how he got his name, though he always called himself “my precious”.’ (p67)
  • Gollum keeps in his pockets (implying he is clothed in more than a loin-cloth) (p73)
    • fish bones
    • goblins’ teeth
    • wet shells
    • a bat wing
    • sharp stone (for sharpening his fangs)
    • other nasty things
  • The “Lower Gate” is the name the Goblins give to the exit of their tunnels beneath the High Pass. It is known by Gollum as the “Back Door”.
    • The gate appears at elevation above the tree line as implied when they arrive at the trees on (p91) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_line for elevations of tree line at various latitudes. Likely 1.5 to 3 kilometers above the sea.
  • The eastward drainage of the Misty Mountains: (p89)
    • vegitation
      • bushes
      • long grasses
      • turves of grass, cropped by said rabbits
      • wild strawberries
      • spices
        • thyme
        • sage
        • majoram
      • trees (p91)
        • larch
        • pine
        • fir
    • animals
      • rabbits
    • scree slopes
  • The Anduin drainage near the Carrock: (p104)
    • oaks
    • elms
    • wide grasslands

Concerning Eagles

  • (p100) illustration: “The Misty Mountains looking West from the Eyrie towards Goblin Gate”
  • Eagle call and response: (p104)
    • Farewell! wherever you fare, till your eyries receive you at the journey’s end
    • May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks (the proper reply, known and said by Gandalf)
  • Eagles: (p104)
    • “King of All Birds” wears a golden crown
    • 15 chieftans wear gold collars

Concerning the Land of Beorn

  • Description of the Carrock and the ford of Carrock (p104)
    • “There was a flat space on the top of the hill of stone and a well worn path with many steps leading down it to the river, across which a ford of huge flat stones led to the grass-land beyond the stream. There was a little cave (a wholesome one with a pebbly floor) at the foot of the steps and near the end of the stony ford.”
  • Beorn’s house (p107)
    • bee pastures
    • belt of tall, ancient oaks
    • high thorn hedge
    • wooden gate
    • gardens
    • low wood buildings
      • thatched, unshapen logs
    • barns, stables, sheds (p108)
    • hives, southward, inside hedge
    • long low wooden house
    • courtyard amid the house’s two wings
    • fire in the long hall
    • hedge opens on the east side (p123)

More facts

  • Dwarven etiquette calls for waving hoods before knees. (p111)
  • The Grey Mountains (Ered Mithrin) are “simply stiff with goblins, hobgoblins, and orcs of the worst description.” (p126) This seems to imply that at least goblins and hobgoblins are distinct classes of creature, if not also orcs. It is plausible to infer that orcs are goblins and that hobgoblins are an early reference to Uruks, though that would not jive with the timeline if Uruks are an invention of Saruman.

Regarding Mirkwood

  • Ivy is on the trees (p124)
  • Leaves are dark and long
  • Four days walk to the east from the enchanted stream, the trees are beeches with grey trunks.
  • Two more days, there is a valley of oaks. - With black butterflies, which are similar to Purple Emperors, but black, thus Bilbo names them “Black Emperors”.
  • In Bombur’s dream, the King of the Elves [Thranduil] wears a crown of leaves.

Regarding the Lonely Mountain

  • The town by the shore called Esgaroth (p202)
  • It is a five hour march from the door to raven hill (p217) That would imply about 13 miles. This can be used to scale Thror’s map on the Middle-earth Map

More facts

  • Council of the White Wizards drove out the Necromancer (p266)
  • Elrond does not foresee Sauron’s end in the age of the world (p267)
  • The river (Loudwater?) that marks the border of the Wild (p268)
  • All things come to an end (p269)
  • The Master of Lake Town dies in “The Waste” (p272)

hey, this is very good, will keep with my notes and continue to compare mine with yours. See ya.

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