Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Hobbit Read-Along, Chapter Six

Previous chapters: Intro | Ch1 | Ch2 | Ch3 | Ch4 | Ch5 |

Ah, what luck, wouldn't you know it, the dwarves, all of them, happen to be right on the path Bilbo was walking. Damned good job too since if you take a wrong path in these mountains, you have to go right back to the beginning and start again!
Once again, Gandalf saved the day, rescuing the dwarves and showing them the exit, but forgetting about poor ol' Bilbo.
So they continue on their journey, and there is a little more peril when they are trapped up trees by wolves and the goblins light fires under the trees to get them out. But, blessed be, Gandalf once saved an eagle's life and he and his fellow eagles collect them from the trees and fly them to safety, giving them some food too.
I think the term Deus ex machina could have been invented for Tolken.
And for a warrior race, the dwarves don't do an awful lot of fighting. I am no longer surprised that they lost their kingdom to a dragon, I'm only surprised that they ever had their own kingdom to begin with. Seriously, they're a bunch of inept, incompetent braggarts who would have killed on day one of the quest by falling from their horses had Gandalf not been there to help them keep their balance. At least that's how it's coming across. 

I have a little more respect for Bilbo after his escape in the last chapter and while Gandalf is still a manipulative bastard, at least he's  on the right side, the dwarves on the other hand... My god are they annoying!

And the real shame is, I want to like them! Aside from 2 actors I fancy the pants off, they have some great character actors cast as dwarves too, like Ken Stott (who plays Rebus which is set in Edinburgh and written by an Edinburger, so I'm naturally inclined to root for him) and James Nesbitt, who it would be impossible not to like with his cheeky chappy persona. I really really hope that the film has simply taken it's general premise from the book and actually manages to turn the dwarves into something other than blustering, blundering buffoons. 
So, back to the book. Our questers are now fed, getting rest and out of the horrible mountains where danger lurks around every corner (no seriously, it lurks around every single corner!). So what's next for them?

Despite this being a quest with a nifty map, we have no inkling of what's coming next. Not once have they sat around a fire and given any thought to the next stage of the journey or even the next day! I'm starting to think that Tolkien had no idea of where this story was going when he started writing it, which is forgiveable. Not going back and foreshadowing some of these events once he'd finished is not forgiveable. This books feels more like a random collection of events rather than a journey.

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