Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Hobbit Read-Along, Chapter Fourteen

Previous chapters: Intro | Ch1 | Ch2 | Ch3 | Ch4 | Ch5 | Ch6 | Ch7 | Ch8 | Ch9 | Ch10 | Ch11 
Ch12 | Ch13 |

Bard, the man (not dwarf) who killed the dragon

So it seems that Smaug the dragon went to attack Laketown since the men there helped the dwarves out with supplies.  Bard, an archer from the town, fired into the unprotected patch on his belly as he flew over head and killed the beast.
So our dwarves are saved once again by others. It's a wonder the dwarves can remember their own names since they are clearly so inferior to every other creature in Middle Earth. 
This felt like a real let down. I thought that when we met the dragon, surely the dwarves would finally get a chance to prove their prowess and slay him. Alas I was to be sorely disappointed once more. 
At the moment I can't figure out a reason for the dwarves to even be on this quest, it almost feels like Tolkien actually dislikes them since he has given them no purpose but to be comedic fodder and appear cowardly so that Bilbo can learn to be brave. I honestly don't think that the plot would have been severely affected by there being only one dwarf on this mission. In fact they are so interchangeable that singular dwarves rarely speak, instead we are told things like "the dwarves said". 
No wonder Peter Jackson was worried about differentiating the dwarves on screen because the book does little to give them individual personalities. Only 3 of the 13 dwarves are distinguishable from the others, the leader, the fat one and the friendly one. They're not so much characters as caricatures.
Anyway, back to the chapter. Now word has spread to everyone that Smaug is dead (except for our dwarves of course, who are still blissfully ignorant) and elves, lake-men and others are discussing it and making plans to seize the fortune in the mountain for themselves. 
To be honest, I half think the Lake-men deserve the treasure. They did kill the dragon, after all.

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