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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:06 pm 
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I was thinking about this as I was finishing up another round of reading of The Hobbit followed by the LOTR. And I think my favorite hobbit is Bilbo. I find so much in common with him. I also like Sam and Pippin as a close second and third. So my question is, who is your favorite hobbit?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 10:14 pm 
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Farmer Maggot. Dude told off a Black Rider, even called the dogs on him.


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They waited anxiously for him to go on. ‘Well,’ the farmer continued, approaching his point with slow relish, ‘he came riding on a big black horse in at the gate, which happened to be open, and right up to my door. All black he was himself, too, and cloaked and hooded up, as if he did not want to be known. “Now what in the Shire can he want?” I thought to myself. We don’t see many of the Big Folk over the border; and anyway I had never heard of any like this black fellow.

‘ “Good-day to you!” I says, going out to him. “This lane don’t lead anywhere, and wherever you may be going, your quickest way will be back to the road.” I didn’t like the looks of him; and when Grip came out, he took one sniff and let out a yelp as if he had been slung: he put down his tail and bolted off howling. The black fellow sat quite still.

‘ “I come from yonder,” he said, slow and stiff-like, pointing back west, over my fields, if you please. “Have you seen Baggins?” he asked in a queer voice, and bent down towards me. I could not see any face, for his hood fell down so low; and I felt a sort of shiver down my back. But I did not see why he should come riding over my land so bold.

‘ “Be off!” I said. “There are no Bagginses here. You’re in the wrong part of the Shire. You had better go back west to Hobbiton - but you can go by road this time.”

‘ “Baggins has left,” he answered in a whisper. “He is coming. He is not far away. I wish to find him. If he passes will you tell me? I will come back with gold.”

‘ “No you won’t,” I said. “You’ll go back where you belong, double quick. I give you one minute before I call all my dogs.”

‘He gave a sort of hiss. It might have been laughing, and it might not. Then he spurred his great horse right at me, and I jumped out of the way only just in time. I called the dogs, but he swung off, and rode through the gate and up the lane towards the causeway like a bolt of thunder. What do you think of that?’

(text courtesy of [*link removed* - VtF]

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:08 pm 
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Fredegar Bolger is an unsung hero. He stayed behind and pretended to be Frodo even though he knew he'd be a target of spooky scary riders. And then leading a band of resistance fighters against the ruffians, and paying for his courage with a cruel imprisonment.

But I also have a weak spot for Lobelia's redemption arc.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:10 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
Fredegar Bolger is an unsung hero. He stayed behind and pretended to be Frodo even though he knew he'd be a target of spooky scary riders. And then leading a band of resistance fighters against the ruffians, and paying for his courage with a cruel imprisonment.

But I also have a weak spot for Lobelia's redemption arc.



I very much appreciate how Tolkien wrote Lobelia, but I can't claim her as a favorite. But yes, Bolger is another hero, along with Tom Cotton. Hobbits are certainly hearty folk!

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The dumbest thing I've ever bought
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"Does anyone ever think about Denethor, the guy driven to madness by staying up late into the night alone in the dark staring at a flickering device he believed revealed unvarnished truth about the outside word, but which in fact showed mostly manipulated media created by a hostile power committed to portraying nothing but bad news framed in the worst possible way in order to sap hope, courage, and the will to go on? Seems like he's someone we should think about." - Dave_LF


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:22 am 
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Something that just occurred to me. Arwen is often derided as being a trophy bride, waiting to be picked up by the hero on his successful return, but nobody seems to have the same problem with Rosie Cotton.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:45 pm 
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That is a very interesting question, Al!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:42 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
Something that just occurred to me. Arwen is often derided as being a trophy bride, waiting to be picked up by the hero on his successful return, but nobody seems to have the same problem with Rosie Cotton.


I'd never heard/seen that one, but let me mull on it for a moment...

It may be in part due to being an Elf seen as giving up immortality and marrying 'down' to a human (even if he is a very, very, very far removed cousin). Partly it may be that her wedding him was entirely predicated on his actual heroic exploits of becoming the returned King. I suppose that makes Aragorn actually more of a trophy husband, no?
You aren't worthy until you're King? The whole idea of Aragorn winning the crown and a wife as somewhat equal "prizes" is distasteful, but at least they actually had a relationship ahead of time, unlike a lot of fairy tales where the hero "wins" a complete stranger as his wife just because she's the king's daughter or some such.

And the whole fatherly interference might also have something to do with the less favorable view, Arwen apparently not being given the freedom to decide who to marry on her own, her father had to put conditions on the match. Arwen comes off more as Elrond's property than his daughter. Yes, this is a modern imposition upon a very old custom, but that custom can't be ignored as having been from a "women are property" origin!

But it does echo the whole Beren and Lúthien story, which I understand Tolkien to have done deliberately.

On the other hand, Rosie Cotton is marrying her equal (though in Hobbit society who knows, perhaps she is his better?) and their marriage is more a matter of having been put on hold because he leaves, as opposed to contingent upon it. I realize they were not engaged prior, but it's not like her dad was telling Sam he couldn't marry his daughter until Sam had been to Mordor and back, right? Rosie herself appears to have been perfectly willing and able to marry Sam whether he had become a hero or not, and seems somewhat put out he left her waiting for so long.

I agree that both could be argued to be the same trope, but their circumstances seem quite different even from a nit-picky point of view.

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The dumbest thing I've ever bought
was a 2020 planner.

"Does anyone ever think about Denethor, the guy driven to madness by staying up late into the night alone in the dark staring at a flickering device he believed revealed unvarnished truth about the outside word, but which in fact showed mostly manipulated media created by a hostile power committed to portraying nothing but bad news framed in the worst possible way in order to sap hope, courage, and the will to go on? Seems like he's someone we should think about." - Dave_LF


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:04 pm 
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I just think it’s because Arwen got more screen time than Rosie.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 3:39 pm 
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Inanna wrote:
I just think it’s because Arwen got more screen time than Rosie.


... right, my fault, I wasn't thinking from the point of view of those who had only watched the movies.

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The dumbest thing I've ever bought
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"Does anyone ever think about Denethor, the guy driven to madness by staying up late into the night alone in the dark staring at a flickering device he believed revealed unvarnished truth about the outside word, but which in fact showed mostly manipulated media created by a hostile power committed to portraying nothing but bad news framed in the worst possible way in order to sap hope, courage, and the will to go on? Seems like he's someone we should think about." - Dave_LF


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:17 pm 
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But we are not talking about the movies here. We are talking about the book. And the dynamic that Al is talking about pre-dates the films.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:50 pm 
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Ah, I didn’t know this was already a discussed dynamic. I just assumed it came out of post-movie TORC discussions.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:03 pm 
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I think the dynamic is much more relevant to the book than the films. In the book, the only thing Arwen does is sew a pretty cloth, and in the appendix she is almost literally described as the trophy that Aragorn will "win" if he succeeds in helping to defeat Sauron and becomes king of Gondor and Arnor. In the films, Arwen is an active participant (though less so than originally planned), rescuing Frodo at the Fords, pushing for the reforging of Narsil, and turning back from the trek to the havens. Nor (though my memory of the films is starting to get hazy, as I have not watched them in many years and have reread the book several times since then), I don't believe that Arwen as the reward for winning the War is nearly as explicitly stated in the films as in the book.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:14 pm 
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Aragorn & Arwen had Father Elrond to contend with. Being worthy of Elrond's blessing (in addition to the ramifications of an elf maid marrying a mortal) mirrors in some ways how Tolkien had to wait and prove himself worthy/get the blessing of his priest/guardian to marry Edith. Elrond had told Aragorn he "shall neither have wife, nor bind any woman to you in troth" until he is found worthy. It was a big undertaking of great consequence. I don't believe Rosie's family is ever mentioned. It was Sam himself who did not feel worthy/he did not have the confidence to ask Rosie out.

Samwise is my favorite, but I have a soft spot for Pippin & Frodo too.

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