History Headscratchers / TheHobbit

16th May '18 8:48:53 AM Bense
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*** Tolkien also put an in-universe explanation in ''The Lord of the Rings'' for the differences between the first edition of ''The Hobbit'' and the revised version. The first version is the story Bilbo put in his memoirs when he was at least partially under the influence of the Ring and was trying to strengthen his claim to it. The second version is the more accurate version, probably written by Frodo.
5th Mar '18 9:55:30 AM Bense
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** Gandalf is a big believer in doing what feels right rather than what makes intellectual sense. It pays off for him wonderfully every time he does it.



*** Bilbo calls the Arkenstone his share when he presents it to Bard and Thranduil. He is effectively giving up his claim in the hopes of resolving the conflict. In any case, it seems unlikely that Thorin would have gone along with Bilbo saying "give me my share and I'll go give it to the armies outside, and then we can avert this war." Thorin does agree to give one-fourteenth share for the Arkenstone but he never intended to fulfill that bargain. He has the dwarves shoot at the messengers sent to see if the one-fourteenth share had been made ready.



** The dwarves also make it clear that they don't know exactly when Durin's day will occur anymore, so they don't know exactly what date the door will be visible.



** The map can be read perfectly fine. And neither Elrond nor anyone else knew that there were moon-letters on the map; it was a lucky coincidence that he got to read the map on the date and under the conditions on which the letters would be visible.
* Is there some particular reason they couldn't have just opened the door and waited for Gandalf, THE WIZARD, to show up so they had some vague hope of facing a dragon? They just had to OPEN the door on Durin's Day, there's no reason they couldn't have camped out right there until Gandalf came back.

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** The In the book the map can be read perfectly fine. And neither Elrond nor anyone else knew that there were moon-letters on the map; it was a lucky coincidence that he got to read the map on the date and under the conditions on which the letters would be visible.
* Is there some particular reason they couldn't have just opened the door and waited for Gandalf, THE WIZARD, to show up so they had some vague hope of facing a dragon? They just had to OPEN the door on Durin's Day, there's no reason they couldn't have camped out right there until Gandalf came back. back?
5th Mar '18 9:42:31 AM Bense
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** That's one possible origin for considering 13 unlucky, but no one seems really clear on whether it's the only explanation. Pre-Christian mathematicians really liked 12, with its easily-divisible nature (12 months and a 12 hour clock both pre-date Christianity), so 13 might have been seen as unlucky in ancient cultures simply because it was one more than the "perfect" number.
5th Mar '18 9:31:34 AM Bense
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** Sauron was being cautious. He was disguising himself as the Necromancer and laying pretty low at the time. If Smaug had not been defeated, it was quite possible that Sauron would have enlisted him soon after he declared himself openly - nine years after ''The Hobbit''.
5th Mar '18 9:28:27 AM Bense
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** Being made of stone themselves, do trolls ever die? It's possible the same three trolls were at the sacking of Gondolin and took the weapons with them into Eriador before Beleriand was swallowed by the sea in the War of Wrath.
5th Mar '18 9:27:00 AM Bense
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** Bilbo had a semi-justification for this. Thorin had told him he would choose his own share, and he rationalized that he had chosen the Arkenstone, and was therefore free to do with it what he wished. He admitted to himself, though, that this probably wasn't Thorin's intent and wouldn't fly.
1st Jan '18 8:29:26 AM Sharlee
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* Bilbo's presence in the dwarves' expedition is said to ensure good luck, as he's the 14th member, thus making them twice seven rather than unlucky thirteen. But the belief that 13 is an unlucky number is generally attributed to the story of Jesus and his twelve Apostles, one of which (Judas) was a traitor and suicide. Why would 13 be regarded as "unlucky" to people who supposedly lived thousands of years before Christianity?
27th Dec '17 7:20:58 AM AlexDKZ
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* Gandalf chief reason to get involved in the quest was his fear that the Necromancer/Sauron may have gained an ally in Smaug, which was a very wise move because odds are Sauron and Smaug knew each other personally from the first age, and it's even possible that at some point Smaug was under Sauron's orders. But, Smaug had been dwelling the Lone Mountain for almost two centuries, a fact that wasn't exactly a secret. It is canon that Sauron was in Dol Guldur for pretty much that entire period of time, so what gives? What was exactly stopping Sauron from knocking on his old pal's door and making him a job offer? Was Gandalf overtly cautious, and Sauron actually had no interest in such an ally?
25th Jun '17 2:26:00 AM akanesarumara
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*** Exactly, it's said many who read and heard the story debated whether it was cheating of Bilbo to even ask that question, but since Gollum ''treated'' it as a genuine riddle by first guessing then demanding 3 guesses, the point of whether the question was valid is moot and for all intents and purposes of the game, it is to be considered a genuine riddle.
25th Jun '17 2:19:58 AM akanesarumara
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**** Pretty much the above, they most probably saw that the brute force of armies don't help, so they decided to try the sneaky way around it. Hence why they even need a burglar in the first place.
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