Week One of The Hobbit Group-Read

This post is going to be super-quick. Lightning McQueen, ka-chow, and all that.

Inkeri’s Questions

1. In the book Bilbo gets visited by 13 strange dwarves, and just lets them in to eat his cakes and drink tea. In the modern world it would be really weird if people just started barging in your home. Why didn’t Bilbo just tell them to go?

Like Tolkein said, I think it was the Took in him. If dwarves came barging in and asked me to serve them food and ale, I’d ask them to go boil their heads. If I happened to overhear talk of dragons and epic adventure, however, I might reconsider. I think Bilbo was more than a little curious about why all these bearded hungry things had turned up there in the first place. The first time I read this, I remember thinking all the other dwarves were okay, but thinking Thorin was a pompous little bratface. Of course, that changed as I kept reading.

2. Where would the dwarves and Bilbo be if Gandalf wasn’t with them? It’s seems to me that it’s him who saves them from the scary situations.

I think it’s standard, this. The thing is, though, I never would have thought it so had I not recently read Neverwhere. I think Bilbo needs to grow into what he could be, and to show the transition, he needed to go from depending on Gandalf to learning to fend for himself. I’m already starting to like the thoughts he’s having, though. What with the troll-incident and all. He could have just come away and reported, but no. He tried to pickpocket a troll. I ask you. Good old Bilbo.

3. Bilbo plays a game of riddles with Gollum. He ends up winning by asking “What have I got in my pockets?”, which Gollum is unable to answer. Do you think it was a fair, as it wasn’t actually a riddle?

I feel sad for Gollum. I wanted to hug him, but then nasty things would happen to my head, so maybe…that’s a bad idea. 😛

But then again, and I know this is cold, but from the point of view of the story continuing, maybe this had to happen?

Writers’ Bloc

4. For those of you who haven’t read The Hobbit before, is the tone of writing one you’d expect from a book that has been loudly proclaimed as a classic? And for those of you who have read it before, how did it feel – like coming home to a much-loved book, or were you surprised by how much you’d forgotten?

A lot. I read this two years ago for the first time. And I was surprised that I had forgotten more than I remembered. For one, it seems like it was written for a much younger audience than I remembered. And it didn’t feel like a classic at all (don’t ask me to explain that, I won’t be able to). It felt..like a very long bed-time story. Wow. Imagine being read Tolkein every night as a kid.

5. We’ve seen quite a few songs so far. Do you pay attention to them, or do you skip them altogether? Do you like how silly they are, or do you think them an interruption?

I’m trying to think of a nice way to say this, but I think it’s a huge interruption, having to read all those songs. But then again, I don’t really like songs in books. I’d make an exception for every one Roald Dahl wrote, and I loved the Sorting Hat’s songs, but that about sums up my list.

The first time I read it, I skipped them all. Except, maybe one or two. I’m trying to pay more attention this time, though. Because some of them tell you a lot (Like the first one the dwarves sang).

6. What has been your favourite scene, so far?

Like Lynn, I’d have to choose the one with the trolls. The first time I read it, and they turned to stone, I remember shaking my head in awe. I did it this time, too. That Gandalf.


“Trolls simply detest the very sight of dwarves (uncooked).”


Looking forward to what Matt comes up with this week!

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8 responses to “Week One of The Hobbit Group-Read”

  1. lynnsbooks says :

    Tee hee – boiling heads – even the trolls didn’t think of that one!
    This definitely would make a great bed time read – I do like the writing style, all it needs is a ‘once upon a time’ sticking on the front and bahdahbing!
    I also don’t usually like songs in books – I found it particularly irritating in LoTR which seemed to be swamped with them – even when I reread it recently I’m sorry to say I still skipped quite a few! I’ve surprised myself by reading the ones in the Hobbit so far. Like you say some of them have quite a bit of info hidden inside.
    Lynn 😀

    • Tanya says :

      Yay! It’s not just me! (Take that, Raya :P) I feel terrible every time I skip a part of a book, and this is Tolkien! You don’t skip Tolkien! But..you remember the elves’ song? I stared at it and thought, “Um. What?!” 😛

  2. theairtwit says :

    When Bilbo thought to pick-pocket the troll, I just knew it was a bad idea. He would certainly get caught, I just knew it. And he was, as was everyone else, so thank goodness for Gandalf! I enjoyed reading whole goblin scene where Bilbo is separated from his group. Up until that point, I’d felt some certainty that Gandalf would show up to make the rescue. It was interesting, watching Bilbo riddle it out with Gollum and finding his way out.

    • Tanya says :

      I love how that troll scene makes me feel. You know, when you know something is going to go terribly wrong, and you’re mentally screaming at Bilbo to go back to the dwarves, and then he actually manages to do it and you’re all yay-Bilbo! And then the purse (can you call a troll’s wallet a purse?) talks and gets him into trouble. Priceless.
      That scene comes a close second. I think, out of the entire series (and I haven’t finished the third LOTR, hush don’t tell), Gollum has to be the most interesting character ever.

      • The Other Watson says :

        You haven’t finished the third LOTR??????? *passes out*….
        Okay not really, but wow. It’s my favourite in the series, by miles. Except for that ridiculously long ending, bahahaha. I remember that in the film, people kept thinking the movie had ended, and then it would come back for more. When it finally ended, there was a standing ovation of applause, hahaha.
        But yes, I think Gollum is such a fascinating character…so much thought has gone into him…

        • Tanya says :

          Haha, wait! Let me explain! I first tried reading LoTR in eighth grade, I think, and bored doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt about it. Years passed, and everyone told me to pick it up again, and I said..well, eh. Essentially. Two years ago, a friend pressed The Hobbit into my hands and demanded that I read it. I absolutely loved it, and finished the first two in the series super quick. But then college started, and the third one was so huge, that I wanted to read it in one stretch, not between classes. Well, you know how well that worked out. 😛
          Inkeri has asked me to read all three with her next year, and I think I will. I’ll be done with college as well (yay!), and I can give it all the attention it needs. 🙂

Let me know what you think!

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