(The Inklings Series is a monthly series featuring the works of my two favorites, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, or books about them. But I don’t want it to be just me chatting about these books, so that’s where y’all come in! I’ll announce the book at least four weeks in advance of when the discussion post will go live, so you have plenty of time to get the book and read it. Then, the following month, I’ll post a discussion post and let the fun begin!!)
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”
J.R.R. Tolkien was truly a master story teller. Not only is this tale entertaining (the narrator made me laugh quite often), so many lessons come from the pages of this book. How greed can change a person, bravery, courage and how we might not think we’re ready for an adventure, but often we just need to step outside the door and go. Sigh…I can go one for days about this little gem of a book.
I not so secretly love Hobbits and how Tolkien describes them. Bilbo’s initial resistance, like the fact that going on adventure makes you late for dinner (a totally legit concern if you ask me ;)) is one of my favorite parts of the story. Not only because it makes me laugh (and we learn how golf really came about), but it makes his change all the more lovely.
This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected. He may have lost the neighbors’ respect, but he gained – well, you will see whether he gained anything in the end.
I also think this is the perfect book for readers to introduce themselves to Middle Earth. It’s not too overwhelming to tackle and you get bits and pieces of the history of Middle Earth. Of course I’m biased, but reading it definitely made me want to dive into more of Tolkien’s Middle Earth books.
I also like the glimpses into each race (elves, dwarves, humans, goblins, Wargs, etc). Not only because it’s interesting, but we get hints at a much larger story (i.e. Lord of the Rings). Alright, enough of just me talking about the book. Here’s some questions that got me thinking and please feel free (as always) to share any other thoughts!
1. Did you have a favorite passage? I cheated and picked four.
“As they sang the hobbit felt the love of beautiful things made by hands and by cunning and by magic moving through him, a fierce and a jealous love, the desire of the hearts of dwarves. Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”
“To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, a walking-stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out; leaving his second breakfast half-finished and quite unwashed-up, pushing his keys into Gandalf’s hands, and running as fast as his furry feet could carry him down the lane, past the great Mill, across The Water, and then on for a mile or more.”
“Somehow the killing of this giant spider, all alone by himself in the dark…made a great difference to Mr. Baggins. He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach, as he wiped his sword on the grass and put it back into its sheath. ‘I will give you a name,’ he said to it, ‘and I shall call you Sting.’ ”
“There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” (Thorin to Bilbo before he died)
2. Do you have a favorite character?
I’m a fan of Fili and Kili – especially as the greed didn’t effect them as it did with most of the other dwarves. Plus the movie portrayal of them? Love them! But really, my favorite is Bilbo. At first, so resistant to going on such an adventure, yet he becomes a hero.
3. Thoughts on Thorin. Go!
My first thought is how perfectly cast Richard Armitage is for the role of Thorin. While completely beside the point, I can’t help it – I had to bring him up because he’s Richard Armitage and if I ever had the chance to meet him I wouldn’t be able to make a coherent sentence. He’s such an interesting character who I liked, disliked and ultimately liked again in the end (when he saw the error of his ways). I like that he wasn’t the perfect King of the Mountain – it makes me like the story that much more.
4. It always makes me so sad for the ones we lose in the final battle. Apparently there was a petition going around to change that in the movies. As sad as it was, I think Thorin dying is fitting. Although I’m still sad about Kili and Fili, even if they died defending their Uncle (Thorin) and showed true loyalty. It was kind of like Lupin and Tonks’ death in Harry Potter. Totally not necessary. What did you think of their deaths?
5. As always, please share any other thoughts!
Me? I want an Eagle.