First of all hi I hope I'm welcome on these forums, I looked a while for a place to post this I thought woudl be conducive to good feedback and discussion. When I was in middle school I read The Hobbit for the very first time and fell in love with it, my English teacher who I still regard as one of the best I've ever had really loved the part about Bilbo going into the mountain and his conversation with Smaug. He actually was suffering from MS and so would forget we covered that part and so we actually went over it like 5 times. But his words were always striking and one thing he would say every time is how the Dwarves wanted revenge, and how ill things always happen to those who want revenge and that all stories of revenge tended to end in tragedy. I'm in a stage of my life where revenge is a hot topic, or at least their feelings, and as I've always done I turn to great minds and authors for solace. It occurred to me I have never had a conversation about this before and I couldn't find much online linking revenge to the story of the Dwarves, but it does fit in my view. First you have the Dwarves, they lost something and without loss there's no reason for revenge, even if that loss is as small as status, or your mood and in this case we have their entire homeland was lost and way of life. Then you have them always wanting to reclaim their homeland and kill Smaug who was responsible for it all. I think it's pretty clear that they want revenge. The debate would be if there is one, how much a story of revenge is it and does the ill things that happen to their company have anything to do with the motivation of revenge itself, or other ones such as greed? In general in western culture revenge is thought of as something villains do, but there are plenty of hero stories even so that are revenge stories and you even celebrate their successes. The Dwarve's revenge, if we wish to call it that, isn't out of momentary anger either it is planned and calculated for years. Given too that Gandalf is seen as a guiding figure in Tolkien's works, or at the very least very wise and rarely misguided, would him putting the expedition together mean in some way he okays revenge or at least is willing to harness it's motivation for other ends? In it all comes a debate too of whether one should fight for things or let things go, and when it is ok to do either, if ever. Norseman for example would let others pay money to someone's family as deterrent for them taking retaliation to them killing someone in their family out of revenge, and Christian ideology preaches turn the other cheek. My favorite things about stories is they navigate the complicated moral landscape and behind it all you can learn, observe, or even reject an author's way of thinking. I hope this isn't too long a post or the topic is welcome here, I've loved tolkien since I first read the Hobbit so yah, this is the kind of conversation I always longed for with other Tolkien fans.