OK then, how about a little chat about what the "Fire of Orthanc" is and where it really came from.Originally posted by Legolam
Could I be really presumptious and request a good-going controversial LOTR or Hobbit topic for our last debate of the current tournament? Quite a few of us aren't as well versed in the other books and it would be great to finish with a bang!
Bring it on
And Thorin's thoughts to see the end of Smaug wasn't just because he himself had found out that Smaug must be killed:I (Gandalf) was as eager as he was to see the end of Smaug, but Thorin was all for plans of battle and war, as if he were really King Thorin the Second, and I could see no hope in that.
Now to the thougths of Thorin concerning Bilbo:I (Gandalf) soon understood that his heart was hot with brooding on his wrongs, and the loss of the treasure of his forefathers, and burdened too with the duty of revenge upon Smaug that he had inherited.
The 'other strange chance' was that Gandalf produced the map and the key. And that really saved bilbo's participation in the quest.So I (still Gandalf) rode off back to Thorin in haste, to tackle the difficult task of persuading him to put aside his lofty designs and go secretly - and take Bilbo with him. Without seeing Bilbo first. It was a mistake, and nearly proved disastrous. For Bilbo had changed, of course. At least, he was getting rather greedy and fat, and his old desires had dwindled down to a sort of private dream. Nothing could have been more dismaying than to find it actually in danger of coming true! He was altogether bewildered, and made a complete fool of himself. Thorin would have left in rage, but for another strange chance, which I will mention in a moment.
And then comes an interesting part:For one thing he (Bilbo) did not realize at all how fatuous the Dwarves thought him, nor how angry they were with me (Gandalf). Thorin was much more indignant and contemptuous than he perceived. He was indeed contemptuous from the beginning, and thought then that I had planned the affair simply so as to make a mock of him. It was only the map and the key that saved the situation.
But still Gandalf had to persuade Thorin to bring Bilbo along.As soon as Thorin saw them he really made up his mind to follow my plan, as far as secret expedition went at any rate. Whatever he thought of Bilbo he would have set out himself. The existence of a secret door, only discoverable by Dwarves, made it at least seem possible to find out something of the Dragon's doings, perhaps even recover some gold, or some heirloom to ease his heart's longings.
Gandalf said that without any hope of persuading Thorin, but it was the best thing he could have said. Dwarves understand devotion to friends and gratitude to those who help them. So Thorin accepted the company of Bilbo after some thought. But he demanded that Gandalf should join them and look after Bilbo, which Gandalf promised to do until Bilbo had proven his worth.I knew in my heart that Bilbo must go with him, or the whole quest would be a failure - or, as I should say now, the far more important events by the way would not come to pass. So I still had to persuade Thorin to take him. There were many difficulties on the road afterwards, but for me this was the most difficult part of the whole affair. Though I argued with him far into the night after Bilbo had retired, it was not finally settled until early the next morning. Thorin was contemptuous and suspicious. 'He is soft,' he snorted. 'Soft as the mud of his Shire, and silly. His mother died too soon. You are playing some crooked game of your own, Master Gandalf. I am sure that you have other purposes than helping me.'
'You are quite right.' I said. If I had no other purposes, I should not be helping you at all. Great as you affairs may seem to you, they are only a small strand in the great web. I am concerned with many strands. But that should make my advice more weighty, not less.' I spoke at last with great heat. 'Listen to me, Thorin Oakenshield!' I said. 'If this hobbit goes with you, you will succeed. If not, you will fail. A foresight is on me, and I am warning you.'
'I know your fame,' Thorin answered. 'I hope it is merited. But this foolish business of your Hobbit makes me wonder whether it is foresight that is on you, and you are not crazed rather than foreseeing. So many cares have disordered your wits.'
'They have certainly been enough to do so,' I said. 'And among them I find most exasperating a proud Dwarf who seeks advice from me (without any claim on me that I know of), and then rewards me with insolence. Go your own ways, Thorin Oakenshield, if you will. But if you flout my advice, you will walk to disaster. And you will get neither counsel nor aid from me again until the Shadow falls on you. And curb your pride and your greed, or you will fall at the end of whatever path you take, though your hands be full of gold.'
He blenched a little at that; but his eyes smouldered. 'Do not threaten me!' he said. 'I will use my own judgement in this matter, as in all that concerns me.'
'Do so then!' I said. 'I can say no more - unless it is this: I do not give my love or trust lightly, Thorin; but I am fond of this Hobbit, and wish him well. Treat him well, and you shall have my friendship to the end of your days.'
No argument from me that the Dwarves had the right to try to regain their ancestral home. However their motives for doing so were primarily selfish. They wished to regain their wealth and prestige, and to get revenge upon Smaug.The first, and primary reason why Thorin's Company deserved his help was the same reason that they deserved Gandalf's help, Elrond's help... anyone's help. They deserved it because they cause was good.
- Erebor was their's by right. They had every justification in seeking to regain it.
This was not the reason of the Dwarves. It was entirely down to Gandalf.- The defeat of Smaug would remove an evil from Middle Earth, and a threat hanging over many people.
This is certainly a worthy cause, but as I said, it is not that of the Dwarves and therefore cannot really be used as justification for all Bilbo's help.To resist any force that Sauron might send to regain the northern passes in the mountains and the old lands of Angmar there were only the Dwarves of the Iron Hills, and behind them lay a desolation and the Dragon. The Dragon, Sauron might use with terrible effect. Often I said to myself 'I must find some means of dealing with Smaug'.
Again, very true that payment was to be made and that it was a fair recompense for the service agreed upon. However, what was the payment to be for?Which leads me to my second point. They deserved his help because they were prepared to pay him well, and treat him fairly and professionally. A fourteenth share of the treasure is a very considerable sum, and so Bilbo stands to do very well from the quest.
Two points here.And thirdly, Bilbo's willingness to help shows he felt they were deserving of help. And as the help is his to give, who has the right to say they didnt deserve it.
He wanted to prove that the Dwarves were mistaken in thinking that he was useless. What has that got to do with them deserving the help?Bilbo knew he had no right to expect to be thought of as suitable for the journey, he knew he had something to prove. So he didn't blame the dwarves, but instead set about proving them wrong.
What a purist you are! How dreadfully selfish, to try to regain your home which was taken by force! This is absolute nonsense. Lets be clear: 13 dwarves set out, heroically, to regain Erebor ON BEHALF OF ALL THE FOLK OF DURIN!! They risked their lives, against horrendous odds!! And you want to label them as selfish? Shame on you!No argument from me that the Dwarves had the right to try to regain their ancestral home. However their motives for doing so were primarily selfish.
Yes, when he got lost in the goblin tunnels, they did grumble about him. Mind you at that stage, he hadn't performed any of those resues you listed there, had he? Very sneaky of you to try to reverse the order of events in the book in order to try to prove your so-called point! Meanwhile at various points the dwarves have to carry Bilbo, help him into trees etc etc... That's not exactly convenient (or contracted for!), but they do it!But in almost every situation, apart from those in which Gandalf was present, it was Bilbo alone who rescued the others. He saved them from the spiders; he got them out of the Elven King's dungeons. And what did they do when he was lost under the mountains, they sat and grumbled about him being a more trouble than he was worth!
Was that really not enough? Only in the highly-priced world of Ravenna!The Return Journey
Even a fourteenth share was wealth exceedingly great, greater than that of many mortal kings.
Please pay attention! Your colleagues argued that because the dwarves were not convinced of Bilbo's usefulness, they didnt deserve the help. I replied (and you should feel free to read my post again as many times as you need) that they had every reason to doubt Bilbo's worth, and Bilbo had not concluded that they didnt deserve his help, he had wanted to prove them wrong.He wanted to prove that the Dwarves were mistaken in thinking that he was useless. What has that got to do with them deserving the help?
No, and of course I never said that. But I did say that Bilbo judged they deserved his help. And I will say that Bilbo's help is for him to give to those that he wishes, and therefore his judgement is highly relevant. It may not be crucial, but unless you can prove he was actually wrong to help, that his help was harmful, evil or malicious, then he is entitled to decide for himself who deserves his help. He thought the dwarves deserved his help, and I see no reason to disagree with him.Just because someone is willing to help someone else does not necessarily mean that that person is deserving of that help, simply that the helper wishes to help.
From The Hobbit - Flies and SpidersBut after a time the light began to fail, and then other questions were asked. Where were they, and where was their path, and where was there any food, and what were they going to do next? These questions they asked over and over again, and it was from little Bilbo that they seemed to expect to get the answers.
And when Bilbo explained what his plan was, then the Dwarves reacted such:I am sure we are all for ever at your service, whatever happens after this. But what comes next?
This reaction alone show that the Dwarves did not deserve what Bilbo did for them.they did not like it a bit, and started grumbling loudly in spite of their danger.
"We shall be bruised and battered to pieces, and drowned too, for certain!" they muttered. "We thought you had some sensible notion, when you managed to get hold of the keys. This is a mad idea!"
Even calling Bilbo a descendant of rats!"You! You!" cried Thorin, turning upon him and grasping him with both hands. "You miserable hobbit! You undersized burglar!" he shouted at a loss for words, and he shook poor Bilbo like a rabbit.
"By the beard of Durin! I wish I had Gandalf here! Curse him for his choice of you! May his beard wither! As for you I will throw you to the rocks! he cried and lifted Bilbo in his arms.
I am afraid that you are misreading us a little, dear snaga.Originally posted by snaga1
IOf course, Ost-in-Edhil in their haste to say the dwarves did not deserve any help from Bilbo, want to forget any help the dwarves gave Bilbo.
- He was the one to pay attention, and hailed the others when the conditions were right for the secret entrance to be opened, therefore allowing Thorin to be there with the key.It was some time before he would be even polite to the hobbit.
andAnd thirdly, Bilbo's willingness to help shows he felt they were deserving of help. And as the help is his to give, who has the right to say they didnt deserve it.
But you have also said twice that Bilbo went along to prove the Dwarves wrong:To summarise: it is unreasonable to say the dwarves didnt deserve Bilbo's help because they were skeptical about his ability to help, when he was entirely unproven. Gandalf persuaded them to include him despite their doubts, and on that basis Bilbo's judgement that they deserved his help was correct.
andShould you get in a sulk, and refuse to help; or would you be determined to prove yourself? Bilbo chose the latter path, and the dwarves came to respect him. Why would he do this? A major reason was that the dwarves had every reason to be sceptical about Bilbo. He shows no sign of being prepared for the expedition, and at one point shrieks and faints with fright... at a story! Bilbo knew he had no right to expect to be thought of as suitable for the journey, he knew he had something to prove. So he didn't blame the dwarves, but instead set about proving them wrong.
How can one argue against a team that has two completely different opinions on one matter. Even in the same post! (Your third, if you are interested...)Please pay attention! Your colleagues argued that because the dwarves were not convinced of Bilbo's usefulness, they didnt deserve the help. I replied (and you should feel free to read my post again as many times as you need) that they had every reason to doubt Bilbo's worth, and Bilbo had not concluded that they didnt deserve his help, he had wanted to prove them wrong.
This is blatantly untrue, please reread my previous post. I have already stated that in any such venture mutual help in difficult situations would obviously be expected. What we are saying is that the sheer amount of help that the Dwarves expected of Bilbo, went far beyond what could reasonably be expected from any small Hobbit out in the wide world for the first time, whereas the help they gave to him was no more than that which they would have given to each other in a similar situation.Are you really saying that Bilbo should down tools when confronted with situations requiring him to do more than just burglary?
This last has little to do with how deserving the Dwarves were, but is more about Bilbo's own character and needs.He did not wish to desert the Dwarves, and indeed he did not know where in the world to go without them.
There was no guarantee of ANY profit at all at the time Bilbo did the things he did.up to and including one fourteenth of total profits (if any).