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Round 10: Periaur vs. OiE

Legolam

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Oh, and just another side note on the suicide thing. What about the quest for the destruction of the ring? Was that not a completely suicidal trip? But no-one's arguing that it wasn't a deserving cause, because it actually worked.

In your words:
Not my idea of a worth cause that deserved any and all help
Really?
 

Gothmog

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Apart from the fact that we are not discussing the quest to destroy the Ring. That quest was a different type of problem. There was no other option open for that.

The Quest of Erebor however, did have another option. The Dwarves came up with Suicide and Gandalf changed that to way that there was at least a chance both for the success of the Quest and the survival of those involved.

So. Yes Really. :)
 

Arvedui

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Originally posted by Legolam
Gothmog, your team still isn't countering the point of Bilbo's reward. A deserving cause must both be looked at from the point of view of people BEFORE the action, and AFTER.
To tell the truth, we have commented on the reward earlier. One of the things Bilbo DID for the Dwarves, was not to keep his share.

Other than that, we have no intention of countering the reward he ended up with. After all, a reward was in his contract.
 

Arvedui

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Originally posted by Legolam

The only argument that the oldsters (;) ) have come up with is from Arvedui:
"Mr. Baggins!" he (Thorin) cried. "Here is the first payment of your reward! Cast off your old coat and put on this!"
With that he put on Bilbo a small coat of mail, wrought for some young elf-prince long ago. It was of silvered steel and ornamented with pearls, and with it went a belt of pearls and crystals.
I don't actually remember this from my version of the Hobbit - is this something from your 1937 edition? And what exactly does it prove? We all know that Bilbo's mithril coat (and it was definitely made of mithril, as evidenced by withstanding the cave-troll in LOTR) was something of fantastic value, worth more than the whole Shire (according to Gandalf).

I don't think we can discount this gift, as Gothmog has done, as just payment for what Bilbo was "contracted" to do. It was worth far more than that.
Just to clearify, as the Periaur have obviously missed the point. What is it that Thorin says? "Here is the first payment of your reward!" It is obvious from the way Thorin expresses himslerf, that he considers the mithril-coat to not cover the fourteenth share that Bilbo was promised.
And BTW, the only thing changed from the 1937-version to the 1966 version and thereafter, is the description of the coat. Mithril was not invented until Tolkien had written a large part of the LotR. So one can argue that the coat was of more worth after the publication of The Lord of the Rings, than it was before.

Anyway, the basic line is that even if the Periaur sees this as just payment, then Thorin does not. And it is our opinion that Thorin's thoughts carry more weight here, than does the thoughts of the Periaur.

Finally, snaga have asked for a clarification on why I think that he contradicts himself. (Sorry for not replying sooner, snaga, I have been without access to the Internet for the last days.)

IMO, he needs to argument that either
a) Bilbo came along because he had come to the conclution that the Dwarves deserved his help (which Gothmog have proven that he had not.), or
b) Bilbo came along because he wanted to prove himself. (which Gothmog have shown is obviously not the case neither).

The problem with the way the Periaur are using those arguments is that when we attack their thoughts of Bilbo's Operation Just Cause, then you argue that he wanted to prove himself.
If we argue against Bilbo wanting to prove himself, then you bring along Operation Just Cause again.

That is contradiction
 

Snaga

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Well arvedui, then clearly you are unable to grasp the concept for people having many motivations for taking actions. The seperation between Bilbo's desire to prove himself and his belief in the cause is a false distinction. I did not use one motivation to defend the other: I said that both were valid and evident in the test. I am not contradictory: you are being simplistic.

What this amounts to is that the Periaur assert that Bilbo went willingly, but you assert that he was bullied into the decision. To me that is an amazing assertion. Gandalf, the wisest of the Istari, who disavows the power to dominate others, but tries to rally the good-hearted people of the world against the Enemy, is transformed by OiE into a bully that terrorises hobbits onto dangerous quests!

Gothmog quotes Gandalf hurrying Bilbo out of the door. Why did he do that? Because Bilbo was late! Of course, yes, he didn't want Bilbo to change his mind and back out. But even the quote you gave earlier says "once persuaded"... not "once you have bullied him into agreeing" or "once forced to sign in blood".

Next arvedui wants to raise the obscurantist issue of mithril, its origin, the value of the shirt, which edition of the Hobbit to read etc. I must say it is strange to quote from the 1937 edition, unless you are just rather proud of having a copy! JRRT updated the story, and so this version is the only one that is relevant. But none of this is pertinent besides a simple fact that the dwarves offered to pay Bilbo handsomely, and in fact did so. They treated him honourably.

Yet again you pretend that Bilbo did not take his full share as a favour to the dwarves. This is not true. He did so for practical reasons: I'll produce the quote when I return home and have the book to hand. But I wish you would stop inventing. You're not screen-writing for Peter Jackson by any chance?;)

Once Gandalf and Thorin had discussed the plan, Thorin modified his approach. This doesnt make their cause undeserving, Gothmog. In any case, Bilbo was agreeing to the modified plan, not the original (so-called suicide) one!

But if we want to consider a distinction between the two plans, how did Gandalf's plan seem more hopeful? We know Gandalf was convinced that Smaug must be dealt with: but nowhere does his revised plan present any convincing means for this to happen. The errand was still a near impossible task; but Gandalf knew it still deserved support, as did Elrond, as did Bilbo. As does anyone that realises regaining your home and your possession from a dragon is a worthy cause. As does anyone but OiE!

Gothmog tells us that:
Bilbo very much deserved the extra payment because he gave such help without worrying about if it was deserved.
Indeed he did not worry. That's because the fact that the cause was good was beyond dispute. Would he have been so selfless if he was a victim of their bullying?! Of course not! Have OiE found anything that tells us that Bilbo ever doubted the justice of the quest? No! Have they ever found anything that shows that Bilbo felt he was a victim of bullying? No! What we actually have is the irrefutable statement that Bilbo was proud at helping Thorin and the dwarves succeed.:)
 

Snaga

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[The Return Journey
To Bilbo he [Dain] said: "This treasure is as much your as it is mine; though old agreements cannot stand, since so many have a claim in its winning and defence. Yet even though you were willing to lay aside all your claim [so that Bard could be paid for the Arkenstone], I would wish that the words of Thorin, of which he repented, should not prove true: that we should give you little. I would reward you most richly of all."

"Very kind of you," said Bilbo. "But really it is a relief to me. How on earth should I have got all that treasure home without war and murder along the way, I don't know. And I don't know what I should have done with it when I got home. I am sure it is better in your hands."

In the end he would only take two small chests, one filled with silver, and the other with gold, such as one strong pony could carry. "That will be quite as much as I can manage," said he.
There: that annuls the theory that Bilbo gave his treasure to the dwarves as a favour to them. Purely a practical decision, and a realisation that the reward he was being offered was far higher than he could ever need.
 

Snaga

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The Periaur have argued three major points in demonstrating why the dwarves deserved Bilbo's help. Despite a good attempt to knock holes in or at least sow confusion around these points, they all still stand.

What were these points:

(1) That the cause of the dwarves was a worthy cause.

- Erebor and its treasure was STOLEN from the dwarves, and their kin MURDERED. It was theirs by right. In seeking to end an injustice, they deserved any help offered, whether from Elrond, Gandalf or Bilbo.
- The removing of the dragon was a clear benefit to all good peoples of the North.
- We have shown, that contrary to the claims of OiE, that Bilbo made sure that it was a worthy cause before he went. He wanted to know the history of the dragon, the treasure etc.! His cautious Baggins side was by no means overwhelmed by his Tookish side!:)

Although OiE have shown that the plan of the dwarves changed to a more stealthy approach, they have not removed the fact that the dwarves still preferred an outcome that ended Smaug, even if they weren't sure how this might be accomplished. But even if they had failed to slay the dragon, the attempt would be worthy.

(2) That the dwarves intended to pay Bilbo "handsomely" (in Tolkien's words) for his help, and in fact did so.

- The reward was not a huge motivator for Bilbo, but was certainly fair, and showed they were treating him well.
- Even at the end, they tried to pay Bilbo more richly than anyone else! This shows not only were they scrupulous in contractual matters, but recognised his greater than expected part. The dwarves treated Bilbo fairly at the start, and very honourably at the end.

(3) Bilbo's help was for him to give to whomsoever he wished. He judged that they deserved it, so the Periaur support his right to make that choice.

- This is important, because it counteracts the theory that the dwarves were too rude. If Bilbo wasnt so offended as to stop helping the dwarves, why should anyone else think this? What is too rude is a subjective judgement, and Bilbo judged that it did not apply. Its hardly surprising. For the most part the 'rudeness' is exaggerated, or is understandable.

- The suggestion that he was coerced into coming is grossly unfair. Gandalf may have hurried him out of the door when he was late but he did not force him to do something against his will, and it is completely unthinkable that Gandalf would be party to such a plan.
- Bilbo at no time expresses the opinion that he has been bullied. He sometimes wonders what he has let himself in for, but that is not the same as being forced to do something against his will.
- His desire to go is evident from the fact he runs for more than a mile to make sure he doesn't get left behind! (I love that bit!:D )

Along the way, some further points emerged, and it is worth recapping.

(4) That the dwarves had been willing to help out Bilbo in dangerous times too:

- When he did not return from the trolls
- When he could not run fast enough from the goblins, and they carried him
- When he couldn't climb a tree to escape from the wolves.

(5) The dwarves and Bilbo constituted a team. And therefore they were entitled to each expect the others to help out whenever possible.

(6) If you want to judge with hindsight, then in the end everything works out for a much greater good. Sauron cannot ally with Smaug. Eriador is saved from dragon-fire.

- This is in contrast with a convenient use of hindsight: to judge this question at the moment when Bilbo and Thorin fall out.
- Thorin repents of his harsh words, and Bilbo forgives him.
- Bilbo is rightly proud of his part in the Quest.

(7) The house of Durin was known as a force for good throughout the north of Middle Earth. From the Second Age alliance with the elves of Ost-in-Edhil in Hollin, through the last Alliance, its good relations with elves, men and latterly hobbits were well-known. What was good for them, would be good for all people of good will. Gandalf's endorsement confirmed this.

It was a deserving cause at the outset, to rectify the injustice done to the House of Durin. To defeat a dragon was obviously a deserving cause, and Bilbo knew it, and was being rewarded handsomely for his part in that cause. So the dwarves deserved his help.

And that is the last post in this debate, and this tournament from the Periaur and from Snaga!:)

"Thanks goodness!" said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar.
 

Confusticated

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Just officially closing this debate.

As much as I probably would have been against letting a post even one minute late stand (the line must be drawn somehwere, and that is what a deadline is for), I am going to do so in this case since the same thing happened in a previous round and was allowed to stand.
 

Celebthôl

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Id like to take this oportunity to thank all the judges and id like to thank Nom and both guilds for a wonderful debate.

On a totally other note and not at all related to bribery if any of the judges have crushes on any elves contact me. . . *angelic smile* ;) :D

Thanx again guys, it was great! :)
 

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