By Matthew Dickerson
A professional at the Hobbit and The Lord of the jewelry trilogy indicates how a Christian worldview and subject matters undergird Tolkien's vintage works
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Additional resources for A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth
Thorin wielded his axe with mighty strokes” (Hobbit, 343). “Once again the goblins were stricken in the valley; and they were piled in heaps till Dale was dark and hideous with their corpses” (Hobbit, 343–44). Note that even these descriptions are broad and general; only the third of these four even mentions a speciﬁc person. indd 39 6/12/12 2:06 PM A H obbit J ourney the missing detail, the broad brushstrokes painted by the author make it clear that it would not be pleasant detail. It is a gruesome and negative picture of war: bloodstained rocks, betrayal, and dead bodies.
I wanted the truth. It was important” (I/i). Note the similarities. As with Gollum, Gandalf justiﬁes his actions by stating the importance of discovering the truth. Yet Bilbo is clearly annoyed. To use the description of Gollum, Bilbo feels misunderstood and ill-used. Later on, Frodo recounts to Gandalf Bilbo’s memory of this: “He told me the true story soon after I came to live here. indd 30 6/12/12 2:06 PM On H obbits , the Treatment o f Pris oners , and the Ethics o f War pestered him till he told you” (I/ii).
On all this Bilbo looked with misery. . ] “I have heard songs of many battles, and I have always understood that defeat may be glorious. It seems very uncomfortable, not to say distressing. ” (Hobbit, 344–45) As we know, of course, the battle does not end in defeat for Bilbo but in victory. ’ cried Bilbo once more, but at that moment a stone hurtling from above smote heavily on his helm, and he fell with a crash and knew no more” (Hobbit, 345). This is signiﬁcant. If one wanted to glorify war, then victory would be the ideal moment to do so.
A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth by Matthew Dickerson