Been a bit, but now, getting back to it, let’s do Chapter 10 of The Hobbit!
Objectively speaking, not terribly much actually happens in this chapter. We’re basically talking the following chain of events:
Bilbo and dwarves: *float downriver to Laketown*
Bilbo: *gets dwarves out of barrels*
Thorin: “I am Thorin Oakenshield! KNEEL BEFORE ZOD–” (Wait, wrong movie.)
Lake-town Men and Elves: “Wut just happened? WOO HOO PARTY WITH THE DWARVES!”
Thorin: “We’re all going to go beat up on the dragon now!”
Lake-town Men: “Yeah okay, you have fun with that.”
Bilbo: *spends entire chapter with a cold*
Raise your hand if you’re imagining Martin Freeman looking miserable throughout this chapter. It does rather add an extra element of “aww your poor thing!”
It’s going to be amusing to see the shots in the next movie of Thorin and Fili and Kili coming out of those barrels. Somehow, I suspect they’re still going to manage to look dreamy even when bedraggled. And I can see Martin Freeman looking sneezy and unimpressed during their entire visit to Lake-town, too.
The narrator tells us that “I have never heard what happened to the chief of the guards and the butler.” Which, even though I understand that this is being said for effect here, still translates to me as “I didn’t feel like bothering to fill that in”. It’s yet another little thing I’m pretty sure a modern writer would never get away with!
Noticed this actually when going through the French, but since Tolkien phrased it this way in English too, it goes up here: Thorin telling the party that “we must thank our stars and Mr. Baggins”. I note the lack of “lucky” in this phrase, but that would seem to be the intent here.
I have to wonder how trusting the folk of Lake-town are! The town Master clearly isn’t buying Thorin’s arrival for an instant, but the town at large goes pretty much batshit with Happy–and all it takes is this band of ragged-looking dwarves walking up, and the one in front going, “I’m King under the Mountain!” And *bam*, they all start singing. Either they’re very trusting, or else they’re looking for an excuse to party.
French notes in the next post!