A Tolkien Virgin: The Hobbit - Chapter 8 - The Journey Continues

Bilbo "No Fear" Baggins...
Chapter 8 - Flies and Spiders

Don't stray from the path!!


Well, I guess I did expect it, but it didn't keep me from wanting to reach into the pages and shake some sense into Bilbo and the Dwarves. And yet, I couldn't exactly blame them...it's hard enough driving up the 5 through California's San Joaquin Valley, or out the 15 past Las Vegas toward Colorado--hours along straight stretches of nothingness--days of that wicked forest would've made me snap, too. And then there were spiders! Big ghastly spiders! and, Bilbo saves the day? He really isn't the same hobbit, now is he? I was amazed that he was hardly shaken by the spiders, that he took charge with his newly-named Sting and facilitated the rescue. And with Thorin taken prisoner by the Nandorin (right?) elves, it's becoming a down-right colorful story. But, as good as the Hobbit is, glancing through the Silmarillion again, I'm reminded how different the two books are--the Hobbit lacks a lot of the nobility and grandness of the Silmarillion, for certain. While the Hobbit, on the other hand, is a friendlier story and an easier read. I could point to the philosophical implications of "not straying from the path," but that would be making the story say too much, I think.

It was particularly interesting to me that Valinor is refered to as Faerie in this chapter. If I knew more about the historical use of "Faerie-land" in fantasy literature and faerie-tales, maybe it would mean more to me. Any help?

Till next time,

keep thinking,


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