This is a picture of the destruction of Lake-Town in chapter 14,
Fire and Water. This is the chapter in which Smaug is killed
and also has the beginning of the Battle of the Five Armies. Chapter
14 ends with the armies of the Wood Elves and the Lake Men gathering
to march on the Lonely Mountain. The armies that made up the Battle
of the Five Armies were Men, Wood Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and Eagles.
This was a strange battle, as the Men and Elves, were at first
prepared to make war on the Dwarves to get the treasure. Afterwards,
with the coming of the Goblins, the Men, Elves and Dwarves allied
together to fight the goblins. They still likely would have lost
if it were not for the Eagles coming.
The map of Mirkwood, as it came to be known after the Necromancer
took up residence at Dol-Guildur. Before then it was called Greenwood
the Great, in Elvish, Eryn Galen, and after the Ring was destroyed
it was named Eryn Lasgalen, The Wood of Green Leaves. This picture
is from The Hobbit, the HarperCollins edition last page. Within
Mirkwood was an enchanted stream. Anyone who touched or drank of
this stream fell into an enchantment of sleep. Most of the creatures
of Mirkwood were black, though there were white deer. Some of the
most horrible creatures of Mirkwood were the Giant Spiders.
There are two versions of The Hobbit, one of which has Gollum going
to give Bilbo the Ring. Tolkien ran into trouble with this when
he was writing The Lord of the Rings. As the Ring was taking on
a more and more sinister aspect, having Gollum give away the Ring
was less and less possible. To fix this Tolkien rewrote parts of
The Hobbit to suit The Lord of the Rings. The way he explains this
the two different versions is that Bilbo wrote the original version
of The Hobbit as the Ring was taking effect, and when Frodo rewrote
the Red Book of Westmarch he was unwilling to remove what Bilbo
had put, so there were some copies made of the original.
The much loved Rivendell, described by Bilbo, as:
His house was perfect whether you liked food, or sleep, or work,
or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best,
or a pleasant mixture of them all. Evil things did not come into
that valley. (H.58)
Later in The Lord of the Rings, Sam said "Well,
Mister Frodo, we've been far and seen a deal, and yet I don't think
we've found a better place than this. There's something of the Shire
and the Golden Wood and Gondor and kings' houses and inns and mountains
all mixed." (LOTR.1023)
Rivendell was also Aragorn's choice of residence as he told Éowyn
in the Lord of the Rings.
This is a picture of Gollum that I did about ten years
ago. It is based on the pictures of Gollum in the Rankin-Bass illustrated
version of the Hobbit. In the Lord of the Rings, Gollum was shown
to be a hobbit from the days when they lived by the side of the
Anduin River, near the Gladden Fields. If it were not for Gollum,
the Quest of the Ring would have failed. Gollum's real name was
Sméagol. He followed the Company of the Ring from Moria all the
way down the Anduin. After the breaking of the Fellowship, Frodo
and Sam caught Gollum on the borders of the Emyn Muil and forced
him to guide them to Mordor. Before this time, Gollum was seen as
a pair of eyes in the Mines of Moria, then as a shape in the tree
in Lothlórien where they took refuge with the Elves and last of
all as a shape paddling down the Anduin River on a log.
This picture is another based on the Rankin-Bass illustrated version
of the Hobbit that I did about four or five years ago. The wargs
were evil wolves that were primarily found on the eastern side of
the Misty Mountains. From the surprise in Aragorn's voice when the
Wargs attacked them on their way to Moria, it was a rare thing for
the Wargs to be found on the western side of the Misty Mountains.
Suddenly Aragorn leapt to his feet. "How the
wind howls!" he cried. "It is howling with wolf voices. The Wargs
have come west of the Mountains!" (LOTR.314)
The Wargs were not at all like ordinary wolves in that they were
more clever and evil than ordinary wolves and when killed, their
bodies were often not to be found after. When
the full light of morning came no signs of the wolves were to be
found, and they looked in vain for the bodies of the dead. No trace
of the fight remained but the charred trees and the arrows of Legolas
lying on the hilltop. All were undamaged save one of which only
the point was left. "It is as I feared," said Gandalf. "These were
no ordinary wolves hunting for food in the wilderness. Let us eat
quickly and go!" (LOTR.316-317)
Gandalf the Grey, the one who guided the quest to Rivendell and
far beyond. None of them would have gotten far without him. He
was also the one that got the quest rolling in the first place.
Gandalf had many names, as Faramir said to Frodo and Sam:
Many are my names in many countries, he said.
Mithrandir among the Elves, Tharkûn to the Dwarves; Olórin I was
in my youth in the West that is forgotten, in the South, Incánus,
in the North, Gandalf; to the East I go not. (LOTR.696-697)
In the Lord of the Rings, Gandalf the Grey passed through death
to become Gandalf the White. Though The Hobbit was meant as more
of a children's tale, Gandalf shows signs of the power he shows
in The Lord of the Rings, examples being, when rescuing the dwarves
from the goblins, and during the Battle of the Five Armies.
The BBC Radio Play version of
The radio play version of the Hobbit by the BBC seems consist of
8 episodes. It has very good sound effects especially with the goblins
in the chapter Over Hill and Under Hill, with signature sounds for
the main characters such as Gandalf.
Unlike the movie, the radio play does not seem to skip anything
important, such as Bëorn and at many times is almost word for word
as the book or very close to it.
The voice of Smaug is very convincing and the actor that played
Bilbo did a very convincing job in that scene. This is very well
done. Smaug's voice sounds like grumbling thunder.
Currently on the messageboard, there is a discussion of the Hobbit, chapter
by chapter. The links to the chapter summaries are listed below. Feel free to
join in with your comments.
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