Mr Jackson, could I have a word in your ear? It’s about etiquette. I don’t know where your dwarves were brought up, but I would have thought the least they could have done when they arrived at Bilbo’s house in your film was to ask for their favorite food, as Professor Tolkien expected them to do.
For those of you who have only read The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings, let me explain that The Quest of Erebor (Erebor being the Lonely Mountain) was something that Tolkien wrote as an appendix to the latter work, but most of it ended on the editing room floor, so to speak. He had written too much. I think I know the feeling, but with Tolkien, that was a lot more.
I always liked Billy Connolly as a comedian. I hope he can do a look for Dain that gets across the seriousness of the situation. What’s that, Peter, can he do grim? Why don’t you ask him? I mean he looks perfectly friendly. You’re not afraid of a Glaswegian ex-shipyard worker wielding a mattock and wearing iron boots, are you?
Hence, Bilbo is in a very difficult situation, but true to his character development, he does not give up. He has realised on this adventure that looking at all the options and weighing them up could well show that there is a way out. And so he begins to develop a cunning plan.
I would like to suggest that there is another dimension to Tolkien’s characterisation in the way he portrays talking beasts. He does more than personify them to stand in for human types. He gets inside their heads and their manner of speaking. He did it with Smaug, and he does it again with Roac. … Roac speaks like a human but thinks like a Raven of Middle-earth.
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