Post by Desi Baggins on Feb 13, 2005 19:23:20 GMT -6
I have always thought that this chapter was oddly named. Who is the thief in the night, Bilbo? Bard? Or maybe even Gandalf? Can you come up with a different title for this Chapter? Like maybe Deal in the Dark…
Post by Desi Baggins on Mar 13, 2005 10:55:09 GMT -6
I just have to say that my comment about Thorin thinking Bard the thief was siad without reading Chapter 17! Well I have read the Hobbit before but I did not remember that...
Thorin said, "But how came you by the heirloom of my house---if there is need to ask such a question of theives?" (Spoken to Bard)
After reading Chapter 17 we decide Bard is not thief because the Arkenstone is given to him, but what do you make of Bilbo. Is Bilbo a thief when it comes to the Arkenstone or do you think he came by it rightfully?
- 'It's an ill wind as blows nobody no good, as I always say. And All's well as ends Better!'
Of course he starts out as quite a "respectable" hobbit, but his entire adventure is grooming him to become a professional thief, a burglar. He begins by picking pockets, then appropriates (in the revised edition) Gollum's ring, steals food in the Elf King's cavern, steals a pie, steals a golden goblet from Smaug, and finally conceals the Arkenstone from Thorin.
What did Bilbo himself think about his larcenous career? Did he consider himself a thief? Does he express guilt/ remorse?
More, a bit later.
Last Edit: Oct 10, 2011 11:01:19 GMT -6 by Andorinha
Post by Fredeghar Wayfarer on Oct 10, 2011 14:56:32 GMT -6
Bilbo was definitely a thief but I think he was a principled one. He stole from the Trolls and from Smaug but their possessions were all stolen from others in the first place. He stole food in the Elvenking's halls and elsewhere but only for survival. He stole the Arkenstone but tried to use it as a bargaining chip to prevent a war. He had no intention of keeping it for himself. As for the Ring, we all know the effect that it has on its bearers so I don't think we can hold that against Bilbo.
Granted, these are all excuses. Bilbo probably went through many of them in his mind to rationalize his actions, just as I'm doing. But I'm inclined to think there's a difference between an "expert treasure-hunter" and a common thief who breaks into people's homes to steal their silverware and money for his own gain.
Bilbo was thrown into the role of "burglar" by Gandalf who insisted that Thorin take Bilbo on the Quest in this capacity. Bilbo would never have considered being a burglar a profession for himself!
At first, Bilbo's burglarizing was to prove to the Dwarves that he could perform in the profession the Dwarves and Gandalf had given him for this Quest. Later, he began to burglarize to keep himself and the others alive or to escape or to get out of danger.
I like Desi's title "Deal in the Dark." She hit it on the head. It was Bilbo's idea to use the Arkenstone to make the deal. Bilbo was able to see how hardened Thorin's heart was against all others who would approach and make a claim on the treasures in the mountain. It was "luck" that Bilbo was the one to find the Arkenstone in the first place and foresight to know he may need to use it to make a deal.
Last Edit: Apr 14, 2019 12:18:38 GMT -6 by Stormrider
"You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him!"