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Old 09-27-2000, 06:30 AM   #1
The Barrow-Wight
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Ring Book I - Chapter 4 - A Shortcut to Mushrooms

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I like this short chapter because it shows another hobbit standing up to a Black Rider (Maggot does it here, Gaffer Gamgee did it in Chapter 2). Those old hobbits sure are crusty fellows, aren't they! This says a lot about hobbits, IMO.

Otherwise this chapter is great because we learn that Frodo was quite a rascal in his younger orphan days <img src=smile.gif ALT="">

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Old 09-27-2000, 06:54 AM   #2
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Re: Book I - Chapter 4 - A Shortcut to Mushrooms

I agree. It is very interesting to see that the hobbits stand up to the riders while many men would easily fold before them. But you have to wonder, do the hobbits stand up to the riders out of bravery or sheer naiveity? I don't think they know who the are dealing with, but in this case that is probably for the best.

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Old 09-27-2000, 09:16 AM   #3
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Re: Book I - Chapter 4 - A Shortcut to Mushrooms

Good question. But I think it was more than ignorance. The Black Riders exuded fear (and the Black Breath, at times). Some men quailed at their mere precense. Sure, at this time in the books they were still masking their true nature as well as they could, but the dogs could sense it.

I think it was more sturdiness than naivete. The Gaffer was smarter than he let on. And there's no doubt that Maggot was more than he appeared.

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Old 09-27-2000, 09:59 AM   #4
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Re: Book I - Chapter 4 - A Shortcut to Mushrooms

That could be the case... but sometimes the best defense is ignorance. You won't be afraid of a dog until it bites you. Gaffer and Maggot were very tough old hobbits (and most certainly more than they appeared) but I'm not sure if they knew who they were dealing with.
On the other hand though maybe they knew perfectly well who these riders were and decided to take a position of &quot;I don't know- I don't wanna know.&quot; The neither help nor hinder philosophy.
Just a thought...

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Old 09-27-2000, 11:30 AM   #5
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Re: Book I - Chapter 4 - A Shortcut to Mushrooms

okay,but doesn't gandalf say a 100 times or so that hobbits are more sturdy than you might expect,so maybe they didn't think at all,but simply were less afraid of them.

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Old 09-28-2000, 06:29 AM   #6
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Re: Book I - Chapter 4 - A Shortcut to Mushrooms

good point....
It seems the hobbits are a strange little people indeed!
You have to wonder if this task (the ring) was planned for the hobbits from the beginning. That such a unnoticed, unobtrusive people would be the backbone in the fellowship of the ring. Gandalf is certainly a excellent judge of character!!

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Old 02-16-2003, 04:14 PM   #7
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It seems to me that there is more to Maggot than meets the eye. Remember in ch.7 In the House of Tom Bombadil it says,

Quote:
It no longer surprised them; but he made no secret that he owed his recent knowledge largely to Farmer Maggot, whom he seemed to regard as a person of more importance than they had imagined.
It is hard to tell what this means, but we know that Maggot is probably not as ignorant to some things as we think. I'm not sure (and I doubt) that the Gaffer has anything to do with the Tom-Maggot connection. So, I think that The Barrow-Wight is correct in saying
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The Gaffer was smarter than he let on. And there's no doubt that Maggot was more than he appeared.
However, I'm not sure if it was because of sturdiness.
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Old 02-16-2003, 04:32 PM   #8
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Hobbits can't be stronger then men. That would mean they could beat me [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]
But since the black riders affect men, and Hobbits, remember in Minas Tirth how scared Pippen is, can they affect the Half Elven?
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Old 02-16-2003, 05:40 PM   #9
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Well, hobbits aren't fearless! Some of them may be tougher than men, but not all. The Gaffer just isn't the guy to mess around with (I mean, he named his son 'Stupid Gardener'). Frodo was afraid, Sam was afraid, and Merry probably was afraid at some point [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]. It's jsut a matter of situation. If a hobbit lives in peace his/her entire life, they're going to get scared in an unfamiliar/war-like situation. I liked this chapter too (but I like all chapters). It's just so hobbit-ish. And hobbits rock.
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Old 02-17-2003, 05:55 AM   #10
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they're going to get scared in an unfamiliar/war-like situation.
Bingo! Maggot and Gaffer are both very tough indeed... on their own ground. Most if not all folk are exactly the same way. It's called homecourt advantage. The Travellers, and partly Bilbo, are the really brave ones, because they go out to take on evil at its source. Frodo especially so, for having to try and stand up to The Ring and to himself in the Sammath Naur (with mixed results at best).

A Shortcut to Mushrooms, then, provides an excellent contrast for The Scouring of the Shire. All of a sudden, the Hobbits' world is in danger of falling down around their slightly-pointed ears. The former toughness of the Gaffer amounts to nothing much, while some few others such as Lobelia are actually strengthened by the situation.

Whatever happened to Bamfurlong and Farmer Maggot during the Scouring of the Shire??
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Old 02-17-2003, 10:34 AM   #11
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Well, Maggot's another enigma, I can say that; and he may be part of a dichotomy of sorts with Gaffer at the other side of the comparison (though they have a lot of similarities). Gaffer was really tough: standing up to that wraith and all, while Gaffer's opinions are like Proverbs with an Irish flair.

The thought that Frodo did have a wild side never occured to me until now, and it's nice to realize that [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] plus, maybe that mushroom incident taught Frodo a lesson, making him more reserved that Pippin and Merry.

(But Frodo's love for mushrooms never changed, hadn't it?)

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Old 02-18-2003, 02:40 PM   #12
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I loved this chapter. It gives more background to Frodo's character and adds some conquer. All men are terrified of the Nazgul but maybe they didn't know, but hobbits are tough. Bilbo was tough, and Merry and Pippin survived with the orcs. Sam and Frodo distroyed the ring and even gollum still had some sanity left even after 500 years. I think that the Shire has not softened hobbits after the wondering years, but concealed their true powers. Not magical maybe, but still... [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 02-18-2003, 03:42 PM   #13
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I totaly agree, it was a great chapter and it did give a litte more backround on Frodo's Charector.
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Old 02-19-2003, 03:01 PM   #14
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Hobbits seem to very "sturdy" indeed. Frodo did not succumb to the Morgul blade, (even though he came close) such a wound could have felled stronger men than him. Even when Merry went outside in Bree to get some fresh air and felt "something horrible creeping near" which of course was a black rider. Knowing that the riders were persuing them what did he do? He FOLLOWED the rider! How many "representative" members of any other race would do such a thing? Even Aragorn was amazed at Merry's fortitude and qiuck recovery from the Black Breath. Hobbits seem very stout in mind and health.
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Old 02-19-2003, 06:42 PM   #15
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Doug*platypus, you're exactly right about the home-court advantage. Maggot and the Gaffer were both in their familiar territory, as was Merry.

Myself, I like to think that it just never occurred to any of these three to back down. They show a remarkable lack of inclination to cringe, which is refreshing.
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