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May 18, 2023

The Hobbit Tea Party - Readathon Livestream

The Hobbit Tea Party - Readathon Livestream
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As our Readathon of The Hobbit drew to a close, we celebrated our journey to the Lonely Mountain and back again with a Hobbit Tea Party Livestream event! Julia Golding was joined by friend of the Centre, Jacob Rennaker, and participants of the Readathon as we discussed our favourite aspects of the book and tested our knowledge with a fun quiz. Listen in to learn our guests' unique points of view and to test out how well YOU know The Hobbit.

[Music] Hello everybody and really huge welcome to our celebration of the Hobbit, our tea party for the Hobbit. [Music] So how we're going to do this, just so you know what we're planning to do, we won't keep you long, we're going to enjoy the fact, enjoy the Hobbit basically. We're going to have a quick recap of the history of the Hobbit and the influences and that kind of thing. It's a reader thing, it's a reader log. I'm just going to mute some people. Let me just mute you. Yeah, I think it's a live thing. Yeah, whoever that is chatting, I need to mute you. There we go. Let's try that again. What's a great names here. I'm really interested in some of these names. Everybody, we can chat about that later. Okay. So, when we will love to have your feedback, but when we do that, if you could do that by coming off mute and saying your piece and going back on mute, it just makes the soundtrack tidier for people. Lovely. We're going to start off by just having a little recap on how the Hobbit got written. And I've got something very special to show you. Then we're going to do a round of everybody to say their favourite moments in the book. We'll just do one each and see what people, you know, have to say about that. Then we'll do any questions if anyone wants to raise a question for the group or just generally give their opine. And then we'll do a quiz and the quiz has 15 questions and we'll be looking for a winner and the winner will get a prize which will be from our shop which will have nice fantasy related stuff. So right I'm just having to also put people on mute. Lovely. Okay so Jacob is joining me. Jacob do you want to say a little, well I'll introduce myself first. How about that. I'm Julia Golding. I run the centre, the the Centre for Fantasy. So I'm sort of behind all of these initiatives, myself and my trusty co-worker Joyce. We're a little tiny little charity, but we have managed to, got big reach now because we're doing all sorts of classes with tutors, teaching creative writing, we're doing a podcast, we've got a centre that's going to be open in September, which I can tell tell you more about if you want to ask. There's a page about it on the website where people can come and stay in Oxford. So there's all sorts of things happening. But the other half of my life, as you can see from behind me, that actually behind me is a bookcase of my books. I'm also a writer, still being published. I publish under three names, Julia Golding, Joss Sterling, and Eve Edwards. And I've been working today on my next novel with HarperCollins, for example. So I also keep my foot very much firmly in the world of carrying on publishing, which I think is important. If I'm claiming to teach creative writing, I should still be doing it. But fundamentally I'm here because Tolkien was the writer who flicked that switch in me to be a writer myself. And I absolutely adore his books. And I go back to them, they are my touchstones. And I've imagined I'm talking to a whole load of people for whom that is true. Otherwise it'd be odd that you were here. So over to you, Jacob. You want to tell us a bit about yourself? - Yeah, just really quickly, Jacob Reniker, I'm a scholar of the fantastic world mythology, the dark arts, et cetera, et cetera. I am an author and my full-time profession right now is involves doing narrative design for Ravensburger games. You know, those big brushes for cows. - Thank you. Right, let me just, sorry, I'm also, thank you. Thank you, Anna, just muted herself. Lovely, so let's just think a little bit about the context in which "The Hobbit" came out. Now, I've had two privileges in my life. The first is I've sat in the room where "The Hobbit" was first told. So, next door to the house in which he actually wrote the book down and the Lord of the Rings, he lived next door at number 18. What was it, number 22? Anyway, it's next door to 20 Northmoor Road. And that's before his family outgrew that house. And it was in that house they started telling the story. And so, as a bedtime story. And so, when I went to see the neighbors there, we sat in the room, they said, "This was where, the room where it happened, to borrow a phrase. And then of course, I've also been in next door in 20 Northmore Road where he then wrote it all down. But also I have here in my hand a first edition of the novel. I've got this because my husband's granddad was an academic in Leeds where Tolkien was and they played squash together. Tolkien was very sporty, which you may not have factored in because you always see the older Tolkien, don't you? And so the family knew about Tolkien. So when their family friend started publishing these children's books, this was the book that my mother-in-law was given. And I was looking at today, it is the first edition. It's been much read. And as I was saying to Susan before you arrived, it's got the old version of the Riddles game in it. So there you are, everybody. It's a beautiful edition. It's lost its dust cover, but it does have the original illustrations, and what have you. So it's published in 1937, just before the Second World War. Jacob, do you want to tell us a little bit about the kind of sources from mythology that Tolkien's drawing on? - Right, yeah. And you see, these are, you know, it should be no surprise to readers of any of Tolkien's other works, either academic or fiction, that he's drawing from his deep personal investment in Norse mythology, right? Germanic languages, Indo-European, lots that he's drawing from, that kind of stew story that he's dipping from. So you have around the same time that you have "The Hobbit" published, You also have his famous Lectron Beowulf, the Beowulf, the monsters and the critics. And so you see a lot of kind of echoes there, especially in Smaug, right? As this kind of cunning, intelligent dragon, not just a kind of brute who breathes fire and knocks over buildings. Although he does, and Kanan does do that, but kind of the more like wily, almost kind of serpentine sort of dragon. So that's really fun to see that appear in the text. The names of the different dwarves are largely evocative of the poetic edda, prose eddas as well. You do have some, I think some Brothers Grimm kind of folk tales, Germanic folk tales that are kind of, I think, peaking in a little bit in how the dwarves act, particularly in, again, the Grimm's fairy tale versions of, say, Snow White, Rose Red, those sort of stories. But yeah, so those are just kind of a smattering of them, but again, just tying into Tolkien's personal kind of immersion in Norse, old English, Old English and Germanic languages and literature. You just kind of see echoes of that here. Heather Yeah, and also just to say that Tolkien's not only influenced by the past, which I suspect most of you coming here have had awareness of this. There's a great book by Holly Ordway, who I'm interviewing next week, called Tolkien's Modern Reading, which talks about the contemporary things he was reading like Nesbitt, Kipling, J.M. Barrie, and you can see the sort of nursery tales, should we call it? The influence is very strongly felt in "The Hobbit" because he's reading books to his kids. So when he writes a book for his kids, he's got that narratorial voice in his head, which I think is why, you know, it's a very, it feels very different from "Lord of the Rings," doesn't it? There's things like, looking at it as a writer, there's things where he compares stuff in the book to things that are outside the world of the book, like smog, whistles like a steam engine or something. There's one of those, and that's much more because it's from a nursery setting. So that explains the origins of those. It's within a certain trend. It makes sense in 1930s to be telling a story this way. The other thing about it that I think is worth telling is I think the book shifts as it goes along, a bit like Lord of the Rings did, but in a way the world starts very small and then it becomes enormous as his imagination goes on. The Battle of Five Armies, which probably when you reread it, was it smaller than you remember? Because it's a bit like the battles in Narnia. You read them as a child and they're enormous, but then you go back and look at the text And it's like a paragraph, you know, it was sort of happened. So, but you can see that he's opening it out to more and more different peoples coming into that big sort of showdown at the end. So that's a little bit about "The Hobbit", but I thought now because we've just all had fun rereading it, we'd have a little round of our favorite moments. So what would really help me is if you want to give us a favorite moment is use the hands up icon, which if you look down the bottom of Zoom, sits somewhere down there. Just take your mouse down to the bottom. And I think it's under reactions. Yeah, I think it's under there. So just put your hands up. So starting with you, Jacob, have you got a favorite moment from "The Hobbit"? - Yeah, well, at least this time around, rereading it, you know, just a few weeks ago, uh, it was the reconciliation, uh, of Thorin and Bilbo. That was just really, really beautiful. You know, this is, there was as much levity as there is in joking around here. Uh, just the fact that the author, you know, the, the, the narrator points out that this is strange, right? So after they give their final farewell, Thorin kind of water under the bridge, they're sorry. Uh, Sorry about how this played out. Bilbo was sorry. They're both sorry, but they're both happy that they're that now that right before Thorin's death, that they've kind of buried the hatchet, if you will, and kind of become friends again. And then it says Bilbo turned away and went by himself and sat alone, wrapped in a blanket. And whether you believe it or not, he wept. So this is unexpected to see Bilbo kind of sitting there weeping. So that's not what we've seen in him before. So it's this kind of this. This is where I think one of the times that you see Tolkien's larger themes of sorrow and joy kind of intermingled. A beautiful example of that in this tale that just kind of tugged at me a little bit more reading it this time around. - Yeah, absolutely. And for me, funnily enough, my favorite moment came right at the end because I don't think I've ever given it much attention because it's the last page. but I don't know, somehow I've never actually pondered it. Bilbo says to Gandalf, "Then the prophecies of the old songs have turned out to be true after a fashion." 'Cause he suddenly realized he's been a character in a bigger tale, which is a bit like that bit with Sam and Frodo in "Lord of the Rings." And I love Gandalf's response, which is, "Of course, and why should not they prove true? Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself. You don't suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck just for your sole benefit?" And then they sit down the smoke pipe together. But I love the idea of that sort of perspective on the tale, which I think I've always rushed before. And actually this time I really appreciate it. Okay, we have a hand up from Andrew. Hello, Andrew. It's lovely to talk to you. I know Andrew, he's down in Australia. So what was your favourite part of the story? - Hello, Julia and everyone. It's great to be here. And so many moments, but my favourite would have to be the troll scene. And the reason it's that perfect, you know, that, oh no, they're in danger, quick, what's going to happen? But then, you know, with the trolls insulting each other and mistaking what Bilbo was telling them, you know, "What's a burr, Hobbit? "What's that?" It's just that perfect blend of, oh no, tension and humor, I find. - Yeah, thank you. - And audio-wise, Martin Shaw's rendition in particular is fantastic. - Yeah, Andrew and I, we talk about audio books a lot, 'cause Andrew gets his from the audio. I presume there's now an anti-circus version as well I imagine? Oh yes, that's very good too. Good, so if you want to know anything about audiobooks ask Andrew. Melissa, you've got your hand up, what would you like to tell us about your favourite bit? Yeah, hi, it's mostly a sentence, it's on for me page 197, I guess that's not very helpful but in chapter 12 and he says, he writes, "Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did and he fought the real battle in the tunnel alone." And I just thought, the book shifted for me there. Like it just was kind of opened up in a weird way and I was like, oh this is a moment. And it's also a moment I feel like we've all had in some way, maybe in our lives. There are certain places in the book where I feel like it's either very personal for him or he's looping us into a very human thing. Like when he talks about he was tired, tireder than he'd ever been before. And I just, I don't know, it just, that part hooked me, the kind of world opened up for Bilbo. He definitely takes more agency, doesn't he? I suppose that's a way of saying it. Yeah. And he gets, and you're right, that is the moment. He also has a bit of that when he he decides not to back away from the trolls, Andrew's trolls. But I think that moment is a bit haphazard. He's kind of making a lot of mistakes. Whereas there, when he's on his own, it's the first time he's really on his own. Which is great. Thank you, Melissa. Cara, you've got your hand up. Let me just tell you a little bit, Cara. Cara sits in South Africa and she's one of the amazing team who helped me do all our social media and she helped organize this. So well done, Kara. Kara, but she's also a fan. - Oh yes. - So which was your favorite bit, Kara? - My favorite has to be when they've just escaped the Goblin tunnels and they're climbing up the trees and it's just that whole concept of out of the frying pan into the fire. I think it's partly nostalgic for me because my introduction to Tolkien was my brother and I, he's much older than me, he's 12 years older than me. So when I was about 10, he listened to the Hobbit audio book with me, and that was my introduction to Tolkien. And I just remember that section of the book in particular was just so, it's like burned into my brain because it's just like shame. Poor Bulbo, he's been through so much. He didn't even initially want to go on this adventure. He's just been through such an ordeal with Gollum and everything. And then now the wargs are meeting in the field and the goblins are after them. And it's just such an epic image of the eagles coming down to save them as well, because like you're wondering how could they possibly get out of this situation? And it was just such an amazing piece of writing to me. And it's just part nostalgia, part just Tolkien's brilliance. I love it so much. - Thank you. Anybody else want to tell us their favorite part? Okay, nobody else putting up their hands, but that's fine. Oh, yes they are. Yes, they are. So Carrie, hello Carrie. You need to, let me unmute you so I can, ask to unmute, there we go. I think you need to press the space bar or something. Carrie, can you find a way of speaking to us? If you go onto your screen and hover over it, You should be able to see in the top right-hand corner, there's a little blue lozenge where it says, you should be able to speak to us actually. Try speaking. You're unmuted, but I think you might have your, your microphone might be down or something. Okay, whilst Carrie is sorting out her technical issues, I'm going to go to Dario. Dario, would you like to tell us your favorite bits? Good evening. My favourite, well, is the meeting between Gandalf and Bilbo when they first meet. Because that's the point when the entire adventure starts. And it's a life changing, let's say, event for Bilbo. And so I think that this is the most epic scene in The Hobbit, because that's the point when everything begins. And that's a life changing event for him. And then he doesn't want to be part of that adventure at the beginning, but then he realised maybe that that was a big thing for him to be part of that. - Yeah, and the comedy of it, 'cause he's trying to be so polite. - Yes. - When absolutely he's really, really annoyed. He basically wants to tell him to go away, but he can't bring himself to say that. And then those funny exchanges about good morning. Is it a good morning or is it a morning to be good on? You know, all that stuff. Great fun. Thank you. - You're welcome. - Simon, you've got something, a favourite moment. - Yes, it's a piece really right at the beginning of the book. It's the unexpected party. When I sort of first read the book, it's a long, many years ago now, Tolkien paints this quiet village life. Things go along very, very smoothly. There's no problems at all. everything works really well. He lives in his little hobbit hole. He likes doing cooking and things like that and gardening and all those sort of things. And then suddenly something comes to disrupt this. He's met with Gandalf and sort of thrown Gandalf away. And then he has a knock on the door. An unexpected, I think it's Thorin, is it Thorin, who comes in first and he's completely he's taken by surprise, but he has to show respect and courtesy and things like that, and very hospitable. And he does all those things. And then there's another knock on the door. And by the time we've got 13 doors there, all banging about and things like that, he's rushing around trying to get cakes and things for everybody, rushed off his feet. And I thought, like the contrast from his sort of quiet life to what's, you know, suddenly took place. And that for me was a really nice start to the story. As we know, it develops into other things, but it's really lovely. - Yes, and you can tell he kind of gets disassembled, doesn't he? So he starts off all sort of buttoned up and then gradually, like trying to be the host. And then as the book goes along, he loses his buttons. He gets ragged and, you know, basically by the time they get to, um, uh, late town. They're pretty much reliant on handouts. I love that. He's sort of getting more and more rakish as he goes along, more and more piratical. We got a couple of, um, people talking in the chat. So we got Christina saying she'll write her response. "One of my favorite parts of The Hobbit is when Bilbo fights the spiders in Mirkwood. I feel like this is when Bilbo's bravery really begins. He jumps into his Tookish side. And not only that, but he names his sword right after, at this point, he has accepted the adventure. Yes, you're right. I mean, I sort of knew that was the moment, but it was good reading it again to see that. Jacob, I don't know if you want to read the mysteriously named iPad to everybody. - Yes, okay. Our anonymous, appropriately mysterious contributor here says, "One of my favorite parts is actually the beginning when all the dwarves are arriving unexpectedly at Bilbo's house. I empathize with him. I am kind of an introvert, and it would probably throw me for a loop if all these folks just showed up at my door." And I agree. "I feel like I'm also part Baggins and part Took, and can relate to Bilbo's struggle with himself. Plus, it's fun to see all the different personalities of the dwarves." So yeah, that is a very fun part. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. So Carrie, can we hear you now? - Can you hear me? - Yes, hooray, great. - Yay! Something that continues to fascinate me as always, the encounters with the elves just throughout the book. When they, I mean, it's not till chapter eight, you know, when they're almost chasing the elven lights through the forest and it's just out of reach because when I was a kid, I always felt magic was just out of my reach. Like if I just went around that corner or just stood in that, that ring of toadstools that that it would be there. And so the elves were always fascinating to me. And when I was a kid, I would read, I would sometimes read through the songs quickly, but now being older, I read through them and listened to them as done by the Tolkien Ensemble and a couple others. then they've done some really beautiful renditions of the songs, and I really enjoy those. So for me, the elves were always a favourite. Oh, so if you've got a link to any of those, do put them in the chat. Because I think the elven songs in The Hobbit aren't as good as the ones in The Lord of the Rings, I don't think. No, actually, there's a version... The two at the very, very end are really pretty, but I'll see if I can find a link. Okay, lovely. Thank you, Carrie. Also, I think one of the interesting things I noticed reading it this time through is how the woodland elves, there is very much an echo of the wild hunt, the folkloric wild hunt, which is something which you don't see again, this idea of a hunt that goes on in the distance that you, you know, you glimpse in the woodland is very strong there, which is an old folkloric thing from the British Isles. I hadn't noticed that before, but it's definitely referenced there. Jacob's nodding. So I got that right, didn't I, Jacob? Yeah, he's saying, yeah, yeah, you did. Kathy Heintzman, would you like to say what your favourite part is? Hi, hello. Hi, Kathy. Yes. Hey, I think one of my favourite parts, and of course I grew up on this this book too. And it's inside me like everybody else here, I'm sure. But I really loved the the encounter with smog and the whole cat and mouse and the psychological kind of richness of those scenes. And one of the favorite parts is when they're going back and forth. And he says, and smog finally kind of laughs at him and says, And how are you think you're going to get all this treasure out of here? Anyway, how are you going to remove it. And it says, "Now a nasty suspicion began to grow in his mind. Had the dwarves forgotten this important point too, or were they laughing in their sleeves at him all the time? That is the effect that dragon talk has on the inexperienced. Bilbo, of course, ought to have been on his guard, but Smaug had rather an overwhelming personality." And I just love the whole kind of David and Goliath kind of-- but in a psychological way. And in a way, it feels to me like-- it always felt to me like Bilbo, he uses all of his resources, but mostly his feelings and his intelligence as well as the ring's invisibility to get the better of Smaug. - Yeah, thank you, Cathy. I mean, that Smaug, the several Smaug moments are just wonderful. So the other thing I thought would be worth raising now as we've just done a reading of The Hobbit, is just to have a little moment to express your views about the adaptation of it. 'Cause I'm reading it this time, I thought, I'm really enjoying this. I'm also enjoying the way some things are dialed down. So for example, the master of Lake Town is very different. And some of the sort of diversions, the film version went on, are not there. So I was really enjoying sort of the young, you know, reading it in the original version. So if you want to say anything, you might be a real fan of the movie versions, film versions, do shout out. If there's anything that you appreciated more having seen the films, perhaps since your last time you read it, by going back to the book, that would also be good to hear. Jacob, have you got a view on this? - Yeah, I mean, hmm. (laughs) It's a whole can of worms, but I think, yeah, like any adaptation, it's its own thing. And so you really have to look at it as kind of a separate, more of an inspired by than a actual full retelling, even though that's what it's built at, but it can't be. So I do, I mean, the visuals are astounding. And so I think like the colors that it provides, right. It just kind of the cinematography, these kind of sweeping landscapes, especially like the Bilbo kind of emerging at the top of the tree, right. When he's coming up to take a look around to see where they are in the forest and the butterflies, just like that scene is just gorgeous. And so I think that that image really kind of captured a sense of magic. I think deep magic that the Hobbit evokes as a whole. So yes, in terms of like moments, that was one that I think was really nice that I think amplified that. So I couldn't help but think of that scene now rereading "The Hobbit" when Bilbo's coming up and just kind of seeing the light, how it was touching the different leaves and then yeah, the kind of the chorus of butterflies, 'cause I'm not actually saying anything, but moving in concert, if you will, the butterflies coming up. So that's one that kind of springs to mind for me. - Yeah. Anybody else got anything they want to say about that? - It's Andrew, I've got something. - Oh, Andrew, off you go. - I quite like, you know, a lot of people have mixed emotions about the movies, but I quite like them for the adaptation of the book itself that they do. But then I really like how they've expanded upon it and gone, well, we know that, you know, Gandalf and the White Council went off to fight the Necromancer, aka Sauron, but we don't really hear about it in the book. And I just really like how they sort of gave the movies more depth and sort of went, well, what if that had been written, you know, and yeah, it was really fun seeing them explore that. - Thank you, Andrew. - Yeah, I agree. It was nice to have an idea of what the White Council might've done before. Kirsten, you got your hand up. Kirsten is another of our wonderful South Africans. - I actually can't remember if it's in the book. I can't remember if, you know, sometimes your mind gets kind of switched between what's actually in the movie and what's in the book, but I just thought a really beautiful part of the movie, even though there's a lot that I don't like about it, was where the dragon gets covered in gold. I just, it's such a beautiful scene and it's my favorite. I'll go back and watch that scene over and over when it comes up. So I do love that scene. - That's not in the book. - Okay, well, I think that was a good addition then. Thought it was really, really cool. - And Cara, we've got you also wanting to. - I actually, I recently rewatched all of the movies 'cause I mean, I was working on the readathon and like posting everything just got me into a hobbitish mood. And the first movie, like the first sort of half of the movie, I like, I remember going to the cinema to watch it. I love it. I still love it. And then it just, what gets me every time is when there's this introduction of like the dwarf elf romance. It just, it grates me every time. It's just, I can even excuse maybe even the whole Azog side story because there's a lot in the book that sort of happens like without context. So I can see why they would need to like maybe fill some gaps for a movie audience that isn't actually into the books and all of that. But that romance is just unnecessary. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth and it's, yeah, I don't know. That's the one part of the movies that just, I can excuse a lot of other stuff, but that just like really, really gets me. Okay, I'm sure you're perhaps echoing or giving voice to some people's views there. We have another hand up from Dario. Dario, off you go. Well, obviously it's not easy to film the Hobbit because of all these particular scenes, but one of the most beautiful, in my opinion, is when they go into Beowulf's house, because there you see all the carving and the wood carving there and it's just amazing because it gives you an idea of the Anglo-Saxon world in which they, like say, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings were set. So you have these wonderful carvings and they give you such an, well, you do not find them in the book by the way, so it's not described that all these carving and this is a a wonderful setting, just reminding you that they say something which has to do with the Northern mythology and this is just a particular word. And I think that's just amazing. And you see the old Norse style house there and that's great. Thank you. Yes, let's be fair because they did an amazing job on just, you know, taking on such and also the other thing of course, is they're making it after having made Lord of the Ring. So they started it the other way around. I think tonally different choices would have been made, probably. So that was part of what was going on there. Susan, you've got your hand up. I just am wanting to say I've never seen the movies. Oh well, there you go. But it seems to me that everybody who is saying what they like in the movies is all visual. and of course movies are a visual medium, whereas the book plays in your mind and you can create what you want, which is what I've done, which is why I never saw the movie. That's all, it was just a comment. (EP) No, and that's a good point as well. When you watch something of a beloved book, you know you're sort of sacrificing something of, you know, other images coming in. I would just say that I would do a shout out for performances. I thought that Martin Freeman is very good as Bilbo. He's got really, really interesting actor. And obviously, you know, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, kind of, you know, I can't, I haven't met anyone who doesn't like that yet. And also Richard Armitage as Thorin. I also, well, I enjoyed the dwarves. I know they're I know they're annoying in some ways, because so many of them, but... It was a very difficult role to play, but they actually... I think the performances are good, is what I'm saying. OK, so everybody, thank you so much for that. We're now going to do our quiz, because I promised I wouldn't keep you long. So how the quiz works is it looks like a poll. So it's in two sections and you can... I'll read it out, but you can work your way through in your own time. And then I'll give you the right answers and I'll need you to tot up your own correct answers if you don't mind. I haven't got some fancy schmancy thing that will do that for me. So we're doing it on an honor system and I'm sure you're all honorable folk. So let me just find... Here we go. Can you all see? So this is a test of if you've been listening. In what year was The Hobbit first published? 1934, 1937, 1944, or 1952? I'm just going to mute that. Yeah, so if you're talking at home, I will just mute you so that we don't hear the answers read out by the people who've come as family groups. Okay, so can everybody see the poll? Any problems with seeing the poll, the quiz? And you can just input your answers. If there's any problem with the tech, let me know because we did test this and it seemed to work. Okay, number two, which dwarf arrives first for the tea party? Is it Thorin? Is it Fili, otherwise known as one of the hot dwarves? Is it 'barlin' or is it 'dwarlin'? I'm not going to tell you the difference between those other dwarves. Number three is which dwarf plays a harp? Because I had forgotten that actually they bring their own instruments into the tea party when they arrive. Is it Thorin? Is it Fili? Is it Kili, who's the other hot dwarf? Or is it Ori? And by the way, all of these are about the book. They are not to do with the film, except for the reference to the relative hotness of the dwarves, which Susan won't know. But they managed to suggest that younger dwarves were better looking. Mind you, I'm more of a Richard Armitage person myself. Who are, no, what are the names of the trolls? This is one you've got to really scratch your head. Is it William Bill Tom, Bill Henry Tom, Tom Bill Bert, or Bert Tom Henry? Question number five is, which way round do dwarves organize their maps? I hope people to do with making games about Lord of the Rings know this. Is it east at the top? Is it west at the top? Is it south at the top? Or is it north at the top? What, number six, what does Orcrist mean? Does it mean foe hammer, goblin cleaver, foe smiter, or elf companion? Who kills the Great Goblin is number seven. Is it Gandalf? Is it Bilbo? Is it Thorin? Or does the Great Goblin himself fall to his death? Number eight, what is the answer to the first riddle told by Gollum? Is it teeth, eggs, wind, or mountain? Number nine is who does Bilbo hold onto to escape the flaming pine trees. Is it Dory? Is it Gandalf? Is it the Lord of Eagles or is it Bomba? And the last one in this little, the first 10, is what does Bilbo dream about on the second night at Bjorn's house? I love Tolkien's dreams, by the way. They're scattered throughout his stories and they've always got real resonance. Does he dream about Bag End? Does he dream about honey cakes? Does he dream about enormous bees? Or does he dream about dancing bears? Right, so I'm going to end the poll in a moment and give you the answer to the first 10 questions. But I'm just gonna wait for everybody to have a chance to think their way through that. Okay, so 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. That's it, end of poll. I'm going to now tell you the answers. So this is why I need you to count how many you've got right. The Hobbit was first published in 1937. So well done, 16 people got that right. Number two, which dwarf arrives first? This is Splitters, hasn't it? The right answer is Dwalin. It goes Dwalin, then Balin, and then I couldn't tell you after that. after that. Thorin is actually one of the last lot to arrive. So well done, the nine that picked Dwalin. Number three is which dwarf plays a harp? A majority of you got this right, it is Thorin. Well done. Kind of a, I'd love that, that's some detail they could have put in the film. I think I think it'd be nice to see a little, you know, one of those Welsh harp types, small ones, not a great big thing. That'd be nice. Number four, what are the name of the trolls? This was just to confuse you, wasn't it? This was just a, 'cause basically they're sort of all similar names. And I think the majority of you got this right. It's Tom, Bill and Bert. So 19 of you got that right. The funny thing about this is I've been asking myself is why are trolls, why are they called such English names? But there you go. - I'm not sure. - Julia, sorry. If you want the people to see their answers, they're not popping up for us, just in case. - Let me share the results. - Oh, thank you. - Sorry, it's just I'm reading it, I'm reading it out from the screen. Sorry, everybody. - No worries. Thank you, I'm glad I've got someone keeping an eye on me. There we go. So which way round do dwarves organize their maps? Again, we were split on this, but we had a majority went for east. Yes, correct. And if you are wondering, what on earth is this about? It's at the beginning in the frontispiece. It says at the top, points east at the top. And I was reading in the Holly Ordway book, I mentioned that he actually wanted to have a map produced separately that you could actually pull out that was all kind of a proper, it looked like the map, so you could actually take it out as a kid, but they weren't able to do that. I suppose it's cost probably, but I like the idea that he actually wanted everyone to have this dwarven map. What does Orcris mean? Again, it looks like the majority of you know it's Goblin Cleaver. I think Foehammer is Gandalf's one. Yeah, that's the meaning of it. So anyway, Orcrist is Goblin Cleaver. And I also noticed on this read-through that Thorin only gets Orcrist back after death because the King, the Elf King gives it to him when he's, well, as part of his funeral. Because it is taken from him when he's a prisoner. Who kills the Great Goblin? I tried to trick you there. It is Gandalf, everybody. RIP Barry Humphries, who I think played in the film The Great Goblin. What is the answer to the first riddle? The answer is mountain. All of those others are answers to riddles. So this was again a bit of a, I'm trying to sort of make something a bit more difficult for you all. And who does Bilbo hold on to when escaping the pine trees? Well done, it is Dory. So eight of you got that right. He doesn't actually get to hold on to an eagle at that point. And Bomba, not Bomba, though Bomba does sort of carry him for quite a bit of it in various different points. So I know why you said that. And number 10, the last in this session, is what does he dream about? Rather delightfully, he dreams about dancing bears, which I really like that. Okay, so if you can tot up your right answers answers and we will go on to part two once you've had a chance. So just make a note of how many you got right. And, whoops, sorry, I just need to, there we are, back. Here is part two, only five questions. Obviously I've done 15 questions because that's the number of 13 dwarfs plus Bilbo and Gandalf. So, question number one, what does Bilbo see from the top of the trees in Mirkwood? Is it Thranduil's kingdom? Is it black butterflies? Is it the Lonely Mountain? Is it the lands beyond Mirkwood? Question number two, is where does Bilbo get the keys to the dwarves' cells when they're in the Thranduil's kingdom. Is it from the chief guard? Is it from the butler, Galleon? Is it from Legolas? Or is it off, that should read hook rather than hood, sorry, I didn't proofread this, off a hook on the wall. Number three, what title does Bilbo not give himself when talking to Smaug? Is it barrel rider, ring bearer, luck wearer or friend of bears? Three of those he uses when he's saying who he is and one of them he doesn't. Number four is what does Bilbo not get? Another of my not get questions. What does he not get from the Dwarves' treasury? Does he not get a mithril coat, a pearl and crystal belt, a leather helm with white gems, or a stout shield with scarlet stones? Okay, I'm doing a lot of negatives here. It was 'cause I was told to make sure they only had one answer. So this is why it's like this. What species or race is not counted among the five armies that make up the battle of five armies. This has always confused me, and this time on the read-through, I saw there was actually a sentence that tells you who the five armies are. So, which one isn't? Goblins, eagles, wolves, men, or dwarves? Or elves? Goblins, eagles, wolves, men, dwarves, elves. Which one isn't counted as a separate army or that battle? Okay, so if you could put in your answers. Just wait to see, I can see who's taking part. I hadn't, so this is the first time we've used this way of doing it. So I can see who is still thinking. So I'm going to go back to the slides. I'm going to go back to the slides. I'm going to go back to the slides. I can see who is still thinking. 70% of you have put in your answers. And Sue, lovely to see you as well. Sue's just saying hi to me. Sue's been through one of our courses. Very... As is Val, it's lovely to see you all pitching up here as well. Okay, we got 28 of 36. So I'm gonna do another countdown of 10. Some of us may not be participating like me 'cause I'm the question master. So now or never. 10, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one. Okay. Right, you should this time be able to see the results. Good. So the answer to question number 11 is actually, funnily enough, Jacob didn't know the content of this, but he gave some of it away because he mentioned the butterflies. There are black butterflies that are seen. He doesn't see anything else because it's described because it's described as being in like a shallow dish. So he can't see beyond Mirkwood. He's very dispirited, which is different from the film where he sees, you know, he sees beyond, which I think would have confused some of us. So where does he get the key? Well, he gets it from the chief guard. The chief guard and the butler are having a very powerful wine that they're drinking together. That bit is, so the butler's there but it's the key is on the guard. Number three, what title does he not give him? He doesn't call himself, obviously if you think about it, he doesn't call himself ring bearer because that's what Proto is called, but he does mention his all the other things. It is if you skip that chapter, it's worth just reading that interchange. One of us was mentioning how it's one of their favorite because his address to Smaug is just so wonderful. Oh Smaug, the magnificent, oh Smaug, the, you know, it just gets wonderful terms, very funny. Okay, what does he not get from the treasury? He actually gets quite a lot of things. Obviously the mithril coat that then becomes iconic in Frodo, but he doesn't get a shield. He gets all the rest, a stout shield of scarlet stones I made up. And number five, the battle of the five armies is, so I'm just muting a few folk, eagles are not counted as a separate army. the actual ones described are goblins, wolves, men, dwarves and elves. That's partly because the eagles come later and they also come with Bjorn's people, but they stick with the original name for it is those people. Goblins are basically the orc-like characters. Men are from Lake Town and Dale. Dwarves are the dwarves and the elves are the woodland elves, Arthur Anderwill's bunch. So please can you count up how many you got right? They were 15. If you got somewhere above 10 correct, would you like to share it in the chat? And we'll have a look and see if we can find a winner. So SB got a very decent 11. Anybody else got more than 11? Looks like 11 may be our winner. Jacob, did you take part in that? I did not. Oh, I was going to put you on the spot there. How do you think you would have done? I think I would have done decent, but like the... which dwarf got there first and who is... it's the dwarves. Yeah, the dwarves. The dwarf questions would have just... yeah, those have been rough. Lorraine said she lost count. Oh, we have to actually have a total for that. But well done if you got over 10. I purposely put in... Oh dear, Carrie said... Zoom dropped her and didn't hit submit. Oh, so I think, um, SB, SB, you've probably got a name that's more than SB. We will mark you our winner and crown you the king or queen of, um, of Middle-earth for today. So if you would like to direct message us with your email, then we can get in contact with you about your prize. But I hope everybody found the actual big prize of this was just spending an hour with The Hobbit. Yeah, and it's been huge fun. I've really enjoyed this read-a-thon. So thank you, everybody, for making it, and all your lovely contributions. They don't disappear off Facebook and Instagram. and Instagram, they'll be there for a while. So thank you so much and SB don't go without telling us who you are. I will stay here so you've got a chance to message us. But everybody else, thank you very much for coming. Thanks for listening to Myth Makers Podcast, Brought to you by the Oxford Centre for Fantasy. Visit to join in the fun. Find out about our online courses, in-person stays in Oxford, plus visit our shop for great gifts. Tell a friend and subscribe, wherever you find your favourite podcasts worldwide. (upbeat music)