Smaug

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Post by azriel Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:36 pm

U-huh ! Smile

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Post by Bluebottle Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:37 pm

That whole part of the book, him talking to Bilbo, is so great too.

Hmm, I posted it somewhere I think..

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Post by Bluebottle Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:39 pm

JRR Tolkien wrote:“Well, thief! I smell you and I feel your air. I hear your 'breath. Come along! Help yourself again, there is plenty and to spare!”

But Bilbo was not quite so unlearned in dragon-lore as all that, and if Smaug hoped to get him to come nearer so easily he was disappointed.

“No thank you, O Smaug the. Tremendous!” he replied. “I did not come for presents. I only wished to have a look at you and see if you were truly as great as tales say. I did not believe them.”

“Do you now?” said the dragon somewhat flattered, even though he did not believe a word of it.

“Truly songs and tales fall utterly short of the reality, O Smaug the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities,” replied Bilbo.

"You have nice manners for a thief and a liar,” said the dragon. “You seem familiar with my name, but I don't seem to remember smelling you before. Who are you and where do you come from, may I ask?”

“You may indeed! I come from under the hill, and under hills and over the hills my paths led. And through the air, I am he that walks unseen.”

“So I can well believe,” said Smaug, “but that is hardly our usual name.”

“I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I as chosen for the lucky number.”

“Lovely titles!” sneered the dragon. “But lucky numbers don't always come off.”

“I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from the water. I came from the end of a bag, but no bag went over me.”

“These don't sound so creditable,” scoffed Smaug.

“I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am Ringwinner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider,” went on Bilbo beginning to be pleased with his riddling.

“That's better!” said Smaug. “But don't let your imagination run away with you!”

This of course is theway to talk to dragons, if you don't want to reveal your proper name (which is wise), and don't want to infuriate them by a flat refusal (which is also very wise). No dragon can resist the fascination of riddling talk and of wasting time trying to understand it. There was a lot here which Smaug did not understand at all (though I expect you do, since you know all about Bilbo's adventures to which he was referring), but he thought he understood enough, and he chuckled in his wicked inside.

“I thought so last night,” he smiled to himself. “Lake-men, some nasty scheme of those miserable tub-trading Lake-men, or I'm a lizard. I haven't been down that way for an age and an age; but I will soon alter that!”

“Very well, O Barrel-rider!” he said aloud. “Maybe Barrel was your pony's name; and maybe not, though it was fat enough. You may walk unseen, but you did not walk all the way. Let me tell you I ate six ponies last night and I shall catch and eat all the others before long. In return for the excellent meal I will give you one piece of advice for your good: don't have more to do with dwarves than you can help!”

“Dwarves!” said Bilbo in pretended surprise.

“Don't talk to me!” said Smaug. “I know the smell (and taste) of dwarf-no one better. Don't tell me that I can eat a dwarf-ridden pony and not know it! You'll come to a bad end, if you go with such friends. Thief Barrel-rider. I don't mind if you go back and tell them so from me.”

But he did not tell Bilbo that there was one smell he could not make out at all, hobbit-smell; it was quite outside his experience and puzzled him mightily.

“I suppose you got a fair price for that cup last night?” he went on. “Come now, did you? Nothing at all! Well, that's just like them. And I suppose they are skulking outside, and your job is to do all the dangerous work and get what you can when I'm not looking-for them? And you will get a fair share? Don't you believe it! If you get off alive, you will be lucky.”

Bilbo was now beginning to feel really uncomfort able. Whenever Smaug's roving eye, seeking for him in the shadows, flashed across him, he trembled, and an unaccountable desire seized hold of him to rush out and reveal himself and tell all the truth to Smaug. In fact he was in grievous danger of coming under the dragon-spell. But plucking up courage he spoke again.

“You don't know everything, O Smaug the Mighty,” said he. “Not gold alone brought us hither.”

“Ha! Ha! You admit the 'us',” laughed Smaug. “Why not say 'us fourteen' and be done with it. Mr. Lucky Number? I am pleased to hear that you had other business in these parts besides my gold. In that case you may, perhaps, not altogether waste your time.

“I don't know if it has occurred to you that, even if you could steal the gold bit by bit-a matter of a hundred years or so – you could not get it very far? Not much use on the mountain-side? Not much use in the forest? Bless me! Had you never thought of the catch? A fourteenth share, I suppose, Or something like it, those were the terms, eh? But what about delivery? What about cartage? What about armed guards and tolls?”

And Smaug laughed aloud. He had a wicked and a wily heart, and he knew his guesses werenot far out, though he suspected that the Lake-men were at the back of the plans, and that most of the plunder was meant to stop there in the town by the shore that in his young days had been called Esgaroth.

You will hardly believe it, but poor Bilbo was really very taken aback. So far all his. thoughts and energies had been concentrated on getting to the Mountain and finding the entrance. He had never bothered to wonder how the treasure was to be removed, certainly never how any part of it that might fall to his share was to be brought back all the way to Bag-End Under-Hill.

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.

“I tell you,” he said, in an effort to remain loyal to his friends and to keep his end up, “that gold was only an afterthought with us. We came over hill and under hill, by wave and win, for Revenge. Surely, O Smaug the unassessably wealthy, you must realize that your success has made you some bitter enemies?”

Then Smaug really did laugh-a devastating sound which shook Bilbo to the floor, while far up in the tunnel the dwarves huddled together and imagined that the hobbit had come to a sudden and a nasty end.

“Revenge!” he snorted, and the light of his eyes lit the the hall from floor to ceiling like scarlet lightning. “Revenge! The King under the Mountain is dead and where are hi kin that dare seek revenge? Girion Lord of Dale is dead, and I have eaten his people like a wolf among sheep, and where are his sons' sons that dare approach me? I kill where I wish and none dare resist. I laid low the warriors of old and their like is not in the world today. Then I was but young and tender. Now I am old and strong, strong strong. Thief in the Shadows!” he gloated. “My armour is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hu rricane, and my breath death!”

“I have always understood,” said Bilbo in a frightened squeak, “that dragons were softer underneath, especially in the region of the–er–chest; but doubtless one so fortified has thought of that.”

The dragon stopped short in his boasting. “Your information is antiquated,” he snapped. “I am armoured above and below with iron scales and hard gems. No blade can pierce me.”

“I might have guessed it,” said Bilbo. “Truly there can; nowhere be found the equal of Lord Smaug the Impenetrable. What magnificence to possess a waistcoat of fine diamonds!”

“Yes, it is rare and wonderful, indeed,” said Smaug absurdly pleased. He did not know that the hobbit had already caught a glimpse of his peculiar under-covering on his previous visit, and was itching for a closer view for reasons of his own. The dragon rolled over. “Look!” he said. “What do you say to that?”

“Dazzlingly marvellous! Perfect! Flawless! Staggering!” exclaimed Bilbo aloud, but what he thought inside was: “Old fool! Why there is a large patch in the hollow of his left breast as bare as a snailout of its shell!”

After he had seen that Mr. Baggins' one idea was to get away. “Well, I really must not detain Your Magnificence any longer,” he said, “or keep you from much needed re st. Ponies take some catching, I believe, after a long start. And so do burglars,” he added as a parting shot, as he darted back and fled up the tunnel.

It was an unfortunate remark, for the dragon spouted terrific flames after him, and fast though he sped up the slope, he had not gone nearly far enough to be comfortable before the ghastly head of Smaug was thrust against the opening behind. Luckily the whole head and jaws could not squeeze in, but the nostrils sent forth fire and vapour to pursue him, and he was nearly overcome, and stumbled blindly on in great pain and fear. He had been feeling rather pleased with the cleverness of his conversation with Smaug, but his mistake at the end shook him into better sense.

“Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!” he said to himself, and it became a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb. “You aren't nearly through this adventure yet,” he added, and that was pretty true as well.

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Post by azriel Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:44 pm

I loved that part where its just Smaug & Bilbo, just these 2 'people' taking up the whole space, your attention solely on them, the word play ! Im angry again now ! fooking peejers, he just couldnt keep to it could he ! he looked a gift horse in the mouth & shoved it in the shit. Mad Mad Mad

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Post by Bluebottle Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:52 pm

Yeah, that was the best part of the book, and should have been the best part of the movie. (Still was really, despite everything.)

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Post by azriel Sat Nov 08, 2014 9:58 pm

It should have been, Blue, but, it was badly handled I thought. I lost the sense of tension, Bilbo was invisible & edging around Smaug, ( in the book ) but in the film he was clattering & crashing around, I didnt feel any "edge of my seat " stuff, In fact it was cringing & boring. No witty exchange between the 2, just a stupid slithering Chinese new year style dragon wrapping its self in & out columns at a silly speed & you knew full well a dragon of that size would not be slinky enough or quick enough to do that, It looked fake & in so doing so made it unbelievable & dire.

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Post by halfwise Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:00 pm

chris63 wrote:Did we ever learn if Smaug was pronounced sm-org or sm-awg ?
I'v always said Smorg.

Would you Brits and your castaway ilk learn that 'r' after a vowal isn't just a sly hint? From the American point of view, unless the 'r' is written, there's no way in hell you can pronounce it. You folks think you can because YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO PRONOUNCE A FRIGGIN' 'R'!!!

(Sorry, I get worked up about putting things where they have no right to be. It's unconscionable. Hmf! )

((Okay, some east coasters say "warsh" instead of "wash", but at least they're putting the sound in there, rather than thinking they are when they're not. It's more honest than saying you're doing something you shouldn't be when in fact you never were in the first place! HMF!! ))

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Post by Mrs Figg Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:13 pm

I say Smawg as in Deputy Dawg
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Post by azriel Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:14 pm

So do I

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Post by Eldorion Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:19 am

I say Smogg as in Snoop Doggy Dogg.
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Post by Bluebottle Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:35 am

Let's call the whole thing off? Shrugging

Hey.. why didn't someone think of that before.

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Post by halfwise Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:52 am

Did you say call it "orff"? Suspect

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Post by Bluebottle Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:56 am

Is that a reference to the german composer? scratch

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Post by halfwise Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:10 am

The one the Brits/Aussies would call "Caul Oaf"?

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Post by azriel Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:16 am

Oh yes sweety, the British would say oarrrrfff Laughing
AS in " Oarrff with his head !" Laughing

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Post by Amarië Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:12 am

YOU KNOW NOTHING, FORUMSHIRE!!

It is /smaʊɡ/.

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Post by Forest Shepherd Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:27 am

Face it guys, this is the definitive pronunciation.
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Post by Eldorion Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:17 am

I'm really looking forward to HITB's take on BOFA. Nod
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Post by bungobaggins Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:24 am

The devil is my hairdo.

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Post by Forest Shepherd Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:43 am

Eldorion wrote:I'm really looking forward to HITB's take on BOFA. Nod

I'm not. They're enjoyable when I don't care too much about what they're reviewing (and when they don't drop too far into the painful humour), but I do not enjoy the ignorant speaking loosely about a film that I actually know more about than they do (because of how much bloody time I've spent thinking and reading about the entire process behind it).

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Nov 12, 2014 6:58 am

I find Plinketts reviews of the ST films and the SW films to be exceptionally in depth and well thought out.
The styling of the character of Plinkett might not be to all tastes, but I think the depth of the reviews is among the best on the net.

I am less keen on the Half and a Bag general reviews, they can be insightful and often funny, But I am less keen on wading through their subpar 'sketch' material that they surround and pad their reviews with. I just want to hear the review. Out of 20 odd minutes of review usually about half of it is wasted on them amusing each other in a very self serving manner.

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Post by Forest Shepherd Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:35 am

What on earth (or under it?) is a Plinkett review??

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Post by Eldorion Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:39 am

They're what made Red Letter Media famous. Big (eventually they became feature-length) reviews of sci-fi films, mainly Star Trek and Star Wars. Be warned that they do feature some comedy sketch elements, especially in the Attack of the Clones review. Mr Plinkett is the character who narrates the reviews.

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Post by Eldorion Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:40 am

Forest Shepherd wrote:I'm not. They're enjoyable when I don't care too much about what they're reviewing (and when they don't drop too far into the painful humour), but I do not enjoy the ignorant speaking loosely about a film that I actually know more about than they do (because of how much bloody time I've spent thinking and reading about the entire process behind it).

I find it refreshing to hear what people who are not hardcore Tolkien fans think of the movies. I get to see this through RL friends and family, as well as other forums I visit and of course regular movie reviews, but I enjoy HITB in general so I look forward to their Hobbit reviews in particular.
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Post by Forest Shepherd Fri Nov 14, 2014 5:05 pm

But their style is intentionally tongue-in-cheek when it comes to such things. Their last review started with a joke about "Hobo Baggins" or something. I find that the fact that they are not hardcore Tolkien fans (or hardcore Jackson fans of course) simply means that they don't have anything particularly meaningful to add to the conversation.

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