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Topic: Was it cruel to use Hobbits as pawns ?

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Date: Jul 28, 2009
Was it cruel to use Hobbits as pawns ?

Hello

Here's a strange thought.

Bilbo finds the ring.
Gandalf is intrersted in hobbits
Merry and Pippin obtain baldes of the westernese
Frodo and Sam journey into terror

Here's my point, fate plays a strong part in the LOTR.
From Farimirs vision
Gandalf's gut feelings
Bilbo's and Frodo's unfortunate "luck"

Even Frodo's vision of the west while at Bombadils.

It seems to me that little hobbits are being used by greater powers to achieve their aims.

The point I'm raising is, was it cruel to knowingly to depend so much, on those least apt ?




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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Date: Jul 28, 2009
Thats the moral of the story. Sauron could not be beaten by the strong and mighty, or by vast numbers and sturdy armies. The peoples of Middle-earth were too weak at the end of the Third Age to repel him. Therefore a 'strange fate' came about where, because of Bilbo's fateful finding of the Ring many years previous, Hobbits, the folk of least significance in Middle-earth, would 'shape the fortunes of all'. Nowehere in the story do I actually see them being forced to do anything, with regards to the overthrow of Sauron.

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Date: Jul 29, 2009
Hi

This brings us round to the whole, fate in Arda discussion.
I was thinking- Just what's the point in hobbits ?
It was quite clear.....they defeat Sauron.
Perhaps that was the plan......what better a keeper fot the One ?
Strangely though, when it came to its influenence......don't fade easily...in the whole humble.....quite resiliant and brave to a pinch.....strangely adverse to complicated technology

It's almost as if by design, hobbits are perfect for the job.

Hmm then I contradict myself....Hobbits are most apt at Sauron bashing.......chance or something else ?

Was it by design, that hobbits would topple the mighty ?
Is this manipulation cruel ?

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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I don't think you are looking at it the right way Filli. You can't keep trying to calculate Supreme Fate and Doom into all of the stuff of Arda.

Clearly Hobbits were destined for something big at the end of the Age. Thats as far as it can be taken before it starts messing up the whole story.

And Iluvatar cannot be cruel. He cannot be anything other than Iluvatar. As I read somewhere the other day, if Iluvatar were to, for example, kill an innocent for no apparent reason, then its not our place to dictate our thoughts of morality on it. After all, Iluvatar is morality, what he says and does is far beyond our scope of judgement.
If Eru were to tell you to murder even your family, then you must do it if you are to remain a moral person. After all, Abraham was about to kill his son for no other reason than because that Angel told him to. Luckily for him the Angel was satisfied that he had proven his devotion before he struck the blow.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Whoa!  There are a lot of assumptions here.  Including reading the mind of God, Eru, or Iluvatar.
And reading the mind of Tolkien who you suppose and propose created the hobbits because he needed some subtle plot device to fit into his mythological framework which began to be created as Tolkien lay recovering after being wounded in the battle of the Somme in World War I.  There is no "fate" here.  Tolkien wrote what he wanted and re-wrote it to they way he liked it.
Holy Smokes you guys!!!  It is almost impossible "fate" as a purpose when all of Tolkien's work comes from his imagination and pen.  Everything comes out in these stories because Tolkien deliberately put it there.  "Fate" is what people claim happens in the real world.  (and I think it is rarer there than what they claim; hence the constructs of "synchronicity," "causality," and "predetermination.")
Ain't no such thing as a free lunch folks.
What Tolkien's characters say or imply are on the page because HE PUT THEM THERE. Not because of fate.

All three of you are saying you are right on with your observations but mighty light when it comes to supporting that with quotes or references in or out of the text.
Let me give you a mild example.  In the Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring, Book I, Chapter II - "The Shadow of the Past", in the bottom of page 48 there is a quote from Gandalf which supports part of Filli's statement about hobbits ;
"Strangely though, when it came to its influence......don't fade easily...in the whole humble.....quite resilient and brave to a pinch.....strangely adverse to complicated technology."
(Tolkien Forums > General Lore discussion (standard) > Was it cruel to use Hobbits as pawns ? > Filli > July 28th, 2009)  The quote from Tolkien's book reads; "...and as far as I know there is no Power in the world that knows all about hobbits.  Among the Wise I am the only one that goes in for hobbit-lore: an obscure branch of knowledge, but full of surprises.  Soft as butter they can be, and yet sometimes as tough as old tree-roots.  I think it likely that some would resist the Rings far longer than most of the Wise would believe..." (The Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring, Book I, Chapter II - "The Shadow of the Past",  pg 48-49)
Eight pages more and the concept of "fate" gets a hole put in it from Gandalf himself; "...behind that there was something else at work, beyond any design of the Ring-maker.  I can put it no plainer than by saying that Bilbo was meant to find the Ring, and not by its maker.  In which case you (Frodo) also were meant to have it.  And that may be an encouraging thought." (The Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring, Book I, Chapter II - "The Shadow of the Past",  pg 56)


While I appreciate mouth of sauron's comparison of Yahweh with Eru-Iluvatar, and that Tolkien compares the Maiar to angels (Letters 202) (Stanton, M.N. author  "Wizards" J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia. , Michael Drout editor, Scholarship & Critical Assessment ed. 2007.) and may see Eru-Iluvatar in a different way,  I do support his statement; "You can't keep trying to calculate Supreme Fate and Doom into all of the stuff of Arda." (Tolkien Forums > General Lore discussion (standard) > Was it cruel to use Hobbits as pawns ? > mouth of sauron > July 30th, 2009)
Tolkien's work has so many interlocking references and so many versions there is not enough evidence to claim "hobbits as pawns."  It is too broad a statement.  If we listen to advice from others, or discover artifacts on an archeological dig, are we pawns of the "gods"?
I can't accept that premise, at least not without some supporting textual evidence.


Mr. Baggins has a point about the hobbits not being; "forced to do anything, with regards to the overthrow of Sauron." (Tolkien Forums > General Lore discussion (standard) > Was it cruel to use Hobbits as pawns ? > Bilbo Baggins > July 28th, 2009)  Wouldn't the question;  "was it cruel to use Hobbits as pawns ? " have some motivating force that could be clearly identified?  In our recent discussion of  "Radagast...where did he go?" we see that the Valar chose a subtle way of influencing the folk of Middle-earth after failing them by blatantly acting directly twice before.   They did it by sending wizards as counselors to advise, guide and train.  But they sent Maiar, not hobbits.  Were the "wizards" pawns?

And by the way;
According to my Bible, (yes I know there are different translations and contradictions in different versions), it is not some subordinate agent "angel" that demands Abraham sacrifice of his son Isaac, but God himself who demands the sacrifice.  And God calls this sacrifice off because it was really just a test of Abrahams loyalty and obedience.  Abraham passed the test...so...no sacrifice.
It is God pulling the strings...not Maiar.

So how about if the discussion continues with evidence to support the assumptions.
Or just ignore this as interference of a grumpy old bear.


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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Poked with sticks !

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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Way to go, Fili!! Give me those darn sticks!! You're gonna' poke your eye out with them.

I do have to say, as for my experience, fate is generally not a big part of composition and it stinks but a lot of times there are strings left to dangle, no matter how hard you try. The story has to end sometime or be taken up by someone else, like Christopher.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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You got me!!!
Damn those sharp sticks!!!


-- Edited by Bear on Friday 31st of July 2009 08:46:01 PM

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Date: Jul 31, 2009
lol
Hey guys ...I plead guilty of Bear baiting

hee hee

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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It must be terrible to be so good at being bad!! lol You better hope the powers that be don't start using you as bait!!

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Now how in the heck is it that I feel loved by being poked by sticks?
Bless you all.
With affection,
Bear


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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Date: Aug 1, 2009
Hey!!!

Another thing has just came to me !

Bilbo was "meant" to find the ring...and so on.

So to take a step back, was Smeagol meant to find the ring ?

Oh dear, another example of Hobbit (Hobbit like and all creatures bearing an overall simularity) exploitation.

They should go on strike !

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Rohirrim of Edoras - Rank 4
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Let's for a second say that you are right. The Hobbits and Smeagol were used to fulfill a divine purpose in ME. What was that purpose? The Vala and Iluvator do not dwell in ME. They have thier established realm so what is the interest in saving ME? I can't stand a nonsensical theory and I believe this one is in a fundamental. If the powers that be are so indifferent to the peoples (creatures) of ME as to use them as puppets and "pawns" then why bother in the first place? I say as a treacherous diety of the kind based in this theory I couldn't care less. Let Sauron have the stupid little piece of land for a while. We don't need it and if he gets out of that bit of realm we simply gang up on him and squish him, his minions and that ring. After all, he's just the servant of one of the vala, right?

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Hobbit from Hobbiton - Rank 4
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Sniff sniff

I smell a trap...smells like a bear trap to me.

I like the gods of middlearth...they're not omnipotent..they make mistakes.

Perhaps relying so much on little hobbits, they satisfied their guilt, by allowing a couple of them into the west. ( nice place, like heaven...splendid).

Mind you, I bet the hobbits that fell during the scourge of the shire would have expected more than 5 old men in boats...most of whom went mental or disappeared.

Are the Valar a bit like our politicians of today....full of good intentions, but impotent of real action?

trap set

DON'T GET POLITICAL !

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Filli,
No bear trap here my friend.
But I think your response has a lot to do with how you view the Tolkien's world.
(no sticks here) I think hobbits are what Tolkien wished he could be but was not.
And I think the "meddling" of the Maiar, both Gandalf and "Sharkey", was a gift to Middle-earth, and a blessing to all.
Early in the books Gandalf rebukes Frodo for wishing death on Gollum (The Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Ring, Book I, Chapter II -:Shadow of the Past", pg  ) and Frodo has grown as "Sharkey" acknowledges his mercy and nobility after Frodo restrains the hobbits from killing Sharkey. (The Lord of the Rings, Return of the King, Book VI, Chapter VIII - "The Scouring of the Shire", pg  .)
And the hobbits do get back to being the simple folks I wish I could be, lots of simple good meals like second breakfasts, playing with the children, parties and festivals, and delight in fireworks.
I don't see them being exploited at all, just the opposite.  They are blessed richly.  The worst they suffered was from "Sharkey" and the main complaint...no pipeweed.
No I think this exploitation thing is a projection based situational transference complicated  by radical ego deflation of secondary tier of Maslow's hierarchy and a subliminated drive for stimulation. (how is that for sharp sticks my friend)
I eagerly await your response.
Grrrr! (with a smile, a hug, and a wink)
Bear



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Soldier of Beleriand - Rank 3
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I see the fates of late Third Age Hobbits more as greatness being thrust upon the unassuming than them being used by anyone. Hobbits have always lived peaceful, quiet lives with no desire for power or the "bigger" things that the other races desire. For this reason, they have always remained uninvolved in Middle Earth's version of the rat race for power, wealth, and greatness. Instead of viewing them as the "least apt", I'd categorize them more as a race that has been untested in times of trial. You could even say that the "greater powers" recognized this and decided to use the events at the end of the Third Age to tap a hidden source of strength against an evil that the other races couldn't seem to contend with no matter what they tried.

Tying in Bear's ideas about the psychological tendencies and desires of Hobbits, I also feel that Hobbits wouldn't feel they were used or suffered unjustly. They would have been proud of the part they played and gone back to business as usual, though maybe with a deeper appreciation of what the rest of the world is like. I don't think they would in any sense feel cheated that they weren't made rulers of huge kingdoms or amassed great amounts of wealth. Hobbit culture, so to speak, requires very little to be successful and happy on their own terms - they are simple and uncomplicated by nature and thus nobody else knows quite what to make of them.

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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I do not think the Valar had any part in the intricate Fate of the One Ring and the very strange connection it came to have with Bilbo. Neither did the Wise of Middle-earth.

There is only one controller of Fate, and that is Eru himself, and while the Valar may have known some of the events of the Third Age, this is one I think that was hidden from them, except maybe Manwe and Mandos.

That a Hobbit, the least of the peoples of ME, should find a ring - a ring which turns out to be the most potent ever made - on an adventurous journey which was a highly irregular occurance in itself, in a very remote part of Middle-earth is soooo deep in the fabric of Middle-earth that only Iluvatar could have set the stage for it. It was 'beyond any design of the Ring-maker'.

Therefore I think a better way of phrasing it, as The Secret Fire says above, is that the Hobbits were tested, not used.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Mr. Baggins and The Secret Fire,
Tested not trapped makes all kinds of sense to me.
Still why did Gandalf trick Mr. Baggins to be the Dwarves burglar?
It certainly did stir the pot in Hobbiton.
Blessed not blasted,
Good insight,
Bear


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