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Author Topic: Bilbo's most important contribution
Hamfast Gamgee
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5528

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Probably Bilbo's most important contribution in the entire story was in finding out about Smaug's weak patch. Never mind about saving 11 Dwarves from Spiders or his cleverness in saving 12 Dwarves from the Elves gaol, this was the one thing he did which was of an important stragetic sense.

Yet, curiously, the narrator says that Bilbo didn't expect anyone to remember that it was he that found about the weak patch and it was just as well because no-one ever did. But I wonder about that. Balin told him that Bilbo had discovered a very important bit of information and Gandalf must have appreciated the discovery. I wonder if the Narrator was 100% correct here. I wonder if a few of those in the know such as Balin, Gandalf, Dain possibly, did remember and appreciated this fact.

From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Alatar the Wizard
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5315

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The narrator may simply have been revealing a bit of Bilbo's self-esteem issues about being just a little hobbit in a big world.
From: South Forodwaith | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hamfast Gamgee
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5528

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True, but it's a bit odd that this event is mentioned as not been remembered despite it's significance. After all, not many other people could have done this! One needed a little bit of raw courage to slip down that tunnel and chat to Smaug! Plus some burgulary cunning to pull it off. Not to mention a bit of charm to pesuade Smaug to show him in the first place.
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bungo Baggins Esq.
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 10661

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It was rather appropriate for Bilbo to discover the flaw in Smaug's armor. After all he, being the 14th member in the dwarf equation, was himself a missing piece. []

But perhaps it goes even deeper than that. The scenario in the mountain cavern could not have been played out any other way, as none of the dwarves were willing to go inside. If anyone besides Bilbo had gone in however, there would have been dramatically different results. For one, none of the dwarves had a ring of invisibility, a fact which would render them dead almost instantly. For another, if they had somehow been able to converse with the dragon no amount of flattery would be remotely expected from or even attempted by a dwarf.

Since an encounter with a dwarf would not have given Smaug sufficient time or adequate reason to connect this intrusion with the lake people, he would have simply destroyed the intruding dwarf and anything he found on the mountainside...unless he was hungry enough to venture that distance from his hoard, which wasn't likely if we are to consider the oversight which dragon's place upon it.

Thus, that no other person was available is the stimuli that made cause give birth to effect. Or so it seems to me. []

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