The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
Before Lord of the Rings there was The Hobbit. To many The Hobbit is the cornerstone work of fantasy writing, introducing readers to the high fantasy realm of Middle Earth. JRR Tolkien originally published The Hobbit in 1937 and ever since it has remained among the popular works of fantasy. The Hobbit is the story of a hobbit who is accompanied by many dwarves to get to an ancient dwarven kingdom and reclaim a treasure.
Discussed this episode
- Episodic Nature. The Hobbit in many ways follows an episodic structure where each chapter has little to do with one another besides that every encounter that occurs is on the path towards The Lonely Mountain. Every 40 pages the dwarves encounter a new enemy or puzzle and it is either their over powered wizard or tiny hobbit that saves the day.
- Narrative Voice. The story is told by a storyteller, who at times breaks the forth wall to explain certain details of the world. In the beginning hobbits are explained, and then later on ways of elves and dwarves and men and dragons. The Hobbit plays to a younger audience because there is helper text that the storyteller is happy to dive into.
- What is focused on. There are interesting choices that Tolkien makes when diving into details. For example the dwarves encounter a stash of ancient swords, of which two are given powerful names. Gondolin as an ancient elven kingdom is mentioned. There is an old raven. But the elven king doesn’t get a name (within the text). It is interesting how there are certain aspects of the larger wold Tolkien chooses to intertwine within this story and what elements are left out.
- This is not our first work of Tolkien discussed, do check out our episode on The Fall of Gondolin.
- 10/25 – House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende Part 1.
- 11/1 – House of the Spirits Part 2.
- 11/8 – Magic’s Pawn by Mercedes Lackey
Leave it to the Prose
We are leave it to the prose, a book discussion podcast where we break down the critical aspects of a work of fiction from a reader and writer perspective.
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