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Riddles in the Dark 2.06: Vengeance for My Dolly!

We are visiting Laketown on Riddles in the Dark! Bard. James Bard. Well, okay, maybe not. Still, it looks like the bowman will be a Middle-earthian...

We are visiting Laketown on Riddles in the Dark!

Bard. James Bard. Well, okay, maybe not. Still, it looks like the bowman will be a Middle-earthian Man of Mystery in The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.

Tolkien Professor Corey Olsen along with co-hosts Trish Lambert, and Dave Kale review Peter Jackson’s “sneak peak” webcast and consider Laketown and its inhabitants. There is a visual component this time; the photos that are discussed are included below.

Download: .mp3 (right click and choose “Save As…” to download)


Riddle: What is Bard’s relationship with the Company going to be when they are in Laketown?

A. He has no presence or only a cameo role (closest to book answer).

B. He supports them openly.

C. He supports them but secretly.

D. He openly opposes them.

E. He works against them secretly.

Many thanks to the Lonely Mountain Band for allowing our use of their wonderful music to accompany the episodes. Season 2 sees excerpts from their album “Songs of the Dwarves.” Intro: Battle of Azanulbizar; Outro: The Sevenfold Meeting.


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  1. Denis April 22, 2013 at 7:15 am #

    The answer is B and here is why

    The dwarves wash up with little more than the clothes on their back. Even if they are not given 14 ponies, chances are they will need to be resupplied. I doubt Bard would have the resources to do that so the chances of him secretly doing so are slim.

    Instead the Master, being a political being motivated by his own interests will probably consider alerting his allies the elves. I expect he will be convinced otherwise by the populace and he will grudgingly provision them and send them on their way, perhaps also alerting the elves on the sly. Bard may play a role in convincing the master to do this and thus will ‘openly’ support the company, but will not be the one to provision them.

    I just do not see any feasible way of dwarves getting the support in secret. How do they get away with provisions, ponies etc? The resupplying must be in the open. And if they did they would be tracked. No, they leave with official support of the town.

    I also fully expect the character of Bard to be introduced whilst at Lake town. Having a heroic monster slayer appear out of the blue just wouldn’t work.

    And finally the snow is probably a device for Balin to say to Thorin “Look buddy, we’ve gotta keep going, it’s almost Durins day”. It will be there just to allow one of the characters to remind us that they have an important rendezvous – the clock is ticking and the audience may need a reminder is all.

  2. Murray April 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    I answered A, mostly because I am not convinced any of the other answers fit. I think Bard is too skeptical of the dwarves’ ability to succeed to ‘support them’ openly or secretly.

    On the other hand, I do not think he will oppose them either. He may, as a curmugdeon but basically good guy help them into Laketown, but then leave them to their own devices. I think the expression ‘Good luck with that, you fools,’ (thrown out by the Perfesser, I believe?) will best sum up his attitude.

    I agree with Denis on the Master’s role, but not so much Bard’s.

  3. Matt April 24, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    I’m thinking there will be an element of political intrigue in Laketown. At some point the corrupt Master took control of the town away from the rightful ruling family. Because his family was deposed, Bard is an outcast and actively ridiculed by the Master and his followers. This smear campaign by the Master could explain why he seems like a bit of a crackpot that everybody ignores. Maybe people are even afraid to listen to him for fear of retribution from the Master.
    I can see the Master being a less deranged, more corrupt version of Denethor and the Stewards of Gondor from the film. The Stewards only have power because the King hasn’t returned and many even question the continued existence of the royal line. Similarly, maybe the Master only has power and political support because nobody believes the prophecy that the King of the dwarves will return. Possibly it is even illegal to bring dwarves into the town now. The return of dwarves to the town could lead people to believe in the prophecy and Bard’s soapbox ramblings again.

  4. Adam April 25, 2013 at 10:31 am #

    I though they had address the issue with a “100 years ago…” sort of line in Bilbos monologue, but perhaps I misremember, I did certainly assume they were making Erebors fall a ‘long’ time ago, 50-100 years, not 20-30 years. Perhaps he is deliberately vague about it, which is the beauty of film like that, I certainly assumed Thorin was old, but had just aged well thanks to his noble lineage as part of Durins line.

    On the subject of Dwalin baldness, don’t forget, according to Tolkien dwarves do not suffer from Baldness, so in fact, DWalin might just have shaved it off and had tatoos done, which puts him a few scars and a bit of grey off looking exactly the same.

  5. Adam April 25, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    P.s Bard is totally going to be the ‘lost heir of Dale’ he’s got that Aragorn vibe of a rough looking vagrant… “all that glitters is not gold”

  6. Adam April 25, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    I forgot to mention that there is definately scope for Legolas and Bard in the second film, after all, the elves do protest to the master about the Dwarves being in Laketown… I think its the elven barrel men.

    In this instance we can, perhaps, assume that, after the dwarves escape, maybe Thranduil sends a party down to track the missing dwarves… and voila who better than Tauriel and Legolas, who would then get more screen time, and a chance to meet bard etc

  7. Adam April 25, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Doh.. I said that the wrong way round… you knew what I meant!

  8. Teranel May 2, 2013 at 11:10 pm #

    With regards to what was discussed about Tauriel in the preview:
    I’m not sure if you all are familiar with the LOTR video game The Third Age, but in it there’s a character named Morwen, who is very fierce about killing orcs since they killed her family, which sounds very similar to what what was discussed about Tauriel’s character (potentially). I hope they don’t go that route with her, simply because it would be kinda repetitive. There’s already the possibility that Beorn could be playing the revenge card against the orcs (riddle 2.01), in addition to the whole Thorin/Azog/Bolg storyline. Not every one of them can be Inigo Montoya!

  9. Halstein October 12, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    B is the most likely. As Bard is a hero (sort of), he will support our heroes. When he leads the militia to the Lonely Mountain, Thorin’s refusal to help the Laketowners will feel more of a betrayal. Unfortunately I suspect the Doll of Dale will not come into the equation.



  1. Riddles in the Dark Digest 2.06 | Mythgard Institute - June 13, 2013

    […] your tireless co-hosts Trish Lambert and Laura Berkholtz discuss analyst and listener responses to Riddles in the Dark 2.06. What will Bard do once the Dwarves reach Laketown? Will he help them or hinder their quest? And […]

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