From The Blog

Riddles in the Dark: Episode Ten

Who would’ve thought we’d finally discuss the “Hobbit” on Riddles in the Dark?

In Episode 10 of the Mythgard Institute’s Riddles in the Dark podcast, Prof. Corey Olsen and Dave Kale finally get around to talking about the titular character of The Hobbit – the “Hobbit” himself, Mr. Bilbo Baggins.  It’s only been, what, 4 months?  Well, wait no longer! This is the first in our series of “Bilbo” episodes in which we will look at the most essential theme of the novel, Bilbo’s arc and his evolution from a restless, conflicted character plagued by an internal tug-of-war between his Baggins and Took sides, to one of the most renowned Hobbits in all of Middle-earth history.

In this first episode, we look at pre-quest Bilbo, who seems content to remain in the Shire, safe from adventures, with his Took heritage lying dormant.  We speculate about whether and how the filmmakers will be able to portray this on screen, particularly when Tolkien illustrated much of it through narrative exposition and internal monologues.  We explore the possibility that Peter Jackson and company may choose to tweak the beginning and sow more explicit seeds of adventurousness in Bilbo.  We end with a prediction on that very question!  Oh, and we should mention that we do all of this for two full hours?  With Prof. Olsen’s semester over, we have no schedule constraints and, of course, insufficient self-discipline to keep ourselves from going on ad infinitum!

Note: we apologize about the recent sound issues (e.g., David’s volume) and are working diligently to fix them!

Prediction: What will be Bilbo’s initial character, and how will his fellow Hobbits perceive him?

A. Mainstream Baggins through and through, similar to his portrayal in the novel’s first chapter.
B. A bit aloof, keeps to himself; there are hints that his quiet life doesn’t suit him, but he’s still respected by others.
C. An incipiently adventurous Took, viewed much the same way he is later in
The Lord of the Rings.
D. Unclear; the filmmakers will not dedicate much screen time to exploring these questions but will jump right into the story.

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