From The Blog

Riddles in the Dark: Episode 15

Wargs and Eagles and…Bears! (oh my!) on Riddles in the Dark!

In this episode of Riddles in the Dark from the Mythgard Institute, Prof. Corey Olsen and Dave Kale change things up a bit with a late night broadcast (ran well past midnight ET!).  Their focus this episode is talking animals, really the most important element of the entire Hobbit story!  They continue through the Hobbit chronologically, focusing this time on the Company’s fiery encounter with the goblins and wargs and their “airy” rescue by the eagles.  They begin by tying this encounter into their discussion of Bilbo’s character development but then move on to general commentary and discussion about the wide variety of talking animals in The Hobbit and in Tolkien’s larger legendarium.  They address the common perception that speaking animals are inherently childish and therefore must be removed from any dramatic or epic interpretation of the story on-screen, citing the absence of speaking animals in The Lord of the Rings books as eveidence that perhaps Tolkien himself felt the same way.  On the other hand, they point out a variety of examples from literature in which speaking animals do not detract from the gravity of the story (including Tolkien’s own The Silmarillion).  Further, they also debate the degree to which Peter Jackson and company are constrained by choices made in the Lord of the Rings films (e.g., no eagles talked in that, so would having them speak in The Hobbit seem inconsistent?) and by available screen-time (e.g., perhaps the eagles will only be on-screen briefly and so won’t have time to say anything anyway).  The hosts wrap up the episode by predicting exactly how the eagle rescue will go down on-screen.

Riddle #15: What role with the Eagles play in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey?

A.  They will save the Company from the Wargs/Goblins and carry them to their eyrie before carrying them elsewhere (book answer!).
B.  They will save the Company and carry them directly to Beorn’s territory (e.g., his Carrock or house).
C.  They will save the Company and carry them directly to Radagast’s house.
D.  The Eagles will help the Company in some way other than carrying them out of danger (e.g., killing all of the Wars and Goblins)

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