Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Childhood Love of The Hobbit

I have been thinking about the reasons I liked the hobbit when I was a child.  One reason is the very cool maps of Middle Earth.  I enjoyed following the character's travels along these maps while reading the story.  I remember doing this with Lord of the Rings also. 

The other thing that I really liked as a kid were hidden things that could only be discovered by being in the right place at the right time.  An example is the Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Indiana had to take a staff with some sort of crystal attached to the top of it to a certain place at a certain time.  Light from sun passed through the crystal and pointed the way to the ark.  For some reason, I love that stuff!

The Hobbit has similar scenarios.  Although the dwarves and Bilbo had looked at the map at Bag End, it wasn't until Elrond looked at it that he sees moon runes.  He is looking at the map with moonlight shining through it.  This is the only way to see these letters.  It must also be the same phase of moon as when they were written.
 Here is an animation of the map with moon runes.  I loved this part of the book because the moon letters also point to another hidden object which comes at the end of the Hobbit.  The moon runes read:

"Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's day will shine upon the keyhole."

Bilbo figures this one out when he sees a bird (thrush) knocking a small shell onto a rock.  The light from the sun then illuminates a keyhole on the rock face.  The key to open the door actually came with the map from the beginning of our story so the whole thing comes full circle.

If you don't remember these events from The Hobbit you should read it again.  It is a very fun and enjoyable read...