Saturday, April 23, 2011

more on the work of Tolkien

Here is my Treebeard bong. It's never actually been used as a bong - only a theatre prop. My ex-boyfriend and I bought the bong in Greenwich Village and then applied no-fire clay to it. The original Treebeard bong which I mentioned recently on this blog, was a solid piece made of fired ceramic, not clay on top of an existing glass & plastic bong. The no-fire clay is crumbling about the edges now - especially at the bottom which you can see in the photo - which is very annoying.

The bong was for another play of mine, I SEE LONDON, produced in 1998 at the Brick Playhouse in Philadelphia. So considering it's 13 years old I guess it's holding up OK. Not all my non-adaptation plays have scenes of bong-smoking. So far only just LONDON and PALMYRA, NJ.

So I've been slogging through The Hobbit and I do mean slog. I forgot how much of this story involves:
  1. Bilbo and the dwarves walking for days and days through dark forests, described in detail page after page.
  2. Bilbo and the dwarves and sometimes Gandalf running around trying to find each other
  3. Bilbo and/or the dwarves and/or Gandalf waiting around to be rescued
The fifth chapter "Riddles in the Dark" is by far the highlight of the book (I'm up to page 200) since it's got plenty of drama and excitement - Gollum wants to kill and eat Bilbo, but Bilbo has a sword (Sting, which he later gives to Frodo) and so they have a battle of riddles - if Bilbo loses, Gollum eats him, if Bilbo wins Gollum shows him how to get out of the cave. And Gollum is quite the character, as anybody who has seen the LOTR movies knows. Finally, Bilbo runs away from Gollum and the One Ring, Gollum's precious, which was in Bilbo's pocket makes its way onto Bilbo's finger and he discovers its power of invisibility. Altogether a very satisfactory chapter.

Towards the end of the book they meet up with Smaug the dragon, which should be exciting - I find I don't actually remember the end of the book.

Elves are kind of bad guys in The Hobbit - or at least nothing like the wingless angels they appear to be in the LOTR. Granted the wood-elves Bilbo & company meet haven't been to "Faerie in the West" the elven equivalent of finishing school, but these elves are big on acquiring treasure, and in one scene a couple of them get drunk. You wouldn't catch Galadriel getting drunk - she gets high on immortality.