Chivalrous Frivolity

chivalrous frivolity

The Hobbit drops this week and is looking pretty solid:

Which is funny because Warner Bros. was just sued for 80$ million by the Tolkien Estate in regards to “merchandising” specifically some “gambling slots”.

Let’s not dampen the mood however as Jackson and crew seem to have put together another epic fantasy trilogy.  The films are, by subtitleAn Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again, due for theatrical release in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Early reviews of an An Unexpected Journey have it posted at about a 74%(rotten tomatoes), which let’s be honest is a lot better than I did in high schoolCriticisms of the film mainly dwell in the realm of overdrawn plot schemes, and not living up to it’s predecessor LOTR.  Meaning that those particular reviews came from people who obviously never even read any of Tolkien’s books.

Speaking of which: for those of you who do not know The Hobbit follows titular character Bilbo Baggins as he is bamboozled by his dear friend Gandalf into accompanying a pack of dwarves on a quest to reclaim their homeland.  The novel precedes the Lord of the Rings Trilogy in timeline and essentially tells the story of how Bilbo came into possession of the Ring of Power.

Though reluctant at first, Bilbo’s journey into unfamiliar territory strips him of his proverbial “shell”, and he ultimately finds a side of himself that he didn’t know existed.  Though Bilbo’s enlightening sojourn involved goblins, orcs, dragons, and elves, the experience draws parallels to experiences many of us have in life.  Perhaps the most endearing sentiment found in the novel however is the bond that forms between humble homely hobbit Bilbo and scholarly curmudgeon wizard Gandalf.  Let’s take a look.

Adventurous Twosome 3

Quote1.pngGood morning!” said Bilbo, and he meant it.  The sun was shining, and the grass was very green.

But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out farther than the brim of his shady hat.

What do you mean?” he said. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?”

“All of them at once,Quote2.png said Bilbo.

— The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Quote1.pngBecause Rationals value that strategic intellect so highly,  they tend to take as their idol the technological wizard, specifically the scientific genius.  After all, a wizard is the ultimate scientist, with what seems like an almost magical power over nature, and in single-minded pursuit of the four aims of science: the prediction and control of events, and the understanding and explanation of their contents.  Scratch a Rational, find a scientist; but glimpse the figure the Rationals would aspire to become, and behold a wizard.Quote2.png— Please Understand Me II, p. 192

Gandalf the Grey is an Istari; a race of powerful intellectual beings who were chosen to aid Middle-Earth against collective threats.  Gandalf is renowned for his wisdom, wit, and superfluous intellect.  Indeed Gandalf knows as all Rational’s do that knowledge is power, and quite literally for him in the fictional universe of Middle-Earth.  Certainly, Gandalf is a powerful “wizard”, though he rarely flashes his arcane prowess unless he needs to.  Instead Gandalf mainly provides guidance and council to the inhabitants of Middle-Earth:

Quote1.pngWarm and eager was his spirit, for he was the Enemy of Sauron, opposing the fire that devours with the fire that kindles.  But his joy, and his swift wrath, were veiled in garments grey as ash, so that only those that knew him well glimpsed the flame that was within.  Merry he could be, and kindly to the young and simple, yet quick at times to sharp speech and the rebuking of folly; but he was not proud, and sought neither power nor praise… Mostly he journeyed unwearingly on foot, leaning on a staff.Quote2.png — – J.R.R. Tolkien — The Hobbit

Quote1.pngThe SJ’s desire to be useful often comes in the guise of membership hunger.  Here the SJ appears to have a larger appetite than others.  To belong to social units is central to his/her style.  The SJ recognizes by his actions the social nature of man .  He, far more than others, creates and fosters the continuity of social units.Quote2.png Please Understand Me, p. 42

Bilbo Baggins, is a friendly and well-mannered Hobbit who, is “fond of food, drink, a full pipe, his friends and good cheer, and was known for greeting friends and family with hospitality saying “At your service and your families”.  Indeed Bilbo is warmly humble, as most Guardians are.  Most of Bilbo’s behaviors stem from family influence: with the Baggins’ being fond of home life, and the Tooks being fond of adventures and excitement.  It’s the Took side of the family that sends him on his adventure of course, and as Bilbo finds out, sometimes life is the journey, not the destination.

Quote1.png-I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.  — Gandalf
-I should think so — in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!Quote2.png   — Bilbo
― J.R.R. Tolkien

0 thoughts on “Chivalrous Frivolity”

    1. I would say Bilbo is a Provider Guardian, an eSfJ, “the most sociable of all the Guardians and thus the great nurturers of established institutions,” in Bilbo’s case, Hobbiton and The Shire. I”m not sure if Bilbo’s “E” emphasizes his “F” (I’m not sure how that comports with Temperament Theory), but it sure seems like it. It could almost be said that he is more Provider than Guardian. Thorin, on the other hand, seems to me to be a Supervisor Guardian, an eStJ, where his “E” emhasizes his “T” — or maybe it emphasizes his “J.” In any case, he seems to me like a Supervisor first, Guardian second. “Like all Guardians, Supervisors worry a good deal about society falling apart, mortality decaying, standards being undermined, traditions lost, and they do all they can to preserve and to extend the institutions that embody social order.” In Thorin’s case all of his Supervisory fears have been realized: his Kingdom has been usurped, his kin slain, his house in exile. He so completely identies with this loss, the loss of Erebor (The Lonely Mountain and its bordering lands), that he is consumed with regaining it no matter how seemingly futile. And Gandalf in his Rational wisdom realizes just how futile it is — but he also facilitates the quest because it suits his larger strategic ends: to keep Sauron’s Eye (“The Necromancer” in “The Hobbit”) occupied, and if all goes well, then to tie up badly needed resources allied to Sauron in his moment of need. This is exactly what happens when Smaug is slain and The Battle of Five Armies commences — none of the “Axis Powers” (so to speak) are available to help Sauron, so he has to flee Mirkwood. But back to Thorin, his Supervisor Guardian persona is so died-in-the-wool that his personal identification with Erebor is complete — he cannot distinguish between Erebor and its Kingdom (which is his birthright) and himself. This one-to-one correspondence verges on a kind of madness when Bilbo takes The Arkenstone, the centerpiece of the Dwarves’ treasure, for himself as a negotiating chip. Thorin cannot conceive of this in any other than a mortal betrayal.

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