False hopes from warm welcomes.
Hot food, comfortable clothes, soft beds, and happy cheers.
It seems that Thorin & Co have finally reached a safe stage in their travels. Even, dare we say it, a peaceful stage. A nice chapter.
It sets my teeth on edge.
This entire chapter is eerily unsettling to me.
I feel much more at home in the Mirkwood chapter, even though that is rife with deprivation and danger. As Jubilare points out, there is something in that perilous umbra that appeals to our aesthetic sense.
But somehow the juicy comforts this chapter echo the unease of Riddles in the Dark.
Although the chapter opens with the awkward position of barrel-riding, it seems that thing are getting better: the day is getting warmer, it becomes clear that the adventurers could never have traveled by any other way, and we the readers are given the privileged information that Gandalf is heading…
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