Flies and Spiders
Vocabulary (to interpret)
- queer noises
- short commons
- Before you start reading the chapter and based on what you’ve read and the title, what do you think this chapter will be about? What trouble do you think Bilbo and the dwarves will get in to, if any?
- In your own words, describe the entrance to Mirkwood.
- Why do you think the color of the squirrels was important?
- In writing there is a process of “set up” and “delivery” where an idea or concept is introduced one way then played out in a different way. This is done (intentionally or otherwise) as a part of the logical progression of story. What does Tolkien use as his “set up” for the rest of the chapter?
- Even in the pitch dark, what could still be seen?
- What did Bilbo find to cross the river?
- Who did Thorin decide needed to throw the rope and why*?
- Why is Bombur always last?
- What happens when you fall in the water?
- After they cross the river and realize they can’t get the hart from the other side, what do they hear?
- Who or what do you think lives in the dark woods?
- What did the deer and the hunt indicate (that Bilbo and the dwarves didn’t know)?
- Why didn’t Bilbo and the dwarves stop or slow down at the beeches?
- What (if anything) was causing them trouble while they continued through Mirkwood?
- Bilbo was sent to climb up a tree and while climbing he was worried about finding what? Did he find them? If so, how big and what were they after?
- Is what Bilbo is afraid of a set up or not (hint: yes or no)?
- What kind of butterfly does Bilbo think are flying above the forest and why does he think the butterflies are that specific species?
- What does he end up calling the butterflies?
- Do you think there’s anything important about the use of color (or, in this case, the neutral‡ black)?
- When Bombur wakes up, what does he remember?
- What finally tempts Bilbo and the dwarves off the path?
- What do the dwarves mean by “like Bombur?”
- How does Kili describe how the fires are lit*?
- Based on Bilbo’s experience with Elrond and his elves, what do you think was happening in Mirkwood with this group of elves? Do you think all elves are good? Why do you think these elves kept extinguishing fires and feasts and leaving Bilbo and the dwarves in the dark?
- When Bilbo woke up, who or what was there? Was there any hint that this was going to happen (throughout the chapter)?
- How does Bilbo feel (about himself) after he kills the spider?
- What does Bilbo name is sword?
- What two things were true about Bilbo so the spiders neither saw nor heard him?
- Describe in wonderful detail (using your own words) how the dwarves escaped from the spiders?
- What happened to Thorin?
* — Direct quotes used as your answer.
† — Before reading on you need to a) think about the question, and b) do your best to answer it in the context of what you are reading.
‡ — In art and color theory, colors are based around the color with primary colors red, blue, yellow and tertiary colors purple green and orange. Neither black nor white nor grey are considered colors and are instead considered neutrals. You are not required to use this properly and this is merely info that can be quickly forgotten or ignored, and explains why I used the term.