We finished reading the Hobbit tonight, and La Serpiente was a little surprised to hear of Thorin’s demise, but basically unconcerned, but then broke down in tears, nearly inconsolable, to learn that Fili and Kili also died, as they were her favourite dwarves. (Honestly I couldn’t tell any of them apart except for Thorin, because he was the boss, and Bombur, because he was fat.) I suppose we’ve moved from La Serpiente refusing to listen because she didn’t think it was interesting, to weeping. An improvement? Maybe not.
It’s interesting to me that as I began to read the Hobbit, I was getting super critical. Bilbo lacks any agency at the start and is constantly having to be rescued by Gandalf (for example, when the trolls waylay the party). In modern children’s literature, the protagonists don’t have to be rescued. But I’d missed the point: early on Bilbo is totally incompetent, which is why his later acts are so much braver and more impressive. Why didn’t I see that?
Next up is the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. I wonder if they’ll like that, understand it, or demand too loudly that we go back to unicorns and fairies. It’s that or Harry Potter, and I don’t want to have the mess of public schools, smuggled concepts of a master race and all the other poor interpretations of JK Rowling’s work to contend with. Well, not yet.
I played three games of Blood Bowl tonight, had horrendous dice in the first game, played badly in the second, won the third. I guess 1 out of 3 isn’t bad – first time I can remember winning in a month. Onwards, ever onwards!