The light of a burning fire shines in the distance. Bilbo is alone, left alone actually by two cohorts of his company. He has to find a way to enter this gold shining clearing and help retrieve the company’s kidnapped horses. Having knowledge of the Troll does not help Bilbo in his rescue mission. Fili and Kili have made it sound easy in a sense, the Trolls are slow and stupid, therefore, a Halfling would be able to infiltrate their camp without any problems. The Trolls, however, are also very big, which in itself is not an ability but it instills fear nevertheless. Bilbo, not having had any contact with these creatures cannot but feel fear of their presence.
William, Bert and Tom
Bert: “Mutton yesterday, mutton today, and blimey if it don’t look like mutton again tomorrow.”
William: “Quit your griping. These ain’t sheep. These is fresh nags.”
Tom: “Oh! I don’t like horse. I neve have. Not enough fat on them.”
Bert: “Well, it’s better than a leathery old farmer. All skin and bone, he was. I’m still picking bits of him out of me teeth.”
The three Trolls. Bert is a cook, William is the thief and Tom is somewhat mentally challenged. They cohabitate, forming an interesting kind of family. William provides for the family, making him the man of the house in the most conventional sense. Bert cooks for the family, making him a sort of motherly figure. This leaves Tom as the child that they care for.
The farmer Bert is referring to is probably the same farmer Gandalf mentioned while standing in his decrepit house. And now we know who was responsible for his death and the death of his family. It is no wonder that Gandalf wanted to move on and take refuge in Rivendell. He could sense danger lurking from the forest.
Dwarves as Trolls
These three Trolls are actually Dori, Bifur, and Glóin, or rather the actors already portraying the three Dwarves. The creative team decided to utilize their acting skills and combine them with the motion capture technology they already established in The Lord of the Rings. The three Trolls’ (Mark Hadlow, William Kircher, and Peter Hambleton) characters correspond to those of the Dwarves.
William/Glóin is a very practical and serious character. He provides the group with food as well as the equipment on which they would cook it, like the spit in this instance. Bert/Dori is a rather emotional Troll. His feminine side shines through as he complains about not being appreciated for all his hard work cooking for the two other Trolls. He is also oriented toward caring for Tom in that he disciplines him as well as feeds him.
Tom is almost the same character as Bofur. Not particularly bright, impulsive, and suffering from a disability. He seems to need constant supervision as well as a reprimand for his childish behavior.
Bert: “Well, that’s lovely, that is. A floater.”
William: “Might improve the flavor.”
Tom: “Ah. There’s more where that came from.”
Bert: “Oh, no you don’t!”
Bert: “Sit down!”
Tom sneezes into the stew, leaving Bert and William contemplating how this particular condiment/sauce would influence the flavor. This points to the tastes and smells that Trolls enjoy. Apparently, nose boogers give their cooked food zest. Tom would have provided the rest of his snot for the good of the stew, but Bert stopped him in time. He took William and Bert’s comments seriously and subsequently wanted to contribute. It’s not his fault that everything they say he understands so literally. He was only trying to help.
Tom: “Well, I hope you’re gonna gut these nags. I don’t like the stinky parts. Ow!”
Bert: “I said sit down.”
William: “I’m starving. Now, are we having horse tonight or what?”
Bert: “Shut your cakehole. You’ll eat what I give you.”
Both Tom and William concern themselves with the proper preparation of their dinner. They are hungry and thus very eager to commence eating. Bert, however, is feeling attacked a bit. William and Tom are encroaching on his responsibility and his ability to cook. So, he deters them by superimposing himself as their only hope for food. If he does not prepare something, then they don’t eat. Period. It is his joy in life to cook and who are they to doubt his cooking skills?
Lack of appreciation
William: “How come he’s the cook? Everything tastes the same. Everything tastes like chicken.”
Tom: “Except the chicken.”
William: “What tastes like fish!”
Bert: “I’m just saying, a little appreciation would be nice. “Thank you very much, Bert. Lovely stew, Bert.” How hard is that?”
While Tom and William are complaining about the taste of their food, Bert feels unappreciated. He tries to give his cohorts a good meal and then they complain about the taste. What ingrates. All Bert wanted was for the two of them to appreciate his efforts. Nothing more.
Bilbo: “Sh, sh.”
Bert: “Just needs a sprinkle of squirrel dung. Here, that’s my grog.”
Tom: “Sorry. Ow!”
Bert: “Oh. That is beautifully balanced, that is. Wrap your laughing gear around that, eh? Good, isn’t it? That’s why I’m the cook.”
William: “Oh, me guts are grumbling. I got to snaffle something. Flesh, I need flesh.”
And as he placed the spoon of his stew in front of Tom’s nose, the appealing smell brings a smile on Tom’s face. If he could he would have taken a spoonful of stew right then and there. Tom’s want of this heavenly smell gives encouragement to Bert and acknowledgement that he has done a good job cooking, praising himself in the process.
While the Trolls discuss their food, complexes, and misunderstandings, Bilbo tries to bypass them to get to the ponies and set them loose. What he needs for that is a sharp object, preferably a knife to cut the rope holding the pen doors shut. He spots a knife hanging from Tom’s underalls. Bilbo stealthily closes in on Tom without him or the two others noticing anything. Wedging a knife from Tom’s underalls is much harder than he initially thought.
What’s more, after wiping his nose with a cloth also hanging from his underalls, Tom uses it for scratching his rear end. This disgusts Bilbo to his core. Being properly raised with all the manners in the world, seeing this travesty of behavior sickens him. Nevertheless, after that disgusting incident, he reaches for the knife again. Tom sneezes again, taking his rear end scratching cloth tucked in his underalls.
Tom: “Ah! Ah! Blimey. Bert, Bert! Look what’s come out of me hooter. It’s got arms and legs and everything.”
Bert: “What is it?”
Tom: “I don’t know. But I don’t like the way it wriggles around.”
Having blown his nose into the cloth, Tom places it before him to see how he had done only to be surprised by a creature wriggling on it covered in snot. It is obvious that Tom, or any of them, had never seen a Hobbit, which is why a small amount of fear paints their faces. Especially Tom, who thinks Bilbo came out of his nose. Tom throws him off his cloth and onto the ground.
William: “What are you, then? An oversized squirrel?”
Bilbo: “I’m a burglar.. Uh, Hobbit.”
Tom: “A burglar Hobbit?”
Poor Bilbo. He became confused as William asked him what he was. What should he tell them? He is contractually obligated to be a burglar, but is that denomination something every creature he comes to meet on this journey to know? He had obviously convinced himself or practiced with himself to accommodate the new denomination.
Having never stolen anything in his life, being contracted as a burglar can be an adjustment. Bilbo had obviously thought about his role in the company and revealed it automatically to the Trolls as well. Thankfully, the Trolls don’t seem to have a clue to what a burglar or a Hobbit is.
William: “Can we cook him?”
Tom: “We can try.”
Bert: “He wouldn’t make more than a mouthful. Not when he’s skinned and boned.”
William: “Perhaps there’s more burglar Hobbits around these parts. Might be enough for a pie. Grab him!”
Tom: “He’s too quick.”
William: “Right. Come here, you little….Gotcha. Are there any more out you little fellas hiding where you shouldn’t?”
Tom: “He’s lying.”
Bilbo: “No, I’m not!”
Tom: “Hold his toes over the fire. Make him squeal!”
The only important thing they want to know about Bilbo is if they can cook him and how. It appears that everyone they encounter is the single most important trait that person can have, either he is edible or not. Everything else is beside the point. They probably wouldn’t understand it anyhow.
Seeing as how Bilbo is the size of their hand, he cannot be responsible for feeding all three of them, so, naturally, they wish to know if there are any more of him. Then, they would have enough to go around. No matter how honest Bilbo is, the Trolls don’t believe him, wanting to try a torture method to get the Hobbit to talk.
Read on in my next post.