Dojo Darelir, the School of Xenograg the Sorcerer


Luck is a Possession

[In The Hobbit, Bilbo] has two other qualities besides [the Ring]. One is luck. The dwarves notice this more than once, with Thorin for instance saying, as he sends Bilbo down the tunnel to the dragon, that Bilbo is ‘full of courage and resource far beyond his size, and if I may say so possessed of good luck far exceeding the usual allowance’ (chapter 12). Earlier on, after Bilbo had rescued them from the spiders, ‘[the dwarves] saw that he had some wits, as well as luck and a magic ring – and all three were useful possessions’ (chapter 8). This belief that luck is a possession, which one can own, and perhaps even give away or pass on, may seem to be characteristically dwarvish, i.e. old-fashioned, pre-modern: it is a commonplace of Norse saga, for instance, where there are many lucky and unlucky cloaks, weapons, and people.

Tom Shippey, J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, p. 27

Author’s emphasis.

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