1. Bainespal says:

    It’s great to see the original version of the riddle game!  This is a fascinating discussion.

    Does Bilbo fight Gollum in a way similar to how Gandalf recently slew the Great Goblin? Or is the battle fought in another way?

    Bilbo’s fight with Gollum is a “brother battle.”  I think Bilbo understands intuitively that he could have been Gollum.  Also, there is enough evidence in this chapter alone to come to the conclusion that Gollum was corrupted by the Ring.  (It is also hinted that he was once a Hobbit.)  I envy readers of The Hobbit who could read this passage unspoiled by knowing LotR.  Imagine be able to infer that the magical talisman that Bilbo has received from this evil monster is the very thing that created that monster, and that it has every possibility of doing the same to Bilbo!

    Who is more evil, really — Gollum or another?

    I wonder what is implied by this question.  Maybe it goes back to the debate as to whether or not the Ring was the source of evil that corrupts people.

What do you think?