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Old 07-04-2019, 06:29 PM   #3
Haunting Spirit
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 87
Balfrog has just left Hobbiton.

Once again I am at fault and I apologize for my lengthy delay in replying.

Thank you for your thoughts – they are actually much appreciated, and a challenge of views is always welcome. I spent considerable time considering what you had to say. Nevertheless I find Ms. Seth's assertion particularly strong when comparing The Hobbit giants (1) to those in River Legends/THe Giant Bramble-Buffer (2) or to other fairy-story giants you specified in The Brave Little Tailor (3a) or Thumbling the Dwarf and Thumbling the Giant (3b). In particular:

(a) The stone-giants of (1) are specifically mountain giants as they are in (2) but not (3a/3b).
Note: Tolkien appeared to want some differentiation between types of giant per his 'Chain of Being' document (PE 'Early Qenya Fragments’ ) outlining a category for the mountaineous type.

(b) Parts of the Misty mountains adventure (1) stem from Tolkien's experiences in the Alps. Providing a good match - the giants of (2) are mythical inhabitants of a sector of the Alps, while those of (3a/3b) are not.

(c) The giants of (1) play rock hurling/tossing games among themselves as do (2) but not (3a/3b). Those of (3a/3b) are contests of man against giant (3a/3b).

(d) From one of the pictures in (2) and their accompanying description we get a sense of what was probably behind the naming of 'stone-giants' in (1). I cannot honestly assign a title to the giants of (3a/3b) 'stone-giants'.

(e) When potential encounters with the 'lesser races' of M-e occur in (1) the fear is of being kicked sky-high, which is in line with (2) but not (3a/3b).

(f) The mythology behind the far-flung Carrock of (1) is instantly conjured by the picture of gigantic Senoj (2).

(g) The purpose of stone-giants per (1) as builders of mountains as set forth in (2) provides us with some sort of read across as to why they exist. Thus they have a decent rooting in mythology.

(h) The giants of (1) are not all bad – in line with (2) not (3a) but arguably (3b).

(i) Just about all of the major traits of the stone-giants of (1) are contained in (2) but not in (3a/3b) or any other solitary fairy tale involving giants (to my knowledge).

(j) E. Knatchbull-Huggessen was for Tolkien a particularly favored fairy-tale author – but there again I'm sure he admired the Grimm collection too.

I think it would be particularly rare to find such a good match-up of the above in a singular fairy-tale without there being something more to it. Thus I think we should all be able to acknowledge that the match (2) is about as direct a hit as there could be. Indeed a bulls-eye hit much better than Michael Drout has written up in his Encyclopedia (female giants from the Grottasongr) or what Doulas Anderson of The Annotated Hobbit has suggested (Rubenzahl from Lang's Brown Fairy Book).
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