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Old 05-28-2019, 06:55 AM   #5
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: The north-west of the Old World, east of the Sea
Posts: 3,304
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Well, after getting a little further through The Hobbit, I've discovered that I'm wrong about the swords, at least.

Originally Posted by Roast Mutton
There were lots of clothes, too, hanging on the walls too small for trolls, I am afraid they belonged to victims and among them were several swords of various makes, shapes, and sizes. Two caught their eyes particularly, because of their beautiful scabbards and jewelled hilts.
So the swords are strongly implied to have been taken from living (at the time) victims - and not too long before, or else the clothes would have rotted away. Certainly the implication, given Gandalf's account a few lines later that three [trolls] had come down from the mountains and settled in the woods not far from the road: they had frightened everyone away from the district, and they waylaid strangers, is that they've only recently been taken.

So... from who? Elrond theorises that they were plundered from 'other plunderers' - so, treasure hunters-slash-bandits in the region. I assume they would be descendents of the Hillmen of Rhudaur, engaging in a sort of low-key squabble with the Rangers. Perhaps, indeed, the trolls' driving-out of these hypothetical Hillmen is what freed up the Rangers (ie, the 'Warriors' from earlier) to go deal with the Dunlendings?

I feel like I'm very high on the house of cards here. It's a bit precarious - but the view is first rate.

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