The Hobbit: The Art of Writing: Serious and Silly

Rivendell contains an interesting contrast. But it’s a contrast that should be—again, a mark that this is a consistent world, one we can believe in. It is full of silliness and song—and seriousness. From the welcoming tune the elves sing as the party makes their way into the valley to the laughing and teasing of dwarves that goes on (58–60), the elves are a fun-loving bunch. Yet Elrond is described as “noble…and as venerable as a king of dwarves” (61). That these two elements can exist side by side, I think, comes from the fact that “Evil things did not come into that valley” (61). For evil sets merriment against seriousness and vice-versa. Yet it should not be that way. Laughing and singing nonsense has its rightful place as does a time for serious conversation and contemplation and discernment. The dwarves and Bilbo needed their hearts lightened and their way made clear. Thankfully song and food and counsel were abundant in Rivendell. 

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