The Hobbit: The Art of Writing: The Master

We don’t like the Master, and we’re not supposed to. He fears men. He keeps unpopular opinions to himself. His concern is money. But he is too slow on the uptake to make any definitive decision about the dwarves, and the decision is made for him. The town takes over. So here at the beginning of our introduction to the Master, we see that he’s not much of a Master. 

It would be one thing for Tolkien to describe what happened, but he makes the point of letting us inside the head of the Master for us to see his true character—both here and when the dwarves are setting out and the Master is saying one thing and thinking another. No, we aren’t supposed to like him, but the fact that Tolkien makes such an effort to make sure we don’t like him means we will undoubtedly see him again. 

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