Bilbo’s fear of being eaten is expanded in The Lord of the Rings to include the Dark Lord’s “devouring”. In both the nursery sense of being “eaten up” and in the more sophisticated sense of enslavement, Tolkien uses this theme to discuss selfhood and free will, and to separate those who serve from those who consume and possess.
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Mythcon 52: The Mythic, the Fantastic, and the Alien
Albuquerque, New Mexico; July 29 - August 1, 2022