No going upstairs for the hobbit… (The Hobbit, p.1)
It began when Lúthien enchanted her hair and climbed out of her tree to escape deathlessness. From her were descended the line of ancient sea-kings of the island in the West, and these mortals built tall towers. But the Men of the West tried to take what was only permitted them to see, and Sauron the Necromancer made the Ring, which is not a tower that uses stairs to gain a view but a bridge and an invitation to pass over to the other side…
A Hobbit’s Guide to Stairs is a weekly serial for Hobbits who would themselves navigate a flight of stairs, in their dreams or out of them.
The Guide is a Tower with a view, to be reached only by climbing many stairs. Composed by and for Hobbits, the Guide takes the stairs slowly, tackling a new stair each Wednesday and taking a breather at the top of each flight, or turn of the staircase.
Translation and editing of the Guide is a work in progress, which may be measured by the Table of Contents, in which bolded items are completed, and summarized below. The construction as it stands may be read here.
- Staircase 7: Seeing Stone
- Staircase 6: Cirith Ungol
- Staircase 5: Descent
- Staircase 4: Tree & Water
- Staircase 3: Door
- Staircase 2: Hill of Doom
- Staircase 1: Both Sides of the Hill
- On the Doorstep: Three Stairless Hobbits
- On Folly: Foreword to the Modern Edition of the Hobbit’s Guide to Stairs
On Folly: Foreword to the Modern Edition of the Hobbit’s Guide to Stairs. An account of the tragic events in Fourth-Age Hobbiton that prompted the Hobbits of Undertowers to look to their archives and compile the original Hobbit’s Guide to Stairs. Brief statement of translation and editing policy in this first modern edition of the Guide.
On the Doorstep: Three Stairless Hobbits. A sober frame on stairs through three portraits of stairless Hobbits: Gollum, Ted Sandyman, Peregrin Took.
Staircase 1: Both Sides of the Hill. A true hole is the foundation of any staircase. Around a decade or so into the new media age of the Internet, images of New Zealand Hobbit-holes began to be shared online. Once ubiquitous, and still deeply cemented in the imaginations of a generation of Hobbits, these are fake Hobbit-holes. From the outside they look right, but inside they lack the long corridor that is the backbone of Hobbit architecture. This first staircase takes Hobbits of all ages to the other side of the Hill, so that they may come to themselves with Bingo Bolger-Baggins in a Barrow. After such a shock it is easier to see what one’s own burrow is actually about.
Staircase 2: Hill of Doom. Coming soon! On Weathertop the magic ring that Bilbo Baggins had won from Gollum in a game of riddles transformed into the One Ring of Sauron. The One Ring has nothing to do with stairs. So why ten years later do we find that on the crown of this same conical Hill are the ruins of one of the seven towers that house the seven Seeing Stones? The second staircase of the Guide reveals the ruins of the staircase beneath which the living heir of Elendil protects the Ringbearer from the undead wraith-king who destroyed the staircase in ancient days.
Art credit. Front & back covers: AubreesPassions On Deviant Art