Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Don't spoil it for fans with any Law of the Rings

Tomorrow, at last, I get to see The Hobbit. For the past month, I've been geeking out on forums and dedicated websites. I've watched a dozen different trailers and have polished my 3D specs.

The dedication of my fellow Tolkien-lovers worldwide astonishes me. None more so than the lawyer who has examined the contract drawn up between Bilbo Baggins and the Dwarves. Specifically, asks Scott Raymond Maucere, is it legally enforceable?

Asking us to bear in mind that this is a contract of employment, Scott notes that various labour laws would apply and that the dwarves could not have enforced a specific performance requirement.

Thus Bilbo needn't have gone on any adventures nor had to face any dragons. He could have stayed home comfortably and the Ring would never have been found.

Fat lot of fun for fiction fans. Or as Scott notes good-naturedly: "There go the lawyers again, ruining everybody's good time."

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