Next we take a look at the words we tagged “archaic”. You’ll recall that we used this tag for any word labeled “obsolete” or “archaic” or “rare” or “regional” by the OED.
Our first little peak occurs in the troll scene. Hmm. In that scene we have “canny” and “booby” tagged “archaic”, but that’s all. Shall we think of this region as right between the Tra-la-la-lally elves and Rivendell? It might be best if we do.
Low points for goblins and wargs, I’m pleased to see, and a high point for the game of great antiquity! I like that we have a peak once in the Elvenking’s halls, and am delighted that the exact phrase is at the start of the daring rescue. Aside from Thranduil’s caverns, the incidence of archaic words grows simply from wargs through the climax at [18.017]. What are those particular words?
[18.017] ‘Farewell, good thief,’ he said. ‘I go now to the halls of waiting to sit beside my fathers, until the world is renewed. Since I leave now all gold and silver, and go where it is of little worth, I wish to part in friendship from you, and I would take back my words and deeds at the Gate.’
[18.018] Bilbo knelt on one knee filled with sorrow. ‘Farewell, King under the Mountain!’ he said. ‘This is a bitter adventure, if it must end so; and not a mountain of gold can amend it. Yet I am glad that I have shared in your perils – that has been more than any Baggins deserves.’
[18.019] ‘No!’ said Thorin. ‘There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. But sad or merry, I must leave it now. Farewell!’
The only “archaic” tagged words in this passage are “merrier” and “merry”, and they qualified only under the technicalities of obsolete meanings of “enjoyable”. While the passage does not hold much in the way of archaisms, archaic words surround the passage like a chalice lifting it up – to be read carefully, sipped delicately, never forgotten.