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Fantasy Thought Experiment


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In my kids' composition and literature class they've had to read both Around the World in 80 Days and The Hobbit. Their current assignment to write an essay comparing and contrasting Phileas Fogg with Bilbo Baggins. That got me thinking. What if you mixed the two up a bit? You have:

Phileas Fogg -- taciturn, calculating, single-minded, utterly unflappable, armed with a small, portable fortune as a travel aid, addicted to whist ; "The unforeseen does not exist."

Bilbo Baggins -- half-hearted adventurer, excitable, totally unprepared, addicted to gourmet meals, improvises solutions to problems on the fly and depends perhaps too much upon luck (something Fogg would insist also doesn't exist).

And their sidekicks:

Gandalf the wandering wizard -- knows more than he lets on, knows less than he lets on, has magic powers

Jean Passepartout -- French domestic of many talents: athlete, actor, acrobat, very adaptable

So ... what if we switched sidekicks? What if we switched quests? How would Baggins handle a squad of Hindu priests determined to burn a beautiful young lady alive? How would Fogg handle a trio of hungry trolls? Could Bilbo deal with rapid transit and train schedules? Fogg would undoubtedly make it to the Lonely Mountain in record time, but what then? Could Baggins prove his innocence to the charge of bank robbery? Could Fogg, the card shark, bluff or outbid Smaug?

What do you think? What scenes or confrontations would you like to see? ;D

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