Talking purse

From Tolkien Gateway
This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.
Talking purse
Trolls' purse
The "Wallet" in The Hobbit (2003 video game)
LocationTrollshaws
OwnerWilliam
AppearanceIt is said to have been huge and "as big as a bag to Bilbo".[1]
Notable forCatching Bilbo in the act of pickpocketing it.

'Ere, 'oo are you?

The talking purse was the purse of the troll William.

History

When Bilbo Baggins tried to pick the trolls' purse from William's pocket, the purse squeaked, alerting William of the attempted burglary and captured Bilbo.[1]

Background

Fans have suggested that the purse was perhaps not made by trolls, but that it was stolen and was of dwarvish or elvish origin due to it having the ability to speak.[2][3][4] Elrond certainly guessed that the trolls had some plunder from Moria, although he was specifically referring to Glamdring and Orcrist.[5]

Portrayal in adaptations

1989: The Hobbit (comic):

David T. Wenzel portrays the trolls' purse having holes resembling a shouting mouth.

2003: The Hobbit (2003 video game):

The trolls' purse is referred to as a wallet and it has eyes that open up when it is touched by Bilbo.[6]

Notes

  1. Unless one interprets the talking purse's words as fantastical elaboration by Bilbo, there exists only one other item in the legendarium which shows an ability to speak: Gurthang, the bloodthirsty sword of Túrin.

References