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Riddle Game

The "Riddle Game" is an ancient game of wits and skill in the novels of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth. To cheat at it is foul. The Game is used by Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit as a way to barter to escape from both the goblin tunnels and from becoming a tasty morsel for the fell creature Gollum. Bilbo eventully outwits Gollum at the Riddle Game, from whom he must escape from anyway when Gollum chases him through the tunnels. It is at this moment when Bilbo discovers the power of the One Ring, which he found earlier in the tunnels. Gollum had owned it, but lost it as it slipped off his finger. Bilbo escapes, but will later be pursued by Gollum as he attempt to recover his "precious" in The Lord of the Rings.

The riddle game is a common feature of mythology and folklore. The Norse god Odin, like Bilbo, won such a contest by the questionable tactic of asking a question to which only he could know the answer. However, the adversary who accepts such a question is bound to honor the terms of the game.

Other high-stake riddles:

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