The Hobbit


"The Hobbit" is written by the famous British author J.R.R.Tolkien. Tolkien has written many novels and short-stories, but "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" are his most well known books. Few can deny that Tolkien is the "father" of modern fantasy literature. "The Hobbit" has sold over 35 million and "The Lord of the Rings" over 20 million copies.

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit" is the opening phrase in the book. The Hobbit is an action-packed adventure tale which takes place in the Middle Earth, a fantasy land greatly resembling our Earth during the Middle Ages. The tale is told in third person limited view. Tolkien gives insight into the thoughts and feelings of Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit. The Hobbit has a very dark and mysterious mood which is often brightened by the amusing dialogue and actions of the dwarves.

Bilbo Baggins is the main character of this novel. He is most of the time backed by a crew of dwarves and the wizard Gandalf. He is short and fat, as most hobbits are. All hobbits are very hairy and usually walk barefoot to their many social gatherings. Gandalf is an extremely powerful white wizard who accompanies Bilbo through most of their quest. Gandalf is extremely random and unpredictable, making him very human-like. Thirteen dwarves also accompany Bilbo on his quest. The group picks up many friends on its journey. Among these are the Great Eagles, the humans, and the powerful Beorn.

Smaug, the dragon, is the main evil character in The Hobbit. Smaug is a very greedy and strong dragon who stole the dwarves' treasures while killing many of the ancient dwarves. Smaug lives upon his pile of gold and silver in the heart of the Lonely Mountain, and regards himself as being invincible.

The dwarves have to reach the Lonely Mountain, and then kill Smaug, to win back their gold, Almost immediately after starting their journey, the group runs into a small group of dangerous trolls. The trolls manage to capture all of the dwarves and Bilbo, but Gandalf's magic allows them to escape.

The groups’ trip to the Lonely Mountain is very dangerous. While sleeping in a cave one night, they are attacked by a band of goblins who lead them into the depths of the Misty Mountains. The dwarves manage to escape. Bilbo, through the funny but evil Gollum, gets hold of a ring that can turn its wearer invisible. With this ring he escapes, and later meets up with his group.

After even more dangers Gandalf, Bilbo and the dwarves reach Mirkwood. A thin path winds its way through the scary forest. Mirkwood in itself is a very dangerous place where deadly, huge spiders and many other creatures roam freely. The spiders are very irritable and not very smart. The spiders capture all of the dwarves, but Bilbo manages to escape by using the magic ring. Then Bilbo kills many spiders before freeing his friends.When approaching the eastern edge of Mirkwood, the dwarves are captured again, this time by the woodland elves. Bilbo, with the help of his ring, once more frees the dwarves and sends them floating down the Forest River in large barrels to the small human lake-town of Esgaroth. From Esgaroth there’s still a long way to the Lonely Mountain, and the treasure.

The Hobbit is an adventure book that suits mature readers. Children can of course read it, but you have to be older to fully appreciate the book. I found "The Hobbit" entertaining and exciting. Tolkien is a great writer who describes the environment and the characters in an interesting, amusing and credible way. If you want to know the whole story I will recommend reading the book. If you haven’t already read it, you can look forward to getting acquainted with the great world of Bilbo Baggins.

 Lars Anders Heimdal ©


There were many themes relating to the novel. Here are just a few.

Power of Words

There were many events expressing the power of words. One incident was when Bilbo was telling Gollum riddles and vice versa. That was the way Bilbo obtained the ring and escaped the cave. The dwarves expressed the power of words by persuading Bilbo to go on the adventure. Gandalf persuaded Beorn to stay at his humble abode. There were many incidents in the story expressing the power of words. Theme of Responsibility
  The theme of responsibility is well explained in The Hobbit. Bilbo, the hobbit, was well aware of his duty when he agreed to the contract. He knew that he could not escape or ignore the adventure that he took on. The Took blood must have had an awakening effect because Bilbo did not want to look like a coward by leaving the expedition. Another character that was responsible was Gandalf. He knew that he had a responsibility of helping Bilbo and the company, because he was the one that convinced Bilbo to go on the adventure. The dwarves also had a responsibility of reclaiming their gold during a crisis.



Chapter 1

The story begins when Bilbo Baggins is smoking his pipe after breakfast. He feels good and happy because pipe smoking is one of his favorite pleasures. He is a nice man that is clean and respectable and has few worries if any. He has lived in his nice burrow that his father tunneled years ago and has never ventured out further than his own community. Thus, he is caught by surprise when Gandalf, a wizard, stops by wondering if anyone wanted to go on an adventure with him. Slowly a spark within Bilbo ignites; the coating of exotic blood (took blood) from his mother, recalls Gandalf's tales that used to fascinate young Bilbo. Common sense and caution soon knocks him to his senses and dismisses the wizard who disturbed a Hobbit's morning peace. He invites Gandalf for tea the next day and is glad he did not agree to Gandalf's offer. The next day he remembers that he invited Gandalf over for tea when the doorbell started to ring frantically, but instead of Gandalf being at the door there was a dwarf, then two, then three until there was thirteen. Bilbo entertains them all and was very exhausted from bringing food and drinks to them, who later sung songs that stirred the Took blood in Bilbo. When Thorin, the son of a dwarf king begins to explain their plans to their guest, Bilbo becomes fearful as he hears of Thorin's fearful explanation of the possible dangers. Then it is revealed that Gandalf tricked Bilbo by putting a sign on his door that read that he is a burglar seeking a good job with lots of excitement. Eventually the Took blood in Bilbo is fully awakened and he decides to go on the adventure with them. Gandalf reveals a key and map, which ends in Lonely Mountain where the stolen treasure of Thorin's ancestors lies guarded by the horrifying dragon, Smaug. The plan is simple: go to Lonely Mountain, kill the dragon, and reclaim the treasure. An early morning start is agreed and Bilbo promises everyone to a good breakfast although he is not as thrilled to go as he first was. That night he dreams and hears the songs of which Thorin and the dwarves sang about gold and treasure. Chapter 2 Bilbo oversleeps and soon finds out that everyone is gone. Being disappointed at not getting a chance to bid them farewell he is surprised to see Gandalf walk in and say they are waiting for him at the Green Dragon Inn. He is quite hurried by Gandalf as he leaves his breakfast half finished, but urged by Gandalf to hurry and meet the dwarves at the Inn. The company mounts and rides off on their ponies for their adventure. They pass many places with different speaking people and territories, and Bilbo realizes that they are far in the Lone-lands. Rain begins to fall yet the company continues when Bilbo realizes that Gandalf is missing. When the rain starts to pour they send, Bilbo to investigate a light not too far away. Bilbo finds three trolls eating roast mutton near a fire yet they prefer man-flesh. Bilbo decides not to talk to the trolls, and recalls that the dwarves think he is a burglar and should bring back proof. He made a bad decision to pick William's pocket (troll); the trolls capture him and fight over him for dinner. All the dwarves are captured except for Thorin who sees what is happening. Bilbo escapes and he and Thorin try to defeat them with fire logs and sparks, but fail. Gandalf returns and from a distance tricks the trolls to argue amongst themselves until dawn returns and they turn into stone. Once they are all released, they decide to camp out for the night but not before they took some weapons from the troll's loot. Next afternoon they find the path a head towards the East. Gandalf said he went ahead yesterday, heard of the trolls, and came back as soon as he could. He warns them to be more careful. Chapter 3 Next, they visit their friend Elrond who lives in Rivendell. They find the secret valley and proceed to hear elf songs. They stop for a short time and came to Elrond's Last Homely House. They are entertained and greeted and Elrond discovers secret ruins on the map. These runes are moon runes and are used in a special way. He translates the message and says the only way to get into Lonely Mountain is to use the key Thorin has, when the thrush knocks "and the setting sun will shine on the keyhole." The next morning they leave for Misty Mountains and the land beyond. Chapter 4 Gandalf helps them find the right path; one of many they will face on the hard journey. Soon a storm caused them to stop and head down in a small dry cave. They chose the wrong cave to sleep in and soon there were goblins surrounding them. Gandalf waves his wand and sword in the tunnels and kills the Great Goblin to free his friends. Free, the dwarves hurry to what they hope is an exit, but Bilbo gets knocked on the head, unconscious and is accidentally left behind. Chapter 5 When Bilbo awakes, he finds himself alone. As he crawls for a while, he finds a metal ring and places it in his pocket without thinking much about it. Little did he know that this act would affect his life as well as all of Middle Earth. After awhile he is alarmed when he steps into a cold, cavern pool along the edge of where he meets Golllum, "a small sling creatures." Gollum is cautious of the sword Bilbo has so he settles in a game of riddles rather than a direct attack. The stakes are uneven, whereas it is Bilbo's life for Gollum leading the way out of the tunnels. With memory and luck Bilbo wins the game only to find Gollum cannot carry his end of the bargain until he finds his ("precious") a ring that makes its occupant invisible. Because he has it, Gollum tends to strangle him. When Gollum notices that it is missing he rushes to Bilbo. He finds the ring in his pocket, slips it on, and Gollum passes right by him because he cannot see him. Bilbo follows him and finds him sitting at the opening that leads to the outside world. Because Bilbo had pity for Gollum he leaps over him rather than kill him. Chapter 6 In a short time, he is reunited with his dwarf friends who are amazed that he escaped. However, Bilbo does not tell them about the magic ring. Escape is yet not complete when they are chased up trees by evil wolves called Wargs and are kept there until the goblins arrive. Gandalf tries to drive the animals away with flaming pinecones but also sets the trees on fire. For the moment, they look like goners until the King of the Eagles leads his followers to rescue them. After they rest at the eagles' eyrie they are transported to a great rock east of the Misty Mountains and nearer to the Mirkwood Forest. Chapter 7 Beorn reluctantly greets them; a bear like man who, sometimes, changes into a bear because he is a skin-changer. Beorn is not used to having so many guests when Gandalf tells him of their recent incidents. In a late night meeting with other bears Beorn confirms Gandalf's story and is pleased to help them on their next stage of their journey: Mirkwood Forest. Beorn stresses that no matter how bad it gets not to wonder off the path they take. Chapter 8 Bilbo and the dwarves are fearful when Gandalf announces that they must go without him through the forest. Their fears begin when they are in Mirkwood without Gandalf. First, they attempt to cross a black colored river by getting a boat from the other side, but in the process, Bombur falls in and into an unnatural sleep to which the others cannot awaken him. Around the same time a dark deer appears, leaps over the river, and is apparently struck by Thorin's arrow that he shot at it. Then a white hind and fawn appear and the dwarves use up all their arrows trying to get food. Next, the hungry travelers are lured off the path by sightings of elves feasting some distance away. Every time the dwarves were seen by the elves, the elves would disappear. After Bilbo takes a rest for a while he awakes to find himself tied down by a giant spider. Cutting himself from the web, he kills the spider with his sword. Bilbo passes out for a moment from the horror of the fight, but then has a great surge of pride that he killed the spider himself. He celebrates his new coming of masculinity by naming his sword "STING." Bilbo then goes and looks for his fiends only to find them tied in bundles by hungry spiders. Through cleverness and strategy, Bilbo rescues his friends with the use of the ring; therefore, he must reveal the existence of it. They felt very fortunate to have a friend with such cleverness and luck but then find that Thorin is missing. He is captured by woodelves who are trying to find out why he and his friends were in the woods. Chapter 9 The others are captured quickly after and put into dungeons but were not mistreated. Bilbo was there only chance to get them out because he slipped on the ring before the others were captured. He devises a plan to free his friends and send them downstream supposedly in empty barrels. Chapter 10 They end up in Laketown in barrels that were originally filled of food for the elves. The path that Beorn and Gandalf told them never to leave has been unsafe and the river through the elf kingdom was the only way to their destination. When he is among the people of Laketown, he says he is the grandson of the King under the Mountain and is now the new king and the people of the town are exited. They begin to remember old and perhaps prophetic songs of the rivers running with gold when the king would return. After staying a while at Laketown, they decide to go to Lonely Mountain where the gold as well as Smaug lies. Chapter 11 Once at Lonely Mountain they search for the secret entrance far away from Smaug's front door. They remember what Elrond told them about the runes when they heard the sound of a thrush breaking a snail open on a rock and immediately placed Thorin's key to open a hidden door into the mountain. Chapter 12 The dwarves remind Bilbo that his part in the adventure is to be a burglar so they send him in the tunnel alone. He finds, at the bottom, a great treasure of gold and jewels with Smaug on top of it all. Bilbo gets a great two-handled cup from the treasure and fleas. When Smaug awakes he notices what is missing and is in a furious rage; the dwarves barely escape by going inside the tunnel. Finally, Bilbo puts his ring on and confronts the dragon. There is another riddle game, but is composed of only his identity and adventures. The riddles continue when Smaug turns to his side only to reveal a spot that is not protected by his iron scales that cover the rest of his body. He barely escapes and goes to tell the dwarves what he discovered. Smaug suddenly erupts again and goes across the mountainside where he seals the dwarves inside the tunnel from which they fled. Smaug flies to Laketown to destroy the people who he thinks have helped his unseen enemy. Chapter 13 Bilbo again explores the cavern below the tunnel and finds a great jewel called the Arkenstone. When the other dwarves are searching through the treasure, he says nothing about the jewel. Chapter 14 Meanwhile, Smaug attacks Laketown destroying everyone in it. At a critical moment, a thrush tells Bard, a brave archer, where he vulnerable spot is and uses his last arrow to kill Smaug, and he falls dying into the lake. Bard becomes a real hero although the master of Laketown tries to prevent this. Chapter 15 At Lonely Mountain, the dwarves and Bilbo are relieved to hear from a raven that Smaug is dead. Nevertheless, they also learned that the men and elves are coming for the gold that Smaug protects no longer. Thorin asks the raven to alert some of his relatives to help protect the treasure. Then he and the other dwarves make a barrier to the entrance of the cavern. When the elf king and Bard try to negotiate with Thorin, he refuses and thinks of the concept of war. Chapter 16 Bilbo sneaks into the enemy's camp where he gives the elf king and Bard the Arkenstone so they will have something to change Thorin's mind on war. Bilbo discovers that Gandalf is among them. Bilbo goes back to the dwarves. Chapter 17 When Thorin sees that Bard has the Arkenstone, he nearly throws Bilbo over the barricade, because of his anger. Finally, Thorin offers Bilbo's share of the treasure for the Arkenstone and both sides retire for the time being, but Bilbo is banished from the company. As men and elves watch Thorin's army emerge, troops from Thorin's relatives Dain join them. Suddenly everything changes as dwarves, men, and elves are attacked by goblins and Wargs. The battle of Five armies has begun. In the midst of the battle, Thorin leaves his dwarves in disregard. Just as all seems lost, Bilbo cries that the eagles are coming. He is soon knocked on unconscious and does not awaken until the battle is over. Chapter 18 Then he bids farewell to Thorin Oakenshield who is dying from wounds from the battle and wishes to talk to Bilbo. Chapter 19 Bilbo returns home in the Shire with a little gold and silver. Gandalf's prediction that Bilbo might need more money in the future was right when Bilbo returns to his home only to find his belongings being auctioned. Everything was set right in time and settled down with friends and kin, but was marked as a bit odd. He spends most of his time writing memoirs. A few years later Gandalf and Balin visit Bilbo and tell him of their good fortunes and the rebuilding of the city, Dale. The story ends with the suggestion that luck lay behind the adventures and with an expression of satisfied recognition by Bilbo that he is only quiet a little fellow in a wide world after all.

Lars Anders Heimdal ©

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