The Hobbit is the prequel to the Lord of the Rings series written by J.R.R. Tolkien. This novel details the adventure of Bilbo Baggins as he assists a group of dwarves on a quest to reclaim their treasure from a dragon named Smaug. The dwarves need a “thief” to accompany them on their journey and Bilbo, initially skeptical about the adventure, is eventually convinced by Gandalf to accompany them. The novel was also adapted into a series of films directed by Peter Jackson.
We begin in Hobbiton, a village located in the Shire, where Gandalf arrives one day to Bilbo’s house. Gandalf proceeds to convince Bilbo to journey with a group of thirteen militant dwarves on a quest to reclaim their ancestors gold from a dragon named Smaug. The dwarves are initially wary of Gandalf’s choice, as is Bilbo, but Gandalf assures them all that the Hobbit will be able to hold his own on this adventure.
In the first section of their travels, nearly the whole group is captured by a group of three hungry trolls. Gandalf ends up fooling the trolls into remaining outside until morning. The sun causes the trolls to turn to stone, and the group is freed. They discover that the elves had amassed a collection of weapons in their camp. Gandalf and one of the dwarves, Thorin, the dwarf lord, take the magical swords. Bilbo even claims a sword of his own before they proceed.
The group then heads to Rivendell, the realm of the elves, where they Bilbo’s with guidance from the elf lord Elrond. They continued to journey through the Misty Mountains. Unfortunately, the group encounters a hoard of goblins who take them prisoner. Gandalf then frees them and leads them to safety, but in the process, leaves Bilbo behind accidentally.
While Bilbo wanders the caves alone, then he finds a gold ring and a creature named Gollum who wants to eat him. Bilbo challenges Gollum to a contest of riddles to determine whether or not Bilbo shall be eaten. Bilbo ends up winning the competition, but Gollum decides he should eat him either way and goes looking for the ring Bilbo has found. Bilbo uses the ring to turn invisible and escape from Gollum and the cave. Reaching the mouth of the cave, Bilbo realizes that the dwarves have already escaped and are waiting for him there.
They take off quickly as they realize that they are being chased by Wargs, which are giant wolves. They seek refuge in a giant nest after being rescued by giant eagles before they proceed to the home of Beorn, a shapeshifter. Beorn assists them by preparing them for their journey through the forest of Mirkwood.
Upon arriving at Mirkwood forest, Gandalf departs from the group citing urgent business elsewhere. He then warns the group not to stray from the path during their trek through the woods. Unfortunately, the forest is quite deceptive, and the team is soon lost and is forced to stray from the path to regaining their bearings. During this time, they become trapped in giant spider webs, and Bilbo must once again use the power of the ring to aid in their escape. Using his sword and the ring, Bilbo manages to kill some spiders and free some of the dwarves, allowing all of them to escape. Upon escaping, however, they are captured by a group of wood elves who live by a nearby river.
They escape the wood elves with the help of Bilbos ring again and travel down the river in barrels, bringing them to Lake Town, a settlement near the Lonely Mountain. The Lonely Mountain is the place they have been seeking where Smaug is guarding the treasure which Thorin seeks. Bilbo manages to sneak into the mountain and speaks with Smaug, who unwittingly reveals his only weak spot is a missing scale near his heart.
The novel contains many suspenseful moments, and extravagant descriptions of the world they are traveling. The Hobbit culminates with a rather large war between multiple factions and is both exciting and suspenseful. J.R.R. Tolkien does an amazing job painting scenery with words as he describes intricate details not usually expressed in most novels.
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The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
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