Celine Lantschner,  2nd A

Summary of “The Hobbit”

by J.R.R. Tolkien

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Chapter 1: An Unexpected Party

Bilbo Baggins, the son of Belladonna Took, who is herself one of the daughters of the Old Took, is a hobbit. Hobbits are usually fat, small, have no beards and wear bright clothes but no shoes. Bilbo lives in a hole near The Hill, which has a green painted and perfectly round door with a long tunnel with a lot of pegs for coats after it. There are no stairs in that strange kind of house, all rooms are on the same floor and the windows are only on the left side of the house.

There were two kinds of hobbits: the Baggins and the Took. Baggins didn’t use to have adventures or to do something unexpected. Tooks instead, would have gone on adventures. One day, Belladonna Took and Bingo Baggins married. Bingo, Bilbo’s father, built a big and wonderful hobbit-hole in which he lived, together with his wife and his son until his and Belladonna’s death.

One day, Gandalf, who was a well-known wizard and who had not been seen for a long time since the death of the Old Took, appeared in front of Bilbo’s house. He searched someone to join a journey that he was organising at that time. Bilbo, who didn’t like adventures, sent him away, but invited him at his house for tea on the following day. The day after, Gandalf wasn’t the only one to come, but at the same time, Bilbo didn’t expect anyone else to come and enter his house that day. Strangely, short time after the arrival of a dwarf, who wasn’t even expected, many other ones arrived. At the end, Dwalin, Balin, Kili, Fili, Dori, Ori, Oin, Nori, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, the leader Thorin Oakenshield and Gandalf were inside his house. Thror was Thorin’s grandfather and Thrain’s father. He once was the king of a Mountain, where he had all his gold and jewels. Unfortunately, in that area lived and hid dragons that used to steal everything, particularly the hobbits’ treasures. There was one particular dragon called Smaug, that still lived in the mountain with all the jewels that he had stolen a long time before. A lot of hobbits had died at that time, when the dragon attacked them. The dwarf’s plan was to approach the mountain and revenge themselves by defeating Smaug.

 

Chapter 2: Roast Mutton

The dwarves, Thorin and Gandalf slept at Bilbo’s house that night and the next morning, the hobbit prepared breakfast for all of them. Then, he washed the dishes, which took him a lot of time and after doing that, he wanted to have a second breakfast without any stress, but Gandalf reached him short time after and told him that the dwarves were waiting for him. The hobbit couldn’t finish his breakfast, didn’t take either money or his hat with him. When he arrived, he saw a lot of ponies that were carrying baggages and packages and the dwarves were just around them and preparing themselves for their journey. The weather wasn’t good that day, it was cold and wet and it soon became dark, so the group had to search a refuge where they could sleep and pass the night. They stopped and some dwarves tried to light a fire, but it was too windy. Suddenly Balin saw a light and they all decided to approach it, in order to see and discover what was happening there. They moved all together, but at the end the dwarves sent Bilbo and told him it was his issue to find out what was going on. Bilbo went and saw that there were three trolls sitting around a fire. The three beings were much bigger than him and caught the hobbit. In the meantime the other ones reached Bilbo and the three trolls, because they were worried for their burglar (Bilbo was their burglar). At the end Gandalf, who was the only safe one, helped and saved his companions thanks to his magic powers. The intention of the trolls was to cook the dwarves and eat them later, but the wizard was able to stop them by causing a fight among the three trolls. In fact the beings shouted all night and became stone when the sun came out.

Afterwards the group discovered the trolls’ cave and took all the food, clothes and “weapons” that they could find and travelled towards the East.

 

Chapter 3: A Short Rest

They travelled for a few days. The weather didn’t improve, they camped under the stars and their ponies had much more to eat than them, even with what they got from the trolls’ cave. The group could finally see The Mountain that they wanted to reach and it didn’t seem so far anymore. Obviously that was just the beginning of a long journey, they had to cross the Misty Mountains in order to reach the Lonely Mountain, where Smaug was hiding with their treasures. The dwarves, Thorin and Bilbo were tired, but the wizard reassured them by telling his group that in the valley of Rivendell, at the Last Homely House, Elrond, an elf, was waiting for them. The dwarfs were pleased by hearing that and went on. They finally reached the valley and met some elves that were singing joyfully and who invited the group to come with them. Bilbo would have liked to stay with the elves in order to ask them about their opinion of his adventure. Moreover the elves were a folk that knew a lot of things and the hobbit wanted to ask them what was going on in that area and among the people that lived there, but the group decided to go. They reached Elrond’s house and had supper there, they stayed for fourteen days. He was very wise and gave them some advice for their journey, he also told them about the swords that Gandalf and Thorin took from the trolls’ cave. Those swords were made in Gondolin for the Goblin-war. At the end he helped them to understand the map of the Lonely Mountain.

 

Chapter 4: Over Hill and Under Hill

So, the journey continued and their path was hard and very dangerous. It was cold and the nights were comfortless. Gandalf, who had already been several times in that area during his life and who was leading them, felt that something unexpected would happen. Indeed they got in a thunderstorm. The group hid somewhere, but had to find a better shelter. They sent Fili and Kili, who came back short time after and guided their friends to a dry and big cave. There was also enough space for their ponies, it was a perfect shelter. At that point they tried to dry their clothes, ate something and went to sleep. During the night, Bilbo had a nightmare. He dreamt that the cave was cracking and that their ponies were disappearing in a passage. He woke up and saw that it was really happening. Bilbo yelled and he and his friends were kidnapped by some goblins who jumped through the passage and reached the cave. The goblins brought them to their town and showed them to the Great Goblin. The goblins hated the dwarfs and recognized the sword of Thorin, with which many goblins were killed long time before. They wanted to kill them, but Gandalf was able to save his friends by killing the Great Goblin. The goblins were very angry and ran after the group, who was trying to escape. Suddenly Bilbo fell and couldn’t remember anything anymore.

 

Chapter 5: Riddles in the Dark

Bilbo woke up and realized that he was alone, alone left in the dark. He couldn’t see anyone, the dwarfs, Thorin and Gandalf weren’t there with him. He wanted to find the exit, so he started to walk around in the dark. Suddenly he found a ring on the ground, but it was futile in that moment, so he put it in his pocket. He was walking around for a while, when he reached a lake. Gollum, who was a bad creature and lived on an island in the middle of the lake, saw him. He approached Bilbo, who was scared by hearing Gollum’s voice. Gollum was awful and wanted to eat Bilbo, so he proposed a riddle contest, if he won he would eat Bilbo, if Bilbo won, Gollum would show him the exit. At the end, Bilbo asked his last question: “What have I got in my pocket?”. Gollum had three chances, but wasn’t able to answer the question. The hobbit won. At that point, Gollum went back to his island and searched for his ring. The ring could make him invisible and that would permit him to eat Bilbo nevertheless. He couldn’t find his ring, became angry and understood everything. Bilbo ran away and put the ring on. Gollum searched for the hobbit, but didn’t find him. Bilbo found finally the exit, but the area around it was full of goblins. It was difficult, but he escaped thanks to the ring.

 

Chapter 6: Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire

So, Bilbo escaped and started to search for his friends. Fortunately after some time, he heard the voice of Balin and reached the group, that was worried for him. Bilbo explained how he fled, but didn’t mention the ring. Gandalf told them they had to move on, because the goblins would get out of their caves and catch them as soon as it would become dark. So, the 15 creatures walked and travelled for a long time. They were hungry and tired, particularly Bilbo. It became dark, the moon came out and they reached an opening area where no trees grew. They heard a howl, wolves were around. They got in a panic and didn’t know what to do. Gandalf suggested to climb on the trees. The dwarves, Thorin and the wizard did, but the hobbit wasn’t able to reach a branch. Dori saved him just in time. The wolves surrounded the trees, they thought the creatures were friends of the human beings that lived in the valleys. Indeed the wolves’ intention was to plunder and kill those people and they were also allied with the goblins whom they were waiting for. The wizard lit a fire in order to scare the wolves and a short time after the goblins arrived. The goblins’ arrival was terrifying, because they used Gandalf’s fire to burn the trees. It was a complicated situation for the group. Fortunately, the Lord of the Eagles and his eagles arrived. They hated the goblins and chased them away. The eagles saved the group, by carrying them to a safe place, without any danger.

 

Chapter 7: Queer Lodgings

The eagles brought them to the Carrock, where the group passed the night. The day after, they ate something and asked the eagles for help. They accepted and told the dwarves that they would carry them on their backs for some miles. So they did and the group thanked the birds. Their dangerous journey continued and while they were travelling, Gandalf remembered that Beorn, an old friend, lived in the area, some miles apart, so they decided to reach him. Beorn was an unusual and strange creature, a skin-changer. When they arrived, Gandalf warned his friends: Beorn wasn’t friendly and got angry very easily. By hearing those words, they decided to approach and reach the house two by two, because the creature didn’t like to have a lot of people in his house and they had to be prudent and act correctly. First, Gandalf and the hobbit entered the house. The wizard started telling their story and his friends joined them two by two. Beorn was interested and listened with attention. He offered them to stay by his house and gave them some food. They remained for two days and the creature soon became their friend and was very kind. He helped them by giving his new friends: food, skins (for water), arrows, ponies and horses. Finally the group left and greeted Beorn. They travelled for some days and then, Gandaf left the group, because he had some businesses. The dwarves felt helpless and were worried without their wizard.

 

Chapter 8: Flies and Spiders

So, the dwarves’ journey continued without the wizard. They entered a forest, which was very dark and they couldn’t see so much, but they soon got used to the darkness that surrounded them. The group heard some noises around them and saw a lot of eyes watching them from every direction. It was quite horrifying. After some time, they reached a black river, the stream was strong. Moreover they couldn’t drink or touch that water, or something terrible would happen to them. Fortunately they saw a boat and used it to cross the river. The group had some difficulties, because Bombur fell into the water and when they helped him to come out, he fell asleep and it was impossible to wake him up. He slept for several days and the dwarves had to carry him on their backs during the travel. However they didn’t have much food anymore and were also thirsty, darkness always surrounded them and the forest seemed to have no end. When Bombur woke up, he told his friends about a beautiful dream that he had while he was asleep. That dream came true. In fact the group saw a light, which was very distant, they approached it and observed an elvish-folk that was having a feast, drinking and eating. They couldn’t wait to beg for some food and they were reaching the folk, when suddenly everything became dark again and the feast disappeared. This happened three times at different places and during the last time, when they were trying to reach them, Bilbo got lost. The hobbit got attacked by a spider, but was able to defend himself and kill the spider with his little sword. He looked for his friends, but he put on his ring this time, in order to avoid attacks. There were a lot of spiders around him and then he saw his friends. The spiders captured them. He began to throw stones, to kill the spiders and to make them angry. It was a hard battle and as soon as he had the chance, he saved his friends. He also used his ring during the battle and explained his friends all about it after they had fled. However the group discovered something terrible: Thorin was not there. He was captured by the feasting creatures, the elves.

 

Chapter 9: Barrels out of Bond

The day after, the group started to search for their path, for some food and water. They had to survive and then find Thorin, their chief. Unfortunately they were captured by the elvish-folk, that brought them to their king, who started to ask some questions, but the group didn’t answer. So, the king ordered his servants to put them in different cells. The only one who was able to escape was Bilbo, thanks to his ring. Fortunately the elves weren’t that cruel and gave them some food, but the dwarfs remained there for a lot of days without even knowing that Thorin was there, too. The hobbit was able to leave and enter the cave, which wasn’t as big as the goblins’ one. He had to invent a plan and he luckily discovered the water gate of a stream, where a lot of barrels were pushed into the water by the elves. Those barrels once carried food and came from a distant place to the king’s cave and after consuming the food, the elves had to sent the barrels back again. That was the reason for rolling them down the stream. It was a good opportunity for the group. Bilbo was able to steal the keys of the cells and to set them free. They reached the water-gate, hid themselves inside the barrels and waited for the elves to push them down. The hobbit just followed them by jumping into the cold water.

 

Chapter 10: A Warm Welcome

Bilbo was still invisible and sat on a barrel. He looked around a saw that the landscape had changed a lot since the beginning of their journey. Then, surprised, the hobbit saw the mountain that they were seeking. He wasn’t pleased by seeing it, but after all, they had had a lot of adventures and difficulties and it was good to see that they were on the right path. The river seemed to have no end and he was tired of travelling on that barrel. Finally, the hobbit and all the barrels reached the Long Lake. It was evening when they arrived and the men, who lived there and who were the ones that were sending the barrels with food inside to the elves, were having a feast. The elves, who once captured the dwarves were there, too. Bilbo set his friends free and they went all together to the Lake-town. Thorin presented himself to the Master and explained him their situation. The Master didn’t believe in dwarves or in the story of the Mountain and Smaug at first. Those were legends, which were remembered by the men not very often. However they sometimes sang songs about these stories during their work. The elves, by seeing the group, complained, but couldn’t do anything and went back to the king’s cave and told him everything. In the meantime, the Master decided to help the group and offered them food, water, ponies and all the equipment they needed. They remained for some time and when left, they thanked the men very much.

 

Chapter 11: On the Doorstep

They left the Long Lake and travelled for two days. They could see the Lonely Mountain in front of them. The group was, some time later, joined by horses and men with provisions. The dwarves packed everything on their ponies and the men returned to the Lake-town. Even if they saw the Mountain and their jouney was already ending, their hopes vanished and their spirits fell. The group didn’t dare to sing or to talk loudly. So, they reached the Desolation of Smaug. They were frightened and searched for the secret door in order to enter the mountain. They seeked for a long time. One day Bilbo, Kili, Fili and Balin had enough courage and started to search for the gate.They found a strange path and followed it. The four friends arrived at the top of a cliff and saw an entrance. It was like a cave, but at the same time it was open at the top. Just the inner part was covered and couldn’t be seen. They were quite sure: they had found the door. Then, they went back down and reached their friends, who were waiting for them in their camp. The day after, the group decided to go and explore that strange entrance in the mountain. Just Bofur and Bombur were left behind, they had to look after the ponies. They weren’t able to open any doors and they felt desperate. Fortunately, Bilbo understood everything, when suddenly a red ray of the sun came straight to the inner part of the entrance and lightened the rock face. He was exited and called Thorin, who had the key for the door. The rock moved and the locker appeared, finally they could enter the mountain.

 

Chapter 12: Inside Information

So, Bilbo and his friends were in front of the door. As a soon as it opened, the hobbit entered. It was his issue to enter the mountain, as a burglar. Balin followed him, but didn’t have the courage to come with him until the end. A very long tunnel followed the secret door and it became hotter and hotter. At the end of it, Bilbo could see a red light. He entered a big hall and saw Smaug, the dragon, who was asleep. Around and under the dragon there were a lot of precious things and the hobbit was able to steal a cup and bring it to his friends. The group was glad and pleased by seeing him alive and safe. However, a short time later, Smaug woke up. He could smell something strange and looked around. He saw that something was missing: the cup. He became angry as never before and went outside. The dwarves felt that something was happening. The group started to tremble and they didn’t have that much time. Fili, Bili, Kili and the hobbit hid themselves in the tunnel and the other ones reached Bofur and Bombur, who were still at their camp and watching after the ponies. Smaug didn’t find anyone, except for the ponies, which were so scared and ran away. The dragon found and caught them. Six were eaten by him. Some time later, the hobbit went again into the mountain and put his ring on. He entered the hall and thought the dragon was asleep, but suddenly he opened his eyes and Bilbo trembled. Fortunately Smaug couldn’t see him, but he could smell him. However the dragon didn’t know what kind of creature Bilbo was, because he had not ever smelled anything similar before. Unfortunately he knew that Bilbo was accompanied by dwarves. The dragon discovered it by eating the ponies, that smelled like them. The two had a strange conversation, but Bilbo didn’t reveal his identity neither got killed by the dragon. The hobbit returned to his friends and felt that something would happen. They all hid inside the tunnel, shut the door and waited there. The dragon went outside and they could hear him destroying the rocks, which cracked and some of them fell on their heads in the tunnel. The dragon didn’t want them to enter his hall again. Then he flew towards the Lake-town.

 

Chapter 13: Not at Home

They passed a lot of days in the tunnel and ate nearly nothing. They didn’t hear any noises and couldn’t understand if the dragon was in his hall or not. Then, desperate, hungry and tired as they were, they decided to go down the tunnel in order to check the situation and look for the dragon. Bilbo, put his ring on, as usual and went forward. The other ones followed him in silence. He couldn’t see anything and fell suddenly into the hall. He was scared and first didn’t dare to stand up, but there was nothing, nothing at all, no dragon. He looked after him and controlled everything, then he went on the “jewels-mountain” and found the Arkenstone, a magnificent and acient stone. Afterwards the dwarves and Thorin entered the hall and searched for beautiful jewels and gold in general and put it in their pockets. They also armed themselves. However they didn’t want to get in trouble and followed Thorin, who knew the mountain perfectly and who showed them the Front Gate, because the secret door were blocked by broken rocks. They went outside and breathed fresh air. The group had to move as fast as they could and look for a safe place. They didn’t know where Smaug was and if he was watching them. The dwarves feared an attack. They escaped and hid in a cave, where, after a long walk, they had a rest.

 

Chapter 14: Fire and Water

In the meantime, Smaug went to the Lake-town and attacked the men. The men armed themselves, but weren’t able to defend themselves that much. The only one who had the courage to fight against the dragon was Bard. Bard was the descendant of Birion, Lord of Dale. He was able to kill the dragon with his black arrow. It was his last arrow, the one his father gave him before he died. The dragon fell on the ground, dead. Everyone was pleased in seeing Smaug dead on the ground, of course some people died and a lot of their houses were destroyed, but at least the dragon was finally dead. The men thanked Bard very much and wanted him to become their new king. The Master, who tried to hide and escape during the battle, didn’t like the idea. However, the folk decided to build up their town again, indeed winter was coming. They also thought about leaving that place and to create a new town. The elves were called to help them and tried to contribute by caring for the ones who were injured. Soon everyone knew about Smaug’s death and their intention was to climb the mountain and look after the treasures that Smaug had left behind.

 

Chapter 15: The Gathering of the Clouds

The dwarves, Thorin and the hobbit were still worried and didn’t know anything about Smaug’s death. Fortunately some birds reached them, the only trouble was that the group couldn’t understand the birds, but the birds could understand them. So, the birds flew away and searched for a raven. They came back and when the raven spoke, they could understand what he was saying. The raven was Roäc, the son of Carc. Roäc informed them that the dragon was dead and the dwarfs couldn’t believe it, they were so pleased by hearing those words. The raven also told them that men and elves were preparing themselves and organising everything in order to reach the mountain. The group had to return to the Lonely Mountain, they did. When they arrived, they immediately closed and blocked the Front Gate and hid inside. Some days after the armed men and elves approached the mountain, the group could see them. They were still far away when they started to sing one evening. Then, a short time later, Bard went in front of the Gate. Thorin and Bard had a conversation. Thorin wanted the men to leave their weapons and send the elves back to their caves. Bard didn’t like that idea and annouced that they would besiege the mountain.

 

Chapter 16: A Thief in the Night

Dain and 500 dwarves were coming in order to help Thorin and his friends. The raven told Bilbo to do something, otherwise there would be a battle. So, Bilbo, who possessed the Arkenstone, went outside during the night, no one knew about his plan. The hobbit put his ring on and went to the men and the elves. There, he took the ring off and started to talk with Bard. He gave him the Arkenstone, because that stone would help him in his bargain. In fact, Thorin was desperately searching for it, it had a big value for him. Bilbo thought this was the right way to stop the battle. He also explained the men and the elves the reason of that gesture and told them that 500 dwarves and Dain would arrive in two days. Afterwards, the men thanked him and Bilbo returned to the moutain. During his little travel he met Gandalf, the wizard, who was very proud of the hobbit.

 

Chapter 17: The Clouds Burst

The following day, 20 men and elves reached the Front Gate. Among them also Bard and the Elvenking were there. They wanted to bargain and do an exchange. They would give Thorin the Arkenstone if he would give them some gold and silver. Thorin was angry and asked who was the responsible and who gave Bard the precious stone. Bilbo explained him everything and Thorin became mad by hearing those words. He didn’t want to see the hobbit ever again and sent him away. Poor Bilbo left the mountain and joined the men and the elves, who went back to their camp. Short time later, the 500 dwarves and Dain arrived and joined Thorin and his group. Messengers and ravens continued to go up and down. Everyone knew about Smaug’s death, indeed even the goblins and the wolves were approaching the mountain. A terrible and horrible battle soon began, “The battle of five armies”: the goblins, the wolves, the men, the elves and the dwarves. The hobbit was the only one out, he put his ring on and went on the Ravenhill. He looked around and observed the battle. He wished, as many times before, he was at home. Suddenly, looking up at the sky, he could see the eagles, flying towards them. He started to shout, but fell on the ground, because a stone fell on his head. He couldn’t remember anything after that.

 

 

Chapter 18: The Return Journey

When Bilbo woke up, a man found him and told him that Thorin and the others were waiting for him. Unfortunately the hobbit was injured and couldn’t walk properly. The man decided to carry him on his back and then they reached Thorin. Thorin was much more injured than Bilbo and had a lot of wounds. He was about to die, he just told the burglar that he wanted to part in friendship from him and so he did. Bilbo was sad, but had to accept that. Soon his friends explained him what happened after he became senseless. The eagles attacked the goblins and many of them died, the rest fled and hid themselves in their caves. Also Beorn arrived and punished them, no one dared to attack him. Afterwards the eagles and the Great Eagle departed soon, back to their eyries, Beorn, instead, was still there. The hobbit discovered that also Fili and Kili died, when they had tried to defend their chief, but failed. At least, the goblins weren’t a problem anymore, the dragon died and peace ruled. The dwarves opened the front Gate and gave the men part of the treasure and received the Arkenstone, which was buried with Thorin in the mountain. Dain became the new king of the mountain and offered Bilbo all the treasure, but the hobbit didn’t want all those precious things and took just two chests full of gold and silver. The men returned to the Lake-town and Bilbo, the wizard, Beorn and the elves departed and greeted the dwarfs. Soon the elves arrived at the borders of Mirkwood and had to say goodbye to their friends. Beorn, Gandalf and Bilbo went on and soon their arrived at Beorn’s home. The wizard and the hobbit stayed for a while and went on with their travel when spring had already come. Beorn became a very important chief in that region and ruled over it.

 

Chapter 19: The Last Stage

They reached the valley of Rivendell, the elves came out and Elrond invited them. They stayed by the elves for a week and Gandalf told them their story. Afterwards, their journey continued. Gandalf told his friend, that he wasn’t the hobbit he had been for a long time. Bilbo had changed. They finally arrived, but the hobbit didn’t find what he had expected to find. His house was full of hobbits and all his objects had been sold, because he was presumed dead. Of course it wasn’t true and he had to buy his own objects back. The hobbits didn’t respect him anymore, he had lost his reputation. But Bilbo didn’t care and didn’t really mind. He was happy now. So, time passed and he never forgot his friends and his adventure. One evening someone knocked on his door, he opened and Gandalf and Balin were in front of him. They entered and sat around a fire. The friends talked about their past adventures and remembered with pleasure everything what had happened a long time before. Balin and Gandalf also told the hobbit that Lake-town had been refounded and was prosperous. The Master died, but the new one was much better. Everything was going on well at the Lonely Mountain, their journey was worth it.

 

Author:

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in South Africa in 1892 (on the 3. January) and was an English writer, poet, philologist (he was considered one of the best philologists in the world) and university professor. He is known for his wonderful fantasy works: The Hobbit, which is his first published work and it is the beginning of a tale that continues with three larger volumes, The Lord of the Rings. He was a close friend of C. S. Lewis. Both of them were members of an informal literary discussion group, called the Inklings. He was also appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1972. He served as a lieutenant in the First World War, too. A lot of authors had published fantasy books before him, but his works like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings had an enormous success and the genre resurged. So, Tolkien was considered the “father” of high-fantasy literature. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. Christopher, Tolkien’s son, published some works, which were based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s notes and unpublished manuscripts. Those works included The Silmarillion, one of his best fantasy works. He awarded many prizes and died in 1973.

 

Comment:

I’ve never read such a book, even if like the fantasy genre. The hobbit is a well-written book and it isn’t difficult or too long. There aren’t too many details and the descriptions in it are perfect, because I as many other ones I think, who read the book, could see in front of me every single scene and every creature. Of course some creatures, like Gollum do not have a complete description, but it wasn’t that difficult for me to imagine him. There are a lot of characters in this story, but it was really easy for me to remember them all, thanks to Tolkien who was able to represent his thoughts in a very simple and clear way. The adventures are particular and full of fear and suspence. Everything was a surprise to me and that is what makes the book so interesting. It seems to me that everything is balanced in this work and nothing was written without a reason. I reccomend this book to everyone, because it gives the opportunity, not only to the youngest ones, but also to adults, to live an adventure and forget everything else. Logically it was written a long time ago, but I think it is one of those works that people can read any time.

(c) Celine Lantschner

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“The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien – Celine Lantschner

About the author…

John R.R. Tolkien was born on the 3rd January 1892 in Bloemfontain (South Africa). He was a poet, writer, philologist and university professor. When he was three years old, he went to England with his brother and his mother, and they moved to Birmingham because his father had died. After serving in the First World War, he became best known for his books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 40 languages worldwide. Those books, were published by his son Christopher after Tolkien’s death. The Times ranked him sixth on a list of “the 50 greatest British writers since 1945”. Awarded the CBE and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University, he died in 1973 at the age of 81.

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Chapter 1-un unexpected party

Bilbo Baggins was a Hobbit. He was the son of Belladonna Took and Mr. Bungo Baggins. He lived in a clean and comfortable hole in the ground. It had a round door, painted green with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. Inside there was a tunnel, where there were all the rooms: bedrooms, bathrooms, wardrobes, kitchen, dining-­‐rooms…which were all on the same floor and in the same passage. The Bagginses were a very respectable family for their wealth and because they had any adventures or did unexpected things. One morning, when there was less noise and more green and when hobbits were still numerous, and Bilbo was standing at his door smoking a pipe; Gandalf came by. He was an old man with a staff. He had a tall pointed blue hat, a long grey cloak, a silver scarf and a long white beard. Gandalf said that he was looking for someone to share an adventure. Bilbo didn’t want, he wanted him to go away, but the wizard didn’t move. Bilbo invited the wizard for a tea the next day, and he refused to share an adventure. Gandalf before going away, with the spike on his staff scratched a queer sign, the sign of burglars on the hobbit’s door. On the following day, a tremendous ring on the front-­‐door-­‐bell came, and Bilbo remembered the appointment with the wizard. It wasn’t the wizard, it was a dwarf with a blue beard called Dwalin. After a while, the doorbell rang again and more other dwarves came into Bagging’s house. They were: Balin, Kili, Fili, Dori, Ori, Nori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Thorin and Gandalf. They sat down around the table with the wizard, and they started eating, talking and singing. Thorin was the chief of dwarves, he was too important. All the thirteen dwarves told the story and their reason to this adventure: they wanted to reconquer Eldron, their home, and avenge Thror (Thorin’s grandfather). Gandalf asked Bilbo to share with them an adventure, but he refused again. After this, they went to sleep.

Chapter 2-roast mutton

The next morning, Bilbo woke up and he found nobody at the house. There was a fearful mess in the room, and piles of unwashed crocks in the kitchen. He was having breakfast when in walked Gandalf. Bilbo took the key and started running as fast as the great Mill, across The Water and then he joined all the thirteen dwarves. Thorin gave the hobbit a pony and they started this adventure. They hadn’t been riding very long, when Gandalf came on a white horse. They passed through hobbit-­‐lands, lands were people spoke strangely, Lonelands, lands were there wasn’t anything… One evening, one of the ponies took fright at nothing and bolted. He got into the river before the dwarves could catch him. Fili and Kili chased it, and they found a cave which came from a light. Thorin ordered Bilbo to go into the cave and to discover what it was…Bilbo found three very large trolls sitting around a very large fire of beech-­‐logs. Bilbo plucked up courage and put his little hand in William’s pocket (William is the name of a troll). Unfortunately William found the hobbit and fortunately trolls are slow in the uptake. Balin and all dwarves saw that scene and came up to defend Bilbo. Thorin, came last but Tom (the troll) captured him. All the dwarves included Bilbo were in prison. It was just then that Gandalf came back, but no one saw him. Gandalf saved all his friends and his voice kept the trolls bickering and quarrelling, until the light came and made an end of them. Mr.Baggins, Gandalf and thirteen dwarves searched and found a trolls’ treasure: swords of every sizes and types, gold, knives…The hobbit took a special sword made from elves then they brought up their ponies and continued the adventure.

Chapter 3-a short rest

They didn’t sing or tell stories that day. One morning they forded a river at a wide shallow place full of the noise of stones and foam. Bagging asked Gandalf where they were and he said that they were near the fair valley of Rivendell where Elrond lived. Morning passed, afternoon came and finally they reached Rivendell. They met some elves which brought them and their ponies to Elrond. Here all of them, the ponies as well, grew refreshed and strong, Their clothes were mended, their bags were filled with food and provisions. Elrond knew all about runes of every kind, and that day he looked at the swords they had taken from the trolls’ treasure. Elrond said that they were swords made by his family. Thorin also showed Elrond the map, and with the help of the moon, (that was shining in a broad silver crescent) he read the map. The elves loved maps, ruines and cunning handwriting; he said that the letters were moon-­‐letters (invented by the dwarves) that you could read only with a special moon. On the map there was written: “ Stand by the grey stone when the trush knocks, and the setting sun with the last light of Durin’s day (the first day of the dwarves’ New Year) will shine upon the key-­‐hole.” The next morning, thirteen dwarves and a hobbit started again their trip and they followed the path over the Misty Mountains to the land beyond.

Chapter 4-over hill and under hill

There were many paths that led up into those mountains, and many passed over them. Most of them were infested by evil things and danger. Long days after they had climbed out of the elves valley, they were still going up and up. Gandalf joined the group again and all the dwarves decided to sleep in a cave in the mountain. Before this, they inspected each corner of the cave and after this they went to sleep. Then came a wind and a rain, and a storm began. But that wasn’t only a storm, it was a battle between thunders. Bilbo was dreaming of a crack in the wall at the back of the cave got bigger and bigger and opened wider and wider…At that he woke up and found that part of his dream was real! Out jumped goblins, big goblins, lots of goblins! They captured Bilbo, his thirteen friends, ponies and baggage but not Gandalf. Goblins started singing and they brought all the prisoners in a big cavern to the Great Goblin. Thorin tried to convince the Great Goblin that they were there because they wanted to meet their families, and relatives; but the Great Goblin didn’t believe it because Thorin had Biter. It was the sword that killed hundreds of goblins. The king of goblins ordered to kill them, and in that moment Gandalf arrived, saved them and killed the Great Goblin. But Bilbo after all this mess, disappeared and lost his friends.

Chapter 5-riddles in the dark

When the hobbit opened his eyes, nobody near him was there. He decided to find a way to escape from there, but in vain. After some time, he felt for his pipe, so he smoked. The tunnel where he was seemed to have no end. There were a lot of passages and he just went only on and on, and down and down. His sword was shining and deep down here, Bilbo found Gollum, a small slimy creature, with two big pale eyes in his thin face. Gollum lived on a slimy island of rock in the middle of a lake. He was observing Bilbo. He took his boat and reached the hobbit. Bilbo understood that he always called himself my precious, he was hungry and angry. The two made a pact: if Gollum guessed three riddles, he could eat Bilbo; if Baggins guessed three riddles right, Gollum had to show the way to go away from there. Bilbo guessed the three riddles right, but Gollum in the third riddle “ What have I got in my pocket?” didn’t answer. Bilbo had a special ring, which he had found in the cavern, this ring had a special power: if you slipped it on your finger, you became invisible. That ring was the birthday present of Gollum, and after a while, the creature understood that Mr Baggins had it. Bilbo went away and wore the ring, and finally found the exit.

Chapter 6-out of the frying- pan into the fire

Bilbo had escaped the goblins and the terrible creature, but he had lost his cloack, food, hood, pony and his friends. Then he looked forward and could see that he had found the right path! He walked and suddenly he listened and heard some voices, it was Balin, Gandalf and all the dwarves! Bilbo reached them but before he slipped off the ring. They were all astonished, but anyway they started to walk, because goblins were looking for them, and they couldn’t loose time. So they ate something and they limped along now as fast as they were able down the pine forest in a slanting path… The moon was up and shining when all of a sudden they heard the howling of wolves! Bilbo and the others climbed up on trees and Dori helped the hobbit. For a time they were safe. Wolves arrived and they sat in a great circle; in the middle there was a great grey wolf. He spoke with Gandalf with the language of Wargs. The reason of their pursuit was the death of the Great Goblin. They started to sing in order to taunt them. Gandalf climbed up on the top of his tree and at that moment the Lord of the Eagles arrived and saved the wizard and the others and carried them off.

Chapter 7-queer lodgings

The next morning Bilbo woke up with the early sun in his eyes. The eagles had brought them on a great rock. Then they took off their clothes and bathed in the river. When they had dried in the sun, they began to march. Gandalf decided to go to the home of Beorn. Beorn was a skin-­‐changer. He was a bear descended from the great and ancient bears of the mountains that lived there before giants came. Beorn lived in an oak-­‐wood house he kept hives and hives of great fierce bees and lived most on cream and honey. After a while, Gandalf found the house. The wizard and the hobbit pushed open the gate and went down towards the house. Near it there was a huge man with a thick black beard and hair, and great bare arms. So Gandalf began to tell their story. He engaged Beorn, and as the dwarves come in pairs; the story included more people. Beorn invited all the dwarves into his house, he helped them and gave them room and board. The following day Beorn came back, and he gave some ponies, food and others useful things to continue the trip. He told them that they had to take the ponies back, as soon as they had arrived at Mirkwood.

Chapter 8-flies and spiders

They continued their walk, helped by Beorn’s advice. They didn’t lose the path. The hobbit was always hungry and thirsty too, for they were extremely careful with their provisions. After four days from the enchanted stream they came to a part where most of the trees were beeches. They lost the path, but fortunately two days later, they found it again. One evening, giant spiders captured the dwarves in webs; so Bilbo, alone, with the help of the ring, his little sword (which he named Sting) and some rocks, saved his thirteen friends… They laid for some time, but very soon, they began to ask Bilbo questions. The story of the ring interested them a lot! Days passed, and another danger came: the elves! They imprisoned Thorin and the other dwarves in one of the inmost caves with strong wooden doors and left them.

Chapter 9-barrels out of bond

The day after the battle with the spiders, Bilbo and the dwarves made one last despairing efforts to find a way out before they died from hunger and thirst. They arrived at a big hall with pillars hewn out of the living stone, the Elvenking sat on a chair of cavern wood. On his head there was a crown of berries and red leaves, and in his hand he held a staff of oak. The prisoners were brought before him, and the king started to ask Thorin why they were in his forest. Then the king ordered to put them in different cellars and to give food and drink. Bilbo in the meanwhile was trying to save them. He found all their cellars, also Thorin. At last after many difficulties, he managed to find the place when no one was about, and to have a word with the chief dwarf. Bilbo and Thorin made an excellent plan. Mr Baggins stole the key from a guard and saved his friends. First he unlocked Balin’s door then all the others. All together they passed through a door and reached a room where there were barrels. Bilbo went in one of them and escaped.

Chapter 10-a warm welcome

The day grew lighter and warmer. Bilbo and his friends reached Lake-­‐Town, a town populated by elves. Then they went to meet the Master of Lake town, who gave them ponies, room and board. Now they were all doctored and housed and fed and pampered in the highest fashion. Thorin received a large house, boats and rowers. Thorin and his companions stayed there for three days. At the end of a fortnight, Thorin began to think of departure. So he spoke to the Master and his cpuncillors and said that soon he and his company had to go on towards the Mountain. And the next day, all the dwarves and the hobbit left.

Chapter 11-on the doorstep

In two days they were right up the Long Lake and passed out into the River Running, and here they could see all the Lonely Mountain. At the end of the third day, some miles up the river, they drew in to the left or western bank and disembarked. They packed and rested with their ponies. They made their first camp on the western side of the great southern spur, which ended in a height called Ravenhill. Bilbo, Balin, Fili and Kili went to explore the area, and they discovered that the dragon Smaug was still alive. Thorin and all the company succeeded in opening a special door, made by dwarves, that took inside the Mountain.

Chapter 12-inside information

For a long time the dwarves stood in the dark before the door. Then Bilbo slipped on his ring and entered with Balin in the Mountain. It was almost dark, but rising from the near side of the rocky floor there was a great glow. The glow of Smaug! There he laid, a fast red-­‐golden dragon, fast asleep on countless piles of precious things, gold, gems, jewels, silver… Behind him there were helms, axes, swords… While Bilbo and the dwarves cowered just inside the passage, Smaug ate all their ponies. Bilbo tried to talk with the dragon, but he didn’t tell his name. Smaug after that, flew away and for some days Mr Baggins and his companions didn’t see him.

Chapter 13-not at home

The dwarves and the hobbit sat in the darkness and utter silence fell about them. Little they ate and little they spoke. They were trapped inside the Mountain, so they went to explore it, and they found the Arkenstone and the Heart of the Mountain. Oin had a small pine-­‐torch alight in his hand, and Gloin with a bundle of others under his arm. They even found the great chamber of Thror (Thorin’s grandfather).

Chapter 14-fire and water

Before long, they could see him as a spark of fire rushing towards them and growing ever huger and brighter. Bard, who was a descendant of the ruler of Dale, saw Smaug and decided to cut all the bridges. Bard used his arrows against the dragon, but in vain. Finally, Bard used his last arrow to fire into the spot under Smaug’s wing, and killed the dragon. The dragon fell on Lake-­‐Town and completed the work of destruction. Only five days after Smaug’s death, the elves came upon the shores and looked on the ruins of the town. Their welcome was good, as may be expected, and the men and their Master were ready to make some bargain for the future in return for the Elvenking’s aid. With the women and the children, the old and the unfit, and the Master began the planning of a new town, larger and fairer even than before.

Chapter 15-the gathering of the clouds

All the people acclaimed Bard. A bird informed Bilbo and the dwarves of Smaug’s death, and they rejoiced; but they also discovered that the elves were marching toward them. So the company retreated to the mountain and fortified it by building a formidable wall at the main gate. Bard informed Thorin and his friends that he killed Smaug and that Lake Town had been destroyed. The raven council’s peace decided to share the gold, but Thorin was adamant that the treasure was of the dwarves. The delegation requested that Thorin had to give one twelfth of Smaug’s treasure to Bard, as he killed the dragon, but Thorin refused and declared the mountain besieged.

Chapter 16-a thief in the night

Thorin was searching for the Arkenstone, that Bilbo had hidden in a bundle. Bilbo wanted to share the treasure and he decided that he had to convince Thorin. With the help of the ring, he went into the camp to visit Bard and the Elvenking. Bilbo showed and gave them the Arkenstone and told Bard and the Elvenking that he wanted use that stone in order to prevent a war and convince Thorin. They asked him to stay in the camp for his safety, but Bilbo decided to return to the mountain. Before this, Mr Baggins met Gandalf who had just arrived from his other affairs and he spoke a bit about their adventure. Then, Bilbo went away toward the mountain and he went to sleep.

Chapter 17-the cloud burst

In the morning, Bard returned with two messengers in order to persuade Thorin to accept a pact. Thorin refused again, so Bard revealed the Arkenstone, Thorin was astonished. Even better when Bilbo said that he was the one who gave Bard that stone. One of the two messengers was Gandalf, who commanded Thorin to let Bilbo speak. Thorin angrily offered to pay a fourteenth part of the treasure to regain the stone. But Thorin hoped that his family, who was marching toward them, could steal the magic stone by force. The night came and another danger was coming: an army of goblins and Wargs who intended to take the treasure for themselves. So the battle of five armies began. In the meanwhile, Bilbo stayed on the mountain watching the battle. Goblins and wolves were winning, when, Bilbo, with the help of his ring saw the great eagles flying toward the mountain. Unfortunately, a stone hit the hobbit’s head and he fainted.

Chapter 18-the return journey

When Bilbo woke up, the battle was finished and the dwarves had won. Bilbo took off the ring and went to the camp, where Gandalf was waiting for him. Unfortunately, Thorin was dying and Bilbo came toward him. Thorin understood his mistakes and asked to Bilbo to forgive all the words that he had said about the hobbit. Mr Baggins also discovered that Fili and Kili were killed trying to defend Thorin; but all the other dwarves were alive. Finally the dwarves were in peace with the elves and the lake men. Gandalf told Bilbo that the eagles helped win the battle, and that goblins were all death…Thorin was buried with the Arkenstone and Dain was elected the new king under the Mountain. Gandalf and Bilbo returned home with part of the treasure. They had some other adventures, and they went to visit the Elven king in Mirkwood and Beorn. They stayed with Beorn fore some months, then, at the outset of spring they left.

Chapter 19-the last stage

After a year, the wizard and the hobbit, reached Rivendell. There, Gandalf and Elrond spoke about many things: The Necromancer, The White Council of Wizards… Bilbo understood the reason why Gandalf left the company near Mirkwood. Gandalf had to participate in the the council of wizards to drive the Necromancer out of the forest… After a week, Mr Baggins and his companion, left Rivendell and finally, they reached Hobbiton and Bilbo’s house. His house was a disaster, and it was also on sale. Bilbo was never respected like before he left Hobbiton. Nobody believed in Bilbo’s stories, and he never spoke about the story of the ring with anybody. Fortunately, Gandalf and Balin often visited the hobbit. Bilbo didn’t care about it because he had his pipe, his house and all the comforts that he had never seen for many and many years to come!

Comment

I like this book. I love the way by which Tolkien tells and describes facts. My favourite character is Bilbo. I really admire his courage and his force although his height. Thanks to his intelligence, astuteness, and his abilities; he solved a lot of dangerous situations in a brilliant way. I like also the sense of union and solidarity between the dwarves, who welcomed Bilbo (more or less) immediately. I have never read the trilogy of The Hobbit, I just only saw the films; which are good, but anyway I prefer this book!

(c) Agnese Lorenzetto

The Hobbit by John R.R. Tolkien – Agnese Lorenzetto

Benjamin Franklin was born in 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts. His father emigrated from England to America in 1682 and he had two wives; from the first wife he had four children and from the second wife other ten. Benjamin was his last son from his second wife. In his childhood Benjamin worked for his bigger brother James in a print shop. On his brother’s newspaper “The New England Concern” B. Franklin published articles in which he talked about his ideas but he never signed the with his true name, but with the name of an elderly widow. He loved to spread his ideas in society. At the age of twenty one he traveled to London where he first heard about the Enlightenment. This was a historical movement in which people asked themselves about the origin if things trough reason. When Benjamin Franklin went back to America he began to spread his ideas and convinced the population of the new ideal. He always had different ideas, which were very well thought, because he was very intelligent man, much more than others, but he became a revolutionary only after he retired from the print shop he had opened in Philadelphia in 1742.

In those years he was already a famous man in America and a great politician. He was sent to England again to solve political problems by the government because everybody believed in his capacities and everybody knew how much Franklin loved America and wanted the best for his homeland. But Franklin was also in very good relationship with England and didn’t want the American population to hate it until 1765 when England asked higher taxes on stamps and tea. The Americans were furious, but Benjamin Franklin was able to calm them down and solve the situation, even if he had to use a dirty trick. But now even Franklin had to deal with the fact that England was using America only to maintain their own State financially, so he went to France in 1776 to ask King Louis XVI for help. France was the first country which recognized America’s autonomy and independence. France helped the Americans for over four years by sending them money and what the needed, because the American State was bankrupt and France hated Great Britain. On July 4th 1776 America proclaimed the Independence. The only one who waited until the last battle was Benjamin Franklin, because until the end nothing was sure. England had a lot of power and could have invaded America again.

Not only the Americans but also the French population honored Franklin as the Founding Father. Everything started from his idea of independence and democracy which he was able to spread and which convinced the Americans. He was born by simple parents, but his intelligence was the key to realize his ideals. Franklin was a religious man who was convinced of God’s existence. For everything he reached and gained in his life he thanked God for having assisted him. He was a very courageous man who had many new ideas, but instead of complaining of America’s situation he started by putting into action a change thus helping not only himself but the whole country. He was a great and selfless man and he was always happy in his life and proud of himself, even if he was often alone in France and England, because his wife didn’t travel with him.

Franklin was not the only one who was able to convince people to change. He has not always been a revolutionary and he had loved England very much. While he was in London he dedicated himself to sciences. He studied the atmosphere especially the lightenings which he connected to electricity. Besides being a scientist and printer he was a writer, publisher and philosopher. His knowledge was enormous, that’s why all American believed in him and followed his ideals.

Franklin never gave up his revolutionary ideas even if his son William was against him. He and his son had a very strong relationship. Franklin helped his son to succeed in political life and William became the governor of New Jersey.

Thanks to Benjamin Franklin America was able to gain the Independence. He was the man whose ideas changed the whole mentality of society. At the beginning of the XVIII th century people were still very primitive and superficial. When Benjamin died, in 1790, America had turned into a completely different country, as if in between there had passed a thousand years. With Benjamin Franklin started the modern era, not only for America, but also for France, whose population took example from Franklin and his idea of democracy. Before America was only an English colony, thanks to Franklin it became not only independent, but even a democracy, from where all other States took example. Until now, modern countries have followed Franklin’s government method.

© Jenny Kostner, 2nd A 2015/2016

 

Benjamin Franklin by Jenny Kostner