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.
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!
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