Part 1- Book Summary As the first chapter begins, the main character Bilbo Baggins is introduced. He seems to be a rather normal hobbit, your average Joe, as humans would refer.
One morning, Bilbo becomes acquainted with the wizard, Gandalf. He offers Bilbo a chance on an adventure, but somehow Bilbo finds himself inviting Gandalf for tea the next day.
Next morning, Bilbo is surprised to find a dwarf at his door. Thirteen dwarves in all arrive. Thorin, the dwarves' leader, explains to Bilbo the story of their quest, as explained in a fragment of their song.
"Far over the misty mountains grim To dungeons deep and caverns dim We must away, ere break of day, To win our harps and gold from him"ÃÂ(p.28)! Long ago, Thorin's grandfather reigned over the Lonely Mountain, and became known as the King Under the Mountain. The dwarves became rich, and the nearby town of Dale was also known to be wealthy.
One day, it was all taken from the dwarves by the evil dragon Smaug. Smaug came to take into his possession the wealth of the dwarves and also destroyed the town of Dale.
Bilbo, after their conversation, though quite frightened, decided to join the adventure, being considered the lucky number, fourteen.
The journey begins. Shortly after their adventure begins, the dwarves spot trolls up ahead. Bilbo, known as the burglar, feels as if it is his job to steal goods to fulfill the needs of the dwarves. Bilbo was caught by the trolls, which lead to the capture of the remaining company. Before the trolls have a chance to make the dwarves their supper, Gandalf, for the first of many times, came to their rescue. Using a voice much like one of the trolls, called aloud, "Dawn take you all, and be stone to you"ÃÂ(p.51)! At that moment, light began to rise from beneath the hill, and the trolls turned to stone.
Gandalf then lead the dwarves to the Valley of Rivendell, the home of the elves. The group is lead to the house of Elrond, the elf king. Elrond asks to see Thorin's map of the lonely mountain, for the company did not fully understand it. Thorin had received the map from Gandalf, who had received it from Thorin's grandfather, the former King Under the Mountain.
As Elrond looked at the map, he realized that the reason the company could not understand the map was because the map consisted of moon letters; letters that are written with a silver pen, and may only be seen by the light of the moon. The hidden moon letters described the location of the secret entrance to the lonely mountain. Elrond read aloud, "stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks, and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's Day will shine upon the keyhole"ÃÂ(p.62).
The next morning, with the new knowledge of their adventure, "ÃÂthey rode away amid songs of farewell and good speed, with their hearts ready for more adventure'(p.63).
After their stay in Rivendell, the group began their long climb into the Misty Mountains. No trouble had yet come their way, until one day, when a great thunderstorm roamed above the Misty Mountains. Fili and Kili, as a result of the weather, were sent to look for shelter. After finding a roomy and dry cave, the dwarves proceeded to move in.
Everyone, including Bilbo, after a tough time, had fallen asleep. Bilbo did not sleep all that well though, dreaming of a mysterious crack in the wall that had seemed to get larger and larger. When Bilbo awoke, he found part of his dream was true, as he had awoken just in time to see the last pony disappear through the wall. Bilbo gave "a very loud yell, as loud a yell as a hobbit can give, which is surprising for their size"ÃÂ(p.68). Out of the crack jumped goblins, many goblins. The goblins took the dwarves captive and carried them through the crack.
Bilbo and the dwarves were taken a long way at a fast pace. Finally, they arrived at a large cavern, where the Great Goblin questioned them. After noticing Thorin's sword, which they had found in the troll's possession, the Great Goblin was outraged. "ÃÂThe Great Goblin gave a truly awful howl of rage when he looked at it, and all his soldiers gnashed their teeth, clashed their shields, and stamped. They knew the sword at once'(p.72).
Once again, Gandalf came to their rescue, killing the Great Goblin and cutting through the goblin chains with the use of his sword, in which the dwarves and Bilbo escaped. The Goblins caught up, and Bilbo, who had been riding on Dori's back, fell off and lost consciousness as Dori was grabbed from behind.
When Bilbo awoke, he found himself in total darkness, but discovered a tiny ring on the ground and pocketed it. Bilbo finally ended up at a large cave at the side of a lake. Gollum, a creature who survives by eating anyone foolish enough to wander by, lived in the center of the lake on an island. After striking up a conversation, Bilbo found himself involved in a riddle contest, in which a victory would help him to the exit. Bilbo then realized that the ring he had found was Gollum's most treasured possession, and held secret powers. He found when he placed the ring on his finger, he became invisible. So to find his way out, Bilbo slipped on the ring and followed Gollum to the exit.
After Bilbo escaped, he found that he has crossed the Misty Mountains through the Goblin's underground caves. He ran into his friends, and once again they continued on their journey.
One evening, the group encountered the Wargs--evil wolves. Just as things seemed to look disastrous, the group was taken from atop the trees, where they had taken shelter from the evil Wargs, by a group of eagles. The eagles took them far enough so that they did not run into the Goblins, nor the Wargs again.
Nearby, lived a man named Beorn, who had the capability of turning into a bear. Beorn helped Thorin and Company, with their journey through Mirkwood Forest, by providing them with ponies, food, and a horse for Gandalf. He also advised them to not stray from the path of the forest under any circumstances.
The party sets off once again, this time without Gandalf, who had left to attend a council of wizards, which is told toward the end of the story. During their journey, the group grew increasingly hungry, and strayed off the path. They found themselves admiring a group of wood-elves enjoying a feast, but as they approached, the bright fires went out and the wood-elves along with their food disappeared. As Bilbo sat thinking of food and home, he found himself tied up by a gigantic spider. He set himself free by killing the spider with his sword, but found that his friends had been taken captive by the spiders.
Using the powers of his ring, he used his invisibility to rescue his friends. Thorin disappeared after they were rescued, so Bilbo and the remaining dwarves continued on to find Thorin. Suddenly, the dwarves were taken captive by the elves, but Bilbo slipped away with the use of his ring.
Bilbo followed the elves to find where his friends had been taken. He found his friends, along with Thorin, imprisoned by the wood-elves, for reasons mostly due to the curiosity of the wood-elves, to find what the dwarves had been doing in the forests of Mirkwood. It took a few days, but Bilbo established a rescue plan. He found a stream that flowed to Lake-town, where the elves received much of their wine and food supplies. His plan was to smuggle the dwarves into the barrels, and have them sent back on their way to Lake-town. His plan was a complete success, and the dwarves escaped from the cavern of the wood-elves.
"Well! Here we are!"ÃÂ said Thorin(p.187). They had arrived in Lake-town. After a few nights rest in Lake-town, the group was about to set off for their final destination, the Lonely Mountain, where the evil dragon Smaug ruled. The master of Lake-town"ÃÂ¦ "had never thought that the dwarves would actually dare to approach Smaug."ÃÂ(p.193) But as the book quotes, "ÃÂthere is no knowing what a dwarf will not dare and do for revenge or the recovery of his own'(p.193).
After the dwarves and Bilbo arrived at the Lonely Mountain, for many days they searched for the secret entrance. The group became more miserable not being able to find the secret door, but suddenly Bilbo remembered what the moon letters had said. As sunlight passed through the mountain,"ÃÂ¦ "a flake of rock split from the wall and fell. A hole appeared suddenly about three feet from the ground"ÃÂ¦ "ÃÂThe key! The key!' cried Bilbo"ÃÂ(p.201).
Bilbo with the use of his ring, proceeded down through the tunnel. He took a two-handled cup to give to the dwarves as proof. When Smaug awoke, he was furious, but could not find the thief, so he returned to his treasures for a rest. Bilbo went back down into the mountain to discover if Smaug had any weak spots. The dragon, however was awake and struck up a conversation with Bilbo. "Well, thief! I smell you and I feel your air. I hear your breath. Come along! Help yourself again, there is plenty and to spare!,"ÃÂ exclaimed Smaug(p.212). Bilbo, with the use of riddles, got Smaug to roll over, and at that moment noticed a bare spot on his chest.
After a few days of taking shelter from Smaug, the entire group proceeded to the dragon's treasures. Bilbo found that Smaug was not there and asked for a light. The dwarves began exploring the cave, and were very happy indeed. Wary of Smaug's return, the group proceeded back up the mountain. Just then, they noticed a large number of birds gathering to the south.
Meanwhile, the dragon had destroyed Lake-town, but when the old thrush flew to a brave man by the name of Bard, and told him of the bare spot on the dragon's chest, Bard proceeded to kill the dragon. Bard luckily understood the language of the thrush, for he was of the Dale race. Hearing of Smaug's death, the Elvenking proceeded to Lake-town, joining Bard and a few men.
The dwarves and Bilbo learned of Smaug's death and the destruction of Lake-town. Later the two companies approached the Lonely Mountain, hoping to seek treasure, but under no circumstance would Thorin give up any of his treasures.
Bard, after being told of Thorin's wishes, stated, "I declare the mountain besieged"ÃÂ(p.252). Bilbo became very frightened, and attempted to formulate a plan to make peace. Bilbo, who had pocketed the Arkenstone, Thorin's most prized possession, planned to use it as a bargaining tool.
After everyone was asleep, Bilbo made his way to Bard's camp. He offered Bard and the Elvenking the Arkenstone, which they could use as a bargaining tool with Thorin. The Elvenking, gracious of Bilbo's cleverness, exclaimed, "you are more worthy to wear the armor of elf-princes than many that have looked more comely in it"ÃÂ(p.258).
The next morning, Bilbo's offering of the Arkenstone to Bard and the Elvenking outraged Thorin. Dain and his forces had arrived, and joined forces with Thorin. Before the battle could begin, Gandalf arrived. He yelled out, "Dread has come upon you all!"ÃÂ¦ The Goblins are upon you!"ÃÂ(p.265) The forces all joined together to defeat the Goblins, thus beginning the Battle of Five Armies.
As the battle began, chances did not look promising for the armies of good. Suddenly, the eagles approached! As Bilbo noticed the eagles arriving, he was knocked unconscious by a falling rock. When Bilbo awoke, he found that Thorin was close to death. Thorin repented his actions toward Bilbo, and became friends once again.
Bilbo learned that the eagles helped the elves and men, but even then, they were outnumbered. Only when Beorn arrived did the battle swing in favor of the forces of good. Of the thirteen dwarves, only ten remained, after the death of Thorin, along with Fili and Kili.
Throughout the story, the character of Bilbo Baggins changed a great deal. One who began as a follower, became a great leader. The story ended with a line from Gandalf, which summarized the entire story in one line. "You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!"ÃÂ