Cheryl, Grammy and Sue
knocking on the door...about to enter and
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Bilbo and the Wizard Gandalf
On his 111th birthday, the hobbit Bilbo Baggins
decides to write down the full story of the adventure he took 60 years
prior, for his nephew Frodo. Bilbo writes about how, prior to his own
actual involvement, the Dwarf Thrór becomes King of Erebor and brings an
era of prosperity to his kin until the arrival of Smaug the dragon. Smaug
destroys the nearby town of Dale before driving the Dwarves out of Erebor
and taking their hoard of gold. Thrór's grandson, Thorin, sees King
Thranduil and his Wood-elves on a nearby hillside and is dismayed to find
them leaving rather than aiding his people.
A quiet life in the sleepy gardens of The Shire was
all Bilbo Baggins ever knew that he wanted, but he is tricked by the
wizard, Gandalf the Grey, into hosting a party for a band of rowdy
Dwarves (at right) Balin, Dwalin, Fili, Kili, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur,
Bofur, Bombur, and their leader Thorin. They have a great time eating,
drinking and worse...
The party doubles as they recruit
Bilbo to be the Dwarve's "burglar" to help them steal their treasure
back from Smaug. Not only was his home invaded by thirteen rowdy Dwarves
and the Wizard Gandalf, but the timid Hobbit finds himself enlisted as a
burglar on a perilous quest across Middle-earth’s Wilderland to reclaim
treasure from a dragon. An adventurous spirit is not a quality prized
among Hobbit folk, so the formerly respectable Bilbo Baggins’s sudden
departure comes as much as a surprise to him as it is to his neighbors. He
blames it on the Tookish blood in his veins. That side of the family was
always the most odd and taken to unhobbity impulses of curiosity. Well,
Bilbo was reluctant to sign on as the Dwarve's burglar at first, but after
everyone left he changed his mind and with his contract in hand he raced
off to join them.
And indeed Bilbo Baggins will come to count on every
ounce of Took in him to save himself and his companions once the journey
begins. Middle-earth is a dangerous place and the Company in which he
travels is of a kind that attracts unwanted attention. If Bilbo Baggins
returns from this quest alive, he will not be the same Hobbit who ran from
his front door, having forgotten his pocket handkerchief.
A powerful wizard, Gandalf
generally prefers to keep his powers and motives closely guarded. Bilbo reluctantly joins the company on their journey to the Lonely
Mountain. They travel through the Lone-Lands where Bilbo is told about
Thorin's attempt to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Moria. Traveling onward,
the group gets captured by Trolls, but Bilbo is able to stall the Trolls
from eating them until dawn, when Gandalf saves the company by exposing
the Trolls to sunlight, turning them into stone. They search the Trolls'
cave and find treasure and Elven blades. Thorin and Gandalf each take an
Elf-made blade—Orcrist and Glamdring, respectively—with the latter finding
an Elven shortsword, which he gives to Bilbo.
Radagast and his racing team
of rabbits distract the Orcs.
The group then encounter Radagast the Brown, a wizard
who lives in Greenwood. He tells them of an encounter at Dol Guldur with a
necromancer who has been corrupting the forest with dark magic. The group
is then chased by Orcs on Wargs, with Radagast covering their escape.
Gandalf leads them through a stone passage to Rivendell as the Wargs and
Orcs above are slain by Elven riders led by Lord Elrond. Elrond discloses
the map's indication of a secret door that will be visible only on Durin's
Day. Gandalf talks with the White Council—Elrond, Galadriel and Saruman
the White—about his involvement with the Dwarves, expressing his suspicion
that the necromancer Radagast encountered is none other than the Dark Lord
Sauron. Elrond and Saruman are skeptical, believing Sauron to have been
defeated forever, and that this necromancer is not a true threat.
Bilbo and the Dwarves continue towards the Misty
Mountains. While passing through the mountains, Bilbo, Gandalf and the
Dwarves survive a storm and dueling stone-giants. Whilst taking refuge in
a cave, Bilbo is about to quit and go back home but is convinced otherwise
by Bofur, who believes in him.
Unfortunately, Goblins capture
the Dwarves and take them to their leader, the Great Goblin.
Meanwhile, Bilbo had become
separated from the Dwarves and falls into a cave where he encounters
Gollum, who accidentally drops a mysterious ring while killing a stray
goblin to feed on. The “precious” gold ring is tied to the fate of
Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know. It makes the wearer
invisible. Gollum uses it to sneak around the goblin tunnels and
occasionally catch young goblins to eat. Here, alone with Gollum, on the
shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins
discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him.
Picking up the ring and placing it in his pocket,
Bilbo finds himself confronted by Gollum. They play a riddle game,
wagering that Bilbo will be shown the way out if he wins, or eaten by
Gollum if he loses.
After Bilbo wins by asking Gollum what he has in his
pocket, Gollum realizes Bilbo has stolen the ring and attacks him. That's
when Bilbo discovers that the ring grants him invisibility allowing him to
follow the furious Gollum to an exit. Bilbo considers killing
Gollum, but ultimately spares him out of pity and escapes. Meanwhile, the Great Goblin reveals to the Dwarves
that Azog, an Orc war-chief who beheaded Thrór and lost his forearm to
Thorin in battle outside the ancestral Dwarven homeland of Moria, has
placed a bounty on Thorin's head. By this time, Gandalf arrives and saves
the Dwarves from the Goblins, killing the Great Goblin during their
escape. Bilbo finds the exit and rejoins the group, keeping the ring he
The group is then ambushed by Azog and his hunting
party, and take refuge in trees. Thorin charges Azog, but is defeated and
knocked to the ground. Bilbo saves Thorin from being decapitated by the
Orcs before the group is saved by Eagles, who fly them to safety to the
Carrock. Gandalf heals the unconscious Thorin, who then acknowledges, and
thanks Bilbo for
his bravery. The party see their destination, the Lonely Mountain, in the
distance, where Smaug awakens. The last thing we see is the dragon Smaug's
eye opening where it's covered in the pile of gold.
The adventure was a moral
experience. Thorin the leader of the Dwarves was brave, stubborn, proud,
and greedy for gold. Though his birthright and noble bearing initially
make him seem like a fairly heroic figure, his status quickly declines as
Bilbo’s rises. Bilbo begins a process of gradual transformation from a
cautious homebody to a brave hero whose reserve of inner cunning and
strength slowly became the dominant force holding the group of hapless
Dwarves together. He saves them from the goblins by shouting for Gandalf,
rescues them from spiders and wood elves in Mirkwood, finds the way into
the mountain, leads them to the treasure, discovers Smaug’s weak spot,
attempts to thwart Thorin’s greed and bring peace to the feuding
dwarves, elves, and humans.
Bilbo’s heroic deeds are all
the more remarkable because they didn't change him. He discovers
capabilities that had been unknown to him, but he doesn't become arrogant
or relinquish his values. In his final conversation with Bilbo, Thorin
finally acknowledges the value of the simple lives of hobbits, even in a
world marked by grim heroism and danger. Though Bilbo learns to thrive in
this outer world, he draws strength from the simple source that guided his
heroic quest...helping others for goodness sake.
And so ends our adventure this
evening. 'Twas positively entertaining. What could be more fun than
visiting Middle Earth on a Saturday night.