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    The Hobbit: Overview ; Review Essay

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    The Hobbit:Overview & ReviewCHARACTER INTRODUCTIONBILBO BAGGINS: The Hobbit who led the Dwarvesto the Lonely Mountain to reclaim their treasure from the dragon Smaug. He found the One Ring in Gollum’s caveGANDALF: The Wizard that accompanies Bilboand the dwarves on their quest.

    He is well versed in magic spells and oftencalls upon them to save his comrades. THORIN OAKENSHIELD: Son of the King ofDwarves who were driven from the Lonel y Mountain by Smaug. With the aidof Gandalf and Bilbo he seeks regain his trea sure and the throne. WhenSmaug died he truly became King under the Mountain, t hough he was killedin combat in the battle of five Armies.

    SMAUG: The dragon of the Lonely Mountainwho hordes the treasure he stole from the dwarves of Dale. GOLLUM: He is perfect example of the evilpowers of the One Ring. He was born a Hobbit but had the ring too long. It made him into a slimey little creature who only lives to possess thering.

    BARD: The archer who killed Smaug. He shotthe dragon in the one spot it had no protection. The towns people laterconsidered him a hero. What the people didn’t know it was Bilbo who discoveredthe weak spot in the dragon’s iron scales.

    BEORN: An enemy of orcs, he becomes friendswith Bilbo and Gandalf. He has th e ability to change forms from humanto bear. It is he who determines the outco me of the battle of five Armies. STORY SUMMARYThe book begins with Bilbo Baggins enjoyinga pipe after breakfast. Th is is one of his favorite pleasures and he feelsquite content in doing so. He is middle-aged, and resides in a clean warmburrow in the ground.

    One morning Gandalf, a wizard stops byto chat with Bilbo. He informs Bilbo that he is looking for someone togo on an adventure with him. Although Bilbo is tempted he declines, butnot before inviting Gandalf for tea the next morning. The next day Bilbo hears his doorbell andhe recalls inviting Gandalf for tea, but instead of the wizard at the door,there is a group of dwarves.

    . . thirteen in all. Thorin son of the dwarf king starts tooutline a plan on how to regain the tr easure stolen by the dragon Smaug. Bilbo is shocked to realize these plans involve him! He then realizes thatGandalf has tricked him by inscribing on his doo r that he was a burglarseeking a job with lots of excitement.

    With all this talk of quests andglory Bilbo decides to join the party after all. Gandalf reveals a key and a map of theirjourney which ends at the Lon ely Mountain. It is there that the treasureof Thorin’s ancestors are kept-guar ded by Smaug. The quest begins and the party meets atthe Green Dragon Inn. From there they venture into the Lone-lands. As heavyrains begin to fall, Bilbo notice s that Gandalf is missing.

    When it startsto pour they stop to investigate a light. There Bilbo finds three trollsgrumbling about food. Bilbo decides to live up to title of burglarand attempts to pick one of the trolls pocket. However they quickly capturehim.

    The dwarfs see what’s going on and try to save poor Bilbo. . . yet allof them except Thorin is caught. Thorin formulates a plan of freeing thembut fails. Gandalf returns and occupies the trollstill dawn, then the turn into stone.

    They group take the two swords anda knife the trolls were carrying. The travelers come across the Secret Valley. There they stop at Elrond ‘s Last Homely House. Elrond tells them the onlyway to use the key that Thorin possesses is to wait where the thrush knocksand the setting sun will shine up on the keyhole. The next morning the group heads towardthe Misty Mountains.

    A storm has caused them to seek shelter in a cave. The cave however turns out to be an entrance to the goblin kingdom. Onceagain the group is captured. Only Gandalf is free, and he slays the GoblinKing, and once again free the party from impend ing doom.

    During the escape Bilbo is knocked unconsciousand is left behind. He awakes to find himself power which makes it’s wearerinvisible – the ring which Bilbo found. Bilbo slips the ring upon his finger anddisappears. He follows Gollum stealthily toward the entrance to the outsideworld. He then bounds over Gollu m’s head to freedom. Outside he is reunitedwith his dwarf friends.

    Later they encounter Wargs (large savage wolves). The Wargs chase the party into the trees. High in the branches Gandalf uses a spell to turn the pine cones a fire,in order to drive the wolves away. However the plan backfires and the verytrees they took refuge in are now ablaze!Luckily for them the king of the eaglesspotted them. He and his eagles swooped out of the sky and whisked ouradventures to safety.

    The eagles dropped them off near Mirkwood Forest. This is where they come across Beorn, a bear like man who can indeed changeinto a bear. He puts them up for the night and outfits them with suppliesfor th eir trip into Mirkwood. He also warns them not to stray from thepath in the fo rest.

    When they are ready to enter the forest,Gandalf announces he will not be accompanying them in this part of thejourney. The group feels lost without him but yet they press on. They come across a black river. It is herethat Bombur, one of the Dwarves falls in and is thrust into a sleep fromwhich he cannot awake. Food is scarce now and the hungry travelers arelured off the path by visions of elves feasting in the forest. To theirsurprize every time they announce their presence to the elves.

    . . they elvesvanish!Once again Bilbo finds himself seperatedfrom the group. He stops for a short nap and awakes to find himself tieddown by a giant spider. He uses his sword to cut himself free. He thenattacks the spider and kills it.

    Feeling proud of his deed, he decidesto name his sword “Sting”. Bilbo finds his friends deep within theforest. They too were captured by spiders, but did not have the good fortuneof escaping. Bilbo puts on his m agic ring and implements a plan to rescuehis companions.

    It is a success and t he party (once again) gets out ofan awful predicament. The celebration of escaping the spidersis short lived since the dwarf s are yet again captured. . .

    this time bythe Wood Elves. Bilbo however dons his ring and escapes capture. He followedthe elves to there home in the forest. There he formulated a plan to free hisfriends. He opens their cells and seal them in barrels.

    He then floatedthe barrel up the river to Lake-town and free dom. In Lake-town they get more supplies andventure to the Lonely Mountain. On the mountain they heard a thrush dropa snail to the rocks. Recalling what Beorn told them about the thrush andsunlight, they quickly found the hidden b ack entrance to Smaug’s lair. Bilbo puts on his ring and goes to confrontthe dragon.

    It is there he notices that in Smaug’s underbelly there isa place that is not covered by his iron like scales. After conversing withthe dragon Bilbo returns to the party. Smaug however is thoroughly angryabout his little invisible visitor and heads to destroy Lake-town. When the dragon attacks, a thrush toldBard (the captain of the archers) that Smaug has a weak spot in his breast. Bard used his black arrow to slay the beast.

    Then the towns people madehim king of Lake-town. With smaug dead the men and elves go to claim hishorded treasure. Dwarf troops under Thorin’s kinsman Dain also appear. There bickering was soon changed to alliance when the Wargs and Goblinsapproached.

    . . and so began The Battle of the Five Armies. During the battleThorin is hurt and Bilbo gets knocked unconscious by falling rocks.

    Theeagles as well as Beorn, in bear form join the fray. The Wargs and goblinswere vanquished. Bilbo later returned to his burrow under the hill witha chest of trea sure, a ring of power, and heart full of adventure. BOOK REVIEWI liked this book alot.

    The author usescharacters that appear only in fairy tales, yet gives them a personalitythat shows maturity. I especialy liked the way Bilbo changed from a teadrinking home maker to a swash buckling adventurer. I would highly recommend this book forchildren of all ages as well as adults. It has a certain appeal that makesthe reader want to continue reading the book all day. I am certainly going to read the otherbooks about the Hobbits by J.

    R. R. Tolkien.

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