Literapedia Book Notes for

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien


  • Bilbo Baggins (ch 1)— A hobbit, and the book's protagonist.
  • Gandalf (ch 1)— A great and wise wizard.
  • Thorin Oakenshield (ch 1)— The leader of the dwarfs, descendant of Thror.
  • Dwalin(ch 1)— A dwarf on the journey. Balin's brother.
  • Balin (ch 1)— A dwarf on the journey. Dwalin's brother.
  • Kili (ch 1)— A dwarf on the journey.
  • Fili (ch 1)— A dwarf on the journey.
  • Dori (ch 1)— A dwarf on the journey.
  • Nori (ch 1)— A dwarf on the journey.
  • Ori (ch 1)— A dwarf on the journey.
  • Oin (ch 1)— A dwarf on the journey.
  • Gloin (ch 1)— A dwarf on the journey.
  • Bifur (ch 1)— A dwarf on the journey.
  • Bofur (ch 1)— A dwarf on the journey.
  • Bombur (ch 1)— A dwarf on the journey.
  • Elrond (ch 3)— The Chief Elf in Rivendell who allows the group to rest for the night
  • Gollum (ch 5)— A scrawny, dirty, strange creature that lives in the caves of Moria and is obsessed with a mysterious ring.
  • Lord of the Eagles (ch 6)— The leader of the Eagles who provides the group food and lodgings.
  • Beorn (ch 7)— A skin-changer (man that can change his physical appearance) who provides food and lodging for the group.
  • Elvenking (ch 9)— King of the wood elves.
  • Smaug (ch )— A dragon that destroyed the town of Thorin's grandfather and lives in the Lonely Mountain.
  • Bard (ch 14)— A human archer living in Lake Town that kills Smaug.
  • Dain (ch 17)— A dwarf friend and ally of Thorin who later becomes King under the Mountain.
  • Bert (ch 2)— Troll.
  • Tom (ch 2)— Troll.
  • William (ch 2)— Troll.
  • Thror (mentioned ch 1)— Thorin's grandfather, whose treasure was stolen by Smaug.
  • The Necromancer (mentioned ch 1)— A powerful evil sorcerer.

Chapter Summaries

  1. An Unexpected Party - The character of Bilbo is introduced. Gandalf and a group of thirteen dwarfs led by Thorin enlist Bilbo to join them on a journey to the Lonely Mountain. Thorin explains that he is taking revenge on the dragon Smaug for destroying his grandfather's kingdom and stealing his treasure.
  2. Roast Mutton - Bilbo meets with the group of dwarfs at the Green Dragon Inn and they begin the journey. Three Trolls capture the thirteen dwarfs and are about to eat them, when Gandalf tricks them into arguing until dawn, when they turn to stone. The dwarves decide to take the Troll's weapons and sleep in their cave.
  3. A Short Rest - The group travels to Rivendell, where they meet Elrond, the Chief Elf, and spend the night. Elrond translates runes found on the stolen weapons, and identifies them as famous goblin-killers. He translates a map of the Lonely Mountain that Gandalf has, provides information on a secret entrance to Smaug's cave, and gives advice on finding safe passage. The group leaves in the morning.
  4. Over Hill and Under Hill - On the trek through a mountain passage, a storm forces the group to stop and seek refuge in the caves of Moria. A group of goblins attack and capture all the dwarfs and Bilbo (Gandalf escapes just in time). They are sentenced to torture and death by the Great Goblin, but Gandalf comes to the rescue. While being chased, Bilbo hits his head and is knocked out.
  5. Riddles in the Dark - Bilbo awakes in a pitch black cave and finds a mysterious ring. He meets a creature named Gollum, who proposes a riddle contest: if Bilbo wins, Gollum will lead him to the cave's exit, and if Gollum wins, he will eat Bilbo. Bilbo wins with some luck, angering Gollum, who runs over to his hoard to retrieve his "precious" (the ring Bilbo found). Enraged that his "precious" is lost, Gollum tries to attack Bilbo, who puts on the ring just in time, rendering himself invisible. Now undetectable, Bilbo follows Gollum to the exit.
  6. Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire - Bilbo meets back up with the group, and they leave the mountain range. In the forest, the group is ambushed by a pack of wolf-like creatures called Wargs and forced to climb up a tree. Soon the goblins catch up and light a fire at the base of the tree trunk, but a group of eagles rescues the group just in time. The Eagles give the travelers food and lodging, and then they set out the next morning.
  7. Queer Lodgings - Gandalf leaves the group with a skin-changer named Beorn. After meeting Beorn and telling their story so far, the group rests for the night. The next morning, Beorn informs them that he has spotted a group of goblins looking for the group and advises them to travel to Mirkwood to throw the goblins of their trail, but he warns them not to veer off from the path. The group rides ponies to the start of the path, parts ways with Gandalf, and ventures into the forest.
  8. Flies and Spiders - While traveling through the forest, the party notices lights deep in the forest and foolishly veers from the path. They become separated, and Bilbo falls asleep. When he wakes up, he is trapped in a giant spider web about to be eaten by a huge spider. He uses his sword to free himself and kill the spider. He puts the ring on and rescues the dwarfs, also caught in a spiderweb. They quickly run away from the spiders, coming across the path again, and realize that Thorin is missing and has been taken by wood elves.
  9. Barrels Out of Bond - The other dwarfs surrounded and captured by wood elves, while Bilbo, still wearing his ring, is undetected. The dwarfs refuse to tell the wood elves their intentions, for fear of the elves wanting a share of the treasure, and are imprisoned. While searching the place, Bilbo finds a river that the wood elves use to transfer goods to and from an area called Lake Town. He steals the key from a sleeping guard, rescues the dwarfs and gets them to squeeze into empty barrels headed for Lake Town. After securing their escape, he jumps into the water himself.
  10. A Warm Welcome - From the river, Bilbo notices the Lonely Mountain. After exiting the barrels, the group enters Lake Town, a human city. Thorin makes an announcement that he is the descendant of Thror and that has come to rid his kingdom of Smaug. The people rejoice and treat the group to food and lodging until they are ready to embark on the final stretch to the Lonely Mountain and Smaug's cave.
  11. On the Doorstep - The group begins the trek up the mountain while searching for a secret side entrance on the western side. The search takes days, and finally one night, Bilbo notices a thrust pecking at a snail. Suddenly, he remembers the translation Elrond provided. The group waits until dusk for the last ray of light to shine on the location of the keyhole to the secret door. They find the hole, insert the key that came with Gandalf's map, and open the door into the cave.
  12. Inside Information - Bilbo enters the cave alone, finds the dragon sleeping, steals a golden cup, and returns to the group. The dragon awakes to find that he has been robbed and flies out the main entrance in a fit of rage. After the dragon reenters the cave and falls back asleep, Bilbo enters and discovers that the Dragon was faking. As he and the Dragon begin to talk, Bilbo notices a spot above the dragon's left breast which is not protected by the dragon's armor. Soon the dragon is angered, and Bilbo barely escapes his immense flames. Frightened, the dwarfs close the entrance door, and an avalanche traps them in the cave.
  13. Not at Home - Thinking that the group is from Lake Town, the dragon leaves his cave to create chaos there. With the dragon away, the dwarfs enter the treasure room of the cave and begin to take things. Bilbo finds the Arkenstone, a gem that Thorin was specifically looking for, but decides to keep it for himself. They exit the main entrance of the cave and travel to a different cave used by Thorin's descendants to figure out what to do about the Dragon.
  14. Fire and Water - The Dragon reaches Lake Town and starts attacking. The only man fighting back is Bard, a master archer. A thrush that overheard Bilbo explain the dragon's weakness informs Bard where he should aim his arrow. Bard fires at the dragon's left breast, and the dragon is pierced in the heart. It falls to the ground and crushes the town. The men decide to travel to the mountain cave to take the treasure for themselves. After hearing of the dragon's death, the wood elves join forces with the humans.
  15. The Gathering of the Clouds - The thrush returns to the dwarfs and gets a raven to explain that the dragon has been killed and the humans and wood elves are coming for the treasure. They decide to build a wall to fortify the cave entrance and protect their treasure. The men and wood elves try and talk with Thorin, but Thorin refuses to give them any part of the treasure.
  16. A Thief in the Night - Bilbo decides to put his ring on and sneak away from the group while they sleep. Trying to stop a war at any cost, he travels to the camp site of Bard and the Elvenking and gives them the Arkenstone to use as a bargaining chip against Thorin. As he leaves, he is commended for his bravery by Bard, the Elvenking and later a hooded old man who reveals himself to be Gandalf.
  17. The Clouds Burst - Bard returns to Thorin and reveals the Arkenstone, angering him. When Bilbo tells him that he gave it to Bard, Thorin grabs Bilbo and is about to throw him off a cliff when Gandalf reveals himself. Bilbo explains his reasoning and Thorin understands. The dwarf army, and the three armies are about to battle when goblins and wargs shows up to take the treasure for themselves. As the Battle of Five Armies ensues, a rock lands on Bilbo's head, knocking him out once again.
  18. The Return Journey - Bilbo awakens with a headache and is brought to Gandalf who informs Bilbo that Kili and Fili have died and that Thorin has been fatally wounded. Bilbo speaks with Thorin as a friend before he dies. Gandalf tells Bilbo that both the arrival of the eagle and Beorn as a bear helped them win the battle.
  19. The Last Stage - Dain, a comrade of Thorin, is made King under the Mountain, and Bard is made the leader of Lake Town. Bilbo and Gandalf depart from the dwarfs and spend the winter with Beorn. Gandalf reveals that when he was away, he defeated the Necromancer. Once back in Hobbiton, Bilbo's items are almost auctioned off, and after words, Bilbo is never fully accepted back into the society. However, Bilbo doesn't mind, and he believes the adventure was worth it.

Book Note Creator:

Thomas Fulks