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wmmzpv - Comics/Fantasy/Anime

The Hobbit

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again --------------------------------------------- Characters in The Hobbit * Bilbo Baggins, the titular protagonist, a respectable, comfort-loving, middle-aged hobbit.
* Gandalf, an itinerant wizard who introduces Bilbo to a company of thirteen dwarves and then disappears and reappears at key points in the story.
* Thorin Oakenshield, bombastic head of the company and heir to a dwarven kingdom under the Lonely Mountain.
* Smaug, a dragon who long ago pillaged the dwarven kingdom of Thorin's grandfather.

The plot involves a host of other characters of varying importance, such as the twelve other dwarves of the company; elves; men (humans); trolls; goblins; giant spiders; eagles; Wargs (evil wolves); Elrond the sage; Gollum, a mysterious creature inhabiting an underground lake; Beorn, a man who can assume bear-form; and Bard the Bowman, a heroic archer of Lake-town . Synopsis Gandalf tricks Bilbo into hosting a planning party for Thorin's band of dwarves, whose ambition is to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and its vast treasure from the Dragon Smaug. During the council Gandalf unveils a map showing a secret door into the Mountain and proposes that the dumbfounded Bilbo be the expedition's "burglar". The dwarves ridicule the idea, but Bilbo, indignant, joins despite himself.

The group travels into the wild, where Gandalf saves the company from trolls. Their path takes them into the Misty Mountains. There they are captured by goblins and driven deep underground. Though Gandalf frees them, Bilbo gets separated from the others as they flee the goblin tunnels. Groping along lost, he finds a ring and encounters Gollum, who engages him in a game of riddles. With the help of the ring (which confers invisibility) Bilbo escapes and rejoins the Dwarves, raising his reputation. They enter the black forest of Mirkwood without Gandalf. There Bilbo first saves the dwarves from giant spiders and then from the dungeons of the Wood-elves.

Nearing the Lonely Mountain, the travellers are welcomed by the human inhabitants of Lake-town, who hope the dwarves will fulfil prophecies of Smaug's demise. The expedition travels to the Mountain and finds the secret door; Bilbo scouts the dragon's lair, stealing a great cup and learning of a weakness in Smaug's armour. The enraged dragon, deducing that Lake-town aided the intruder, sets out to destroy the town. A noble thrush who overheard Bilbo's report of Smaug's vulnerability reports it to Bard the Bowman, who slays the Dragon.

When the dwarves take possession of the mountain, Bilbo finds the prized Arkenstone gem and hides it. The Wood-elves and Lake-men besiege the Mountain and request compensation for their aid, reparations for Lake-town's destruction, and settlement of old claims on the treasure. Thorin refuses and, having summoned his kin from the north, reinforces his position. Bilbo tries to ransom the Arkenstone to head off a war, but Thorin is intransigent. He banishes Bilbo, and battle seems inevitable.

Gandalf reappears to warn all of an approaching army of goblins and Wargs. The dwarves, men, and elves band together, but only with the timely arrival of the eagles and Beorn is the Battle of Five Armies won. Thorin, mortally-wounded, lives long enough to part from Bilbo as friends. The treasure is divided fairly, but, having no need or desire for it, Bilbo refuses most of his contracted share. Nevertheless, he returns home with enough to make himself a very wealthy hobbit.

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