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A Review of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit

Updated on January 11, 2013

A Review of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit

A couple of nights ago, I went to watch the movie called "The Hobbit' and enjoyed it so much. It stayed true to the book although it had an abrupt end which means that a sequel is in the making. I remembered how much I enjoyed reading the book years ago and here is the review of the wonderful story of fantasy characters that come to live in your minds eye. If you don't want to know the end do not read on.

The Hobbit is a classic children’s story about fantasy and adventure. It starts with a simple line, “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” This line was created in the 1930s by John Ronald Revel Tolkien while marking examination papers. This story that Tolkien wrote for his young sons became the precursor of the trilogy The Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit is written in a smooth, narrative style. It captures the imagination with maps, runes, daring fights, strange creatures, clever strategies and setbacks, with the main thread of good overcoming evil.

The Hobbit is a compelling story about Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit (or halfling) that lives in Bag-End Under-Hill.Hobbits are described as half our height, dress in bright colours, have curly hair and hairy feet.They live contently without adventure and generally have round stomachs due to their over-consumption of food.

Bilbo is chosen to be a burglar by the grey wizard Gandalf.He has heard of Gandalf and is secretly enthralled by the many exploits of the magician. Bilbo’s mission is to recover the dwarves’ large amassed fortune of gold and jewels, which has been stolen from them by Smaug the evil, manipulative fire- breathing and foul-smelling dragon, who resides at the aptly named Lonely Mountain.

We are then introduced to thirteen dwarves; the leader of whom is Thorin. The scene is hilarious as the poor unsuspecting Bilbo finds his door-bell busy every few minutes as the dwarves come in a few at a time and feast continuously on his food and all his beer. They capture Bilbo’s attention by singing about the adventure and Gandalf gets him to agree to join them by showing him a map and a key that leads to their stolen treasure, while the dwarves promise him a share of their treasure.

Bilbo and his newly-acquired friends start on their adventure.After a long time jogging and losing their pony and food, they come upon large trolls who are complaining about eating mutton all the time. Imagine their delight to see thirteen dwarves, although they do not seem keen on the skinny little hobbit.Having Gandalf save them in the nick of time subdues them.

After a short rest and very little food, they move into the valley, heading for the mountains.They refresh themselves at the Last Homely House of Elrond, their High Elf of the West friend, who is a good source of information. Moving on, they spend days walking steep and treacherous paths uphill and get in the middle of a thunder-battle.They quickly scout for shelter and find themselves on the front porch of the goblins massive cave.These evil creatures grab the dwarves after a bloody battle whereby Thorin slays the Great Goblin.

Bilbo gets hurt when he wakes up; he goes looking for his friends. In the dark underground passages, he comes to a cold lake in which the strange creature Gollum lives.Gollum finds him and they start a riddle contest, which Bilbo wins by sheer deceit.He has in the meantime found Gollum’s precioussss ring, which enables him to become invisible when he puts it on.Bilbo manages to jump over Gollum and escape out of the caves and into the sunshine.

The adventurers then escape the wild wolves or Wargs.They precariously perch on trees until the goblins find them and set the trees on fire.Their luck gets better when eagles swoop down and take them to safety in their high rocky eyries.

The next day, they are taken to a plateau on a hill of stone. Bilbo and the others find themselves at Beorn’s (a bear-like man) house.There they find food and shelter for a few days.They leave with laden horses on the premise they send them back when they reach the dragon’s mountain.

Once they are over the Edge of the Wild, and after many days of walking in the dark, gloomy forest, they meet large hungry spiders.Bilbo uses the ring to do a disappearing act, which saves the dwarves from death in the huge clingy webs.

The gang then get caught by Wood-elves, who are very distrustful of strangers. Bilbo manages to escape again with the use of the ring and while the dwarves are put into dungeons, takes messages to each of them from the others. He organises a breakout, with the dwarves hidden in the old wooden wine barrels.

They slowly climb up Lonely Mountain, via the long hidden route and use their key in the side-door.They shelter there, while Bilbo volunteers to see Smaug while he is invisible. Smaug manages to smell him and realises there are others around.He breathes fire all around Bilbo, singeing his eyebrows.

After many days of waiting miserably for the dragon to kill them, they decide to sneak into his cave.They take as much riches as they can carry.Smaug does not return.Instead they hear sounds of the armies of elves and men come up the mountain. The Bard, an honest and brave warrior had slain the dragon.

In the meantime, Gandalf returns and there is news that the goblins and wargs are uniting for a battle.The Battle of the Five Armies then ensues. The good guys team up and they fight to the end, defeating the bad guys.

At the end Bilbo is gratefully back in his cottage, and keeps the magical ring for himself.He embarks upon writing his memoirs which he is thinking of calling “There and Back Again, A Hobbit’s Holiday.”


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