Hobbit Read Along – Chapters 2 & 3

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Hobbit Read Along Chapters 2 and 3Recap:

Chapter 2

Bilbo wakes the next morning hoping the previous evening had been a dream, but the abundance of dirty dishes tells him otherwise.  He washes up and sits down to a second breakfast when Gandalf runs in, directs him to a note from the dwarves, and shoos him out the door.  Bilbo has just a few minutes to 11 and the dwarves expect him at a tavern across the Shire.  He doesn’t have time to grab anything, so when he meets up with the dwarves he borrows a cap and cloak off of Dwalin, and Bilbo feels comical in the large clothes.  Gandalf arrives and brings Bilbo’s pipe and tobacco, so the dwarves, hobbit, and wizard set off merrily in the spring sunshine.

The party travels for about a month with no incident, passing through lands with evil looking castles built into hills.  They run into rainy weather, and the singing and story telling ceases.  They lose a pony in a swollen river, along with many of their supplies.  Miserable and noticing Gandalf is missing, the dwarves spot firelight ahead in the forest and send Bilbo on to investigate as their burglar.  Hobbits are very quiet in the woods, so Bilbo doesn’t mind wandering ahead until he gets near the fire and spots three trolls.  Bilbo being a silly burglar, decides to try thieving from the trolls to prove his worth, but is caught and hurt after an interrogation.  The dwarves wander up to find him, and one by one each are caught.  Thorin puts up a fight with a burning branch, but is caught in the end.  The trolls try to decide how to eat the dwarves, with one option being smashing them into jelly.  Gandalf returns, pretending to be each troll in turn and keeps them arguing until the sun comes up when they all turn into stone.  Gandalf knows trolls and sends the dwarves and Bilbo looking for their cave.  They find it, and after Bilbo admits to having the key, the party load up on edible supplies while Gandalf, Thorin, and Bilbo each grab a sword (though Bilbo’s is more of a dagger for a man).  Gandalf tells the dwarves that he went ahead to check their road and met a couple of elves from Rivendell who warned him of the trolls.

Chapter 3

As the party travels on, the mountains loom ahead, and Bilbo asks if a particularly big one is the mountain.  The dwarves laugh and tell him there are many mountains and what Bilbo sees is just the start of the Misty Mountains, which they must somehow cross.  Gandalf plans on taking the party to Rivendell to rest and refill their stores, though he warns the road is not easy.  They tackle the steep slope up the mountain, and Bilbo is amazed at the steep, dangerous drops on each sides.  Bilbo misses the regular meals he is used to and he is so exhausted as they come into Rivendell that he nearly falls asleep on his pony.

Elves start to sing, mocking Bilbo and Thorin specifically.  Though Thorin dislikes the elves, Bilbo is fascinated by them.  They decline an invitation for supper with the elves and keep riding until they reach the house of Elrond.  They rest there for two weeks, and Bilbo would like to stay forever.  As only good happens in Rivendell, there is not much to tell of their journey there:  “Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.”

Though Elrond is important in many stories, he is only a small portion of Bilbo’s.  He does decipher the runes on the swords Gandalf and Thorin recovered from the trolls, telling them they are both elvish blades.  Thorin’s blade is Orcrist or Goblin Cleaver.  Gandalf’s is Glamdring or Foe Hammer.  Elrond mentions the swords may have been among the treasure in Moria.  Elrond looks at Thorin’s father’s map of the Lonely Mountain, finding moon runes that are only visible during the summer solstice.  The runes tell them to stand by the door on Durin’s Day, the dwarf new year.  The next day the adventure continues as the group leave Rivendell and heads towards the mountains.

Discussion Thoughts/Questions:

  1. Anyone else surprised it took a month before they ran into any issues on the road?
  2. Friends with more Tolkien knowledge – do those evil castles near the Shire belong to the fallen kings/ringwraiths?
  3. The sword/dagger Bilbo takes is Sting, right?
  4. Does Gandalf still carry Glamdring in LOTR?
  5. Anyone else think the description of Rivendell was less grand than the description in Fellowship of the Ring, or did the movie skew my memory?
  6. Think Balin was paying attention when Elrond was talking about the lost treasure in Moria?

< Chapter 1                                                                                                             Chapters 4 & 5 >

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