Bilbo has nothing, but he is on the other side of the mountains. He walks for awhile and thinks of heading back into the caves to rescue his friends with the use of his new magic ring, but then he hears voices. He finds the dwarves arguing with Gandalf over whether they should return for Bilbo; Gandalf wants to find him and the dwarves are reluctant to risk their necks for his. Bilbo, still wearing the ring, decides to give them a surprise and slips the ring off, appearing to have slipped past their watch. Bilbo tells them what became of him in the mountains, but leaves out the ring. He thinks Gandalf guesses at it, but he’s not comfortable sharing just yet. Gandalf in turn shares how he followed the captured dwarves and hobbit down initially and also tells Bilbo what happened to the party when they separated. He also warns the group that they must move before nightfall when the goblins will swarm the hills looking for their escaped prisoners. Bilbo complains about the lack of supper, but they move on. A rock slide nearly knocks them down, but the catch their footing amongst trees.
In a clearing they hear oncoming wargs and take to trees. Dori must climb down and help Bilbo up into the tree and is almost caught in the process. More and more wargs gather, as they are waiting for a meeting with the goblins to plan an attack on nearby villagers. The goblins are late, but the wargs wait and set a guard at each tree with a dwarf, wizard, or hobbit. Gandalf sets their coats alight with magic flames, and soon many of them are engulfed. Eagles nearby hear the commotion and fly towards it. The goblins arrive and put out the fire on the wargs but direct it towards the trees with captives in them.
An eagle grabs Gandalf just as he is about to leap on the goblins. The dwarves and Bilbo climb to the tops of their trees and are all rescued by more eagles, who fly them back to their eyries. With some negotiation from Gandalf, the eagles agree to fly the party on down the road and far enough from the mountains. The eagles also bring them firewood and game to eat and Bilbo rests comfortably for the first time in days.
- Even Gandalf gets scared and has limitations. I know this is before he becomes Gandalf the White, but it is nice to see he has weaknesses.
- Do you feel bad for Dori always being responsible for Bilbo?