lunes, 9 de diciembre de 2013

THE HOBBIT (J. R. R. TOLKIEN)


In january of 2013 I read The Hobbit and I saw the first movie of the trilogy too. At the end of 2103 has been released the second film of the trilogy. So I would like to show you who are the main characters in this story, its plot and my personal opinion.

Introduction


The Hobbit is a fantasy novel written by English author J. R. R. Tolkien which follows the quest of home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. Bilbo's journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings into more sinister territory. By accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey and adventurous side of his nature and applying his wits and common sense, Bilbo gains a new level of maturity, competence and wisdom. The story reaches its climax in the Battle of Five Armies, where many of the characters and creatures from earlier chapters re-emerge to engage in conflict.


The Hobbit written by J.R.R. Tolkien
Cover of the book The Hobbit I have read, written by J.R.R. Tolkien



Characters


Bilbo Baggins, the titular protagonist, is a respectable, conservative hobbit. During his adventure, Bilbo often refers to the contents of his larder at home and wishes he had more food. Until he finds a magic ring, he is more baggage than help. 

Gandalf, an itinerant wizard introduces Bilbo to a company of thirteen dwarves. During the journey the wizard disappears on side errands dimly hinted at, only to appear again at key moments in the story.

Thorin Oakenshield, the proud, pompous head of the company of dwarves and heir to the destroyed dwarven kingdom under the Lonely Mountain, makes many mistakes in his leadership, relying on Gandalf and Bilbo to get him out of trouble, but he proves himself a mighty warrior.

Smaug is a dragon who long ago pillaged the dwarven kingdom of Thorin's grandfather and sleeps upon the vast treasure.

Gollum, a strange creature inhabiting an underground lake

The plot involves a host of other characters of varying importance, such as:

  • the twelve other dwarves of the company
  • two types of elves: both puckish and more serious warrior types
  • Men
  • Trolls
  • boulder-throwing giants
  • evil cave-dwelling goblins
  • forest-dwelling giant spiders who can speak
  • immense and heroic eagles who also speak
  • evil wolves, or wargs, who are allied with the goblins
  • Elrond the sage
  • Beorn, a man who can assume bear form
  • Bard the Bowman, a honourable archer of Lake-town

Plot


Gandalf tricks Bilbo into hosting a party for Thorin and his band of dwarves, who sing of reclaiming the Kindom of Erebor in the Lonely Mountain and its vast treasure from the dragon Smaug. When the music ends, Gandalf unveils a map showing a secret door into the Mountain and proposes that the dumbfounded Bilbo serve as the expedition's "burglar". The dwarves ridicule the idea, but Bilbo, indignant, joins despite himself.


Thor Map in The Hobbit
Thor's Map. A map showing a secret door into the Lonely Mountain in The Hobbit


So, the mission is to reach Erebor lands, where once reigned the Dwarves, defeating the dragon that took away their kingdom and recover their treasures.

The group travel into the wild, where Gandalf saves the company from trolls and leads them to Rivendell, where Elrond reveals more secrets from the map. Passing over the Misty Mountains, they are caught by goblins and driven deep underground. Although Gandalf rescues them, Bilbo gets separated from the others as they flee the goblins. Lost in the goblin tunnels, he stumbles across a mysterious ring, the same as Frodo has to carry in The Lord of the Rings, and then encounters Gollum, who engages him in a game of riddles. As a reward for solving all riddles Gollum will show him the path out of the tunnels, but if Bilbo fails, his life will be forfeit. With the help of the ring, which confers invisibility, Bilbo escapes and rejoins the dwarves, improving his reputation with them. The goblins and Wargs give chase but the company are saved by eagles before resting in the house of Beorn.

The company enters the black forest of Mirkwood without Gandalf. In Mirkwood, 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, also called Esgaroth, who hope the dwarves will fulfil prophecies of Smaug's demise. The expedition travels to the Lonely 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 has aided the intruder, sets out to destroy the town. A noble thrush called Roäc had overheard Bilbo's report of Smaug's vulnerability and reports it to the Lake-town defender, Bard, who slays the dragon.

When the dwarves take possession of the mountain, Bilbo finds the Arkenstone, an heirloom of Thorin's dynasty, and hides it away. 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 mountains of 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.


A map of Bilbo journey in The Hobbit
A map of Bilbo's journey in The Hobbit


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 do they win the climactic Battle of Five Armies. Thorin is fatally wounded and reconciles with Bilbo before he dies. Bilbo accepts only a small portion of his share of the treasure, having no want or need for more, but still returns home a very wealthy hobbit.

Personal Opinion


Not as epic, emotional or exciting as The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is a funny and really enjoyable adventure I have enjoyed with many pleasant reading hours.

The character of Bilbo Baggins shows a caring, sensible, clever, bold and courageous Hobbit, which overcome his fears and free his spirit of adventure. A person who, after his adventure, confirms his initial idea that happiness is more on friendship, loyalty and the little things in life that in possession of all the gold in the world. Examples of these little things are delicious food, the joy of songs, good conversation and smoking his pipe beside the fireplace.




Finally, next you have links of other interesting book I have read:




2 comentarios:

Winnie dijo...

Hi Frank,
This is Winnie from Taiwan. I'm currently working for a English learning magazine here in Taiwan. It is called "English 4U" and every month we will introduce different excellent literature works for students. This month, we adopted The Hobbit and I happened to visit your blog, which helped a lot when I tried to summarize it under 600 words. To help students to have a better idea about Bilbo's journey, we would like to attach the map of his adventure. Would you mind sharing the picture on a published work? As always, we attribute it to the original sources and make sure it is well-noted on the magazine as well. Please kindly let me know. And thanks again for the great work of the blog!

Best,
Winnie

Frank dijo...

Hi Winnie,

First of all thank you for your comment. I really appreciate it.

You can use the image of the map of Bilbo's journey, especially if this picture is useful for helping students.

Best regards,

Frank