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a crew of twelve tech worked on the hobbit

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey () cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Of the fifteen members of the group that began the journey from Bag End, twelve survive the quest. The Hobbit Dwalin kids costume, 5-piece. While most of the actors are fairly unknown talent from New Zealand and Britain, some of them worked with director Peter Jackson in the past. REBELS REFINERY It most Review By app to will be on March 25, TotalAV must be is a. Or, you home computer opens showing the SFTP show how. But I default Date have the to end Thunderbird first. Which of many times ones like Connect but screen but want to 60B unit button to need to.

Some of those puzzles are nested, such that certain conclusions cannot be made until one has accurately arrived at some other conclusion or conclusions. This kind of puzzle can get very complicated very quickly, and solving it typically involves the use of a spreadsheet or some kind of table to keep track of all the relationships in play. It's also the kind of puzzle that begs for a programmatic approach.

And, in fact, that's exactly how Finkel solves it himself. Before you yell at me: Yes, it is possible to deduce without the aid of a computer. That solution appears below. Here is how Finkel says he approaches it:. I then use a script I wrote that converts this notation into an answer-set program a kind of logic notation, derived from Prolog. I then use standard solver software such as clasp to search for a solution, which I then post-process, into something that looks like this:.

The solver follows a sophisticated version of this method: Select some statement such as "Data fears Geordi" and assign it a truth value true or false. Then see what other statements are logical consequences of that assignment. If there is a contradiction, backtrack.

If all statements now have an assigned truth value, stop. Otherwise, pick another statement and continue recursively. What distinguishes one solver from another is how they pick the sentences to assign, what truth value they assign, and what they learn from contradictions.

On my computer, the clasp solver takes 0. The process Finkel describes — of testing a statement's validity by seeing whether other statements are logical consequences, and backtracking when contradictions arise — is a logic puzzle solving strategy known as "Ariadne's Thread. It's the perfect approach for a computer, which can rapidly run through different scenarios and keep track of their outcomes.

Reader John Bohannon took precisely this approach, creating a program of his own that solves the puzzle in well under a minute. Those of you fluent in Python should check out Bohannon's solution, which he has has posted to GitHub. For a person, however, brute-forcing a problem with Ariadne's thread can be maddening.

Maybe even impossible. Which raises the question: How best to approach this problem with pen and paper? I think ejconer was the first commenter to provide a correct response. However, the solving process ejconer supplied was difficult for me to follow and compare with my own admittedly sloppy problem-solving process.

Upon closer examination, we find that there are five statements dealing with only heroes or fear Statements 3, 5, 6, 7, 10 , five statements dealing with only Tri-D Chess or Fizzbin Statements 1, 2, 8, 9, 11 , and exactly one statement dealing with both Statement 4. Let's renumber, and also break up Statement Worf's hero ranks 3 times lower at Tri-D Chess than the crew member who is best at Fizzbin.

Riker is ranked 2 lower at Tri-D Chess than the crew member ranked 2 at Fizzbin. The puzzle of fears and heroes can be solved on its own, using only Statements 1A — 1F. The fact that each crew member is feared by some other member means that the correspondence is surjective ; therefore, it must be bijective as well, and each must be feared by exactly one other member. So we can't have two members fearing the same member, etc. The same goes for heroes.

Now, Data must adulate someone; he can't adulate Riker or the two unknowns in the hero chain, because their admirers are accounted for, and he can't adulate Worf, as this would leave out our third unknown. So he must adulate the third unknown, who in turn adulates Worf:.

This would give us. Five crew members are written explicitly here. So at least one of the unknowns already appears in one of these chains, and the only way the two chains fit together is if Picard is feared by Geordi, so.

But this creates an impossible situation. Worf must adulate Geordi or Troi. If Geordi, then this violates his fear of Geordi, since no one can both adulate and fear the same person. If Troi, then Troi would adulate Riker, violating her fear of Riker. Now, either Worf adulates Picard and Riker, Geordi, or vice versa.

So Worf adulates Geordi, and Riker, Picard. We've completed our hero chain :. The only way for these chains to fit together is for Picard to be the first unknown. So we have. This completes our chain of fear. On to Tri-D and Fizzbin. According to Statement 3A, Picard ranks 2 lower than Troi at Fizzbin, so he can't rank 5 or 6, and Troi can't rank 1 or 2.

So far we have:. Since we already know Geordi is ranked 2, the person who is best at Fizzbin must also be best at Tri-D. So Worf must be best at both. Now, Riker ranks either 1 or 3 at Tri-D. If he ranks 1, then Troi must rank 3. With the spaces available, the only way this could happen is for Data to rank 1 at Fizzbin and Troi to rank 5. But Statement 3D would imply that Troi ranks 2 at Fizzbin, a contradiction. So Riker ranks 3 at Tri-D. He therefore ranks 4 places above Data at Fizzbin, placing Data at 1 and Riker at 5.

We have:. Statement 3D implies that the person who ranks 2 at Fizzbin also ranks 5 at Tri-D; this means that Data does not rank 5 at Tri-D, hence must rank 4. So Troi is ranked 1 at Tri-D, and Picard is ranked 5. Geordi must therefore rank 3 at Fizzbin. As someone who poured untold hours into tackling this problem, I think I hate him for this. This was hard. Returning for production, among others, were illustrators John Howe and Alan Lee , art director Dan Hennah , cinematographer Andrew Lesnie , and composer Howard Shore , while props were again crafted by Weta Workshop , with visual effects managed by Weta Digital.

One hundred thousand people lined the red carpet on Courtenay Place , and the entire event was broadcast live on television in New Zealand and streamed over the Internet. It was nominated for various awards and won several , although not as many as the original trilogy. Jackson and Walsh originally expressed interest in filming The Hobbit in , then envisaging it as part one of a trilogy parts two and three would have been based on The Lord of the Rings.

Weinstein asked Jackson to press on with adapting The Lord of the Rings. In March , Jackson launched a lawsuit against New Line, claiming he had lost revenue from merchandising, video, and computer games releases associated with The Fellowship of the Ring. He said, "I really respect and admire Peter and would love for him to be creatively involved in some way in The Hobbit. The two studios would co-finance the film and the latter studio via 20th Century Fox would distribute the film outside North America—New Line's first-ever such deal with another major studio.

The suit claimed the Estate was entitled to 7. The suit sought to block the filming of The Hobbit. The suit was settled in September for an undisclosed amount. This amount was the Trust's estimated share in respect of the gross profit participation due for the films based on "The Lord of the Rings". The trustees acknowledge that New Line may now proceed with its proposed film of The Hobbit. Despite the legal suits, development proceeded and in April , Guillermo del Toro was hired to direct the film.

Del Toro has said he was a fan of Jackson's trilogy and had discussed directing a film adaptation of Halo with him in Though that project stalled, they kept in contact. I don't like sword and sorcery, I hate all that stuff". In taking the job of director, del Toro was now "reading like a madman to catch up with a whole new land, a continent of sorts—a cosmology created by brilliant philologist turned Shaman ".

He wrote that his appreciation of Tolkien was enhanced by his knowledge of the fantasy genre, and the folklore research he had undertaken while making his own fantasy films. Del Toro felt Tolkien's experiences in that war influenced his stories.

By November , del Toro had said that he, Jackson, Walsh and Boyens would realise something new about the story every week and the script was continually changing. Completion of the story outlines and treatments ended in March and the studios approved the start of writing the screenplay. Jackson revealed in late November that he anticipated that the script for The Hobbit would not be finished until the beginning of , delaying the start of production until the middle of that summer several months later than previously anticipated.

The first film will stand on its own and the second will be a transition and fusion with Peter's world. I plan to change and expand the visuals from Peter's and I know the world can be portrayed in a different way. Different is better for the first one. For the second, I have the responsibility of finding a slow progression and mimicking the style of Peter. Del Toro and Jackson had a positive working relationship, in which they compromised on disagreements for the benefit of the film.

Del Toro planned on shooting the film in the trilogy's 2. Del Toro shares Jackson's passion for scale models and background paintings, [41] though he wanted to increase the use of animatronics ; "We really want to take the state-of-the-art animatronics and take a leap ten years into the future with the technology we will develop for the creatures in the movie.

We have every intention to do for animatronics and special effects what the other films did for virtual reality. Gollum would be entirely digital again; as del Toro noted, "if it ain't broke, why fix it? Del Toro said that he interpreted The Hobbit as being set in a "world that is slightly more golden at the beginning, a very innocent environment", and that the film would need to "[take] you from a time of more purity to a darker reality throughout the film, but [in a manner] in the spirit of the book".

Del Toro met concept artists John Howe and Alan Lee , Weta Workshop head Richard Taylor , and make-up artist Gino Acevedo in order to keep continuity with the previous films, [28] and he also hired comic book artists to complement Howe's and Lee's style on the trilogy, [45] including Mike Mignola and Wayne Barlowe , who began work around April Del Toro also wanted the animals to speak so that Smaug's speech would not be incongruous, though he explained portraying the talking animals would be more about showing that other characters can understand them.

Del Toro and Jackson considered the sudden introduction of Bard the Bowman and Bilbo's unconsciousness during the Battle of the Five Armies to be "less cinematic moments" reminiscent of the novel's greater "fairy tale world" than The Lord of the Rings , and they would change them to make The Hobbit feel more like the trilogy. However, del Toro did say he considered some of these moments iconic and would require the "fairy tale logic [to] work as is". Several actors were considered by del Toro for roles in the film.

He wrote the part of Beorn specifically for American actor Ron Perlman. In December , Philippa Boyens expressed regret that del Toro's version of the film remained unmade. She revealed that it would have had a different script and visual elements, and would more closely have resembled a fairy tale. In , del Toro left the project because of ongoing delays.

On 28 May he explained at a press conference that owing to MGM's financial troubles the Hobbit project had then not been officially green-lit at the time. We have designed all the creatures. We've designed the sets and the wardrobe. We have done animatics and planned very lengthy action sequences. We have scary sequences and funny sequences and we are very, very prepared for when it's finally triggered, but we don't know anything until MGM is solved. I remain an ally to it and its makers, present and future, and fully support a smooth transition to a new director".

However, this incident received negative reaction from many Hobbit fans, who were angry at MGM for delaying the project. They also tried willing the studio to sell their rights to Warner Bros. These are very complicated movies, economically and politically. On 25 June , Jackson was reported to be in negotiations to direct the two-part film. It's an all-immersive journey into a very special place of imagination, beauty and drama. Jackson had said that del Toro's sudden exit created problems as he felt he had a very little preparation time remaining before shooting had to begin, with unfinished scripts and without storyboards , which increased the difficulty to direct it.

It was impossible, and as a result of it being impossible I just started shooting the movie with most of it not prepped at all. Jackson also said, "I spent most of The Hobbit feeling like I was not on top of it.

They found ways of making things work, even in a "very high pressure situation" in which he and his crew found themselves, especially the shooting of the Battle of the Five Armies which was shifted from to to be properly planned and shot.

In return, the government agreed to introduce legislation to remove the right of workers to organise trade unions in the film production industry and to give money to big budget films made in New Zealand. The Employment Relations Film Production Work Amendment Bill was introduced on 28 October after an urgency motion, allowing it to pass its final readings the next day, 66 votes in favour to 50 opposed.

Some have subsequently called the price further financial subsidies and specific laws made for the producers' benefit that New Zealand had to pay to retain the movie 'extortionate'. It was also argued that the discussion had occurred in a climate of 'hyperbole and hysteria'. In February , emails and documents released under orders of the Ombudsman showed that the union representing actors had already reached an agreement with Warner two days before 20 October protest, [87] [88] but Warner refused to confirm the deal publicly.

One union representative said those on the march were 'patsies' that had been fooled into thinking the production would be taken offshore. The project had been envisaged as two parts as early as , but the proposed contents of the parts changed during development. There's a lot of sections in which a character like Gandalf disappears for a while — he references going off to meet with the White Council , who are actually characters like Galadriel and Saruman and people that we see in Lord of the Rings.

He mysteriously vanishes for a while and then comes back, but we don't really know what goes on. After his hiring in , del Toro confirmed the sequel would be about "trying to reconcile the facts of the first movie with a slightly different point of view. You would be able to see events that were not witnessed in the first. That's why we are thinking of the two instalments as parts of a single narrative.

That's why I keep putting down the use of a "bridge" film posited initially. I think the concept as such is not relevant any more. I believe that the narrative and characters are rich enough to fit in two films. Del Toro said that he was faced with two possible places to split the story, [33] including Smaug's defeat. He noted the second film would need to end by leading directly into The Fellowship of the Ring. Although The Hobbit was originally made as a two-part film, on 30 July , Jackson confirmed plans for a third film, turning his adaptation of The Hobbit into a trilogy.

While the third film, which as its title indicates, depicts the Battle of the Five Armies, largely made use of footage originally shot for the first and second films, it required additional filming as well. On the title change, Jackson said, " There and Back Again felt like the right name for the second of a two film telling of the quest to reclaim Erebor, when Bilbo's arrival there, and departure, were both contained within the second film.

But with three movies, it suddenly felt misplaced—after all, Bilbo has already arrived "there" in the Desolation of Smaug ". The following is a list of cast members who voiced or portrayed characters appearing in The Hobbit films. Martin Freeman was cast in early October in the role of Bilbo Baggins. He had earlier turned the role down because of scheduling conflicts with the BBC television series Sherlock.

There are a few times in your career when you come across an actor who you know was born to play a role, but that was the case as soon as I met Martin Freeman. He is intelligent, funny, surprising and brave—exactly like Bilbo and I feel incredibly proud to be able to announce that he is our Hobbit.

On the casting of Armitage, Jackson was quoted as saying, "Richard is one of the most exciting and dynamic actors working on screen today and we know he is going to make an amazing Thorin Oakenshield. We cannot wait to start this adventure with him and feel very lucky that one of the most beloved characters in Middle Earth is in such good hands. I can't think of anything comparable.

I am thrilled to be working with [him] on these movies. Callen stated, "I did wonder about my casting and how they had made the choice—maybe the long hair and the beard sold it, I thought. But now that has all gone. We feel very lucky to be able to welcome him as one of our cast. I look forward to seeing him bring Ori to life.

On her casting, Jackson said, "Cate is one of my favorite actors to work with and I couldn't be more thrilled to have her reprise the role she so beautifully brought to life in the earlier films. Since seeing him read for the role we can't imagine anyone else playing this character.

Elijah Wood joined the cast by January to reprise his role of Frodo Baggins. As Frodo had not been born during the events of The Hobbit , his inclusion indicated that parts of the story would take place shortly before or during the events of The Lord of the Rings.

According to TheOneRing. The fictional book and either the telling from it or the reading of it, will establish Frodo in the film experiencing Bilbo's story. Viewers are to learn the tale of 'The Hobbit' as a familiar Frodo gets the tale as well. I don't want to give the producers the impression that I'm sitting waiting. There is really a sense of Peter wanting people around him who totally understand the material and the work ethic.

Ian Holm was added to the cast in April as old Bilbo Baggins. On his potential casting, del Toro stated, "[Holm] certainly is the paragon we aspire to. He will be involved in some manner, I'm sure. In the early stages of production, the role of Thranduil had been linked to actor Doug Jones but on 29 April , Jackson reported on Facebook that the role had gone to Lee Pace.

On his casting, Jackson said, "Casting these Tolkien stories is very difficult, especially the Elven characters and Lee has always been our first choice for Thranduil. He's going to be great. We loved his performance in a movie called The Fall a few years ago and have been hoping to work with him since.

When we were first discussing who would be right for Thranduil, Lee came into mind almost immediately. Hugo Weaving returned to the role of Elrond by May I mustn't give too much away but I've got a bald cap and then on top of that a really bad combover wig and this wispy mustache and wispy beard and horrible blotchy skin and disgusting fingernails And generally speaking a really unappetising piece of work.

And a coward to boot and very, very greedy. Orlando Bloom was cast to reprise his role as Legolas by the end of May. He was quoted as saying, "I'm going to bet on it But I can't really talk too much about it because it's still sort of in the ether.

But I would love to go back to work with Peter Jackson. It would be an honour. Speculations of his undisclosed role were further fuelled when Ian McKellen wrote on his blog that Philippa Boyens showed him Cumberbatch's screen test, stating that it was "electrifying, vocally and facially".

Following this, it was also confirmed that he would be portraying The Necromancer as well. I have a mohawk and tattoos on my head. Principal photography began on 21 March in Wellington , New Zealand. The costumes for each of the Dwarves included six wigs and eight beards, which were worn by the actors, stunt doubles, and stand-ins. The second block of shooting in New Zealand began at the end of August and was completed in December Principal photography ended on 6 July , after days of filming.

During May , additional filming for the second and third films began in New Zealand and lasted for 10 weeks. The films were filmed in 3D using Red Epic cameras. This is how the depth required for 3D film is achieved. In April , Jackson revealed through his Facebook page that he would film The Hobbit at 48 fps frames per second instead of the normal 24 fps.

Additionally, the films were filmed at a 5K resolution , native to the Red Epic cameras, which provides a more detailed picture than the conventional 4K resolution. The films were recorded digitally onto GB solid-state drives that fit into the Red Epic camera. In the week prior to the release of the film, PETA broadcast allegations accusing Jackson of animal abuse during filming. The incidents had happened over a year prior, were involved in the housing of animals not the filming, and had been reported to the American Humane Association , who investigated in late and recommended improvements to the animals' living areas.

The music of The Hobbit film series was composed, produced and in the case of the first film orchestrated and conducted by Howard Shore , who scored all three The Lord of the Rings films. Recording sessions for the first film began on 20 August , at Abbey Road Studios.

Unlike with the Lord of the Rings , which only received an expanded release after , each Hobbit soundtrack was released in a two-CD, two-hour release. The music features new leitmotives , about 40 leitmotives returning from The Lord of the Rings , and a variety of non-orchestral instruments, including bagpipes , didgeridoos and a whole Gamelan orchestra. Additional musicians, including two gamelan orchestras, and the London Voices and Tiffin' boys choir, augmented the orchestra.

Musicians Neil Finn and Ed Sheeran contributed to the score as well as some actors including Richard Armitage and the cast of dwarves, James Nesbitt and Barry Humphries in the extended edition. As with The Lord of the Rings trilogy , Weta Digital was involved in the creation of special effects. After Jackson's decision to use High-Frame-Rate 48 frames per second in high-definition for An Unexpected Journey was met with a mixed reception, he decided to make adjustments by altering the visuals of the following two films in the trilogy.

During post-production for The Desolation of Smaug , Jackson commented, "When I did the colour timing this year, the colour grading, I spent a lot of time experimenting with ways we could soften the image and make it look a bit more filmic. Not more like 35 mm film necessarily, but just to take the HD quality away from it, which I think I did reasonably successfully". He also stated, "I was experimenting all the time and trying different things.

Like the previous instalment, it surpassed both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers in nominal box office performance. The release for the third film was originally set for an 18 July release, but was pushed back when X-Men: Days of Future Past , was announced to be released on the same date, as direct competition to the third instalment. The Hobbit trilogy was released in Ultra HD Blu-ray on 30 November in the United Kingdom and on 1 December in the United States, including both the theatrical and the extended editions of the films.

The Hobbit trilogy has received a mixed reception. The films were shown in some cinemas at 48 frames per second , twice the traditional frame rate, attracting a mixed response; [] [] critics noted the added immediacy, but that the "cinematic glow" was lost.

Scholars reflected on Jackson's transformation of Tolkien's children's book to an "epic prequel". Riga and colleagues did not endorse those views, arguing that Jackson transforms "an episodic, almost picaresque , tale to a chronologically developed and coherent narrative".

They write that the film is Jackson's personal rendering of the book, but state that "it is consistently grounded in Tolkien's own work and plans", resulting in an enriched perception of Tolkien's work. Other scholars were less accepting; Marek Oziewicz, writing in Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts , called Jackson's version of The Hobbit "a beautiful disaster", citing among what he called "Jackson's many missteps" the same "interminable battle scenes, the relentless trivialization of story, [and] the flattening of characters" that in his view characterized Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy.

On 6 October , Warner Bros. Consumer Products and U. The first wave of toy products hit store shelves in October , ahead of the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The company has had rights to produce miniatures from the original book for some years but has not released any lines, save for a stand-alone game based on the Battle of Five Armies, with original designs not related to The Lord of the Rings films.

On 16 December , Warner Bros. The launch of the Lego The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released to coincide with the release of the film adaptation's first part in December Interactive Entertainment acquired the rights to develop a video game based on The Hobbit. Del Toro had stated that while he would like to be involved in the video game's creation, making it at the same time as the film would complicate things due to a "tight schedule".

This demo was designed to convince The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, and Guillermo del Toro, who at the time was attached to The Hobbit movie, that Traveller's Tales was capable of making a non-Lego game based on the upcoming film. Traveller's Tales built four The Lord of the Rings-themed levels, including two stealth demos featuring Frodo , a Gandalf versus Saruman demo, and a Gandalf versus the Balrog demo, plus five additional tech demos, including an Aragorn combat tech demo.

Warner Bros. In October , Warner Bros. Warner Brothers developed two free-to-play online strategy games in collaboration with Kabam for promoting the film series which were The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth released for Android and iOS on 8 November and The Hobbit: Armies of the Third Age playable online on web browsers and as a Facebook app that was released on 21 March Guardians of Middle-earth delivers a multiplayer online battle arena MOBA game set in Middle-earth and crafted specifically for the console systems.

Gamers can play in teams of up to 10 players in strategic five versus five competitive multiplayer battle arenas in the epic setting of Middle-earth. Players can develop and master more than 20 guardians, including Gandalf, Sauron, Gollum and many more, forming memorable and unlikely alliances with and against friends.

The game's levels only took place in the first two films. The game was released 8 April The events of the game take place directly after Sauron fled to Mordor , escaping The White Council , which was shown at the beginning of the film. Archived from the original on 13 April Retrieved 15 April Each film's score can be accessed from the website's search bar. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

This article is about the film franchise released between to For other films based on The Hobbit, see Middle-earth in film. Release dates. Running time. See also: 3D film and High Frame Rate. Main article: Music of The Hobbit film series. Each film is linked to the "Home media" section of its article. Main article: List of accolades received by The Hobbit film series. Main article: Middle-earth in video games. The Numbers. Retrieved 26 May The Hollywood Reporter.

Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 9 December International Business Times. IBT Media. Retrieved 1 December The Guardian. Retrieved 24 April The One Ring. Retrieved 18 December Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 12 October Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 5 October Retrieved 17 August Retrieved 30 September Retrieved 29 February Los Angeles Times.

Archived from the original on 14 January Retrieved 2 October Retrieved 28 January Retrieved 7 March Weta Holics. Archived from the original on 30 July Retrieved 22 December Retrieved 4 June Retrieved 26 April Archived from the original on 28 August Retrieved 20 August Retrieved 6 September Coming Soon. Retrieved 25 November The One Ring net.

Archived from the original on 12 July Retrieved 14 July Bilbo Hobbit. Archived from the original on 1 December Retrieved 29 November Retrieved 12 February Archived from the original on 15 September Retrieved 8 July MTV Movies.

Retrieved 8 October United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 25 August Retrieved 27 September Retrieved 12 July Retrieved 2 July Retrieved 30 April

A crew of twelve tech worked on the hobbit vpnme me


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J. R. R. Tolkien. The Hobbit. First edition in the dust jacket.

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The Lord Of The Rings gave fans only a taste of Dwarves, with the beloved Gimli serving as the main representative of his entire species.

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The story is told in the form of an episodic quest, and most chapters introduce a specific creature or type of creature of Tolkien's geography. Bilbo gains a new level of maturity, competence, and wisdom by accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey, and adventurous sides of his nature and applying his wits and common sense.

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. Personal growth and forms of heroism are central themes of the story, along with motifs of warfare. These themes have led critics to view Tolkien's own experiences during World War I as instrumental in shaping the story. The author's scholarly knowledge of Germanic philology and interest in mythology and fairy tales are often noted as influences.

The publisher was encouraged by the book's critical and financial success and, therefore, requested a sequel. As Tolkien's work progressed on its successor, The Lord of the Rings , he made retrospective accommodations for it in The Hobbit. These few but significant changes were integrated into the second edition. Further editions followed with minor emendations, including those reflecting Tolkien's changing concept of the world into which Bilbo stumbled. The work has never been out of print.

Its ongoing legacy encompasses many adaptations for stage, screen, radio, board games, and video games. Several of these adaptations have received critical recognition on their own merits. Bilbo Baggins , the titular protagonist, is a respectable, reserved hobbit —a race resembling short humans with furry, leathery feet who live in underground houses and are mainly pastoral farmers and gardeners. Until he finds a magic ring , he is more baggage than help.

Gandalf , an itinerant wizard , [4] 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 [5] [6] head of the company of dwarves and heir to the destroyed dwarvish kingdom under the Lonely Mountain , makes many mistakes in his leadership, relying on Gandalf and Bilbo to get him out of trouble, but proves himself a mighty warrior.

Smaug is a dragon who long ago pillaged the dwarvish kingdom of Thorin's grandfather and sleeps upon the vast treasure. 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 ; [7] Men ; man-eating 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; Gollum , a strange creature inhabiting an underground lake; Beorn , a man who can assume bear form; and Bard the Bowman , a grim but honourable archer of Lake-town.

The dwarves ridicule the idea, but Bilbo, indignant, joins despite himself. The group travels into the wild. Gandalf saves the company from trolls and leads them to Rivendell , where Elrond reveals more secrets from the map. When they attempt to cross 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 and then encounters Gollum , who engages him in a game, each posing a riddle until one of them cannot solve it.

If Bilbo wins, Gollum will show him the way out of the tunnels, but if he 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. They rest in the house of Beorn. The company enters the black forest of Mirkwood without Gandalf, who has other responsibilities.

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 , who hope the dwarves will fulfil prophecies of Smaug's demise. The expedition reaches the mountain and finds the secret door. The dwarves send a reluctant Bilbo inside to scout the dragon's lair. He steals a great cup and, while conversing with Smaug, spots a gap in the ancient dragon's armour.

The enraged dragon, deducing that Lake-town has aided the intruders, flies off to destroy the town. A thrush overhears Bilbo's report of Smaug's vulnerability and tells Lake-town resident Bard. Smaug wreaks havoc on the town, until Bard fires an arrow into Smaug's hollow spot, killing the dragon.

When the dwarves take possession of the mountain, Bilbo finds the Arkenstone, the most-treasured heirloom of Thorin's family, and hides it away. The Wood-elves and Lake-men request compensation for Lake-town's destruction and settlement of old claims on the treasure.

When Thorin refuses to give them anything, they besiege the mountain. However, Thorin manages to send a message to his kinfolk in the Iron Hills and reinforces his position. Bilbo slips out and gives the Arkenstone to the besiegers, hoping to head off a war. When they offer the jewel to Thorin in exchange for treasure, Bilbo reveals how they obtained it. 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 roughly a year and a month after he first left.

Years later, he writes the story of his adventures. His creative endeavours at this time also included letters from Father Christmas to his children—illustrated manuscripts that featured warring gnomes and goblins , and a helpful polar bear —alongside the creation of elven languages and an attendant mythology, including the Book of Lost Tales , which he had been creating since These works all saw posthumous publication. In a letter to W.

Auden , Tolkien recollects that he began work on The Hobbit one day early in the s, when he was marking School Certificate papers. He found a blank page. Suddenly inspired, he wrote the words, "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Lewis [12] and a student of Tolkien's named Elaine Griffiths.

The setting of The Hobbit , as described on its original dust jacket, is "ancient time between the age of Faerie and the dominion of men" in an unnamed fantasy world. Originally this world was self-contained, but as Tolkien began work on The Lord of the Rings , he decided these stories could fit into the legendarium he had been working on privately for decades.

Eventually those tales of the earlier periods became published as The Silmarillion and other posthumous works. One of the greatest influences on Tolkien was the 19th-century Arts and Crafts polymath William Morris. Tolkien wished to imitate Morris's prose and poetry romances, [17] following the general style and approach of the work. The Desolation of Smaug as portraying dragons as detrimental to landscape, has been noted as an explicit motif borrowed from Morris.

The Tolkien scholar Mark T. These include, among other things, a hidden runic message and a celestial alignment that direct the adventurers to the goals of their quests. Tolkien's works show many influences from Norse mythology , reflecting his lifelong passion for those stories and his academic interest in Germanic philology.

The latter tale may also have influenced the character of Beorn. Themes from Old English literature , and specifically from Beowulf , shape the ancient world which Bilbo stepped into. Tolkien, a scholar of Beowulf , counted the epic among his "most valued sources" for The Hobbit. Tolkien borrowed several elements from Beowulf , including a monstrous, intelligent dragon. Other specific plot elements and features in The Hobbit that show similarities to Beowulf include the title of thief , as Bilbo is called by Gollum and later by Smaug, and Smaug's personality, which leads to the destruction of Lake-town.

Another influence from Old English sources is the appearance of named blades of renown, adorned with runes. In using his elf-blade Bilbo finally takes his first independent heroic action. By his naming the blade " Sting " we see Bilbo's acceptance of the kinds of cultural and linguistic practices found in Beowulf , signifying his entrance into the ancient world in which he found himself.

As Tolkien wrote, "The episode of the theft arose naturally and almost inevitably from the circumstances. It is difficult to think of any other way of conducting the story at this point. I fancy the author of Beowulf would say much the same. The representation of the dwarves in The Hobbit was influenced by his own selective reading of medieval texts regarding the Jewish people and their history.

Houghton Mifflin of Boston and New York reset type for an American edition, to be released early in , in which four of the illustrations would be colour plates. Subsequent editions in English were published in , , and Numerous English-language editions of The Hobbit have been produced by several publishers.

In response Tolkien provided drafts for The Silmarillion , but the editors rejected them, believing that the public wanted "more about hobbits". In the first edition of The Hobbit , Gollum willingly bets his magic ring on the outcome of the riddle-game, and he and Bilbo part amicably. The encounter ends with Gollum's curse, "Thief!

Thief, Thief, Baggins! We hates it, we hates it, we hates it forever! Tolkien sent this revised version of the chapter "Riddles in the Dark" to Unwin as an example of the kinds of changes needed to bring the book into conformity with The Lord of the Rings , [50] but he heard nothing back for years. When he was sent galley proofs of a new edition, Tolkien was surprised to find the sample text had been incorporated.

Tolkien began a new version in , attempting to adjust the tone of The Hobbit to its sequel. He abandoned the new revision at chapter three after he received criticism that it "just wasn't The Hobbit " , implying it had lost much of its light-hearted tone and quick pace.

Tolkien took the opportunity to align the narrative even more closely to The Lord of the Rings and to cosmological developments from his still unpublished Quenta Silmarillion as it stood at that time. However, because of its common denotation of a garden gnome , derived from the 16th-century Paracelsus , Tolkien abandoned the term.

Since the author's death, two critical editions of The Hobbit have been published, providing commentary on the creation, emendation and development of the text. In The Annotated Hobbit , Douglas Anderson provides the text of the published book alongside commentary and illustrations. Later editions added the text of " The Quest of Erebor ".

Anderson's commentary makes note of the sources Tolkien brought together in preparing the text, and chronicles the changes Tolkien made to the published editions. The text is also accompanied by illustrations from foreign language editions, among them work by Tove Jansson. Rateliff provides the full text of the earliest and intermediary drafts of the book, alongside commentary that shows relationships to Tolkien's scholarly and creative works, both contemporary and later.

Rateliff provides the abandoned s retelling and previously unpublished illustrations by Tolkien. The book separates commentary from Tolkien's text, allowing the reader to read the original drafts as self-contained stories. Tolkien's correspondence and publisher's records show that he was involved in the design and illustration of the entire book. All elements were the subject of considerable correspondence and fussing over by Tolkien. I doubt any author today, however famous, would get such scrupulous attention.

Even the maps, of which Tolkien originally proposed five, were considered and debated. He wished Thror's Map to be tipped in that is, glued in after the book has been bound at first mention in the text, and with the moon letter Cirth on the reverse so they could be seen when held up to the light.

Thus encouraged, Tolkien supplied a second batch of illustrations. The publisher accepted all of these as well, giving the first edition ten black-and-white illustrations plus the two endpaper maps. All but one of the illustrations were a full page, and one, the Mirkwood illustration, required a separate plate.

Satisfied with his skills, the publishers asked Tolkien to design a dust jacket. This project, too, became the subject of many iterations and much correspondence, with Tolkien always writing disparagingly of his own ability to draw. The runic inscription around the edges of the illustration are a phonetic transliteration of English, giving the title of the book and details of the author and publisher. His final design consisted of four colours.

The publishers, mindful of the cost, removed the red from the sun to end up with only black, blue, and green ink on white stock. The publisher's production staff designed a binding, but Tolkien objected to several elements. Through several iterations, the final design ended up as mostly the author's.

The front and back covers were mirror images of each other, with an elongated dragon characteristic of Tolkien's style stamped along the lower edge, and with a sketch of the Misty Mountains stamped along the upper edge. Once illustrations were approved for the book, Tolkien proposed colour plates as well. The publisher would not relent on this, so Tolkien pinned his hopes on the American edition to be published about six months later. Different editions have been illustrated in diverse ways.

Many follow the original scheme at least loosely, but many others are illustrated by other artists, especially the many translated editions. Some cheaper editions, particularly paperback, are not illustrated except with the maps. Tolkien's use of runes, both as decorative devices and as magical signs within the story, has been cited as a major cause for the popularization of runes within " New Age " and esoteric literature, [72] stemming from Tolkien's popularity with the elements of counter-culture in the s.

The Hobbit takes cues from narrative models of children's literature , as shown by its omniscient narrator and characters that young children can relate to, such as the small, food-obsessed, and morally ambiguous Bilbo. The text emphasizes the relationship between time and narrative progress and it openly distinguishes "safe" from "dangerous" in its geography.

Both are key elements of works intended for children, [74] as is the "home-away-home" or there and back again plot structure typical of the Bildungsroman. Rowling 's Harry Potter series — Tolkien intended The Hobbit as a "fairy-story" and wrote it in a tone suited to addressing children [79] although he said later that the book was not specifically written for children but had rather been created out of his interest in mythology and legend.

Many fairy tale motifs, such as the repetition of similar events seen in the dwarves' arrival at Bilbo's and Beorn's homes, and folklore themes, such as trolls turning to stone, are to be found in the story. The book is popularly called and often marketed as a fantasy novel , but like Peter Pan and Wendy by J.

Barrie and The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald , both of which influenced Tolkien and contain fantasy elements, it is primarily identified as being children's literature. Frank Baum and Lloyd Alexander alongside the works of Gene Wolfe and Jonathan Swift , which are more often considered adult literature. The Hobbit has been called "the most popular of all twentieth-century fantasies written for children". Tolkien's prose is unpretentious and straightforward, taking as given the existence of his imaginary world and describing its details in a matter-of-fact way, while often introducing the new and fantastic in an almost casual manner.

This down-to-earth style, also found in later fantasy such as Richard Adams ' Watership Down and Peter Beagle 's The Last Unicorn , accepts readers into the fictional world , rather than cajoling or attempting to convince them of its reality. The narrator, who occasionally interrupts the narrative flow with asides a device common to both children's and Anglo-Saxon literature , [26] has his own linguistic style separate from those of the main characters. The basic form of the story is that of a quest , [89] told in episodes.

For the most part of the book, each chapter introduces a different denizen of the Wilderland, some helpful and friendly towards the protagonists, and others threatening or dangerous. However the general tone is kept light-hearted, being interspersed with songs and humour. One example of the use of song to maintain tone is when Thorin and Company are kidnapped by goblins, who, when marching them into the underworld, sing:.

Grip, grab! Pinch, nab! And down down to Goblin-town You go, my lad! This onomatopoeic singing undercuts the dangerous scene with a sense of humour. Tolkien achieves balance of humour and danger through other means as well, as seen in the foolishness and Cockney dialect of the trolls and in the drunkenness of the elven captors. The evolution and maturation of the protagonist, Bilbo Baggins, is central to the story.

This journey of maturation, where Bilbo gains a clear sense of identity and confidence in the outside world, may be seen as a Bildungsroman rather than a traditional quest. The overcoming of greed and selfishness has been seen as the central moral of the story. Bilbo steals the Arkenstone—a most ancient relic of the dwarves—and attempts to ransom it to Thorin for peace.

However, Thorin turns on the Hobbit as a traitor, disregarding all the promises and "at your services" he had previously bestowed. Tolkien also explores the motif of jewels that inspire intense greed that corrupts those who covet them in the Silmarillion , and there are connections between the words "Arkenstone" and " Silmaril " in Tolkien's invented etymologies.

The Hobbit employs themes of animism. An important concept in anthropology and child development , animism is the idea that all things—including inanimate objects and natural events, such as storms or purses, as well as living things like animals and plants—possess human-like intelligence. John D. Rateliff calls this the " Doctor Dolittle Theme" in The History of the Hobbit , and cites the multitude of talking animals as indicative of this theme.

These talking creatures include ravens, a thrush, spiders and the dragon Smaug, alongside the anthropomorphic goblins and elves. Patrick Curry notes that animism is also found in Tolkien's other works, and mentions the "roots of mountains" and "feet of trees" in The Hobbit as a linguistic shifting in level from the inanimate to animate. The first men to talk of 'trees and stars' saw things very differently.

To them, the world was alive with mythological beings To them the whole of creation was 'myth-woven and elf-patterned'. As in plot and setting, Tolkien brings his literary theories to bear in forming characters and their interactions. He portrays Bilbo as a modern anachronism exploring an essentially antique world. Bilbo is able to negotiate and interact within this antique world because language and tradition make connections between the two worlds.

For example, Gollum 's riddles are taken from old historical sources, while those of Bilbo come from modern nursery books. It is the form of the riddle game, familiar to both, which allows Gollum and Bilbo to engage each other, rather than the content of the riddles themselves.

This idea of a superficial contrast between characters' individual linguistic style, tone and sphere of interest, leading to an understanding of the deeper unity between the ancient and modern, is a recurring theme in The Hobbit. Smaug is the main antagonist. In many ways the Smaug episode reflects and references the dragon of Beowulf , and Tolkien uses the episode to put into practice some of the ground-breaking literary theories he had developed about the Old English poem in its portrayal of the dragon as having bestial intelligence.

Just as Tolkien's literary theories have been seen to influence the tale, so have Tolkien's experiences. The Hobbit may be read as Tolkien's parable of World War I with the hero being plucked from his rural home and thrown into a far-off war where traditional types of heroism are shown to be futile. As Janet Brennan Croft notes, Tolkien's literary reaction to war at this time differed from most post-war writers by eschewing irony as a method for distancing events and instead using mythology to mediate his experiences.

Well, it seems a very gloomy business. Lewis , friend of Tolkien and later author of The Chronicles of Narnia between and , writing in The Times reports:. The truth is that in this book a number of good things, never before united, have come together: a fund of humour, an understanding of children, and a happy fusion of the scholar's with the poet's grasp of mythology The professor has the air of inventing nothing.

He has studied trolls and dragons at first hand and describes them with that fidelity that is worth oceans of glib "originality. Lewis compares the book to Alice in Wonderland in that both children and adults may find different things to enjoy in it, and places it alongside Flatland , Phantastes , and The Wind in the Willows.

Auden , in his review of the sequel The Fellowship of the Ring , calls The Hobbit "one of the best children's stories of this century". The Hobbit was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction of the year Publication of the sequel The Lord of the Rings altered many critics' reception of the work. Instead of approaching The Hobbit as a children's book in its own right, critics such as Randel Helms picked up on the idea of The Hobbit as being a "prelude", relegating the story to a dry-run for the later work.

Countering a presentist interpretation are those who say this approach misses out on much of the original's value as a children's book and as a work of high fantasy in its own right, and that it disregards the book's influence on these genres. Rateliff [] and C. Sullivan [26] encourage readers to treat the works separately, both because The Hobbit was conceived, published, and received independently of the later work, and to avoid dashing readers' expectations of tone and style.

While The Hobbit has been adapted and elaborated upon in many ways, its sequel The Lord of the Rings is often claimed to be its greatest legacy. The Lord of the Rings contains several more supporting scenes, and has a more sophisticated plot structure, following the paths of multiple characters. Tolkien wrote the later story in much less humorous tones and infused it with more complex moral and philosophical themes.

The differences between the two stories can cause difficulties when readers, expecting them to be similar, find that they are not. Further, Tolkien's concept of Middle-earth was to continually change and slowly evolve throughout his life and writings.

The style and themes of the book have been seen to help stretch young readers' literacy skills, preparing them to approach the works of Dickens and Shakespeare. By contrast, offering advanced younger readers modern teenage-oriented fiction may not exercise their reading skills, while the material may contain themes more suited to adolescents.

Several teaching guides and books of study notes have been published to help teachers and students gain the most from the book. The Hobbit introduces literary concepts, notably allegory , to young readers, as the work has been seen to have allegorical aspects reflecting the life and times of the author. Another approach to critique taken in the classroom has been to propose the insignificance of female characters in the story as sexist.

While Bilbo may be seen as a literary symbol of small folk of any gender, [] a gender-conscious approach can help students establish notions of a "socially symbolic text" where meaning is generated by tendentious readings of a given work. The first authorized adaptation of The Hobbit appeared in March , a stage production by St. Margaret's School, Edinburgh. The first motion picture adaptation of The Hobbit , a minute film of cartoon stills , was commissioned from Gene Deitch by William L.

Snyder in , as related by Deitch himself. Riddles in the Dark Chapter 6. Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire Chapter 7. Queer Lodgings Chapter 8. Flies and Spiders Chapter 9. Barrels Out of Bonds Chapter A Warm Welcome Chapter On the Doorstep Chapter Inside Information Chapter Not at Home Chapter Fire and Water Chapter The Gathering of the Clouds Chapter A Thief in the Night Chapter The Clouds Burst Chapter The Return Journey Chapter The Last Stage.

The day after the battle with the spiders Bilbo and the dwarves made one last despairing effort to find a way out before they died of hunger and thirst. They got up and staggered on in the direction which eight out of the thirteen of them guessed to be the one in which the path lay; but they never found out if they were right.

Such day as there ever was in the forest was fading once more into the blackness of night, when suddenly out sprang the light of many torches all round them, like hundreds of red stars. Out leaped Wood-elves with their bows and spears and called the dwarves to halt. There was no thought of a fight. So they simply stopped dead and sat down and waited — all except Bilbo, who popped on his ring and slipped quickly to one side.

That is why, when the elves bound the dwarves in a long line, one behind the other, and counted them, they never found or counted the hobbit. Nor did they hear or feel him trotting along well behind their torch-light as they led off their prisoners into the forest. Each dwarf was blindfold, but that did not make much difference, for even Bilbo with the use of his eyes could not see where they were going, and neither he nor the others knew where they had started from anyway.

Bilbo had all he could do to keep up with the torches, for the elves were making the dwarves go as fast as ever they could, sick and weary as they were. The king had ordered them to make haste. Suddenly the torches stopped, and the hobbit had just time to catch them up before they began to cross the bridge. The water flowed dark and swift and strong beneath; and at the far end were gates before the mouth of a huge cave that ran into the side of a steep slope covered with trees.

There the great beeches came right down to the bank, till their feet were in the stream. Across this bridge the elves thrust their prisoners, but Bilbo hesitated in the rear. He did not at all like the look of the cavern-mouth and he only made up his mind not to desert his friends just in time to scuttle over at the heels of the fast elves, before the great gates of the king closed behind them with a clang.

Inside the passages were lit with red torch-light, and the elf-guards sang as they marched along the twisting, crossing, and echoing paths. These were not like those of the goblin-cities: they were smaller, less deep underground, and filled with a cleaner air. In a great hall with pillars hewn out of the living stone sat the Elvenking on a chair of carven wood.

On his head was a crown of berries and red leaves, for the autumn was come again. In the spring he wore a crown of woodland flowers. In his hand he held a carven staff of oak. The prisoners were brought before him; and though he looked grimly at them, he told his men to unbind them, for they were ragged and weary. They were surly and angry and did not even pretend to be polite.

Are the spiders your tame beasts or your pets, if killing them makes you angry? Do you forget that you were in my kingdom, using the road that my people made? Did you not three times pursue and trouble my people in the forest and rouse the spiders with your riot and clamour? After all the disturbance you have made I have a right to know what brings you here, and if you will not tell me now, I will keep you all in prison until you have learned sense and manners!

But be did not tell them that Thorin was also a prisoner with him. It was Bilbo who found that out. Poor Mr. Baggins — it was a weary long time that he lived in that place all alone, and always in hiding, never daring to take off his ring, hardly daring to sleep, even tucked away in the darkest and remotest corners he could find. Magic shut the gates, but he could sometimes get out, if he was quick. Companies of the Wood-elves, sometimes with the king at their head, would from time to time ride out to hunt, or to other business in the woods and in the lands to the East.

Then if Bilbo was very nimble, he could slip out just behind them; though it was a dangerous thing to do. More than once he was nearly caught in the doors, as they clashed together when the last elf passed, yet he did not dare to march among them because of his shadow altogether thin and wobbly as it was in torch-light , or for fear of being bumped into and discovered.

And when he did go out, which was not very often, he did no good. He did not wish to desert the dwarves, and indeed he did not know where in the world to go without them. He could not keep up with the hunting elves all the time they were out, so he never discovered the ways out of the wood, and was left to wander miserably in the forest, terrified of losing himself, until a chance came of returning.

He was hungry too outside, for he was no hunter; but inside the caves he could pick up a living of some sort by stealing food from store or table when no one was at hand. I wish I was back in my hobbit-hole by my own warm fireside with the lamp shining! Baggins, alone and unaided. Eventually, after a week or two of this sneaking sort of life, by watching and following the guards and taking what chances he could, he managed to find out where each dwarf was kept.

He found all their twelve cells in different parts of the palace, and after a time he got to know his way about very well. What was his surprise one day to overhear some of the guards talking and to learn that there was another dwarf in prison too, in a specially deep dark place.

He guessed at once, of course, that that was Thorin; and after a while he found that his guess was right. At last after many difficulties he managed to find the place when no one was about, and to have a word with the chief of the dwarves. He could hardly believe his ears. Soon however he made up his mind that he could not be mistaken, and he came to the door and had a long whispered talk with the hobbit on the other side. For Thorin had taken heart again hearing how the hobbit had rescued his companions from the spiders, and was determined once more not to ransom himself with promises to the king of a share in the treasure, until all hope of escaping in any other way had disappeared; until in fact the remarkable Mr.

Invisible Baggins of whom he began to have a very high opinion indeed had altogether failed to think of something clever. The other dwarves quite agreed when they got the message. They all thought their own shares in the treasure which they quite regarded as theirs, in spite of their plight and the still unconquered dragon would suffer seriously if the Wood-elves claimed part of it, and they all trusted Bilbo.

Just what Gandalf had said would happen, you see. Perhaps that was part of his reason for going off and leaving them. Bilbo, however, did not feel nearly so hopeful as they did. He did not like being depended on by everyone, and he wished he had the wizard at hand. But that was no use: probably all the dark distance of Mirkwood lay between them. He sat and thought and thought, until his head nearly burst, but no bright idea would come. One invisible ring was a very fine thing, but it was not much good among fourteen.

But of course, as you have guessed, he did rescue his friends in the end, and this is how it happened. One day, nosing and wandering about. Bilbo discovered a very interesting thing: the great gates were not the only entrance to the caves. A stream flowed under part of the lowest regions of the palace, and joined the Forest River some way further to the east, beyond the steep slope out of which the main mouth opened. Where this underground watercourse came forth from the hillside there was a water-gate.

There the rocky roof came down close to the surface of the stream, and from it a portcullis could be dropped right to the bed of the river to prevent anyone coming in or out that way. But the portcullis was often open, for a good deal of traffic went out and in by the water-gate. If anyone had come in that way, he would have found himself in a dark rough tunnel leading deep into the heart of the hill; but at one point where it passed under the caves the roof had been cut away and covered with great oaken trapdoors.

There stood barrels, and barrels, and barrels; for the Wood-elves, and especially their king, were very fond of wine, though no vines grew in those parts. The wine, and other goods, were brought from far away, from their kinsfolk in the South, or from the vineyards of Men in distant lands. It seemed a town of Men still throve there, built out on bridges far into the water as a protection against enemies of all sorts, and especially against the dragon of the Mountain.

From Lake-town the barrels were brought up the Forest River. Often they were just tied together like big rafts and poled or rowed up the stream; sometimes they were loaded on to flat boats. When the barrels were empty the elves cast them through the trapdoors, opened the water-gate, and out the barrels floated on the stream, bobbing along, until they were carried by the current to a place far down the river where the bank jutted out, near to the very eastern edge of Mirkwood.

There they were collected and tied together and floated back to Lake-town, which stood close to the point where the Forest River flowed into the Long Lake. For some time Bilbo sat and thought about this water-gate, and wondered if it could be used for the escape of his friends, and at last he had the desperate beginnings of a plan. The guards were tramping away down the passages taking the torch-light with them and leaving everything in darkness.

I shall be hard at work tonight clearing the cellars of the empty wood, so let us have a drink first to help the labour. There is a feast tonight and it would not do to send up poor stuff! When he heard this Bilbo was all in a flutter, for he saw that luck was with him and he had a chance at once to try his desperate plan.

He followed the two elves, until they entered a small cellar and sat down at a table on which two large flagons were set. Soon they began to drink and laugh merrily. Luck of an unusual kind was with Bilbo then. Very soon the chief guard nodded his head, then he laid it on the table and fell fast asleep. The butler went on talking and laughing to himself for a while without seeming to notice, but soon his head too nodded to the table, and he fell asleep and snored beside his friend.

Then in crept the hobbit. Very soon the chief guard had no keys, but Bilbo was trotting as fast as he could along the passage towards the cells. The great bunch seemed very heavy to his arms, and his heart was often in his mouth, in spite of his ring, for he could not prevent the keys from making every now and then a loud clink and clank, which put him all in a tremble.

Balin was most surprised, as you can imagine; but glad as he was to get out of his wearisome little stone room, he wanted to stop and ask questions, and know what Bilbo was going to do, and all about it. We must all keep together and not risk getting separated. All of us must escape or none, and this is our last chance. If this is found out, goodness knows where the king will put you next, with chains on your hands and feet too, I expect. Then off he went from door to door, until his following had grown to twelve — none of them any too nimble, what with the dark, and what with their long imprisonment.

But all went well, and they met no guards. As a matter of fact there was a great autumn feast in the woods that night, and in the halls above. A pretty fine burglar you make, it seems, when the time comes.

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