Questions tagged [the-hobbit]

For questions about The Hobbit, the book by J.R.R. Tolkien. Use in conjunction with [j-r-r-tolkien].

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3
votes
1answer
112 views

How did people assume that Bilbo's house was abandoned after only a year, and how did they get in?

Bilbo may not have told anyone about going away, but Gandalf did lock the door after him. (At least that's heavily implied.) About one year is not a very long time. What kind of society is Hobbiton ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

What are the Riddle Rules?

In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, while Bilbo is in the cave and has the ring, he and Gollum end up asking each other riddles. After the exchange, Gollum or Bilbo mentions some riddle rules. These ...
19
votes
5answers
9k views

What's the deal with Bilbo being some kind of "burglar"?

I may only be 37 pages into The Hobbit, re-reading it after 20+ years, but several things already confuse me. First of all, and this is what I'm mainly asking about, Bilbo is casually mentioned as ...
5
votes
1answer
411 views

Tolkien character names inspired by Early Modern English

I have been browsing through A Glossary of Tudor and Stuart Words, Especially from the Dramatists by Walter W. Skeat (completed by A. L. Mayhew and published in 1914). It contains several entries that ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Did the original "The Hobbit" really feature that five-army battle in the end?

I first read The Hobbit over 20 years ago, when I was still a child. I remember it as an extremely cozy and "non-epic" story about a bunch of dwarves, a wizard and of course Bilbo. In ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

How did the elves not check the barrels which they noted were "probably not empty"?

So I realize that they were eager to go back to the party, and the person responsible for the barrel management said they were empty, but surely they must have felt that they were obviously not empty ...
16
votes
6answers
5k views

How could Thorin and co. journey all the way to Erebor without discussing how to deal with Smaug?

Thorin and co. with the hobbit take such an immense journey to Erebor as known to everyone who has read the book. But isn't it absurd that 14 men do undertake such a perilous journey without ever ...
1
vote
1answer
161 views

Why did Gandalf not have the Eagles simply transport Frodo almost straight to Mount Doom and drop the ring in there?

While thinking about "holes" in the wonderful, epic The Lord of the Rings story, I had a thought: Why did they go through all this trouble of very slowly sneaking around with a whole ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

What's with the beyond-casual introduction of "stone-giants" in The Hobbit?

In Chapter 4, "Over Hill and Under Hill", I suddenly read this: When he peeped out in the lightning-flashes, he saw that across the valley the stone-giants were out and were hurling rocks ...
7
votes
2answers
279 views

Was the One Ring's malevolent nature foreshadowed in the Hobbit? If so, how?

Tolkien's legendary series The Lord of the Rings is centered around a magical artifact known as the "One Ring", and part of this story recounts the tale of a Hobbit traveling to destroy this ...
2
votes
0answers
61 views

Is a fish "Alive with breath" or "Alive without breath"?

J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit contains many lovely riddles, posed in-universe by Gollum and Bilbo to each other. Most of them are original compositions by Tolkien himself, as he explained in one of ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

What were the ages of Bilbo and Frodo for these six major plot points?

I recently begun re-reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I'm over halfway through The Fellowship of the Ring now. In spite of having the story in "fresh memory", I still can't remember the ...
-2
votes
2answers
187 views

Why didn't Bilbo put the ring on immediately?

When Bilbo falls into Gollum's cave in The Hobbit and he finds the ring on the ground, why doesn't he immediately put it on? Is there any textual evidence suggesting he was scared or nervous of ...