41 votes

Does Gandalf ever say this in the book "The Hobbit", or is it made up for the movie?

No, this passage is not in the book; quite the opposite, it says that while Bilbo might have got "something a bit queer in his make-up from the Took side" of his family, that something never ...
Showsni's user avatar
  • 1,166
36 votes

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

I first read The Hobbit as an adult. My interpretation was that there were three different views: The dwarves trust the competence of a professional burglar selected by Gandalf. The burglar will need ...
Patricia Shanahan's user avatar
36 votes
Accepted

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

Partly: it's explored in the first chapter then hand-waved away. This "plot hole" is in fact the driver of the entire plot of The Hobbit: the reason why a hobbit is involved at all. "...
Matt Thrower's user avatar
  • 22k
25 votes

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

I've always interpreted that as 'being stealthy', not as 'being good at stealing'. Hobbits are nimble creatures (they're even described as being able to seemingly disappear without a trace), ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 1,145
24 votes

Does Gandalf ever say this in the book "The Hobbit", or is it made up for the movie?

In the book Bilbo is also torn between comfort and adventure, but the struggle is internal: As [the dwarves] sang the hobbit felt the love of beautiful things made by hands and by cunning and by ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
  • 55.1k
19 votes
Accepted

What are the Riddle Rules?

We don't really know, as they're not mentioned. We don't know all of the rules, because they're never really mentioned - this is the only time AFAIK, and they don't really say much: "Both wrong," ...
Mithical's user avatar
  • 23.8k
18 votes

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

The Lord of the Rings contains several appendices at the end of The Return of the King, and Appendix B, called The Tale of Years (Chronology of the Westlands), contains a timeline of events. The ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 1,145
16 votes

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

Good Master Thorin, I fear you have been misinformed by the wizard Gandalf. The wizard has prepared a plan for recapturing the dragon's horde without a hero, or even a great warrior (heroes are not ...
James K's user avatar
  • 279
15 votes

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

All timeline information can be found in The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B: "The Tale of Years (Chronology of the Westlands)". Selecting the relevant pieces of information for your answer: ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.3k
14 votes

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

How dare you suggest Gandalf chose the wrong man or the wrong house. That's right. Let us have no more argument. Gandalf has chosen Mr. Baggins and that ought to be enough for you. If Gandalf says he ...
Theraot's user avatar
  • 249
10 votes
Accepted

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

In the original version of The Hobbit, no. In any version of the Hobbit, the Ring is not shown to have much effect on Bilbo. He uses it as a useful tool, a way of turning invisible which gets him out ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.3k
9 votes

What are the Riddle Rules?

In addition to Mithrandir's answer, I think that the more significant rule Bilbo broke was that his "riddle" was more of a question whose answer could not be deduced. In essence, the rule is that the ...
fi12's user avatar
  • 4,407
9 votes

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

From Robert Foster's A Guide to Middle Earth which is generally very definitive: STONE-GIANTS Creatures of great size and strength living in the high passes of the northern Misty Mountains. The stone-...
auden's user avatar
  • 4,742
8 votes

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

This isn’t the modern world. Most people in Middle-Earth don’t just randomly go off traveling great distances without telling anyone. This is even more true of Hobbits, who almost never leave the ...
suchiuomizu's user avatar
6 votes

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

You definitely missed something. The narrator, Bilbo, other hobbits, Gandalf and the dwarfs all have different opinions of Bilbo's propensity to burglary. The Hobbit starts out as a children's tale ...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
6 votes

Tolkien character names inspired by Early Modern English

Bilbo: The Hobbits spoke Westron, the common tongue, but retained what little was left of their own language for things like personal names and days of the week: And in those days* also they forgot ...
auden's user avatar
  • 4,742
6 votes

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

Once Tolkien revised it, it was (slightly) foreshadowed by the way Bilbo lied about the ring. In the first edition, once Gollum lost the contest, he tried to give Bilbo the ring and was ashamed that ...
Mary's user avatar
  • 6,035
5 votes

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

They know there is no hope. Approaching a dragon is a suicide mission! But their world is one of myth and feats and, especially, fortune. Fortune will either smile on them, or it will not. But they ...
Artelius's user avatar
  • 151
3 votes

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

TL;DR: the only major changes between editions were in the characterisation of Gollum. You can read a summary of revisions to The Hobbit at Wikipedia or Tolkien Collector. There were many small ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 72.3k
2 votes

Tolkien character names inspired by Early Modern English

Guy Davenport claimed that Tolkien was curious about Kentucky surnames and may have used them for Hobbit surnames. In his 1979 New York Times article Hobbits in Kentucky, Davenport recalls Tolkien as ...
Kiteration's user avatar
2 votes

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

Faith was a powerful force in Tolkien's world. As he had faith in his own abilities and decisions, I believe he projected that faith into his characters. Gandalf had faith in his Hobbit friend and ...
D. R. McClellan's user avatar
2 votes

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

This is essentially the same question as this very popular one on our sister site Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange: Why didn't Gandalf or Frodo Fly to Mount Doom? Several in-universe and ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 1,145
2 votes

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

As I was reading the book to my kids they said that Bilbo is like a kid but then grows up. From a D&D perspective, you can think of Bilbo as being a level 1 rogue/thief. He starts off with little ...
Nahshon paz's user avatar
2 votes

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

First of all, the wine from Dorwinion is not regular wine: It must be potent wine to make a wood-elf drowsy; but this wine, it would seem, was the heady vintage of the great gardens of Dorwinion, not ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 1,145
1 vote

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

One very practical answer is that Volcanos often plug themselves up with solidified magma and ash. So possibly the conspicuous giant eagles might have to wait for around for days or weeks waiting for ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
1 vote

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

That’s what you get with the Hobbit, don’t expect to find any sort of additional detail. The Hobbit was in Tolkien’s mind intended for children so things aren’t always explained to the degree they ...
suchiuomizu's user avatar
1 vote

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

I think the implication was that the dwarves' original plan called for Gandalf to be at the Lonely Mountain to help defeat Smaug. Gandalf himself doesn't promise this, and once he leaves to deal with ...
Gaurav's user avatar
  • 1,700
1 vote

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

It isn't spelled out exactly, but it seems like Gandalf's plan was to recruit Beorn to come along in the role of dragon slayer. He and the dwarves executed the same kind of routine they used to bring ...
Nathan Hughes's user avatar
1 vote

Why didn't Bilbo put the ring on immediately?

I think this is a good question, since we see from the rest of the story (in the Lord of the Rings) that the Ring meant to come to Bilbo. We read for instance in The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf ...
anonymous2's user avatar

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