The Hobbit, Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club discussion of The Hobbit.

Before we start talking about the book, take a moment to read this article about how Tolkien came up with the idea for The Hobbit. It's always so interesting to me what sources fuel a person's creativity. 

Did you enjoy the beginning of the book? I was intimidated once I saw all of the names of the dwarves that would be accompanying Bilbo on his journey, but I didn't end up feeling like I should remember each name. Did you try to keep track of the dwarves, or did you just kind of treat them like one big character in your head? 

At the beginning of the book, Gandalf says to Bilbo that he will send him on an adventure. Bilbo is not excited to go on the adventure, even though Gandalf claims that Bilbo asked to be sent on an adventure. Bilbo declines, but the next morning, the dwarves and Gandalf show up at Bilbo's door, and everyone seems to be under the impression that Bilbo is a master thief and is ready to go on a journey. Did you wonder why Gandalf would choose Bilbo for this task? I don't know why Gandalf advertised Bilbo as a great burglar, and I'm really not sure how Bilbo will end up handling all of the danger and problems on the journey. 

The crew is going to head to the mountains to take back a stolen treasure from a horrible dragon named Smaug. It sounds simple enough, but I can't imagine that the journey will be easy. I think just getting to where Smaug lives will be incredibly hard. In this first section alone, the crew has to face trolls and goblins and wolves. What else do you think they will encounter on their journey? 

One big part of this section was Bilbo's encounter with Gollum and his discovery of the ring. At one point, Bilbo is separated from the others as they are escaping from goblins, and he ends up in a tunnel, lost and afraid. He finds the ring almost immediately, and then, as he is trying to find a way to escape the tunnels, he runs into a lake and Gollum. The two then trade riddles back and forth. I found this scene to be incredibly stressful. Riddles are so tough, and I was nervous that Gollum was going to realize that Bilbo had the ring. If you'd like to see how this scene played out in the movie, check out the clip below.

Bilbo getting the ring was definitely a turning point for him. Because Bilbo becomes invisible when he wears the ring, he was able to sneak past the goblins and make it back to his crew. I'm sure it's going to come more in handy as the story progresses. 

At the end of this section, the situation seems pretty hopeless for the crew as they are stuck in trees, trying not be eaten by horrible wolves. But, they are rescued by giant eagles and are flown to safety. What horrible thing do you think they are going to encounter next? Do you think they have a good plan in place for when they actually encounter Smaug? I think that part of the journey is going to be more difficult than they imagine. 

The events in this book are shown in the first movie in the Hobbit trilogy, so if you'd like to see how all of the events in this movie look on screen, check out that movie. If you're curious about the movie making process itself, check out some of the vlogs that director, Peter Jackson, made about the process. I love seeing how movies are made. It's just so interesting to me. 

Thanks for following along ths week! I can't wait to hear what you thought of this section in the comments! Make sure to read chapters 7-11 for next week!