The Hobbit, Week 4

Welcome to the final week of the Online Book Club discussion of The Hobbit.

Were you satisfied with the ending of the book? I have to say, I was a little disappointed with the way the Smaug storyline went. I thought there would be more fight between the crew and Smaug. I envisioned Bilbo being the one to strike the final blow, but I guess it was more realistic that a full-grown person was the one to end Smaug. 

At the beginning of this final section, Bilbo uses the ring to slip, undetected, into Smaug's cave. Bilbo is astounded by all of the treasure, and he immediately takes a cup. We find out that Smaug is immediately able to detect that he is missing that one small cup, so even though it looked like Bilbo didn't make a dent in the treasure, the theft was really important to Smaug and made him really angry. Later in the section, Bilbo goes back down in the cave to check on Smaug, and they end up talking to each other, and they speak in riddles to each other. Smaug kind of gets in Bilbo's head, telling Bilbo that he should not trust the dwarves or spend time with them. This causes Bilbo to think he's justified to take and hide the Arkenstone, the thing that Thorin wants the most. 

Smaug ends up leaving his lair, looking for Bilbo and his crew, and he ends up getting killed by Bard. I thought that was a little bit of an anti-climactic way to get rid of Smaug, but I was glad that Smaug didn't end up killing any of the dwarves. 

If you're curious how the team behind The Hobbit movies created Smaug on-screen, check out the video below. I think they definitely captured his essence. 

One thing that I thought was interesting about this section was the fact that those thrushes ended up being such important characters. They were able to communicate with Bard to let him know how to defeat Smaug, and, they communicate to Bilbo and the crew that Smaug is dead and people are coming to take the treasure. 

Thorin does not want to work with Bard or share any of the money with him. However, Bilbo uses the Arkenstone to help Bard gain leverage. Thorin is so hurt by the fact that Bilbo tricked him that he kicks him out of the crew. Things look grim, but then, Goblins come to attack, and everyone bands together to defeat them. The Battle of the Five Armies didn't take up much room in the book, but it seems like it's a much longer experience in the the third movie in The Hobbit trilogy. 

Thorin ends up perishing after the battle, but before he dies, he makes peace with Bilbo. Bilbo ends up going home with treasure, so that was good. He deserved it. 

At the very end, when Bilbo gets home, he realizes that everyone at home assumed he is dead, and they are auctioning off his things. I thought that was sad that it seemed like people were almost disappointed to see him home. And, after his return, everyone treats him like he is weird, which is sad. It did seem like everything ended nicely, so that's good. It was satisfying to have Bilbo come home so successfully. 

If you enjoyed this book and want to read and watch similar things, check out this list I created. Make sure to let me know if you check out anything on the list!

Before you go, do you want to see some cool photos from the Tolkien family archive? Check out this timeline and let me know which picture you enjoyed the most. 

Thanks so much for joining us this month! I hope you enjoyed reading. Make sure to leave a comment to let me know which parts were your favorite! I hope you can join us again next month as we read The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. I can't wait to hear from you in the comments!