Questions tagged [the-hobbit]

For questions about The Hobbit, a 1937 Children's novel by Tolkien. Please always use with the [tolkiens-legendarium] tag. For questions about the film adaptations use in conjunction with the film tags, [an-unexpected-journey], etc.

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Where do Saruman's loyalties lie during the events of The Hobbit?

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Thorin's company comes to Rivendell. While there, Elrond, Galadriel, and Saruman privately brace Gandalf to inquire about his activities with the dwarves. (~1h35m)...
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33 votes
1 answer
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Does everyone always eat, drink and sleep for free everywhere in Middle-earth?

Maybe it has to do with the specific and unique circumstances in which the characters we follow in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings find themselves, but it seems to me that everyone always assumes ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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Did Bag End have a second door?

This is a map of Bag End from The Atlas of Middle-earth (found here.) There's a door at the end of the tunnel. Is it mentioned in the books? Or is the map not accurate?
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1 answer
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Why was this speech by Bilbo added to the Hobbit movie?

After the goblin ordeal, when the dwarves and Gandalf are waiting and wondering where Bilbo is, in the movie, he shows up after taking off the Ring and gives a great speech something along the lines ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Did the eagles from Tolkien's works have other appearances where they saved the day?

The eagles play a pivotal deus ex machina role in both The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. I have not read any of the background works about Middle Earth and would like to know if they played any ...
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26 votes
3 answers
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How can the bear-man refer to a "Jack-in-the-box" in The Hobbit?

The Hobbit is supposedly set waaay back in our world. Yet, Beorn refers to "jack-in-the-box" as in the toy, when the dwarves show up in pairs. How can this be? How can anyone in that world/...
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17 votes
1 answer
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If the House of Elrond is the Last Homely House east of the Sea, what are the others?

As the books call it, Elrond's house is the Last Homely House east of the Sea. But if Rivendell is the last homely house, what are the other homely houses east of the sea? Or does Rivendell count as ...
12 votes
1 answer
992 views

What (if anything) do we know about the orcs who fought against Sauron?

So, in this question, I saw that it was mentioned that all the races of Middle-earth, save the Elves, fought both for and against Sauron during the War of the Last Alliance. The Silmarillion states: ...
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2 votes
0 answers
269 views

Why wasn't Thorin aware about the state of Mirkwood and the Old Forest Road?

In The Hobbit, in the Queer Lodgings chapter, Beorn explains to the company the dangers that they might face through Mirkwood: “But your way through Mirkwood is dark, dangerous and difficult,” he ...
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14 votes
2 answers
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How come Balin and Dwalin never mention their travel with Thrain II in The Hobbit?

I'm re-reading The Hobbit and I was wondering why there was no reference to Balin and Dwalin accompanying Thrain II on his attempt to go to Erebor. It seems to me that in The Hobbit they act as if ...
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1 answer
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Has Tolkien ever commented on the similarity between the name "Baggins" and the French word for "ring"?

There is some discussion on the origins of the name Baggins in this question. However, it only revolves around whether or not it is related to Bilbo being a thief, and I am interested in something ...
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1 answer
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Why did Gandalf change from blue to grey?

Everyone is familiar with Gandalf being described as "Gandalf the Grey", or, later, "Gandalf the White", and he was shown in both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies as ...
6 votes
1 answer
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Why does Tolkien make Thorin to be older than Balin, only to present Balin in the Hobbit as "very old-looking"?

Tolkien characterized Balin in the Hobbit as "very old-looking": ... Instead there was a very old-looking dwarf on the step with a white beard and a scarlet hood; and he too hopped inside ...
5 votes
1 answer
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Why was Smaug able to take over Erebor with such ease?

The dwarves of Erebor were a powerful nation who were well aware of the existence of dragons (and their relative proximity to the Withered Heath). Despite vast resources, of both time and money, they ...
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2 answers
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Why was the Arkenstone left when Smaug attacked the Lonely Mountain?

When Smaug attacked the dwarves' kingdom in the Lonely Mountain to settle down there, why was the Arkenstone left? It seems to be this item which makes the owner king of all dwarves, so why did they ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Why did Bilbo on Ravenhill prefer on the whole to defend the Elvenking?

Chapter XVII when the battle seemed lost and their faith doomed. Why thus Bilbo preferred on the whole to defend the Elvenking?
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Was Bilbo still on Ravenhill among the Elvenking's guard wearing the ring?

When the eagles had not come yet and the battle seemed lost, Bilbo stood on Ravenhill among the Elves and saw Gandalf sitting on the ground in deep thought, preparing, he supposed one last blast of ...
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Does the Necromancer from "The Hobbit" have anything to do with the Dark Lord Sauron? [duplicate]

I finished reading The Hobbit around a week or so ago, and given how ominously the Necromancer was mentioned, I was sure he was being set up to be the main villain (or somebody very important to the ...
0 votes
0 answers
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Would the sword be visible if Bilbo wasn't holding it? [duplicate]

Today was rewatching the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and got very curious about a scene after the riddle game between Gollum and Bilbo where Bilbo gets stuck between the cave walls / rocks ...
-3 votes
2 answers
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How was the door to Bag End able to be green?

In The Hobbit (and The Lord of the Rings) the door to Bag End is described as green. I'm curious to know how this was achieved; is outdoor weather proof paint easily made, and a technology that would ...
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Why is Bilbo's door and Hobbit house so incredibly oversized in Tolkien's own final illustration in The Hobbit?

Tolkien was a good artist to say the least. He did not have problems with perspective and whatnot in the other illustrations he made for The Hobbit, so that can't really be the explanation. Yet, the ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Do we know Sting's real name and anything else about its history? [duplicate]

During the events of The Hobbit, after dealing with the trolls, the Bilbo and co. find three magic weapons in the troll's lair: ... among them were several swords of various makes, shapes, and sizes. ...
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1 answer
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Do the trolls in the Hobbit have a magic purse, and did they enchant it themselves?

In The Hobbit, in chapter 2: Roast Mutton, there's a scene where Bilbo sneaks up on some trolls. Rather than go back and warn the dwarves, he attempts to pickpocket one of trolls before he does. From ...
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1 answer
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Why is the narration of the chapter "Riddles in the Dark" done in the first person?

I'm re-reading The Hobbit after years. Just started the chapter "Riddles in the Dark"... and I was struck by the use of first-person narrative in this chapter. "I should not have liked ...
25 votes
3 answers
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What was Thorin's plan if Bilbo hadn't woken up Smaug?

In The Hobbit, Thorin sends Bilbo in first to scout out the mountain and maybe snatch the Arkenstone if convenient, all ideally without waking the dragon (Smaug). Of course, the dragon is awakened and ...
-1 votes
1 answer
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Why doesn't Thorin die when he is stabbed by Azog?

In the Hobbit movies, Thorin is stabbed by Azog two times: First in the foot and then the chest. The second stab was potentially fatal. Yet how did Thorin survive such a fatal stab, let alone have the ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Why did Tolkien italicise ‘cram’?

In The Hobbit (or at least in my edition, HarperCollins 2011), the word ‘cram’ is italicised wherever it appears. Cram is (as according to Chapter XIII, Not at Home) biscuitish, keeps good ...
79 votes
4 answers
31k views

Why does Smaug have 4 legs in the 1st movie but only 2 legs in the 2nd?

In the movie, The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey, Smaug has 4 legs. If you look closely in this scene where he crawls into the mountain, he has 2 fore legs and 2 back legs. ...
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1 answer
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Why does Thorin tell Bilbo that he has "keen eyes"?

In the second film why does Thorin think Bilbo has keen eyes? Bilbo finds a mountain sized dwarf carved into a mountain that they are all standing next to and for some reason Thorin thinks it means ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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Was Smaug sealed inside the Lonely Mountain?

The dwarves said there was no way into the mountain before Gandalf gave Thorin the key... in the movie. So I was wondering, how did Smaug get out to eat?
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13 votes
3 answers
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What does “We have long ago paid the goblins of Moria,” from The Hobbit mean?

“We have long ago paid the goblins of Moria,” said Thorin. From chapter 1 of the book The Hobbit by Tolkien. What does it mean? Did the goblins pay for their murder or did the dwarves stop paying ...
30 votes
2 answers
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Was "The Hobbit" book ever abridged?

I know the Hobbit was written as a children's book (tale?) and I saw this when I searched the site for similar questions to this one. The story itself can certainly be regarded as almost a fairy tale ...
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27 votes
1 answer
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How can Radagast come across Gandalf and Thorin's company?

At the moment, I'm reading The Hobbit, and I just watched the first movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It was fun to note where the movie was following word by word the book, and when it gave ...
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36 votes
2 answers
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Why are Hobbits so fond of mushrooms?

In both the book and the movie it would seem that Hobbits are especially fond of mushrooms, sometimes braving dangers to harvest them. I have seen somewhere an interview in which Tolkien claimed he ...
42 votes
1 answer
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Are all instances of trolls turning to stone ultimately references back to Tolkien?

Are there any antecedents other than Tolkien for trolls turning to stone? When I was a kid, I remember trolls appearing in one of the earliest episodes of The Real Ghostbusters (the fifth episode &...
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How do the Eagles decide where to drop people off?

In The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings, eagles appear occasionally. How do they decide where to drop people off? Is it directed by a character? Or are they conscious enough to decide on a ...
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57 votes
3 answers
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Was the Lonely Mountain, where Smaug lived, a volcano?

Was the Lonely Mountain in The Hobbit a volcano? If not, how did the dwarves get enough heat to run the huge forges? I am asking about the books, not the movies.
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9 votes
2 answers
814 views

In-universe, is there any reason Gandalf considered the number thirteen to be unlucky?

In the first chapter of The Hobbit, Gandalf says this about choosing a hobbit for the fourteenth member of the party: “Of course there is a mark,” said Gandalf. “I put it there myself. For very ...
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Why did Gandalf put the dwarves and the hobbit in danger of going through the cursed forest?

Why did Gandalf put the dwarves and the hobbit in danger in The Desolation of Smaug by going through the "cursed forest"? Gandalf clearly said he would go another way around, which means there's ...
1 vote
1 answer
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How old is Aragorn at the time of the Hobbit movies? [duplicate]

At the end of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Legolas was sent to find Aragorn. But in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Bilbo is already 111 years old. So Aragorn must be ...
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Was Smaug awake when Bilbo entered Erebor?

The Hobbit movie ends with Smaug being awoken by a bird who was knocking on a wall with snail, right? So, was Smaug awake when Bilbo entered Erebor Halls to find the Arkenstone in the 2nd movie? ...
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1 answer
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What is the relationship between Dale and Esgaroth/Laketown?

Dale sat on the threshold of the Dwarven kingdom of Erebor, while Esgaroth/Lake-town was located a bit further south, on the lake. In the movies, I haven't read the books yet, both are described as ...
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Who sent the thrush to help Bard?

In The Hobbit Bard kills Smaug the dragon. In the book he is informed by a thrush of the dragon's one unprotected spot. But who sends the thrush to help Bard?
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2 answers
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Did Frodo and Gimli ever discuss the adventures of Bilbo and Glóin with each other?

Bilbo and Glóin journey to the Lonely Mountain together in The Hobbit, and share in many adventures including battling a dragon. Considering that Bilbo recounted his adventures to Frodo, and ...
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1 answer
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Did any of the remaining Dwarves visit Bilbo after the events of The Hobbit?

After the Battle of the Five Armies, just as Bilbo is leaving the mountain, he turns to the dwarves and says: "If ever you are passing my way," said Bilbo, "don't wait to knock! Tea is ...
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2 answers
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Why could Azog’s orcs run around in broad daylight?

In The Fellowship of the Ring live action movie, Aragorn says after Moria: By nightfall, these hills will be swarming with orcs. And indeed, the creation of the Uruk-hai appears to be to allow for ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Tolkien's quote about sadness of kings

I have been searching for a quote by Tolkien, presumably from The Silmarillion, which says (paraphrasing here) that the great kings had a sadness in them because they had seen the suffering from the ...
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2 answers
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Thorin's imprisonment "set right"

In The Hobbit, Thorin and company are imprisoned in the Elven king's dungeons. After a time, Bilbo helps Thorin and the Dwarves escape, and the Elven king seems to intend all along to take some of ...
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Was Saruman already siding with Sauron before Dol Guldur? [duplicate]

in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. after Galadriel, Elrond and Saruman rescue Gandalf and banished the formless Sauron they encountered Saruman proceeded to go after Sauron alone ...
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Was The Hobbit meant to be an adaptation of There and Back Again by Bilbo?

I know that The Hobbit was written before LOTR and retconned to be part of the legendarium in the second edition. I also understand it was to some extent a children's book. Both of these explain the ...

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