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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121
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2answers
20k views

What did Frodo mean by “He told me the true story”?

I'm re-reading the Lord of the Rings saga since 10 to 12 years ago, but something striked me as odd in The Fellowship of the Ring's first chapter: A Long-Expected Party (emphasis is mine): ‘She ...
117
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7answers
45k views

Why is Sauron called “the Necromancer”?

During the time period of The Hobbit, a character is mentioned called the Necromancer. Radagast even (in the movie) specifically states that the Necromancer can "summon the spirits of the dead." (It'...
113
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5answers
38k views

Why was Gandalf involved with the Dwarves' quest to rob Smaug?

From what I understand, the Istari were sent in to help the peoples of Middle-earth get through the third age. Why then, did Gandalf help the Dwarves along (and get Bilbo involved) in their quest to ...
84
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6answers
14k views

The use of the word “gun” in The Hobbit

In Chapter XVIII - The Return Journey of the book 'The Hobbit', Tolkien uses the word gun. 'The roar of his voice was like drums and guns; and he tossed wolves and goblins from his path like ...
78
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4answers
22k 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. ...
78
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15answers
56k views

Are orcs and goblins really the same thing?

Are orcs and goblins really the same in The Hobbit and LotR, and where does it say that? Are they variant sub-races or something, explaining the different physical attributes? Or is my assumption they ...
73
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12answers
62k views

Why did Sméagol turn into a 'creature' when addicted to the ring, but not Bilbo Baggins?

Why did Sméagol turn into a 'creature', but not Bilbo Baggins? Déagol found the ring in a river, Sméagol stole it and then turned into a weird creature. Bilbo did not turn into a creature when he ...
72
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5answers
21k views

Why didn't Gandalf just fight Smaug directly?

So if memory serves right, the premise of the Hobbit is that Gandalf gets this rag-tag team together to retrieve the Arkenstone, so that the Dwarves can reunite, so that they can take back their ...
72
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9answers
40k views

Would Smaug have actually followed and allied with Sauron had he lived on?

I know Gandalf was worried Smaug would have joined Sauron, but was that just him being cautious? Would Smaug actually join up with Sauron? How does he benefit from that? All it does is bring more ...
70
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10answers
15k views

During the war of the ring did Sauron or Saruman actually win any major battles?

I've recently re-read the Lord of the Rings and one thing that simply bugs me and makes Tolkien's books seem lesser is the fact Sauron and Saruman seem to lose every battle. I sincerely hope that I've ...
67
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9answers
202k views

Who was the fifth army in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies movie?

Elves Dwarves Men Orcs Who was the 5th army in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies?
66
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4answers
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Why did the Dwarves build Erebor with wide hallways big enough for dragons to fit in?

Why didn't they build narrow hallways and doors so that no dragon would fit in? Dwarves are short and stouty, so why didn't they go "Tucker's Kobolds" on Smaug?
61
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7answers
145k views

Was Gimli the last of his race?

In the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, dwarves play a fairly central role: They drive the entire plot of The Hobbit, and much of Fellowship is centered upon Moria, the dwarven stronghold. We see ...
60
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6answers
26k views

What did Smaug eat for 60 years?

From what I understand, Smaug is a beast that must eat other living things to sustain himself. For example, he does not "eat" gold and jewels, he simply admires and covets them. It's implied that he ...
59
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3answers
13k views

Why do people say that Peter Jackson can not make LOTR/Hobbit sequels?

I was reading a couple of posts on forums where people said that "The Silmarillion" would make a great basis for an action movie, a sequel (or would that be prequel?) to LOTR and Hobbit. But someone ...
59
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6answers
20k views

Was Gollum always a hobbit?

Gollum first appears in The Hobbit, as a pitiful creature from whom Bilbo 'steals' the ring. From what I remember, there is no mention of his hobbithood. He's just a unique creature Bilbo finds. ...
59
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2answers
9k views

What are the revisions in the (Revised Edition) of The Hobbit?

So this past Saturday a group of my friends and I all watched the three The Lord of the Rings extended edition movies in one sitting. That night, I borrowed a copy of The Hobbit, which I've never ...
58
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4answers
15k views

Why does Gandalf show such reverence for Galadriel and Elrond?

Particularly in the Hobbit movies, Elrond mentions that Gandalf answers to Galadriel. Though Gandalf is a Maiar, one of Ainur, shouldn't he be regarded as one of the elders one above the Noldor?
57
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3answers
10k views

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.
55
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13answers
26k views

Who or what is the oldest sentient being in Tolkien's lore?

The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, The Histories of Middle Earth, all lore related to this universe is acceptable fodder. Regardless of their power, susceptibility to The One Ring, ...
55
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7answers
41k views

Why didn't Sauron find Bilbo when he put on the ring like Frodo?

When Frodo put on the One Ring, both the Nazgul and Sauron himself found Frodo. However when Bilbo had the ring and possibly used it many times, Sauron sought Gollum to get a hint on where to look for ...
54
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3answers
10k views

Why model Smaug after a cat?

In the 1977 animated film version of the Hobbit, the dragon Smaug is drawn similar to a cat- the shape of his head is distinctly feline (complete with whiskers), and his posture when awoken from his ...
53
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6answers
7k views

Is there a legal system in Middle-earth?

I was re-watching the Hobbit films last weekend, and noticed in "An Unexpected Journey", there is a scene in Bag End where the Dwarves present Bilbo with a contract, outlining the many potential ...
52
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3answers
22k views

Are there any female characters in the Hobbit?

I believe Bilbo's mother, Belladonna Took, is mentioned briefly in the beginning, but are there any female characters who actually appear in the novel, rather than being merely referenced? Even ...
50
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3answers
7k views

Why did it take longer to go to Rivendell in The Hobbit than in The Fellowship of the Ring?

Both The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring involve traveling to Rivendell; however, although approximately the same route is taken, the journey took longer in The Hobbit. In The Hobbit, Gandalf, ...
50
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2answers
8k views

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 ...
48
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8answers
48k views

What age group did Tolkien write The Hobbit for?

Tolkien wrote The Hobbit as a story for children. However, I've never seen a specific age mentioned. Did Tolkien intend the story for young children or for teens? What reading level should a child ...
47
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8answers
12k views

What is the purpose of the “Good Morning” dialogue from The Hobbit?

In the novel The Hobbit, towards the start of the story Bilbo wishes Gandalf a good morning: "Good Morning!" said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But ...
46
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2answers
5k views

Who wrote Tolkien's riddles?

In The Hobbit chapter 5, Riddles in the Dark, were the riddles composed by Tolkien himself? I always assumed either that they were, since he seemed to have a knack for writing poetry, or that they ...
46
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4answers
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How was Smaug's treasure actually divided?

If I recall correctly: The agreement was that each dwarf would receive 1/14 of the treasure. Bilbo takes the Arkenstone, and though unspoken, is willing to give up his share for it. Bard demanded 1/...
45
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3answers
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Why did Tolkien refer to goblins in The Hobbit but orcs in The Lord of the Rings?

The Wikipedia article "Orc (Middle-earth)" informs, The Hobbit generally uses the term goblin, while The Lord of the Rings prefers orc. Furthermore, Andres F.'s answer "Are orcs and goblins really ...
44
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9answers
32k views

Why did Smaug gather a treasure of gold and other precious objects?

In The Hobbit, the Dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf are on a mission to rob Smaug. But why did he have so much to steal from? He's a Dragon! He is not the kind of dragon that eats gold and gems. He doesn't ...
44
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1answer
11k views

Did Tolkien ever state that The Hobbit was a children's book? [duplicate]

Many people just assume that simply because The Hobbit is a lighter story than LOTR and the Silmarillion, it's a children's story, but I don't believe Tolkien himself ever said it was made for ...
44
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10answers
167k views

What exactly happened to Thranduil's face while he was arguing with Thorin?

In the heated discussion between Thranduil and Thorin, for a moment, Thranduil's face suddenly turned very deeply scarred & wounded and then immediately returned to normal. What was this about? Is ...
43
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7answers
11k views

Why was Bilbo not discovered by Sauron during his extended stay with the Wood Elves? [duplicate]

Currently reading The Hobbit to my daughter, and we came to the Barrels out of Bond chapter where the Dwarves are captured and imprisoned by the Wood Elves. Bilbo sneaks in with his magic ring of ...
43
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5answers
15k views

Who did the Elves think Annatar (Sauron) was?

Sauron posed in fair form to the Elves as "Annatar" (Lord of Gifts). Considering many of the elves Annatar appeared to have probably been alive for hundreds or even thousands of years, who did they ...
42
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1answer
7k views

Are there other dragons in Middle-earth by the time of The Hobbit?

The Hobbit deals with the Dwarves trying to reclaim their mountain homeland from the dragon Smaug. During this time, are there other dragons who are alive in Middle Earth?
42
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4answers
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How can the Orcs be so easily killed?

Orcs can be slayed with very little effort even by the un-warrior humans, despite their fully developed figures, average-to-tall heights, muscular bodies. (See The Hobbit series, where a dwarf would ...
42
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5answers
9k views

What is the ‘babelfish effect’ when Bilbo puts on the Ring and understands the spiders?

In the movie Hobbit, The Desolation of Smaug, the band enter Mirkwood and are attacked by giant spiders. In the movie the spiders appear to ‘chitter’ to one another. After Bilbo puts on the Ring, ...
42
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6answers
52k views

What powers does Galadriel have?

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie Galadriel is able to speak telepathically with Gandalf, also doing so later with Frodo in The Fellowship of The Ring. Also she shows Frodo what she calls "...
41
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1answer
9k views

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 "...
39
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3answers
8k views

Why did Saruman seem to believe that Sauron wouldn't return?

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, when Gandalf is meeting with Saruman, Galadriel and Elrond in Rivendell, they are discussing the Necromancer. When Gandalf suggests that it is Sauron returning, ...
39
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8answers
17k views

Why is Galadriel so awesome?

In The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies Surely, at least Saruman should be more powerful (in the modern sense of wizards being powerful) than Elrond and Galadriel, as they aren't minor gods. I ...
38
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3answers
8k views

Was there racism in Middle-earth?

According to the comments on this question, there may have been racism in Middle-earth. Was there? If so, was it rampant or isolated? Please note that I am asking about in-universe racism, not ...
38
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3answers
5k views

What non-canon elements were added to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Taking into account the Lord of the Rings Appendices and all of Tolkien's other writings (including his letters) I'd like to know what elements of the film were entirely created by Peter Jackson and ...
38
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1answer
5k views

Does Gandalf need to eat, drink, and sleep?

Gandalf is a Maia, a sort of angel in human shape. Does that mean he needs to eat and drink and sleep like everyone else? At the start of The Hobbit (book and movie) we see him eating and drinking ...
37
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4answers
12k views

Is “Smaug” pronounced “Smog”?

Did Tolkien the linguist intend for the name of the dragon Smaug to be pronounced "Smog" [IPA: /smɒɡ/ or /smɔːɡ/]? The trailer for the second installment of The Hobbit trilogy pronounces the word (...
37
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11answers
22k views

Could the Arkenstone have been a Silmaril?

Frome Wikipedia:Silmaril "In agony, Maedhros threw himself and his Silmaril into a fiery pit..." From lotr wikia "The Arkenstone also known as the "Heart of the Mountain" of Thrain was a ...
37
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3answers
5k views

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 ...
36
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2answers
11k views

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 ...

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