The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again
by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again Chapter 13 Summary
How It All Goes Down
Not at Home
- Days go by, and Bilbo and the dwarves don't hear a peep from Smaug.
- Finally, they decide to walk down the passage to the center of the mountain to see what's going on.
- But Smaug isn't home!
- As Bilbo goes exploring over the treasure pile, he finds the Arkenstone, Thorin's most desired treasure.
- The Arkenstone – a.k.a. the Heart of the Mountain – is a great gem that takes "all light that [falls] upon it and [changes] it into ten thousand sparks of white radiance shot with glints of rainbow" (13.19). Yes, please!
- For some reason, he decides not to show it to the dwarves quite yet.
- The dwarves arrive and start combing through the treasure.
- Thorin gives Bilbo a present: a chain-mail coat made of mithril, Elvish metal.
- Bilbo thinks, "I feel magnificent [...] but I expect I look rather absurd. How they would laugh on the Hill at home!" (13.37).
- Bilbo reminds the greedy dwarves that they can't just hang around waiting for Smaug to get back.
- Thorin agrees, and he leads them by memory through the old halls (and past some skulls and things) to the Front Gate.
- Balin leads them up to an old watchmen's place so that they can keep an eye on Smaug (if he comes back).
- So they go to sleep filled with wonder that there's still no sign of Smaug the dragon.
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