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The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again
by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again Chapter 16 Summary How It All Goes Down
A Thief in the Night Roäc the raven asks Thorin how he plans to make it through the winter alone in the mountain. Thorin reminds Roäc that it will be equally cold for the armies on the plain. Bilbo realizes Thorin is never going to change his mind without outside prodding. So Bilbo hatches a plan. He takes the Arkenstone (which he still has in secret) and goes to relieve Bombur of his watch duties. As soon as Bombur is asleep, Bilbo sneaks down to the human/elf camp. He meets with both the Elvenking and Bard. Bilbo explains that absolutely nothing will change Thorin's mind. What's more, the humans and the elves don't know that Thorin is waiting for reinforcements from Dain, Thorin's cousin. Bilbo wants peace and to save his friends. So Bilbo gives Bard the Arkenstone of Thrain. He wants Bard to use the Arkenstone to negotiate peace with Thorin. Bilbo heads back to the dwarves. On his way out of the human/elf camp, an old man in a dark cloak tells him, "Well done! Mr. Baggins!" (16.43). It's Gandalf! He's back! Gandalf promises Bilbo, "There is an unpleasant time just in front of you; but keep your heart up! You may come through all right" (16.45). Bilbo is confused but cheerful as he climbs back up the side of the mountain to his friends.
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