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The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again
by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again Chapter 17 Summary How It All Goes Down
The Clouds Burst The next day, Bard, the Elvenking, and "an old man wrapped in cloak and hood" (17.3) appear in front of Thorin's Front Gate. Bard shows Thorin the Arkenstone and demands that they negotiate terms. Bilbo admits that he was the one who gave the Arkenstone to Bard. Thorin agrees to give Bilbo's share of the treasure (one-fourteenth) to the elves and men in exchange for the Arkenstone. But he also casts Bilbo out of the Lonely Mountain, adding, "no friendship of mine goes with him" (17.19). Thorin sends his raven buddies to tell Dain what has been gong on. Thorin is already starting to wonder if he can use Dain's forces to capture the Arkenstone without paying the agreed price for it. Dain and his men arrive. The humans and elves block their access to the Lonely Mountain. Bard refuses to let the dwarf army join Thorin, but the Elvenking doesn't want to wage a war for gold. The Elvenking advises, "Let us hope still for something that will bring reconciliation" (17.37). The dwarves launch a surprise attack on the elves and men. Suddenly, Gandalf cries out, "Halt! [...] Dread has come upon you all! Alas! [...] The Goblins are upon you!" (17.41). The goblins are everyone's enemies, so they immediately stop fighting each other. Bard, the Elvenking, and Dain all join together to make war plans with Gandalf. They gather against the Lonely Mountain and prepare for the goblins to attack. Then war breaks out. It comes to be known as the Battle of Five Armies. Throughout the day, the advantage goes sometimes to the elves', humans', and dwarves' side, sometimes to the goblins and their allies, the Wargs. Thorin makes a plunge into the goblin army from the Front Gate of his mountain, armed with all his fine armor and backed by his twelve companions. But the tide of the battle seems to be going against the good side. Suddenly, Bilbo (wearing his invisibility ring and up out of the way) sees the Eagles flying in from far off. But just then, Bilbo gets clocked on the head by a falling rock. He loses consciousness and totally misses the end of the battle.
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