© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again

The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again


by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again Chapter 3 Summary

How It All Goes Down

A Short Rest

  • Things are starting to get more classically adventure-y: "They camped under the stars, and their horses had more to eat than they had, for there was plenty of grass, but there was not much in their bags" (3.1).
  • At last, a large mountain comes into view.
  • Bilbo has never seen anything so big before, but it's only the first of the Misty Mountains.
  • They have to get over or under this mountain range before coming close to the Lonely Mountain where Smaug is waiting.
  • Before they reach the Misty Mountains, they rest briefly in Rivendell.
  • Rivendell is a secret valley lined with pine forest and filled with elves.
  • The dwarves aren't totally happy to be hanging with elves because the two groups don't get along that well.
  • But Bilbo and Gandalf have a grand old time.
  • The head of the Last Homely House in Rivendell is Elrond, who is "as noble and as fair in face as an elf-lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king of dwarves and as kind as summer" (3.28). So, he's pretty great, we guess.
  • He's the one who tells Gandalf and Thorin that their swords are elvish ones dating back to the Goblin-wars.
  • Thorin shows Elrond his map of the Lonely Mountain.
  • The moon happens to be shining on the map in just the right way to expose moon-letters, special secret runes that say, "Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks [...] and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's Day will shine upon the keyhole" (3.39).
  • Durin is Thorin's first ancestor, and his Day is the first day of the dwarves' new year.
  • But there's a problem: no one can calculate exactly when Durin's Day falls anymore.
  • Elrond gives Thorin his map back.
  • The next morning, Bilbo, Gandalf, and the dwarves all set off for the Misty Mountains.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...