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.
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