The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again Chapter 7 Summary
How It All Goes Down
The eagles fly Gandalf, Bilbo, and the dwarves to a place near the Carrock.
The Carrock is the home of "the Somebody [Gandalf] spoke of – a very great person" (7.18).
Gandalf comes up with a plan: he and Bilbo are going to introduce themselves, and then the dwarves can follow two-by-two at decent intervals.
So Gandalf and Bilbo approach the house of this Somebody.
Somebody is "a huge man with a thick black beard and hair, and great bare arms and legs with knotted muscles" (7.34).
He is Beorn, and he's a skin-changer – a shape-shifter.
He has a large, spacious house with lots of beehives and gets waited on by smart, alert little horses.
Gandalf settles in with Beorn and starts talking about the adventures of Bilbo, Thorin, and the dwarves.
Every now and again, two more dwarves will turn up and introduce themselves, thus interrupting the story.
Beorn gets irritated by the interruptions, but Bilbo finally realizes that the interruptions are also keeping Beorn interested in Gandalf's tale.
Beorn hates goblins, so he gets really excited when Gandalf describes how he killed the Great Goblin with his sword.
When all the dwarves have arrived, Beorn is so delighted by the story that he offers them dinner.
After supper, Beorn leaves the house. He warns the dwarves to stay inside the hall.
Late at night, Bilbo hears the growl of a bear outside.
The next morning, Gandalf tells them all, "There must have been a regular bears' meeting outside here last night [...] I should say there were little bears, large bears, ordinary bears, and gigantic big bears, all dancing outside from dark to nearly dawn" (7.111).
The bear tracks go in the direction of the Misty Mountains.
They don't see Beorn again for another day. When he arrives the next morning, he seems very cheerful.
In his bear shape, he has traveled all the way to the Misty Mountain and found that Gandalf's story is true.
Beorn warns that the goblins and the Wargs are angry, and are gathering huge armies to go after their little band.
Beorn provides the dwarves with provisions and directions for how to get through the dangerous forest of Mirkwood.
He warns them not to go off the path into the forest.
They all arrive at the edge of Mirkwood.
There, Gandalf leaves the dwarves and Bilbo behind. He has "some pressing business away south" (7.136).
The dwarves are disappointed to see Gandalf go (of course – if you're on an expedition, you don't want to lose your wizard!).
Gandalf's last words to them are: "Good-bye! Be good, take care of yourselves – and DON'T LEAVE THE PATH!" (7.147).
(Three guesses about what they're all going to do in the very next chapter.)