The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again
by J.R.R. Tolkien
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.)
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