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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 Characters

Meet the Cast

Bilbo Baggins

So – What Are Hobbits, Again? (A Quick Review)J.R.R. Tolkien actually described himself as something of a hobbit, so let's let him define what a hobbit is in his own terms:I am in fact a Hobb...

Gandalf

Gandalf is the one who literally plucks Bilbo from his cozy little home and tosses him into a load of adventure. Clearly, Gandalf has some notion of what Bilbo's adventures are going to mean to the...

Thorin Oakenshield

Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror, is the leader of the company of dwarves who go on a quest to get their treasure back from the dragon Smaug (who destroyed their kingdom under the Lonely Mountai...

Thorin's Company

Most of these dwarves just seem to be along for the ride, without much in the way of real character. Oin and Gloin carry the tinderboxes for the group, so occasionally they're called upon to bring...

Bombur

Bombur is the fattest of the dwarves. No, really, that's his character trait. He's always huffing and puffing and falling behind simply because he is quite large. This proves to be a real problem w...

Fili and Kili

Fili and Kili are brothers; they're also the two youngest dwarves in the group. In general, because they are younger, they seem more energetic and eager to explore than the others. They are respons...

Balin

Balin was one of Thorin's companions on the day he happened to be outside the Lonely Mountain when Smaug arrived. He's also friendlier with Bilbo than most of the other dwarves. Balin is so amused...

Smaug

Smaug is a "most especially greedy, strong, and wicked" (1.123) dragon who comes flying out of the North to attack the Lonely Mountain a couple of generations before The Hobbit takes place. He's at...

The Trolls: Bert, Tom, and Bill

The first adventure Bilbo finds once he, Gandalf, and the dwarves leave Bag-End is a run-in with these three trolls, Bert, Tom, and Bill. These guys are dangerous, sure – they enjoy eating "m...

Elrond

Elrond is the keeper of the Last Homely House in the lovely valley of Rivendell. He is also half-elf, half-man – "In those days of our tale there were still some people who had both elves and...

The Great Goblin

We don't exactly see the Great Goblin for much time in The Hobbit because he gets killed almost immediately. When the goblins snatch Bilbo and the dwarves from the small cave where they'd been shel...

Gollum

Gollum is a slimy, skinny creature living in the middle of an underground lake underneath the Misty Mountains. As Tolkien describes him, he is "dark as darkness, except for two big round pale eyes...

The Lord of the Eagles

The Lord of the Eagles is a classic example of a deus ex machina. When a writer gets himself into a corner, having created a seemingly unsolvable problem, the deus ex machina is the thing that magi...

Beorn

Beorn is a man who lives beyond the Misty Mountains. He's a huge fellow, very strong, and he can transform into the shape of the bear (which makes sense, since björn is Old Norse for bear). Be...

King of the Wood-elves

As the narrator says, the elves are "Good People" (8.128). In much the same way that there cannot be a good goblin, there cannot be a truly bad elf. At the same time, the elves and the dwarves don'...

The Master of Lake-town

The Master of Lake-town (which is also known as Esgaroth) is like the mayor. Lake-town is the last town near the Lonely Mountain, and it sits on Long Lake. So when Thorin & Co. emerge from the Elve...

Bard

Now, in our "Character Analysis" of Bilbo, we mentioned that he is our hero but not a hero. In other words, he's our main character, even though he's not a traditional leading man. Bard is the reve...

The Thrush

A thrush is a small, sweet-voiced songbird. In this particular novel, there's "an enormous thrush, nearly coal black, its pale yellow breast freckled with dark spots" (11.30). This bird proves to b...

Roäc son of Carc

The thrush, another helpful bird living near the Lonely Mountain, brings the ancient raven Roäc to speak to Thorin. Apparently, Thorin can understand raven speech, and used to have frequent ch...

Dain

Dain is Thorin's cousin. When Thorin sends the ravens to inform him of his standoff with Bard and the Elvenking, Dain marches with five hundred of his men to back up Thorin. When the goblins and Wa...

Bolg

Bolg is the leader of the goblin troops in the Battle of Five Armies. He gets crushed to death by Beorn in the heat of battle.

The Necromancer

Quick background: a Necromancer is a magician who works with dead things or who tries to summon the dead. We never actually see or hear anything specific about the Necromancer included in The Hobbi...

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