Study Guide

The Fellowship of the Ring Prologue 4

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Prologue 4

Of the Finding of the Ring

  • Here, the narrator rapidly summarizes the events of The Hobbit. We'll leave you to check out our Shmoop guide on the subject if you want to know more.
  • The point of repeating all of this is to show how Bilbo Baggins came across a powerful magic ring while racing through a goblin tunnel under the Misty Mountains sixty years before.
  • He found it by chance in the dark and then played a riddle game with its former master, a weird, slimy creature named Gollum, to decide who would keep it. Bilbo won, clearly.
  • Bilbo has always told his friends that Gollum promised to give the ring to Bilbo as "a present" (prologue.4.8) if he won the riddle game; then Gollum changed his tune, Bilbo claims.
  • But Gandalf the Wizard, a great friend of Bilbo's, has gotten Bilbo to admit that Bilbo actually found the ring and just took it.
  • Why did Bilbo bother to lie? We shall find out!

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