Study Guide

The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again Characters

By J.R.R. Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins

J.R.R. Tolkien actually described himself as something of a hobbit, so let's let him define what...

Gandalf

Gandalf is the one who literally plucks Bilbo from his cozy little home and tosses him into a...

Thorin Oakenshield

Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror, is the leader of the company of dwarves who go on a quest to...

Thorin's Company

Most of these dwarves just seem to be along for the ride, without much in the way of real...

Bombur

Bombur is the fattest of the dwarves. No, really, that's his character trait. He's always huffing...

Fili and Kili

Fili and Kili are brothers; they're also the two youngest dwarves in the group. In general,...

Balin

Balin was one of Thorin's companions on the day he happened to be outside the Lonely Mountain...

Smaug

Smaug is a "most especially greedy, strong, and wicked" (1.123) dragon who comes flying out of...

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...

Elrond

Elrond is the keeper of the Last Homely House in the lovely valley of Rivendell. He is also...

The Great Goblin

We don't exactly see the Great Goblin for much time in The Hobbit because he gets killed almost...

Gollum

Gollum is a slimy, skinny creature living in the middle of an underground lake underneath the...

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...

Beorn

Beorn is a man who lives beyond the Misty Mountains. He's a huge fellow, very strong, and he can...

King of the Wood-elves

As the narrator says, the elves are "Good People" (8.128). In much the same way that there cannot...

The Master of Lake-town

The Master of Lake-town (which is also known as Esgaroth) is like the mayor. Lake-town is the...

Bard

Now, in our "Character Analysis" of Bilbo, we mentioned that he is our hero but not a hero. In...

The Thrush

A thrush is a small, sweet-voiced songbird. In this particular novel, there's "an enormous...

Roäc son of Carc

The thrush, another helpful bird living near the Lonely Mountain, brings the ancient raven...

Dain

Dain is Thorin's cousin. When Thorin sends the ravens to inform him of his standoff with Bard and...

Bolg

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

The Necromancer

Quick background: a Necromancer is a magician who works with dead things or who tries to summon...