Study Guide

The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again Chapter 13

By J.R.R. Tolkien

Advertisement - Guide continues below

Chapter 13

Not at Home

  • Days go by, and Bilbo and the dwarves don't hear a peep from Smaug.
  • Finally, they decide to walk down the passage to the center of the mountain to see what's going on.
  • But Smaug isn't home!
  • As Bilbo goes exploring over the treasure pile, he finds the Arkenstone, Thorin's most desired treasure.
  • The Arkenstone – a.k.a. the Heart of the Mountain – is a great gem that takes "all light that [falls] upon it and [changes] it into ten thousand sparks of white radiance shot with glints of rainbow" (13.19). Yes, please!
  • For some reason, he decides not to show it to the dwarves quite yet.
  • The dwarves arrive and start combing through the treasure.
  • Thorin gives Bilbo a present: a chain-mail coat made of mithril, Elvish metal.
  • Bilbo thinks, "I feel magnificent [...] but I expect I look rather absurd. How they would laugh on the Hill at home!" (13.37).
  • Bilbo reminds the greedy dwarves that they can't just hang around waiting for Smaug to get back.
  • Thorin agrees, and he leads them by memory through the old halls (and past some skulls and things) to the Front Gate.
  • Balin leads them up to an old watchmen's place so that they can keep an eye on Smaug (if he comes back).
  • So they go to sleep filled with wonder that there's still no sign of Smaug the dragon.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...