The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again Chapter 17
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The Clouds Burst
- The next day, Bard, the Elvenking, and "an old man wrapped in cloak and hood" (17.3) appear in front of Thorin's Front Gate.
- Bard shows Thorin the Arkenstone and demands that they negotiate terms.
- Bilbo admits that he was the one who gave the Arkenstone to Bard.
- Thorin agrees to give Bilbo's share of the treasure (one-fourteenth) to the elves and men in exchange for the Arkenstone.
- But he also casts Bilbo out of the Lonely Mountain, adding, "no friendship of mine goes with him" (17.19).
- Thorin sends his raven buddies to tell Dain what has been gong on.
- Thorin is already starting to wonder if he can use Dain's forces to capture the Arkenstone without paying the agreed price for it.
- Dain and his men arrive. The humans and elves block their access to the Lonely Mountain.
- Bard refuses to let the dwarf army join Thorin, but the Elvenking doesn't want to wage a war for gold.
- The Elvenking advises, "Let us hope still for something that will bring reconciliation" (17.37).
- The dwarves launch a surprise attack on the elves and men.
- Suddenly, Gandalf cries out, "Halt! [...] Dread has come upon you all! Alas! [...] The Goblins are upon you!" (17.41).
- The goblins are everyone's enemies, so they immediately stop fighting each other.
- Bard, the Elvenking, and Dain all join together to make war plans with Gandalf.
- They gather against the Lonely Mountain and prepare for the goblins to attack.
- Then war breaks out. It comes to be known as the Battle of Five Armies.
- Throughout the day, the advantage goes sometimes to the elves', humans', and dwarves' side, sometimes to the goblins and their allies, the Wargs.
- Thorin makes a plunge into the goblin army from the Front Gate of his mountain, armed with all his fine armor and backed by his twelve companions.
- But the tide of the battle seems to be going against the good side.
- Suddenly, Bilbo (wearing his invisibility ring and up out of the way) sees the Eagles flying in from far off.
- But just then, Bilbo gets clocked on the head by a falling rock.
- He loses consciousness and totally misses the end of the battle.
The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again Chapter 17 Study Group
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