Study Guide

The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again Chapter 18

By J.R.R. Tolkien

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Chapter 18

The Return Journey

  • Bilbo wakes up all alone on the battlefield.
  • He takes off his ring of invisibility and a man who has been sent to find him carries Bilbo down to the camp (much easier to locate a guy when he's not invisible).
  • Gandalf is glad to see Bilbo.
  • He quickly brings Bilbo to Thorin, who's dying.
  • Thorin tells Bilbo that he wants them to be friends again. He adds, "If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" (18.19).
  • Thorin passes away, and Bilbo cries.
  • Bilbo learns later that the Eagles came upon observing that the goblins were massing their armies for attack.
  • Following the Eagles, Beorn appeared alone in his bear shape, seeming "to have grown to almost giant-size in his wrath" (18.22).
  • Beorn attacked the goblins and Wargs from the rear and fought right through their ranks.
  • With the help of the Eagles and Beorn, the men, elves, and dwarves rallied and fought back the goblins and Wargs.
  • They won! And "the mountains had peace for many a year" (18.24).
  • Dain has been crowned King under the Mountain.
  • Ten of the twelve dwarf companions of Thorin are still alive: Fili and Kili both died defending Thorin. But the other ten stay with Dain.
  • Dain hands over a fourteenth portion of the treasure to Bard, as Thorin promised before the war.
  • Bard uses the money to rebuild Dale and enrich Lake-town.
  • Bilbo comes away with two small chests of treasure – "That will be quite as much as I can manage" (18.37).
  • Bilbo and Gandalf ride along with the Elvenking to Mirkwood.
  • Beorn accompanies Bilbo and Gandalf to his house close to the Misty Mountains.
  • Bilbo and Gandalf spend the winter with Beorn.
  • Then Bilbo and Gandalf continue on to Rivendell.

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