Friday, August 19, 2016

The Hobbit

Mild Spoilers Ahead

The Hobbit is a children’s story published by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1937. It centers around the lighthearted “fairy-tale-esque” adventure of a Hobbit, a small, hairy-footed, pot-bellied, fun-loving creature named Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo lives comfortably in his little Hobbit-hole until thirteen dwarves and a wizard pop in for tea. Bilbo is swept away on a quest to reclaim the dwarves gold which has been stolen and is protected by a fearsome dragon named Smaug.

Bilbo encounters Elves, Trolls, Spiders, Skin-Changers, and of course one, giant, fire-breathing Dragon.

This story is an enchanting tale of one little person who makes a big difference in the large scheme of things. Bilbo is reluctant to leave his own home, but in a rash moment, gets over his fears and runs out on the adventure. There are many strong themes running throughout the books which are surely beneficial: bravery, self-sacrifice, evil, empathy, and mercy just to name a few.

Reading this story is an absolute must if you are looking to read The Lord of the Rings or are just trying to get a sampler of classic books and authors. It’s a quick read--only about 400 pages--and written in a simple style in order to be suitable for children.

My favorite moments are the original tea party in Bag End. The Dwarves storm into Bilbo’s calm, sedentary life and shake things up. They motivate him to do things he never would have considered, and Bilbo learns a lot along his journey. As a Christian, I am reminded of the power of God storming into my quiet little life and stirring a little something which has lead me to do things I never could on my own.

I also enjoy the Riddles in the Dark scene in which Bilbo perfectly demonstrates mercy upon Gollum. When given the chance to kill the poor creature, Bilbo instead shows compassion and lets him live. We learn later on in The Lord of the Rings that this act of starting his Ring ownership off well made things easier on Bilbo, and of course Gollum is the one who ultimately succeeds in the Quest of the Ring.

There are so many quick little quotes that are adorable and meaningful at the same time. Here are a few:

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” (I love this quote because Bilbo went out on an adventure looking for gold, but ended up coming home with something more important--his courage, compassion, and a magic Ring.)

“Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun.

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day,
To claim our long-forgotten gold.

Goblets they carved there for themselves
And harps of gold; where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men or elves.

The pines were roaring on the height,
The wind was moaning in the night.
The fire was red, it flaming spread;
The trees like torches blazed with light.

The bells were ringing in the dale
And men looked up with faces pale;
The dragon's ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail.

The mountain smoked beneath the moon;
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled their hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.

Far over the misty mountains grim
To dungeons deep and caverns dim
We must away, ere break of day,
To win our harps and gold from him!”


“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”


“May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks.”


“Where there's life there's hope.”


Have you read The Hobbit? Are you similar or unlike Bilbo?

Are you considering reading The Hobbit? Why did you decide to read it?

Comment below :)

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