Mark Reads ‘The Hobbit’: Chapter 16

In the sixteenth chapter of The Hobbit, Bilbo gets tired of the dwarves’ endless nonsense and decides to take the first step towards ending the standoff at the Lonely Mountain. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Hobbit.


You know, the very first sentence of chapter sixteen lets me know that we’re in for the long haul, at least until Bilbo gets as annoyed as I am.

Now the days passed slowly and wearily.

Days? The dwarves hold out in the mountain for days? I generally consider myself a fairly patient person, but the dwarves’ stubbornness is wearing that thin, and rather quickly I might add. While the lake men and elves continue to gather outside (probably losing their patience, too), the dwarves spend time “piling and ordering the treasure,” which makes me so irrationally angry that I then become even more angry that I’ve let myself get upset at a bunch of dwarves who aren’t even real. This entire endeavor is so foolish and impractical because….seriously, are the dwarves just going to starve to death in that cave??? Oh god THEY’LL PROBABLY EAT BILBO. Now my roast hobbit joke takes on a whole new meaning!

To make matters worse (DOES ANYTHING EVER GET BETTER ON THIS SITE), Roäc arrives with news that pretty much causes Bilbo to crack: Dain and five hundred dwarves are on their way to help aid those walled up with the treasure. That makes matters inevitable: there’s going to be a war. A war! And guess who is stuck right in the middle of it and hasn’t even been consulted on the matter?

That’s why I really love what happens here and what Tolkien does with Bilbo’s character. He’s a loyal friend, first of all, but at the same time, he’s far more practical than anyone else in his group. We saw that in the Mirkwood Forest and here in the cave when Bilbo confronted Smaug the first time. Here, though, he takes a mighty gigantic risk in order to force the confrontation between the dwarves and Bard’s party before this turns into complete chaos. Using the trust that he’s gained from the dwarves, he essentially tricks Bombur into believing he’ll take watch on the wall. (Oh god is this where GRRM got the idea of the Wall HE TOTALLY DID omg) Once he does, he leaves.

It’s brilliant. I don’t care. This is the most fantastic thing he’s done in the book after attacking the spiders with Sting. The risk it poses is great, obviously, and when I found out the full scope of his plan, there were so many things that could have backfired about it. Well, I suppose there are still things to be discovered about this, since the dwarves have no idea what’s going on, but for the time being, I am just so impressed.

I think that’s ultimately why Bard was so shocked and so hospitable to Bilbo when he does appear in his camp. For a second or two after Bilbo descended down the wall, I thought he might just try to escape, but he had a long journey back to the West to take all by himself. It did make more sense for him to find a way to end this conflict so that he’d have company on his way back home. How he was going to do that was a mystery to me, so I was just as excited to figure out what Bilbo was doing as Bard.

It might be a bit presumptive of Bilbo to go ahead and make any sort of offer on behalf of the dwarves, but I think that I ultimately support what he does here.

“A share in the profits, mind you,” he went on. “I am aware of that. Personally I am only too ready to consider all your claims carefully, and deduct what is right from the total before putting in my own claim. However you don’t know Thorin Oakenshield as well as I do now. I assure you, he is quite ready to sit on a heap of gold and starve, as long as you sit here.”

Well, this is pretty damn reasonable, right? Again, Bilbo might get into trouble for enacting this without the dwarves’ input, but it’s still a good plan. I think? I did notice a small flaw in this, and it perplexed: how would Bilbo get Bard and the elves to believe him? He’s offering this on behalf of people who have no idea that he’s doing this, so…that’s a pretty shaky platform, isn’t it? Even when he tells Bard that Dain is on his way to this very place with five hundred more dwarves, the man can’t understand how this makes any sort of sense. Is Bilbo betraying the dwarves? he wonders aloud.

“My dear Bard!” squeaked Bilbo. “Don’t be so hasty! I never met such suspicious folk! I am merely trying to avoid trouble for all concerned. Now I will make you an offer!”

“Let us hear it!” they said.

“You may see it!” said he. “It is this!” and he drew forth the Arkenstone, and threw away the wrapping.

OH BILBO, YOU EVIL GENIUS. Holy shit, this makes SO MUCH SENSE. Offer the Arkenstone to Bard, and use it as a bargaining tool against Thorin’s own greed. I mean…jesus, this is such a dastardly thing to do. (And really, I don’t get to say “dastardly” enough as it is.) I think it needs to be said that the Bilbo we met at the beginning of this book wouldn’t have even dreamed up this plan, let alone attempted to execute it. But Bilbo steals Thorin’s most desired piece of treasure, hands it to the opposing party, and implores them to use it against him. BILBO YOU BADASS. Thieving badass, yes, but a badass nonetheless.

The Elvenking looked at Bilbo with a new wonder. “Bilbo Baggins!” he said. “You are more worthy to wear the armour of elf-princes than many that have looked more comely in it.”

Well, SHUCKS. That’s might kind of you to say, Elvenking! The dude even offers to let Bilbo stay with their party! But Bilbo has his plan mapped out in even more detail than I expected. He plans to return to the dwarves. Oh shit, this is going to be either a TOTAL DISASTER or a BEAUTIFUL VICTORY. I imagine that Thorin is not one to be very reasonable while angry, to be quite honest, so I don’t know that this is necessarily the best thing to do. Still, Bilbo has a point: the dwarves will know too much if Bilbo doesn’t return.

On his way out of camp, the lake men and the elves ecstatic at the turn of events, there’s one last thing that happens that makes me feel all weird inside because what the holy fuck:

As they passed through the camp an old man, wrapped in a dark cloak, rose from a tent door where he was sitting and came towards them.

“Well done! Mr. Baggins!” he said, clapping Bilbo on the back. “There is always more about you than anyone expects!” It was Gandalf.

WHAT THE FUCK IS GANDALF DOING. Does he just hide in camps to offer sage wisdom and completely confuse people? Was he waiting here the whole time? DOES HE KNOW THE FUTURE. I mean, how does someone get away with saying shit like this to someone and then just off and leaving?

“Things are drawing towards the end now, unless I am mistaken. There is an unpleasant time just in front of you; but keep your heart up! You may come through all right!”

WHY DON’T YOU JUST CAST A SPELL AND MAKE THE MOUNTAIN TURN INTO A GIANT BOWL OF PUDDING OR SOMETHING? I mean, are you even going to assist at all? I get the sense that Gandalf just stands around like some sort of wizardly hipster. “Oh, I already know what’s going to happen. I’ve seen it, man. You just go on ahead, I’m going to stand around in my robes and talk about elf rock with some lake men.”

Gandalf, you’re such a weirdo and I love you for it.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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163 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Hobbit’: Chapter 16

  1. cait0716 says:

    Bilbo is awesome and Gandalf is back!

  2. bearshorty says:

    Bilbo is getting more interesting with every chapter. And he pulls of his plan without a hitch – he is a true burglar now!

    Illustrations for Chapters 15 and 16:

    <img src="; alt="roac and balin" border="1" height="300"/>

    <img src=" alt="thief in the night" border="1" height="300"/>

  3. Ryan Lohner says:

    As I understand it (and this is such a complex mythology that I could be totally off) Gandalf and his people basically take the Superman approach, wanting to avoid just becoming the deus ex machinas of Middle Earth who'll just swoop in and fix any problem, which would cause everyone to just get fat and lazy knowing they'll be taken care of.

    • flootzavut says:

      That's my understanding too… Vg'f orra n juvyr, ohg V guvax Tnaqnys vf abg fbzr uhzna be rys jvgu yrneavat, nf n Jvmneq ur vf n qvssrerag xvaq bs orvat nygbtrgure…? Lrf? Gung'f nyfb jul ur unf gur pubvpr gb tb vagb gur Jrfg, naq vg'f jul ur yvzvgf uvf vagehfvbaf vagb jbeyq rirag.

      V whfg sbhaq guvf ba Jvxv: "Gbyxvra ersref gb Tnaqnys nf na "natry vapneangr". Va gur fnzr yrggre Gbyxvra fgngrf ur jnf tvira gur sbez bs na byq zna va beqre gb yvzvg uvf cbjref ba Rnegu. Obgu va 1965 naq 1971 Gbyxvra ntnva ersref gb Tnaqnys nf na natryvp orvat."

      V'q sbetbggra gung gur jvmneqf ner pnyyrq "Vfgnev"


      "Gur jvmneqf nyernql nccrnerq byq jura gurl ragrerq Zvqqyr-rnegu. Gurl jrer "pybgurq" va gur obqvrf bs byq Zra, nf gur Inyne jvfurq gurz gb thvqr gur vaunovgnagf bs Zvqqyr-rnegu ol crefhnfvba naq rapbhentrzrag, abg ol sbepr be srne. Ubjrire, gurl ntrq irel fybjyl naq jrer va snpg vzzbegny."

      Zl vzcerffvba vf gung gur Vfgnev ner fubja ynetryl nf gur uboovgf frr gurz, byq zra jub ner dhvgr zlfgrevbhf naq unir cbjre, ohg gur uboovgf ner serdhragyl hanjner bs/fhecevfrq ol gur cbjre gung Tnaqnys npghnyyl unf. Gurer vf n ybg zber gb Tnaqnys guna vf rira frra va gur jubyr YBGE V guvax!

  4. pennylane27 says:

    Gandalf is too awesome for words. Sort of spoilers for LOTR and The Sil: Nygubhtu V guvax gung ol pnyyvat uvz "jvmneq" crbcyr trg gur jebat vqrn nobhg uvz. Ur pna'g whfg qb zntvp naq znxr rirel ceboyrz tb njnl. Ur'f urer gb thvqr naq uryc gur crbcyrf bs Zvqqyr-Rnegu guebhtu gur qnex gvzrf. Fher, ur znl ragregnva uvzfrys jvgu sverjbexf naq cvcr-jrrq, ohg ur'f tbg n wbo gb qb. I LOVE HIM OK?

    Bilbo, you magnificent burglar you. I remember being 12 and reading this for the first time and being all confused about this. What is he doing?

    Also, dastardly is a great word and everyone should be able to use it regularly.

  5. Saphling says:

    <img src="×367.png&quot; alt="And cigarettes are too mainstream." />

    You know it's true.

    *hopes her html works*

  6. earis the istarwen says:

    Bilbo creates a plan based on his own belief in what is right (not his desires) and goes to great lengths to achieve it, putting himself in peril at every step of the way. And instead of weapons and magic crap, he uses talking, commonsense, and dwarf profiling. Bilbo is the best.

    Also, Bilbo, "I see your point of view. At the same time, winter is coming on fast."


  7. flootzavut says:

    Bilbo is brilliant 😀 I love that you love him, Mark!

    OK shameless boast – well boast is not the right word but I can't think what the right one is. Reposting from t'other day because I AM EXCITE!

    CHRISTOPHER TOLKIEN'S CHILDREN! How awesome cool is that? I am excite. I'm
    not much impressed by "celebrity" but having a connection to one of THE
    BEST AUTHORS EVER through the son who is his literary executor, I am
    suitably impressed. And also weird and random cool coincidence that it
    happened when I am re-reading The Hobbit.

    Apparently the first time she went to babysit Christopher was reading his
    six year old gur raq bs EBGX jurer Tbyyhz ovgrf Sebqb'f svatre bss naq fur
    jnf gbgnyyl ubeevsvrq YBY 🙂

    Anyone else got a Tolkien link? No matter how tenuous!

    • Saphling says:

      A friend and I had a picnic under what is reported to have been Tolkien's favorite tree at the Oxford Botanical Gardens (while we were stopping by to see Will and Lyra's bench).

      Careful with the second link, because the caption under it might contain spoilers for LotR.

    • monkeybutter says:

      What took her so long to tell you?! It's too perfect that he was reading it to his kid.

      • flootzavut says:

        I know, right??!

        Auntie Pat is in her late 70s, and not a big reader or watcher of fantasy, so the whole LOTR thing has kind of passed her by. She just mentioned it in passing when she was talking to my mum – she couldn't even remember which brother it was but we worked out from some of the things she remembered that it had to be Christopher.

        As well as the fact she babysat his kids, it's just occurred to me to go "wow!" at the fact that she heard a bit of LOTR coming from one of the first people to ever have it told to THEM, I mean except if she had heard JRRT reading it, it's about as close as possible to hearing it from the originator! 😮 LOL

    • Geolojazz says:

      I had a beer at the Eagle and Child! 😀

    • Ryan Lohner says:

      Sadly, Christopher's son Simon is now not on speaking terms with him, due to his enthusiastic support of the Peter Jackson films, which Christopher disapproved of.

      • Dent_D says:

        What a shame. I hope they reconcile soon!

      • flootzavut says:

        Oh that is sad. I can well understand the passions that the books must arouse, and Christopher has spent decades reconstructing the Sil etc but to break family relationship over it is very sad indeed.

      • Tauriel_ says:

        Ahh, so Simon must be that JRR's grandson who had a cameo in the LOTR films! 🙂 (he was n Tbaqbevna fbyqvre, ohg V pna'g erzrzore jurgure va Bftvyvngu be Zvanf Gvevgu)

    • ravenclaw42 says:

      Oh, that is cool! It's like when I found out that my grandmother went to high school with Elvis. To her he was just this weedy kid she went to high school with, and she was rather bemused by his fame. It never occurred to her to tell people about it.

      I do have a Tolkien link… a very, very tenuous one, but it's also a Philip Pullman link! Years ago, I was contacted by a journalist who once interviewed Tolkien (and interviews with Tolkien were very rare). The journalist was writing a piece for the UK Guardian about the release of Lyra's Oxford and he wanted to include some mention of His Dark Materials' fanbase, and he had read my one and only HDM fanfic on and wanted to quote it. Cue me FREAKING OUT and saying yes yes yes yesssss. So. That validated my fanfic-writing ways for years to come. XD

      The journalist is John Ezard, and after much archive-searching I have links! Here is the article I was quoted in, and here is the article he wrote about interviewing Tolkien and visiting Sarehole Mill, on which the Shire is partly based. Beware potential spoilers for the entire collected works of Tolkien in the latter, but it's mostly about Tolkien himself rather than his writing.

    • avonleaapples says:

      I went to the Eagle and Child when I was in Oxford. Also, my dad MET Tolkien a couple times. My dad spent a year abroad at Oxford back in the 60s or 70s, and said that he'd see Tolkien wandering about sometimes. Said he seemed like a pleasant, professor type fellow. My aunts have NEVER forgiven my dad for not getting autographs.

      • flootzavut says:

        I can well imagine him wandering about Oxford being pleasant *grin* – I always picture him as being everso slightly off with the fairies… or elves, or hobbits… 🙂

    • Cat says:

      I met his great-nephew Tim Tolkien when I was about 10 (around the same time I first read The Hobbit, actually). He designed a play sculpture for our school and my class spent a few hours helping come up with ideas for it. It was fun, but annoyingly because we were year 5 & 6, half of us had left by the time it was finished and never got a chance to play on it!

    • Emily says:

      This link is very tenuous, but here goes: I wrote my master's thesis on LotR. My thesis chair had written his PhD dissertation on LotR. When he was writing it, he wrote to Tolkien to find out how to pronounce his name. He received a response of Tolkien's agent. He showed me the letter.

      Apparently, it's Tohl-KEEN, emphasis on the KEEN.

      Who knew, right?

  8. bookworm67 says:

    Bilbo BAMF Baggins, you are amazing. Tricksy, tricksy, tricksy.

  9. monkeybutter says:

    I'm pretty sure the Wall in ASOIAF is based on Hadrian's Wall. For some reason, I think of The Cask of Amontillado when the dwarves' wall is mentioned, like they've only bricked up the entrance. Thorin's lusting after treasure and immures himself, so it's slightly different, but it makes being stuck in there a bit more ominous and creepy.

    • Albion19 says:

      The Wall: yeah I read something like that. He was on a visit to the UK and got the idea after seeing Hadrian's Wall. The "barbaric" wildlings cut off from the North/South. As a half Scot is just makes me lol

  10. Darth_Ember says:

    It is a great plan of Bilbo's, there; the Arkenstone being what he considers the one thing that might move Thorin to do something other than stubbornly sitting in the mountain.

    Though given his temper, maybe Bilbo should have taken the Elvenking up on that offer to stay there. Still, he's a decent guy; he doesn't want to desert his friends, just make them see reason.

  11. flootzavut says:


    Bwahahahahahaha! Now that would be an interesting scene to film!! 😀

    Tolkien takes this in a direction no one suspected, it's fantastic. And YAY Gandalf!

    ROTK and FOTR spoilers:

    Abg dhvgr gbgnyyl haeryngrq ohg nyzbfg – jngpuvat gur RR bs EBGX naq Tvzyv whfg fnvq uvf yvar nobhg qjneirf fjvzzvat jvgu yvggyr unvel jbzra. V xabj Gbyxvra chevfgf znl fuvg n oevpx ng gung cbvag ohg vg penpxf zr hc gbgnyyl! Naq url, jr ner gnyxvat nobhg qjneirf fb vg'f abg gbb veeryrinag.

    Nyfb… Znex vf tbvat gb unir n svg jura Tnaqnys snyyf va Zbevn! Naq jvyy ybir uvz rira zber ol gur raq bs gur jubyr guvat, zrguvaxf!

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      Can you imagine?

      "Ugh, that scene with the pudding was so clearly CGI…"
      "No, man, it wasn't. They literally bought up all the pudding mix in New Zealand, just to make it realistic."

      • knut_knut says:

        Lbh xabj JRGN jbhyq or nyy bire znxvat gur chqqvat nf nhguragvp nf cbffvoyr. Gurl’q cebonoyl rira nqq fbzr yvggyr chqqvat qrgnvyf jr’q arire frr 🙂

        • Saphling says:

          Don't worry. There'll be a "Making Of" featurette in the extended edition! MOAR PUDDING!

          • knut_knut says:

            I love the Appendices on the extended editions (I spent all weekend being lazy and marathoned the movies and the extra features- I lead an exciting life) but I’d love them even more if they featured pudding! And if they came with pudding 😀

            • flootzavut says:

              I love the extras! But yeah, they sooooo should come with pudding… that would be brilliant. Maybe we should write to Peter Jackson before the Hobbit movies come out and suggest this??! 🙂

              Zl snibhevgr rkgen vf Ynaq bs gur Ubefr Ybeqf – ng yrnfg V guvax gung vf vgf anzr?? V nz abg naq unir arire orra n ubefrl crefba, ohg gurer vf fbzrguvat nobhg frrvat erny gehfg orgjrra na navzny naq vgf bjare/evqre gung V nyjnlf svaq vaperqvoyl zbivat, naq V YBIR YBIR YBIR gur eryngvbafuvcf orgjrra Nentbea/Ivttb naq Oertb/Henrhf naq orgjrra gur fghagjbzna naq Sybevna (jnf ur Funqbjsnk?? vg unf orra n juvyr naq V sbetrg qrgnvyf)… gur obaqf bs ybir naq gehfg gubfr npgbef naq ubefrf ohvyg hc vf whfg n ornhgvshy guvat, naq fb V ernyyl ybir gung rkgen naq V pbasrff vg nyjnlf znxrf zr grne hc. V guvax gung rkgen zvtug rira unir nyy gur bgure ubefrl fghss ba vg (ubj gurl 'svyzrq' ubefrf snyyvat jvgubhg vawhevat nal ubefrf, ubj gurl sbhaq crbcyr gb or gur Ebuveevz rgp) fb V'q pbafvqre vg n cerggl tbbq inyhr rkgen, gbb, ohg vg'f gubfr gjb eryngvbafuvcf gung ernyyl zbir zr. Bu naq gur snpg gung Ivttb obhtug gur fghagjbzna (jub V jnag gb pnyy Wnar…?) gur ubefr orpnhfr ur xarj fur jbhyq abg or noyr gb ohl uvz bgurejvfr naq ur xarj ubj zhpu vg zrnag gb ure.

              BX rabhtu jnssyntr abj…

              • notemily says:

                V'z abg n ubefrl crefba rvgure, ohg V nqber gur ubefr fghss gbb! V guvax jung V'z zbfg vzcerffrq jvgu vf gur pbfghzr qrfvta–gurl qvq RIRELGUVAT qbja gb gur ynfg RKNPG qrgnvy, rira guvatf gung jbhyq arire or fubja va gur svany svyz, naq V nz fb vzcerffrq jvgu gung. Gur jubyr svyz jnf whfg fhpu n ynobe bs ybir naq n jbex bs neg, abg whfg n wbo sbe gubfr crbcyr. Rira gur npgbef, jub vawherq gurzfryirf nyy bire gur cynpr juvyr svyzvat ohg xrcg ba xrrcvat ba naq znqr gurve cresbeznaprf nf ernyvfgvp nf cbffvoyr.

                • knut_knut says:

                  V nz n ubefrl crefba naq gur Ebuna ovgf nyjnlf znxr zr n ovg fnq orpnhfr V’yy cebonoyl arire evqr ntnva fvapr ubefrf naq nyy guvatf ubefr-eryngrq ner fb qnza rkcrafvir! Sberire wrnybhf bs gur Ebuveevz :C V xabj zbfg crbcyr bayl jngpu gur vagreivrjf jvgu gur npgbef, ohg V ybbbbbbbir gur JRGN naq qrfvta ovgf, orpnhfr, yvxr lbh fnvq, rirelbar gurer frrzf gb trahvaryl ybir jung gurl qb. V sbetrg jub jnf gnyxvat, (znlor Evpuneq Gnlybe be Qnavry Snypbare) ohg jubrire vg jnf jnf rkcynvavat Gurbqra’f nezbe naq ubj rira ba gur vafvqr bs uvf oernfgcyngr, juvpu gur nhqvrapr jvyy arire frr, gurer vf n ubefr zbgvs. Gurer jnf ab arrq sbe gurz gb qb gung, ohg V guvax vg fcrnxf gb ubj jryy ybirq gur obbxf ner naq ubj qrqvpngrq gur pnfg naq perj jrer <3

                  • notemily says:

                    V xabj jung lbh zrna, nal gvzr V jngpu na njrfbzr qnapr fprar vg znxrf zr n ovg fnq orpnhfr V hfrq gb or n qnapre ohg zl ntvat obql naq ynpx bs zbarl unir znqr zr fgbc.

                    Zl snibevgr zbzrag va nyy bs gur rkgenf, V guvax, vf jura gur perj gnyx nobhg ubj gurl jrer gbyq gb nccebnpu gur zbivrf nf vs gurl jrer svyzvat n uvfgbevpny erperngvba be qbphzragnel bs fbzrguvat gung npghnyyl unccrarq. V zrna, ubj znal snagnfl zbivrf npghnyyl oevat gung yriry bs ernyvfz?

                    • AmandaNekesa says:

                      Bbbu, lrnu V jnf whfg jngpuvat gung cneg gur bgure qnl. Crgre Wnpxfba tnir n yvggyr fcrrpu gb gur cebqhpgvba perj gung ur jnagrq gb nccebnpu gur qrfvta bs gur svyzf abg nf whfg ergryyvat n fgbel, ohg nf gur harneguvat naq ergryyvat bs ybat-sbetbggra phygherf naq uvfgbevrf. Ur gnyxrq nobhg vg orvat n cevivyrtr gb or n cneg bs gur perj gung trgf gb or n cneg bs guvf qvfpbirel. Gurl jrag vagb fhpu qrgnvyf nf bhgyvavat gur qrfvta uvfgbel bs gur inevbhf phygherf guebhtubhg gur trarengvbaf, juvpu V ybir! Vg'f nyy bs guvf fghss…gurve ybir bs gur fgbel vf fb pyrne va gurve qrqvpngvba gb qrgnvy, naq vg'f ersyrpgrq va gur nznmvat svavfurq jbex bs gur zbivrf.

                    • flootzavut says:

                      Urpx, ubj znal *uvfgbevpny* zbivrf gnxr gubfr xvaq bs cnvaf? Vg qbrf fubj va gur svany "cebqhpg" – naq V'z fher nf na npgbe vg zhfg uryc gb unir pbfghzrf naq cebcf gung ner fb ybivatyl qrgnvyrq naq cnvafgnxvatyl znqr gb srry nf erny nf cbffvoyr.

                  • flootzavut says:

                    Yes yes and more yes. And by the way, you are among friends, I have watched every bit of available extra footage more than once 😀

                • flootzavut says:

                  V'z tynq V'z abg gur bayl aba-ubefrl crefba gb or zbirq ol gung… V pna frr V nz tbvat gb unir gb jngpu vg ntnva fbba orpnhfr V erzrzore ubj ybiryl nzq zbivat naq gbhpuvat vg jnf! (ba gur zbivat naq gbhpuvat sebag, bar bs zl bgure pubxrq-hc zbzragf vf jura gur AM perjzrzoref qb n Unxn sbe Ivttb naq Oreaneq nsgre gurl unir jenccrq, fbzrguvat nobhg gung znxrf zr grne hc rirel gvzr!)

                  Er gur pbfghzr qrfvta rgp: Lrf, nofbyhgryl! Gurer'f fhpu n evpuarff naq qrcgu gb rirelguvat ba gur fperra. V fnvq va n pbzzrag nobhg ynathntr ryfrjurer gung V ybir gung, orpnhfr gb zr nf jryy nf fubjvat vg jnf n erny ynobhe bs ybir, vg nyfb ersyrpgf gur rabezbhf qrcgunaq oernqgu bs qrgnvy gung Gbyxvra chg vagb vg. Vg whfg frrzf "evtug" fbzrubj gung gurl nppbeqrq uvf jbex gung xvaq bs erfcrpg naq ynivfurq ybir ba vg va gung jnl. Vg zhfg uryc gur npgbef, gbb. V zrna, Zvenaqn Bggb sbe vafgnapr, vg zhfg znxr vg rnfvre gb trg vagb gur ebyr bs Rbjla jura lbh ner npghnyyl fgnaqvat bhgfvqr Rqbenf va n ornhgvshy juvgr qerff orvat oybja ol gur jvaq, naq rirelguvat nebhaq lbh unf orra ybivatyl qrfvtarq gb ersyrpg gur punenpgref naq phygher bs gur crefba lbh ner cynlvat! 🙂

                  V frrz gb erpnyy fbzrjurer gurl fnvq gung jura Nentbea/Ivttb xvpxrq gur uryzrg va sehfgengvba jura gurl oryvrir Zreel naq Cvccva ner qrnq, gung gur gnxr gurl hfrq, ur npghnyyl oebxr uvf gbr, ohg ur qvqa'g oernx punenpgre naq whfg lryyrq "nf Nentbea" vafgrnq bs lryyvat, "Phg! V oebxr zl gbr!" – qvqa'g ur, Yrtbynf naq Tvzyv nyy raq hc qbvat n snve nzbhag bs ehaavat-nebhaq-Zvqqyr Rnegu jvgu oebxra nccraqntrf? V zrna, vg jnfa'g ebpxrg fpvrapr be srrqvat gur fgneivat, ohg nf npgvat wbof tb gurl ERNYYL nyy jrag sbe vg naq tnir vg gurve nofbyhgr nyy. V guvax gung fubjf birenyy va gur cebqhpgvba inyhrf naq gur pbzzvgzrag bs gur pnfg naq perj gb gur zbivrf.

                  • notemily says:

                    Lrnu vg vf qrsvavgryl n gevohgr gb Gbyxvra. Ur perngrq fb zhpu fghss (ynathntrf, onpxfgbevrf, rgp) gung qvqa'g znxr vg vagb gur npghny YBGE fntn, naq jub xabjf jung ryfr jnf va uvf urnq gung ur qvqa'g chg qbja ba cncre. Fb vg'f bayl svggvat gung gur zbivrf jbhyq perngr rirel ynfg qrgnvy gbb, rira vs fbzr bs gung fghss qvqa'g rire fubj hc ba fperra. Gurl'er gehyl n ynaqznex va svyzznxvat naq zl snibevgr zbivrf rire.

                    • flootzavut says:

                      Zr gbb. V nz fher gurl ner abg cresrpg, naq V pna frr jul fbzr Gbyxvra chevfgf unir vffhrf jvgu gurz, ohg birenyy vg'f uneq gb vzntvar nal zbivrf vzcebivat ba ubj gurl pncgher gur fcvevg, zbfg bs gur cybg, naq gur ybbx naq srry bs Zvqqyr Rnegu. V'q sbetbggra whfg ubj tbbq gurl ner, naq er-jngpuvat gurz nsgre n srj lrnef unf orra n erny cyrnfher.

                      V nyfb guvax gurl znantr gb ornhgvshyyl pncgher fbzrguvat gung V crefbanyyl srry vf vagrteny gb YBGE, va gung gurl cbegenl svaqvat ubcr va nccneragyl ubcryrff fvghngvbaf, naq yvtug va qnexarff.

          • flootzavut says:

            Bwahahahahahahahahaha 😀

      • notemily says:

        And then they made a large miniature or "Bigature" of what the pudding-mountain would look like. Unfortunately, immediately after the scene was filmed, the actor playing Bombur ate it.

      • Tauriel_ says:

        You know, I think Weta totally WOULD do it with real pudding! 😀

  12. plaidpants says:

    It's been so long since I've read this book that I had really forgotten how much of a BAMF Bilbo is. He's just like, whatever, I'm not waiting here any longer! And I think he's really fond of the dwarves, and went back to be among his friends – he didn't want Bombour to get into trouble by not waking him up!

  13. Marie the Bookwyrm says:

    Bilbo is a bamf, but he's also a sweetie. He has to go back because he promised to wake Bombur.

  14. Elexus Calcearius says:

    "It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to one's enemies- but even greater courage to stand up to one's friends". That's pretty much what Bilbo did this. He went behind his friends' backs to try and stop a war, and keep people dying unjustly

    What a brave little hobbit he is!

    • Saphling says:

      "It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to one's enemies – but even greater courage to stand up to one's friends."


    • Lugija says:

      Order of Neville, Second Class, I'd say. First Class if I can wangle it!

    • settlingforhistory says:

      Yes, Bilbo is so BAMF! Especially as he didn't just stand up against his friends but also overcame he own greed, in order to stop a war. When he found the Arkenstone in the cave, he very much wanted to keep it for himself, but here there is no mention of regret.
      I love this little Hobbit!

    • Dreamflower says:

      Oh, that quote is so PERFECT for Bilbo! Bilbo was clearly a Neville sort of Gryffindor!!!

      He was so brave and clever and compassionate and loyal and humble. The most wonderful part of all was him returning to the Dwarves, even after he'd already gone behind their backs!

    • flootzavut says:

      V nyjnlf gubhtug Tnaqnys naq Qhzoyrqber jbhyq trg ba 🙂

    • ChronicReader91 says:

      That is one of my favorite HP quotes! <3 And completely appropriate.

  15. I'm not going to lie, this part went completely over my head as a little kid and all I could think was "What is Bilbo doing? That's not his to be giving!" Clearly Tolkien's children were much smarter than I was if they were able to get this without question. Don't get me wrong; on re-reading I find it amazing that Bilbo was able to find the courage to do this at all; I know I would have just hidden up there until Gandalf came to save me. But when I was first listening to this, I remember feeling so confused about why Bilbo was giving away something that wasn't his. It didn't occur to me until years later just how hard this must have been for Bilbo to do.

    And this is one reason among many I love The Hobbit as much as I do: it completely deconstructs the traditional hero. In any other story that'd be Bard or Thorin himself. But no; it's the little burglar who creeps around in the night, who makes no secret about the fact that he's "tired of the whole affair" and who relies on cleverness and practicality rather than glory to do the RIGHT thing. It's so beautifully different, and I actually think it's a major reason so many Tolkien imitators fail- they opt for depicting the strong brave hero rather than the ordinary person.

  16. msw188 says:

    Bilbo for president? I love that he has Thorin's original letter in his pocket and pulls it out to show the elven-king and Bard. I also love the following sentence from the last chapter that I forgot to post at the time, but it sort of fits here as well:
    "He [Bilbo] did not, of course, expect that any one would remember that it was he who discovered all by himself the dragon's weak spot; and that was just as well, for no one ever did."
    You're in the middle of bargaining with the elven-king and Bard, and you have them amazed at you; why not bring it up then? Oh that's right, because you are THE MOST SELFLESS YET BELIEVABLE HERO OF ALL TIME. Yrg hf abg sbetrg gung vg vf Ovyob, naq Ovyob nybar, jub vf gur bayl gehr evat-ornere gb rire or noyr gb checbfryl tvir vg hc (Fnz qbrfa'g pbhag, ur unq vg sbe yvxr n qnl).

  17. Dreamflower says:

    This is Bilbo's finest hour! He knows that what he's doing is dangerous, but he TRUSTS the Men and Elves to do the right thing and avoid the war! Then, simply because the Dwarves are his friends in SPITE of how they treat him, he turns right around and goes back so he won't get Bombur in trouble!

    Bilbo is utterly amazing: practical, clever, generous and humble, and totally AWESOME!

    FotR spoiler:
    Naq bs pbhefr, jvgu fbzrbar jub vf nf tbbq nf Ovyob, vg'f ab jbaqre gung gur Evat gbbx arneyl fvkgl lrnef orsber vg rira ortna gb unir zhpu bs na rssrpg ba uvz! Vg unq na njshy ybg bs tbbqarff gb gel naq birepbzr, naq vg pbhyq arire dhvgr fhpprrq. Vzntvar ubj vafhygrq vg zhfg unir sryg jura Ovyob npghnyyl qvq tvir vg njnl?

  18. stellaaaaakris says:

    I don't really have any thoughts on this chapter other than I wish we weren't reading this a chapter a day because I just want to plop down and finish everything.

    BUT!!! Did you guys see the trailer for The Hunger Games? I am so excited! Can't wait until March!
    [youtube 4S9a5V9ODuY youtube]

    • It looks so much better than I expected, I have to say… I'm really pumped about it! I love the setting- it's pretty gritty and realistic, when I was afraid they'd try and make it way too futuristic. Yeah, I'm excited 🙂

    • pandalilies says:

      Agreed. It LOOKS soooooo much better than I thought.
      Now time to let the excitement begin!

    • knut_knut says:

      I don't have any sound but it looks really cool! Effie looks like a clown straight from my nightmares O_O

    • notemily says:

      It's scary how much this looks EXACTLY LIKE I PICTURED EVERYTHING.

      Especially Peeta. I think I'm going to love Peeta. AND CINNA OMG. <3

    • flootzavut says:

      Wow, if the trailer is anything to go by that is gonna be a heck of a movie.

      First time I saw her I wasn't 100% sure about the girl playing Katniss but actually by the end of the trailer I thought she was great! She didn't look how I pictured Katniss in my mind but even from the trailer I went from "hmm" to "yeah, definitely!"

      • notemily says:

        yeah I always thought of Katniss as having sharper features while Jennifer Lawrence is very soft and rounded in the face area. but it looks like she's doing a pretty good job as Katniss. I was doubtful after watching her be boring as Mystique, but I hear she's great in Winter's Bone.

        • flootzavut says:

          Yes, I imagined Katniss with sharper features, too. If the trailer is anything to go by…

          By the way, you know EVERY time I see your username I read it as note mily, instead of not emily. The human brain is a weird and wonderful thing…

          (Or at least my brain is…!)

          • pennylane27 says:

            I imagined her much thinner, and yes, sharper features. They are supposed to be almost starving after all. That's why I didn't like her when they announced the casting, but I'm slowly changing my mind about her. If the trailer's anything to go by, this will be a fantastic film.

          • notemily says:

            A lot of people say that about "note mily." What's a mily? 😉

            • flootzavut says:

              It's what I ask myself every time 😀 it's weird, I guess my brain reads note and then goes "what's a mily?" but somehow it takes effort to read it as not emily lol 🙂

        • ChronicReader91 says:

          She's amazing in Winter's Bone. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it it was her performance there that helped her get the role of Katniss, since the characters are strikingly similar (living in a lower class mountain area, supporting younger siblings while her father is dead and mother is emotionallly withdrawn, etc.)

    • ChronicReader91 says:

      Up until now I wasn’t OMG EXCITED for these movies. But HOLY SHIT that looks so good.

    • Lady X says:

      CAN’T. WAIT.

    • Barbara says:

      You can really tell they filmed this in North Carolina. It's like looking in the woods behind my house.

  19. threerings says:

    For the first time I couldn’t stop reading at the end of this chapter. And now I’m dying to talk about the next chapter. *sigh*

    Question: are the comments displaying all weird for anyone else? Images aren’t working and there aren’t the usual upvoting buttons and such.

  20. echinodermata says:

    Bilbo certainly has grown since he was first introduced, but it's this chapter where I really am impressed with him beyond all that we've seen him do so far. The fighting and the barrel trick and holding his own position against Gollum and Smaug is good and all, but I love that he's using his cleverness here for diplomacy and making a pretty unselfish choice to give away the Arkenstone. Before, his cleverness is used for means of adventuring, but now he's honestly grown once more and chosen to try to settle matters that could get quite ugly. Sure, it's of benefit to himself to have these circumstances resolved, but that he's the one making the first move to break the standstill via a pretty cool plan shows that Bilbo is dare I say wiser than we've seen him before.

    Oh Bilbo, it's so nice to see you change before us.

    (Also, H2G2 spoiler: JUL QBA’G LBH WHFG PNFG N FCRYY – be cerff n ohggba – NAQ ZNXR GUR ZBHAGNVA – be zvffvyr – GHEA VAGB N TVNAG – be creuncf abg fb tvnag – OBJY BS CHQQVAT – be crghavnf – BE FBZRGUVAT? (Lbh pbhyq nyfb znxr n junyr (naq znxr vg tvnag).)

  21. @unefeeverte says:


  22. Stephen_M says:

    There's something I wanted to mention a chapter or two back but had to work out how to avoid spoilers. This took a while (stupid connected mythology) but think I've got this now:

    With regards the Dwarves and the gold… it's not entirely their fault that they're acting a tad nuts over it. Basically the Dwarves of middle earth have a nasty tendency to get crapped on from a great height, largely because of their skills with precious metals. The standard cycle seems to be – dwarves find suitable location and produce things of wonder, beauty and (in many cases) extreme pointiness. Nasty people / creatures hear of this and decide they would like said items for themselves. Nasty people proceed to kicketh the shit out of the Dwarves for however long it takes to secure the location. Dwarves reattach whatever bits of themselves they can find and hobble off to do it all over again.

    At this point in the history of Middle Earth I think I'm right in saying the Dwarves as a race have been driven from anywhere that had access to gold, silver etc and with the exception of Dain and his people tend to be a wandering race of no fixed abode. Retaking the Lonely Mountain is a hugely significant cultural step for them and one that they'd waited over 150 years for. Granted Dwarves in this series tend to be just a tad greedy anyway but their reaction in this case is sorta understandable.

    • flootzavut says:

      Vg'f orra jnl gbb ybat fvapr V ernq gur eryrinag ovgf bs gur fgbevrf, ohg qvqa'g gur qjneirf fcevat sebz gur tebhaq be fbzrguvat? Fb V thrff gung nyfb rkcynvaf n ovg jul gurl unir fhpu na nssvavgl/ybir/terrq sbe zrgnyf naq fgbarf…?

  23. rosepug says:

    Very nice!

  24. notemily says:

    Warning for LOTR spoilers, but I just saw this image today and wanted to share with y'all. (I would put it on tumblr, but Mark reads tumblr! I don't want to tumblr-spoil!)

    • Starsea28 says:

      BWHAHAHAHA. XD Priceless.

      • Dreamflower says:


        Gung znxrf zr jnag gb ernq n zbqrea qnl NH va juvpu Fnheba vf n Ovt Pbecbengvba! Naq gur Sryybjfuvc zhfg qrfgebl uvf cebtenz gung jvyy gnxr bire gur jbeyq…

        • notemily says:

          Vg znxrf frafr! Fnheba pna or gur PRB sng png jub whfg fvgf hc va uvf gbjre nyy qnl znxvat pnyyf ba uvf Cnynagve oenaq pryy cubar, naq Fnehzna pna or gur snpgbel-bjare jub'f phggvat qbja gerrf naq cbyyhgvat fznyy gbjaf arneol. Gur Ragf pna or npgvivfgf jub punva gurzfryirf gb gerrf gb xrrc gurz sebz orvat phg qbja…

  25. elyce says:


    Back on topic, Thorin is so utterly stubborn, but t'is the nature of dwarves after all. And yay! Gandalf is back! Now where's the magic? Except I don't think Gandalf is like a Dumbledore magic person. Otherwise, he'd just wave his staff and they'd be inside the mountain. But that would be far too easy, wouldn't it?

  26. ravenclaw42 says:

    GRRM's Wall makes me think of (rot13'd because it's on Mark's confirmed list) gur Jnyy va gur Byq Xvatqbz obbxf, naq Fnoevry qvq pbzr bhg n srj lrnef orsber Tnzr bs Guebarf VVEP. But they're both based on Hadrian's wall, I'm pretty sure, so no plagiarism fingers need be pointed. Although it does make me sad that more people know about GRRM than the above coded book/author, because the latter is one of my dearest literary loves.

    Only one illustration today:
    <img src=""&gt;

    Shiiiny. 😀 I think that even though Bilbo took the Arkenstone in a fit of dragon-influenced greed, in the dark, alone, with his imagination running wild… as soon as he had a few days' experience of the dwarves' attitude towards the treasure, his own desire for treasure of any kind was erased. There's nothing like an overt display of gluttony to kill off the first tinglings of greed in a person who is moderate by nature.

    • Dreamflower says:

      That's a beautiful illustration! Really, I adore that Bilbo has his little hobbit weskit on over his mithril-shirt! and I love how impressed the Elf-king and Bard look! *grin* That's a Yay!Bilbo picture if I've ever seen one!

    • flootzavut says:

      Fantastic pic 😀

  27. Starsea28 says:

    GANDALF! 😀

    I'd use the LotR GIF but that's super spoilery even though way more appropriate. So have this instead!

    <img src=""&gt;

    Oh yay, everything is going to be all right! Oh wait… no, it's not, because he's buggered off again. AARGH.

  28. Becky_J_ says:

    While reading this chapter, my thoughts were pretty much this:

    oh my god Bilbo what are you doing you are going to get yourself killed Thorin is going to hate you you pretty much just gave away his heart, his cold, cold heart, and he will get his revenge and oh you had made such good friends with most of the dwarves and now it is all going to be ruined and you are not going to get your part of the treasure and it will all have been for nothing but OH MY GOD YOU'RE A GENIUS AND SO AMAZING.

    I may have been hyperventilating a bit. Probably overreacting a bit too.

  29. arctic_hare says:

    No art today from me, sadly. 🙁 This chapter is illustration-free. Most unfortunate.

    And really, I don’t get to say “dastardly” enough as it is.

    RIGHT? It is a pretty fantastic word! I love Bilbo's plan, it is indeed badass. As is he. 😀 You see why I adore that little hobbit so much: his growth into the kind of person capable of all these great deeds of courage and daring that we've seen so far. <3 I fully support Bilbo's plan.

    As for Gandalf, well, um… Gandalf is Gandalf. And you, Mark, are… still unprepared. 😀

  30. ChronicReader91 says:

    I love what Bilbo does here. But I definitely wouldn’t want to be him when Thorin finds out what he did.


    And suddenly I want pudding.

  31. monkeybutter says:

    lol good point. I'm actually hoping that we just saw the entirety of Gale's contribution to the movie. I'm happy that Katniss's survival is the focus, and there are no hints of TEAM PEETA or TEAM GALE in the trailer.

  32. Lady X says:

    Yay Gandalf’s back! 🙂 🙂

  33. fantasylover120 says:

    I'd forgotten how badass Bilbo gets in this and how much I adored him when he got that way.

  34. AmandaNekesa says:

    Gandalf, you’re such a weirdo and I love you for it.

    Hahaha…this made me laugh so much, while inspiring a rather odd image in my mind, with the dwarves bobbing along in pudding lava flows, down the mountain, staring oddly at Gandalf as they flow by him.


    The best thing about Bilbo is how he's pretty much the most practical BAMF ever. He's not over-the-top like a lot of protagonists tend to be, but he does what he honestly feels is the best solution for all sides. Though he and the dwarves have created bonds with one another, especially with all they've been through together, Bilbo still has the clarity of mind to call out the foolishness of the dwarves as exactly that. I think as he's gone along, he's gotten more confident to act on his opinions as well. What Bilbo does in this chapter is pretty risky but he does what he knows, or believes, to be right, no matter the consequences to himself, and you've gotta love him for that!

  35. stefb4 says:

    OT but I started to watch Parks and Recreation because I've seen so many gifs and references on both blogs. AND I FINALLY KNOW WHO RON SWANSON IS and why everybody was talking about him a couple of chapters ago! Also, Adam Scott's hair is glorious. And I love everybody.

  36. Smurphy says:

    I got ridiculously far begin reading… So much for not reading ahead… Lols.

    Wait. Why is Bilbo even trusting everyone to use the arkenstone as a bargaining tool?

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