Book Review: The Hobbit


“Book Review: The Hobbit

Hiya everyone, Noreen here with my very first book review. In this review I will be looking at the plot, major characters, writing style, and other miscellaneous things in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

!WARNING! Spoilers Ahead

In The Hobbit we start our story in the Shire where protagonist Bilbo Baggins lives. In the beginning we are at Bilbo’s 111th birthday… well that’s what it is supposed to be. Bilbo is writing the story of how he became the great adventurer he is known as, to help explain everything to Frodo Baggins- the main protagonist in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The tale Bilbo writes for Frodo is how he went to kill the dragon Smaug.

The real story begins with young Bilbo smoking in front of his home. Gandalf the Gray comes by with the offer to go on an adventure. Bilbo is a very reserved and quite hobbit, and he completely disregards Gandalf’s suggestion and leaves to go inside. Little does Bilbo know, that Gandalf has drawn a symbol on his door which tells a group of dwarves to come over for a little “party”.  While Bilbo is enjoying some dinner he hears a knock on his door. Confused he goes and checks it out only to see a Dwarf by the name of Balin. After Balin comes inside- against Bilbo’s will I might add- the rest of the party goers arrive. This leads to a huge mess with singing, dancing,, and an angry Bilbo Baggins.

After all the uninvited guests arrive, including Thorin Oakenshild, they begin to talk about how Bilbo will be their “burglar”. Of course Bilbo had not known that he was supposed to be their burglar, never mind agreed to it at the time. After singing about taking back the Lonely Mountain they all go to bed. The dwarfs accompanied by Gandalf leave early the next morning. Bilbo wakes up to an empty house where he then looks at the plans made the night before and…goes off on an adventure!

At this point I was getting very excited, the rush of spontaneously going off on an adventure is something I have always wanted to do, and I found myself relating to Bilbo- wanting to go and try something different rather than be stuck home again.

A basic summary of the plot: Bilbo, Gandalf, and the rest of  the dwarfs are trying to find a secret door into the Lonely Mountain which has been taken over by Smaug (Fun Fact: Smaug is the smallest dragon in Middle-Earth). They adventure to Riverdell to learn more secrets of the map ,and  inside the Misty Mountains Bilbo finds the One Ring.

Now, when Bilbo meets Gollum and gets the ring I truly felt the emotion and suspense. Not only is Bilbo scared for his life at the sight of Gollum, but it’s really hard to not feel sympathy for Gollum.

Gollum was not always what he is now. He used to be a normal hobbit by the name Smeagol until he was corrupted by the One Ring. I can just imagine how devastating it must be to know you are being destroyed. Tolkien shows how disgusting, insane, and obsessive Gollum is in this scene. This is most likely my favorite part in the book. Not only does Bilbo keep his cool under the pressure but he comes out of it alive, and I find that impressive.

As the story continues they eventually arrive at the Lonely Mountain- only to believe that they missed the chance to open the secret door. As I read this I was honestly worried, it was believeable that they missed their chance. I was heartbroken, thinking that all the hardships they went through would have been for nothing. Thankfully they do get the door open, but all I remember at this moment was when I let my breath go, thankful that this wasn’t the end.

Bilbo goes into Smaug’s chamber, the One Ring on his finger. As Smaug and Bilbo talk he notices something. A scale is missing, right near Smaug’s chest on the left side. Luckily Bilbo gets out alive once again. This information of Smaug’s weakness is heard by a thrush (a type of bird) and is told to Bard. With this information and Smaug rampaging through Lake-Town, Bard shoots a arrow through Smaug’s chest. With Smaug now dead, the dwarves are free to reclaim the Lonley Mountain.

Thorin refuses to give a share of treasure to Bard even though he killed Smaug. At moments like this I find Thorin acting like a jerk. I honestly never liked Thorin in the first place, but when he refuses to help someone who killed a damn dragon for him…well I just gave up on liking his character.

As this argument goes on, goblins and wargs come from the Grey Mountains which sparked the Battle of Five Armies. In this battle Thorin does die, which I quite enjoyed as it was written well enough and I did not like the character in the first place. They bury him deep under Erebor, with the Arkenstone (an heirloom to Thorin’s family that Bilbo had found and hidden away) on his chest. A sweet sentiment that made me smile in all honestly.

In the end I can say that this book is very good, but you must be a fan of this type of story. In the epic high fantasy genre, you either love it or hate it. If you love the genre however, this would definitely be a story you will enjoy and I would highly recommend it.

Speaking of enjoy, if you liked my review leave a comment down below telling me about what you think of The Hobbit. Thanks for reading!

If you would like to read The Hobbit yourself, you can score a copy here. Or the trilogy in its entirety here.