Book Notes Chapter 13 Notes from The Hobbit

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The Hobbit Chapter 13

They sit in the tunnel for a very long time. The silence is so disconcerting, that they would almost rather hear the dragon. After a very long time, Thorin suggests that they try the door. The outer part of the tunnel was smashed in by Smaug, so the door is totally immobile. The dwarves are very upset, but Bilbo tells them that as long as they have their lives, they have hope. Then he adds that the only way out is through the dragon's lair; there is no way that is going to change. They move down the tunnel in its total darkness. When they reach the great hall, there is no red glow and no sign of the dragon except for the lingering stench. Bilbo yells a taunt to the absent dragon to encourage the nervous dwarves. There is no sound, only his echo, as the dwarves huddle in the tunnel's mouth. Bilbo goes out over the mound with a torch. He looks around as the dwarves wait behind. He reaches down and finds a very large white gem. From Thorin's descriptions, he recognizes the Arkenstone. Without any real plan, he hides the stone in his pocket. As he descends to the other side of the treasure mound, a bat flies past him and puts the torch out. He yells for a light and eventually a couple of the dwarves come out led by Balin and they join him. Bilbo finds them and tells them that he was only yelling about a bat:

"Though they were much relieved, they were inclined to be grumpy at being frightened for nothing; but what they would have said, if he had told them at that moment about the Arkenstone, I don't know. Their mere fleeting glimpses of treasure which they had caught as they went along had rekindled all the fire of their dwarfish hearts; and when the heart of a dwarf, even the most respectable, is wakened by gold and by jewels, he grows suddenly bold, and he may become fierce." Chapter 13, pg. 237

The dwarves begin to explore the cavern and Kili and Fili play golden harps. They all begin to fill their pockets and their bags with treasure. They put on new coats of mail and choose the finest weapons. Thorin gives Bilbo a coat of Elvish mail and a leather studded helmet. Bilbo laughs, but before long he becomes wary of the treasure and the extent of time they are spending in the lair. He wonders how the journey can possibly end well.

Thorin decides that the time has come when they should leave. He leads because he remembers every stair and turn of the mountain from his long-ago youth. They enter the chamber of Thorin's grandfather, where the natural light still finds its way into the mountain. There are skeletons on the floor. Their weapons are mingled with dust. The river begins in the heart of the mountain and flows into the front gates. They exit into the mid-morning sun and disturb the slumber of hanging bats. A cold wind blows over them, and Bilbo wonders how they ever made it this far. Thorin tells them that there is a lookout point five hours away that would be a good place for them to wait. It is a difficult climb, and Bilbo grumbles because he is hungry. They come to the lookout rock and find the chamber within still dry and safe. The flat summit offers a view every way but north for many miles. Thorin is in good spirits, but Bilbo wonders where Smaug could possibly have gone. Thorin decides that they should stay at the lookout for the night. They move into the cavern and some of them sleep. There is an odd excess of birds around the mountain.

Topic Tracking: Greed 6
Topic Tracking: Metamorphosis 10

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