Chapter 5 Notes from The Hobbit

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The Hobbit Chapter 5

Bilbo opens his eyes and it is dark all around him. He gropes the edge of the tunnel as his head spins. On the floor he finds a small metal ring and he puts it into his pocket. As he searches over the floor of the tunnel some more, he finds his pipe unbroken and his tobacco. Unfortunately, he cannot find any matches. His knife, when drawn, glows slightly because it is of elfish make. Without any viable options, he just travels forward. His passage heads down significantly. Soon he hears water dripping and steps into a pool. He listens carefully and cannot hear any movement; Bilbo figures that the water is part of a pond or underground lake rather than a stream or river. He stops because he is afraid of what might lurk in the water.

In this pond, there is a rocky island in the middle. There, Gollum lives. Gollum is a pale eyed creature who lives off of fish and the stray goblin who may wander near the lake. He paddles around on a small boat and approaches Bilbo. Gollum whispers to himself that this creature would make a nice feast. He calls himself 'my precious' repeatedly. Speaking up, he asks Bilbo what he is. Bilbo says that he is a hobbit and asks how he can get out of the caverns. Bilbo senses Gollum getting closer in the darkness, and he warns him that he has his sword drawn. Gollum becomes more polite and asks if Bilbo likes riddles. Bilbo answers his first riddle easily and Gollum challenges him to a riddle contest. Bilbo asks the creature a riddle about horses and he answers easily. Gollum asks a question about the wind and Bilbo answers correctly because he has heard the riddle before. Gollum is getting more frustrated. Bilbo's next question is answered easily, but Gollum is getting hungry. Bilbo answers the next riddle and asks Gollum to answer his: "'A box without hinges key or lid/ yet golden treasure inside is hid'" Chapter 5, pg. 75. Gollum pauses for a while, but eventually answers correctly with 'eggs.' He asks Bilbo another question and when Bilbo pauses, he starts to think about eating the hobbit. As Gollum gets closer, Bilbo comes up with the answer and disappoints him. Bilbo's next riddle is answered but he has trouble with Gollum's. He can't seem to figure it out and Gollum gets closer to him, almost salivating. Bilbo yells for more time, and 'time' happens to be the answer to the riddle! Gollum thinks that he figured it out. Gollum demands to be asked a question and when Bilbo cannot think of anything else, he asks him what he has in is pocket. Gollum is enraged. He guesses three times and is wrong.

Now that he has won, Bilbo asks Gollum to lead him out of the tunnels, but Gollum says he has to go back to his island to get his birthday present. This present is a ring that makes the wearer invisible. He usually wears it to hunt goblins. Bilbo waits on the side of the lake. He hears Gollum cursing and screaming in the middle of the lake. Gollum screams about having lost something and Bilbo demands to be led outside. Suddenly, Gollum is interested anew in the contents of Bilbo's pocket. Gollum complains about the last riddle and demands to know what Bilbo has in his pocket before he leads him out. Bilbo reaches his hand into his pocket and puts the ring on. He hears Gollum's hiss and runs away only to trip. He is surprised when Gollum passes over him in pursuit. He doesn't understand, but he follows Gollum through the tunnels anyway. Gollum argues with himself about Bilbo and thinks that the hobbit knows the way out, so he plans to get there before he does. The beast is worried that the goblins will find him first and take the ring. Bilbo realizes the power of the ring and follows Gollum as he turns this way and that through the labyrinthine caverns. Near the opening to the outside, Gollum stops because he hears goblins, and he sits on the floor hissing. Bilbo thinks about killing him, but instead he leaps.

"No great leap for a man, but a leap in the dark. Straight over Gollum's head he jumped, seven feet forward and three in the air; indeed, had he known it, he only just missed cracking his skull on the low arch of the passage." Chapter 5, pg. 86

Gollum misses as he grabs for what he cannot see. He shrieks as Bilbo moves towards the goblins. When Bilbo sees a bit of light, he realizes that the ring had slipped off and he puts it back on. The goblins are confused because they saw a creature appear from the tunnel and then disappear. Bilbo crawls between the legs of one of the goblins. One of them sees his shadow as he gets stuck in the crevice. With one great push, he bursts his buttons, but makes it through the opening. Once he is outside, the goblins search for him but can find nothing.

Topic Tracking: Luck 3
Topic Tracking: Magic 4
Topic Tracking: Metamorphosis 4

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