The Hobbit :: Week Seven

Welcome to the The Hobbit read-a-long! We’re reading this book through November and December. You can see the reading schedule and guidelines on the Starting Post Page.

Week Seven: Read to Chapter XVI


Eeeeeek, can you BELIEVE we are almost to the end. I LITERALLY cannot remember how this ends.

I was so stressed out while waiting to see what happened to Smaug.” ‘Arrow!” said the bowman. ‘Black arrow… if ever you came from the  forges of the true king under the Mountain, go now and speed well!’ ” Right on the edge of my seat (seriously, the edge of my seat, if anyone was watching me read they would have thought I was crazy) with my face almost pressed to the book. Whew! Thank goodness we took care of that – and Bard, you are awesome and we love you.

But wait! Now war? Thank goodness Bard and his clan are sane enough to wait them out. I was sure they were going to storm the mountain. I’m rather glad they didn’t. I am hoping (and crossing my fingers even though the conclusion to this has been solidified for decades) that there is no war. I get exhausted reading about war. Please, Thorin, come to your senses and wipe the greed from your eyes.

I will always fancy Bilbo as we really do have so much in common:

” ‘Back now to the mountain!’ cried Thorin.  ‘We have little time to lose.’  ‘And little food to use!’ cried Bilbo, always practical on such points.”

“Bilbo, of course, disapproved of the whole turn of affairs. He had by now had more than enough of the Mountain, and being besieged inside it was not at all to his taste.”

Who’s Reading Along:

** Please don’t forget to come to this blog each Friday and share your thoughts in the comments section of the weekly The Hobbit discussion (see below for more information).**

Melissa Caldwell
Meg @ A Bookish Affair
June @So_Meow
Brittany M
Jenny Colvin (@readingenvy)
kai charles (@YogiKai)

Friendly Reminders:

  • If you are participating and I don’t have you on this list, please let me know in the comments section. I did not include people who said ‘maybe’ so if you have changed your mind and are definitely reading along with us, let me know so I can add you. Also, if you are not going to be able to join us anymore please let me know and I will take you off the list.
  • Comments from the previous week’s reading will be closing Thursday afternoon (before the next discussion takes place on Friday). If you would like to be part of the discussion, please remember to comment before then.
  • Each week, on Friday, share your thoughts about the previous week’s reading. If you are stuck on what to comment about, you can respond to my post or others’ comments. Regardless, you MUST check in each week (two weeks without a response and you will be taken off of the list — see below for details on why). You may have only one “off week” (which may not be the last week of reading for obvious reasons) and still be kept on the list, but you must let me know in the comment section by saying something like, “I’m catching up,” or “I’m still reading.” ***for all week’s discussions please refrain from posting ahead, even if you have read ahead, as to not spoil the book for others***
  • If you are a blogger you may post a link to your blog if you are posting about each of the each week’s reading. If I, or other readers, have extra time we will gladly try to visit your blog; however, you must make sure to share your thoughts here on this blog, and be part of the main conversation or your comment will not be counted.
  • If you go for two weeks without commenting in my weekly update comments section, I will assume you are no longer participating and will take you off of the list (*NEW GUIDELINE*, in order to get back onthe list, you need to a.) Have missed no more than two weeks of discussion, b.) Let me know you would like to be on the list again, and c.) consistently be part of the discussion for the next two weeks after requesting to be put back on the list.). This is in no way to be discouraging, but helps to keep the read-a-long organized (and helps me remember who’s completed what read-a-long…there (ahem) might be something fun for different levels of participants at the end of the year! Thanks!

21 thoughts on “The Hobbit :: Week Seven

  1. Even though Smaug the dragon is dead, Bilbo and the dwarves are still in danger. Doesn’t Throrin know he’s supposed to share?!?! Starving Bilbo and the dwarves is an excellent strategy since these people eat so many meals a day. Bard knows how to run a war!

    Am I the only one who was a little let down that the dwarves never got to confront the dragon? I expected a battle of some sort. Of course, I was glad the dragon didn’t hurt more people and that the mission was accomplished without any loss of life within the circle of the dwarves and Bilbo, but…

    Is there a greater reason for Bilbo to keep the Arkenstone other than that he wanted it? Although he was told he could pick his share of the spoils, the text states, “All the same he had an uncomfortable feeling that the picking and choosing had not really been meant to include this marvelous gem, and that trouble would yet come of it.” Trouble because he hid this stone from them, or trouble for some other reason? Sounds ominous!

    • I was also a bit let down that they didn’t get to kill Smaug! I couldn’t fathom how they would have managed it, but I was kind of disappointed when the dragon was, quite suddenly, dead.

        • I agree the Smaug’s death was anti-climatic! I read this book years and years ago but I couldn’t remember how it ended. It surprised me how they were rid of the dragon with such ease. I better refrain from commenting too much this week; I finished the book and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone!

          • Add me as another who felt the same way about Smaug’s death! I was hoping either Bilbo or Thorin would have shot the arrow!

    • I’m expecting a little trouble regarding the Arkenstone as well. Am wondering if Bilbo realizes that he might be making trouble by hiding it in his pocket?

    • The beauty of this stone must be hard to resist. I wondered why Bilbo didn’t share/show the stone straight away since the stone seemed to be the most coveted of the jewels.

    • Yeah, same here about Smaug. The whole time they were going, I just couldn’t figure out how these guys would have taken him down, but I was eager to see it! I don’t know thought, if there HAD been a big ferocious battle with the dwarfs and Bilbo against a dragon…it might have been a bit TOO fantastic. I think I might be in the minority about this though.

  2. I’m loving how far Bilbo has come since he first left his little hobbit hole. Who would have thought that he would be playing tricks on dragons? I’m worried about the Arkenstone, though. It is obvious that Thorin wants it and I don’t think Bilbo should hide it from him. He knows it’s wrong, yet he’s doing it anyway. I’m hoping the fallout isn’t too severe, but something has to come of it. As a children’s story, that’s the perfect teaching moment.

    • I’m a little worried about this too… interesting that Bilbo wants this to all be over with, yet he might have the key to making that happen and doesn’t seem to realize it.

  3. I was suprised by Smaug’s demise, I had dreams of little bilbo and a well placed sword :) Tolkien makes some interesting choices. He is also sooo gifted at introducing a character and having the reader immediately feeling connected to them

  4. I just love how Tolkien writes a hero! He has Bard the Bowman always predicting Doom and Gloom (poisoned fish, floods) but don’t you know it — he was right: bad stuff was on its way. He is noble (in bearing and breeding) but humble and the restraint he shows in letting the Master dig his own grave (vs taking over) is admirable.

    I also love Tolkien’s use of magical animal helpers. Good old thrush!!! Also love the lesson of even the worst jewel encrusted dragon has a vulnerable spot :)

    • I’ll be taking my cousin’s son in two weeks to the second-run theater. He read the book a few months ago (he’s 9). I’m really excited to see it, and to see HIM see it. :)

  5. I love how Bilbo grows ever braver. It’s as if he gains strength each time he tries something new — or perhaps it is really that he is just the most practical adventurer and knows when something must be done and sets out to do it. It is his decision to return to Smaug’s lair when they are holed up for days in the passage, and he goes forward alone.

    Also, I agree with everyone’s comments about the various animals: birds who can speak and/or be understood, shape shifting bear/man. and dragons. I keep imaging all the different ways the dragon, his diamond waistcoat / armor dazzling might look holed up on his treasure – what a glorious picture that would make. And perhaps most of all, I thought it was a stroke of genius to have Smaug the Magnificent bring about his own demise by succumbing to flattery. Although he caught Bilbo out earlier, tricking him into giving information he had not intended to divulge, our dear Hobbit certainly wins once again as he had with Gollum earlier. Atta boy, Bilbo!

  6. A couple of other people have commented about Bilbo, Thorin, and the Arkenstone. I kind of wonder too why Bilbo is hiding something still. Is he starting to like being out in the world on an adventure instead of in his little cozy house? I can’t remember enough of the end of the book to remember whether or not we gain any insight into if he has really changed at the end of the book so I guess we shall see!

  7. This week’s reading is my favourite so far! Can you feel the darkness gathering as armies approach the Mountain? Ah, this foreboding and epic sentence construction! I can feel the LOTR mood here =) I wonder, is it one of the parts that were rewritten after LOTR?
    And killing the dragon was a cheat! A nice way to deal with enemies – just let people do it =) Dwarves didn’t even know it was dead, so how could they not share the gold? I guess Thorin inherited some of his father’s madness (he was mad, remember?) and the absence of Arkenstone doesn’t make it easier for him. I only wish not much more people to be hurt, but if this part is really LOTRishly-epic, it is not very likely…

  8. I love more than anything Bilbo’s “strange lightening of the heart” “just when the dwarves were most despairing.” But if you’ve had it with being besieged, Bilbo, GIVE THORIN THE ARKENSTONE! (I hate more than anything Thorin’s miserly attitude toward those who showed him such generosity, though I understand his motives.)

  9. I, too, was a bit disappointed by the demise of Smaug. I was hoping for an epic battle. I am not sure how Bilbo and his crew would have managed to win, but I was waiting for some good reading around it!

    I went to the movie with my husband and 9 year old daughter. The movie was good but I was disappointed it didn’t follow the book and added parts from the LOTR series. My position has been that reading the book is always better than the movie and this movie didn’t change my position on that. But it did start something for my daughter and she is reading the book herself. My husband read it to her 2-3 years ago.

  10. I hope those who celebrate it had a very Merry Christmas! My son is only two and while most of the time I fret over him growing up too fast, sometimes it’s just the opposite — I want him to hurry up and get older! The Hobbit and LOTR fall into the latter category. I am so jealous of those of you bringing your kids to the movies to see the Hobbit, and I wish I could join you with mine! I may have to resort to seeing it by myself (and I hate seeing movies in the theater by myself) because my hubby is very much NOT a fantasy/sci-fi fan.

    Count me in with many of you all in being disappointed with how Smaug was defeated in this week’s reading. I thought this whole quest was supposed to be about Bilbo and the dwarves mustering up the courage to find an ingenious way to kill the dragon and regain the treasure. I guess there’s something to be said for defying expectations, but this was just too much of a twist for me. I also thought it was a bizarre choice by Tolkien to have Smaug killed by a character we have barely met and have no real reason to have much vested interest in. Oh well, this section of reading was still very thrilling. I tore through it and cannot wait to discuss the ending of this epic next week!

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