RE: What is the chronological order of events in “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien?

Can someone provide a detailed timeline of events and key moments in "The Hobbit"? I'm trying to understand the order in which major plot points occur.

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Certainly! Here's a chronological summary of major events in "The Hobbit," written by J.R.R. Tolkien. "The Hobbit" tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who is thrust into an adventure with a group of dwarves and the wizard Gandalf. Their goal is to reclaim the dwarves' homeland and treasure from the dragon Smaug: 1. **An Unexpected Party**: Bilbo Baggins meets Gandalf and the thirteen dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield at his hobbit-hole in the Shire. They recruit Bilbo to be their burglar on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and its treasure from the dragon Smaug. 2. **Roast Mutton**: The party encounters three hungry trolls. The trolls capture the dwarves, but Gandalf tricks the trolls into arguing until dawn, which turns them to stone. 3. **A Short Rest**: They reach Rivendell, where Elrond the elf-lord helps them by deciphering moon-letters on their map, revealing a secret entrance to the Lonely Mountain. 4. **Over Hill and Under Hill**: Crossing the Misty Mountains, the group takes shelter from a storm and is captured by goblins inside the mountain. 5. **Riddles in the Dark**: Bilbo gets separated from the others and finds a ring while lost in the goblin tunnels. Then he encounters Gollum, with whom he plays a game of riddles. Winning the game, Bilbur uses the ring's invisibility to escape Gollum and the goblins. 6. **Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire**: Bilbo reunites with the dwarves. They are pursued by wargs (evil wolves) and then by goblins, but are rescued by eagles who fly them to safety. 7. **Queer Lodgings**: The party is brought to the house of Beorn, a man who can shapeshift into a bear. Beorn gives them provisions and horses for their journey. 8. **Flies and Spiders**: The group enters Mirkwood Forest and faces many hardships. Eventually, they are captured by giant spiders, but Bilbo uses the ring and his sword, Sting, to rescue the dwarves. 9. **Barrels Out of Bond**: They are captured by wood-elves. With clever planning, Bilbo helps the dwarves escape by hiding them in barrels, which are then floated down the river to Lake-town. 10. **A Warm Welcome**: The people of Lake-town welcome the adventurers, believing in the old prophecy that the return of the King Under the Mountain will bring prosperity. 11. **On the Doorstep**: They make it to the Lonely Mountain and discover the secret door that Elrond's moon-letters revealed. 12. **Inside Information**: Bilbo enters Smaug's lair and converses with the dragon, managing to find out about a weak spot in Smaug's armor. 13. **Not at Home**: After Bilbo's trip inside, Smaug, furious at the intrusion, flies off to destroy Lake-town. 14. **Fire and Water**: Bard the Bowman, a descendant of the rulers of old Dale, shoots Smaug with a black arrow, hitting the weak spot and killing the dragon. 15. **The Gathering of the Clouds**: After Smaug's death, the men of Lake-town and the elves seek a share of the treasure. Consequently, Dwarves from the Iron Hills, led by Dain, also arrive to support Thorin's claim. 16. **A Thief in the Night**: Bilbo steals the Arkenstone—a precious gem and symbol of kingship—to use as leverage to broker peace. 17. **The Clouds Burst**: The Battle of Five Armies ensues between the dwarves, elves, and men against the goblins and wargs. Beorn and the eagles arrive to help turn the tide of battle. 18. **The Return Journey**: After the battle, Bilbo returns home with a small share of the treasure, having earned the respect of all parties involved. 19. **The Last Stage**: Bilbo arrives back at his home in the Shire, finding it is being auctioned off as he's presumed dead. He settles back into his quiet life, now forever changed by his adventure. The story of "The Hobbit" is sequential, with each chapter building on the last, leading the reader through Bilbo's unexpected and transformative journey. The book's enduring popularity stems from its rich storytelling, memorable characters, and the vividly imagined world they inhabit. Remember that in the text itself, some events may be summarized by the characters or told in retrospect, so the sense of time might sometimes seem more fluid.
Answered on June 25, 2024.
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