70 pages 2 hours read

J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1937

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Chapters 1-3

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary: “An Unexpected Party”

The tale of The Hobbit begins at Bag End in The Hill, the home of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit. Little folk with leathery feet and pot bellies, hobbits are fond of large meals, gardening, and living a comfortable, unadventurous life. The general nature of hobbits is what makes Bilbo Baggins’s imminent adventure all the more remarkable: “This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected” (5). As Bilbo sits outside one morning after breakfast smoking his pipe, Gandalf the wizard appears on his doorstep seeking him to go on an adventure. Opposed to such an inquiry, Bilbo does everything he can to dissuade the wizard from putting upon him any longer, and promptly bids him a “good morning,” escaping back into his home after absentmindedly inviting Gandalf to tea the next day.

The next morning at tea time, Bilbo hears the doorbell ring, and, expecting to see Gandalf, he swings the door open only to find a dwarf waiting for him. One after another throughout the day, a series of 13 dwarves appear—Dwalin, Balin, Kili, Fili, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, and the noble Thorin Oakenshield—along with Gandalf himself.