70 pages 2 hours read

J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1937

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Chapters 4-7

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 4 Summary: “Over Hill and Under Hill”

After leaving the valley of Rivendell, the group continues on the road for many days; Bilbo continues to question his decision to embark on the adventure, constantly looking towards home and thinking about the hill he left behind: “[F]ar away in the West, where things were blue and faint, Bilbo knew there lay his own country of safe and comfortable things, and his little hobbit-hole” (50). While the company set out from Elrond’s home with high hopes of a swift and safe journey, Gandalf (who has the most experience with the wilderness of that area) silently considers the difficulties he knows they will encounter along the way.

Soon enough, Gandalf’s fears materialize as they are met one day with a terrible thunderstorm—which, in turn, becomes an occasion for the great stone-giants of the region to play a game, casting gigantic rocks against each other and creating an indescribable cacophony. Thorin exclaims, ”This won’t do at all! […] If we don’t get blown off, or drowned, or struck by lightning, we shall be picked up by some giant and kicked sky-high for a football” (51). Desperate to escape their dire circumstances, Fili and Kili head out to explore the surrounding area, hoping to find shelter.