70 pages 2 hours read

J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1937

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Chapters 8-13Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 8 Summary: “Flies and Spiders”

Bilbo and the dwarves find the woods to be quite dark and foreboding: “It was not long before they grew to hate the forest as heartily as they had hated the tunnels of the goblins, and it seemed to offer even less hope of any ending” (121). For longer than they can tell, they keep wandering through the woods, never straying from the path, while their food rations and water dwindle. Days pass, when they find their path blocked by a strong flow of running water. Seeing a boat on the far side of the river, they fashion a grappling hook from rope and an iron hook to pull the boat across to their side.

Successfully drawing the boat across, they cast off in small groups until they are all safely across the rushing black waters—however, as soon as they are all across, a deer sprints through and scatters the group, and, in the chaos, Bombur falls into the water. Managing to drag the fat dwarf out of the water, they discover that he has fallen into a deep, unshakable sleep under whatever enchantment is upon the river. As they meditate on their next steps, a white deer appears on the path before sprinting away almost as quickly as it appeared.