” In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”
This paragraph begins a classic book that has been loved throughout the ages, and continues to be loved today. “The Hobbit”, or “There and Back Again”, is written by J.R.R Tolkien. It is a story about a hobbit named Bilbo Baggins, who lives in the Shire. Hobbits are cheerful little creatures, always friendly to passerby and in love with a simple life. They are not overly fond of adventures, however. Which is exactly what comes knocking at the door of Bilbo’s home when a wizard named Gandalf shows up in the Shire. He tells Bilbo that he is looking for someone to partake in an adventure, to which Bilbo refuses and sends the wizard on his way, not wanting anything to do with an adventure. Little does Bilbo know that Gandalf left a mark on his beautiful, green front door, and what that mark might attract. Later that evening, just as Bilbo is settling down for dinner, he hears a knock at the door and opens it to find a very stern looking dwarf standing on his porch. The dwarf lets himself in and not long after Bilbo hears more knocks at the door and a whole group of dwarves let themselves into his house. 12 to be exact, along with the very same wizard Bilbo met earlier. Gandalf introduces Bilbo to the dwarves, not yet telling him exactly what they were doing in his house. Their names are Fili and Kili, Oin and Gloin, Bifur, Bofur and Bombur, Dori, Ori, Nori and Balin and Dwalin. They create quite a mess in Bilbo’s beautiful home, throwing food and upturning chairs and singing at the top of their lungs. All of this is interrupted, however, when a single knock hits the door, and all the dwarves immediately become silent. Bilbo opens the door and finds a tall dwarf waiting to be let in, his posture and demeanor giving off an air of importance. He introduces himself as Thorin, son of Thrain and Thror, and rightful King Under the Mountain. The dwarves finally settle down at the table, and they explain to Bilbo what they will be doing. The dwarves plan to take back The Lonely Mountain, the Kingdom of Erebor that had been stolen by a dragon named Smaug. All the riches inside belonged to them, and they plan to kill the dragon and reclaim their birthright. They tell Bilbo that they need a burglar, and that is exactly why they came to him, for he is to come on their journey with them. Bilbo is shocked that they would even think of suggesting an adventure, and he shuts them out, going to his bed to get some sleep. The next morning he wakes up to find an empty house, everything put back where it should be. He walks around his house to find an envelope on the mantle, and inside, a contract where he would sign to come on the adventure. At that moment, something wakes up inside him and he wishes to go see the mountains and the elves and the forests, and so he signs his name and is off to the Green Dragon Inn, where the dwarves told him to meet them.
So begins a magnificent journey filled with goblins and orcs and elves and dragons as Bilbo and the Company of Thorin Oakensheild journey to Erebor and defeat the dragon, with the help of Bard, a bowman from Laketown. This wonderful story is filled with adventure and courage and loyalty and the gift of friendship. Along the way, Bilbo encounters Gollum, an evil creature who lurks in a cave, and Bilbo finds the One Ring of Power, which sparks up another problem, later explained in the trilogy after the Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, with all its twists and turns and good old-fashioned humor. It made me want to go into the great outdoors and go on an adventure. J.R.R Tolkien creates a story that will not soon be forgotten, of a little hobbit and a large world waiting for him outside his front door.