Difference between revisions of "The Hobbit"

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{{book
 
{{book
 
|title=The Hobbit,<br><small>or There and Back Again</small>
 
|title=The Hobbit,<br><small>or There and Back Again</small>
|image=[[File:The Hobbit (1937).png|225px]]
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|image=[[File:The Hobbit 1937.jpeg|225px]]
 
|author=[[J.R.R. Tolkien]]
 
|author=[[J.R.R. Tolkien]]
|publisher=[[Allen and Unwin|George Allen & Unwin]]; [[Houghton Mifflin]]
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|illustrator=J.R.R. Tolkien
|date=[[21 September]] [[1937]]; [[1938]]
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|publisherUK=[[George Allen and Unwin]]
|format=
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|publisherUS=[[Houghton Mifflin]]
|pages=
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|date=[[September 21]] [[1937]]
|isbn=
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|format=Hardcover; paperback; deluxe-edition; audio-book
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|pages=312
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|followedby=[[The Lord of the Rings]] (1954-55)
 
}}
 
}}
'''''The Hobbit, or There and Back Again''''', better known as '''''The Hobbit''''', is the first of [[J.R.R. Tolkien|J.R.R. Tolkien]] published books set within [[Arda]]. It was first published on [[21 September]] [[1937]] by [[Allen and Unwin|George Allen & Unwin]] in the United Kingdom, and was subsequently followed by the publication of Tolkien's ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'' in [[1954]] and [[1955]].
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'''''The Hobbit, or There and Back Again''''', better known as '''''The Hobbit''''', is a children's fantasy novel by [[J.R.R. Tolkien]]. It was published in [[1937]] to wide critical acclaim. The book remains popular and is recognized as a classic in children's literature.
  
==Plot==
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''The Hobbit'' is set within Tolkien's [[Middle-earth]] and follows the quest of home-loving [[Bilbo Baggins]], the titular [[hobbit]], to win a share of the treasure guarded by a dragon named [[Smaug]]. Bilbo's journey takes him from his light-hearted, rural surroundings into more sinister territory.
{{hchapters}}
 
[[File:Donato Giancola - The Hobbit - Expulsion.jpg|thumb|left|220px|[[Donato Giancola]] - ''Expulsion'']]Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, is smoking in his porchway one day when Gandalf the Wizard visits him. After a lengthy discussion, during which Bilbo uses the phrase "Good Morning" several times, in several different ways, Bilbo, finding himself flustered, invites Gandalf to tea, and goes back inside his hobbit hole with a final "Good Morning". Gandalf  scratches a secret mark on Bilbo's front door, which translated means 'Burglar wants a good job, plenty of excitement and reasonable reward'. Thirteen Dwarves ([[Thorin]], [[Óin]], [[Glóin]], [[Dwalin]], [[Balin]], [[Bifur]], [[Kíli]], [[Fíli]], [[Bofur]], [[Dori]], [[Bombur]], [[Nori]], and [[Ori]]) show up and begin excitedly discussing their planned treasure hunt while the hapless Bilbo provides the obligatory hospitality. After the dwarves clean up their mess, a map is produced and Gandalf arranges for Bilbo to get the burglary job&mdash;as well as to break the unlucky number 13. The company's quest: kill [[Smaug]], the [[Dragons|dragon]] who seized the [[Lonely Mountain]] (Erebor) from the Dwarves' forefathers, and, using a secret door into the mountain, recapture it, dividing the riches within its halls.
 
  
The next morning, after oversleeping and nearly missing the start of the journey, Bilbo goes off with the Dwarves. They are nearly eaten by three [[Trolls]], but Gandalf tricks the trolls into staying up all night whereupon they are turned into stone by the first light of dawn. (The stone trolls appear later in ''The Lord of the Rings''.) In the troll's cave they find some swords. Bilbo acquires [[Sting]], which glows blue in the presence of [[Orcs|Goblins]] (another name for [[Orcs]]).
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The story is told in the form of an episodic quest, and most chapters introduce a specific creature or type of creature of Tolkien's geography. Bilbo gains a new level of maturity, competence, and wisdom by accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey, and adventurous sides of his nature and applying his wits and common sense. The story reaches its climax in the [[Battle of Five Armies]], where many of the characters and creatures from earlier chapters re-emerge to engage in conflict.
  
The party travels to [[Rivendell]] where they enjoy the hospitality of the [[Elves]], then proceed eastwards towards the [[Misty Mountains]]. There they are ambushed by goblins (Orcs), and carried under the mountain. They run away, and during the escape Bilbo loses the Dwarves. Alone in the dark after running away from the goblins, Bilbo finds a [[The One Ring|ring]] on the floor of a cave passage and puts it into his pocket.  
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==Plot==
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[[File:Donato Giancola - The Hobbit - Expulsion.jpg|thumb|right|220px|[[Donato Giancola]] - ''Expulsion'']]
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[[Gandalf]] tricks [[Bilbo Baggins]] into hosting a party for [[Thorin Oakenshield]] and his band of twelve [[dwarves]] ([[Dwalin]], [[Balin]], [[Kili]], [[Fili]], [[Dori]], [[Nori]], [[Ori]], [[Oin]], [[Gloin]], [[Bifur]], [[Bofur]], and [[Bombur]]), who sing of reclaiming their ancient home, [[Lonely Mountain]], and its vast treasure from the dragon [[Smaug]]. When the music ends, Gandalf unveils [[Thrór's Map]] showing a [[Back Door|secret door]] into the Mountain and proposes that the dumbfounded Bilbo serve as the expedition's "burglar". The dwarves ridicule the idea, but Bilbo, indignant, joins despite himself.
  
Continuing down, he finds himself at the shore of an underground lake. [[Gollum]] quietly paddles up in his boat, and the two enact the [[Riddle-game]], under the condition that if Bilbo wins, Gollum will show him the way out, but if he loses, Gollum will eat Bilbo. After several [[Riddle-game|Riddles]], which each manages to answer, Bilbo, whilst fiddling in his pocket unable to think of a riddle, asks himself aloud "What have I got in my pocket?" Gollum thinks this is supposed to be the next riddle, and as it doesn't comply with the rules of the riddle game, demands three guesses; in the end he fails to guess the answer. Bilbo demands his reward, but Gollum refuses and paddles off in his boat to an island in the lake, upon which he lives. After searching around for a while asking aloud "where is it? wheres my precious!?" to which Bilbo replies, "I don't know and I don't care, I just want to get out of here", Gollum becomes suspicious, gets in his boat, and starts paddling back across the lake towards Bilbo. Gollum is unable to find the one weapon he could use to betray and kill Bilbo, a magic ring that makes its wearer invisible; driven by rage, Gollum starts to realize the real answer to Bilbo's previous question "What have I got in my pocket?". Bilbo realises his life is in mortal danger and makes his escape down the maze of pitch black tunnels, and Gollum gives chase. Bilbo trips, and finds the ring on his finger. Realising he has no chance to escape his pursuer, he stays where he is and prepares to meet his fate, but Gollum runs right over him. Bilbo realises the ring makes him invisible. He manages to escape past Gollum, who has gone to guard the only exit, and finds his way to the surface where he rejoins the Dwarves.
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The group travels into the wild. Gandalf saves the company from [[trolls]] and leads them to [[Rivendell]], where [[Elrond]] reveals more secrets from the map. When they attempt to cross the [[Misty Mountains]], they are caught by [[goblins]] and driven [[Goblin-town|deep underground]]. Although Gandalf rescues them, Bilbo gets separated from the others as they flee the goblins. Lost in the goblin tunnels, he stumbles across [[One Ring|a mysterious ring]] and then encounters [[Gollum]], who engages him in a game, each posing a riddle until one of them cannot solve it. If Bilbo wins, Gollum will show him the way out of the tunnels, but if he fails, his life will be forfeit. With the help of the ring, which confers invisibility, Bilbo escapes and rejoins the dwarves, improving his reputation with them. The goblins and Wargs give chase, but the company are saved by eagles. They rest in the house of [[Beorn]].
  
Descending from the [[Misty Mountains]], they survive an encounter with [[Wargs]] (wild wolf creatures) by climbing trees. Eagles rescue them. Then they meet [[Beorn]], a man who can transform into a bear. They depart, having rested for several days. Gandalf leaves soon on an errand. The party traverses the great forest [[Mirkwood]], eventually running out of supplies. Gandalf had warned them not to leave the path, but they saw fire and heard singing, so, hopeless, they leave the path to beg food from [[Elves of Mirkwood|Wood-elves]], only to get lost. They are captured by giant spiders, but Bilbo rescues the Dwarves by becoming invisible and killing many spiders with Sting. Elves then capture the Dwarves and imprison them, but Bilbo manages to sneak into the [[Thranduil|Elvenking]]'s palace unnoticed using the ring; he then helps the Dwarves escape in barrels floated down the river.[[File:J.R.R. Tolkien - Bilbo comes to the Huts of the Raft-elves (II).jpg|thumb|200px|[[J.R.R. Tolkien]] - ''Bilbo comes to the Huts of the Raft-elves'']]
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[[File:J.R.R. Tolkien - Bilbo comes to the Huts of the Raft-elves (II).jpg|thumb|200px|J.R.R. Tolkien - ''Bilbo comes to the Huts of the Raft-elves'']]
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The company enters the black forest of [[Mirkwood]] without Gandalf, who has other responsibilities. In Mirkwood, Bilbo first saves the dwarves from giant spiders and then from the dungeons of the [[Wood-elves]]. Nearing the Lonely Mountain, the travellers are welcomed by the human inhabitants of [[Lake-town]], who hope the dwarves will fulfil prophecies of Smaug's demise. The expedition reaches the mountain and finds the secret door. The dwarves send a reluctant Bilbo inside to scout the dragon's lair. He steals a great cup and, while conversing with Smaug, spots a gap in the ancient dragon's armour. The enraged dragon, deducing that Lake-town has aided the intruders, flies off to destroy the town. A thrush overhears Bilbo's report of Smaug's vulnerability and tells Lake-town resident [[Bard]]. Smaug wreaks havoc on the town, until Bard fires an arrow into Smaug's hollow spot, killing the dragon.
  
After staying for a short period of time at [[Lake-town]], the treasure-seekers proceed to the Lonely Mountain. Finding themselves unable to locate the secret door, the company sit down disconsolate on a cliff. Hearing a thrush knocking on a stone, Bilbo looks up just in time to see the last rays of the Sun of [[Durin's Day]], shining on the cliff wall, to magically reveal the secret door (as was foretold by [[moon-letters]] upon a map that the company was in possession of). Bilbo is sent down to encounter Smaug. The dragon, realising the Company received help from the people of Laketown, sets out to destroy it. However, the thrush that had been knocking on the stone, was no ordinary bird but of an ancient race with whom the men of the lake could communicate, and it had heard Bilbo's report to the dwarves, that Smaug had a bare patch on his belly that could be used to slaughter him, if only you could get close enough. It conveyed this message to one [[Bard|Bard the Bowman]], who seeing the bare patch in the belly of Smaug, despatched the dragon with a single arrow, thus allowing the party of Dwarves to take possession of the treasure.
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When the dwarves take possession of the mountain, Bilbo finds the [[Arkenstone]], the most-treasured heirloom of Thorin's family, and hides it away. The Wood-elves and Lake-men request compensation for Lake-town's destruction and settlement of old claims on the treasure. When Thorin refuses to give them anything, they besiege the mountain. However, Thorin manages to send a message to his kinfolk in the [[Iron Hills]] and reinforces his position. Bilbo slips out and gives the Arkenstone to the besiegers, hoping to head off a war. When they offer the jewel to Thorin in exchange for treasure, Bilbo reveals how they obtained it. Thorin, furious at what he sees as betrayal, banishes Bilbo, and battle seems inevitable when [[Dáin Ironfoot]], Thorin's second cousin, arrives with an army of dwarf warriors.
  
The citizens of Laketown arrive to make historical claims and demand compensation for the help they had rendered, as well as reparations for the damage Smaug inflicted during his attack. They're joined by the Elves, who also demand a share based on historical claims. The Dwarves refuse all negotiations and in turn summon kin from the north to strengthen their position. Seeing no other way to avert a war, Bilbo uses the ring to steal the prized [[Arkenstone]] from the Dwarves, which he tries to use to broker peace.
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Gandalf reappears to warn all of an approaching army of goblins and Wargs. The dwarves, men and elves band together, but only with the timely arrival of the eagles and Beorn do they win the climactic [[Battle of Five Armies]]. Thorin is fatally wounded and reconciles with Bilbo before he dies.
  
Just as [[Thorin]] is refusing a truce and battle is about to begin, the three armies at the Lonely Mountain (Elves, Men and Dwarves) must rally together as they are attacked by [[Orcs|Goblins]] and [[Wargs]] from the Misty Mountains. A bitter battle ensues, named the [[Battle of Five Armies]]. Though suffering heavy losses, Elves, Men and Dwarves prevail. The treasure is apportioned. Bilbo refuses most of the riches, realising he has no way to bring them back home; he nevertheless takes enough with him to make himself a wealthy hobbit and live happily thereafter, unaware of the dangerous nature of his [[The One Ring|ring]].
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Bilbo accepts only a small portion of his share of the treasure, having no want or need for more, but still returns [[Bag End|home]] a very wealthy hobbit roughly a year and a month after he first left. Years later, he [[Red Book of Westmarch|writes the story of his adventures]].
  
==Characters==
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==Characters appeared==
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# [[Bilbo Baggins]]
 
# [[Bilbo Baggins]]
 
# [[Belladonna Took]] (mentioned only)
 
# [[Belladonna Took]] (mentioned only)
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# [[Dáin Ironfoot]]
 
# [[Dáin Ironfoot]]
 
# [[Bolg]]
 
# [[Bolg]]
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</div>
  
 
==Conception==
 
==Conception==
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Although a fairy tale, the novel is both complex and sophisticated: it contains many names and words derived from Norse mythology, and central plot elements from the ''[[Beowulf (poem)|Beowulf]]'' epic, it makes use of [[Old English|Anglo-Saxon]] [[Runes]], information on calendars and moon phases, and detailed geographical descriptions that fit well with the accompanying maps. Near the end, the tale takes on epic proportions.
 
Although a fairy tale, the novel is both complex and sophisticated: it contains many names and words derived from Norse mythology, and central plot elements from the ''[[Beowulf (poem)|Beowulf]]'' epic, it makes use of [[Old English|Anglo-Saxon]] [[Runes]], information on calendars and moon phases, and detailed geographical descriptions that fit well with the accompanying maps. Near the end, the tale takes on epic proportions.
  
==Publications and editions==
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==Publications history==
 
George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. of London published the [[The Hobbit 1st edition|first edition of ''The Hobbit'']] on [[21 September]] [[1937]]. It was illustrated with many black-and-white drawings by Tolkien himself. The original printing numbered a mere 1,500 copies and sold out by [[15 December]] that same year due to enthusiastic reviews. Houghton Mifflin of Boston and New York prepared an American edition to be released early in 1938 in which four of the illustrations would be colour plates. Allen & Unwin decided to incorporate the colour illustrations into their second printing, released at the end of 1937.<ref>{{webcite|author=Laura Massey|articleurl=http://www.peterharrington.co.uk/blog/2012/01/identifying-collecting-tolkien-first-editions/|articlename=Identifying & Collecting Tolkien First Editions|dated=9 January 2012|website=[http://www.peterharrington.co.uk/ PeterHarrington.co.uk]|accessed=12 January 2012}}</ref> Despite the book's popularity, wartime conditions forced the London publisher to print small runs of the remaining two printings of the first edition.
 
George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. of London published the [[The Hobbit 1st edition|first edition of ''The Hobbit'']] on [[21 September]] [[1937]]. It was illustrated with many black-and-white drawings by Tolkien himself. The original printing numbered a mere 1,500 copies and sold out by [[15 December]] that same year due to enthusiastic reviews. Houghton Mifflin of Boston and New York prepared an American edition to be released early in 1938 in which four of the illustrations would be colour plates. Allen & Unwin decided to incorporate the colour illustrations into their second printing, released at the end of 1937.<ref>{{webcite|author=Laura Massey|articleurl=http://www.peterharrington.co.uk/blog/2012/01/identifying-collecting-tolkien-first-editions/|articlename=Identifying & Collecting Tolkien First Editions|dated=9 January 2012|website=[http://www.peterharrington.co.uk/ PeterHarrington.co.uk]|accessed=12 January 2012}}</ref> Despite the book's popularity, wartime conditions forced the London publisher to print small runs of the remaining two printings of the first edition.
  
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New [[English-language editions of The Hobbit|English-language editions of ''The Hobbit'']] spring up often, despite the book's age, with [[English-language editions of The Hobbit|at least fifty editions]] having been published to date. Each comes from a different publisher or bears distinctive cover art, internal art, or substantial changes in format. The text of each generally adheres to the Allen & Unwin edition extant at the time it is published.
 
New [[English-language editions of The Hobbit|English-language editions of ''The Hobbit'']] spring up often, despite the book's age, with [[English-language editions of The Hobbit|at least fifty editions]] having been published to date. Each comes from a different publisher or bears distinctive cover art, internal art, or substantial changes in format. The text of each generally adheres to the Allen & Unwin edition extant at the time it is published.
  
===Translations===
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==Reception==
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On first publication in October 1937, ''The Hobbit'' was met with almost unanimously favourable reviews from publications both in the UK and the US, including ''[[Wikipedia:The Times|The Times]]'', ''[[Wikipedia:Catholic World|Catholic World]]'', and ''[[Wikipedia:New York Post|New York Post]]''. [[C.S. Lewis]], friend of Tolkien (and later author of ''[[Wikipedia:The Chronicles of Narnia|The Chronicles of Narnia]] between 1949 and 1954), writing in ''The Times'' reports:
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:"''The truth is that in this book a number of good things, never before united, have come together: a fund of humour, an understanding of children, and a happy fusion of the scholar's with the poet's grasp of mythology... The professor has the air of inventing nothing. He has studied trolls and dragons at first hand and describes them with that fidelity that is worth oceans of glib 'originality'.''"
  
''The Hobbit'' has been translated into many languages. Known languages, with the first date of publishing, are:
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Lewis compares the book to ''[[Wikipedia:Alice in Wonderland|Alice in Wonderland]]'' in that both children and adults may find different things to enjoy in it, and places it alongside ''[[Wikipedia:Flatland|Flatland]]'', ''[[Wikipedia:Phantastes|Phantastes]]'', and ''[[Wikipedia:The Wind in the Willows|The Wind in the Willows]]''.<ref>{{HM|A}}Anderson, Douglas A. (ed.). ''[[The Annotated Hobbit]]''</ref> W.H. Auden, in his review of the sequel ''[[The Fellowship of the Ring]]'', calls ''The Hobbit'' "one of the best children's stories of this century".<ref>Auden, W.H. [https://www.nytimes.com/books/01/02/11/specials/tolkien-fellowship.html "The Hero is a Hobbit"]</ref> Auden was later to correspond with Tolkien, and they became friends.
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* '''[[Wikipedia:Afrikaans language|Afrikaans]]''': ''Die Hobbit' (2017)<ref>http://www.proteaboekhuis.com/site.php/die-hobbit.html</ref><ref>http://www.roekeloos.co.za/boeke/die-hobbit</ref>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Armenian language|Armenian]]''': ''Hobit: Kam Gnaln ou Galû'' (1984)<ref name=AHT>{{HM|AH}}, pp. 387-96</ref>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Breton language|Breton]]''': ''An Hobbit, pe eno ha distro'' (2001)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Belarusian language|Belarusian]]''': Хобiт, або Вандроўка туды i назад (2002)<ref>{{webcite|author=Marek Śliwiński|articleurl=http://www.tolkien.com.pl/hobbit/collection/hobbit-belarusian-2002-1st.php|articlename=Hobbit - Belarusian language|website=[http://www.tolkien.com.pl/hobbit/ Babel Hobbits]|accessed=26 August 2012}}</ref>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Bengali language|Bengali]]''': ISBN 9789380151939 (2011, by Santi Chatterjee)<ref>{{webcite|author=Suravi Chatterjee-Woolman|articleurl=http://tolkienlibrary.com/press/1070-Tolkien-in-Bengali.php|articlename=Tolkien translations: Tolkien in Bengali|dated=5 January 2013|website=TL|accessed=25 February 2013}}</ref>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Bulgarian language|Bulgarian]]''': ''Bilbo Begins, ili, Dotam i obratno'' (1975); ''Khobit: Bilbo Begins, ili, Dotam i obratno'' (1999)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Catalan language|Catalan]]''': ''El Hòbbit, o, Viatge d'anada i tornada'' (1983)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Chinese language|Chinese]]''': ''Sheau Lihshean Jih'' or ''Xiao Airen Lixian Ji'' (1996); new translations in 2000 and 2001<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Cornish language|Cornish]]''': ''An Hobys, pò An Fordh Dy ha Tre Arta'' (2014)<ref>{{webcite|author=|articleurl=http://www.evertype.com/books/hobys.html|articlename=An Hobys, pò An Fordh Dy ha Tre Arta. ''The Hobbit, or There and Back Again'' in Cornish|dated=|website=[http://www.evertype.com evertype.com]|accessed=20 April 2015}}</ref>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Croatian language|Croatian]]''': ''Hobit'' (1994)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Czech language|Czech]]''': ''Hobit, aneb, Cesta tam a zase zpátky'' (1979)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Danish language|Danish]]''': ''Hobbitten, eller, Ud og hjem igen'' (1969)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Dutch language|Dutch]]''': ''De hobbit, of Daarheen en weer terug'' (1960, by [[Max Schuchart]]); ''De hobbit, of Daarheen en weer terug'' (1976; revised transl.)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Esperanto|Esperanto]]''': ''[[La hobito]]'' (2000)
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Estonian language|Estonian]]''': ''Kääbik, ehk, Sinna ja tagasi''  (1977)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Faroese language|Faroese]]''': ''Hobbin, ella, Út og heim aftur'' (1990)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Finnish language|Finnish]]''': ''Lohikäärmevuori, eli, Erään hoppelin matka sinne ja takaisin'' (1973); ''Hobitti, eli, Sinne ja takaisin'' (1985)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:French language|French]]''': ''Bilbo le Hobbit, ou, Histoire d'un aller et retour'' (1969)<ref name=AHT/>; ''Le Hobbit'' (2012, by Daniel Lauzon)<ref>{{webcite|author=|articleurl=http://forum.tolkiendil.com/thread-6627.html|articlename=Le Hobbit - nouvelle traduction de Daniel Lauzon|dated=|website=[http://forum.tolkiendil.com Tolkiendil.com]|accessed=31 December 2012}}</ref>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:West Frisian language|Frisian]]''': ''De Hobbit'' (2009)
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Galician language|Galician]]''': ''O Hobbit'' (2000)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:German language|German]]''': ''Kleiner Hobbit und der grosse Zauberer'' (1957, by [[Walter Scherf]]); rev. transl. in 1971 and 1991); ''Der Hobbit, oder, Hin und zurück'' (1997, by [[Wolfgang Krege]])<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Greek language|Greek]]''': ''Χόμπιτ'' (1978)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Hebrew language|Hebrew]]''': ''ha-Hobit, o, Le-sham uva-hazarah'' (1976); ''Hobit'' (1977)<ref name=AHT/>; ''ha-Hobit'' (2012)<ref>{{webcite|author=|articleurl=http://www.elrondslibrary.fr/T_Hebreu_GB.html|articlename=Hebrew|dated=|website=[http://www.elrondslibrary.fr/ Elrond's Library]|accessed=24 September 2013}}</ref>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Hungarian language|Hungarian]]''': ''A babó'' (1975)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Icelandic language|Icelandic]]''': ''Hobbit'' (1978); ''Hobbitinn, eða, Út og Heim Aftur'' (1997)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Irish language|Ireland]]''': ''An Hobad'' (2012)<ref>{{webcite|author=|articleurl=http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2012/05/10/56098-some-thoughts-on-the-irish-language-hobbit/|articlename=Some thoughts on the Irish language Hobbit…|dated=10 May 2012|website=TORN|accessed=20 May 2013}}</ref>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Indonesian language|Indonesian]]''': ''Hobbit'' (1977)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Italian language|Italian]]''': ''Lo Hobbit, o, La riconquista del tesoro'' (1973)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Japanese language|Japanese]]''': ''Hobitto no Bôken'' (1965; rev. transl. in 1983); ''Hobitto, Yukite kaerishi Monogatari'' (1997)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Korean language|Korean]]''': [''호빗''] (1997)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Latin|Latin]]''': ''Hobbitus Ille'' (2012)<ref>{{webcite|author=Benedicte Page|articleurl=http://www.thebookseller.com/news/latin-hobbit-harper.html|articlename=Latin Hobbit for Harper|dated=8 May 2012|website=[http://www.thebookseller.com/ TheBookSeller.com]|accessed=26 August 2012}}</ref>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Latvian language|Latvian]]''': ''Hobits, jeb, Turp un atpakal'' (1991)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Lithuanian language|Lithuanian]]''': ''Hobitas, arba, Ten ir atgal: Apysaka-pasaka'' (1985)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Luxembourgish language|Luxembourgish]]''': ''Den Hobbit'' (2002)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Marathi language|Marathi]]''': [''The Hobbit''] (2011)<ref>{{webcite|author=[[Pieter Collier]]|articleurl=http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1011-Interview-marathi-hobbit-publisher-translator.php|articlename=Interview with Nilesh Pashte and Meena Kinikar about The Hobbit in Marathi|dated=25 September 2011|website=TL|accessed=26 August 2012}}</ref>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Moldavian language|Moldavian]]''': ''Hobbitul'' (1987)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Norwegian language|Norwegian]]''': ''Hobbiten, eller, Fram og tilbake igjen'' (1972); ''Hobbiten, eller, Fram og tilbake igjen'' (1997, by [[Nils Ivar Agøy]])
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Persian language|Persian]]''': &#1607;&#1575;&#1576;&#1610;&#1578; &#1610;&#1575; &#1570;&#1606;&#1580;&#1575; &#1608; &#1576;&#1575;&#1586;&#1711;&#1588;&#1578; &#1583;&#1608;&#1576;&#1575;&#1585;&#1607;<br/>(2004)<ref>{{webcite|author=|articleurl=http://www.tolkienguide.com/modules/wiwimod/index.php?page=Persian+Hobbit+2004|articlename=Persian Hobbit 2004|dated=|website=Guide|accessed=26 August 2012}}</ref> (in total, 5 different transl.?)<ref>{{webcite|author=|articleurl=http://www.ibna.ir/vdcauino.49nuw1gtk4.html|articlename=Iran to celebrate J.R.R. Tolkien’s birthday|dated=4 January 2011|website=[http://www.ibna.ir/en/ Iran Book News Agency]|accessed=26 August 2012}}</ref>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Polish language|Polish]]''': ''Hobbit, czyli tam i z powrotem'' (1960; rev. transl. 1985); ''Hobbit, albo tam i z powrotem'' (1997);<ref name=AHT/> [''The Hobbit''] (2002){{fact}}
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Portuguese language|Portuguese]]''': ''[[O Gnomo]]'' (1962); ''O Hobbit'' (1976); ''O Hobbit'' (1985); ''[[O Hobbit (Brazilian edition)|O Hobbit]]'' (1995)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Romanian language|Romanian]]''': [[O poveste cu un hobbit (1975)|''O poveste cu un hobbit'']] (1975); ''Povestea Unui Hobbit'' (1995)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Russian language|Russian]]''': (1976; 9 different translations total)<ref>[[Mark T. Hooker]], ''[[Tolkien Through Russian Eyes]]''</ref>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Serbian language|Serbian]]''': ''Hobit'' (1975)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Slovak language|Slovak]]''': ''Hobbiti'' (1973)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Spanish language|Spanish]]''': ''[[El hobito]]'' (1964); ''El hobbit'' (1982)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Swedish language|Swedish]]''': ''[[Hompen]]'' (1947); ''Bilbo: en hobbits äventyr'' (1962, by [[Britt G. Hallqvist]]);<ref name=AHT/> ''Hobbiten'' (2007, by [[Erik Andersson]]){{fact}}
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Thai language|Thai]]''': [''The Hobbit''] (2002)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Turkish language|Turkish]]''': ''Hobbit, Oradaydık ve şimdi buradayız'' (1996); ''Hobbit, Oradaydık ve şimdi buradayız'' (1997)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Ukrainian language|Ukrainian]]''': ''Hobit, abo, Mandrivka za imlysti hory'' (1985)<ref name=AHT/>
 
* '''[[Wikipedia:Yiddish language|Yiddish]]''': ''der hobit: oder ahin un vider tsurik '' (2012)<ref>{{webcite|author=[[John D. Rateliff]]|articleurl=http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mythsoc/message/24584|articlename=The Yiddish HOBBIT|dated=22 August 2013|website=Mythsoc|accessed=22 August 2013}}</ref>
 
</div>
 
  
==Reception==
+
''The Hobbit'' was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the ''New York Herald Tribune'' for best juvenile fiction of the year (1938).<ref>{{HM|A}}Carpenter, Humphrey; Tolkien, Christopher (eds.). ''[[The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien]]''</ref> More recently, the book has been recognized as "Most Important 20th-Century Novel (for Older Readers)" in the ''Children's Books of the Century'' poll in ''Books for Keeps''.<ref>[http://www.tolkiensociety.org/faq01.html#awards "FAQ: Did Tolkien win any awards for his books?"]. The Tolkien Society. 2002</ref> In 2012 it was ranked number 14 on a list of the top 100 children's novels published by ''School Library Journal''.<ref>[http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/afuse8production/2012/07/07/top-100-chapter-book-poll-results "Top 100 Chapter Book Poll Results"]</ref>
  
The first literary review of ''The Hobbit'' was entitled "[[A World for Children]]", written by [[C.S. Lewis]] and published on [[2 October]] [[1937]].<ref>{{webcite|author=[[Åke Bertenstam]]|articleurl=http://www.forodrim.org/bibliography/tolklist.html|articlename=A Chronological Bibliography of Books About Tolkien|dated=|website=[http://www.forodrim.org/index_en.html The Tolkien Society Forodrim]|accessed=7 January 2012}}</ref><ref>{{CG|C}}, p. 202</ref>
+
Publication of the sequel ''The Lord of the Rings'' altered many critics' reception of the work. Instead of approaching ''The Hobbit'' as a children's book in its own right, critics such as Randel Helms picked up on the idea of ''The Hobbit'' as being a "prelude", relegating the story to a dry-run for the later work. Countering a presentist interpretation are those who say this approach misses out on much of the original's value as a children's book and as a work of high fantasy in its own right, and that it disregards the book's influence on these genres.<ref>{{HM|A}}Sullivan, C.W. (1996). ''High Fantasy''</ref>
  
There have been at least two suggestions of when the first "critical discussion" of ''The Hobbit'' appeared in a book: either Anne Carroll Moore's ''My Roads to Childhood: Views and Reviews of Children's Books'' (Doubleday, 1939) or Helen E. Haines's ''What's in a Novel'' (1942).<ref>{{webcite|author=[[John D. Rateliff]]|articleurl=http://sacnoths.blogspot.se/2013/06/helen-haines.html|articlename=Helen Haines|dated=26 June 2013|website=Sac|accessed=14 September 2013}} (see also comments field)</ref><ref>{{webcite|author=[[David Bratman]]|articleurl=http://kalimac.livejournal.com/676469.html|articlename=Fantasy: The View from 1942|dated=15 August 2013|website=[http://kalimac.livejournal.com/ Kalimac LiveJournal]|accessed=14 September 2013}}</ref>
+
Commentators such as Paul Kocher,<ref>{{HM|A}}Kocher, Paul (1974). ''Master of Middle-earth, the Achievement of J.R.R. Tolkien''</ref> John D. Rateliff,<ref>{{HM|A}}Rateliff, John D. (2007). ''[[The History of The Hobbit]]''</ref> and C.W. Sullivan encourage readers to treat the works separately, both because ''The Hobbit'' was conceived, published, and received independently of the later work, and to avoid dashing readers' expectations of tone and style.
  
 
==Adaptations==
 
==Adaptations==
''The Hobbit'' has been adapted for other media.  [[BBC|BBC Radio 4]] broadcast [[The Hobbit (1968 radio series)|''The Hobbit'' radio drama]], adapted by [[Michael Kilgarriff]], in eight parts (4 hours) from September to November [[1968]], which starred [[Anthony Jackson]] as narrator, [[Paul Daneman]] as Bilbo and [[Heron Carvic]] as Gandalf.
+
;Radio and audio
 +
''The Hobbit'' has been adapted for other media.  [[BBC|BBC Radio 4]] broadcast [[The Hobbit (1968 radio series)|''The Hobbit'' radio drama]], adapted by Michael Kilgarriff, in eight parts (4 hours) from September to November [[1968]], which starred [[Anthony Jackson]] as narrator, [[Paul Daneman]] as Bilbo and [[Heron Carvic]] as Gandalf.
  
 
[[Middle-earth]] has been featured in songs notably by [[Enya]] and the [[Brobdingnagian Bards]].  [[Led Zeppelin]]'s songs "Misty Mountain Hop" and "Ramble On" both contain references to Tolkien's mystical world. For ''The Hobbit'' itself, "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins", performed by [[Leonard Nimoy]] as part of his 1968 ''Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy'' album, is the most pertinent because it recounts the book's storyline in its two minutes.  The ballad's music video became a minor Internet meme in the early 2000s when ''[[The Lord of the Rings (film series)|The Lord of the Rings]]'' movies were released.
 
[[Middle-earth]] has been featured in songs notably by [[Enya]] and the [[Brobdingnagian Bards]].  [[Led Zeppelin]]'s songs "Misty Mountain Hop" and "Ramble On" both contain references to Tolkien's mystical world. For ''The Hobbit'' itself, "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins", performed by [[Leonard Nimoy]] as part of his 1968 ''Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy'' album, is the most pertinent because it recounts the book's storyline in its two minutes.  The ballad's music video became a minor Internet meme in the early 2000s when ''[[The Lord of the Rings (film series)|The Lord of the Rings]]'' movies were released.
Line 161: Line 118:
 
In 1974, Argo Records released an audio adaptation of the Hobbit, with Nicol Williamson providing the voices for all the characters in the book. It was an abridged adaptation , as Williamson re-edited the original script, removing many instances of "he said" and so on, preferring instead to rely on his vocal characteristics to convey who was saying what to whom, feeling that this would keep the audience engrossed in the story rather than slowing the overall pace.
 
In 1974, Argo Records released an audio adaptation of the Hobbit, with Nicol Williamson providing the voices for all the characters in the book. It was an abridged adaptation , as Williamson re-edited the original script, removing many instances of "he said" and so on, preferring instead to rely on his vocal characteristics to convey who was saying what to whom, feeling that this would keep the audience engrossed in the story rather than slowing the overall pace.
  
An [[The Hobbit (1977 film)|animated version]] of the story debuted as a television movie in the United States in [[1977]].
+
;TV
 
+
An [[The Hobbit (1977 film)|animated version]] of the story debuted as a television movie in the United States in [[1977]]. A [[The Hobbit (1985 television film)|live action television dramatization]] was broadcast on USSR televsion in [[1985]]. [[David T. Wenzel]]'s [[David T. Wenzel's The Hobbit|graphic format adaptation]] of ''The Hobbit'' was published in [[1989]].
A [[The Hobbit (1985 television film)|live action television dramatization]] was broadcast on USSR televsion in [[1985]].  
 
 
 
[[David T. Wenzel]]'s [[David T. Wenzel's The Hobbit|graphic format adaptation]] of ''The Hobbit'' was published in [[1989]].
 
  
 +
;Video games
 
Several computer and video games, both official and unofficial, have been based on the story.  One of the first was ''[[The Hobbit (1982 video game)|The Hobbit]]'', a computer game developed in [[1982]] by Beam Software and published by Melbourne House for most computers available at the time, from the more popular computers such as the ZX Spectrum, and the Commodore 64, through to such esoteric computers as the Dragon 32 and Oric computers. By arrangement with publishers, a copy of the novel was included with each game sold.
 
Several computer and video games, both official and unofficial, have been based on the story.  One of the first was ''[[The Hobbit (1982 video game)|The Hobbit]]'', a computer game developed in [[1982]] by Beam Software and published by Melbourne House for most computers available at the time, from the more popular computers such as the ZX Spectrum, and the Commodore 64, through to such esoteric computers as the Dragon 32 and Oric computers. By arrangement with publishers, a copy of the novel was included with each game sold.
  
 
Vivendi Universal Games published ''[[The Hobbit (2003 video game)|The Hobbit: Prelude to The Lord of the Rings]]'' in 2003 for Windows PCs, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. It is a hack and slash game produced as a prequel to ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'' video games, but also as a softer version of those two games: less brutal, fewer enemies but with an important platform aspect, the game was designed for smaller children.  A similar version of this game was also published for the Game Boy Advance.
 
Vivendi Universal Games published ''[[The Hobbit (2003 video game)|The Hobbit: Prelude to The Lord of the Rings]]'' in 2003 for Windows PCs, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. It is a hack and slash game produced as a prequel to ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'' video games, but also as a softer version of those two games: less brutal, fewer enemies but with an important platform aspect, the game was designed for smaller children.  A similar version of this game was also published for the Game Boy Advance.
  
 +
;Films
 
A [[The Hobbit (film series)|three-part live-action film version of ''The Hobbit'']] based on the book, and incorporating elements from the [[The Lord of the Rings Appendices|Apprendices]] of ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'' was produced and directed by [[Peter Jackson]], who had also produced and directed [[The Lord of the Rings (film series)|a film adaptation of ''The Lord of the Rings'']]. Principal photography began in 2011 and ended in 2012, with the majority of the scenes being shot in [[New Zealand]].
 
A [[The Hobbit (film series)|three-part live-action film version of ''The Hobbit'']] based on the book, and incorporating elements from the [[The Lord of the Rings Appendices|Apprendices]] of ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'' was produced and directed by [[Peter Jackson]], who had also produced and directed [[The Lord of the Rings (film series)|a film adaptation of ''The Lord of the Rings'']]. Principal photography began in 2011 and ended in 2012, with the majority of the scenes being shot in [[New Zealand]].
  
Line 177: Line 133:
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
 
*[[Poems in The Hobbit|Poems in ''The Hobbit'']]
 
*[[Poems in The Hobbit|Poems in ''The Hobbit'']]
 +
*[[The Hobbit/Quotations|''The Hobbit'' quotations]]
 
*[[English-language editions of The Hobbit|English-language editions of ''The Hobbit'']]
 
*[[English-language editions of The Hobbit|English-language editions of ''The Hobbit'']]
*[[:Category:Characters in The Hobbit|Characters in ''The Hobbit'']]
+
*[[The Hobbit/Translations|Translations of ''The Hobbit'']]
*[[The Hobbit/Quotations|''The Hobbit'' quotations]]
 
 
*[[The Quest of Erebor]]
 
*[[The Quest of Erebor]]
  

Revision as of 17:23, 11 August 2022

Template:Countdown

The name The Hobbit refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see The Hobbit (disambiguation).
The name There and Back Again refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see There and Back Again (disambiguation).
The Hobbit,
or There and Back Again
225px
AuthorJ.R.R. Tolkien
IllustratorJ.R.R. Tolkien
PublisherGeorge Allen and Unwin (UK)
Houghton Mifflin (US)
ReleasedSeptember 21 1937
FormatHardcover; paperback; deluxe-edition; audio-book
Pages312
Followed byThe Lord of the Rings (1954-55)

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, better known as The Hobbit, is a children's fantasy novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. It was published in 1937 to wide critical acclaim. The book remains popular and is recognized as a classic in children's literature.

The Hobbit is set within Tolkien's Middle-earth and follows the quest of home-loving Bilbo Baggins, the titular hobbit, to win a share of the treasure guarded by a dragon named Smaug. Bilbo's journey takes him from his light-hearted, rural surroundings into more sinister territory.

The story is told in the form of an episodic quest, and most chapters introduce a specific creature or type of creature of Tolkien's geography. Bilbo gains a new level of maturity, competence, and wisdom by accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey, and adventurous sides of his nature and applying his wits and common sense. The story reaches its climax in the Battle of Five Armies, where many of the characters and creatures from earlier chapters re-emerge to engage in conflict.

Plot

Donato Giancola - Expulsion

Gandalf tricks Bilbo Baggins into hosting a party for Thorin Oakenshield and his band of twelve dwarves (Dwalin, Balin, Kili, Fili, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur), who sing of reclaiming their ancient home, Lonely Mountain, and its vast treasure from the dragon Smaug. When the music ends, Gandalf unveils Thrór's Map showing a secret door into the Mountain and proposes that the dumbfounded Bilbo serve as the expedition's "burglar". The dwarves ridicule the idea, but Bilbo, indignant, joins despite himself.

The group travels into the wild. Gandalf saves the company from trolls and leads them to Rivendell, where Elrond reveals more secrets from the map. When they attempt to cross the Misty Mountains, they are caught by goblins and driven deep underground. Although Gandalf rescues them, Bilbo gets separated from the others as they flee the goblins. Lost in the goblin tunnels, he stumbles across a mysterious ring and then encounters Gollum, who engages him in a game, each posing a riddle until one of them cannot solve it. If Bilbo wins, Gollum will show him the way out of the tunnels, but if he fails, his life will be forfeit. With the help of the ring, which confers invisibility, Bilbo escapes and rejoins the dwarves, improving his reputation with them. The goblins and Wargs give chase, but the company are saved by eagles. They rest in the house of Beorn.

J.R.R. Tolkien - Bilbo comes to the Huts of the Raft-elves

The company enters the black forest of Mirkwood without Gandalf, who has other responsibilities. In Mirkwood, Bilbo first saves the dwarves from giant spiders and then from the dungeons of the Wood-elves. Nearing the Lonely Mountain, the travellers are welcomed by the human inhabitants of Lake-town, who hope the dwarves will fulfil prophecies of Smaug's demise. The expedition reaches the mountain and finds the secret door. The dwarves send a reluctant Bilbo inside to scout the dragon's lair. He steals a great cup and, while conversing with Smaug, spots a gap in the ancient dragon's armour. The enraged dragon, deducing that Lake-town has aided the intruders, flies off to destroy the town. A thrush overhears Bilbo's report of Smaug's vulnerability and tells Lake-town resident Bard. Smaug wreaks havoc on the town, until Bard fires an arrow into Smaug's hollow spot, killing the dragon.

When the dwarves take possession of the mountain, Bilbo finds the Arkenstone, the most-treasured heirloom of Thorin's family, and hides it away. The Wood-elves and Lake-men request compensation for Lake-town's destruction and settlement of old claims on the treasure. When Thorin refuses to give them anything, they besiege the mountain. However, Thorin manages to send a message to his kinfolk in the Iron Hills and reinforces his position. Bilbo slips out and gives the Arkenstone to the besiegers, hoping to head off a war. When they offer the jewel to Thorin in exchange for treasure, Bilbo reveals how they obtained it. Thorin, furious at what he sees as betrayal, banishes Bilbo, and battle seems inevitable when Dáin Ironfoot, Thorin's second cousin, arrives with an army of dwarf warriors.

Gandalf reappears to warn all of an approaching army of goblins and Wargs. The dwarves, men and elves band together, but only with the timely arrival of the eagles and Beorn do they win the climactic Battle of Five Armies. Thorin is fatally wounded and reconciles with Bilbo before he dies.

Bilbo accepts only a small portion of his share of the treasure, having no want or need for more, but still returns home a very wealthy hobbit roughly a year and a month after he first left. Years later, he writes the story of his adventures.

Characters appeared

  1. Bilbo Baggins
  2. Belladonna Took (mentioned only)
  3. Bungo Baggins (mentioned only)
  4. Old Took (mentioned only)
  5. Gandalf the Grey
  6. Thorin Oakenshield
  7. Dwalin
  8. Balin
  9. Fíli
  10. Kíli
  11. Óin
  12. Glóin
  13. Dori
  14. Nori
  15. Ori
  16. Bifur
  17. Bofur
  18. Bombur
  19. Smaug
  20. Thráin (mentioned only)
  21. Thrór (mentioned only)
  22. Thráin I (mentioned only)
  23. Azog (mentioned only)
  24. Bullroarer Took (mentioned only)
  25. Golfimbul (mentioned only)
  26. William
  27. Tom
  28. Bert
  29. Elrond
  30. Durin (mentioned only)
  31. The Great Goblin
  32. Gollum
  33. Wargs
  34. The Lord of the Eagles
  35. Beorn
  36. Radagast the Brown (mentioned only)
  37. The Elvenking
  38. Galion
  39. Bard the Bowman
  40. Master of Lake-town
  41. Girion of Dale (mentioned only)
  42. Carc (mentioned only)
  43. Roäc
  44. Dáin Ironfoot
  45. Bolg

Conception

Tolkien recollects in a 1955 letter to W.H. Auden (Letters, no. 163) that, in the late 1920s, when he was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College, The Hobbit began when he was marking School Certificate papers, on the back of one of which he wrote the words "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit". He did not go any further than that at the time, although in the following years he drew up Thrór's map, outlining the geography of the tale. The tale itself he wrote in the early 1930s, and it was eventually published because he lent it to the Reverend Mother of Cherwell Edge when she was sick with the flu; while the Reverend Mother was in possession of the manuscript, it was seen by the 10-year old son of Sir Stanley Unwin, Rayner Unwin, who wrote such an enthusiastic review of the book that it was published by Allen and Unwin.

Tolkien introduced or mentioned characters and places that figured prominently in his legendarium, specifically Elrond and Gondolin, along with elements from Germanic legend. But the decision that the events of The Hobbit could belong to the same universe as The Silmarillion was made only after successful publication, when the publisher asked for a sequel. Accordingly, The Hobbit serves both as an introduction to Middle-Earth and as a link between earlier and later events described in The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings, respectively.

Although a fairy tale, the novel is both complex and sophisticated: it contains many names and words derived from Norse mythology, and central plot elements from the Beowulf epic, it makes use of Anglo-Saxon Runes, information on calendars and moon phases, and detailed geographical descriptions that fit well with the accompanying maps. Near the end, the tale takes on epic proportions.

Publications history

George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. of London published the first edition of The Hobbit on 21 September 1937. It was illustrated with many black-and-white drawings by Tolkien himself. The original printing numbered a mere 1,500 copies and sold out by 15 December that same year due to enthusiastic reviews. Houghton Mifflin of Boston and New York prepared an American edition to be released early in 1938 in which four of the illustrations would be colour plates. Allen & Unwin decided to incorporate the colour illustrations into their second printing, released at the end of 1937.[1] Despite the book's popularity, wartime conditions forced the London publisher to print small runs of the remaining two printings of the first edition.

As remarked above, Tolkien substantially revised The Hobbit's text describing Bilbo's dealings with Gollum in order to blend the story better into what The Lord of the Rings had become. This revision became the second edition, published in 1951 in both UK and American editions. Slight corrections to the text have appeared in the third (1966) and fourth editions (1978).

New English-language editions of The Hobbit spring up often, despite the book's age, with at least fifty editions having been published to date. Each comes from a different publisher or bears distinctive cover art, internal art, or substantial changes in format. The text of each generally adheres to the Allen & Unwin edition extant at the time it is published.

Reception

On first publication in October 1937, The Hobbit was met with almost unanimously favourable reviews from publications both in the UK and the US, including The Times, Catholic World, and New York Post. C.S. Lewis, friend of Tolkien (and later author of The Chronicles of Narnia between 1949 and 1954), writing in The Times reports:

"The truth is that in this book a number of good things, never before united, have come together: a fund of humour, an understanding of children, and a happy fusion of the scholar's with the poet's grasp of mythology... The professor has the air of inventing nothing. He has studied trolls and dragons at first hand and describes them with that fidelity that is worth oceans of glib 'originality'."

Lewis compares the book to Alice in Wonderland in that both children and adults may find different things to enjoy in it, and places it alongside Flatland, Phantastes, and The Wind in the Willows.[2] W.H. Auden, in his review of the sequel The Fellowship of the Ring, calls The Hobbit "one of the best children's stories of this century".[3] Auden was later to correspond with Tolkien, and they became friends.

The Hobbit was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction of the year (1938).[4] More recently, the book has been recognized as "Most Important 20th-Century Novel (for Older Readers)" in the Children's Books of the Century poll in Books for Keeps.[5] In 2012 it was ranked number 14 on a list of the top 100 children's novels published by School Library Journal.[6]

Publication of the sequel The Lord of the Rings altered many critics' reception of the work. Instead of approaching The Hobbit as a children's book in its own right, critics such as Randel Helms picked up on the idea of The Hobbit as being a "prelude", relegating the story to a dry-run for the later work. Countering a presentist interpretation are those who say this approach misses out on much of the original's value as a children's book and as a work of high fantasy in its own right, and that it disregards the book's influence on these genres.[7]

Commentators such as Paul Kocher,[8] John D. Rateliff,[9] and C.W. Sullivan encourage readers to treat the works separately, both because The Hobbit was conceived, published, and received independently of the later work, and to avoid dashing readers' expectations of tone and style.

Adaptations

Radio and audio

The Hobbit has been adapted for other media. BBC Radio 4 broadcast The Hobbit radio drama, adapted by Michael Kilgarriff, in eight parts (4 hours) from September to November 1968, which starred Anthony Jackson as narrator, Paul Daneman as Bilbo and Heron Carvic as Gandalf.

Middle-earth has been featured in songs notably by Enya and the Brobdingnagian Bards. Led Zeppelin's songs "Misty Mountain Hop" and "Ramble On" both contain references to Tolkien's mystical world. For The Hobbit itself, "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins", performed by Leonard Nimoy as part of his 1968 Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy album, is the most pertinent because it recounts the book's storyline in its two minutes. The ballad's music video became a minor Internet meme in the early 2000s when The Lord of the Rings movies were released.

In 1974, Argo Records released an audio adaptation of the Hobbit, with Nicol Williamson providing the voices for all the characters in the book. It was an abridged adaptation , as Williamson re-edited the original script, removing many instances of "he said" and so on, preferring instead to rely on his vocal characteristics to convey who was saying what to whom, feeling that this would keep the audience engrossed in the story rather than slowing the overall pace.

TV

An animated version of the story debuted as a television movie in the United States in 1977. A live action television dramatization was broadcast on USSR televsion in 1985. David T. Wenzel's graphic format adaptation of The Hobbit was published in 1989.

Video games

Several computer and video games, both official and unofficial, have been based on the story. One of the first was The Hobbit, a computer game developed in 1982 by Beam Software and published by Melbourne House for most computers available at the time, from the more popular computers such as the ZX Spectrum, and the Commodore 64, through to such esoteric computers as the Dragon 32 and Oric computers. By arrangement with publishers, a copy of the novel was included with each game sold.

Vivendi Universal Games published The Hobbit: Prelude to The Lord of the Rings in 2003 for Windows PCs, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. It is a hack and slash game produced as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings video games, but also as a softer version of those two games: less brutal, fewer enemies but with an important platform aspect, the game was designed for smaller children. A similar version of this game was also published for the Game Boy Advance.

Films

A three-part live-action film version of The Hobbit based on the book, and incorporating elements from the Apprendices of The Lord of the Rings was produced and directed by Peter Jackson, who had also produced and directed a film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. Principal photography began in 2011 and ended in 2012, with the majority of the scenes being shot in New Zealand.

This film series was released in three parts: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released on 14 December 2012; The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was released on 13 December 2013; and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was released worldwide on 17 December 2014.

See also

External links

References

  1. Laura Massey, "Identifying & Collecting Tolkien First Editions" dated 9 January 2012, PeterHarrington.co.uk (accessed 12 January 2012)
  2. Anderson, Douglas A. (ed.). The Annotated Hobbit
  3. Auden, W.H. "The Hero is a Hobbit"
  4. Carpenter, Humphrey; Tolkien, Christopher (eds.). The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. "FAQ: Did Tolkien win any awards for his books?". The Tolkien Society. 2002
  6. "Top 100 Chapter Book Poll Results"
  7. Sullivan, C.W. (1996). High Fantasy
  8. Kocher, Paul (1974). Master of Middle-earth, the Achievement of J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. Rateliff, John D. (2007). The History of The Hobbit
Illustrators of The Hobbit
Internal art J.R.R. Tolkien (1937-present) · Eric Fraser (The Folio Society: 1979, 1992-present) · Michael Hague (1984-1992) · David T. Wenzel (graphic novel: 1989-present) · Alan Lee (1997-present) · David Wyatt (1998-2001, 2012-2013) · John Howe (pop-up: 1999) · Jemima Catlin (2013-present)
Cover art only J.R.R. Tolkien (1937-present) · Pauline Baynes (1961) · Roger Garland (1987-1989) · John Howe (1991-present) · Ted Nasmith (1989-1991) · Barbara Remington (1965 US)
The Hobbit film series
Source material: The Hobbit · The Lord of the Rings
Films An Unexpected Journey (extended editionThe Desolation of Smaug (extended edition) · The Battle of the Five Armies (extended edition)
Music An Unexpected Journey (Special Edition) · The Desolation of Smaug (Special Edition) · The Battle of the Five Armies (Special Edition) · "Song of the Lonely Mountain" · "I See Fire" · "The Last Goodbye"
Tie-in books An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide · Visual Companion · Movie Storybook · Annual 2013 · Chronicles: Art & Design · Chronicles: Creatures & Characters · The World of Hobbits
The Desolation of Smaug Official Movie Guide · Visual Companion · Movie Storybook · Annual 2014 · Chronicles: Art & Design · Chronicles: Cloaks & Daggers · Smaug: Unleashing the Dragon · Activity Book · Sticker Book · Ultimate Sticker Collection
The Battle of the Five Armies Official Movie Guide · Visual Companion · Movie Storybook · Annual 2015 · Chronicles: Art & Design · Chronicles: The Art of War · Activity Book
Video games Lego The Hobbit · Kingdoms of Middle-earth
Characters Bilbo · Thorin · Gandalf · Balin · Fíli · Kíli · Dwalin · Dori · Nori · Ori · Óin · Glóin · Bifur · Bofur · Bombur · Smaug · Radagast · Elrond · Galadriel · Saruman · Azog · Bolg · Thranduil · Legolas · Tauriel · Bard · Bain · Tilda · Sigrid · Master of Lake-town · Alfrid · Dáin Ironfoot · Necromancer · Bert · William · Tom · Beorn · Thráin · Thrór · Goblin King · Gollum · Frodo
A J.R.R. Tolkien book guide
Books by Tolkien or based on his writings
Of Arda Authorized by
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit · The Lord of the Rings
(i.The Fellowship of the Ring · ii.The Two Towers · iii.The Return of the King) ·
The Road Goes Ever On · Bilbo's Last Song
Edited by Christopher Tolkien The Silmarillion · Unfinished Tales · The History of Middle-earth series
(i.The Book of Lost Tales: Part One · ii.The Book of Lost Tales: Part Two · iii.The Lays of Beleriand ·
iv.The Shaping of Middle-earth · v.The Lost Road and Other Writings · vi.The Return of the Shadow ·
vii.The Treason of Isengard · viii.The War of the Ring · ix.Sauron Defeated · x.Morgoth's Ring ·
xi.The War of the Jewels · xii.The Peoples of Middle-earth · Index) ·
The Children of Húrin · Beren and Lúthien · The Fall of Gondolin
Edited by others The Annotated Hobbit · The History of The Hobbit · The Nature of Middle-earth · The Fall of Númenor
Not of Arda Short stories
and poems
Leaf by Niggle · Farmer Giles of Ham · Smith of Wootton Major · The Adventures of Tom Bombadil ·
Letters from Father Christmas · Mr. Bliss · Roverandom ·
Tree and Leaf (compilation) · Tales from the Perilous Realm (compilation)
Fictions The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún · The Fall of Arthur · The Story of Kullervo · The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
Translations and academic works Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo · Finn and Hengest: The Fragment and the Episode ·
Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary · The Monsters and the Critics, and Other Essays ·
Tolkien On Fairy-stories · A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages
Other The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
Books by other authors
Reference book The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
Scholarly books containing Tolkien's writings J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography · The Inklings · The Road to Middle-earth ·
A Question of Time · Tolkien and the Great War ·
The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion · The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide
Scholarly journal containing Tolkien's writings Tolkien Studies various issues
Other published works by Tolkien
Linguistic journals Vinyar Tengwar issues 1-50 · Parma Eldalamberon issues 1-22
Collections of artwork
and manuscripts
Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien · Tolkien: Life and Legend · J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator ·
The Art of The Hobbit · The Art of The Lord of the Rings · Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth ·
Tolkien: Treasures · J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript
This list only includes the major published works, for the full bibliography of Tolkien, see here or here