The Return Journey

From Tolkien Gateway
The Return Journey
Chapter of The Hobbit
LocationRavenhill and Dale
Preceded byThe Clouds Burst
Followed byThe Last Stage

The Return Journey is 18th and penultimate chapter of The Hobbit.


When Bilbo awoke, he was still lying with a bad headache on the side of Ravenhill, but he was otherwise unharmed. From the camps below, he saw that the Elves, Men, and Dwarves had won the battle against the goblins and Wargs. A man came searching for Bilbo but could not find him until the hobbit remembered to take off his magic ring. Bilbo was carried back to the camp near Dale where Gandalf waited and was delighted to see the hobbit alive. However, there was sad business to attend to. Bilbo had to say farewell to Thorin Oakenshield for the last time, because he was mortally wounded. Thorin asked Bilbo's forgiveness for the harsh words that had been spoken earlier, at the gates of Erebor.

Fíli and Kíli had also been killed defending Thorin, but the rest of the Dwarves had survived. Gandalf described the end of the battle for Bilbo: the eagles, watching the movements of the goblins, had come just in time and turned the tide of battle. Yet things still might have gone badly were it not for the sudden appearance of Beorn in the shape of a bear, massive and enraged. This had sent the rest of the goblins scattering, and now they were all either dead or in hiding.

After a long while, Bilbo decided to return home, and he and Gandalf said goodbye to not only the surviving Company, but the dwarves that had fallen as well. They shortly left, but would not enter Mirkwood, and instead followed Beorn through the Grey Mountains. The even spent Yule in his halls. They eventually parted with him as well, and crossed through the Misty Mountains into Rivendell.