In The Hobbit, why is it important that Gandalf is not presents when the expedition meets the trolls in chapter two?

Expert Answers info

Myrtie Barton eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write166 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In chapter 2 of “The Hobbit,” Gandalf disappears mysteriously early into the quest. The dwarves lament his absence, saying that Gandalf left, “Just when a wizard would have been most useful, too.” When the Company sees a “red light” in the distance, Bilbo, as the resident burglar, is sent to investigate. Bilbo finds three quarrelsome trolls, who capture him and all twelve dwarves and plan to cook the entire company. Ultimately, Gandalf saves the day in a textbook-example of deus ex machina when he mimics the troll’s voices and sparks a brawl, which lasts just long enough for the sun to rise and turn the troll-trio into stone. The Company is saved, and they contentedly raid the troll’s cave, which is loaded with treasure.

Gandalf’s absence during the troll scene is important for three reasons:

1) The episode shows that the dwarves may not be as independent and fearsome as they first appeared to Bilbo. All twelve of the dwarves are quickly bagged by the trolls and most are...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 650 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial