Chapter 11 Summary
Accompanied by a few men from Lake-town, Bilbo and his friends ride in boats to the lake’s far shore. There, in the wastelands surrounding the Lonely Mountain, the lake men help them unload before returning home; they will not stay this close to the Lonely Mountain. Bilbo and the dwarves will face Smaug alone. Seeing the wreckage of the land that used to be their home, the dwarves grow gloomy. Only Bilbo remains somewhat hopeful.
Bilbo and a small group of dwarves take a peek at the mountain’s front entrance. It looks burned and wasted, and a foul smoke drifts out. It is far too dangerous to enter the main gate. The little group rejoins the others and helps to look for the secret side gate. It takes a great deal of effort, but eventually a search party finds a steep, winding staircase up the mountain. Following its treacherous course, they find a smooth rock face that must be the entrance. Everyone feels excited, and the group moves the camp closer. There is a small, sheltered grassy space before the rock face, and they call this the “door-step.”
Unfortunately, the travelers soon find that opening the gate is impossible, even with mining tools. The entrance is closed with such strong magic...
(The entire section is 433 words.)