The Hobbit Chapter 17 Summary
by J. R. R. Tolkien

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Chapter 17 Summary

The next morning, Bard and the Elvenking come to the mountain’s entrance with a cloaked old man. They ask Thorin if he would be willing to trade for some of his gold, and they show him the Arkenstone. Thorin is appalled that his enemies have the stone, and he says he should not have to buy back what is his own. He accuses them of stealing, but Bilbo admits that he gave Bard the stone. Thorin shakes Bilbo, cursing him and Gandalf for choosing him, and he threatens to throw the little hobbit onto the rocks below.

The old man beside Bard and the Elvenking throws off his cloak and reveals himself to be Gandalf. He tells Thorin to make a deal and to refrain from hurting Bilbo. Furious, Thorin calls Bilbo “descendant of rats” and demands that he explain himself. Bilbo answers that he took the Arkenstone as his fourteenth of the treasure and that it was his own property to give. Thorin declares that he will consider Bilbo an enemy forever and tells him to leave as a traitor. However, he promises to send a fourteenth of the gold and silver tomorrow in exchange for the Arkenstone. The other dwarves watch sadly as Bilbo goes, but Thorin does not regret losing him. He plots how to get the Arkenstone back without having to give up any of the treasure.

The next day, Dain arrives in the valley with his force of five hundred strong, armed dwarves. He demands to be allowed to pass by the forces of men and elves so he can join his cousin in the Lonely Mountain. Bard and the Elvenking refuse. They know that, once joined, the dwarves will likely refuse to give up any of their treasure. The dwarves are on the point of attacking when Gandalf appears between the two sides and calls them to a halt. He informs them that an army of goblins and Wargs is approaching, hoping to take control of the Lonely Mountain.

At this news, the men, elves, and dwarves join forces and stand together to fight the goblins. The battle that follows...

(The entire section is 546 words.)