Topics for Discussion
1. Early in the first chapter the narrator comments on Bilbo's parents. What is the significance of the references to his "Tookishness" in this chapter and later in the book? In what kinds of situations does Bilbo himself refer to his Took side?
2. The dwarves first hire Bilbo as their "burglar." In which situations does he fulfill this role? When do his burglarizing exploits bring on unpleasant consequences?
3. Gandalf s presence is important to the success of the quest, but he often leaves the travelers on other business. Why is his absence significant in the overall development of the plot?
4. The adventure with Beorn seems to delay the progress of the quest. In the chapter "Queer Lodgings" several happenings and pieces of information are relevant to later events. Why is the visit to Beorn significant?
5. The most obvious examples of magic in the world of The Hobbit are linked to Gandalf s fireworks and to Bilbo's magic ring. What are other examples of magic in the story? Which instances of magic are most essential to the success of the quest?
6. Smaug is...
(The entire section is 376 words.)