Guide to The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit/Chapter 2

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This is Chapter 2 of the Hobbit.


Bilo wakes up late after the visit by Gandalf. He is surprised and relieved that the dwarves have left. He is eating breakfast when Gandalf comes and takes him to Green Dragon Inn, where the dwarves are waiting for him. They start. By the time dusk approaches, the whole company is tired, hungry, ready to camp, and annoyed at Gandalf’s mysterious disappearance earlier in the day.

Suddenly, they see fires in the distance. Bilbo is sent forward as his official role of Burglar. He goes forward and sees a clearing. Three trolls are sitting around a fire, eating a mutton. He tries to steal one of the trolls' money purse but they hear and catch him. Despite being dull-witted, they will eat anything and discuss what to do.

The commotion attracts the dwarves, who come to the clearing one at a time. The trolls stop fighting just long enough to hide in the trees and throw a sack over each approaching dwarf. Soon, they have everyone tied up except Bilbo, whom they’ve forgotten. The trolls decide to cook the dwarves immediately, but then a voice, which sounds like one of the trolls, starts an argument, and the three trolls start fighting again. The argument continues until morning. When sunlight strikes them, they freeze - sunlight turns trolls into stone.

Gandalf then steps triumphantly into the clearing. He had been throwing his voice to mislead the dwarves and to keep the trolls arguing until morning. He and Bilbo release the dwarves, who are shaken but otherwise unharmed. Searching nearby, they find the trolls’ cave and a number of well-wrought weapons, which they take as payment for their pains.