The Hobbit facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Gollum as depicted in the 1989 comic-book adaptation by David Wenzel

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, is a book written by J. R. R. Tolkien. It was first published on September 21, 1937. Tolkien wrote it in the 1930s for his children as a bedtime story. The story takes place before The Lord of the Rings.

The plot is about the hobbit (a small race of people invented by Tolkien) Bilbo Baggins who goes on an adventurous quest with a group of dwarves and the wizard Gandalf, in order to fight the dragon Smaug, which has stolen the treasures and home of the dwarves.

Although Tolkien borrowed (for example names and background) from his own Middle-earth storyline, The Hobbit was at first not intended to be part of it. Only later, when Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings, did he integrate the story of both Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings into his Middle-earth world.


Gandalf the Grey: He one of the five wizards of Middle Earth and a member of the Istir. He is the second most powerful wizard only surpassed by Saruman the White. He selects Bilbo Baggins to be the burglar of the Company of Thorin Oakenshield. He aids the company using his wisdom, magic, and guidance. He wields the sword Glamdring or the "foe hammer".

.Bilbo Baggins: A simple Hobbit, who lives a quiet life in the Shire. He is thrown into an adventure by the wizard Gandalf. He is enlisted to be a burglar, but ends up doing so much more for the company of 13 dwarves. He has a run in with Gollum in the Misty Mountains and he finds the One Ring of Power.

Thorin Oakenshield: The leader of the company of dwarves and the heir to the throne of Erabor. He is a proud dwarf who does not trust elves and is bent on reclaiming the dwarves' homeland. He will become the King Under the Mountain and fall victim to dragon sickness. He later dies in the Battle of the Five Armies. He wields Orcrist or the "Goblin cleaver". He is a direct descendant of the line of Durin.

Fili and Kili: They are brothers and the nephews of Thorin Oakenshield. They are the sons of his sister Dis. Fili is the older sibling by about 80 years. They would usually scout ahead for the company and escorted Bilbo into the Lonely Mountain. They are the youngest of the company. Fili is Thorin's heir to the throne. Kili did NOT fall in love with an elf. They die defending their uncle in the Battle of the Five Armies. They too descend from the line of Durin.

Balin and Dwalin: They are borthers and distant cousins of Thorin Oakenshield. They are both warriors who are fiercly loyal to Thorin. Balin is one of the oldest of the company and uses his wisdom to aid Thorin. We discover that Balin dies in The Misty Mountains after the events of the Hobbit.

Dori, Ori, and Nori: They are all half brothers and not related to Thorin. Dori was choosen for his strength. Ori was a scribe who later dies in The Misty Mountains after the events of the Hobbit.

Oin and Gloin: They are brothers and distant cousins of Thorin. Gloin is the father of Gimli "Elf friend". Gloin is a banker who helped finance the quest to reclaim Erabor. Oin is a herbalist and healer. Oin is one of the oldest dwarves in the company.

Bofur and Bumber: They are brothers who are not related to Thorin. They were toy makers. Bumber, while in the Forest of Mirkwood, falls into a river with water that makes you sleep. The company had to carry him until he woke up. Bumber was also the heaviest of the company.

Bifur: He is the cousin of Bofur and Bumber. He too is not related to the line of Durin.

Smaug: A great dragon who stole the Lonely Mountain from the dwarves. He is a Firedrake from the north. He is killed by Bard the bowman, from a black arrow to the loose scale in his chest, located over his heart.

Beorn: He is a skin changer. He can take the forms of a great man or a large bear. He is the last of his kind due to the evil works of orcs and goblins. He loves animals and nature. He aids the company by lending them horses, gives them a place to rest and food to eat. He fights in the Battle of the Five Armies.

Elrond: The elven lord of Rivendale. He aids the company by translating the moon runes on the map of the Lonely Mountain.

Dain Ironfoot: The lord of the Iron Hills and cousin to Tthorin. He leads a dwarf army to Erebor to aid Thorin in the Battle of the Five Armies. He becomes The King Unde the Mountain after the deaths of Thorin, Fili, and Kili.

Gollum: He was once a hobbit-like creature before he was



The Great Eagles:


The hobbit Bilbo Baggins lives a quiet and peaceful life. One day the wizard Gandalf comes to him, and with him thirteen dwarves: Thorin Oakenshield, Fíli and Kíli, Óin, Glóin, Balin, Dwalin, Dori, Nori, Ori, Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur. The dwarves tell their story: A long time ago they lived in the Lonely Mountain. Thorin's father was their king, the King under the Mountain. But one day the dragon Smaug came to the Lonely Mountain and killed all of the dwarves he found. The dragon took their treasure and now lives in the Lonely Mountain. But some of the dwarves could flee. Now the dwarves want to go back the Lonely Mountain, and get back their home and treasures from the dragon. Gandalf wants Bilbo to come with them, and work as a master thief. At first Bilbo does not want to, but later he goes with them.

Gandalf, the dwarves, and Bilbo start to go east on their journey to the Lonely Mountain. After Gandalf saves the group from three trolls, they find the trolls' cave. Among the trolls' things there is some gold and swords. Gandalf, Thorin, and Bilbo each get a sword. The group continues on to the elven city Rivendell. Its master, Elrond, gives them helpful information.

As the group travels east over the Misty Mountains, they are attacked by Goblins (Orcs). The Goblins take the dwarves and Bilbo into their caves. Gandalf saves them and the group flees. During their flight Bilbo gets lost, and tries to find a way out by himself. In the tunnels Bilbo finds a ring, which he puts in his pocket. By an underground lake, Bilbo meets the creature Gollum. Gollum and Bilbo play a game of riddles. If Bilbo wins the game, Gollum will show him the way out; if Gollum wins, he will eat Bilbo. When Bilbo does not know another riddle to ask Gollum, he finds the ring in his pocket and asks himself: "What have I got in my pocket?" Gollum thinks this is a riddle, but cannot answer it, and so Bilbo wins the game. Gollum is angry and does not want to help Bilbo. Gollum then goes away to get something he owns: a magical ring, which turns the wearer invisible. Gollum cannot find his ring, and realizes that Bilbo has it. Gollum goes back, but Bilbo is afraid and runs away. While running, the ring slips on Bilbo's finger and he becomes invisible. Gollum runs past Bilbo, towards the way out of the caves. Bilbo realizes that the ring makes him invisible. With the help of the ring he can follow Gollum and get out of the caves. Outside, Bilbo again meets Gandalf and the dwarves.

The group is attacked by Goblins and Wargs, but saved by the Great Eagles. The group comes to the home of Beorn, a big man that can become a bear. After staying at Beorn's house, they continue to the forest Mirkwood. At the border of Mirkwood, Gandalf leaves the group. Bilbo and the dwarves have go through Mirkwood without him. The dwarves are attacked and captured by giant spiders. With the help of his ring and his sword, Bilbo saves them. Bilbo names his sword Sting. The Wood-Elves capture the dwarves. Bilbo again uses the ring and saves the dwarves. He frees them and puts them into barrels, which he lets swim down a river out of Mirkwood. The group comes to Lake-town, a human city near the Lonely Mountain.

The dwarves and Bilbo travel to the Lonely Mountain. They can find the secret door into the mountain, and open it. Bilbo goes in two times and meets the dragon Smaug. Bilbo steals a golden cup, and finds out that Smaug has a weak place on his left chest. Bilbo tells this to the dwarves, but a thrush (a bird) also hears it. Smaug is angry and goes out to destroy Lake-town. But in Laketown the thrush tells the archer Bard of the dragon's weak point, and Bard shoots the dragon. A big part of Laketown is destroyed, but Smaug is killed.

The dwarves are happy to be back in their old home, and to have their old treasures back. Thorin sends a message to the dwarves of his people, and tells them to come. But soon the people from Laketown and the Mirkwood-Elves arrive. Both peoples want a part of the treasure, but the dwarves do not want to give them anything. The humans and elves start a siege of the Lonely Mountain. After a while the other dwarves of Thorin's people come: Dáin II Ironfoot and an army of dwarves.

The three armies almost start to fight each other, but then the wizard Gandalf appears. Gandalf tells them that an army of Goblins is coming to the Lonely Mountain, and because of that the humans, elves, and dwarves have to fight the Goblins together. The Battle of Five Armies is long and hard, but is finally won with the help of the Great Eagles and Beorn. Thorin's nephews Fíli and Kíli are killed in the battle. Thorin is wounded and dies afterwards. Dáin becomes King under the Mountain. Everyone gets a part of the dwarves' treasure. In the end Bilbo returns home, and lives happily everafter.


The Hobbit has been adapted many times.

  • The Hobbit, a live action film in three parts, called The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).

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The Hobbit Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.