The Hobbit There and Back Again

Barrels Out of Bond - Chapter IX

After a dangerous encounter with giant spiders in the Mirkwood forest, Bilbo and his dwarven companions encounter Wood-elves. The dwarves all end up captured, but Bilbo slips on the Ring which makes him invisible. He slips away from his companion’s elven captors and follows them to the palace of the Elvenking. Bilbo hid alone in the palace for nearly two weeks before finding Thorin, the leader of dwarves, and then eventually the rest of them. In his wanderings around the palace, Bilbo discovered a stream that flowed through, and out of, the Elvenking’s palace. When Bilbo realizes that this stream is used to float barrels of wine to nearby Lake-Town, his plan for escape begins to unfold. Using the invisibility granted to him by his ring, Bilbo steals the jailcell keys from a sleeping guard, frees all the dwarves, and hides them in barrels. In a matter of moments, the dwarves and Bilbo are floating down the stream on their way to Lake-Town.


The Hobbit There and Back Again was first published in the U.K. on September 21st, 1937. Peter Jackson adapted the book into a film trilogy. The films were released in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Editions and Adaptions

There are over 50 published editions of The Hobbit, all of which feature varying illustrations, format and publishers.

Tolkien himself edited the story after his complete Lord of the Rings trilogy was published. This was published as the second edition in 1951. This was published in the U.K. by Allen & Unwin, the original publisher of the hobbit.
The third and fourth major editions, released in 1966 and 1978, featured minors change to the grammatical structure of the book.


Throughout the various versions of The Hobbit no major character changes have occurred.

While minor liberties have been taken by directors in the overall portrayal of character appearances, the key characteristics of these characters have remained the same.

Interesting facts

  • The Hobbit takes place in Middle Earth, a world Tolkien created that has it's own history, cultures, mythology, languages, religions, geography, and more.
  • Tolkien established the norm for the high fantasy genre and the presence of varying races such as elves, dwarves, orcs, and hobbits in the genre.
  • C.S. Lewis, author of the Chronicles of Narnia, was the first to review The Hobbit in 1937 and he titled his review "A World for Children." This was the beginning of a lifelong friendship between the two authors, and both men would end up having a significant impact on each others work.
  • Tolkien wrote much more about Middle Earth than he published. After his death, Tolkien's son Christopher began to piece together more of his father's work and eventually published most of it. The Silmarillion is the most significant work published under Christopher Tolkien's name.


  • The entirety of The Lord of the Rings is patterned after Tolkien's religious beliefs. There is a clear divide between good and evil, with nothing in between.
  • Gandalf directly symbolizes good and was inspired the papacy.
  • The One Ring, created by the Dark Lord Sauron, is symbolic temptation and corruption.


Created with images by yanjing - "new zealand the hobby the rings" • Adam Purves (S3ISOR) - "LEGO The Hobbit Unexpected Gathering" • Arbron - "Steps to the Orange Door" • Jakarta Fail - "The Hobbit Character Poster" • Gwydion M. Williams - "The Hobbit (t1.5)"

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