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This is a picture of the destruction of Lake-Town in chapter 14, Fire and Water. This is the chapter in which Smaug is killed and also has the beginning of the Battle of the Five Armies. Chapter 14 ends with the armies of the Wood Elves and the Lake Men gathering to march on the Lonely Mountain. The armies that made up the Battle of the Five Armies were Men, Wood Elves, Dwarves, Orcs and Eagles.

This was a strange battle, as the Men and Elves, were at first prepared to make war on the Dwarves to get the treasure. Afterwards, with the coming of the Goblins, the Men, Elves and Dwarves allied together to fight the goblins. They still likely would have lost if it were not for the Eagles coming.

The Battle of Laketown

The map of Mirkwood, as it came to be known after the Necromancer took up residence at Dol-Guildur. Before then it was called Greenwood the Great, in Elvish, Eryn Galen, and after the Ring was destroyed it was named Eryn Lasgalen, The Wood of Green Leaves. This picture is from The Hobbit, the HarperCollins edition last page. Within Mirkwood was an enchanted stream. Anyone who touched or drank of this stream fell into an enchantment of sleep. Most of the creatures of Mirkwood were black, though there were white deer. Some of the most horrible creatures of Mirkwood were the Giant Spiders.

There are two versions of The Hobbit, one of which has Gollum going to give Bilbo the Ring. Tolkien ran into trouble with this when he was writing The Lord of the Rings. As the Ring was taking on a more and more sinister aspect, having Gollum give away the Ring was less and less possible. To fix this Tolkien rewrote parts of The Hobbit to suit The Lord of the Rings. The way he explains this the two different versions is that Bilbo wrote the original version of The Hobbit as the Ring was taking effect, and when Frodo rewrote the Red Book of Westmarch he was unwilling to remove what Bilbo had put, so there were some copies made of the original.

Mirkwood Map

The much loved Rivendell, described by Bilbo, as:
His house was perfect whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Evil things did not come into that valley.

Later in The Lord of the Rings, Sam said "Well, Mister Frodo, we've been far and seen a deal, and yet I don't think we've found a better place than this. There's something of the Shire and the Golden Wood and Gondor and kings' houses and inns and mountains all mixed." (LOTR.1023)

Rivendell was also Aragorn's choice of residence as he told Éowyn in the Lord of the Rings.


This is a picture of Gollum that I did about ten years ago. It is based on the pictures of Gollum in the Rankin-Bass illustrated version of the Hobbit. In the Lord of the Rings, Gollum was shown to be a hobbit from the days when they lived by the side of the Anduin River, near the Gladden Fields. If it were not for Gollum, the Quest of the Ring would have failed. Gollum's real name was Sméagol. He followed the Company of the Ring from Moria all the way down the Anduin. After the breaking of the Fellowship, Frodo and Sam caught Gollum on the borders of the Emyn Muil and forced him to guide them to Mordor. Before this time, Gollum was seen as a pair of eyes in the Mines of Moria, then as a shape in the tree in Lothlórien where they took refuge with the Elves and last of all as a shape paddling down the Anduin River on a log.


This picture is another based on the Rankin-Bass illustrated version of the Hobbit that I did about four or five years ago. The wargs were evil wolves that were primarily found on the eastern side of the Misty Mountains. From the surprise in Aragorn's voice when the Wargs attacked them on their way to Moria, it was a rare thing for the Wargs to be found on the western side of the Misty Mountains. Suddenly Aragorn leapt to his feet. "How the wind howls!" he cried. "It is howling with wolf voices. The Wargs have come west of the Mountains!" (LOTR.314)

The Wargs were not at all like ordinary wolves in that they were more clever and evil than ordinary wolves and when killed, their bodies were often not to be found after. When the full light of morning came no signs of the wolves were to be found, and they looked in vain for the bodies of the dead. No trace of the fight remained but the charred trees and the arrows of Legolas lying on the hilltop. All were undamaged save one of which only the point was left. "It is as I feared," said Gandalf. "These were no ordinary wolves hunting for food in the wilderness. Let us eat quickly and go!" (LOTR.316-317)


Gandalf the Grey, the one who guided the quest to Rivendell and far beyond. None of them would have gotten far without him. He was also the one that got the quest rolling in the first place. Gandalf had many names, as Faramir said to Frodo and Sam:
Many are my names in many countries, he said. Mithrandir among the Elves, Tharkûn to the Dwarves; Olórin I was in my youth in the West that is forgotten, in the South, Incánus, in the North, Gandalf; to the East I go not. (LOTR.696-697)

In the Lord of the Rings, Gandalf the Grey passed through death to become Gandalf the White. Though The Hobbit was meant as more of a children's tale, Gandalf shows signs of the power he shows in The Lord of the Rings, examples being, when rescuing the dwarves from the goblins, and during the Battle of the Five Armies.

The BBC Radio Play version of the Hobbit

The radio play version of the Hobbit by the BBC seems consist of 8 episodes. It has very good sound effects especially with the goblins in the chapter Over Hill and Under Hill, with signature sounds for the main characters such as Gandalf.

Unlike the movie, the radio play does not seem to skip anything important, such as Bëorn and at many times is almost word for word as the book or very close to it.

The voice of Smaug is very convincing and the actor that played Bilbo did a very convincing job in that scene. This is very well done. Smaug's voice sounds like grumbling thunder.

Gandalf the Grey

Currently on the messageboard, there is a discussion of the Hobbit, chapter by chapter. The links to the chapter summaries are listed below. Feel free to join in with your comments.

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