Again, all page numbers are from Douglas A. Anderson's
The Annotated Hobbit.
Chapter Three: A Short Rest
Chapter Three picks up exactly where Chapter Two leaves off, although things
improve slightly, at least regarding the weather. Tolkien's tendency to describe
landscapes wonderfully and in detail shows up here, with the Company traveling
Here, Bilbo first sees the Misty Mountains, mistaking them for the Lonely
Mountain, the end of their journey. Clearly he has no concept of the distances
yet. Balin gives him, and us, a vague description of their route to come.
Gandalf leads them, with difficulty to Rivendell, where Bilbo hears the elves
singing. Actually, he hears and smells them before he sees them. the identifier
is his statement that "it smells like elves"
(The Annotated Hobbit.91). Apparently, he's
seen elves before, though not often. There is the first inkling of later troubles
in the description of the relationship between the race of the Dwarves and the
Here we first meet Elrond, the lord of Rivendell, who is described as an Elf-friend:
of those people whose fathers came into the strange stories before the beginning
of history, the wars of the evil goblins and the elves and the first men in the
North"(The Annotated Hobbit.93-94).
They stayed in Rivendell for two weeks. At the end of the stay, Thorin and
Gandalf showed the swords they had gotten from the trolls to Elrond, only to
discover that they had a history dating from early days. One of the swords, Glamdring,
was once the sword of the king of Gondolin. This is where The Hobbit definitely
becomes a part of Middle-Earth, with Gondolin and it's destruction becoming a
part of the books' background. At the same time, Elrond discovers how to open
the secret door shown on the map of the Lonely Mountain.
By the time the group leaves Rivendell, it is summer, specifically midsummers'
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