Chapter II - Roast Mutton

The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien

 

 

 

Poor Bilbo. He wakes up late, hoping that the dwarves and the party were a bad dream only to find an incredible mess in his kitchen:

There was a fearful mess in the room, and piles of unwashed crocks in the kitchen. Nearly every pot and pan he possessed seemed to have been used.

After cleaning up, he at first is relieved that they went without him ("without a thank-you") but then he feels a bit disappointed. And that feeling surprises him..

 

When Gandalf arrives, he puts Bilbo "in a fluster" by saying how late he is and that he has to get going quick. No time for this, no time for that, just off you go! Bilbo is in such a hurry  he leaves without even a pocket-handkerchief. The dwarves provide him with a hood and a cloak and as Dwalin points out 

You will have to manage without pocket-handkerchiefs, and a good many other things, before you get to the journey's end.

For a while Bilbo enjoys the journey and feels that adventures are not so bad after all. Then they come to the Lone-lands where things are dreary and gloomy. And then Bilbo thinks that he wishes he was home in his hobbit hole with a kettle on.

It was not the last time that he wished that.

When the dwarves see that light ahead, they push Bilbo to go check it out. And he finds the trolls. He tries to burgle for the first time and manages to get a purse from one of them. But the purse reveals him and he is captured. He manages to escape but then all the dwarves are captured. Gandalf returns just in time to keep the trolls arguing until dawn comes and they turn to stone.

 

When they find the troll's cave, they finally get some weapons. (I can't believe they didn't have weapons already.) And the dwarves manage to take some gold and bury it for later. (Not surprising, considering how much dwarves love gold.)

 

 

I love that Bilbo never would have gone on this adventure if he had time to prepare. He i sort of disappointed that they left without him, but then he realizes that adventures are not for him anyway. Because he doesn't see the note from the dwarves and because Gandalf comes up at the last minute and informs him that he is late, Bilbo is running to catch up to the dwarves practically before he realizes what he is doing. He goes without anything, including his handkerchief or a pipe. And we know that Dwalin is right, he will go without much more before this journey ends. The trolls are Bilbo's first dangerous encounter and he handles it rather well, perhaps better than the dwarves considering he is the only one not captured and put in a bag. I wonder why Peter Jackson chose to make Bilbo the one who talks the trolls into an argument about eating the dwarves instead of Gandalf. It makes Bilbo seem a bit cleverer I suppose.

 

The last time I read this book was many, many years ago, but I am still enjoying every minute of it. This process of reading one chapter a week and sharing our thoughts on it is fun. I really enjoy reading the group's posts on the book. I have never given it much thought besides how much I love the story, so I am learning quite a bit.