April 27, 2021

#08-076: The Hobbit - Part II

color illustration of a dragon curled around a huge mound of gold in an underground hall, with a tiny figure in silhouette bowing to him in the bottom right corner
Smaug protects his horde while talking with Bilbo

Note: In Part II of The Hobbit, Bilbo succeeds, with a lot of help from his friends. Learn more about this modern folk tale.

Get Ready: Once someone has had a grand adventure, as Bilbo did, is he or she likely to be satisfied with the "comfortable life"? Why do you think so?

In Lesson #08-075, we learned how a shy little homebody named Bilbo Baggins--a Hobbit--left home to help some dwarves recover their treasure from a marauding dragon. We left Bilbo underground, trading riddles with a vile creature named Gollum.

When Gollum realizes that Bilbo has his ring--his only protection against goblins--he decides to go aboveground, as goblins can't stand the sunlight. Bilbo escapes by following him out.

Once outside, Bilbo rejoins the party, which is carried by giant eagles to the house of Beorn, a man who can assume the form of a bear.

Rested, the party sets out again, into a dark forest called Mirkwood. There, they defeat the giant spiders and a band of reclusive Wood-elves, who hold them captive until freed through Bilbo's cleverness. Approaching the Lonely Mountain, the party meets the humans of Lake-town, who fete them as heroes for intending to conquer the dragon.

They travel on to the secret back door of the Lonely Mountain, which they open by reading letters visible only by the last light of the setting sun on a certain day of the year. Bilbo infiltrates the dragon's lair and discovers a gap in Smaug's armor. He also steals a cup, causing the enraged dragon to attack the town.

As Smaug destroys buildings with his fiery breath, a bird--which had overheard Bilbo reporting the dragon's weakness to his party--informs the defender of Lake-town, a man named Bard. He skillfully shoots an arrow into the dragon's weak point, killing him.

But the adventure is not over. The Wood-elves and the men demand their fair share of the treasure for the aid they have given the dwarves, and a battle seems inevitable. But Gandalf reappears after a long absence, and warns the parties on all sides of an approaching army of Orcs (goblins) and Wargs (an especially evil species of wolf). The three parties band together in The Battle of Five Armies (men, elves, and dwarves on one side; Orcs and Wargs on the other).

The good guys win (with the help of the eagles and the bear-man Beorn), and Bilbo returns home with a modest share of the treasure, presumably to live out his days as a quiet resident of the Shire.


Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hobbit

Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. aboveground
  2. fete
  3. homebody
  4. inevitable
  5. infiltrates
  6. marauding
  7. modest
  8. presumably
  9. riddles
  10. vile

  1. raiding; plundering
  2. small; not impressive
  3. sneaks in
  4. on the surface (not in a tunnel)
  5. disgusting; repulsive
  6. supposedly; or so it seems
  7. word puzzles
  8. one who prefers not to travel
  9. unavoidable; certain to happen
  10. entertain or honor with a celebration

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for April 27, 2021

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. d; 2. j; 3. h; 4. i; 5. c; 6. a; 7. b; 8. f; 9. g; 10. e