Chapter 1

The wizard Gandalf invites the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to go on an adventure. Bilbo declines but invites him to come to tea the following day. Next afternoon, Gandalf and thirteen dwarves come to Bilbo's place and share their adventurous plan and a map with him. The head dwarf, Thorin, wants Bilbo's help as a "burglar" to reclaim his ancestors' treasure, taken by the dragon Smaug years ago and guarded by it in the Lonely Mountain.

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Chapter 2

Bilbo meets the dwarves at an inn, and they start their journey. The company meets a group of trolls eating around a fire. The dwarves are imprisoned by them but saved by Gandalf, who deceives the trolls until they are turned into stones by the sunlight. Gandalf, Bilbo, and the dwarves find the trolls' caves and take their well-wrought weapons.

Chapter 3

The company stops at Rivendell, a city of elves. They are invited to eat, rest, and meet Elrond, the great chief elf. Elrond reveals that the swords the companions took from the trolls are famous goblin-killers and he also deciphers some instructions on the dwarves' map.

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Chapter 4

As the company advances upon the Misty Mountains, a thunderstorm breaks, and they find shelter in a cave. In the middle of the night, Bilbo and the dwarves are attacked by goblins and taken to their leader. When these discover their goblin-killer swords, the Great Goblin attacks Thorin, but Gandalf saves them again and takes them deeper into the mountain. The goblins follow and attack the dwarf carrying Bilbo, who falls and loses consciousness.

Chapter 5

After Bilbo regains consciousness, he finds a ring and puts it in his pocket. As he searches for the dwarves, he comes across an underground lake and a creature named Gollum, who proposes a riddle game. If Gollum wins, he will eat Bilbo; if he loses, he will show Bilbo the way out of the mountain. Bilbo wins, but Gollum, still intending to eat him, searches for his magic ring, which can make its wearer invisible. Gollum realizes Bilbo has his ring and attacks him, but Bilbo slips the ring on accidentally and manages to escape.

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Chapter 6

Bilbo stumbles upon Gandalf and the dwarves, slips off the magic ring, and surprises them. As the company proceeds on their journey, they hear howls and go up some trees to hide but are sieged by wolflike creatures called Wargs. Gandalf throws flames at them and manages to scare some, but they notify the goblins, who light fires under their trees. The company is saved by great eagles, who are friends of Gandalf's and enemies of the goblins.

Chapter 7

Gandalf takes the group to the house of Beorn, a half-man, half-bear creature. Beorn provides them with food and lodging, and recommends they take the northern pass through Mirkwood, the last obstacle before the Lonely Mountain, to avoid an attack by the Wargs and goblins. Beorn and Gandalf warn the group to never stray from the path.

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Chapter 8

As Bilbo and the dwarves cross the ominous forest of Mirkwood, they leave the path toward some lights and are trapped by enormous spiders. Using his magic ring, Bilbo frees himself and the dwarves from the spiders, and the companions retreat to a clearing used by wood elves. They realize Thorin is missing, although they are not aware he has been imprisoned by the wood elves after refusing to reveal to their king the purpose of their journey.

Chapter 9

The other dwarves are captured by the wood elves and Bilbo follows them, invisible. After refusing to tell the Elvenking where they are going, they are also thrown into the dungeon. Bilbo steals the keys from a guardsman, frees the dwarves, puts them inside empty barrels the elves use to exchange goods with men in Lake Town, hops onto a barrel, and they escape along the river.

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Chapter 10

At Lake Town, a human city, the barrels with the dwarves are brought to shore and, while the men and elves are away, Bilbo frees his companions. Thorin tells the Master of Lake Town who he is and what he plans to do in the Lonely Mountain. The people rejoice with the news, provide the company with provisions, and they set off up the lake.

Chapter 11

When Bilbo and the dwarves reach the foot of the Lonely Mountain, they search for the secret door described on their map, find it, but can't remember how to open it. One day, when Bilbo sees a thrush knocking a snail with its beak, he remembers the message on the map, and they manage to open the secret door and look into the mountain.

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Chapter 12

Bilbo enters the mountain and steals a golden cup while Smaug sleeps. The dragon awakes and flies around the mountain, but the companions hide while Smaug chases their ponies away. Bilbo returns to the dragon's lair using his ring, but Smaug questions Bilbo. He answers only in riddles, flatters Smaug, notices an opening in its armor, and rushes back to the passage where his companions are, telling them what he saw while a thrush seems to listen. The dragon roars, they shut the door to the passage, and an avalanche traps them.

Chapter 13

Thinking the people from Lake Town are responsible for the theft, Smaug flies toward the town for revenge, and the company sneaks into its chamber. Bilbo secretly takes the Arkenstone, a gem that Thorin wants, and Thorin gives him a beautiful coat. Thorin leads them out of the mountain and to an old guard-post cavern, where they wonder about Smaug.

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Chapter 14

Smaug flies over Lake Town and lights every roof on fire. People abandon the town, but the thrush tells Bard, the archers' captain, about the opening on the dragon's armor and Bard kills Smaug, who destroys the rest of Lake Town as he falls down dead. The wood elves hear of Smaug's death and come to help. Then humans and elves decide to go to Lonely Mountain to get some of the treasure to rebuild the town.

Chapter 15

The thrush asks an old raven to tell Bilbo and the dwarves about Smaug's death and the army of humans and elves coming their way. Thorin and the company retreat to the mountain and fortify the main gate. Bard and the elves ask the dwarves to share some of their treasure to rebuild the town, but Thorin refuses, and the men and elves besiege the mountain.

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Chapter 16

Using the magic ring, Bilbo sneaks out of the mountain and gives Bard the Arkenstone to be used as a bargaining chip against Thorin. On his way back to the mountain, Bilbo runs into Gandalf, who compliments him for his brave deeds.

Chapter 17

In the morning, as Bard returns to bargain with Thorin over the Arkenstone, Bilbo reveals he was the one who gave the gem away, claiming it as his payment. Thorin agrees to give the men part of the treasure, but an army of his relatives, led by Dain, threatens the elves and men. When an army of goblins and Wargs arrive, the dwarves, humans, and elves unite against them. As the evil armies advance, Bilbo sees eagles flying toward the battlefield, just before a stone falls from the mountain and knocks Bilbo unconscious.

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Chapter 18

When Bilbo awakes, he learns that Thorin is mortally wounded, but that the eagles and Beorn have helped their side win the battle. The dead are buried, Dain is crowned the new King under the Mountain, the dwarves make peace with men and elves, and Bard sends the Master of Lake Town gold and gives Bilbo some of the treasure. Bilbo travels toward home with Gandalf and Beorn, and they spend the winter feasting at Beorn's house.

Chapter 19

Bilbo and Gandalf spend a week in Rivendell, where Gandalf and Elrond exchange tales of great deeds. When Bilbo reaches his home in Hobbiton, he learns he has been presumed dead and his things are being auctioned off. Although he manages to recover his possessions, Bilbo is never again accepted by the other hobbits. He doesn't mind, as he is often visited by a wizard, elves, and dwarves now, and still enjoys all the comforts of his place.

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