The Hobbit

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The Hobbit Chapter 3 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The weather improves, but the dwarves don’t sing or laugh; they’ve begun to feel the increasing danger and weight of their quest. Bilbo sees a great mountain in the distance, which belongs to the chain called the Misty Mountains. The group will have to cross the Misty Mountains before they arrive at their destination. He feels tired, and wishes, for not the last time, that he was back in his home.
Bilbo continues to long for home, even after he begins to improve as a burglar and an adventurer. Yet his melancholy has the unintended effect of uniting him with the rest of his group—the other dwarves are feeling sad and tired, too, and they are even further from having a home. Bilbo wants to leave the group, but ironically, this feeling makes him a part of the group.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The group travels to Rivendell, a city of elves located near a river valley, where Elrond the elf-lord will give them food and lodgings. The way to Rivendell is difficult, but when the group arrives, they’re greeted by the sound of elves singing. Gandalf eagerly greets the elves, with whom he’s friendly.
Rivendell represents the last safe place on the group’s journey for a long time. That Rivendell is a safe place is made obvious by the elves’ joyous singing. Note the elves hospitality toward their guests.
Themes
Home and Birthright Theme Icon
The group stays in Rivendell for two largely uneventful weeks—Bilbo would have stayed much longer. Elrond, the elf-lord, examines the map that Gandalf gave to Thorin, and on it finds moon letters, which can only be read by the light of the moon: the message says that on Durin’s Day, the first day of the dwarves’ New Year, taking place between autumn and winter, the light of the setting sun will shine upon the keyhole to the secret passageway to Smaug’s lair. Elrond also reads the runes on the two swords Gandalf and Thorin found in the troll’s possession and reveals that they are famous goblin-killing weapons: Orcrist, the “goblin-cleaver” and Glamdring, the “Foe-hammer.”
While the dwarves stay in Rivendell for a long time, they accomplish relatively little, besides obtaining important information about how to enter the secret passageway. This suggests that peace, for all its intrinsic pleasures, isn’t terribly interesting, and suggests that adventures may be more fun, both for the people who participate in them and the readers who experience them indirectly. Meanwhile, Elrond’s mastery of language allows him to decipher the map. Also note how the fact that the swords have names give them a history and power they didn’t have as anonymous weapons. The swords, too, have a kind of birthright through their “heroic” actions. The history of the swords also establishes goblins as the “bad guys” of The Hobbit.
Themes
Coming of Age Theme Icon
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Home and Birthright Theme Icon
In midsummer, the group leaves Rivendell and heads toward the Misty Mountains. The elves sing them songs as they depart.
The elves sang their guests into Rivendell, and sing for their departure. The elves are good hosts, but their kindness again makes the comforts of the “home” of Rivendell stand in contrast to discomforts (even if exciting discomforts) of adventure, and also emphasizes how the elves have a home and the dwarves do not.
Themes
The Power of Language Theme Icon
Home and Birthright Theme Icon
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