Short summary - The Hobbit; or There and Back Again
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien
The Hobbits are a fun, but at the same time solid, little people. They are just like people, only half their height, and their legs are overgrown with hair, and they live not in houses, but in «holes» - comfortable dwellings dug in the ground. Their country is called the Shire, and people and elves settle around it - very similar to humans, but noble and immortal. And in the mountains live long-bearded gnomes, masters of stone and metal. So, our hobbit's name is Bilbo Baggins; he is a wealthy middle-aged hobbit, foodie and songwriter. One fine day, his friend, the good and powerful wizard Gandalf, betraying him as a professional thief, sends thirteen gnomes to him so that he helps the gnomes to take their treasures from the fire-breathing dragon. Many years ago, a dragon captured their cave city and lay there on a pile of jewels; unknown how to get to it, and the road to distant mountains is difficult and dangerous, goblins and troll giants guard it. And even worse, these fierce and infinitely cruel creatures obey the powerful lord of the Dark Kingdom, the enemy of all that is good and bright.
Why did the wizard send the meek Bilbo on such a dangerous journey? It seems that the hobbits are chosen by providence to fight the Dark Kingdom - but this will open much later, but for now the expedition led by Gandalf sets off. The gnomes and the hobbit almost die when they meet with trolls; Gandalf saves them by turning the robbers into stone, but the next ambush in the goblin cave is much more dangerous. Twice, thrice fierce goblins attack the company, the dwarves flee the dungeon, leaving Bilbo unconscious in the darkness.
This is where the real story begins, which will be continued in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Poor Bilbo comes to his senses and crawls along the tunnel on all fours without knowing where. His hand comes across a cold object - a metal ring, and he mechanically puts it in his pocket. Creeps on and finds water. Here, on an island in the middle of an underground lake, Gollum has been living for many years - a two-legged creature the size of a hobbit, with huge luminous eyes and legs similar to flippers. Gollum eats fish; sometimes he manages to catch a goblin. Having examined Bilbo in the darkness, he swims up to the hobbit on a boat, they get acquainted. Alas, Bilbo calls his name ... Gollum would like to eat Bilbo, but he is armed with a sword, and they begin to play puzzles: if the hobbit wins, Gollum leads him to the exit from the dungeon. Turns out they both love riddles.
The ring in his pocket was lost by Gollum. This is the magic Ring of power, the creation of the lord of the Dark Kingdom, but neither Gollum nor Bilbo know about it. Gollum only knows that he loves «his charm» more than anything and that, putting it on his finger, he becomes invisible and can hunt goblins. Having discovered the loss, Gollum furiously rushes at Bilbo, and he, running away, accidentally puts on the Ring. It becomes invisible, eludes Gollum and catches up with his company.
They move on to the mountains. Giant eagles, friends of the wizard, save them from the chase of goblins, soon after that Gandalf leaves the gnomes and Bilbo - he has his own business, and without him the company gets into trouble over and over again. Either giant spiders almost eat them, or forest elves capture them, and every time Bilbo rescues everyone: puts on a ring and becomes invisible. Truly, the hobbit homebody turned out to be a find for the Dwarves ... Finally, after many adventures, the company rises into the mountains, to the lost possessions of the dwarves, and begins to search for the secret door leading to the dungeon. They search for a long time, without success, until Bilbo by intuition discovers an entrance.
It is time to go inside for reconnaissance, and the careful gnomes want Bilbo to do this, promise him a rich share of the spoils - and he goes. Not because of the money, I think, but because of the craving for adventure that awoke in him.
... In the darkness of the dungeon crimson crimson light. A huge, reddish-golden dragon reclines in a cave on piles of treasures, snores, emitting smoke from its nostrils. He is sleeping, and a brave hobbit is stealing a huge golden chalice. The gnomes' delight has no limits, but the dragon, having discovered the loss, burns out the neighborhood of their camp in a rage, kills their ponies ... What should I do?
Bilbo again crawls into the cave, starts - from safe shelter - a conversation with the dragon and cunning reveals that the diamond shell of the monster has a gap in its chest. And when he tells the gnomes about it, he is heard by the old wise thrush.
Meanwhile, the dragon is furious over the hobbit's annoying harassment. He again soars into the air to burn out the only human city left at the foot of the mountains. But there he is struck by the black arrow Bard, the captain of archers, a descendant of the kings of this country: the wise thrush managed to retell the words of Bilbo to the captain.
Events do not end there. The nonsense leader of the gnomes quarrels with Bilbo, Bard and even Gandalf over trifles, it almost comes to a battle, but at this time the invasion of goblins and werewolves begins. Humans, elves and gnomes unite against them and win the battle. Bilbo finally goes home to the Shire, abandoning the promised fourteenth share of the treasure of the gnomes - in order to transport such wealth, he would need a whole caravan and an army to guard him. He takes away two chests of gold and silver on a pony and from now on can live and live in perfect contentment.
And with him remains the Ring of Power.