Name: ________________________________________ Class Period: _________________
Chapter 9 Comprehension Questions
1. Why, where, and how are the dwarves imprisoned? Why wasn’t Bilbo imprisoned as well?
Wood-elves captured them while still in Mirkwood … Bilbo escaped capture by putting on the ring.
2. How does Bilbo get in and out of the palace?
He puts on the ring and becomes invisible and slips out with the Wood-elves when they leave to go on a hunt or
take care of other business.
3. How many entrances does the palace have?
4. Where is the elves’ wine made?
“kinsfolk in the south or vineyards of Men in distant lands”
Discussion Questions
1. Why does the Elvenking imprison the dwarves? Why won’t Thorin tell the Elvenking what his
mission is? What characteristics does his refusal reveal about him? Do you think these
characteristics are true for all dwarves, or are they just true for Thorin?
They would not tell them of their business. He didn’t want anyone else to go after the treasure. This reveals
greediness.
2. Is Bilbo a burglar now? Throughout the book, does he have any ethical dilemmas about stealing?
How is the connotation of the word burglar different from the connotation of thief? Is Bilbo’s type
of burglar different from stealing? Explain your answer.
Opinion answer
3. At this point in the book do you think the dwarves have treated Bilbo fairly? Why do you think
Bilbo is loyal to them? What does his loyalty reveal about his character?
Opinion answer
Vocab
1. Portcullis – strong, iron gate – used especially in medieval castles
2. Flagon - a large bottle of wine
3. Potent – powerful, mighty …having or exercising great power or influence
Name: ________________________________________ Class Period: _________________
Chapter 11 Comprehension Questions
1. Why won’t the men of Lake-town stay with the dwarves?
They were afraid of Smaug
2. Where does the expedition make each of their three camps?
1st camp – western side of the great southern spur, which ended in a height called Ravenhill
2nd camp – valley, south where the Gates ,of the River stood, walled with lower spurs of the Mtn.
3rd camp – little grassy bay – from down the valley, up the newly found path and beyond the narrow ledge
3. What causes the door to appear? Should the dwarves have predicted this event? Why didn’t they?
The last ray of sun on Durin’s Day shown on the keyhole in the door and Thorin opened the door with the key.
Discussion Questions
1. In what way does Bilbo show that he has more spirit left than the dwarves?
Vocab
1. Disembarked – to remove or unload
2. Waning – to decrease in strength or intensity
3. Lintel – horizontal support beam to support the weight of an opening such as a door or window
Name: ________________________________________ Class Period: _________________
Chapter 13 Comprehension Questions
1. What does Thorin give Bilbo?
“small coat of mail, wrought for some young elf-prince long ago … with it a belt of pearls and crystal” … a
leather helm with white gems
2. Which hall leads to the Front Gate?
“great chamber of Thror, the hall of feasting and of council”
3. Why do the dwarves leave the underground halls?
They are afraid Smaug will return and they are looking for a way of escape.
4. What does Bilbo find in the mounds of treasure and take for himself?
Arkenstone
Vocabulary
1. Pallid – pale, lacking in color, lacking in vitality or interest
2. Dominion – sovereign authority, power or right of governing and controlling
3. Perpetually - everlasting, enduring forever
Discussion Questions
1. Why does Bilbo keep the Arkenstone? How does he justify his decision to withhold its discovery
from Thorin? Do you agree that Bilbo has a right to the stone? What the fact that Bilbo is willing
to give up the gold and jewels to have it suggest about the worth of the Arkenstone? Can you think
of any traditional myths or parables about similar objects that Tolkien may be alluding to? What
might be the symbolic importance of the stone?
“they did say I could pick and choose my own share.”
Name: ________________________________________ Class Period: _________________
Chapter 14 Comprehension Questions
1. Why does Smaug decide to destroy Lake-town? Whose “fault” is it that he decides to seek revenge
on the Lake-men?
Bilbo had called himself “barrel-rider” – this clued Smaug that the Lakemen had helped Bilbo.
2. Who is the guard “with a grim voice”?
Bard
3. Why do the men of Esgaroth destroy the bridges?
They were preparing for Smaug … without the bridge, Smaug was leary of the water for the water was too
deep, dark, and cool and the lake was mightier than he … in other words, if Smaug fell into the lake he would
have died.
4. Why can Bard understand the thrush?
Because he was of the race of Dale and they could understand the bird’s language.
5. Why are people of Esgaroth angry with Thorin? Do you think they have a right to be angry? Do
you think Thorin owes them anything?
They believed that the Thorin and the dwarves had stirred the dragon up against them deliberately. (the rest is
opinion)
Vocabulary
1. Eminent – high in rank, station, or repute; prominent, distinguished
2. Benefactor – a person who gives a gift; kindly helper
3. Foiled – to prevent from succeeding
Discussion Questions
1. Why does the Elvenking set out from his halls? Why does he go to Esgaroth? What does this tell
you about the value he places on treasure?
To go after the treasure himself … however, when he hears of the plight of the Lake Men, he detours to help
them because “he was lord of a good and kindly people”.
2. Compare/contrast Bard and the Master. Who speaks more convincingly? What does their
appearance suggest about them? Who shows more courage? Who displays more leadership? Do
you believe that some people are natural leaders? Can this ability be inherited?
Bard showed more courage and leadership … the rest is opinion
Name: ________________________________________ Class Period: _________________
Chapter 15 Comprehension Questions
1. How did Ravenhill get its name?
“…because there was a wise and famous pair, old Carc and his wife, that lived here above the guard-chamber.”
2. How old is Roac?
153
3. When does Thorin first name himself King under the Mountain?
When the Lake Men and the elvish bowman approached the gate, Thorin called out to them saying, “Who are
you … that comes as if in war to the gates of Thorin … King of the Mountain…”
Vocabulary
1. Coveted – to desire wrongfully, or without due regard to the rights of others
2. Decrepit – weakened by old age, worn out by long use
Discussion Question
1. From the very beginning, Bilbo has assumed that the climax of the adventure would be the
recovery of the treasure. Then he realizes that Smaug must be dealt with. Now he finds that even
Smaug’s death does not end the adventure. If Bilbo had known from the beginning what would
happen, do you think he would have still agreed to the adventure? Have the complications made
him more or less enthusiastic and confident? What do you think Tolkien is trying to say about the
purpose of trials and tribulations in a person’s life? Opinion
2. Why won’t Thorin deal with Bard and the Elvenking? Evaluate Bard’s three topics for discussion
and Thorin’s answer. Do you think Bard’s requests are fair and just? Is Thorin’s answer fair and
just?
1-He called Smaug and thus delivered the treasure into the hands of Thorin without worry of Smaug again.
2-He is the descent of the heir of Girion of Dale and their wealth- also stolen by Smaug – is mixed in with
Thorin’s gold so some of it rightfully belongs to Bard and his people.
3-Lake Town was destroyed and so the Men of Lake Town are due compensation for their suffering.
3. How has the treasure changed Thorin?
He has fallen to the dragon-sickness … become greedy
Name: ________________________________________ Class Period: _________________
Chapter 16 Comprehension Questions
1. How does Bilbo leave the mountain without being caught?
He tells Bombur that he will take his watch – Bombur leaves, Bilbo slips on the ring, climbs down the wall on a
rope.
2. What is Bilbo’s plan to avoid war? Is it is a good plan?
He gave Bard the Arkenstone so Bard could use it as a bargaining chip with Thorin. Is it a good plan? This is
your opinion.
3. What old friend does Bilbo meet in the camp?
Gandalf
Vocabulary
1. Bade – past tense of bid (to command, order, direct)
Discussion Questions
1. Why does Thorin reject Roac’s advice?
His greed to keep all the treasure to himself and his anger against those who want a share of it keeps him from
heeding Roac’s advice. Additionally, he feels with the help of the dwarves from Iron Hill, that he will be able to
defeat any who try to take some of the treasure.
2. Just as the moment in the tunnel is Bilbo’s bravest, giving up the Arkenstone is his noblest. Why
does he do it? Would any other character in the story be capable of this? What does it say about
Bilbo’s values and ethics? Why does he return to the Mountain? Would you have returned to the
dwarves or stayed with Bard and the elves?
He doesn’t want to see a war between his friends and others. Bilbo values his friendship more than any gold,
gem, or treasure. He returns because he wants to make his stand with his friends – even though he knows
Thorin will be furious with him, he still will make his final stand with this friends.
Name: ________________________________________ Class Period: _________________
Chapter 17 Comprehension Questions
1. What terms do Thorin and Bard come to?
Thorin would trade Bilbo’s portion – 1/14th of the treasure – for the Arkenstone.
2. What army makes the first attack?
Elves
3. Name the armies in the Battle of the Five Armies.
Men … Elves … dwarves … goblins … wild wolves
4. What stops Thorin’s advance?
The ranks of the bodyguard of Blog. “he could not pierce them”
5. Where does Bilbo take his final stand? Why?
With the Elvenking. “partly because there was more chance of escape from that point … partly because if he
was going to be in the last desperate stand, he preferred on the whole to defend the Elvenking.
Vocabulary
1. Smote – to strike or hit hard
2. Precipice – a cliff with a vertical, overhanging face … a situation of great peril
3. Reconciliation – to win over in friendship, former enemies agree to amicable (goodwill, friendly, peaceful)
truce
Discussion Questions
1. Consider the Elvenking’s statement: “Long will I tarry, ere I begin this war for gold.” Do you
think these are wise words? Is gold worth fighting over? Defend your answer. opinion
2. Trace Thorin’s moral degeneration. What causes him to change? In what ways does he end up
being similar to Smaug? Why do you think he is so easily corrupted?
The dragon-sickness – greed – causes him to change … he is just as greedy as Smaug
3. Before the arrival of the goblins and wargs, who are the “good guys” and how are the “bad guys”
in the standoff around the mountains? How does your opinion change when the goblins arrive?
Opinion
4. Which would be a greater tragedy: the killing of the armies of men, elves, and dwarves by the
goblins, or a war between men, elves, and dwarves? Explain your answer. Opinion
Name: ________________________________________ Class Period: _________________
Chapter 18 Comprehension Questions
1. Why isn’t Bilbo found until the day after the battle?
He had been knocked out with the ring on so he was invisible if anyone had been looking for him.
2. Who turned the tide of the battle?
Beorn – especially when he pulled down Bolg – this is when the goblins fled in all directions
3. What gifts does Dain give?
To the eagles – crowned the chief with gold and sworn friendship with them forever
He honored Thorin’s agreement and gave 1/14th to Bard
To the Elvenking – emeralds
To Bilbo – small chests – 1 filled with gold – the other with silver and a necklace of silver and pearls
4. What becomes of Beorn in later years?
He became the great chief in the region and ruled the land between the mountains and the woods
Vocabulary
1. Mustering – to gather … to assemble as for battle
2. Literally – strict sense … without exaggeration or inaccuracy
3. Amend – to change for the better, improve
Discussion Questions
1. “There is more in you and of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage …
and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above
hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” Discuss Bilbo’s character now that his adventure is
completed. Why does he refuse the treasure? Why is he weary of his adventure? How has he
proven himself to be a hero in spite of his lack of traditionally “heroic” attributes like strength and
assertiveness? Opinion
2. Examine the final vies we get of Thorin on his deathbed and in his tomb. Is his quest fulfilled?
Why is his death necessary? What lesson does he learn? Does he deserve our respect and
admiration? Is it right to bury him with the Arkenstone? Opinion
3. Examine in detail the various demands and offers made by Bard and the dwarves (and the elves).
How does the final solution match what each party wants and deserves? What is the difference
between Dain’s gift and Thorin’s promises? Opinion
Name: ________________________________________ Class Period: _________________
Chapter 19 Comprehension Questions
1. Where was Gandalf while the expedition crossed Mirkwood?
“great council of the white wizards” and the had driven “the Necromancer from his dark hold in the south of
Mirkwood”
2. How long do Bilbo and Gandalf stay with Rivendell?
A week
3. Why do the walk at the end of their journey?
They had loaded bags of gold from the trolls on the ponies, so now they had to walk.
4. Why are Bilbo’s goods being auctioned?
He had been “presumed dead”.
5. What changes does Balin notice in Bilbo?
“waistcoat more extensive” (he had gotten fatter) and the coat had gold buttons
6. What happened to the old Master of Lake-town?
Fallen to dragon-sickness (greed) – took most of the gold and fled and then died of starvation in the Waste –
deserted by his companions
Vocabulary
1. Lore – traditions and knowledge on a subject, passed by word of mouth
2. Effects – personal property
Discussion Questions
1. Look at the elves’ last songs. What can you infer about the character traits and values of elves from
their song?
They value nature / life more than gold and gems
2. “My dear Bilbo!” Gandalf said, “Something is the matter with you! You are not the hobbit that
you were.” What does Bilbo gain from his adventure? (Don’t forget to include the ability and
desire to make poetry.) What is the difference in the way his home is dear to him now compared to
the way it was dear to him at the beginning of the book? Is it necessary to leave a place before you
can truly appreciate it? Can you relate Bilbo’s experience to your own life in any way? Opinion
3. At the end of the book, Gandalf make the following comment: “you don’t really supposed, do
you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit?”
Do you agree with Bilbo or with Gandalf? If “mere luck” is not responsible for Bilbo’s success,
what is? Opinion
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Hobbit study guide - comp questions with answers