Monday, July 2, 2012

10 Tweets That Summarize the Book The Hobbit

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The Hobbit, the first published work by J.R.R. Tolkien, spawned the intricately detailed world that would give rise to his epic Lord of the Rings trilogy by establishing the world and creatures of Middle Earth. Introducing the world to Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit is among the most beloved books ever published. And if Twitter had been around when the Hobbit was first published, these are the 10 tweets that would effectively summarize the story before Frodo’s journey begins:
  1. “The wizard @Gandalf invited me on an adventure today! I assured him that I don’t have the #Took adventurous streak.” – As the story opens, readers discover that Bilbo Baggins is quite fond of living quietly, unlike his Took ancestors who exhibited a shocking love of adventure. Gandalf appears and asks Bilbo if he’d like to go on an adventure, and he quickly states that he would not. In the interest of being polite, he extends Gandalf an invitation to come over for tea sometime, but secretly hopes that he’ll do no such thing. Bilbo is shocked to find a troupe of dwarves at his door the next afternoon; he lets them in reluctantly and is bewildered until he discovers that Gandalf has volunteered his services as a burglar for their upcoming adventure. Bilbo protests that this is certainly not the case, and the dwarves are skeptical about Gandalf’s claims that he’d be an asset to the group. After talk of treasure, dragons and battles, the Took side of him overrides his respectable Hobbit fondness for staying home.
  2. “During the skirmish with the #Goblins at the Misty Mountains I found a small ring and a creature called @Gollum.” – Setting the stage for the events of The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo is separated from Gandalf and the group of dwarves at the Misty Mountains. Sneaking through the goblin halls, he happens upon a golden ring that he places in his pocket and subsequently forgets about. As he approaches an underground lake with an island in the middle he spies Gollum. After a series of riddles, Bilbo slips on the ring and follows Gollum out of the tunnels with the aid of the invisibility granted by the ring.
  3. “We entered #Mirkwood without @Gandalf, who warned us not to leave the forest path.” – Despite Gandalf’s advice to stray from the path under no circumstances, Bilbo and the dwarves run out of food and wander into the forest. Stumbling onto the Wood elves, Thorin is taken prisoner as the rest of the retinue takes cover.
  4. “Finally, #DurinsDay has arrived! A keyhole appeared in the door, which led into the #LonelyMountain.” – Taking advantage of the invisibility granted by the power of the ring, Bilbo steals from the dragon, Smaug. He takes note of a weak point in the dragon’s scales and relates it to the dwarves; a nearby bird hears this information as well.
  5. “I found the #ArkenstoneOfThrain that @Thorin wants. My instincts tell me to keep this acquisition to myself.” – The dwarf Thorin wants the Arkenstone of Thrain desperately; Bilbo finds it immediately upon creeping into Smaug’s store of treasures. Though he doesn’t have a solid reason to feel as he does, Bilbo follows his hunch to keep the Arkenstone and its discovery a secret.
  6. “Heated debate has broken out between @Bard, the @ElvenkingOfMirkwood and @Thorin about the #Treasure!” – When news of Smaug’s defeat spreads, a bitter dispute breaks out regarding his stores of treasure. Though Bard killed the dragon and his friends with the Elvenking of Mirkwood, who also hopes to gain a share of the riches, Thorin refuses to allow Bard access to the treasure. In the interest of preventing a war, Bilbo secretly gives Bard the Arkenstone as a bargaining tool.
  7. “Before negotiations could commence, @Gandalf returned with news of an alliance between the #goblins and the #Wargs.” – Banding together against the goblins and the Wargs, the humans, elves and dwarves march into battle.
  8. “@Beorn the bear-man and a flock of #eagles appeared and offered their assistance in battle against the #Wargs and #goblins.” – As the battle rages, the combined efforts of the elves, dwarves and humans don’t seem to be enough to defeat the Wargs and goblins. Beorn the bear-man and a flock of giant eagles offer their assistance, helping the group achieve a victory over the alliance.
  9. “@Thorin is wounded!” – In the skirmish with the goblins and Wargs, Thorin is mortally wounded. His last wish is to repair his friendship with Bilbo, realizing that friendship is more valuable than gold. Bitterly grieving Thorin’s death, Bilbo finds himself tired of adventures and longing for home.
  10. “I’ve returned to my home under #TheHill, with @Gandalf as my escort. #TheresNoPlaceLikeHome” – At the end of his adventure, Bilbo is escorted back to the Hill by Gandalf and presented with his portion of the treasure. With the respect of those that he shared his encounters with and the Ring that would shape the next chapter in Middle Earth’s history, Bilbo ends the story safe in his home.
When readers encounter Bilbo again at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring, he’s been changed from the endearing, eccentric character that Gandalf first approached with offers of adventure. The power of the ring that would later become “The Ring” takes its toll on the little Hobbit, leaving his cousin and ward Frodo to continue the legacy of adventuring began by Bilbo in this tale.

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