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Free Study Guide-The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien-Free Online Book Notes
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Chapter 10: A Warm Welcome

Summary

As the raft of barrels floats down the river, Bilbo catches his first glimpse of Lonely Mountain. When they arrive at Lake-town, they are bedraggled, famished, cramped, and bruised from their journey, but slowly begin to recover. Thorin, Bilbo, Fili, and Kili go into Lake-town to meet the Master. Thorin boldly announces himself, and though the dwarves are recognized by the elves as their king's prisoners, the Master is forced by the people of the town to welcome them. The people are thrilled to discover that Thorin is the grandson of the old "King under the Mountain" and begin to sing songs; they hope to see the death of the dragon and the return of prosperity to the region.

The dwarves and Bilbo are given a house and new clothes and are cheered everywhere they go. The Master grins and bears it, believing that they are frauds who will soon be exposed. The elves return to their king and tell him of the dwarves' plans. The king suspects that the dwarves will only steal some treasure and not kill the dragon.

After a fortnight's stay in Lake-town, Bilbo and the dwarves decide to set out to Lonely Mountain, their final destination. The people prepare ponies and provisions for them and send them in boats up the River Running to the mountain.


Notes

This is another chapter of interlude with a bright and heartening mood. Bilbo and his travelling companions are allowed to rest and refresh themselves in Lake-town, where the people welcome them. Bilbo assumes heroic stature for having successfully rescued the dwarves, who show him great gratitude. It is obvious that Bilbo is no longer in awe of his companions, not even Thorin. He snaps at them crossly when they grumble about being tossed around in the barrels.

The theme of the corrupting influence of greed and wealth is furthered in the person of The Master of Lake Town. He does business with the Wood-elves and is reluctant to spoil it by helping the dwarves. He is also suspicious of the dwarves' motives and suspects them of being mere thieves. Although the people in Lake- town are kind and helpful to the dwarves, their leader refuses to join in their welcome; however, he does not stand in the way of his people.

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