The Hobbit Short Sample Answers

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Table of Contents

Is Thorin in any sense a heroic leader? Do his actions in the novel make him deserving of his death at the end? 4

Given his development throughout the book, does Bilbo belong in Hobbiton at the end of the novel? He is not completely accepted by the hobbit community, but he seems to be perfectly happy there. How do you think Tolkien views the relationship between heroism and the simple life? 5

Where do humans fit in among the other races of Middle-Earth? Are humans a “good” race? 6

Is Thorin in any sense a heroic leader? Do his actions in the novel make him deserving of his death at the end?

By the time the Battle of the Five Armies commences, Thorin has incurred the contempt and disrespect of many of the book’s characters (and probably most readers). But to Thorin’s credit, he shows tremendous courage in attempting to reclaim his ancestors’ treasure from Smaug. We come to learn that his failings—which become apparent once he is inside the Lonely Mountain—are common to all dwarves, who possess a great desire for gold and a fierce, even arrogant pride.

Thorin’s great crime is his ingratitude toward his benefactors, the many lake men who died so that Smaug could be killed. Thorin’s stubbornness over the legitimate ownership of the gold is dishonorable and costs lives, but he strives to redeem himself in the end by admitting his mistakes to Bilbo. Still, it is not really possible to consider Thorin a hero. He lacks the capacity to formulate and execute plans, a...

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