Are you looking for a book that teaches leadership lessons without the business lingo? Are you looking for children books that teach lessons? Then The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien may be the book for you. Read the Hobbit book summary, and I’m sure you’ll agree.The Hobbit
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien demonstrates leadership in action. When you read the book, you’ll know what great leadership is.
Below, you’ll find my The Hobbit Book Summary. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien is one of the best leadership books I have ever read. The other one is Watership Down by Richard Adams.
The Hobbit Book Summary: Initial Thoughts on The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien is the first book that I have read from the author. I like the way the book is written because it is very conversational and I feel as if he is sitting across the table speaking to me. The Hobbit is another story about the Hero’s Journey. Bilbo Baggins, a well-to-do hobbit, is asked to take up the quest to burglar Smaug, the dragon, who has killed many, and plundered many artifacts and treasures over the years. Bilbo doesn’t want to take up the quest, but Gandalf the wizard forces him to do so. During the journey, Bilbo is transformed, and not by one cataclysmic event, but many events that occur along the way.
The Hobbit Book Summary: What is The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien About?
Hobbit Book Summary: The Characters
In The Hobbit, Bilbo starts out on the quest reluctantly with Gandalf and 13 dwarves – Balin, Dwalin, Kili, Fili, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Thorin Oakenshield, the chief dwarf. Bilbo doesn’t want to go on any adventures, because to him, that isn’t the way of hobbits. The dwarves do not have much confidence in Bilbo, and why should they, because he doesn’t have any confidence in himself, and all he does is whine – he is a coward and a naysayer. Gandalf sees in Bilbo, what the dwarf himself, and others cannot see in him.
Before starting their quest, the dwarves rise early to make preparations for their adventure. This reminded me of Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. But Phileas Fog in Verne’s book does a far better job preparing for his trip than the dwarves do.
UPDATE: First published in November 2012
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Bilbo Baggins Reluctantly Takes Up the Call to Go on the Hero’s Journey
As with any quest, there are many challenges, difficulties, obstacles and dangers along the way. Gandalf, using his wizardry, gets them out of many a tight spot, so they have come to rely on him. While on the quest, they are captured by trolls, imprisoned by the Elvenking, tied up by large spiders and a whole lot more, but they escape. They visit Elrond, a friend of the wizard, who lives in the Last Homely House west of the Mountains. They are welcomed by friendly elves. Elrond helps them to interpret the map, which has moon-letters and rune-letters that are visible only on certain days.
Hobbit Book Summary: Unexpected Events While on the Journey
They leave Elrond and continue on their journey and they encounter goblins. Dori who is carrying the hobbit, is grabbed from behind. Bilbo falls and hits his head. Bilbo Baggins is out for a while and finally awakens in a very dark place. While groping around to get a sense of where he is, he finds a ring of cold metal. Absentmindedly, he places the ring in his pocket. This turns out to be a good thing since it is the pivotal moment, although he doesn’t know it yet. While trying to find his partners on the quest, Bilbo encounters Gollum, who is described as a small, slimy creature.
Hobbit Book Summary: The Greatest Leaders Often Finds Themseleves in Tight Spots
To be allowed to leave freely, Gollum suggests that they play a game of riddles. The two go back and forth providing the answers to each other’s riddles. Bilbo unknowingly answers a riddle. He is asking the creature for more time. Gollum thinks he is actually answering the riddle because time was indeed the answer. The hobbit asks the creature to tell him what is in his pocket, which stumps the creature.
Gollum asks for clues which Bilbo refuses to give him. Bilbo realizes that Gollum has no intention of letting him go. The ring that Bilbo found earlier belongs to Gollum, the best birthday present the creature had ever received. The creature is quite cross when he cannot find his ring.
Although Gollum promised Bilbo that he would show him the way out, it was never his intention. While chasing the hobbit who is hidden, the creature is talking aloud about the properties of his ring, and it is at that time Bilbo recognizes the significance of his find. A ring that makes you invisible when you wear it. He puts on the ring, but the creature is standing at the entrance. Bilbo recognizes that even though he is invisible, if he tries to squeeze past the creature, it will feel him. So without much thought, Bilbo leaps over the creature to freedom. Sometimes in life we make very good decisions when we do not over-think the situation.
When Bilbo is reunited with the dwarves, he tells them the story, but edits the section where he finds the ring. That section he keeps to himself. Although the group escapes the goblins, they encounter wolves, who are friends of the goblins, and are actually waiting for them for their secret meeting. The wolves and goblins often work together. To escape the wolves, Gandalf, the dwarves and Bilbo have to climb trees for their safety.
Using his wizardry, Gandalf starts a fire and wolves fear fire. The wolves are running around trying to douse the fire. The goblins finally arrive. They begin to focus the fire so that it will burn Gandalf, the dwarves and Bilbo. Fortunately for them, eagles arrive and fly Gandalf, Bilbo and the dwarves to safety. Many hate the goblins.
Hobbit Book Summary: Bilbo Learns to Rely on Himself and Becomes a True Leader
On their journey, they visit Beorn, who has the ability to change form. They stay there for a while to gain strength. When they leave there, Gandalf goes on his way because he is off to a meeting. They are saddened and do not want him to go, but he leaves them anyway.
And Gandalf’s departure is significant for Bilbo because now there is no one to rescue him, he has to rescue himself. When he has to escape the spiders, he kills a giant spider all by himself. That act does something for his self-esteem. He becomes a stronger, fiercer and bolder person. Bilbo also rescues the dwarves from the spiders. And from that point in the story, there are many instances when he rescues the others, he assumes the role of leader.
Hobbit Book Summary: Bilbo Encounters the Smaug, the Dragon
When they finally arrive at the mountain where the dragon resides, of course, it’s Bilbo’s responsibility to burglar the treasures. During the journey, the readers see the change in Bilbo. They also see the change in the dwarves in the way they respond to the hobbit. Bilbo finds the dragon sleeping, and is amazed by what he sees – axes, spears, jars and vessels filled with wealth, and much more. Bilbo is wearing his ring as you might expect. He retrieves a great two-handled cup for the dwarves to see. Even though the dragon protects his underbelly, which is his vulnerable spot, Bilbo notices a patch in the armor, and that is a very good thing.
The dwarves are quite pleased with the treasure that Bilbo brings back. Although Smaug has countless treasures, he knows about every piece. So he is absolutely livid when he discovers that the two-handled cup is missing. Bilbo visits Smaug’s resting home, once again, cloaked with the ring of invisibility. Smaug’s awake this time – he smells the hobbit, but cannot see him.
He also doesn’t recognize the “hobbit” smell, and that puzzles him. The dragon tries to enchant Bilbo with flattery, but it doesn’t work. Smaug gets so angry that he lashes out and destroys parts of the mountain destroying their escape route, which means if they want to leave, they have to pass the angry dragon.
Smaug is quite smart, and figures out who assisted the dwarves, and decides to rage war on them. He leaves his dragon lair with only retaliation on his mind. The dwarves and Bilbo do not know about Smaug’s intentions. They are quite puzzled when they cannot find him in his lair. They take as much treasure as they can carry. Their leader Thorin walks them through the castle where he once lived eons ago. While they are outside talking, and Bilbo tells them about the dragon’s vulnerable spot, a thrush is listening keenly to the conversation.
While Smaug is unleashing war on the people who he thinks helped the dwarves and the hobbit, Bard a courageous man, is fighting the dragon to the death. The thrush arrives and whispers in his ear about the dragon’s vulnerable spot. Bard lines up his shot, and in no time the dragon is no more.
The story does not end there, and in fact, the best is yet to come. The reader is shown how greed can often bring out the worst in people.
The Hobbit Book Summary: Should You Buy a Copy of The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien?
I highly recommend The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. You will learn lessons such as: Believe in yourself; Take chances in life and don’t always play it safe; Life is never just about you; and The best laid plans fall apart, so have a Plan B. I enjoyed Bilbo Baggins’ transformation from a coward, to a fierce and strong leader. I love books where the characters evolve.
To Learn Leadership Lessons Avil Wants You to Read These Two Books
In my opinion, Watership Down and The Hobbit, are two books you should read if you want to learn leadership lessons without the business jargon. Both books demonstrate leadership in action.
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