Having been hailed as heroes for absolutely no reason in Dale, the dwarves now cross the threshold from rock star to reality as they make their way to the base of the Lonely Mountain and begin the trek upwards. Autumn is giving way to winter, and that would be bleak enough, but the desolation of the dragon magnifies the dread for all concerned. The confidence of the dwarves dissipates like so much smoke. And yet, Bilbo pushes them all forward, a true professional.
It’s ironic to me that the map is made with dwarven runes, and yet only our hobbit pays any heed to the message found within the moon letters. They arrive at the appointed time, the thrush knocks, and Bilbo follows the directions in spite of the dwarves simply not getting it.
The wisdom of Gandalf is, in my mind, beyond question at this point. Recruiting Bilbo is the only reason the dwarves ever made it this far, let alone in one piece. But as the door yawns open and darkness spills out, it has to be believed that wisdom is the very last idea on anyone’s mind. Bilbo knows that he’s going in, and he’s going in alone. He’s been in a similar situation before, when spelunking through the goblin caverns, but he’s not fighting goblins or Gollum this time.
The dragon awaits… and so does the high point of this novel. *geek squee*