The Hobbit: Chapter 4 Summary: Over hill and Under Hill

The party began the long, dangerous ascent with Gandalf leading the way. Bilbo thought of the haymaking and picnics and blackberrying that surely were happening back home, but he was cold and the mood was gloomy on the mountain (65–66).

Gandalf was worried that they would not make it over without some “fearful adventure” (66). And that night a great thunderstorm commenced this next adventure. Fearing they would be blown off their ledge or picked up by a stone giant (they were out playing in the storm) or struck by lightening, they sent Fili and Kili to look for a better shelter. Fili and Kili claimed to have found a cave—and explored it thoroughly (which everyone doubted). Upon arriving they explored the dry cave, got out dry things, and sat around blowing smoke rings around the cave until they dropped off to sleep (68–70).

Half-awake and half-asleep, Bilbo had uneasy dreams about a crack opening up in the back of the cave, which was true, and upon waking gave a loud shout as he saw the last of the ponies disappearing in the crack. Goblins jumped out and grabbed everyone but Gandalf, who managed to kill a few and escape capture with some spell or other (70–71). 

As the goblins carried them down deep into their lair, they began to sing, but hardly the same song as the elves welcomed them to Rivendell with. They were driven into a large cavern full of goblins (71–73). Then began a conversation between the Great Goblin and Thorin, a Q&A that was more formality than anything, but it turned ugly when one of the goblins announced that Thorin had been carrying Orcrist (74–75). As the Great Goblin rushed at Thorin, all the lights went out, the Great Goblin fell dead amidst the shrieks and howls of the goblins, and a voice in the dark (obviously Gandalf) said, “follow me” (75). 

Then the chase began down the long passage ways under the mountain with dwarves taking turns carrying Bilbo who could not run so fast. The goblins gained until there was nothing left for the dwarves to do but to turn and fight. When Gandalf pulled out Glamdring, which the goblins called Beater; and Thorin pulled out Orcrst, which the goblins called Biter, the goblins turned and fled, but not before some lay dead (77).

The dwarves moved on, but this time the goblins chose to pursue them much more quietly and without light. In this way they caught up with them, and the chapter ends with one grabbing Dori, who was in the back carrying Bilbo. Dori screamed; Bilbo fell and hit his head, “and remembered nothing more” (78).

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