The Hobbit: Novel Summary: Chapter 18

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Summary
Waking up and removing his Ring, Bilbo is found by a man who has been sent to search for him. The hobbit is carried to a camp where Thorin lies dying. He and Bilbo reconcile before Thorin's final moments. Later, Bilbo learns how the eagles turned the tide of the battle against the goblins. Even the birds' aid was not enough, however; fortunately, Beorn appeared , "grown almost to giant-size in his wrath," and routed the goblins and wargs. Laden with treasure, Bilbo says his farewells and departs, with Gandalf, for the Shire and home.
Analysis
If anything good can be said to come out of war, it is only the chance for peace at conflict's end. Not only do the elves, dwarves, and men reconcile with each other following the battle, but Bilbo and Thorin reconcile as well. Bilbo is also named "elf-friend," establishing a link between the hobbits and the elves that has not heretofore existed. The chapter contains the promise that Esgaroth will be renewed. This chapter, then, serves not merely as part of the denouement of the book, but also as part of the "happy ending" that Tolkien insisted carried the consoling power of the fairy-tale genre.

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