The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Late April III 2941 (1341 by the Shire-reckoning)
Thirteen Dwarves and a Wizard hosted by a Hobbit
Bilbo belonged to the Baggins family; Thorin and several of his companions were of the House of Durin


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  • Updated 3 July 2016
  • This entry is complete

An Unexpected Party

Bilbo’s introduction to Thorin and Company

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In early III 2941, having decided that the natural stealth of a Hobbit would be needed for the Quest of Erebor that he was arranging, Gandalf settled on Bilbo Baggins of Hobbiton. The Wizard remembered Bilbo as an adventurous youth from decades earlier, but passing through Hobbiton he found Bag End deserted. He questioned the gardener, Holman Greenhand, who told him that Bilbo had gone wandering, looking for Elves. Thus encouraged, Gandalf decided that Bilbo would take the role of 'burglar' on his expedition.

As the month of April was coming to a close, Gandalf made another trip through Hobbiton and managed to find Bilbo at home. He arranged an Unexpected Party - unexpected, at least, by Bilbo - at which Thorin Oakenshield, King of Durin's Folk, and his twelve companions arrived unannounced at Bag End to recruit Bilbo for their perilous journey to Erebor in the far East. Bilbo was at first flustered and reluctant, but the following morning he left Bag End in a desperate hurry to join the Dwarves on their dangerous Quest.

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