"The Quest of Erebor" explains how and why Gandalf arranged for the retaking of the Lonely Mountain (Erebor in Sindarin), an adventure recounted from the perspective of Bilbo Baggins many years before in Tolkien's The Hobbit.
Gandalf knew that Smaug the Dragon could pose a serious threat if used by Sauron, then dwelling in Dol Guldur in Mirkwood. He was thinking about the matter when he met Thorin Oakenshield at Bree. Thorin also was concerned about Smaug, but had the different motive of revenge and the reclaiming of the Dwarves' treasure in the Lonely Mountain. Gandalf agreed to help Thorin.
Gandalf thought Bilbo, an unlikely choice, to be a suitable companion of Thorin and his Dwarves for a number of reasons. First, he had observed that Bilbo took an interest in the world at large, and was thus adventurous. Another reason is that Smaug would not recognize the scent of a Hobbit, advantageous to a stealthy operation. Thorin also did not think highly of Hobbits, and putting Bilbo in the expedition might prevent the proud Thorin from rash actions — such as openly challenging Smaug.
It was Thorin's objections to Bilbo that Gandalf found most difficult to overcome. Thorin believed that Bilbo was incapable of helping their adventure and that Gandalf might be simply meddling in his affairs for his own reasons. After much debate, Gandalf convinced Thorin that Bilbo would be a worthy member. It could be thought that Gandalf arranged this as he has foreseen the later event and wanted to create another front to fight Sauron.[Source?]
Summary of The QuestEdit
The Company started from the Shire to the Trollshaws. They were caught by three Trolls, Tom, William and Bert. They were saved by Gandalf. Then they passed the Hidden Valley and been to Rivendell. Then they left Gandalf behind with White Council and went to High Pass. After saved by Gandalf again in Goblin Town, they were hunted by Bolg's wargs. They were saved by Gwaihir and other Great Eagles. After having a night in Beorn's house, they went to Mirkwood. Thranduil caught them and locked them in the cells. While, Bilbo, who was wearing the Ring, he saved the Company by Barrels. And they found Bard who bought them to Lake-town. They tempted Master of Lake-townn and they successfully been to the Lonely Mountain.
The Quest in The Lord of the RingsEdit
"The Quest of Erebor" was originally written in the 1950s to be a part of The Lord of the Rings but Tolkien decided not to include it, and only a very abridged version of the tale occurred in the Appendices. There are two manuscripts extant of the work. Both are written in the first person, from the perspective of Frodo Baggins. However, nearly all of the text consists of narration by Gandalf, who was telling the story at the request of Frodo in Minas Tirith after the coronation of King Elessar in The Lord of the Rings.
Portrayal in adaptationsEdit