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The Return Journey

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The Return Journey
Chapter Information
Title The Return Journey
Number 18
Location Lonely Mountain, Mirkwood
Characters Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield, Gandalf
Previous The Clouds Burst
Next The Last Stage

The Return Journey Is the eighteenth chapter of J.R.R Tolkien's The Hobbit.


Bilbo awakes and is brought before a dying Thorin, who repents his words at the front gate and departs in friendship with him. Later, Bilbo is told of what happened while he was unconscious, about Beorn’s arrival and fight with the Bolg, and the deaths of Fili and Kili. Thorin is buried with the Arkenstone and his sword Orcrist, and Bilbo soon heads home with two small chests of treasure. Bilbo, Gandalf and Beorn travel to the border of Mirkwood with Thranduil and the remainder of his host; from there Gandalf, and Bilbo go with Beorn around Mirkwood to Beorn's house. They stay with Beorn for a while, but soon head off, over the Misty Mountains.


When Bilbo awakens, he is still lying with a bad headache on the side of the mountain, but is otherwise unharmed. From the camps below, he sees that his side has won the battle against the goblins and Wargs. A man comes searching for Bilbo, but cannot find him until the hobbit takes off the ring. Bilbo is carried back to the camp where Gandalf waits and is delighted to see he is alive. However, there is sad business to attend to: Bilbo must say farewell to Thorin, who was mortally wounded. Thorin asks Bilbo’s forgiveness for the harsh words spoken earlier.

Fili and Kili have also been killed, but the remaining dwarves survived and take up residence in the Lonely Mountain, where Dain is crowned the new King under the Mountain. Gandalf describes the end of the battle for Bilbo: the Eagles, watching the movements of the goblins, came just in time and turned the tide of battle. Yet things still might have gone badly were it not for the sudden appearance of Beorn in the shape of a bear, massive and enraged. This sent the rest of the goblins scattering, and now they are all either dead or in hiding.

After a few days, Bilbo decides it is time to begin his return journey home. Dain gives Bilbo two chests of treasure (one with silver and one with gold) for his service to the Company, and Bilbo departs with Gandalf, Beorn and the Elves. They head to the eastern edge of Mirkwood, where they bid farewell to the Elves, and travel around the forest to the north and eventually reach Beorn's house. Bilbo and Gandalf rest there for a couple of weeks before heading toward the Misty Mountains. They take the same trail where they were previously captured by the goblins, but it is much more peaceful now. Bilbo takes one last look towards the east, where he can see the top of the Lonely Mountain in the distance, before continuing his journey home.


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  • Death of Thorin Oakenshield
  • Deaths of Fíli and Kíli
  • Dain II becomes King under the Mountain.

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