Thorin and Company were a group of thirteen Dwarves, the Wizard Gandalf, and the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, led by Thorin Oakenshield in TA 2941. Their main purpose was to regain the lost Dwarven kingdom of the Lonely Mountain from the Dragon Smaug.
The formation of the group grew out of a meeting Gandalf had with Thorin in Bree which kindled Thorin's interest in recapturing his long lost family inheritance. Remembering that he had once known an adventurous Hobbit on his travels in The Shire, Gandalf decided to add Bilbo to their company because he knew that stealth and cunning were preferable to force. Gandalf also believed that someone like Bilbo could keep the sometimes prideful and stubborn Dwarves from rash action. The superstitious Dwarves also considered thirteen to be an unlucky number, and as Gandalf had planned to leave on other business, welcomed a fourteenth to fill in to their party.
Formation of Thorin and CompanyEdit
On April 26, 2941, Gandalf and the Dwarves arrived at Bag End. After a big tea and supper with Bilbo, they explained themselves and their intentions. Bilbo was at first reluctant to join the group but Gandalf rushed him out of the door.
Travels and EncountersEdit
After traveling for some time and crossing the river Hoarwell, the company were caught and nearly killed and eaten by three hungry trolls. Gandalf returned in time to keep the monsters occupied until dawn, when the light of the Sun turned them to stone. Recovering themselves, the Dwarves found that these Trolls had a cave nearby filled with stolen weapons, food, and a small treasure. Amongst the many weapons were Sting (which Bilbo armed himself with, and which he named after a battle with a giant spider), Orcrist (claimed by Thorin), and Glamdring (taken by Gandalf). Strangely, all were ancient Elvish blades that had been forged several millennia earlier, in the First Age in Gondolin.
Reaching Rivendell in June, the company held talks with Elrond and learned about the secret Moon-letters on Thorin’s old map of the Lonely Mountain. Elrond also read the runes on Orcrist and Glamdring, thus identifying them. After spending a short time there, the group resumed their journey through the Misty Mountains.
On their way through the High Pass, the company (minus Gandalf) were captured by goblins. Taken before the Great Goblin, they were in mortal danger. Gandalf suddenly appeared and killed the Great Goblin, creating enough disarray for them to escape. Unfortunately, Bilbo fell down a hole and was left behind during their hasty retreat. Wandering lost and alone in the depths of the mountain, he found the One Ring and met Gollum, described in The Hobbit as "a small slimy creature … as dark as darkness, except for two big round pale eyes in his thin face."
After a hazardous game of Riddles with the creature, Bilbo fortuitously discovered the ring he had found could make him invisible. Wearing the ring, Bilbo escaped Gollum and a group of goblins guarding the eastern door out of the caverns, and soon reunited with his companions. Collecting themselves, the company made their way down the mountainside, where they were attacked by Wargs and forced to seek refuge in the trees. Goblins soon arrived and tried to kill the company by getting them down on the ground by tampering down the trees. With all hope nearly gone, the hapless company were rescued by a group of giant Eagles.
After thanking the Eagles, Thorin and Company made for Beorn's house where they managed to impress the wary shape-changer. Fully stocked and prepared the Company, they left Beorn's home and made for Mirkwood. When they reached the edge of the perilous wood, Gandalf announced that he had pressing business elsewhere and would not be coming with them through the forest. Grumbling, they went on ahead, taking the Forest Path into the darkness of Mirkwood. After a few days they reached a dark stream which Beorn had warned them not to drink or bathe in, for it was enchanted and caused great drowsiness and forgetfulness. They were able to cross it, but Bombur fell in. By the time they fished him out he was already asleep and had to be carried by the rest of the company.
Eventually they reached a point where they were practically out of food and tried to beg from a group of feasting Wood-elves. Thorin was captured by these Elves, while the remaining company, with the exception of Bilbo, were snared by Giant Spiders. Bilbo rescued them with the help of his magic ring, but they were soon captured by the angry Elves and imprisoned by their king.
With the aid of the ring, Bilbo eluded the Dwarves' captors. Weeks later, he found a way to free them. Hiding in empty wine barrels, the company made their way down the river to Lake-town. There they were fed and clothed with the hope that they would defeat Smaug and regain prosperity for the region.
They reached the mountain after a few days and tried to locate the Secret door described on the map. They found it with the help of a Thrush. Thorin decided to have Bilbo enter the mountain and "burgle" something. This the hobbit did, and even had a conversation with the mighty Smaug (while wearing the Ring, so that he could not be seen). But the enraged Dragon soon emerged and attacked Lake-town, leaving Thorin and Company free to enter the mountain. Meanwhile the dragon was slain by Bard of Lake-town, but the town suffered great loss and destruction. The Dwarves remained inside the mountain until an army of Lake-men, and later Wood-elves, led by the Elven-king, arrived seeking a share of the treasure to compensate them for their losses. Thorin refused, and the Dwarves were besieged within the mountain. They called for aid from their kin in the Iron Hills (a range to the east of The Lonely Mountain).
The Battle of Five Armies and the Dissolving of the CompanyEdit
Just before they were about to fight the Elves, the company were joined by an army of Dwarves from the Iron Hills. Then Gandalf arrived, just in time to inform them that an army of goblins and Wargs were coming to attack. The battle began and Thorin and Company went to war. Bilbo stayed out of the battle with the aid of the Ring. The enemy had the upper hand until the arrival of the eagles and Beorn. The company and their allies won but Fíli and Kíli had been killed and Thorin was mortally wounded. Bilbo bade farewell to Thorin as he lay dying, and then left with Gandalf and a modest share of the treasure.
The deeds of Thorin and Company led to the restoration of the Dwarven Kingdom of the Lonely Mountain and the Dwarven dynasty in the Lonely Mountain, the Kingdom of Dale, the rebuilding of Lake-town, and restoration of peace and prosperity in the immediate area for many years. In the long term, the journey of Thorin and Company and the situations it created led to the Council of Elrond and the formation of the Fellowship of the Ring many years later and played a major part in the starting of the War of the Ring.
It also depleted the forces of evil so that later Sauron would have less to call upon during the War of the Ring. Gloin's son, Gimli, would later be a member of the Fellowship as well, contributing his axe to their ultimate victory. Additionally, Bilbo's finding of the ring would bring it into the care of Frodo, who would one day bring it to its destruction.
- Thorin II Oakenshield (leader)
- Bilbo Baggins (burglar)
- Gandalf (wizard)
|Name||Age (TA 2941)|
|Balin||178 (book) 216 (movies)|