For more than eighty years, readers have journeyed alongside THE HOBBIT's unwilling hero, Bilbo Baggins, and his nephew Frodo, in a quest to recover treasure stolen from his race of dwarfs. A typical hobbit, Bilbo is fond of sleeping, eating, drinking, and the coziness of home and community. However, since it is the convention that a novel's hero is matured by the novel's unfolding events, the Bilbo Baggins who starts on his quest reluctantly, returns home a wiley, resourceful, and brave fighter for the greater good. His quest takes him through echanted forests, spider's lairs, and to the vile Gollum who lives beneath the Misty Mountains. Bilbo tricks the Gollum out of his "Precious"--a ring that makes its bearer invisible and wields a terrible power all its own. At last, Bilbo and his band of other hobbits reach the den of the dragon Smaug, the thieving possessor of their treasure. Bilbo, who features dominatly in the slaying of the great dragon and in the recovery of the stolen treasure returns, as a humble hero, to the peace and comforts of home.