Astray on the Road to Bag End
Note: Thorin Oakenshield gets lost on his way to Bag End.
Based on Thorin's comment about losing his way in Peter
Jackson's film, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."
Thorin was annoyed.
Not only had his meeting with the Seven Kingdoms gone against
him, with not even one dwarf lord being willing to sanction his
quest, but now he found himself wandering the streets and lanes
of a rustic village -- in the Shire, of all places! -- looking
for the residence of a hobbit named Baggins. Yes, he was
And lost, it would seem.
"Confound that wizard!" Thorin growled as he stamped about the
town square, peering at the side streets which branched off in
all directions. Each street was lined with long, low building
adorned with round doors, one looking remarkably like another in
the dim light of evening. "I wish I had never approached Gandalf
about helping with this quest to return to Erebor! By enlisting
his aid, I am now forced into this meeting with a hobbit who
will no doubt run away in terror at the very mention of a
dragon. It is quite impossible that such a one could be the
burglar we need for our venture. The people of this country are
all cowards! Not one will face me long enough to even let me ask
Thorin glowered fiercely at a passing hobbit farmer, who took
one look at the dwarf's angry face and scurried off in the
"Confound that Gandalf!" Thorin muttered a second time. "He
claimed it would be a simple matter to find this hobbit's home.
If it is so simple, then why am I not finding it? Where is it?
These dwellings all look alike to me!"
He had calculated his journey from the Blue Mountains properly
to arrive in time for the arranged meeting with his fellow
dwarves and the wizard, but somehow he had taken a wrong turn
where the Old North Road ran through a town with the absurd name
of Nobottle, and it had taken him some time to get back on track
to the right road and his destination. He reached Hobbiton
without further incident but then once again found himself
astray and at a loss.
Thorin scanned his surroundings once more, then choosing one of
the lanes at random, turned and started walking. But before he
had taken more than a few steps, his way was unexpectedly
blocked. A female hobbit stood before him, brandishing a stout
black umbrella; the frown on her face was fiercely haughty.
"Dwarves!" she scoffed resentfully. "We're overrun with them!
But why? That's what I want to know!" She shook her umbrella
angrily under Thorin's nose. "What business do you have here,
anyway, I'd like to know? Why are there so many of you? You'd
better not be making trouble up there at Bag End, wrecking the
place with your dwarvish antics! What's he up to now, I wonder,
letting the likes of you in the door? Humph!"
Thorin stood his ground in the face of the angry hobbit, but had
no opportunity to say a word in his own defense or to question
her further about her references to other dwarves, Bag End, or
the unnamed hobbit who was "up to something". With a shake of
her fist and a final wave of her umbrella, the hobbit stamped
off without waiting for an answer. Thorin could hear her shrill
complaining recede into the distance as she continued berating
him and his kind, even after dismissing him so summarily.
"What was that all about?" Thorin muttered in disgust.
"Impertinence! She gave me no opportunity to speak or question
her further! She seems to have seen the others; no doubt she
could have told me something about the place I seek, if only I
could have stayed the flow of her complaining."
"Nay, Master Dwarf!" said a voice behind him. "You'd not be
gettin' any answers from her! Not from Lobelia, no, sir!"
Thorin turned sharply to see a middle-aged hobbit leaning
against a wall, watching him with an amused expression on his
"And why might that be, if I may ask?" Thorin asked, as politely
as he could manage despite his growing impatience.
"Well, of course you can ask!" the hobbit replied smugly. "And
I'll be glad to tell you. That there was Lobelia
Sackville-Baggins, and she's a character and no mistake! She
always seems to be angry and complainin' about somethin', if you
take my meaning. She'd speak sharply to the king himself, I
warrant, if she didn't like the way he looked at her!"
"I see," replied Thorin carefully, trying to hold his rising
temper in check. "Baggins, you said her name was? In truth, I
seek someone named Baggins...."
"Maybe so," the amused hobbit interrupted, "but it ain't her, I
bet. She's a Sackville-Baggins, like I said. She's cousin by
marriage to Mister Bilbo Baggins, but she's not exactly fond of
him, if you know what I mean! She's got her eye on Bag End,
that's for sure and certain, hopin' to get her hands on it some
day when Master Bilbo moves on, with her Otho being his heir and
all. So she's none too pleased about seein' all them foreign
types -- them dwarves, I mean -- makin' their way up to The Hill
this evenin' and messin' with the place, as she puts it."
"Can you direct me to this residence of Master Baggins?" Thorin
asked, relieved to at last be getting some information about the
"Of course I can," came the answer. "I'm the gardener up at Bag
End, ain't I? Holman's the name. Holman Greenhand, at your
Thorin bowed politely to Holman. "Thorin Oakenshield at yours."
"Come on then, Master Thorin," Holman said, happily clapping the
dwarf on the arm and ignoring Thorin's glare. "I'll put you on
the right track. Wouldn't want you to get lost now, I expect
they're all waiting for you up there. I figured that's where you
were heading, anyway, seein' as how there's others like you
there already. Seems like Master Bilbo's havin' a regular old
party tonight. A party for dwarves, that is!"
"Indeed!" replied Thorin, trying hard not to be impatient. "If
you would be so kind as to lead the way, Master Holman...."
Thorin had little doubt that Holman Greenhand would lead him
truly, yet it was not until he saw the glowing mark upon the
door that he was finally certain he had reached his destination.
But instead of being relieved at being shown the way, Thorin was
irritated that he had been lost in the first place and forced to
ask for directions. After his meetings with the cantankerous
Lobelia and the garrulous Holman, he was even more annoyed with
Hobbits in general, and in no mood to be charitable. He scowled
fiercely at the round green door marked with Gandalf's special
"This had better be worth my trouble, Gandalf," he grumbled as
he pounded loudly upon the door. "This hobbit of yours had
better be worth it!"
"Gandalf! I thought you said
this place would be easy to find. I lost my way -- twice! I
wouldn't have found it at all if it hadn't been for that mark
on the door." -- (Thorin, in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure)