Chapter 6 is pure excitement and I will look forward to seeing how Sir Peter Jackson and his team bring this to life. I suspect we will be on the edge of our seats in the cinema. Bilbo manages to escape the Goblins and makes his way along the mountain glade until he sees Balin's hood near a bush in a dell. He is wearing the Ring and is therefore invisible. It appears that the dwarves in their haste to escape from the Goblins in the tunnels, lost Bilbo and were debating as to whether to go back in search of him. By escaping alone, Bilbo has demonstrated his independence and resourcefulness and earns the respect of the dwarves and Gandalf. By the time the company have reunited, it is growing dark, and they therefore need to make good their escape from the Goblin Gate. The goblins, liking the dark, will be out in search of them as soon as the sun has set. The company make their way to a dell in the midst of a fairly ominous forest and soon realise that they are once again trapped ... this time by wargs. Climbing trees to escape, Gandalf overhears plans of the wargs and goblins to attack the woodland villages. The company however soon realise that they are in as much danger as before when the goblins join the wargs after dark and they set fire to the trees. Fortunately the Lord of the Eagles of the northern mountains was curious to find out why there was so much noise and commotion in the woods, and summoned a convocation of eagles to investigate. They saw Gandalf, (who was known to them), and the others, and picked them up taking them to safety in their eyrie. (Gandalf had in the past, healed the Lord of Eagles from an arrow wound and therefore a debt of service was owed to him).
Character development so far:
1. Bilbo: Bilbo has shown himself to be resourceful by escaping Gollum and the goblins, but he gains courage from the Ring. He earns the respect of the dwarves and Gandalf. As they resume their journey however, Bilbo's fatigue and hunger begin to catch up with him. He needs assistance from Dori to climb the trees and escape the wargs and is almost left behind by the eagles. He is fearful of heights and fearful of the eagles and his fate. He is clearly not as strong and fit as the dwarves and has learned few survival skills during his 50 comfortable years.
2. Gandalf: Protector of the company, uses light and fire as a weapon, able to understand the language of the wargs and friend of the eagles.
3. Balin: Excellent lookout. Gracious in his acceptance of Bilbo outwitting him and slipping past his sharp eyes undetected.
4. Dori: Rescuer. Helps Bilbo into the tree and then Bilbo holds onto Dori's legs for the eagle flight.
5. The other dwarves are mentioned but as part of the general group. It will be interesting if they are each given extra dialogue in the movies. Thorin certainly issues orders to Dori to rescue Bilbo, and he is described as fighting the Goblins in the Halls with great vigour using Orcrist, but the chapter is dedicated more to Bilbo, Gandalf and the adventure.
6. Eagles: Not kindly, but the ancient race of the eagles of the northern mountains are "proud, strong and noble hearted". Did not love goblins. They did not go near the Men who had built villages along the river and pleasant woodland parts, as they feared they would shoot at them while protecting their sheep. They also had no love for the dwarves. Gandalf had healed the Lord of Eagles and saved his life in the past and therefore the eagle owed him a debt of service.