The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, chapter 6: Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire

Bilbo had escaped the goblins, but he did not know where he was. He had lost hood, cloak, food, pony, his buttons and his friends.

Into the fire, indeed. Bilbo and the dwarves bounce from one fix to the next, each a little more perilous than the one before. In this chapter, they have escaped the goblins only to be treed by Wargs. My annotated version of The Hobbit has a few notes on the origins of various names of creatures that Tolkien introduces in the course of his tale:

Hobbit— Tolkien said, “I don’t know where the word came from. You can’t catch your mind out. It might have been associated with SInclair Lewis’s Babbitt. Certainly not rabbit, as some people think.
But he also wrote elsewhere, “I must admit that its faint suggestion of rabbit appealed to me. Not that hobbits at all resemble rabbits, unless it be in burrowing.”

Goblins— Tolkien’s goblins resemble the goblins of author George Macdonald in The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie, except that Macdonald’s goblins had soft and easily injured feet, which Tolkien said he “never believed in.”

Warg—Tolkien in a letter to author Gene Wolfe, 11/7/66, “It is an old word for wolf, which also had the sense of an outlaw or hunted criminal. This is its usual sense in surviving texts. I adopted the word, which had a good sound for the meaning, as a name for this particular brand of demonic wolf in the story.”

Orcs— are barely mentioned in The Hobbit, but rather the term “goblin” is used for all the creatures that live in the mountains and serve evil. By the time Tolkien wrote LOTR, he had switched to calling all of Sauron’s creatures orcs. In Tolkien’s Middle Earth, goblins and orcs are approximately the same or related creatures.

As the chapter closes, the eagles rescue Bilbo and Gandalf and the dwarves from their predicament in the trees. And Bilbo gets the dubious pleasure of spending the night in an eagle’s eyrie.

“So ended the adventures of the Misty Mountains. Soon Bilbo’s stomach was feeling full and comfortable again, and he felt he could sleep contentedly, though really he would have liked a loaf and butter than bits of meat toasted on sticks. He slept curled up on the hard rock more soundly than ever he had done on his featherbed in his own little hole at home. But all night he dreamed of his own house and wandered in his sleep into all his different rooms looking for something that he could not find nor remember what it looked like.”

Chapter 1, An Unexpected Party
Chapter 2, Roast Mutton.
Chapter 3, A Short Rest.
Chapter 4, Over Hill and Under Hill.
Chapter 5, Riddles in the Dark.

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