Barliman's Chat We continue our chapter-by-chapter discussion of The Hobbit tomorrow in Hall of Fire as the Company — now minus Gandalf — embarks on its perilous journey through Mirkwood.

Somehow the killing of the giant spider, all alone by himself in the dark without the help of the wizard or the dwarves or of anyone else, made a great difference to Mr. Baggins. He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach, as he wiped his sword on the grass and put it back into its sheath.

“I will give you a name,” he said to it, “and I shall call you Sting.”

The Hobbit Chapter 8: Flies and Spiders

The long journey through an endless gloom, where day is no different from night, taxes not only supplies, but the Company’s morale. The 13 dwarves and one hobbit are already tired, hungry and discouraged by the time they finally arrive at the Enchanted River.

Then things start to go really wrong. Bombur falls into an enchanted sleep and must be carried, food runs out entirely and in desperation the Company leaves the path — tempted to stray by visions of elves feasting.

In the dark, Bilbo becomes separated from his companions and eventually falls into an exhausted sleep. When he awakens, he’s horrorified to find that a giant spider is about to turn him into dinner. Now only he can save himself — and his companions.

Join us tomorrow (Saturday May 9 at 6pm EDT) in #thehalloffire on when we’ll discuss all this and more as we look at Chapter 8 of The Hobbit — Flies and Spiders.

Entering Mirkwood by Ted Nasmith

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