Guide to The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit/Chapter 11

The Hobbit Chapter 11 - On the Doorstep


The townsmen help the expedition trough the lake and to the bottom of the Lonely Mountain. The expedition set out through the Desolation of the Dragon, a waste land. They come across the ruined settlement of Dale, a casualty of Smaug.

The expedition are unable to find a way, as they have forgotten. They have pupt effort through axes, picks, but to no avail.

The few days they try, it is revealed that their efforts were futile. Bilbo sees a snail near the door and is reminded of ELron's story about the keyhole being revealed on Durin's Day. Bilbo and the dwarves wait for the setting sun to reveal the hidden keyhole and Thorin opens the door with the key that was given by Gandalf along with the map.


This chapter reveals the fulfillment of Elrond's prophecy. Thorin's claim gains legitimacy when the door opens with the key. The magic surrounding Durin's Day is connected in similarity to ancient pagan beliefs surrounding the equinox and solstice.