Summary and Analysis
The dwarves are trapped in darkness, not knowing where Smaug is. Bilbo decides to go down the tunnel once again, and the dwarves watch as he makes his way. After he is in the dragon's lair, Bilbo pockets the Arkenstone, making excuses to himself for the theft. He drops his torch and yells for help in the darkness. The dwarves come to rescue him and when they see the hoard, they begin going through it, putting on some of the golden armor and picking up weapons and jewels.
In an attempt to get out of the Mountain, Bilbo and the dwarves follow the Running River to light and find themselves at the Front Gate, overlooking Dale. Afraid of Smaug, they move on and take shelter in a rock room near the mountain.
In this chapter, Bilbo fulfills his destiny as burglar, a characterization by Gandalf that has been puzzling, because you know that Bilbo is not a criminal thief. He steals the Arkenstone, almost without knowing why he is doing it, but sure of the necessity of it. His judgment is proven shortly.
The dwarves are shown in their full character as the rather greedy creatures they are when they revel in the treasure that Smaug has abandoned. There is a sense that Thorin has come into a legacy that is rightfully his, but it is significant that the treasure is a material one.
pallid pale and weak.