Summary and Analysis
Chapter 18 - The Return Journey
Bilbo regains consciousness and is carried to Thorin, who is dying after having been wounded in the battle. He finds that the eagles have routed the Goblins from the Mountain and that Beorn, too, has come to their aid.
Thorin is buried with the Arkenstone and Orcrist; Kili and Fili, who also died in battle, are buried, too.
One-fourteenth of the hoard is given to Bard and some is given to Bilbo. Bilbo leaves with Gandalf, Elvenking, and Beorn and spends yuletide with Beorn, staying with him till spring.
Bilbo has a last chance to see Thorin, wounded fatally in battle. Bilbo himself does not suffer such a fate, but neither will he be commemorated as a hero. Thorin is buried as a hero, with his treasured jewel and his sword, accompanied in death as he was in life by his loyal companions Kili and Fili. There is a sense that an entire way of living in the world is buried with him.
Justice is served when Bard is granted a share of the dwarves' treasure, as Thorin had promised him, and when Bilbo is given some of the treasure, as well, for Bilbo has proven absolutely essential to the recovery of that treasure.
But it is with a sense of relief and some weariness after the battle that Bilbo turns toward home in the company of Gandalf.
Yule-tide the Christmas holiday season.