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The Hobbit

In this reprint several minor inaccuracies, most
of them noted by readers, have been corrected. For example,
the text now corresponds exactly with the runes on Thror’s
Map. More important is the matter of Chapter Five. There the
true story of the ending of the Riddle Game, as it was
eventually revealed (under pressure) by Bilbo to Gandalf, is
now given according to the Red Book, in place of the version
Bilbo first gave to his friends, and actually set down in his
diary. This departure from truth on the part of a most honest
hobbit was a portent of great significance. It does not,
however, concern the present story, and those who in this
edition make their first acquaintance with hobbit-lore need
not troupe about it. Its explanation lies in the history of the
Ring, as it was set out in the chronicles of the Red Book of
Westmarch, and is now told in The Lord of the Rings.
A final note may be added, on a point raised by
several students of the lore of the period. On Thror’s Map is
written Here of old was Thrain King under the Mountain; yet
Thrain was the son of Thror, the last King under the Mountain
before the coming of the dragon. The Map, however, is not
in error. Names are often repeated in dynasties, and the
genealogies show that a distant ancestor of Thror was referred
to, Thrain I, a fugitive from Moria, who first discovered the
Lonely Mountain, Erebor, and ruled there for a while, before
his people moved on to the remoter mountains of the North.
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