Here Are All Riddles Asked in ‘The Hobbit’ (With Answers)

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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was the first movie in The Hobbit trilogy, which is a prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The movie follows Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit from the Shire, who Gandalf chooses to help a group of Dwarves that want to reclaim their long-lost kingdom, Erebor. Doubted by many, and himself also, Bilbo’s adventure with the Dwarves began, and on that journey, he encountered Gollum, a small, twisted creature who lives in the depths of the Misty Mountains and is obsessed with the ring of power.

Bilbo encountered Gollum in the caves beneath the Misty Mountains. Bilbo was lost and searching for a way out of the caves when he stumbled upon Gollum, who was dragging and battling a Goblin on the floor. While doing so, the One Ring insensibly fell off Gollum’s drawers, and Bilbo found it and took it. Seeing how Gollum loves riddles, Bilbo challenges him to a game of riddles. If Bilbo won, Gollum would show him the way out of the caves. If Gollum won, he would eat Bilbo. Their game began, and here are all riddles asked in ‘The Hobbit’ with answers.

1. Gollum’s riddle: What has roots as nobody sees, Is taller than trees, Up, up it goes, And yet never grows?

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Gollum loved playing games, and he was the first one to ask his riddle. Bilbo had no problem answering this one, and the answer is the mountain. As Gollum enjoyed the game, he wanted that Bilbo also asks him something. As Gollum intended to eat him, Bilbo proposed that they play a game of riddles, and if Bilbo wins, Gollum will show him the way out of the caves instead. They agreed on terms, and it was Bilbo’s turn to ask his riddle.


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2. Bilbo’s riddle: Thirty white horses on a red hill, First they champ, Then they stamp, Then they stand still.

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Gollum was thinking about what the answer could be. After a few moments, he got the answer right, which is teeth. Gollum showed Bilbo his teeth and stated that he only had nine. Then, he asked his riddle.

3. Gollum’s riddle: Voiceless it cries, Wingless flutters, Toothless bites, Mouthless mutters.

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Bilbo took a moment to think. He concluded, and the answer is wind. Gollum became angry and started to approach Bilbo. To defend himself and prevent Gollum from doing something to him, Bilbo pulled his sword, pointed it toward Gollum, and asked his next riddle.

4. Bilbo’s riddle: A box without hinges, key, or lid, Yet golden treasure inside is hid.

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As Gollum was thinking, Bilbo urged him to answer. Gollum admitted that this riddle was a nasty one. Bilbo asks him if he should give up, but Gollum asks for a chance to answer. Gollum struggled to find the right answer and started grunting. Finally, he thought of an answer, and the answer is an egg. Bilbo was not pleased that Gollum got this one right. Then, it was Gollum’s turn to ask his riddle again.

5. Gollum’s riddle: All things it devours, Birds, bees, beasts, trees, flowers. Gnaws iron, bites steel, Grind hard stones to meal.

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This was the hardest one yet, and Gollum demanded the answer. Bilbo wanted some time to think, as he allowed Gollum to think when he had to answer as well. Bilbo tried to think of an answer and started to get worried as he did not know the answer to this one. Gollum starts thinking about how he is going to eat Bilbo and asks Bilbo whether he tastes good. As Bilbo could not answer, Gollum concluded that Bilbo got stuck and that time was up. As he was preparing to jump onto Bilbo and enjoy his meal, Bilbo finally answered, and the answer is time.


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Gollum was furious, and Bilbo, with a smug smile on his face, stated that the riddle actually wasn’t that hard. Running out of patience, Gollum secretly picked up a rock and told Bilbo it was time for him to ask the last riddle.

6. Bilbo’s final riddle (technically a question, not a riddle): What have I got in my pocket?

final riddle

After hearing this question, Gollum became upset. He stated that it was not fair and that it was against the rules. He threw the rock from his hand and demanded that Billbo asks him another question. However, Bilbo stuck with his question and repeated it to Gollum once again. Gollum demanded three guesses, and Bilbo agreed.

Hands were the first answer Gollum said, but the answer was wrong. After some quick brainstorming, he decided that a knife would be his second answer. That was also wrong, and even Gollum agreed that was a foolish thing to say. He was left with only one guess. Then he said that Bilbo either has string in his pocket or nothing. Bilbo stated that were two guesses at once and that both were wrong. Gollum lost the game, he did not know the answer, and the answer is the ring, The One Ring, to be exact, even though Bilbo did not know that at the time.

Gollum fell to the ground and started sobbing. Bilbo urged him to show him the way out of the cave because he won. But Gollum wanted to know what does Bilbo have in his pocket. Bilbo didn’t want to tell him that, but then Gollum realized that he had lost the ring. He became erratic and started looking for the ring around the cave. After some time, Gollum looked at his reflection in the pond in the cave and realized – Bilbo must have stolen The One Ring.


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Gollum then started chasing Bilbo, demanding his ring back. As Bilbo ran away from Gollum, he fell to the ground, and The One Ring slid onto his finger. Bilbo became invisible, so Gollum could not see him. Enraged and in despair, Gollum looked for Bilbo but with no success. Bilbo had the chance to kill Gollum with his Elvish sword, but he decided to spare his life and eventually found his way out of the cave.

So, there you have it, a brief description of the game of riddles between Bilbo and Gollum and a brief reminder of how Bilbo came into possession of The One Ring in the first place.

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