Bilbo takes the Arkenstone
Event Type: Artifacts
Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards
Date: November 3, 2941
An event in the Quest of Erebor; see that entry for an overview:
Bilbo was climbing the great mound of treasure. Soon he stood upon the top, and still went on. Then [the dwarves] saw him halt and stoop for a moment; but they did not know the reason.Notes
It was the Arkenstone, the Heart of the Mountain. So Bilbo guessed from Thorin's description; but indeed there could not be two such gems, even in so marvellous a hoard, even in all the world. Ever as he climbed, the same white gleam had shone before him and drawn his feet towards it. Slowly it grew to a little globe of pallid light. Now as he came near, it was tinged with a flickering sparkle of many colours at the surface, reflected and splintered from the wavering light of his torch. At last he looked down upon it and he caught his breath. The great jewel shone before he feet of its own inner light, and yet, cut and fashioned by the dwarves, who had dug it from the heart of the mountain long ago, it took all light that fell upon it and changed it into ten thousand sparks of white radiance shot with glints of the rainbow.
Suddenly Bilbo's arm went towards it drawn by its enchantment. His small hand would not close about it for it was a large and heavy gem; but he lifted it, shut his eyes, and put it in his deepest pocket.
'Now I am a burglar indeed!' thought he. 'But I suppose I must tell the dwarves about it - some time. They did say I could pick and choose my own share; and I think I would choose this, if they took all the rest!' All the same he had an uncomfortable feeling that the picking and choosing had not really been meant to include this marvellous gem, and that trouble would yet come of it.
The Hobbit, Ch 12, Not At Home
The year is canon, but the date is estimated, to match the date of the event Bilbo explores the Great Hall of Thráin.
Elena Tiriel 4Jul06