Bilbo Baggins is a respectable hobbit - one of a race of small, quiet, country folk who inhabit The Shire, their pastoral corner of Middle-earth. One day he receives an unexpected visit from the great wizard Gandalf and thirteen dwarves. The dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, have decided to return to the land of their ancestors and reclaim the treasure taken from them years before by Smaug, a terrible dragon.
On Gandalf's recommendation, Thorin and his company wish to enlist Bilbo as their burglar. Although the idea of adventure appeals to something deep within him, Bilbo would much rather stay at home where he is comfortable and safe. Nevertheless, Bilbo is drawn into the quest and soon faces giant spiders, goblins, and worse as he travels the great distance to the Lonely Mountain, where the dwarves' treasure awaits—as does the dragon!