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This article refers to the chapter. For other namesakes, see Flies and Spiders (disambiguation).

Flies and Spiders is the eighth chapter of J.R.R Tolkien's The Hobbit.


Bilbo and the Dwarves begin their journey through Mirkwood. Later, they see a group of Wood-elves having a feast. Spiders capture twelve of the Dwarves, while Thorin is captured by the Elves. Bilbo is nearly eaten by a spider, but wakes in time and kills it; he then names his sword StingMeanwhile, Thorin is questioned by the Elven king Thranduil, and, when he refuses to disclose his reasons for being in Mirkwood, he is thrown into a dungeon.


Bilbo and the Dwarves make their way through the dark forest of Mirkwood. They arrive at the enchanted stream Beorn them about, and Bilbo spots a boat on the other side. With great difficulty, they use iron hooks to reel the boat in. After crossing the stream, they are startled by a deer jumping over them. Thorin fires an arrow at him, as they need the meat, and in the confusion Bombur sets the boat adrift and falls into the stream. When they pull him out, he is asleep — enchanted by the waters of the stream. More deer appear, and the Dwarves waste all their arrows in a failed attempt to kill one.

The Company travels on, hungry and discouraged, carrying the sleeping Bombur. Bilbo tries to find where the forest ends by climbing a tree to survey, but they are in a valley and he cannot see above the tops of the surrounding trees. They eat the last of their food that night.

The next morning, Bombur finally wakes up and tells the others he dreamt he saw a giant feast in the woods, and he remembers nothing since leaving the Shire. Later, Bilbo and the Dwarves see a light in the distance and follow it to find a party of feasting elves. Starving, the Company decides to leave the path to beg for food, but the Elves disappear when the Dwarves approach. They spot the feast two more times in other parts of the forest, but the Elves continue to disappear. Bilbo dozes off, dreaming of dinner.

Bilbo awakes to find himself bound up by the sticky threads spun by a giant spider. With some difficulty, he frees himself and kills the spider with his sword. He passes out from the exertion and when he regains consciousness, he feels much braver and names his sword Sting. He puts on the ring, becoming invisible, and goes looking for the dwarves. He finds the Dwarves hanging in webs guarded by giant spiders. Bilbo throws stones to scare off the spiders and frees the dwarves. He reveals the secret of the ring to the Dwarves and lures the spiders into a battle, killing some and frightening the others. After the spiders are gone, the Dwarves quiz Bilbo about the ring and he tells them how he obtained it from Gollum, as well as the riddle game. Suddenly, the Dwarves realize that Thorin is missing.

Meanwhile, Thorin has been captured by the Elves who were feasting in the forest. They take him to their cavern stronghold and deliver him to their king, who has him thrown in the dungeon when he won't reveal what he was doing in Mirkwood.


By type 
Characters Species and creatures Locations Factions, groups and titles
Events Objects and artifacts Miscellanea


Dramatis personae

Other characters

Species and creatures



  • Thorin and Company enter Mirkwood
  • The Dwarves are arrested by the Elvenking

Songs and Verses

  1. Old fat spider!
  2. Lazy Lob and crazy Cob


Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Vlieë en spinnekoppe
Albanian Fluturon dhe merimangat
Amharic ዝንቦች እና ሸረሪዎች
Arabic الذباب والعناكب
Armenian Ճանճեր եւ սարդեր
Azerbaijani Uçur və örümcekler
Basque Euli eta armiarmak
Belarusian Cyrillic Мухі і павукі
Bengali মাছি এবং মাকড়সা
Bosnian Muhe i pauci
Bulgarian Cyrillic Пеперуди и паяци
Cambodian រុយនិងពីងពាង
Catalan Mosques i aranyes
Chinese 苍蝇和蜘蛛
Cornish Kelyonen ha kenesen
Croatian Muhe i pauci
Czech Mouchy a pavouci
Danish Fluer og edderkopper
Dutch Vliegen en spinnen
Esperanto Muŝoj kaj araneoj
Estonian Kärbsed ja ämblikad
Faroese Flugur og eiturkoppur
Finnish Hämähäkkejä
French Mouches et araignées
Galician Moscas e arañas
Georgian ფრიალებს და ობობები
German Fliegen und Spinnen
Greek Μύγες και αράχνες
Gujarati ફ્લાય્સ અને સ્પાઈડર
Hebrew זבובים ועכבישים
Hindi मक्खियों और मकड़ियों
Hungarian Legyek és pókok
Icelandic Flugur og köngulær
Indonesian Lalat-lalat dan laba-laba
Irish Gaelic Cuileoga agus damháin alla
Italian Mosche e ragni
Japanese ハエやクモ
Kannada ಫ್ಲೈಸ್ ಮತ್ತು ಜೇಡಗಳು
Kazakh Шыбындар мен пауки (Cyrillic) Şıbındar men pawkï (Latin)
Korean 파리와 거미
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Чымын жана жөргөмүштөр
Kurdish Mêşa û pîrêyan (Kurmanji Kurdish)
Laotian ແມງວັນແລະແມງມຸມ
Latin Mvscae et Araneae
Latvian Mušas un zirnekļi
Lithuanian Musės ir vorai
Macedonian Cyrillic Муви и пајаци
Malaysian Lalat-lalat dan labah-labah
Maltese Dubbien u spideri
Marathi उडतो आणि मकळे
Mongolian Cyrillic Ялаа ба аалз
Norwegian Fluer og edderkopper
Persian مگس و عنکبوت
Polish Muchy i pająki
Punjabi ਮੱਖੀਆਂ ਅਤੇ ਮੱਕੜੀਆਂ ?
Portuguese Moscas e aranhas
Romanian Muște și păianjeni
Romansh Mustgas e filiens
Russian Пауки и мухи
Scottish Gaelic Cuileagan agus damhain-allaidh
Serbian Муве и пауци (Cyrillic) Muve i pauci (Latin)
Sinhalese මැස්සන් සහ මකුළුවන්
Slovak Muchy a pavúky
Slovenian Muhe in pajki
Spanish Moscas y arañas
Swahili Nzi na buibui
Swedish Flugor och spindlar
Tamil ஈக்கள் மற்றும் ஸ்பைடர்கள்
Thai แมลงวันและแมงมุม
Turkish Sinekler ve örümcekler
Ukrainian Cyrillic Мухи і павуки
Urdu مسلیں اور مکڑیاں
Uzbek Чивинлари ва ўргимчаклар (Cyrillic) Chivinlari va o'rgimchaklar (Latin)
Vietnamese Ruồi và nhện
Yiddish פליעס און ספּיידערז
Yoruba Eṣinṣin ati aláǹtakùn
Yucatec Maya Moscas ka arañas