One night, as Frodo and Sam sleep, Gollum has the first of what will become a series of internal debates. Smaug smashes the side of the mountain the Dwarves, warned by the hobbit, manage to duck inside the tunnel just in timeand flies off to destroy Esgaroth.
Frodo defends Gollum to Sam.
Main article: Reception of J. Aragorn and company enter a cave in the mountain and come across a ghost king who says that the dead do not suffer to let the living pass.
Then the boat sails off. Gollum challenges Bilbo to a riddle game: if Bilbo wins, Gollum will show him the way out of the caves, but if Gollum wins, Bilbo will be Gollum's dinner.
As they eat, they see thousands of troops marching to Mordor, part of the army Sauron is assembling. Frodo and Bilbo are summoned to the Council of Elrond, where the history and fate of the Ring are debated. When the nine have nearly found their way out, they are attacked by orcs and a Balrog, a terrible demon.
Gandalf holds it back so that the party can escape, but then he falls with it into the abyss. Gandalf explained that Gollum belonged to a people "of hobbit-kind" before he came upon the Ring, which corrupted him.