Bilbo Baggins

Bilbo Baggins

    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up… in the Shire, where everyone around was a hobbit like him. One of the few visitors to this land of dancing, drinking, and smoking was the wizard Gandalf, who befriended Bilbo when he was still a young hobbit. With this powerful and worldly friend, Bilbo gained an understanding of things outside the Shire and soon became an integral part in an important quest.

Living… on the road with Thorin and Company, a group of dwarves sworn to reclaim their homeland and historical honor. Bilbo’s role—as a quick, small and inconspicuous “Halfling”—is to steal an important treasure from a dragon’s lair. Why Bilbo agreed to such a quest is beyond even him. 

Profession… a wealthy bachelor, Bilbo is comfortable as his own master at Bag End. It takes a lot of convincing to get him to drop everything and become a sneaky “burglar” for a group of pesky dwarves. But if there’s anyone who could convince him to undertake such a task, it’s Gandalf.

Interests… relaxation and pipe weed, but most of all, adventures. Bilbo can’t help but bask in the glory of helping the dwarf population regain their glory days. There’s something about the larger-than-life quest that tickles Bilbo to his core. It’s a very un-hobbit-like thing to do, and that’s part of the appeal. 

Relationship Status… single. He’s an eligible bachelor in the Shire who attracts many possible wives, but Bilbo has greater things on his mind. And once he returns to the Shire as a renowned hero, he hopes to attract even more attention. But he never does marry and raise a family of his own. Instead, he all but adopts his young cousin, Frodo Baggins, whom he treats like a son or nephew. Bilbo even bequeaths to Frodo a magic ring of invisibility that he finds on his travels, which later launches Frodo onto an epic adventure of his own.

Challenge… surviving the journey. His quest becomes more dangerous than he previously expected. Not only does he have to survive the depths of a dragon’s lair, but he also has to save the dwarves from giant spiders and fight off dozens of orcs, wielding only a short sword which he names “Sting.”

Personality… optimistic and quirky. Known for his catchphrase, “At your service and your families,” Bilbo is something of a jolly gentleman—or as much of a “gentleman” as a hobbit can really be. He seemingly must choose between his simple life in the Shire and the life of an adventurer on the road, yet somehow manages to combine the best of both worlds. Most hobbits consider Bilbo an eccentric, but he’s also the most famous, well-traveled and mysterious hobbit in the Shire.


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