Thoughts on our Friend, Bilbo

by DoctorGamgee

I have given much thought to Bilbo's story of late. While I find that Tolkien's First published work of Middle Earth is a delightful tale, filled with surprises and good use of characters, I enjoy this story despite the fact that it lacks the profound quality that LOTR so beautifully portrays.

And yet, without this more simplistic tale of Bilbo and the quest of the dwarves, I must admit that I am not sure I would have completed the first book had I not read it. Had the story of this one small hobbit from Bag End not enchanted me so, I might not have decided to stick with Frodo and the rest through the long tale of the War of the Ring. And I find this facinating. What is it about 'dear Uncle Bilbo' and his story that made me such a fan?

Perhaps the movie I just watched (Secondhand Lions) has influenced me, or perhaps it has opened my eyes to something deeper. Regardless, the thing that I find about the story of Bilbo, is that while he is faced with Trolls, Goblins, Spiders, and Dragons, one is alwasy left with the feeling that there are things that we can believe in. That good will triumph over evil (or love conquers all) -- and these stories resonate with us (whether they are always true on not). In the end, we are saddened to learn that Thorin had died in the Battle of Five Armies, and yet its reality makes us believe all the stronger.

It is this same system of "Believe that Good will Triumph" that makes us understand why Frodo takes the Ring in the first place. And why Boromir, even after his betrayal can be redeemed. It allows us to hope (like Frodo) that Smeagol will win out over Gollum, and understand why it was that Gollum was the winner and destroyer of the Ring.

The tales are well woven, and without Bilbo's story, many of us may never have read the rest.

Thank you, Tolkien, for Mad Baggins! A hobbit worthy of great praise.