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Bilbo Baggins There and Back Again A Hobbit's Tale
Meet Bilbo Baggins
The following tale describes what happened to one particular hobbit, when he opened his perfectly round, front door. He would often say.
'Going out of your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to'
Source. The Hobbit or There and Back Again. By Bilbo Baggins
Suffice it to say, he rarely had adventures and enjoyed the quiet life.
This is how a very unusual hero's quest began, and how Gandalf invited Bilbo Baggins to share an adventure.
Firstly a 'short' introduction; for those of you who are unfamiliar with Hobbits.
Bilbo's Hobbit Hole at Bag End
The Hobbit's Home
What is a hobbit
Hobbits are small, about half the size of a full grown human.
They tend to be fat, as they like good food and drink. Hobbit's don't tend to wear shoes as they have large feet, covered in curly fur.
They have warm friendly faces, and have the everyday kind of magic of becoming invisible, when people like us bumble into their part of the Shire.
Bilbo was in his 50's, which meant that he was a young adult.
The Ring of Power
Bilbo Baggins like most hobbits, preferred a quiet life with plenty of good food, lashings of drinkables, and a nice cosy hole in the ground to call home.
These holes in the ground are not damp, smelly or full of bugs, but very comfortable and beautifully decorated. Hobbit homes are filled with many well stocked cupboards, pantries and cellars. With fine carpets and very comfortable furniture.
With deep set windows along the hillside aspect, allowing the sunlight to illuminate the whole interior. All in all a very pleasant hole in the hill.
They have well tended gardens, and love nothing better than to grow their own fruit and vegetables. They are particularly happy when tending to their gardens and relaxing.
Photographs from early versions of the HobbitClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Hobbit collector
The Hobbit Reader
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Bilbo Baggins' hobbit home was named Bag End, in the Shire of Eriador.
The Shire was a particularly beautiful and peaceful part of Middle-Earth. The Shire was first settled by Hobbits, in 1601 of the Third Age, SR (Shire Reckoning)
Bilbo was an unexceptional hobbit in every respect. He especially liked to know where his next meal was coming from, and did not like adventures at all.
He was however, to become embroiled in one of the biggest adventures; that Shire folk had ever heard of.
The adventures would span several of our lifetimes, and would change Bilbo in ways he could never imagine.
There and Back Again, recounts the story of his heroic quest, and departure from his idyllic life.
In so doing he set in motion a series of events, that would eventually change the course of history, not only for himself and the Shire, but for the whole of Middle-Earth.
To say that Bilbo was a reluctant hero, would be an understatement. The last thing he wanted was wild adventures or an unexpected journey.
He did like having visitors, as long as he knew them, and were of the sensible type.
The Hobbit had heard of strange tales from other parts of Middle-Earth, and would look the place up, on the map, purely in order to avoid going there, at all costs.
He had no idea that his simple life was about to be turned upside down, and an epic story of courage, friendship and loyalty emerges.
It just goes to show what can happen, when a Hobbit, a Wizard and few Dwarves get together.
The Hobbit Early Edition Cover & ArtworkClick thumbnail to view full-size
LOTR Leaf clasp
An Unexpected Journey
When Gandalf the Wizard, and the first Dwarves began to arrive at Bilbo's home, to discuss and plan their journey. They had many maps to examine and matters to discuss.
'What started out as a simple quest to burgle a dragon's hoard of gold and treasure would turn into an adventure of epic proportions. Although it didn't look like it was going to turn out that way at the time.'
Bilbo usually liked company, especially when he knew the visitors. He became a little perplexed when a seemingly endless collection of Dwarves, began arriving at the circular front door, of his lovely little home.
The uninvited (by Bilbo) guests arrive
The Dwarves who arrived in rapid succession were.
The brothers. Dwalin, a blue bearded Dwarf and Balin, a very old looking Dwarf
Kili and Fili, equipped with tools and a spade for the burglary.
Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin, Gloin
Gandalf the Wizard (considered by some as a troublemaker. Although he did make great fireworks) arrived with. Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, and Thorin Oakenshield, a rather haughty and aloof character altogether.
13 Dwarves in all. They set about ordering what they would like to eat and drink, and talking about the adventure at hand. Dwarves love nothing better than eating, drinking and chatting about adventurous plans. Especially if it involves Dragons, gold and mountains.
Not wanting to be ungracious, Bilbo rushed around finding plates and cups, food and drink for the almost constant flow of new visitors. Whilst Bilbo was completely befuddled by the almost constant arrival of new Dwarves he was far too polite to complain. Hi did think that the Dwarves looked like a rough lot.
By the time the last visitor had settled in, Bilbo was completely flustered and bewildered.
The Dwarves saw that the hobbit was perplexed, and helped to disperse the victuals to all and sundry.
Bilbo was very tired and sat quietly listening, as the company discussed all kinds of terrifying things, including dragons, adventures and treasures, deep into the night.
The assembled company examined the Middle-Earth Maps, to find a way through, avoiding as many dangerous places as they could. As you may see from the map below, it is full of pitfalls, swamps and other spooky things.
Middle-Earth Maps showing the way to the Lonely MountainClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Hobbit is simply a Masterpiece
Baggins the Burglar
The discussion revolved around how to get into, and relieve the dragon Smaug, of his gold and treasure.
Bilbo found himself drowsily agreeing to a suggestion, on how to go about sneaking in undetected. By the side entrance.
Then the Dwarves began to sing a low lament, involving deep places in the earth, treasure and such things that conjured dreams in the sleepy hobbit mind, of far away places.
The song pleased the assembled company no end, and persuaded them that Bilbo was the very hobbit for the 'job'. He was indeed the perfect burglar and so relaxed.
This passed by the hobbits sleepy attention, without a flicker of understanding of what he had just heard suggested. As far as he was concerned he had not agreed to go along and that was that.
You must remember dear reader, that Bilbo was from a very well to do family. The Bagginses were well respected in the Shire. They were also moderately well off, which meant that they were considered upright pillars of the community. This adventuring malarkey, was against his better judgement, to say the least.
Bilbo was very happy with his life up to this point, and was content to see out the rest of his days, in quiet repose in the comfort of Bag end,
An Unexpected Journey begins
The very next morning, Bilbo woke to find himself alone and the Dwarves gone. It seems that they had accepted his refusal to be their burglar, and had simply left. At least the house was tidy again and suddenly, very, very quiet.
By the time he had finished having that last thought, he somehow found himself setting off, no running off, down the road trying to catch up with this motley crew.
He was setting out on an adventure, that he has no idea how he got involved in and really cannot believe what he is doing. But he just keeps going.
Although he did find it intriguing, to listen to the company talk about this adventure, somehow he couldn't remember how he had decided to be actually going along too.
How he came to be in this predicament was a mystery to him. Some say that one of his ancestors on the TOOK side of the family, had gone on an adventure once, and maybe he had inherited a little of this Tookish behavior.
Bilbo found himself leaving his beloved Bag End, on an unexpected journey to, who knows where. He didn't even have time to have breakfast, collect a hat, handkerchief, walking stick, or any money.
What unfolds in the following chapters, is a brilliant, epic story of action, adventure and heroism, the likes of which few hobbits have ever seen. It is a true masterpiece.
First published by Allen & Unwin in 1937. History Professor, JRR Tolkien's, The Hobbit or There and Back Again by Bilbo Baggins, was written originally as a children's book.
It is that, and a whole lot more. If you haven't read it yourself. I highly recommended it.
Truly, It is a timeless classic. It's one of those rare books, you will want to read again and again and you will always find something new.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Movie trailer
Gandalf arrives at Bilbo's Hobbit home
An Unexpected Journey The Movie
The movie, The Hobbit will be in three parts. The first episode, titled. An Unexpected Journey, by Lord of the Rings Director. Peter Jackson, will introduce a whole new generation to this brilliant and epic story.
Short review of the Movie
Jackson has done a truly masterful job, just as he did with the Lord of the Rings Movies. It is another triumph and a great treat for Tolkien fans.
It will play well to an audience new to the story. The movie works in it's own right and no prior knowledge is required. It stands alone on it's own merit. Quite a feat in itself.
It is a visual treat in beautiful Real 3D. The movie sticks to the original novel as only Jackson seems able to pull off. Probably the best movie I have seen this year. I recommend you see it for yourself.
Good high quality Family movies are rare. The Hobbit is a welcome addition to this movie franchise. Now available on Blu Ray and DVD.
The star cast includes. Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage and of course Hobbiton in the Shire.
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