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Bilbo's contract

Revision as of 13:01, 9 March 2013 by J.R.R. Tolkien (Talk | contribs)
"Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?" - Tom Bombadil
This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.
Second page of Bilbo's contract in tengwar

Bilbo's contract refers to a note written by Thorin and Company to Bilbo Baggins, left under the clock on the mantelpiece in Bag End.[1]

The central part of the message read:

For your hospitality our sincerest thanks, and for your offer of professional assistance our grateful acceptance. Terms: cash on delivery, up to and not exceeding one fourteenth of total profits (if any); all travelling expenses guaranteed in any event; funeral expenses to be defrayed by us or our representatives, if occasion arises and the matter is not otherwise arranged for.

Tengwar version

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a version of Bilbo's contract in tengwar, which he mentioned in his letter to The Observer in February 1938. A facsimile of the tengwar contract, with a transcript by Taum Santoski, was published in The History of The Hobbit.[2]

Portrayal in adaptations

Bilbo's contract in adaptations
Bilbo's contract in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey  
Bilbo's contract by Weta Workshop  

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

Unlike Tolkien's version, where Bilbo gets the message first after the departure of the dwarves, Peter Jackson's film version makes Bilbo receive the contract directly from Thorin and Company while still at Bag End. Furthermore, the contract is much longer in the film version than in The Hobbit.[3] Weta Workshop has released a replica of Bilbo's contract as portrayed in the film, hand made by Daniel Reeve.[4]

External links


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Roast Mutton"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit, Mr. Baggins, The Second Phase, "Trolls: (ii) Bilbo's Contract", pp. 105-7
  3. James Daily, "A Lawyer's Amazingly Detailed Analysis of Bilbo's Contract in The Hobbit" dated 17 January 2013, (accessed 9 March 2013)
  4. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: The Contract of Bilbo Baggins - Prop Replica", (accessed 9 March 2013)