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Bilbo Baggins

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Bilbo smoking a pipe

Bilbo Baggins was the first ring-bearer in the history of Middle-earth to give up the One Ring voluntarily.

Contents

History

He was born on September 22, 2890 of the Third Age, son of Bungo Baggins and Belladonna Took. In 2941, he joined Gandalf, Thorin Oakenshield and his twelve Dwarves on the quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug. This led to an adventure which takes Bilbo and his companions to Rivendell and through Mirkwood, eventually reaching Lonely Mountain. Here, after the mountain has been reclaimed by Thorin Oakenshield, the Battle of Five Armies takes place.

During his adventures in The Hobbit, Bilbo also found the One Ring, and escaped from Gollum when he won a riddle competition with the question "What have I got in my pocket?" However, during the contest, he also revealed the names of "Baggins" and "The Shire" to Gollum. Bilbo was the Ring-bearer for many decades with no idea of its significance, and it prolonged his life beyond normal limits and slowed his aging. He used this ring to its fullest ability when the expedition was captured by spiders in Mirkwood, and also when Thorin and his companions were imprisoned by the Mirkwood Elves. At the Battle of Five Armies, Bilbo uses the ring to prevent himself getting hurt. This means it is difficult to find him after the battle, but eventually he regains consciousness and takes the ring off himself. He further remarks to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings that it is useful for hiding from the Sackville-Bagginses when they come to visit.

In The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo left the Shire on the day of his eleventy-first (111th) birthday, (September 22, 3001), leaving the Ring and all the rest of his estate, including his home Bag End, to his relative and heir Frodo. He travelled to Rivendell, accompanied by three dwarves, where he lived a very pleasant life of retirement: eating, sleeping, writing poetry, and working on his memoir, There and Back Again, known to us as The Hobbit. He also wrote a book called Translations from the Elvish, which formed the basis of what is known to us as The Silmarillion.

At the end of The Return of the King, Bilbo accompanied Frodo Baggins, Gandalf, and Elves to the Grey Havens, there to take ship for Valinor across the sea, on September 29, 3021. He had already celebrated his 131st birthday, becoming the oldest Hobbit in Middle-earth.

The poem "Bilbo's Last Song" was published after Tolkien's death.

Portrayal in Adaptations

In the 1966 BBC Radio serialization of The Hobbit, Bilbo is played by Paul Daneman.

In the BBC's 1981 radio serialization of The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo is played by John Le Mesurier.

Orson Bean was the voice of Bilbo in the Rankin/Bass animated version of The Hobbit.

In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo is played by Ian Holm, who also played Frodo Baggins in the radio series 20 years earlier.

Translations

The name "Baggins" has often been changed for translated versions of the books:

  • In the German translation he is called Bilbo Beutlin (created from Beutel=bag).
  • In the French translation he is called Bilbo (or Bilbon) Sacquet.
  • In the Norwegian translation he is called Bilbo Lommelun.
  • In the Finnish translation he is called Bilbo Reppuli.
  • In the Dutch version he is called Bilbo Balings.
  • In the Brazilian Portuguese translation he is called Bilbo Bolseiro (but Bilbo Bolsin in the first edition of The Hobbit).
  • In the Spanish translation he is called Bilbo Bolsón.
  • In the Hungarian translation he is called Zsákos Bilbó.
  • In one of three Polish translations of The Lord of the Rings he is called Bilbo Bagosz. In the other two translation and in The Hobbit he keeps his original name.

Genealogy

       Balbo Baggins = Berylla Boffin
                     |
           __________|________________________________________
          |                         |        |        |       |
          |                         |        |        |       |
    Mungo Baggins = Laura Grubb    Pansy   Ponto  Largo*    Lily
                  |                                
                  |                                *(ancestor of Frodo Baggins)
   _______________|_____________________________________________
  |                         |       |           |               |
  |                         |       |           |               |
Bungo = Belladonna Took   Belba   Longo       Linda          Bingo Baggins = Chica Chubb
      |                             |                                     |
      |                             |                                     |
BILBO BAGGINS        Otho Sackville-Baggins = Lobelia Bracegirdle      Falco Chubb-Baggins
                                            |
                                            |  
                                    Lotho Sackville-Baggins


Members of Thorin and Company
Thorin · Balin · Dwalin · Fíli · Kíli · Dori · Nori · Ori · Óin · Glóin · Bifur · Bofur · Bombur · Gandalf · Bilbo Baggins


Trivia

  • In 1968, Leonard Nimoy released a record, "The Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy," which contained the song "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins."

See Also