Quick search

Advanced search


Bilbo Baggins

An Unexpected PartyAppears in:

The Hobbit, Fellowship of the Ring, Return of the King


In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Bilbo Baggins was the hobbit referred to in these opening words of The Hobbit and was also the main character of the book. Bilbo was a respectable hobbit from The Shire. Like most hobbits, he certainly didn't have any plans of going on great adventures or becoming a hero. All that changed when 13 dwarves and the wizard Gandalf turned up on his doorstep. What followed was an adventure involving encounters with dangers such as trolls, goblins, wolves, giant spiders and last of all a great dragon named Smaug.

Bag EndOne event in his journey that perhaps seemed less important at the time, proved to be one of the most significant events in Tolkien's stories. This was the meeting of Bilbo and Gollum, deep in the dark depths of the Misty Mountains. Just before they met, Bilbo had found Gollum's ring in the darkness, though Gollum didn't know he had lost it. Bilbo made a deal with Gollum over a game of riddles. If Gollum asked a riddle that Bilbo couldn't answer, he would eat Bilbo. If Bilbo asked one that Gollum couldn't answer, then Gollum would show him the way out. After several riddles from both, Bilbo asked Gollum what was in his pocket (referring to the ring Bilbo had found). When Gollum failed to answer, he slipped off, pretending to get something before helping Bilbo. In fact, he intended to get his ring to make him invisible, so he could attack Bilbo. The ring of course was with Bilbo all the time. When Gollum discovered his ring (his precious) was gone, he chased Bilbo, accusing him of being a thief (despite the fact that Gollum himself had only gotten the ring after killing a friend for it). As Bilbo fled from Gollum, he put the ring on and discovered that it made him invisible. He then followed Gollum to an exit from the mountain and continued on his way.

Bilbo BagginsThis ring that Bilbo got from Gollum was none other than Sauron's ruling ring that had been lost. The power of that ring prolonged his life so that he lived longer than any other hobbit in The Shire had done. At the beginning of Lord of the Rings, Bilbo left his home of Bag End and all his possessions (including the ring) to his nephew Frodo. He then went to live at the elven sanctuary of Rivendell where he had visited on his earlier journey. He spent much of that time writing about his adventures. Eventually, he departed in to the west with Frodo and the bearers of the three elven rings.

Ian HolmBilbo in the film was played by Sir Ian Holm

Home | Characters | Glossary | Books | Facts & FAQs | Maps/Charts | The Movie | Links