Well hello there dear readers, and welcome to the final installment of Home Again. This week’s book is J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit or There and Back Again. (<— happy accident. That occurred to me way later, haha.)
Before I begin, I will be looking at the book, not the movie, The Hobbit. I know, I know, Tauriel, Legolas, and Kili’s love triangle is very dramatic. But it’s not real. That’s just the movie, not the book. No love triangles here.
Thranduil, however, the woodland Elvinking, he’s in the book and the movie. So that’s nice…yeah… Anyway! On to the book!
Wee Bilbo Baggins, at the ripe age of fifty, is sitting outside enjoying his morning pipe, when the troublesome wizard Gandalf appears. Now, Gandalf has quite the reputation for getting good, non-adventuring hobbits to go out and adventure, which gets those hobbits into a lot of mischief. Upon learning who Gandalf is, Bilbo can’t help but recite to him all the stories he’s heard of the wizard, however, when asked for an adventure, Bilbo blubbers out a, “No.” Bilbo likes his quiet life so with a brisk, “Good morning,” and a nervous invitation to tomorrow’s tea, he departs the wizard and climbs back into his hobbit hole.
But Gandalf knows a good adventurer when he sees one. Or in this case, a good burglar.
The next day, around tea time, there’s a knock on Bilbo’s door. He remembers his accidental tea date with Gandalf and opens the door to find a dwarf. Soon there are thirteen dwarves in Bilbo’s home, eating his food, tossing plates, and there’s a mark on Bilbo’s door that wasn’t there before! All this is explained when Gandalf appears.
The dwarves are Thorin Oakenshield and Company and they would like their treasure back from the dragon Smaug, please and thank you! Bilbo… you there? Oh, he fainted. (Won’t be the first time.) Naturally, Bilbo’s not sure about all this. The prospect of not coming back alive kinda freaks him out, but hearing the dwarves’ stories about Smaug and The Lonely Mountain have him considering. The Company tells their burglar he has until morning to decide. And we all know this part:
Bilbo defends his friends from Trolls, meets a man who can transform into a bear, rescues the dwarves from giant spiders, escapes the King of Mirkwood in a barrel, steals a ring from Gollum, stands up to a dragon, and participates in The Battle of Five Armies.
That’s a lot for a hobbit who was worried about missing dinner due to adventures. And even though he does all that, Tolkien points out, throughout Bilbo’s adventures, that he misses his home. An important piece of information given many adventurers come off as brave and unattached. Bilbo doesn’t embody unattached, and he has to cultivate his bravery. At the end of all of this, Bilbo has gained some serious confidence.
Which helped when he found people were auctioning off his stuff because he was presumed dead.
If any of these stories from my Home Again series teaches you anything, it’s that you don’t know what you’re capable of until you’re uncomfortable and a little afraid. But when you find what you are capable of, that knowledge –that bravery– won’t leave you.
Thanks for reading,
- Photo is from The Hobbit movie.