Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bilbo Baggins

Martin Freeman as Blibo in The Hobbit

Bilbo Baggins son of Bungo Baggins and Belladonna Took.
Race: Hobbit
Book: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.

It is a truth universally known (says me) that Captain Haneen (me that is) has an incurable crush on a hobbit called Frodo Baggins, but it looks as though she will be diagnosed with a second case involving yet another Baggins.

Genes People! Genes

I have never expected Bilbo to be such a pleasing character; a small fellow, always scorned for his mini size and basically on the menu of every creature he meets it’s ridiculous, thrown into a vast world inhabited by all kinds of danger, yet we find him adapting, thriving and proving worthy to be hailed a legend in the world of giants.

“Good morning!” said Bilbo, and he meant it.

First we witness the confusing good morning conversation between Bilbo and Gandalf, and although the wizard disturbed his nice morning, he out of politeness (and a good fright) invites him for tea but regretting it he thought

“What on earth did I asked him to tea for!”

Then one by one inter the racket causing dwarves with all their schemes and sad songs bringing utter pandemonium to his peaceful Hobbit hole, and his once organized, sort out life is changed forever. How he reacted? He tolerated, he apologized, he fainted, he got over excited and he talked business, the little hobbit won me to his side, I liked him already, but I remembered something James Frey said about the author/reader contract “Don’t promise a primrose and deliver a pickle” well Bilbo was no pickle, even if he doesn’t strike you as hero material.

I was all like
“Aw! He’s so sweet, So cute”
Now why would anyone fuss over forgetting handkerchiefs on the way to a perilous journey that one might very likely not come back from?
The guy didn’t want a part in any adventure, yes his Tookish side of the family was nagging at him but the truth is Gandalf almost bullied him to take the job, to be their burglar, the lucky fourteen who happens to be the dark horse.
From the respectable Hobbit of Bag-End to the infamous Hero we all came to know and love, his inside-journey was believable, solid and treated with much care and delicacy that dubbed him one of the best literary characters I had the honor to read about.

Concerning his courage

In my opinion Bilbo was always in position of a bravery that was simply never tested, he’s one of those graced with the ability to think fast and act in critical times although completely terrified (a reason why I like Courage the cowardly dog) we all know a person or two who froze in the times he/she should be running for the gates, and it’s up to us to pull them with us, yea well thankfully that’s not the case here.
in the chapter “Riddles in the dark” Bilbo with his lucky bone won in a game of riddles over Gollum, when Gollum was in a dangerously bad temper Bilbo still called at him demanding that he honors his part of the deal, to help him out of the tunnels that it, who would do that?
He needed a miracle to escape the horrible horrible tunnels of the Goblins, it came of course in the shape of the One Ring, he was out safe and under the sun again but then:

Where & O where can Gandalf and the dwarves have got to?

With a heavy heart Bilbo decided to go back IN there and look for his friends!!! Invisibility ring, invisibility cloak nothing would make me go back there (figuratively speaking of course I am a Captain after all) but that’s not me, it’s Bilbo Baggins :)

his legendary braveness though got triggered after a shifting event in Mirkwood and sent his self confidence high in the sky, that was when he killed the fat spider on his own and alone. Something immediately changed inside him now that he is more than capable of saving himself. How epic that moment when he named his sword Sting;
“I will give you a name” he said to it, “and I shall call you sting.”
My my!
Bless us and splash us precious what have we here?
A confident hobbit :)

Searching for his friends afterwards he finds them in a sticky situation (literary and metaphorically) with the spiders and it was his first time in saving the day.

Concerning his kindness

He had the chance to kill Gollum (and rid us from him so early) but he didn’t, cause you see it wasn’t a fair fight since he’s invisible and also he felt sympathy towards the wretched creature -the same one who wanted to EAT him a minute ago!- I just loved how this weird mixture of feelings was frightening to him, and how could he not? Coming from the Shire filled with love for all that is good and beautiful he must be capable of such  kindness even towards the likes of Gollum (this was demonstrated beautifully in Peter Jackson’s movie)

Aw Bilbo! That was noble

Concerning his honesty

One of Bilbo’s best traits is his honesty, if  he doesn’t know then he doesn’t know, even in the times when his friends are waiting for him to come up with the next bright idea that will get them out of their misfortune he is as honest as ever answering things like;
I have no idea at the moment…but I will do my best to think about it

There is a number of better answers, the things we would do to live up to that look of admiration on people’s eyes and make it last forever, but not Bilbo. And of course after enough thinking and consideration he comes up with the perfect plan.
yea he would trick you for his own benefit every now and then Ha Ha but not when you need him the most.

Concerning his sensibility & loyalty

After a lot of lurking and thinking Bilbo came up with a brilliant -if rather disparate- plan to escape himself and his friends from the Elven Kingdom of Mirkwood; in barrels through the river!
But it was his provoking singing meant to get the spiders as far as possible from his trapped friends that gave me goosebumps.
And impressive how he was the only one who realized that Beorn was following them in his bear shape on their way to Mirkwood.

Bilbo is indeed wise, he knew how his stubborn friend Thorin thinks,  he was positive the dwarf prince will just stay there inside the Mountain and parish even if the other armies refuse to retreat, and so he decided to take things into his own hands, handing the Arkenstone to the leaders of the Armies to barging with it with Thorin so that the conflict ends and everyone goes back to their homes safe without a drop of blood spilt and before the winter roles.
This brought him the admiration of those who were supposed to be his enemies

the ElvenKing looked at Bilbo with a new wonder “Bilbo Baggins!” he said “You are more worthy to wear the armour of elf-princes than many that have looked more comely in it”

now after doing this like a thieve in the night returning back to the dwarves might end with his death! The Elvenking advised him to stay with them but loyalty is Bilbo’s middle name

“Thank you very much I’m sure,” said Bilbo with a bow. “But I don’t think I ought to leave my friends like this, after all we have gone through together. And I promised to wake old Bombur at midnight, too!”
Even the victory in war to him was a very gloomy business.

Concerning his fluency 

Bilbo Baggins’s speaking skills are simply superb! I liked everything he said, from funny and ridiculous to wise and eloquent, the conversation he had with the cunning Smaug the dragon worth noting, he had no previous training for such a task, and almost fell under the monster’s spell, how could he possibly know that riddles are the best way to go with dragons while making sure to never give your name? Huh! even the dragon was impressed 
“you have nice manners for a thief and liar”

one of Bilbo’s many replays was:
“…I come from under the hill, and under hills and over the hills my paths led. And through the air, I am he that walks unseen.”

But there was this time when he gave the dwarves a piece of his mind, he just came sprinting from certain death by Smaug’s fire with a golden cup but they -not surprisingly- had to blame him for disturbing the dragon, he gave a long scolding replay that ends with this:
“…I’m sure it reflects great credit on your grandfather, but you cannot pretend that you ever made the vast extent of his wealth clear to me. I should want hundreds of years to bring it all up, if I was fifty times as big, and Smaug as tame as a rabbit!”
After that of course the dwarves begged his pardon. “what then do you propose we should do, Mr. Baggins?” Asked Thorin politely.
Ha that’s me boy, that otta teach you dwarvs a lesson.

Then there is one line that was so demanding and funny and strong I couldn’t forget it, he asked the dwarves to shut the door to inside the mountain, but they feared they won’t find a way out, they kept it ajar and started other stories, till Bilbo had enough 

“Shut the door!” he begged them, “I fear that dragon in my marrow! I like this silence far less than the uproar of last night. Shut the door before it is too late!’
(Translating it in Arabic for Queenballerina gave us a good laugh)

This of course sealed the deal and the door was shut, just minutes before Smaug launches his massive attack on that side of the mountain destroying the entrance to their small tunnel completely. That was close.

This coming quote I add purely for your entertainment:

“Hear, hear!” said Bilbo, and accidentally said it aloud “hear what?” they all said turning suddenly towards him, and he was so flustered that he answered “here what I have got to say”

And never forget Bilbo has his mark in the history of the languages of mankind, because according to Tolkien Bilbo’s cry of fear 
Escaping goblins to be caught by wolves
is the origin for the today’s proverb “out of the frying pan, into the fire.”

All in all Mr. Baggins is adorable; I loved how that he gets squeaky when he’s annoyed and how his bad temper is just so much fun to read about, grumbling the entire journey how he missed his hobbit hole and how hungry he is thanks to the constant skipping of meals (of course Hobbits have many of those).
And how in order to talk to Thorin the prince of dwarves he put on his business manner, and wait it gets better, this is the manner usually reserved for people who wanted to borrow money from him
I told you this lad’s adorable :)

And there is this rather aggressive thing for the hobbit to do, when he threw a rock at the thrush,
“Drat the bird!” said Bilbo crossly. “I believe he is listening, and I don’t like the look of him.”
Well I don’t know about you but that was rather hot hilarious to me.
His hosting manners are perfect and his kindness is huge, how cute was his farewell to his dwarf friends :
“If ever you are passing my way,” said Bilbo, “don’t wait to knock! Tea is at four; but any of you are welcome at any time!”

He’s a lively enthusiastic person, quite ambitious for a small fellow, loves to learn new things and know about other folk especially the elves.
Maps, songs, circles of smoke, and many more all fall within his area of interest. Deep inside him there is this passion for different sceneries, new friends and a bigger life, he wanted to see the world, perhaps this readiness to go out is what Gandalf sensed and made him choose him for this journey, and perhaps it’s also the reason why Bilbo was a round character, for the Bilbo who left Bag-end is not the same who returned after a year, he’s a better version.
The Mithrill coat that took my breath away (I still want one!) he received as a gift from the dwarves, and the sword ‘Sting’ (rather knife for us) that glows blue when danger is near (seriously, how neat is that!) he took it from the trolls cave, those cool, shiny things that he passed to the second generation, to Frodo. Now I’m proud to say I know their origin. Ha ha
Should I add I like him too cause he’s a writer? After all he did write his memoirs!

Sir Ian Holm playing an older Bilbo

 And you know what? Now I know why the elves gave Bilbo an honorable seat in their final ship, because he sure deserved it! it also made it easier for me to understand everything, the Shire I was surprised to not be the pleasant place I thought it was, even innocent little hobbits can be stubborn and judgmental, to lose one’s respect because of going on an adventure, to deal with gossip spreading, greedy relatives! Come on that’s the world of humans, I mean for God’s sake the man came back to find he is assumed dead, his house to be occupied and he had to buy back most of his own furniture!

And thinking I wanted him to find love Huh! apparently all the silly Shire didn’t have a suitable wife, yes he was happy but he didn’t mind dying far in space with different people on another land than that of his ancestors, sad but true that a Hobbit who seen and lived all these adventures will not agree with a closed minded girl from the Shire.

Concerning that he is content

And it’s another reason why I also love and envy Bilbo, you see he was happy! At the end he came back home with a lost respect and a notorious past yet he stayed true to himself and simply couldn’t care less what others said about him, after some years he would bring a young orphan nephew to live with him and raise him good so that one day even that boy will become a far greater hero. Well done Bilbo.
I wanted Bilbo’s story to never end, I wanted to learn everything about him, what kind of boy hobbit he was, who were his other friends and every other adventure and every visit he made to Elf cities and around Middle Earth, even all his insignificant arguments with those pesky family members, that I’m sure will be loads of fun to hear about.

Well I need to come to a stop so let’s just end it here, Bilbo Baggins you owned my respect for ever and I will always be at your service :)

“...You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!”
“Thank goodness!” said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the topacco-jar.

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