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Hero’s Journey of Bilbo Baggins

Updated October 31, 2021
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Hero’s Journey of Bilbo Baggins essay

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In the hero’s journey the character that is the hero, is always just an ordinary and average person. Much like the people reading the story making the story much more enjoyable for the readers because most of the time they can relate to the main character. In the story the ordinary person starts off in the ordinary world until they are somehow called too an adventure which they always refuse at first. At the end or near the end of the hero’s journey the hero completes the supreme ordeal and is rewarded with a physical reward and a reward that changes the hero’s mentality also known as the return with the elixir. The purpose for this essay is too describe the Hero’s journey that Bilbo Baggins takes in The Hobbit.

The Ordinary World in The Hobbit takes place in the beginning of Chapter One: An Unexpected Party. In the beginning of Chapter One the reader is given background information and characteristics about The Hobbit. The author also describes The Hobbit hole where Bilbo lives which is Bilbo’s ordinary world.

The Call to adventure in is still in the beginning of Chapter One: An Unexpected Party right after the Ordinary World. After the readers are introduced to The Hobbit and his ordinary world in The Hobbit hole. The character Gandalf is introduced, and he is looking for someone to go on an adventure. He does not specify who, but it is implied that he is asking Bilbo specifically. The reason for him going too Bilbo’s house to ask the question of anyone wanting to go on an adventure.

The Refusal of the call is directly after The Call to adventure in the beginning of Chapter One: An Unexpected party. After Gandalf asks for someone who wants to go on an adventure Bilbo understands that it is implied towards him and he quite literally refuses the call. After he says it once, Gandalf doesn’t leave, so Bilbo repeats himself and refuses again. Gandalf finally leaves Bilbo but before he left Bilbo invited Gandalf to tea the next day in effort of being polite and this action is what leads to the next part of the hero’s journey, Meeting with the mentor.

The Meeting with the mentor hero’s journey stage in The Hobbit is in the end of Chapter One: An unexpected party after all the dwarves and Gandalf show up at his house for what Bilbo thought was just a tea party but what ended up being a discussion about their adventure. The dwarves couldn’t see Bilbo’s capabilities but Gandalf being the mentor for Bilbo, defended him by saying “There is a lot more in him than you guess, and a deal more than he has any idea of himself you may possibly live to thank me.” This part of the quote shows how Gandalf is Bilbo’s experienced and trusted advisor. It is known that Gandalf has experience, and this is shown at the beginning of Chapter One: An unexpected party, when Bilbo is called to adventure and talks about all the great things, that he knows that Gandalf has done. Lastly it is shown he obviously trusts in Bilbo’s abilities when he defends him against the dwarves.

Bilbo crosses the first threshold in Chapter Two: Roast Mutton. This happens in the beginning of the chapter the night after the unexpected party happens. When Bilbo rushes out of his home and runs to the dwarves leaving his ordinary world going past the great mill, across the water, and then on for a mile more. This part of the story is when he truly realizes that he is leaving his ordinary world to go on some crazy adventure.

A test that is arguably the most mentally challenging for Bilbo is in the middle of Chapter Five: Riddles in the dark when Bilbo finds himself in the lair of Gollum. In this part of the story it is a true test to Bilbo because he is being put under pressure to stay calm and witty in order to please Gollum by answering his riddles. Bilbo survives this test because he comes up with a riddle Gollum for sure couldn’t figure out which was, “What have I got in my pocket.” At this point the reader was already informed it was the ring that Bilbo found on the ground, but Gollum didn’t know Bilbo had it, and Bilbo didn’t know how much it meant too Gollum, or the powers it possessed. Bilbo finally passes this test by mindlessly slipping on the ring after hearing Gollum talk to himself about its powers. Bilbo realizes the ring turns him invisible and Gollum goes looking for him by walking up the exit path and Bilbo follows soon making it out of Gollum’s lair.

A big ally for Bilbo, the dwarves, and Gandalf is Beorn. They first meet Beorn in Chapter Seven: Queer Lodgings. Beorn is an ally because he treats the adventurers very kindly when they arrive and when they leave. The adventurers arrive at Beorn’s lodge and they are supplied their most desired item, food. Then he gives them comfortable sleeping arrangements right next to a nice warm fire. When they awake in the morning Beorn supplies them with a delicious breakfast. When they are getting ready to leave, he gives them supplies and horses for the road. Even though the horses were expected to be returned they were a lot of help on their way to Mirkwood. That isn’t the only time Beorn is an ally to the adventurers either he helps the humans, dwarves, and the elves in the battle of five armies, and he is a big help too.

On the adventure through Mirkwood after their encounter with the spiders at the end of Chapter Eight: Flies and Spiders Thorin gets taken by the wood elves who were already the dwarves’ enemies and they soon become Bilbo’s enemies. After Thorin gets taken the rest of the dwarves soon get taken shortly after. When the dwarves are taken, they are imprisoned and will be imprisoned until they tell the elven king where they are going. Of course, since the dwarves don’t want to share any more gold than they have to, they keep their mouths shut and they end up being saved by Bilbo.

The approach in The Hobbit happens in Chapter Sixteen: A thief in the night. This is where a setback appears in Bilbo’s original goal and he realizes what he must do. Bilbo has a gut feeling to take a new approach and give Bard and the elven king the Arkenstone. Doing this he is preparing for something that he doesn’t know is going to happen yet, The Battle of The Five Armies. Since Thorin wanted the Arkenstone so badly Bilbo knew that he would trade gold with the humans and elves for the Arkenstone. Bilbo’s action really forced Thorin to be reasonable, even though Thorin wasn’t happy with it. Otherwise Thorin wouldn’t have shared the gold with the people who did something to kill the dragon and instead of trading there would have been a great battle for the gold over greed, with the dwarves, the humans, and the elves as enemies instead of allies.

The Supreme Ordeal in The Hobbit happens at the end of Chapter Seventeen: The clouds burst. What Bilbo didn’t realize until the end of the chapter was giving the Arkenstone to Bard and the elven king was truly just stalling so that the elves, the dwarves, and the humans would remain allies when the Battle of The Five Armies, the supreme ordeal began. Shortly after Thorin kicked Bilbo out from anger there was a dark and ominous cloud approaching along with it were the mass amount of wargs and goblins coming to take Smaug’s gold. During the Battle Bilbo was sort of a bystander slipping on his ring trying not to get hit by the mass number of arrows and swords swinging. Until near the end of the battle when Bilbo sees the eagles coming from the distance and soon literally faces death when he gets knocked out by the giant rock that comes hurtling towards his head.

When the battle is over and the dwarves, the humans, and the elves have won all peace is resolved and Bilbo receives his rewards. His first being his part of Smaug’s treasure “two small chests, one filled with silver, and the other with gold” in Chapter Eighteen: The return journey. Bilbo’s other rewards he had gotten before the battle of the five armies. Another reward that Bilbo gets is his sword sting which he finds after defeating the trolls in their troll cave in Chapter Two: Roast mutton, then he names his sword in Chapter Eight: Flies and spiders. His other reward from the journey is his ring which he gets from Gollum in Chapter Five: riddles in the dark.

The road back in The Hobbit is after Gandalf and Bilbo bury Thorin, Fili, and Kili at the end of Chapter Eighteen: The return journey. When Bilbo and Gandalf stayed at Beorn’s house for a while then they went off on their journey through Mirkwood. Gandalf told Bilbo that the necromancer has been defeated so they travel without out any problems. Then Bilbo finally makes it back to his Ordinary world The Hobbit Hole.

The Resurrection is in the beginning of Chapter Eighteen: The return journey, when Bilbo realizes he survived the war and that the dwarves, the elves, and the humans won the war and had peace. Bilbo doesn’t only survive the war, but he finds Thorin on his deathbed who tells Bilbo that he understands why he did what he did and forgives Bilbo with his last words. The literal resurrection here is when Bilbo wakes up after he is knocked out and the figurative resurrection is when Bilbo seals his Bonds with Thorin.

The return with the Elixir is when Bilbo when Bilbo finally returns to his Hobbit hole in Chapter Nineteen: The last stage. When Bilbo returns, he sees his house being auctioned off by people in his town because he was presumed dead. While returning Bilbo realizes that he has lost the respect of the other Hobbits not only because they were unhappy that they no longer can have his house but because he abandoned his people of Hobington and they did not believe his crazy stories. However, he “remained an elf-friend, and had the honor of the dwarves, the wizards, and all such folk as ever passed that way.” The respect from his peers that didn’t live in Hobington and the fact that he and everyone else knows he has done something amazing that no other Hobbit can say that they have is truly Bilbo’s return with the elixir.

The Hero’s Journey in The Hobbit is very present and without the story following the guidelines of the original hero’s journey this story would be boring and short. With the guidelines of the Hero’s Journey Bilbo in The Hobbit is an unimportant, small, and a weak character in the beginning. However, if he was a king, gigantic, and could crush everything with his hand in one hit the Hero would not have any problems with the challenges that were presented, but since Bilbo is who he is, we can watch as Bilbo grows and becomes a more significant character with many lessons behind his name. Creating an entertaining storyline and character development plot making the story the success that it is today.

Hero’s Journey of Bilbo Baggins essay

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Hero’s Journey of Bilbo Baggins. (2021, Oct 31). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/heros-journey-of-bilbo-baggins/

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