The main character of the book is Mr. Bilbo Baggins. He is the Hobbit who led the Dwarves to the Lonely Mountain to reclaim their treasure from the dragon named Smaug. Bilbo is middle aged and resides in a clean, warm burrow dug into the side of a hill. In the beginning of the story Bilbo is a very weak character. He is easily frightened, and very shy. One of his strengths though, is that he is of the mythical race called Hobbits. Hobbits are known for their skills in thievery and spying. There are two main characteristics of Hobbits that separate them from normal humans.
One, Hobbits are very small. They only grow to reach the height of about three feet if they are lucky. Secondly, they have large feet that are covered at the tops by thick hair. This hair is used to keep the hobbit’s feet warm because they do not wear boots. Another characteristic of hobbits is that they normally don’t wish for any excitement or adventure. They thrive on repetition and dull activities such as gardening. Hobbits also love to eat. Bilbo’s favorite foods are: cake, bacon, sausage, eggs, wine, bread and any other fattening things that can be thought of.
Some other important characters are as follows. Gandalf, he is the wizard that accompanies Bilbo and the dwarves on their quest. Thorin Oakenshield is son of the king of the dwarves who were driven from the Lonely Mountain. Smaug is the dragon of the Lonely Mountain who hordes the treasure he stole. Gollum is a slimy creature that was born a Hobbit but had the ring too long; this is the character that Bilbo steals the ring from. Bard is the archer that kills Smaug. Bilbo is the main character of the story and also the narrator.
The main conflict of the story line is Bilbo vs. Himself. Bilbo has to overcome his fears of dragons and other creatures in order to carry out his part of the mission. Another conflict is the whole party vs. Smaug. The party of dwarves along with Bilbo and Gandalf, have to be able to destroy the dragon in order to claim their so deserved treasure. Bilbo completes this task by finding the dragon’s weak spot and relaying the location to an archer in Lake Town. Both of these conflicts are won by the end of the story. The book begins with Bilbo enjoying a pipe after breakfast.
This is one of his favorite pleasures and he feels quite content in doing so. As Bilbo smokes his pipe, Gandalf stops by to have a chat with Bilbo. He informs Bilbo that he is looking for someone to go on an adventure with him. Although Bilbo is tempted to accept the offer, he declines. Before Gandalf leaves Bilbo decides to invite him for tea the next morning. The next morning instead of the wizard at the door, there is a group of dwarves… thirteen in all. Bilbo is astounded! They are all very rude; they enter Bilbo’s burrow in groups of twos.
The dwarfs outline a plan on how to regain the treasure that is rightfully their own but has been stolen by the evil dragon Smaug. Bilbo is astounded to notice that he is in the plans. The dwarves plan to use Bilbo to steal the treasure from Smaug. After a lot of arguing and convincing, Bilbo decides to join in the dwarves’ quest. Gandalf gives the party a key and a map of their journey which ends at the Lonely Mountain. It is there that the treasures of Thorin’s ancestors are kept-guarded by Smaug. The quest begins when the party meets at the Green Dragon Inn.
From there they venture into the Lone-lands. As heavy rains begin to fall, Bilbo notices that Gandalf is missing. This is something that is later on considered to be normal because Gandalf comes and goes throughout the duration of the trip. All through the quest Bilbo ends up saving the party from many dangerous situations. This is something that at first Bilbo finds hard to believe because he has very low self-esteem. The party gets into many jams during the trip, but they always escape them through the help of Bilbo and some times Gandalf.
Some of these jams are: getting caught by trolls, getting captured by goblins, being attacked by large wolves called Wargs, one of the dwarves falls into a coma from touching black water in the Mirkwood Forest, near starvation, being captured by large spiders and being captured by wood elves. Although this is all very good action, the real action begins when the party finally reaches their destination- Lonely Mountain. On Lonely Mountain, in order to sneak into Smaug’s lair, Bilbo dawns his magic ring, which turns him invisible.
He talks to the dragon for a while, but the dragon can not see him so Bilbo manages to get close enough to see the dragon’s weakness, which is a missing scale in his chest. Smaug gets very angry and starts to blow fire toward Bilbo. Bilbo then takes off running and barely stays out of harm’s reach by running out side away from the fire. Smaug is so angered that Bilbo came into his lair that he leaves to go to Lake Town, a human settlement, to destroy it. When the dragon attacks Lake Town, a thrush relays a message from Bilbo to Bard, (the captain of the archers,) that Smaug has a weak spot in his chest.
Bard uses his black arrow to slay the beast. The towns people made him king of Lake-town. With Smaug dead, the men and elves go to claim his hoarded treasure. Dwarf troops under Thorin’s kinsman Dain also appear at the mountain. Their bickering soon changed to alliance when the Wargs and Goblins approached… and so began The Battle of the Five Armies. During the battle Thorin is hurt and Bilbo gets knocked unconscious by falling rocks. The eagles as well as Beorn, in bear form join the fray. The Wargs and Goblins were vanquished by their out-numbering enemies.
Bilbo later returned to his burrow under the hill with a chest of treasure, a ring of power, and a heart full of adventure. The narrator of the story is Bilbo. He only tells about his own thoughts and feelings. Bilbo, in the beginning is a very weak person but in the end he has the strongest character of the entire story. Bilbo’s point of view is rather strange compared to other novels. He thinks very clearly and speaks his mind at all times. Although he is a little bit weary at times, he is normally very calm and under control. These features are what makes Bilbo such a strong character.
The theme of the novel was very hard to find and is not clearly shown. It is basically this: if you over come your fears, you can achieve almost anything. Bilbo is unsure of what he is doing when in crisis, but later on in the story he becomes more in control of himself. After Bilbo overcomes his main fears of adventure, danger and failure, he is able to complete the mission successfully. The moral is to not let your fears get in the way of what you want to do or be in life. Bilbo Baggins is an excellent example of how this works. I liked The Hobbit a lot.
The author uses characters that appear only in fairy tales, yet gives them a personality that shows maturity. I especially liked the way Bilbo changed from a tea drinking home maker to a strong and careless adventurer. I like the way the plot develops very slowly and I like that the story is filled with heart throbbing action. It is a wonderful story, I would highly recommend this book for children of all ages as well as adults. It has a certain appeal that makes the reader want to continue reading the book all day. I intend to read the other books about the Hobbits’ adventures written by J. R. R. Toilken.