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Bilbo Baggins and the Ring
The early life of Bilbo Baggins
In the third age of the year, 2890, Bungo Baggins and his wife, belladonna Took were blessed with baby Bilbo Baggins on the 22nd day of the Halimath month by Shire Reckoning. As young Baggins grew up, he got to become particularly fond of Gandalf’s elaborate tales by attending the numerous parties held at their village. Gandalf’s stories told of encounters with goblins, dragons and spellbinding princesses as well as the magical fireworks displays courtesy of Gandalf’s mastery of wizardly.
His parents died when he was old enough to be his own hobbit, and in essence he inherited their home known as Bag End. At first, his neighbors simply saw him as not resembling his father physically but also having similar character traits. Bungo Baggins was known to his neighbors as a sensible, immovable, respectable and an unadventurous hobbit. As he grew older, Bilbo Baggins began exhibiting a character that his neighbors could not have expected of him. They referred to him as being rather strange with a solid heart for adventures so much so that he could leave his village and travel for days on end to meet completely new strangers who also included dwarves.
As time went on, it came to Gandalf’s mind that Bilbo Baggins had the right physical and character traits that were necessary to carry out a critical task that he had to undertake. The traits that appealed to Gandalf were that Bilbo Baggins was not only adventurous but his small stature made him perfect for Gandalf’s mysterious task at hand. Unfortunately for Gandalf, by the time he had made the effort of seeking Bilbo Baggin’s audience at Bag End, the Shire, the little hobbit had gone on a personal adventure for the Elven New Year. This was in the Third Age of 2941.
One fine morning, Gandalf did manage to get Bilbo’s audience just outside the Bag End entrance. Without much will at heart, Bilbao invited the great wizard for tea the following morning. Gandalf came to Bag end the following sunrise in the company of 13 dwarves travelling in units of five. With fourteen distinguished guests in his hobbit hole, Bilbo Baggins had an emotional struggle bulging within his heart, he was torn between becoming his adventurous self or his Baggins play docile host self.
The dwarves opted to remain at Bag end till supper time when Bilbo prepared a meal and fed them after which they sang to him an adventurous song titled, Sack of Erebor. This song had a deep meaning which implied why the dwarves had opted to travels to Bilbo Baggins’ house with Gandalf that morning. Gandalf had come to the logical conclusion that Bilbo Baggins was the ideal fourteenth member of his expedition team. Bilbao had been single handedly chosen by the great wizard to take on the role of the team’s burglar as they sought to free the inhabitants on Erebor from the dreaded dragon Smaug. Little protests from both the leader of the Dwarves, Thorin and his dwarves was useless as Bilbo’s protests were to feeble to be heard. With little convincing from the great wizard, it was agreed that Bilbo was fit to be the 14th member of Gandalf and Thorin’s expedition team.
The Eriador crossing
The following day the 14 member expedition team assembled at a location known as Green Dragon to begin the treacherous journey towards the dragon lair that was Lonely Mountain. On this journey, they had to transverse lofty hills, via the Lone Lands, move very near guarded castles but after a month, they had to travel without the great wizards company as he had mysteriously disappeared. Two dwarves in the team Gloin and Oin had the unfortunate incidence of failing to light a camp fire in one rainy night that led to a number of coincidental outcomes.
The dwarf named Balin happened to spot a fire light at a distance and though this was quite a rare occurrence given the history of the area, it was Bilbo who was assigned the task of investigating the source of the firelight.
As he got closer to some camp, Bilbo noticed the presence of three trolls by the fire place. As he attempted to steal one of the troll’s money bags, William, one of the three trolls discovered of the hobbits presence and caught him. Bilbo, being the adventurous hobbit that he was, managed to escape the trolls but unfortunately this led to the capture of the rest of the dwarves as the trolls looked for the hobbit. Unfortunately for the trolls, Gandalf, the great wizard appeared at a time he was most needed and easily mimicked the trolls’ voices such that they began arguing amongst themselves giving the entire Gandalf team time to escape. The argument among the trolls went on till dawn and when the sunrise struck them, they were turned to stone. The team later discovered the cave formerly inhabited by the trolls and among the treasures that they found were two exquisitely crafted elves’ swords which were taken up by both Thorin, leader of the dwarves and Gandalf. Bilbo was lucky enough to come face to face with a tiny elves’ sword which he could conceal carefully. Bilbo Baggins took this small blade with him all through the expedition. He kept the small blade well hidden in his inner breeches as they travelled on to realize their quest.
By the sixth month, the team had arrived at an area referred to as Rivendell and while having a sort stay here, Bilbo Baggins met an elf known as Elrond and this made the hobbit become overly charmed with the little creatures known as elves. During their short stay at Rivendell, the elf Elrond was given the opportunity to look at the swords taken from the trolls. Elrond described to them how the magnificent swords were forged at a place known as Gondolin and each sword specifically named Glamdrin and the other named Orcrist. Elrond also looked at the mystical Thror’s map where he noticed moon letters which described a back door into Erebor.
Bilbo meets the Ring
After leaving Rivendell, the team correctly found out that Elrond’s reading of Thror’s map was indeed accurate as they moved on the lofty and treacherous paths into the magical Misty Mountains. One stormy night, the entire team had to seek refuge in a rather comfortably dry cave, while they were deep in their sleep, so goblins came in and stealthily took the teams ponies away into the Goblin town. Shortly afterwards, it was Bilbo Baggins who woke up first and yell out loudly on finding out that their ponies had gone missing. Bilbo Baggins’ yell aroused Gandalf in time to escape being taken hostage by the Goblins but the twelve dwarves and the hobbit were captured as soon as Bilbo had aroused the others. The captured team members were taken to chief Goblin (great goblin) and upon seeing the Orcrist on Thorin, the lead dwarf; Great Goblin was so incensed that he sought to have all the captured team members slaughtered. However, once again, Gandalf, the great wizard arrived in time saving them from the goblins while at the same time killing the frightful Great Goblin. While escaping, the dwarf Dori opted to carry the hobbit Bilbo but upon be assaulted by a goblin; he dropped the little fellow who then fell unconscious.
Upon retuning to full consciousness, Bilbo noticed a weird looking golden ring which he picked up. He wandered for long in the dark until he came to the Gollum Lake. The Gollum by the lake sought to make a meal out of the hobbit but the small blade Bilbo carried with him deterred him from harming him. The two decided on holding a short riddle contest with a number of predetermined rules. If Gollum won, then Bilbo would become a tasty meal and if it lost, then it had to guarantee Bilbo safe passage out of the dark caves. By accident, Bilbo inserted his hand into his pocket and asked out loud, “What is in my pockets?” the Gollum took this for the riddle and could not give a correct answer. The Gollum let the little hobbit go and returned to his abode to look for the golden and mystical ring which could make him invisible and allow him to feast on the hobbit as initially intended.
The Gollum found the ring missing and immediately came to understand that it was in the hobbit’s possession. Though it tried to get to Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit unknowingly got to use the golden ring to his advantage and disappear from sight. The Gollum led the hobbit to the cave’s exit point without knowing it and Bilbo was able to escape. Soon after, Bilbo located his team members and wittingly put on the ring such that Balin, who was on the look out for unwanted company could not notice the hobbit move into their campsite. This greatly impressed the other team members and made them look up highly to Bilbo Baggins. The hobbit narrated to Gandalf the great wizards on how he stumbled on into the Gollum’s lair and of his miraculous escape but fell short of mentioning anything to do with the ring.
Shortly after, they set out to continue with their expedition but no sooner had they travelled a few miles when they heard the eerie howl of the dreaded warg. The great wizard demanded that each member of his team get up an avenue of trees. The short hobbit had to be helped up a tree by the ever helpful companion Dori before numerous wargs arrived. Though, Gandalf was able to fend of the beastly creatures, the hostile goblins got to them soon and lit the trees into a forest fire. This proved to be a greatest test even for Gandalf as even his strong willed persona began to wither at the evident demise of his entire expedition team. However, the gigantic Eagles from Gwaihir appeared when all seemed lost and rescued the entire team with Bilbo being taken to safety last. They were set on a lofty shelf wide enough for a comfortable night rest on a mountain peak and later flew the team to Carrock. Bilbo’s fear of heights got the better of him through out this ordeal.
The team then got to Beorn’s Hall, where they rested for three nights and though they were treated well, Bilbo Baggins was afraid of their host. As, they continued on, Bilbo’s exploits worked well to the advantage of the entire team so much so that he led to the slaying of the horrific Smaug dragon through using his unique wittiness and the golden ring.
The decisive battle that included the five armies of the Dwarves, the goblins, the Bards, the elves and the men made Bilbo reflect much on the causes of war and the bitterness with which war ends. Though he tried to negotiate some sought of truce, war was inevitable and this led to the demise nine of the twelve dwarves who had become his good friends. Later on, Thranduil and Gandalf took him back to the Shire, where he found that the fellow hobbits had assumed he was dead and had began to auction his private property. With the spoils of war, he was able to buy back his property at Bag End. He lived comfortably with his adopted cousin Frodo and after his 111th birthday, he disappeared with his three dwarves in a farewell party where he opted to leave all his belongings with Frodo, even the magic ring. Bilbo Baggins is considered as the initial ring bearer to give up the ring. His character had become transformed into that of a wise leader through his escapades with Gandalf and the dwarves.