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Bilbo's hero journey

By Molly Skeffington

Molly Skeffington

on 16 January 2013

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Transcript of Bilbo's hero journey

By Molly Skeffington Hero's Journey Unusual Birth: Call to adventure Refusal to call Supernatural Mentor The call to adventure step in most novels is where people or creatures come to the soon to be hero’s dwelling and ask them to go on an adventure or journey with them. I think that Bilbo’s call to adventure in The Hobbit was when Gandalf came and told Bilbo about the dwarves predicament and they have a huge party and they ask him to be their burglar on their journey. I think this because when Gandalf told Bilbo that he was the designated burglar it made his Took side come out. Or as they said in the hero’s journey website, ‘it triggered his desire.’ I also think this because they’re going on the adventure to bring back the lost object and defeat Smaug. As it said in the explanation of a heroes journey. A line that shows this is on page 4 of The Hobbit when Gandalf said, "I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it's very difficult to find anyone." The next step is refusal of the call. This is where the hero is in complete denial and doesn't even want to think of the possibility of themselves being a hero/adventurer in any way shape or form. Bilbo’s refusal to the adventure was when he didn't want to leave the food and comfort of his home when the dwarfs were getting ready to set out on their journey. Then something Tookish inside of him made him chase after the dwarfs. A quote that expresses his refusal is, “I am quite sure you came to the wrong house.” (page 19) this shows Bilbo being in denial about the dwarfs and how they must be at the wrong house because there’s no way he could be an adventurous burglar. One crucial part of these steps is the hero’s supernatural helper or mentor. These mentors normally have special powers and they guide the budding hero along their journey and helps them out in dire situation. Gandalf is a wizard and he is Bilbo’s supernatural helper on the adventure. Here are some was Gandalf helps Bilbo on his heroic journey: 1. Gandalf knows people on the journey that can help guide them on their adventure. 2. Gandalf gives Bilbo courage. 3. Gandalf believes in Bilbo. 4. Gandalf watches over Bilbo. 5. Gandalf trained Bilbo well. 6. Gandalf uses magical powers to help with the dwarves. A quote that describes this is when Gandalf and the dwarves are stuck in the trees and he set fire to the wargs with his wand. “He gathered up the huge pine cones from the branches of the tree. Then he set them alight with bright blue fire.” (Page 103) In most hero themed novels, the story line usually follows certain steps that show how the main character changes into a hero over time. The first step is unusual birth. This is where said hero is born into unusual circumstances. Bilbo’s unusual birth was when he was born to two very different parents. His father was a regular hobbit and his mother was a hobbit with an adventurous spirit named Belladonna Took. A line from the book that describe Bilbo’s unnatural birth is, “The mother of this hobbit -Bilbo Baggins, that is- was the famous Belladonna Took. One of the three remarkable daughter of Old Took, head of the hobbits that lived across The Water.” (page 2) People believe that along the Took line somebody must have married a fairy. Making Bilbo's birth even more unusual. Weapon/Talisman On the heros journey they often have wepons or special object that help them when they are in sticky situations. Bilbo’s weapons/special objects that he has with him on the journey are his invisibility ring and he also has a magic sort of sword that lights up when danger is about, it was made by the powerful elves of the past. These two items have helped him through many challenges on his journey. A quote from the book that describes this is on page 81 it says,”He wanted it because it was a ring of power, and if you slipped that ring on your finger, you were invisible; only in full sunlight could you be seen, and then only by your shadow and that would be shaky and faint.” This shows the great power that the ring has. Crossing the Threshold In a heroes journey crossing the threshold is when they leave their familiar every day normal life and go into the new world. Bilbo did this in the Hobbit when he woke up the morning after the party with dwarves and ran off after them to join them on their adventure. Along the way on the journey he meets many things that would have been absurd and completely unnatural to him, had he still been living in his little hobbit hole. A quote that describes this is on page 30 when it says, “To the end of his days Bilbo could never remember how he found himself outside, without a hat, walking stick or any money, or anything that he usually took when he went out;’’ This quote shows Bilbo leaving his everyday life of walking sticks and hats to chase after a group of strangers just so that he could go on an adventure with them. Thus marking Bilbo’s crossing of the Threshold. Trials The next step in a hero’s journey are the trials. The trials are almost like tests of endurance to see if the character can handle the adventure that he or she is embarking on. It’s different for every literary character but for Bilbo, it involved him defeating a fish like creature named Gollum that lives under the mountain. Bilbo wakes up and finds himself all alone underneath the dangerous misty mountains. Bilbo comes across a strange and creepy creature named Gollum. Gollum won’t let him pass without winning a riddle battle with him first. Bilbo ends up tricking Bilbo and escapes from Gollum and finds his way out by using an invisibility ring that he found on the ground. A quote that describes this in the book is, “A sudden understanding, a pity mixed with horror, welled up in Bilbo’s heart: a glimpse of endless unmarked days without light or hope of betterment, hard stone, cold fish, sneaking and whispering. All these thought passed in a flash of a second. He trembled. And then quite suddenly in another flash, as if lifted by new strength and resolve, he leapt.” Page 87. This shows how Bilbo got away from Gollum, he jumped over him, completing his first of many trials. Achievement of goal When the hero is on their journey, they almost always have a reason/goal behind going out on their adventure. The characters in the book, The Hobbit have one major goal on their journey and that is to win their treasure and mountain back from the ruthless dragon Smaug. This happened in the book when Bard kills Smaug and word gets back to Thorin and company about it and they are able to walk in the halls of the mountain without worry of Smaug attacking them. A quote that explains this is when the dwarves and Bilbo find out that Smaug is dead on page 259, ‘ “Dead! Dead?” shouted the dwarves. “Dead! Then we have been in needless fear-and the treasure is ours!” They all sprang up and began to caper with joy.” This shows the goal that was achieved on their journey because it is when the dwarves and Bilbo find out that Smaug is dead and they have their treasure and mountain back after a much belated victory. Reconciliation with a father figure The next step of the heroes journey in most hero themed literary pieces is when the main character has a reconciliation with a father figure, someone that is important to them that they had a falling out with. In The Hobbit, this step occurred when Bilbo made up with Thorin after a falling out in their friendship. They were in a rut because Bilbo gave away one of Thorin’s most prized possessions. Their friendship was re-conciliated when Thorin was on the verge of death and he wanted to go in peace with his once close friend Bilbo. This quote explains the reconciliation between the two of them, ‘’’Farewell good thief ,” he said. ‘I go now to the halls of waiting to sit beside my fathers, until the world is renewed. Since I leave now all gold and silver, and go where it is little worth, I wish to part in friendship from you, and I would take back my words and deeds at the Gate.’ Bilbo knelt on one knee and filled with sorrow. ‘Farewell, King under the Mountain!’ he said. ‘This is a bitter adventure, if it must end so; and not a mountain of gold can amend it. Yet I am glad I have shared in your perils-that has been more than any Baggins deserves.’” (page 290) Return Home The next and final step in a heroes journey is their return home, sometimes they go willingly and sometimes they are in refusal. When the hero (whoever it may be) returns home, they bring back new wisdom and cultural values. In Bilbo’s case he went home willingly, when he returns home he is less respected by the hobbits in his community, but he gains respect from many new creatures. This is because he is adventurous and much more insightful about things. In my opinion this is the wisdom he brings back with him on his journey home. Once Bilbo and Gandalf are in sight of Bilbo’s home and community Bilbo says something very insightful and Gandalf in response says, “ ‘My dear Bilbo!’ he said. ‘Something is the matter with you! You are not the same hobbit that you were.’” (page 302) This quote explains that when Bilbo returns home he brings back a new wisdom that he didn’t have before and only gained it because he had gone on the journey with the dwarves.
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