lotr challenge, day 6: in which I have a favorite secondary character …

I’m running a little bit slow today because I was dumb and stayed out until after 04:00 like I forgot I am an almost 40-year-old woman and not a college student. Hopefully I have learned my lesson, because my head is killing me. And I didn’t even drink! Oh, well.

But anyway, onto today’s challenge:

Yep, Bilbo is my favorite secondary character for a couple of reasons. First, even though he’s in the background throughout much of the trilogy, he still has a development trajectory. It’s not even necessary for us to see his gradual spiral and his sped-up aging once the Ring passes into Frodo’s hands; all of that is being played out, in real (movie) time, to Frodo, with Bilbo serving as a reminder as to what is going to befall his nephew by the end of the series. Yet there’s a childish innocence about Bilbo that is absent in Frodo. While Frodo is made aware of the Ring’s dangers, both directly through Gandalf and indirectly through Gollum, Bilbo just happens to pick up a powerful ring and suffers without really knowing why. He is eventually educated on the Ring, but by then, all he can do is attempt to be healed by elvish magic, distance, and time, although even that isn’t entirely successful. Even after the Ring is destroyed in Mount Doom, his desire for it isn’t completely gone, just showing how powerful that type of malevolent evil never truly goes away.

Second, on a lighter note, Bilbo is so fucking relatable, even if he is 111 years old and somewhat possessed by the One Ring. I enjoy watching the juxtaposition of his love for his fellow hobbits with his dislike of specific members of his community, and yeah, sometimes I wish that I could just put on a magic ring and disappear into the wilderness with nothing but a walking stick and a backpack filled with snacks and camping gear. So much of his history is based around the fact that he doesn’t want to do things – go on the trek to the Lonely Mountain with Gandalf and the dwarves, stick around for the Sacksville-Bagginses to question him about his heir, etc. – but he finally makes the choice to live for himself. After all, living in Hobbiton was most definitely less exciting than being on the open road, and he’d had a taste of it that he just couldn’t ignore anymore. Was it the Ring’s influence? Who knows?

I think a lot of my love of Bilbo came from Ian Holme’s performance. He was such a delightful actor with such range that he could play this little man who was benevolent, selfish, confused, terrified, and loving, all at the same time (RIP, Mr. Holme). He really was the perfect Bilbo.

Alrighty, done with the challenge for today, so now I’m going to get my body ready for sleep. I know it’s early, but I am tired, y’all.

Art Credit: Gabz, FanPop

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.