Throughout the book, Bilbo “grows”as a character in that he gains a sense of nobility, pride, honor, and courageas he experiences the dangers and glories of the “outside world.” Before the journey, Bilbo was a home-loving,organized, jolly, comfortable little hobbit. He never left The Shire. Youcould say that he was much more Baggins than Took, because he was timid andafraid of adventure. He had tea everyday at the same time, and had many friends who would stop by to share it withhim. He also lived in a beautiful housethat was the envy of all the hobbits. Thiswas the life of luxury that Bilbo led.
The transition to the new character of Bilbo took place gradually overthe course of his adventure. In chapterstwo through four, Bilbo constantly wished to be home. “He wished again and again for his nice brighthobbit-hole…” (pg. 57). This shows that Bilbo still needed to “toughen up.” In chapter five, Bilbo uses the kind ofthinking he did at home to save himself from Gollum, then steals the magic ringand makes a fantastic escape. Later, inchapter six, Bilbo earns real respect from the dwarves after sharing his storyabout Gollum, although he left out the part about the ring.
This is the first event that Bilbo needs tobegin to believe in himself, and it gives him some confidence to move forward. Next, in chapter eight, Bilbo uses his sword”Sting” to kill the great spider, and uses a daring but crafty plan to deliverthe dwarves from the spider colony. Thisis the turning point for Bilbo because it gives him great confidence and pridefor the first time. He felt accepted bythe dwarves, as if he was one of them. Bilbo begins to feel responsible for the dwarves after rescuingthem. Therefore, in chapter nine, Bilbohatches a (later successful) plan to free the dwarves and escape from theElvenking’s fortress by way of the Running River, which sets them back on trackto the mountain.
Three chapters later, Bilbo ventures into Smaug’s lair twiceand discovers the unprotected spot on his chest, because he was the only onewilling to do it, which shows his growing bravery and his new role as a leader. In chapter thirteen, Bilbo steals theArkenstone, is given his first payment, and acknowledges Thorin as their warleader, which reveals his newfound loyalty. Next, Bilbo hands over the Arkenstone to the “enemy,” trying to avoidtrouble in chapter sixteen.
Bilbo has avirtue which many warriors or burglars don’t have; that is, honesty. He tells the Elvenking that “I may be aburglar… …but I am an honest one…” (pg. 248).
In chapter eighteen, Bilbo is rescued and bears his wounds like awarrior, and says a solemn goodbye to Thorin in a warrior’s manner, showing hisnewfound maturity and courage. Oncemore, he displays his lack of greed by only taking one small chest filled withsilver and one with gold, saying, “That will be quite as much as I can manage,”(pg. 266). Thus ends the journey ofBilbo Baggins and his transformation.
After the transition, Bilbo has a new attitude, manner, and way oflooking upon the world. He speaks with asense of nobility and honor, portrayed in his song as he arrived home. “‘Roads ever go on…'” (pg. 273). He does not care what his fellow hobbits thinkabout him, because that does not matter. He was content with what he had, and spent most of the treasure onpresents, and did not focus on himself.