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When you think about a hero, what normally comes to mind? Is it Superman or Spiderman? A character from a book? Your dad or mom? A brother or sister? The men and woman in our armed forces? Typically, when thinking about heroes, no one pictures a three foot tall humanlike creature called a hobbit. Most people would classify heroes as strong and powerful men or women, not small, peaceful creatures.

Bilbo Baggins wasn't exactly "hero material." Bilbo wasn't ready for adventure--he'd never set a foot out of the Shire in his life! What mostly mattered to him was getting all 5 meals on time and keeping his respectable image intact.
He didn't care what went on in Middle-earth as long as it didn't effect him and his friends. Can you think of a more unlikely hero than that?

Bilbo never asked for the adventure, but through fate it came to him anyway. He didn't expect it and wasn't prepared, but found himself on the journey anyways. Maybe fate chose him for that reason, because he was the least expecting.

Throughout the course of The Hobbit, Bilbo seems to be more hassle than he is worth. At one point, a dwarf is forced to carry him, and other times he is continually rescued. But once Bilbo finds the ring, and Gandalf leaves and appoints Bilbo as leader, then he becomes more respected for his luck, wits, loyalty, and cleverness.

Bilbo's first heroic act is rescuing the dwarves from a group of giant spiders who are planning to eat the dwarves for dinner. With the help of the ring, a sword, his wits, and luck, he managed to save his comrades and become a hero in the dwarve's eyes. But even with his newly discovered skills, he isn't exactly a terrifying enemy.
Bilbo didn't reveal the ring to the dwarves instantly after he discovered its power though. He may have been afraid that they would use him and the ring, or maybe he just wanted something of his own on a journey where everything is shared. He might have thought they would take it from him and either give it to Gandalf or use it themselves. But whatever the reason, Bilbo only told the dwarves about the ring when he had to.

Bilbo also takes on the role of leader since Gandalf left the company. At the beginning of the novel, who would have thought that Bilbo Baggins, the least experienced of all, would become the leader! Throughout the rest of the book, the dwarves follow his lead and trust him when they find themselves in difficult situations.

Who would have thought that Bilbo could fight and defeat multitudes of spiders to save his friends? Bilbo ended up proving everyone wrong. He showed how loyal he was to friends who needed his help in tight situations. He could have left them all in the hands of the spiders and gone home to his safe hobbit- hole, but no, he saved all 13 dwarves. He showed that he did not need to be carried through the trials of the journey--in turn, he ended up "carrying" the dwarves by guiding them to safety numerous times.

Heroes are not always what they are expected to be. A hero can emerge from anywhere, at most times, from the most unlikely places. The hero of The Hobbit came from the Shire, a place of peace, not a place where warriors are trained and bred.

Next time, when you think of a hero, who will you picture? Will it be still be Superman, or might it be someone unexpected?

Finding God in The Hobbit

J.R.R Tolkien has many symbolisms in The Hobbit. Tolkien probably chose to symbolise Gandalf as Jesus, and the dwarves and Bilbo probably represent the disciples/ christian believers. The disciples were also unlikely heroes. They were ordinary fishermen who just weren't smart enough to stay in the Rabbi schools and study the Bible, but Jesus still chose them to follow and learn from him. They weren't expecting anything either, just doing their daily jobs as fishermen. Jesus probably planned that too, like how Gandalf chose the unsuspecting Bilbo, Jesus chose some of the lowest men, no scholars, educated doctors, or royalty. The disciples took on a mission, to spread the gospel. They had to go against the evils of the world (goblins, trolls, etc.), temptation (greed, power, wealth, etc.), and more.
Can you think of more unlikely heroes?

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