Played by **MARTIN FREEMAN**
In The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, in the comfortable middle age at 50 years old, is hired, in spite of his not wanting, as a burglar by Gandalf and thirteen dwarves led by their king Thorin Oakenshieldon a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and its treasure from the dragon Smaug. The adventure takes Bilbo and the companions through the wilderness, to the elf haven of Rivendell, across the Misty Mountains and the black forest of Mirkwood, to Lake-town in the middle of Long Lake, and eventually to the Mountain itself.
In the his hobbit populated area, known as The Shire, he lived in a rather “well to do” (by hobbit standards) dwelling known across the countryside as Bag End, which was built by his father, Bungo.
In his journey, Bilbo encounters other fantastic creatures, including trolls, elves, giant spiders, a man who can change shape into a bear, goblins, eagles, wolves and a mysterious, murderous creature named Gollum. Underground, near Gollum’s lair, Bilbo accidentally finds a magic ring of invisibility, which he uses to escape from Gollum. This same ring is the great Ring of Power we all know about that is the central figure in the book/movies The Lord of the Rings.
While Bilbo initially comes across as a timid, confused bumbler, he grows wiser and more confident as the story goes on. Throughout the journey, the group continually finds themselves in a pickle in which Bilbo is the one who usually saves the day.
He rescues the dwarves from giant spiders with the magic ring and a short Elven-sword he acquired. He uses the ring to sneak around in hostile environments, as well as his wits to smuggle the dwarves out of the elves’ prisons. He is able to hold his will in conversation with the wily Smaug. When tensions arise over ownership of the recovered treasure, he tries unsuccessfully to bring the opposing sides to compromise, using a stolen heirloom jewel as a leverage. This strains his relationship with Thorin, but the two are reconciled at Thorin’s dying.
Bilbo impresses many races of Middle Earth, as well as Gandalf, who knew all along that there was more behind the easily-flustered hobbit from the opening chapter. At the end of the tale, Bilbo has become very wealthy due to his share of the dwarves’ treasure; he also finds that he has traded respectability for experience and wisdom.