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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Character of the Week: Bilbo Baggins

Kim
Valinor


Oct 10 2013, 5:37pm

Post #1 of 7 (366 views)
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Character of the Week: Bilbo Baggins Can't Post

Welcome to this week’s Character of the Week! Per the sign up thread, we’ve decided to move up the posting day for this thread so as not to conflict with the Chapter of the Week thread.

This week’s character is Bilbo Baggins, and this thread is focused on young Bilbo and Martin Freeman’s portrayal of him, but if you’d like to comment on Old Bilbo and Ian Holm’s performance, feel free!




We first meet young Bilbo sitting outside Bag End smoking his pipe when he encounters Gandalf. For me, this was a perfect introduction and a great callback to the book. I loved his reaction to Gandalf’s suggestion that he go on an adventure.
1) What did you think of the first scene with the new Bilbo? For the book readers, was he as you imagined him from the book?

We were shown just how much Bilbo loved his hobbit hole, and “all the comforts of home”, yet also how he could be a bit fussy. However, in contrast to this was his willingness to jump into the adventure after his initial hesitation. I liked that despite his reservations, he made the decision to join the company (and I liked that he made the decision himself vs. being hustled out the door by Gandalf as in the book).
2) What do you like about Bilbo’s character? Dislike?

My favorite scene of Bilbo was the morning after the unexpected party, when he wanders through Bag End, at first reveling in the quiet, then realizing what he’s missing out on.
3) What was Bilbo’s most memorable moment for you in AUJ?

Bilbo’s relationship with Gandalf starts out based on memories of Bilbo as a child. A somewhat tenuous basis for a relationship, but at least something compared to having basically no introduction to the dwarves before they burst into his home. His introduction to Thorin doesn’t go too well, and stays pretty strained throughout the entire movie.
4) What do you think of Bilbo’s relationship with Gandalf? Thorin? The other dwarves?

Riddles in the Dark was an iconic scene in the book, as well as the movie. This was our first chance to see Bilbo get into a situation that he had to get out of on his own as well.
5) What did you think of Bilbo in this scene, and his interaction with Gollum?

In my opinion, Martin Freeman just *was* Bilbo as soon as we saw him. I can’t imagine anyone else playing this role.
6) What did you think of Martin’s portrayal of Bilbo?

By the end of the movie, Bilbo had gone from meek Hobbit to one who jumped in to save Thorin’s life.
7) How do you hope to see Bilbo develop in the next 2 movies?

8) Other thoughts on Bilbo’s characterization?


Glorfindela
Valinor


Oct 10 2013, 9:44pm

Post #2 of 7 (172 views)
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OK, then – I'll start, but must be quick again. [In reply to] Can't Post

1) What did you think of the first scene with the new Bilbo? For the book readers, was he as you imagined him from the book?

HE SURPASSED MY EXPECTATIONS, AND FOR ME IS THE PERFECT BILBO. YES, SOMEWHAT LIKE THE BOOK, BUT WITH HIS CHARACTER MORE FLESHED OUT.

2) What do you like about Bilbo’s character? Dislike?

I LIKE HIS HOMELINESS. HIS COURAGE DESPITE BEING AFRAID. THE UNINTENTIONAL (ON HIS PART) HUMOROUS MOMENTS WITH HIM AS A RESULT OF THIS. THERE ISN'T ANYTHING I DISLIKE ABOUT HIM SO FAR (THOUGH I DO DISLIKE BILBO AT A CERTAIN POINT IN THE BOOK STORY NOT YET REACHED IN THE FILM).

3) What was Bilbo’s most memorable moment for you in AUJ?

THERE WERE A LOT, BUT I LIKED HIS HESITATION AT BAG END WHEN TALKING TO GANDALF; THE MORNING AFTER THE 'PARTY'; HIS DIALOGUE WITH GOLLUM; THE WAY HE DEFENDED THORIN AND HIS SCENE WITH HIM AT THE END.

4) What do you think of Bilbo’s relationship with Gandalf? Thorin? The other dwarves?

WITH GANDALF, PRETTY MUCH LIKE HIS RELATIONSHIP IN THE LOTR FILMS. WITH THE DWARVES, YOU CAN SEE HIM ESTABLISH SOME RAPPORT WITH A FEW OF THEM.

6) What did you think of Martin’s portrayal of Bilbo?

COULDN'T HAVE WISHED FOR A BETTER PORTRAYAL.

7) How do you hope to see Bilbo develop in the next 2 movies?

I HOPE TO SEE MORE FACETS TO HIS PERSONALITY, AND TRUST IT WILL NOT BE OVERSHADOWED BY TWO NEW CHARACTERS THAT ARE UNRELATED TO THE BOOK.

8) Other thoughts on Bilbo’s characterization?

WELL, LIKE FOR THE DWARVES, I DO LIKE HIS APPEARANCE – PARTICULARLY THE DRESSING GOWN(!), BUT IN GENERAL HIS CLOTHING IS GREAT. I'M SURE THERE ARE OTHER THINGS, BUT CAN'T THINK OF THEM WHILE IN A HURRY…

P.S. Thank you for posting this.


(This post was edited by Glorfindela on Oct 10 2013, 9:47pm)


Eye's on Guard
Lorien


Oct 11 2013, 12:32am

Post #3 of 7 (160 views)
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Mr. Boggins! [In reply to] Can't Post

First scene

The first time I saw AUJ, Bilbo's dialogue seemed too rushed compared to the book but maybe that was because I was trying to take everything in. I wish Bilbo had been a little more congenial but I get that they had to establish his personality and reservations right away.

Likes, dislikes

I really like how Martin Freeman executed Bilbo's cultured hobbit personality. The small things really sell it...the way he smokes his pipe, reads his mail, sits down to dinner, answers the door, drinks his tea, etc. To me, Martin Freeman's Bilbo is the most "hobbity" hobbit yet, even more than Sam in a sense.

Most memorable moment

Hands down for me: Bilbo's reactions to the dwarves as they arrive. Such a great sequence!

Relationships

Thorin: I both hate and love the ending hug at the same time. Part of me wants to say "That doesn't make sense!" At the same time, the drama of their falling-out in the next two films will be powerful and I'm looking forward to it.

Balin: His smile when Bilbo comes running up to join the company is great. If Bilbo has a real friend among the dwarves, it's Balin. After the scene from the DoS trailer, I like where this is going (see Thorin)

Fili & Kili: If Balin is Bilbo's mature friend, then these guys are his "dwarf buddies". I hope they get more fun interactions like the Trollshaws.

Bofur: From "Furnace with wings!" to their conversation in the cave...great stuff. Could Bofur be a representative for the non-major dwarves as a whole and their attitude toward Bilbo?

Riddles in the Dark

At the beginning Bilbo shows nervous fear of Gollum. Then, when the riddles start, he gets a little more comfortable. At the end, when he senses Gollum's rage, he such a helplessly terrified look that makes me afraid of Gollum more than did the creature himself. Brilliant.

Freeman's Portrayal

Martin Freeman's performance as Bilbo was excellent. I think it complements Ian Holm's performances well because the older Bilbo has changed a lot since going through his adventure.

Next two movies

- I am looking for Bilbo to get his courageous moments with the spiders and barrels and really hope those are not mostly given over to our elven friends.
- Might we see a clear split in the dwarves over the burglar, with Thorin on one side and Balin leading the other?
- Looking forward to Bilbo interacting with more friends and enemies. He won't just be among dwarves fighting orcs anymore...he'll meet elves and men and have to deal with spiders and a dragon! These experiences should really change his perspective.


Ziggy Stardust
Gondor


Oct 11 2013, 1:54am

Post #4 of 7 (150 views)
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Mr. Baggins [In reply to] Can't Post

1) What did you think of the first scene with the new Bilbo? For the book readers, was he as you imagined him from the book?

I thought the first scene of Bilbo played out well. He was just as I imagined. The only difference was I didn't picture him wearing an ascot/scarf. (Not that I don't like it, I thought it was fine.)

2) What do you like about Bilbo’s character? Dislike?

I like how Bilbo is sincere, honest, and finds his courage. He's able to get out of his comfort zone, and overcome obstacles. Dislike? What's to dislike about him? His flaw just has to be the prosy attitude he had in the beginning.


3) What was Bilbo’s most memorable moment for you in AUJ?

There were so many. The first one that comes to mind is in the cave with Gollum, when Gollum was talking to himself, and says "Shut up!" Bilbo, thinking Gollum was talking to him, says, "I didn't say anything."

4) What do you think of Bilbo’s relationship with Gandalf? Thorin? The other dwarves?

Bilbo's relationship with Gandalf is friendly. Gandalf speaks to Bilbo as an equal, even speaking highly of him. He respects Bilbo and believes in him. With Thorin, it was sort of strained at first, as Thorin looked down upon Bilbo. The other dwarves is rather friendly, but flighty. They like Bilbo, but go with whatever Thorin says.

5) What did you think of Bilbo in this scene, and his interaction with Gollum?

I loved it, and though it was done well, although the Time riddle could have been handled differently. Otherwise, their interaction was well-done, and you can feel the distrust and discomfort Bilbo feels toward Gollum.

6) What did you think of Martin’s portrayal of Bilbo?

He did spectacular! Splendid! Awesome! Martin Freeman is Bilbo, he was perfect, he really captured Bilbo's characteristics well, and he's very expressive.


7) How do you hope to see Bilbo develop in the next 2 movies?

I hope to see him at all. And hope he will become the person he's supposed to become i.e. courageous, mature and wise.

8) Other thoughts on Bilbo’s characterization?

I thought his character was protrayed well, and glad to see he turned out well on film.


Avandel
Valinor

Oct 11 2013, 8:59pm

Post #5 of 7 (102 views)
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Need my own hobbit to hug [In reply to] Can't Post

1) What did you think of the first scene with the new Bilbo? For the book readers, was he as you imagined him from the book?
Been a while since I had read the Hobbit, more of an LOTR fan which I re-read now and again, so stared with fascination at the on-screen portrayal. Guess I had a vaguely Puck-like image of Bilbo in my head from the book, a sweet, clever little creature more like a gnome than anything, with curly hair. Hadn't thought of Bilbo as a bit of a fussy, settled Englishman, comfortable in his world, but when I saw that on screen it was so right and perfect. Love his clothes, perfect for a comfortable, and somewhat satisfied, settled hobbit.

2) What do you like about Bilbo’s character? Dislike?
Fascinated be Freeman's portrayal of a combination of fragility and "sass" - he's just this little hobbit! And yet there's this core-deep inner strength and code of values, and he doesn't agonize over it, e.g., even tho he was going to leave the dwarves, in the goblin tunnels he is going to go after the captured party. He's capable of empathy and compassion. He thinks. Re dislikes, I'll table that for now as it is a very murky area for me re the book for sure and always was, and possibly/probably in the films there will be behavior I personally find very troubling.

3)
What was Bilbo’s most memorable moment for you in AUJ?

Riddles in the Dark. Also saving Thorin (again, acting without question because it's the thing to do) and his worry and relief over Thorin at the end - e.g., Bilbo never held a grudge, didn't even seem to realize that he had risked his own life, and all that for a being who had been none too kindly towards him - it's just it was the thing to do and he is happy Thorin is alive. To me it's remarkable and says a lot about Bilbo (and maybe hobbits in general).

4) What do you think of Bilbo’s relationship with Gandalf? Thorin? The other dwarves?

Re Gandalf, seems like a childhood association rapidly reformed, love the chemistry. Thorin - think MF described it best from a book I have that these two (at least so far) yo-yo to and from each other. Thorin has depths, history, and experiences so far out of Bilbo's it's as though they were from different planets. Thorin is a dwarf, and a prince/king at that. Yet think Thorin has this great big heart/nobility as angry as he is (in the movie), and there's this hobbit, who is as sturdy in his own well-grounded set of values as an oak tree in a sunny field. Re the other dwarves - think they are more easy-going towards Bilbo, and simply more accepting from early on, without necessarily caring deeply. But the dwarves do care, on some level, Thorin doesn't seem to care that Bilbo is gone after the goblin tunnels, but is furious anyway, and the other dwarves upset - on some level they miss their hobbit!


5)
What did you think of Bilbo in this scene, and his interaction with Gollum?

Fascinating, first time to fully see Bilbo's strength, cleverness, maturity even - and this scene to me later describes what is described in LOTR, that Smeagol's people were akin to hobbits, that Gollum and Bilbo were able to "understand" each other and have a kind of concord, as maddened as Gollum is.

6)
What did you think of Martin’s portrayal of Bilbo?

Can understand why PJ supposedly was up at 4 in the morning watching episodes of Sherlock and agonizing over how to somehow make it work to have MF play Bilbo in spite of MF's schedule commitments. MF amazing, face, voice, hands, body - he IS Bilbo Baggins. It's a travesty he's not being showered with award after award.

7)
How do you hope to see Bilbo develop in the next 2 movies?

Hadn't thought about it really, too worried over the dwarves. After trailer 2 troubled over Thorin/Bilbo - guess I hope for a sensitive, balanced treatment by PJ. Wonder if and when Bilbo will confess about the ring to either the dwarves or Gandalf, and how that will play out. Oh, and from the trailer, liked the look of determination on Bilbo's face as he goes after the spiders? dwarves? So guess Bilbo is gaining confidence.

8) Other thoughts on Bilbo’s characterization? In trailer 2, looks like Bilbo is going to cheek off initially to Thorin holding him back - similar to Thorin's entrance at Bag End, until it sinks in there's an issue here and might not be the best idea, and the waters suddenly got really deep. So think there will be a growth with Bilbo - not necessarily nice - between simple hobbit values and Bilbo having to confront the values, history, and beliefs of a larger world (in the movies), and terrible things, and reconcile all that. As Gandalf said, if Bilbo returns, he won't be the same. And no-one better than MF to play that role, as well as depicting an insidious, if not highlighted, influence of the Ring, tho I don't know that the films will emphasize any of that.



Kilidoescartwheels
Gondor

Oct 14 2013, 5:31pm

Post #6 of 7 (71 views)
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Bilbo's character [In reply to] Can't Post

The first scene - smoke going up his nose, like "wake up!" And Gandalf being annoyed at the "no idea you were still in business" remark - freakin' hilarious!

Likes/Dislikes - Tricky. Bilbo is sort of an everyman, someone who stumbles into a situation way over his head, but who eventually rises to the challenge. He seems to be pushed around by the Dwarves in the beginning, and that's hard to like, but that's also cannon. Maybe he reminds me of myself too much.

Most memorable moment - again, tricky. The Troll scene is good, his defending Thorin is good, and of course the Gollum scene gets its own question, so hmmm, probably the Troll scene.

His relationships - Well he and Gandalf are clearly drawing closer. Someone mentioned Balin, well of course in the book it ends with those two coming for a visit. He's supposed to get closer to Bombur, we'll see if that happens, but I think Bofur has already become his friend. OTOH, Thorin's tacky comment after Bilbo nearly fell off the cliff, although I can understand Thorin's feelings since he nearly fell from the effort, but then at the end he admits he's "Never been so wrong." Obviously their relationship is going to get alot worse, and I must say I don't quite understand Bilbo's motivation to give the Arkenstone to Bard, why he thought that would help any. It will be interesting to see how PJ plays that one out.

Gollum - really couldn't have been any better.

Martin Freeman - first time I saw his picture, having no idea who he was (hadn't discovered Sherlock yet) I said "Yes, THAT is Bilbo." For some reason my hubby thinks they should have stuck with Ian Holm, but he was definitely too old for the "Younger Bilbo" IMO. He is to Bilbo what Elijah was to Frodo.

Future development - see above regarding the Arkenstone. The trailer has me really confused about the spiders, and I don't know where he drops the ring (before, during or after the spiders), In the book that is where he developed his courage, but in AUJ it was saving Thorin. It also appears that the ring is starting to take him, which I don't believe was alluded to in the book but it makes sense. I will be greatly disappointed if he's NOT the person who arranges the barrel escape, bad enough that he may not be the one rescuing the dwarves from the spiders.


Darkstone
Immortal


Oct 14 2013, 8:26pm

Post #7 of 7 (68 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

1.]What did you think of the first scene with the new Bilbo?

He’s missing a bit of congeniality:

From the book:

“All of them at once,” said Bilbo. “And a very fine morning for a pipe of tobacco out of doors, into the bargain. If you have a pipe about you, sit down and have a fill of mine! There’s no hurry, we have all the day before us!”


For the book readers, was he as you imagined him from the book?

Who is this skinny young man? Hobbits are round. Like pie. And Bilbo is middle-aged. Like me.


I liked that despite his reservations, he made the decision to join the company (and I liked that he made the decision himself vs. being hustled out the door by Gandalf as in the book).

Agreed.


2) What do you like about Bilbo’s character?

His child-like innocence.


Dislike?

Ummmm…..

He's not the leading character in LOTR.


3) What was Bilbo’s most memorable moment for you in AUJ?

“Look, I know you doubt me, I know you always have. And you’re right, I often think of Bag End. I miss my books. And my armchair. And my garden. See, that’s where I belong. That’s home. And that’s why I came back, cause you don’t have one. A home. It was taken from you. But I will help you take it back if I can.”


4) What do you think of Bilbo’s relationship with Gandalf?

The manipulative nature of Gandalf in their relationship seems more obvious in the film.


Thorin?

Thorin’s friendship and respect is hard won, so it seems all the more real, and thus it will be all the more tragic in the betrayal of his trust.


The other dwarves?

There is definitely more interaction. There are advantages to film’s ability to show.


Riddles in the Dark was an iconic scene in the book, as well as the movie. This was our first chance to see Bilbo get into a situation that he had to get out of on his own as well.
5) What did you think of Bilbo in this scene, and his interaction with Gollum?


There’s definitely a third person there. Lonely Smeagol seems pitiful in his desire for hobbity interaction. Gollum, of course, is focused on the literal meat of the matter.



In my opinion, Martin Freeman just *was* Bilbo as soon as we saw him. I can’t imagine anyone else playing this role.

I’ll always be a big fan of William H. Macy.


6) What did you think of Martin’s portrayal of Bilbo?

Unfortunately Martin Freeman often seemed to be playing Martin Freeman.


By the end of the movie, Bilbo had gone from meek Hobbit to one who jumped in to save Thorin’s life.

I’d always expected the first movie to end on that note. Kinda wish it had been after the spiders, though.


7) How do you hope to see Bilbo develop in the next 2 movies?

I’m interested to see how his childhood obsession with Elves changes when he has to live in secret among them. And how will he react to the Big Folk? And a main concern for Bilbo in the film seems to be tied to the concept of home, both his and others’. How will he react when the quest results in the loss of homes by the people in Lake-Town? Will this be his motivation for the betrayal? I hope to see him take more of a leadership role. (Will this be the beginning of tension between him and Thorin?) I do expect him to be a bit more of an action oriented hobbit, though I’m definitely against him transforming into Bilbo Schwarzenbaggins!

Ultimately, of course, will be his loss of innocence, something I’ve always found very sad in the book.


8) Other thoughts on Bilbo’s characterization?

Freeman does do befuddlement well.

******************************************
I met a Balrog on the stair,
He had some wings that weren't there.
They weren't there again today,
I wish he would just fly away.

 
 

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