Gandalf as a “the Guide”
What is Gandalf’s Archetype? The dictionary defines it as "the original pattern or model from which all things of same kind are copied or on which they are based; a model or first form; prototype." J.R.R Tolkien's "The Hobbit" is a story of growth that centers on Bilbo Baggins a Hobbit who is perfectly happy in his Hobbit hole eating, drinking and smoking. Everything in Bilbo’s life is as he likes it, until the day that Gandalf the Grey strolls into his life and although Bilbo doesn't know it Gandalf is his Guide.
The Archetype of "The Guide" points the hero in the direction he is destined to go. Gandalf is the one who chooses Bilbo as the 14th and luckiest member of the party making the trek to Smaugs Mountain. Through out the Hobbit Gandalf is always telling Bilbo as well as the Dwarves There's more to Bilbo then they know and time and time again Bilbo rises to the occasion and proves himself.
During the unexpected Party at Bilbo’s house Gandalf gives Thorin the map that belonged to his father and Bilbo discovers the hidden door into Smaug's cave. This is the beginning of the adventure as well as the birth of "Bilbo the Burglar". When they encounter the Trolls Gandalf mysteriously disappears "Just when a wizard would have been most useful" as Dori so elegantly states it. Even though Bilbo gets caught trying to pick William the Trolls pocket, This is just one example of the change that Bilbo is going through, he would've never dreamt of doing such a dangerous thing before leaving his Hobbit hole to start this journey. Bilbo is given the opportunity to push himself and grow with Gandalf showing himself when needed. Once we get to Mirkwood, Bilbo is ready to (even if he doesn't think he is) stretch his wings and be the hero, and he continues to prove himself and grow into the hero that he never thought he could be.
Gandalf and Bilbo’s relationship is very much like a father son relationship. Bilbo is like the...
Cited: Jason Clarke “The Wise Old Man: Gandalf as Archetype in The Lord of the Rings” www.valarguild.org 12/9/1998
< http://valarguild.org/varda/Tolkien/encyc/articles/g/Gandalf/gandalf.html> 6/2/2011
Writer in the Dark “The Hobbit in Archetypal Review” www.oocities.org 2009
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