In ‘The Hobbit’, the classic novel by J. R. R. Tolkien, Bilbo Baggins appears to be a timid and little hobbit with an extremely unambitious lifestyle in his town, The Shire. This is until a wise wizard; named Gandalf, and a company of ambitious dwarves, show up on the doorstep of his hobbit-hole. They whisk poor Bilbo on a journey that develops Bilbo’s qualities as he becomes wiser and more courageous. This essay will demonstrate those changes, as well as what occurred along the journey to make these changes happen. In the beginning of the novel, Gandalf and the dwarves sweep Bilbo away from his town on an exciting adventure to claim the treasures once stolen from the dwarves by a very dangerous dragon. Along the way, Bilbo is clearly showing signs of annoyance towards the quest… “Bother burgling and everything to do with it! I just wish I were back home in my little hobbit-hole…” This quote infers that Bilbo is displeased and unimpressed about being “forced” to travel with the dwarves on their quest. This quote also shows that Bilbo is showing signs of being a coward. He is saying that he is tired [and perhaps cold because of the weather conditions], doesn’t get enough to eat – unlike back at home – and is altogether sick of this quest. When the dwarves and Bilbo stop to take a rest - after having some of their luggage drowned in the river – Bilbo is really starting to hate this adventure because most of his provisions are now gone. “Bilbo was sadly reflecting that adventures were not all pony-rides”. Not only is he feeling depressed; he is not participating in the adventure, just sitting on his own, “sadly reflecting”. It is also a similar deal with the trolls. Bilbo at first tries to prove to the party that he is capable of the task set – being a burglar. He tries to steal a wallet from one of the trolls and is caught and almost killed. The dwarves try to help but then they are caught as Bilbo manages to set himself free. He then plants himself behind a bush, frightened and not showing any signs of bravery he displays towards the end of the adventure. However, throughout the book, Bilbo shows that, whilst still small, he becomes more courageous. This is shown in Chapter 5, where Bilbo meets an unpredictable and nasty creature named Gollum. Bilbo also discovers a ring that can make one invisible. This ring becomes crucial for Bilbo for the rest of the journey and later on in Tolkien’s sequel trilogy, The Lord of the Rings. This ring helps Bilbo succeed in many tasks along the way in the journey, and acts as a trigger in developing Bilbo’s courage. Bilbo plays a guessing game with Gollum until Gollum gets infuriated and chases after Bilbo. Then Bilbo slips on the ring and this ultimately saves his life. This is one of the many times the ring is an item of great significance for Bilbo in the journey. Later on, Bilbo shows even more courage in Chapter 7, when Thorin – the leader of the dwarves’ company - goes missing and the rest of the party gets captured by spiders, except for Bilbo. He slips on his ring and tries to save the dwarves. He ends up leading the spiders away from the captured dwarves and frees them. “He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach…” This quote proves that Bilbo is coming into the realization that he is changing into a different type of hobbit. Not the timid hobbit he was at the start of the journey, but a much more braver hobbit. He independently helps to save the dwarves as well. These new skills are great new skills that Bilbo learns to help him later on in life. Also in Chapter 8, Bilbo not only proves courage – by saving Thorin from being captured by the Wood Elves, but Bilbo also devises a plan to escape from the Elven-king [where the Wood Elves live]. “For some time, Bilbo sat and thought about this water-gate, and wondered if it could be used for his friend’s escape…” This quote shows that Bilbo is gaining lots of wisdom and knowledge from the quest. This shows that Bilbo is thinking ahead and trying to use all his wisdom to find a way for him and the dwarves to escape the Elven-king. Another time Bilbo shows signs of bravery is in Chapter 6, when the party are trapped by the goblins and Wargs. Bilbo shows that he is not only brave, but loyal too. He shows this by choosing not to abandon the party by slipping on his magic ring and saving himself. In the end he decides to stay huddled up in a tree with the company, even though the vicious goblins are threatening them and creating trouble for the company on the ground. This is a very loyal decision from Bilbo and shows that he now has a stronger connection with the party, unlike at the start of the book. A different quality Bilbo displays in the novel is becoming a more adventurous hobbit. Across the journey, it is clear that Bilbo changes in another way. At first, he is seen to be a creature who is always “playing it safe” and staying out of his comfort zone to then having a love for adventures (as shown near the end of the journey and also in Tolkien’s sequel). In Chapter 1, Tolkien describes hobbits (especially Bagginses) as very unambitious, so this shows that hobbits such as Bilbo can change, and be very wise, courageous, good leaders and have a love for adventure. At the start of the book, Gandalf states; “Let us have no more argument about it. I have chosen and that ought to be enough for you…” and this quote proves that even from the very beginning, Gandalf believed in the hobbit. Gandalf thought that by taking Bilbo on their journey as a “burglar”, he could convince the dwarves, but also Bilbo himself that Bilbo can be a strong, courageous and knowledgeable hobbit. Across the journey, Bilbo does everything he can to prove to the dwarves that Gandalf was right, and that he can be a useful member of their trip. So to conclude this essay, Bilbo definitely changed along the journey in many significant ways. He eventually DID prove to not only Gandalf and the dwarves but most importantly to himself, that he could be a very courageous and intelligent hobbit after all.