Bilbo Baggins is one of the principal characters of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings series, despite being somewhat in the background in the main series. Bilbo Baggins has been on a lot of adventures during his long life and they are well chronicled in Tolkien’s series, but more interesting than the adventures is Bilbo’s longevity, as he is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) Hobbit ever to have lived. So, does Bilbo even die? If so, what are the circumstances around Bilbo’s death?
Bilbo Baggins is a mortal being and in that aspect, despite being more than 130 years old, he actually does die. How exactly he dies is unknown, but it is assumed that he dies of old age in the light of Valinor.
In the rest of the article, we are going to talk about Bilbo’s age and death. You’re going to find out how old Bilbo Baggins actually was, if he became immortal or not, and if not, how and when he died. A lot of interesting information awaits you in our article!
Does Bilbo Baggins live forever?
Knowing how old Bilbo was when Frodo and the Fellowship went on their journey, people often wonder whether Bilbo lived forever. He was certainly one of the oldest Hobbits ever and if you don’t consider Sméagol to be a Hobbit anymore, then Bilbo was certainly the oldest Hobbit, living a lot longer than Hobbits usually do.
But, despite his old age, Bilbo Baggins is still a Hobbit and Hobbits are a mortal race within Tolkien’s mythos. While Tolkien never confirmed the average life-span of Hobbits, he did say that Bilbo was old even for Hobbits, who generally did reach 100 years easily. Some online statistics suggest that Hobbits reach a little over 100 years, which is a decent lifespan, but they ultimately do die.
There is absolutely no reason to believe that Bilbo Baggins is an exception from this rule, as there is nothing in Tolkien’s works that suggests otherwise. Namely, even in Valinor, mortal beings die peacefully when exposed to its lights, so even in that case – Bilbo would remain mortal.
How old was Bilbo Baggins when he died?
On September 22, 3021, Bilbo Baggins turned 131. We know as the books clearly state that as Bilbo celebrates his birthday. If you disregard Sméagol, who can both be and not be considered a Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins is certainly the oldest living Hobbit in Middle-Earth at that point.
We know that Bilbo Baggins died some time after his 131st birthday, but the exact date of his death was never revealed in any of Tolkien’s stories. So, the answer to this question is unknown, as Tolkien never revealed Bilbo’s actual date of death, meaning that we have no data using which we could deduce his exact age at the time of death.
How did Bilbo Baggins die?
If you haven’t already deduced it, the death of Bilbo Baggins is quite a mysterious phenomenon and an issue that is often debated around the web. Firstly, people wonder whether he died at all, but we have already answered that question for you, which means we can continue. The second most common question is – if he did die, how did he die, then? Tolkien never explicitly said anything about Bilbo’s death so it’s all just speculation, but we’re fairly certain that we have the answer for you.
As a ring-bearer, Bilbo Baggins was ultimately granted access to the Undying Lands, along with all the other members of the Fellowship. The Undying Lands are part of the land of Valinor. Valinor, also known as the Land of the Valar, is a fictional land in Tolkien’s legendarium. It is located on the continent of Aman, far to the west of Middle-Earth, where the main trilogy is set.
Valinor is also known by the name the Undying Lands because only immortal beings were allowed to live there. There exists a recurring misinterpretation of the name according to which mortal beings are granted immortality if they reach Valar, but that is simply not true. While mortal beings have been, at one point, allowed to enter the realm of immortals, this fact doesn’t really give them immortality. This explains why Bilbo remained a mortal despite being granted access to Valinor.
So, how did he die? Probably of old age. Bilbo was exceptionally old when the characters set off for Valinor, so it’s practically certain that he died of old age as soon as the group reached the lights of the Blessed Realm in Valinor. There is nothing in the stories to indicate otherwise.
Where did Bilbo Baggins go when he died?
This is a question we have already discussed in a separate article (see the link above), but Bilbo Baggins joined Frodo, Gandalf, and the other members of the Fellowship of the Ring as they headed to Valinor, having been granted access because of their help in defeating Sauron and his army of Orcs. Bilbo’s actual contribution to that fight was minimal, but he was a ring-bearer and his earlier adventures served its purpose in helping the Fellowship.
So, ultimately, Bilbo Baggins joins the other heroes as they boarded the ship in Gray Havens; the ship soon set sail for Valinor, where the heroes who defeated Sauron and brought peace to Middle-earth, got their deserved peace and harmony. With this, we conclude our story on Bilbo Baggins’ life, death, and age.