Why Did Gandalf Choose Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit?

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The Hobbit franchise is a prequel to the Lord of the Rings movies. The franchise follows Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit from the Shire who accompanies a group of Dwarves that are determined to reclaim their long-lost kingdom. A wise wizard Gandalf is trying to help Dwarves in accomplishing their goals, so he suggested that Bilbo should go with them as he will be of great help on their quest. The leader of the Dwarves, Thorin Oakenshield doubted Bilbo’s abilities and so did many others. So, this raises the question, why did Gandalf choose Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit?

Gandalf chose Bilbo Baggins to be the 14th member of Thorin Oakenshield’s team because he believed that Bilbo is capable of great things. He also thought for Bilbo to be the right choice because entering The Lonely Mountain required a lot of courage and stealth, and Hobbits are known for being light on their feet. Also, Smaug, a dragon who resided inside the mountain was accustomed to the smell of Dwarves, but the scent of the Hobbits was unknown to him.

The Hobbit franchise tells a story about the mountain Erebor. Erebor was once a mighty kingdom built deep within the mountain and was known for the unmeasurable treasure that was stored in it. It was filled with gold, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. However, those were not the most precious things inside the Mountain because the Dwarves found the stone of immeasurable value and beauty, the Arkenstone, the Heart of the Mountain.

The gold and treasure inside the Mountain had drawn the dragon Smaug and he demolished the kingdom of Erebor and exiled the Dwarves from their home. Since then, a young prince, Thorin Oakenshield wanted nothing more but to bring his people home where they belong. But, in order to do so, he needed a burglar who would help him on his quest, so he turned to Gandalf for help. Gandalf thought that Bilbo is the right choice for the job.


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Why did Gandalf choose Bilbo to be a part of Thorin Oakenshield’s team?

When Gandalf first approached Bilbo in the movie, he offered Bilbo an adventure, but Bilbo refused and was not interested in such a thing. Nevertheless, Gandalf marked his house so the Dwarves could find it. Eventually, Dwarves gradually started coming to Bilbo’s doorsteps and Bilbo had no idea what was happening.

As the Dwarves gathered into Bilbo’s home, he was soon introduced to the reason why are they at his place. The idea of him being the burglar was unthinkable to him as he never stole anything in his life. But, Gandalf believed that there is more in Bilbo than what his appearances might suggest and that he is capable of great things, even though Bilbo himself does not believe that to be true.

The Dwarves themself were skeptical about the possibility to enter the Lonely Mountain because the Front Gate of the Mountain was sealed so they thought that there is no way into the Mountain. However, Gandalf explained that is not entirely true as he was in possession of a key that was given to him by Thorin’s father for safekeeping. The key was to open the passage into the Lower Halls of the Mountain. The only problem was that the Dwarves’ doors are hidden when closed.


Gandalf stated that for the door to be found and opened, a lot of stealth and courage will be needed. Now, while there is no doubt that the Dwarves are extremely brave, doing things in stealth mode is not really their strongest trait. That’s why they needed a burglar, and they needed the best one they can find. Gandalf led Dwarves to believe that Bilbo is an expert burglar, but the main problem with that was the fact that it was a lie. Bilbo has never stolen anything in his life up to that point.

So, while the Dwarves didn’t have faith that Bilbo is the right man for the job, Gandalf explained that Bilbo is a Hobbit, and Hobbits are extremely light on their feet and can pass unseen by most if they choose to. There was also the fact that Smaug was accustomed to the smell of Dwarves, but the scent of Hobbit was unknown to him, and that puts them at an advantage.

When Gandalf presented all these arguments to the Dwarves, they were somewhat convinced that they should take Bilbo as their burglar and they offered Bilbo a contract. Bilbo was overwhelmed by the contract terms and he fainted. Nevertheless, he eventually joined the Dwarves in what would be the greatest adventure of his life.


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On this journey, Bilbo got far more than he bargain for. He found out that there is courage and fierceness inside him. Bilbo confronted Trolls, Goblins, and many other creatures. He even stood up against the dragon Smaug. Elves were rather kind toward Bilbo, and he was enchanted by them as he also met Elrond. He showed loyalty and sacrifice and he earned his respect because of it. This adventure also put Bilbo in a possession of The One Ring which will, in the future, be passed on to his nephew, Frodo.

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