Bilbo's character arc in the Book

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Post by Squid Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:29 am

How do you think the decisions Bilbo makes affect his character arc in the book?

In the book, Bilbo's undecidedness and recurring theme of longinless to go home are protrayed really well right from the get go, with the little subtle hint of recklessness on Bilbo's "Took" side.

Some I can list is Bilbo's decision to go on an adventure, in the book his revelation is not as extreme I feel as in the movie but still there

Bilbo's classic scene with Gollum, Bilbo does not even touch gollum as he sees pity in the book, sparing his life because of his Baggins side showing again. In the movie he kicks him in the head, wrecks the whole character ark from this in the movie, in the book he does not become some hero killing wargs after he goes into the caves... instead he is still the scarred little Hobbit!

His decision to not turn back and with the spinders to help his friends as well as leading the group on thier adverture are turning points for me, where he ahd many opportunities to shy away and go home, oevn the decision to take on the trolls~

And finally to help the elves and stop the war between dwarves and elves by giving the arkenstone over... a very important part in the book and a change for the better. Although he decides to leave his adventurous life and return home, as was his original intention....

Thoughts? I'd love to see some professional views on this as I know you are all very very knowledgable and I don't have the same depth

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Post by halfwise Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:48 pm

Once they divided into 3 movies they decided Bilbo had to become a hero by the end of the first movie. I think it's simple as that. But in order to do that they ended up dragging Azog into the story, and it was no longer The Hobbit.

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Post by Eldorion Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:12 pm

Hi Squid, welcome to Forumshire! cheers

I'm not at all a professional but I think you give a pretty good overview of Bilbo's character arc in the book. At the beginning Bilbo has very much settled down into a comfortable, middle-aged, upper-class existence. He's set in his ways and takes extraordinary circumstances to bring out his "adventurous" side. One of the things I've always liked about Bilbo is that he really is a middle-aged main character. So many stories focus on younger characters, but so I think Bilbo's age makes him unique. At the same time though, he's very relatable no matter how old you are.

My biggest concern for Bilbo's character arc in the movie is related to what Halfwise brings up. Since they've condensed so much of Bilbo's journey by giving him a big action scene at the end of the first film, I'm not sure what they plan to do with the character in the next film. My guess is they'll either retread much of the same ground covered in the first one, though they might try to take the character in a new direction beyond his journey in the book.
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Post by RA Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:08 pm

halfwise wrote:Once they divided into 3 movies they decided Bilbo had to become a hero by the end of the first movie. I think it's simple as that. But in order to do that they ended up dragging Azog into the story, and it was no longer The Hobbit.
Pretty much. Well said.
Though it's hard to say if Azog wasn't already going to be apart of the movies when it was just going to be a 2 parter; there was the lack of clarity regarding who was playing Bolg and Azog. Though it's tough to say even now if Bolg will make the final cut.

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Post by Eldorion Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:18 pm

I get the impression, given the back-and-forth regarding Bolg and Azog, that the decision to include both of them was made fairly late. Conan Stevens was originally announced as Azog, but this was later changed to say that he would play Bolg around April 2012. The actor who ultimately got credit for Azog (and who presumably filled in for the CGI double when they were filming) is Manu Bennett. This suggests to me that the idea of resurrecting Azog was made fairly early, but that they only got the idea to include Bolg as well after they had been filming for a while. It's possible that Bolg was one of the elements they felt they couldn't include without three films, so he may have contributed to the decision to expand the project further.

This is just speculation, though.
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Post by Squid Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:06 am

These changes grind my gears a bit... I'm only 16 and no genius but I have read the book over 10 times and to be honest am pretty peeved at Azog and now Bolg.... Azog is meant to be dead after all... With the wonders of goblin craftsmanship he manages a sweet new arm!

The thing is that many of these changes were just simply pointless! wouldn't it be just as easy to make him follow gollum, instead of an intense struggle to run away, or to include the goblin scene instead of him running out, meeting the dwarves then stab a warg in the face before climbing a tree, then saving Thorin in a compeltely made up scene? Couldn't they have shorted the stone giant scene, totally not what I imagined the giants to look like, and added things that went on at the Carrock, and the dwarves promising riches to the eagles? (IMO a cool connection could be then made at the end of the final movie), made an opening door at the back of the cave and have goblins run in, Gandalf burning some and then disseapearing while Bilbo knocks his head on a rock? Without him having to kill a goblin?

Should of, could have, would have, no use now! The damage is done....

In my opinion Bilbo's character arc is affected in the way that Bilbo is more portrayed as an ordinary Hobbit who overnight and after a couple of experiences with trolls becomes a hero, while in the book this change is much more progressive and the relationship between you and Bilbo is strengthened because Tolkien can make you relate to what is happening!

In saying that, I did love his desire to get back home as seen in the book

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Post by Norc Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:02 am

The thing is that many of these changes were just simply pointless! wouldn't it be just as easy to make him follow gollum, instead of an intense struggle to run away,

I don't really know where you're getting this from. In the book, he follows Gollum and to me as a reader it feels like an intense struggle, and I feel they did that in the movie. He did follow Gollum, until the "door" out. I do agree that stabbing the orc at the end was just wrong, but at the same time, I can see why they put it in, story arc, character development "thorin trusts him" now blabla, I don't have to like it, but I understand it. If they had sticked to two movies, they wouldn't have needed that bit as it would have ended with the barrel scene.
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Post by Squid Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:37 am

In the movie, Gollum chases Bilbo, an easy change to make Bilbo follow Gollum. In the book Gollum doesn't really know if Bilbo DOES have the ring, untill the very end. I may be wrong, but i'm pretty sure....

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:52 am

Gollum in the book assumes Bilbo has made a run for the exit. Bilbo therefore, who genuinely doesnt know the way to the exit, follows Gollum to find out where it is.

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Post by Norc Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:05 am

exactly, that was my thoughts too Wink how many times have you read the books Razz just kidding Wink though I do agree with you on some of your points, as I said, though.. they wouldn't have the "Bilbo-character-development-missing" problem if they stuck to the two movie idea. The killing an orc thing is bullshit, the only thing in the movie that made me shrug in disgust. Bilbo never kills anyone (except me in like a writing game on the internet, but I challenged him and regretted it immidiately... )
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Post by Norc Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:08 am

oh and Gollum doesn't really chase Bilbo in the movie either, there is nothing about that scene that doesn't make sense.
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Post by Squid Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:20 am

Oh crap I think I got confused with some other stuff I read somewhere.... didn't I saw Bilbo followed him in the books?

Sad Embarrassed I may not ever be able to call myself a Lotr nerd again

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:30 am

In the book after the riddle game Gollum goes back to his island to get the Ring- and discovers its lost- he suspects Bilbo and comes back for him- Bilbo runs for it and Gollum chases. Bilbo falls, slips on the Ring and Gollum goes straight passed him.
Bilbo then folows Gollum and overhears hm talking to himself and calling the Ring his birthay present (I wish theyd left that in as its a good connection back to Deagol and forward to Smeagols use of it in the LotR's)- its only listening to Gollum that Bilbo then realises Gollum is talking about the Ring and makes the connection.
Gollum then reasons as Bibo is tricksy he must have known the way out all along and so he goes down to the back door and Bilbo follows him and then escapes losing his buttons on the way out the door.

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Post by Norc Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:51 am

and that is pretty much how it is in the movie Wink
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:57 am

I did not say otherwise Norc- although it should have had the 'birthday present' conversation. Mad

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Post by Norc Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:00 am

yepp.. true, but it is minor. well, not really Wink
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:03 am

And in the film Bilbo doesnt discover the way out by following Gollum, and Gollum doesnt think Bilbo has gone to the back door.
In the film Bilbo sees Gandalf and the dwarves run by and thats how he knows the way out.
Just to point out the differences, if I were the crabbit sort who was being picky, which luckily I am. Twisted Evil

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Post by Norc Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:00 pm

I object. When Bilbo sees the rest of the company he is practically at the door, you can clearly see the daylight. Also in the book, he sees his friends running by and he is desperate because they can't see him and help him.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:27 pm

Yes but in the book Gollum leads Bilbo out mistakingly thinking that Bilbo as gone to the door- and Bilbo only follows Gollum because he overhears Gollum thinking this out loud.
That is different.

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Post by Norc Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:12 pm

he did that in the movie too.. though maybe he didn't say it outloud, which ofcourse would've made it better.
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Post by halfwise Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:08 pm

The differences in exit after the riddle game are all very minor and make no difference to character or story.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:15 pm

No and I am not saying they do- it was a comparison between how it happens in one compared to the other-although I do think leaving out the birthday present reference was a missed opportunity, even if they didnt have the whole conversation.

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Post by Mrs Figg Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:53 pm

ok barbie is weirding me out. affraid
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Post by Sinister71 Sun Feb 03, 2013 6:50 am

I still would have rather seen Bilbo follow Gollum to the door without the whole, Bilbo running around aimlessly to get away from Gollum. Plus having goblin guards at the backdoor and losing the buttons would have been great. Since it is the one connection they could have used to connect the ring to the LOTR trilogy instead of having to play up the almost nonexistent one they did in the film. You know the whole last trick of the ring before taking a new master bit with the goblins seeing Bilbo's shadow or a transparent Bilbo trying to squeeze thru the door. As to killing the Warg the whole Azog/Warg story line of this film was crap why shouldn't Jackson botch up Bilbo's involvement in it. For what it was it was entertaining but it certainly was not the Hobbit other than in some scenes and name only

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Post by David H Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:05 am

Hi Sinister. What did you think about Riddles in the Dark? I remember you were worried about that when the trailer first came out.
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