🧙 The Tolkien Forum 🧝

Welcome to our forum! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox! Plus you won't see ads ;)

Psychological Profile #1 - Bilbo Baggins

Ancalagon

Quality, not Quantity!
Joined
Aug 20, 2001
Messages
1,786
Reaction score
10
Psychology: the science that studies the human mind and behavior; mental state.
Psychological: of or relating to psychology; relating to or coming from the mind or emotions: able to affect the mind or emotions.
Profile: a biographical sketch


I am going to run a theme through the forums to try and learn what members interpretations are of certain characters psychological make-up. I guess they will become decidedly more difficult as you progress through the sections. If the feedback is positive I will add various characters at random throughout the forum, eventually trying to build a complete profile of the main characters in Tolkiens world.

First up on the couch; Mr Bilbo Baggins of Bag End

I want members to add their version of how they view Bilbo's psychological profile. This could include;

Personality traits,
Issues with Parent(s)
Addictions
Emotional Strengths and Weaknesses.......to name but a few.

Have fun.
 
Last edited:

Ancalagon

Quality, not Quantity!
Joined
Aug 20, 2001
Messages
1,786
Reaction score
10
Bilbo Baggins, Son of Bungo Baggins and Belladonna Took is an enigma of sorts. When he came into my office and plonked himself on the couch, the sound of wheezing and creaking was unmistakeable, I thought my couch, which has seen many an Tolkien character grace its leather and velvet padding, would break under the pressure of the rather portly little hobbit.

After a few minutes it became obvious that Bilbo had needs, cravings one might say, addictions would be closer the mark. His childhood was was fairly normal, his Father being a most conservative Hobbit brought an deep understanding of dignity and realism into Bilbo's life. Yet, it was from his Mother that Bilbo had developed a yearning for adventure, even if he didn't realise it for years after. Though it seems that for these years Bilbo had tried to suppress the more inquisitive side of his nature, preferring to model himself on his more upright and regimented father.

The curious part was Bilbo's reluctance to enter into a relationship, ever preferring the companionship of male Hobbits, not because of any sense of doubt over his tendencies, simply because he was ignorant of women, unsure of their ways and felt safer in dealing with his friends. Bilbo's lack of adventure, his need to fill a gap, manifested itself through his eating, drinking and use of pipe-weed. His lavish lifestyle, even before he had travelled to face his greatest challenge, was rather troublesome, compounded even more by the fortunes he received in later life. This had given rise to early health problems, namely gout and bronchial difficulties. Bilbo has an addictive nature, a yearning or desire that constantly needs satisfied. Was this because his father was distant? I fear this was the case, Bilbo could not identify with his father, even though his love for him was unquestionable. He had no brothers or sisters, his Mother gave him much of her time, but his Father, even though very much Bilbo's role model, was strangely unattainable, possibly unapproachable.

Bilbo's vices continued, he was now chain-smoking, blowing smoke rings whenever he could get the chance. His eating habits had taken a new twist; desperate bouts of midnight feasting, even soon after he had finished his, 'after supper morsel', as he fondly recollected.

His saving grace came most unexpectedly and from his closest friend, the Wizard; Gandalf Stromcrow. Gandalf had noticed the Hobbit getting more out of shape, he was tired and seemed to carry luggage that needed to be left behind. This was literally the case, for Bilbo left his house early one morning without so much as his breakfast, his pipe-weed fix or a handkerchief. The telling of that tale can be found elsewhere, however, what intrigues me most is Bilbos attachment to the ring. A need like Bilbo's was satisfied short-term by the power and corruption the ring possessed. Yet, it was coming face to face with Gollum that Bilbo feared most. Bilbo saw so much of himself in Gollum that it frightened him and haunted him for the rest of his days. He could see the loneliness, the avarice and greed that he had suppressed in himself plain as day, although this was a realisation he came too shortly before his 111 birthday.

The ring consumed him, he could not function without it, like a drug it controlled his thoughts and actions, until one day, he knew he must give it up. Pass it on to Frodo, his adopted son and suffer the cold-turkey that was to follow. Cold-Turkey, even that made Bilbo's mouth water! It was then that with the help of Gandalf, and the self-help councillor Elrond that Bilbo finally managed to overcome his addiction problems. He checked into Rivendell (middle-earths answer to the Betty Ford Clinic) and began to write his memoirs. Slowly he recovered, his weight returned to normal and life was once again good for this plucky little Hobbit. Only once after this did he have a relapse, when Frodo came to visit and tried to tempt him with the ring that had been his bane for so many years.

Bilbo, again had the challenge of overcoming his fears. He had feelings of depression and inadequecy after the Council of Elrond, and the fact that he could not be trusted to continue on the quest to destroy the ring. His battles with weight gain and loss was noticeable, for many years he fought the inner turmoil that for so long had consumed and drove him. His only repreive would be to travel to The Undying Lands, where finally Bilbo found the sustenance and solace he had desired for so many years.
 

Ancalagon

Quality, not Quantity!
Joined
Aug 20, 2001
Messages
1,786
Reaction score
10
That one was written with my 'sardonic psychobabel' hat on. Not to be taken too seriously or confused with realism. I was leaving the real analysis to you guys. Hell, I just come up with the ideas, you lot are supposed to respond:)
 

Úlairi

Crying in the Wilderness
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
1,965
Reaction score
6
Location
Down the rabbit hole...
Ancalagon, I noticed that your 'analysis' on Bilbo's childhood is not entirely factual. The man who knew Bilbo's mind inside out, your beloved mentor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, did not write of Bilbo's somewhat 'clouded' past. Some of it is factual, like the fact that Bilbo was an only child but I wonder, where did you derive the other information from?
 

Wood Elf

Registered User
Joined
Feb 3, 2002
Messages
118
Reaction score
1
I think Bilbo fought between his Took (wild) side, and the Baggins (sit at home smoking) side. He wanted to live in his hobbit hole in peace, but I don't think he really wanted this, if you know what I mean. It takes Gandalf coming and taking him away to wake up the Took side, and I think once Bilbo was out there, the Took side took over more and more, and Bilbo's adventuresome side was allowed to override the Baggins side of him. He was before sitting in his home, amist his comforts, but he had to be taken out of that and put in this adventure to reach his top potential. He would have been happy at home, but he never would have known just what strength and guts he possesed, and would have never reached the best he could be. Know what I'm saying? It takes getting thrown out there, and being put in hard circumstances to find just what we are made of, and I think Gandalf knew Bilbo needed this.
 

Úlairi

Crying in the Wilderness
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
1,965
Reaction score
6
Location
Down the rabbit hole...
Good post Wood Elf, but you are only telling us what we already know. Bilbo's Tookish side got the better of him, but we can never be sure what Bilbo had been like in his childhood. Because if he hadn't been adventurous than there must have been another major element that the fact that Gandalf pushed him and his Tookish side. We could therefore assume that Bilbo may have been an adventurous Hobbit child, but it is only by that point that we could assume anything.
 

Elbereth

Star Queen of Valinor
Joined
Jan 22, 2002
Messages
1,024
Reaction score
2
Location
Just west of Middle Earth..(aka: NJ)
Bilbo was most certainly a victim of supression prior to his adventures with Gandalf. As a child, his curiousity of the strange and unusual was very strong...and you can see this by his enthusiasm that he expresses to Gandalf's stories that he hears when he is a child...However, due to societal influence and family obligation to care for his family home...Bilbo had to supress his desire to travel.

(He was not altogether successful at this though...as is noted by several of his neighbors who considered Bilbo to be odd because he preferred to take long walks throughout the shire...and his refusal to take a wife.)
 

Ancalagon

Quality, not Quantity!
Joined
Aug 20, 2001
Messages
1,786
Reaction score
10
Bilbo's childhood is somewhat obscured, though samples of it can be gleaned from various texts.
 

Thread suggestions

Top