The people of the realm have come together to celebrate Hobbit Day this week, to celebrate the lives of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, the heroes of JRR Tolkien’s revered fantasy epics.
The Baggins’ take centre stage in the Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings – one of the most successful movie franchises in cinematic history and most revered pieces of literature in modern history.
For International Hobbit Day – which coincides with Tolkien Week – fans hold Hobbit-esque parties and feasts while other enthusiasts pay homage to the characters by going barefoot for the day.
So to get into the Tolkien spirit, MM has assembled a list of the top Five Hobbits.
5. Meriadoc Bradybuck & Peregrin Took
Yes, these may be two into one, but you can’t have one without the other. Quite simply, Merry and Pippin provide the laughter as the mischievous double-act from the very beginning.
The duo provide the comedic influence over the film that fans enjoy, while allowing for the film to depart from a sole focus on evil and trying to overcome it.
Each, at some point, become involved in the struggle against evil they but fall short due their side-story roles behind the two main protagonists of each series.
The only villain in the films and book to appear throughout the series in a physical presence, Gollum comes in at four as the loveable but tortured character, who always manages to find a tree-trunk or puddle in which to talk to his other self – his ‘Precious’.
Gollum, once a Stoor Hobbit of the River-folk named Smeagol, is completely twisted by the Ring’s power by the time we meet him.
Brilliantly portrayed by Andy Serkis in the movies, Gollum becomes central to the story when he entrers the fray in the second instalment of the LotR trilogy.
He attempts reclaim the Ring, ‘stolen’ by Bilbo in The Hobbit before fighting with Frodo in Mount Doom in the film’s climax.
Gollum has remerged in the movie adaptation of The Hobbit with a still grey but much younger complexion, allegedly, and an eagerness to play a game of riddles with Bilbo, one of the more light-hearted scenes of the series so far.
Unfortunately Gollum disappears from the story to resurface in The Fellowship of the Ring set 60 years later.
3. Bilbo Baggins
Bilbo Baggins comes waddling in at third place, mainly because his story is not yet complete, as far as the movies are concerned.
Bilbo now has his own claim to fame in the film series of The Hobbit, portrayed by Martin Freeman.
The film takes on a more masculine outlook on Snow White, with Bilbo being accompanied by a rabble of Dwarves.
Freeman eventually faces off with Sherlock Holmes co-star, and part-time dragon, Benedict Cumberbatch.
Although The Hobbit hasn’t quite hit the heights of LotR it does relate to the viewer much more via Bilbo who goes out of his comfort-zone, leaves home, and goes on an adventure before returning home to become an accomplished author.
2. Frodo Baggins
Close but no dragon-singed cigar. Of course, most might expect Frodo Baggins – the Halfling who rids Middle-Earth of the evil Sauron once and for-all – to place top spot on this list, but not today.
Probably the only Hobbit on this list who appears to like the idea of adventure from the outset, Frodo carries the burden of the Ring, and the burden of nearly dying in every film of the LotR series.
As the Ring’s power becomes too much, Frodo almost fails in his quest in the finale, choosing not to destroy it.
However a fight with Gollum, a bitten off finger and almost falling to his death snaps him out of it to escape Mount Doom as the ring is destroyed.
And Frodo, like Bilbo, returns to the Shire to also write his own book before departing with the Elves and his uncle, leaving Sam with the ordeal of getting it published.
1. Samwise Gamgee
And that brings us on to good old Sam, the ‘fat little Hobbit’, and Frodo’s loveable sidekick.
MM’s top pick may come as a surprise to some but without Sam, Frodo would have made it to the fires of Mount Doom to destroy the Ring.
His moving speeches in every one of the LotR films may grate a tad, but this can be forgiven due to his warm heart and selfless heroism.
And to call Sam simply a sidekick would be a grave injustice, as he is so much more than a spare part, he’s an integral cog in the quest to defeat Lord Sauron.
Sam protected and cared for Frodo when the Ring began to suck the life out of him, even when Gollum tried to turn the young Baggins against his friend.
Sam warned rescued Frodo from certain death by driving off Shelob the giant spider, after Gollum lured them into a trap.
Unlike Frodo, Sam had the will power to resist taking the Ring himself, after Shelob appeared to have killed his fellow Hobbit.
Undeterred, Sam rescued Frodo when being captured by the Orcs, and then journeyed through Mordor to cast the Ring into the heart of Mount Doom and send Lord Sauron back to the depths of hell he came from.
Not bad for a fat little Hobbit.
Image courtesy of New Line Cinema, via YouTube, with thanks.