The Hobbit Important Characters

Bilbo Baggins

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who lives a comfortable life in his home at Bag-End, Under-Hill. His quiet sedate life is interrupted by a visit from Gandalf, a wizard. It seems Gandalf needs Bilbo to act as a burglar for a group of dwarves, who want to retake their Mountain and treasure from a dragon. Bilbo doesn't want anything to do with such a proposition, but is talked into helping the dwarves.

This adventure, which takes a year to complete, changes Bilbo down to his core. He starts out a hobbit who doesn't dare take any risks or voice his opinion too loudly and ends up a courageous hero to the dwarves and a leader. The metamorphosis takes place rather abruptly when Bilbo is left to free himself and the others from the clutches of giant spiders. He realizes he is more courageous and self-reliant than he has previously thought. He suddenly is the hobbit the dwarves look to for guidance and help, until his seemingly betrayal of Thorin.

He took the most precious object of Thorin's, the Arkenstone of Thrain, and gave it to the Lake-men and Wood-elves to use as a bargaining tool to end a standoff between them and the dwarves. Thorin, later with his dying breath, decides to end his animosity towards Bilbo and pronounces them friends once more.

Bilbo is also the person who found the ring, which belongs to Gollum. This ring renders its wearer invisible, a power which comes in handy to Bilbo many times, during his journey with the dwarves.

Bilbo is a hobbit, who though he has changed in the end goes back to his home and becomes the same hobbit he was before his adventure. He still likes to be left alone to write and enjoy his solitude.


Gandalf is a wizard, who is a friend of Bilbo's grandfather. He knows Bilbo has more inside him than even Bilbo suspects. He orchestrates Bilbo's involvement in the dwarves' quest to recapture their mountain. He is a wise man, who is not afraid to help fight for what he feels is right. He, through his magical powers, more than once helps the dwarves and Bilbo out of dangerous situations. This is shown through his ability to use his voice to mimic the trolls, causing them to fight amongst themselves, until the sun rose turning them into stone. This allowed Bilbo and the dwarves to escape from the dwarves.

It was also Gandalf who recognized the danger of the dark cloud that foretold of the coming Battle of the Five Armies. He also fought alongside the others against the Goblins and Wild Wolves, even being wounded in the battle.

He is a true fiend to Bilbo, going so far as to see him safely home after the adventure is over. He returns later to visit with Bilbo and reassure him that all parties involved in the adventure were doing well.

Thorin Oakenshield

Thorin is the leader of the dwarves seeking to return the Mountain to dwarf control. He is the rightful King under the Mountain, but cannot claim that title until Smaug is dead. Unfortunately, he is killed in the Battle of the Five Armies, so he never does serve as the king.

He is clearly in charge of the dwarves and does not stand for anyone questioning his authority. He allows Bilbo to take charge, but Bilbo knows Thorin is the actual leader. Thorin, though he is angry at Bilbo for giving the Arkenstone of Thrain to Bard and the Lake-men, does forgive Bilbo on his deathbed. He does care for the dwarves serving under him and tries to take care of them the best he can. He would have been a good king, if he had been given the chance.


Smaug is a dragon, who manages to take possession of the Lonely Mountain from the dwarves. This means he has not only their mountain, but also their treasure. He is self-assured and overly confident, which in the end is his downfall. He thought no being could kill him, but Bilbo sees the spot on his chest which is not protected by armor. During Smaug's battle with the Lake-men, a thrush which is actually Gandalf, tells Bard about the weak spot and he shoots an arrow through it, killing Smaug. Smaug is actually stunned by the fact the men are fighting back and that Bard does not run from him. Smaug is a mean arrogant dragon, whose own self-confidence causes his death.


He is a Lake-man who shows great bravery during the attack by Smaug. He stands his ground, even when the Master of the Lake-town runs to the safety of a boat. It is he who shoots the arrow which kills Smaug. He also refuses the people's desire to make him a king.

Instead, he leads the Lake-men to the Mountain and along with the Wood-elves stands firm against Thorin. They want a share of the treasure to help compensate for the damage and loss of life caused by Smaug. He attacked them, because he knew they helped the dwarves reach the Mountain. After the dwarves, Lake-men and elves are attacked by the goblins and wild wolves, he becomes a leader in the battle. In the end he rebuilds the town in Dale and leads the men of the Lake who come to live under his leadership.

He is a wise trustworthy man who knows how to gather people to work together for a common good. He is also a valuable neighbor to the elves.


Beorn is a skin-changer, which means he can change from a man to a bear. Even though he has a bad temper, once he gives his loyalty to someone, he is their friend for life. He helps the dwarves, Gandalf, and Bilbo, even though he did not know them before they arrived at his home. He then comes to their aid once again during the Battle of the Five Armies and helps them to win the battle.


Gollum is a slimy creature Bilbo encounters in the tunnels in the mountain inhabited by the goblins. He wants to eat Bilbo, because he hasn't had human meat in a long time and since he doesn't know what a hobbit is; he thinks Bilbo will be the same as human meat.

Bilbo manages to take Gollum's prized ring, which angers Gollum immensely. He realizes Bilbo must have it, after he cannot find it in his hiding place and Bilbo mysteriously disappears from sight.

Gollum is very scary to Bilbo in the way he looks, talks and moves.

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The Hobbit Chapters 3 - 5 Summary
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The Hobbit Chapters 1 - 2 Quiz
The Hobbit Chapters 3 - 5 Quiz
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The Hobbit Chapters 16 - 19 Quiz
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Literature Summaries
J. R. R. Tolkien Facts

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