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Bilbo Baggins

Bilbo Baggins is the central character of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. He is the first in the history of Middle-earth to give up the One Ring voluntarily (see Ringbearer).

Born on September 22, of year 2890 of the Third Age, son of Bungo Baggins by his wife Beladonna Took, Bilbo found the One Ring during his adventures in The Hobbit, and escaped from Gollum when he won a riddle competition with the question 'what have I got in my pocket?' Bilbo was the Ring Bearer for many decades with no idea of its significance, and it prolonged his life beyond normal limits.

In The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo left the Shire on the day of his eleventy-first (111th) birthday , (September 22, T.A. 3001), leaving the Ring and all the rest of his estate to his nephew and heir Frodo. He travelled to Rivendell, accompanied by three dwarves, where he lived a very pleasant life of retirement: eating, sleeping and working on his memoir, There and Back Again, known to us as The Hobbit. He also wrote a book called Translations from the Elvish, known to us as The Silmarillion.

At the end of The Return of the King, Bilbo accompanied Frodo Baggins, Gandalf, and the Elves to the Grey Havens, there to take ship for Valinor across the sea, on September 29, T.A. 3021. He had already celebrated his 131st birthday.

The poem Bilbo's Last Song was published after Tolkien's death.

In the 1966 BBC Radio serialization of The Hobbit, Bilbo is played by Paul Daneman.

In 1968, Leonard Nimoy released a record, "The Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy," which contained the song "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins."

In the BBC's 1981 radio serialization of The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo is played by John Le Mesurier.

In Peter Jackson's film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Bilbo is played by Ian Holm, who played Frodo Baggins in the radio series 20 years earlier.

See also: Middle-earth, Gandalf, the Shire, Hobbits