The Hobbit: School Reading Response 3- "I AM LUCKWEARER" & Hobbitually Lucky

     Here is my 3rd and final reading response to the Hobbit.  It actually is something, that as far as I've found no one else has considered yet- the Bilbo does in fact have a sort of magic.  It would also explain all those moments that were all too convenient to save the group, or finding items like the weapons or even being just in the right place and time to see the moon-runes.
     Here you go, I may do another cleaned up and better written version just because.

Bilbo has more luck than all of the rest of Middle Earth combined
     The Hobbit has a strange underlying magic that I believe has gone long overlooked.  It has  to do specifically with our tiny friend Bilbo Baggins.  There is something mentioned constantly through the book and runs through it's entirety. 
     In the beginning of the story we get to hear that the highly revered wizard Gandalf has chosen a burglar for a group of dwarves, in the hopes he will help them retake their home from the dragon Smaug.  I had to go back and look up a bunch of things to make sure I caught them properly, but this is what I believe to be the initial idea- when the dwarves are all questioning why Gandalf would have chosen Bilbo, his response is, "You asked me to find the fourteenth man for your expedition, and I chose Mr. Baggins. Just let any one say I chose the wrong man or the wrong house, and you can stop at thirteen and have all the bad luck you like, or go back to digging coal."   
     Many people seem to have hinged the bad luck on the number, which very well could be partly true, but I believe otherwise.  I think Bilbo has a subtle form of magic- an aura of luck that surrounds him.  He was chosen specifically as the lucky number.  Gandalf didn't choose a great leader, or an amazing elf hunter, or even himself as a wizard- he chose Bilbo.  For being a burglar of all things!  He chose a little unassuming Hobbit to join the dwarves.
     After the party's first antagonistic encounter with the trolls, the signs have already begun.  Sure, when he tried to burgle a troll a talking purse gave him away, but things went oddly well, and Gandalf had arrived in the nick of time to turn the trolls to stone.  But in this encounter it gets a little bit better when they are attempting to locate a way into the trolls' stash:  "Would this be any good?" asked Bilbo, when they were getting tired and angry. "I found it on the ground where the trolls had their fight." He held out a largish key, though no doubt William had thought it very small and secret. It must have fallen out of his pocket, very luckily, before he was turned to stone."
     That seems like an awfully convenient occurrence. 
     Later when they are travelling in the mountains and the storm giants are fighting the group is once again blessed with luck as nothing crushes any of them. ("Boulders, too, at times came galloping down the mountain-sides, let loose by midday sun upon the snow, and passed among them (which was lucky), or over their heads (which was alarming).)  
     Then Bilbo just happens to find a ring, and not just any old ring either- the magical One Ring.  It happens that he finds clues and accidentally answers riddles with Gollum correctly.  A bit later than that luck saves Bilbo again when having the riddle contest with Gollum when he accidentally cheats (again, as the question posed was an unfair question that Gollum couldn't know) by asking himself what's in my pocket and Gollum guesses "Handses!"
     "Wrong," said Bilbo, who had luckily just taken his hand out again. "Guess again!"  If he hadn't pulled his hand out he would've been a much worse cheater because Gollum's answer would've been accurate. 
     The luck strikes again when fleeing the goblins ("There will be a bit of moon, if it keeps fine, and that is lucky."-Gandalf) and the Wargs ("For a time they were safe. Luckily it was warm and not windy.")
     Perhaps it is an indication that Gandalf may know about the luck, maybe even subconsciously, when he has to part ways with Bilbo and the dwarves and says, "I always meant to see you all safe (if possible) over the mountains," said the wizard, "and now by good management and good luck I have done it."  Maybe he suspects favor is on their side, but not the root cause of it. 
     The advice Beorn gives has a touch of it as well, "That is all the advice I can give you. Beyond the edge of the forest I cannot help you much; you must depend on your luck and your courage and the food I send with you. "  Do the magical type beings have an instinctual feel for magic somewhere deep inside them?  Like small magics calling to each other? 
     Gandalf makes a habit out of mentioning the luck.  "We may meet again before all is over, and then again of course we may not. That depends on your luck and on your courage and sense; and I am sending Mr. Baggins with you. I have told you before that he has more about him than you guess, and you will find that out before long."  And again when he says, "Stick to the forest-track, keep your spirits up, hope for the best, and with a tremendous slice of luck you may come out one day and see the Long Marshes lying below you, and beyond them, high in the East, the Lonely Mountain where dear old Smaug lives, though I hope he is not expecting you." 
     Bilbo passes out due to elven magic in Mirkwood forest and is saved due to, you guessed it, LUCK!  ("They were just giving up hope, when Dori stumbled across him by sheer luck.")
     A bit later his luck is shown a bunch with the spiders.  ("Then the great spider, who had been busy tying him up while he dozed, came from behind him and came at him. He could only see the things's eyes, but he could feel its hairy legs as it struggled to wind its abominable threads round and round him. It was lucky that he had come to his senses in time. Soon he would not have been able to move at all.")  When dealing with the spiders, it appears his luck is in overdrive.  Maybe it's effects were enhanced by the One Ring- it could've been somehow compounding the luck.
     ("In the end he made as good a guess as he could at the direction from which the cries for help had come in the night - and by luck (he was born with a good share of it) be guessed more or less right, as you will see.")
     ("With that he turned and found that the last space between two tall trees had been closed with a web-but luckily not a proper web, only great strands of double-thick spider-rope run hastily backwards and forwards from trunk to trunk. Out came his little' sword. He slashed the threads to pieces and went off singing.")
     ("I don't suppose he would have managed it, if a spider had not luckily left a rope hanging down; with its help, though it stuck to his hand and hurt him, he scrambled up-only to meet an old slow wicked fat-bodied spider who had remained behind to guard the prisoners, and had been busy pinching them to see which was the juiciest to eat.") 
     Now for a slight proof that the ring and luck are separate, because some think it may be the ring itself.  ("Knowing the truth about the vanishing did not lessen their opinion of Bilbo at all; for they saw that he had some wits, as well as luck and a magic ring-and all three are very useful possessions.")  Just a tad bit more proof that the luck has been with them since Bilbo joined the group. 
     When he is trying to rescue the dwarves it is especially mentioned.  ("When he heard this Bilbo was all in a flutter, for he saw that luck was with him and he had a chance at once to try his desperate plan. He followed the two elves, until they entered a small cellar and sat down at a table on which two large flagons were set. Soon they began to drink and laugh merrily. Luck of an unusual kind was with Bilbo then.")  Not just any sort of luck, but an unusual kind.  An extraordinary kind.  It keeps popping up- over and over.
     His luck manages to save both himself and all the dwarves in the barrel escape section.  ("I do hope I put the lids on tight enough!" he thought, but before long he was worrying too much about himself to remember the dwarves. He managed to keep his head above the water, but he was shivering with the cold, and he wondered if he would die of it before the luck turned, and how much longer he would be able to hang on, and whether he should risk the chance of letting go and trying to swim to the bank.
     The luck turned all right before long: the eddying current carried several barrels close ashore at one point and there for a while they stuck against some hidden root. Then Bilbo took the opportunity of scrambling up the side of his barrel while it was held steady against another. Up he crawled like a drowned rat, and lay on the top spread out to keep the balance as best he could. The breeze was cold but better than the water, and he hoped he would not suddenly roll off again when they started off once more. Before long the barrels broke free again and turned and twisted off down the stream, and out into the main current Then he found it quite as difficult to stick on as he had feared; but he managed it somehow, though it was miserably uncomfortable. Luckily he was very light, and the barrel was a good big one and being rather leaky had now shipped a small amount of water.)
     Then after losing the dwarves he ends up finding them once again.  (He scrambled down as fast as his stiff legs would take him and managed just in time to get on to the mass of casks without being noticed in the general bustle. Luckily there was no sun at the time to cast an awkward shadow, and for a mercy he did not sneeze again for a good while.
     As he listened to the talk of the raftmen and pieced together the scraps of information they let fall, he soon realized that he was very fortunate ever to have seen it at all, even from this distance. Dreary as had been his imprisonment and unpleasant as was his position (to say nothing of the poor dwarves underneath him) still, he had been more lucky than he had guessed.) 
     The Lonely Mountain shows that the luck continues.  Thorin says, "Now is the time for our esteemed Mr. Baggins, who has proved himself a good companion on our long road, and a hobbit full of courage and resource far exceeding his size, and if I may say so possessed of good luck far exceeding the usual allowance-now is the time for him to perform the service for which he was included in our Company; now is the time for him to earn his Reward."
     Part of Bilbo's reply is this, "Perhaps I have begun to trust my luck more than I used to in the old days"
     Then later Bilbo says, "I have no idea at the moment - if you mean about removing the treasure. That obviously depends entirely on some new turn of luck and the getting rid of Smaug."  And this does come to pass.  As the Thrush that overhears him passes the information to Bard the Bowman, who uses that information to slay the dragon. 
     While Bilbo, still thinks it isn't himself causing all the luck (Hurriedly Bilbo stepped back and blessed the luck of his ring.) but he thinks it's the ring doing it.  He has so much of it that it effects everything and everyone around him.  He has an inkling that it's there, but to how great an extant- he has no clue!
     When he starts his conversation with Smaug, and is asked his name he says, "I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number."  Something I think is far more important and completely goes right by everyone.  "I was chosen for the lucky number."  Of course the conversation goes on- 
     "Lovely titles!" sneered the dragon. "But lucky numbers don't always come off." 
     "I am Ringwinner and Luckwearer" 
     "If you get off alive, you will be lucky." 
     "Why not say 'us fourteen' and be done with it. Mr. Lucky Number?" 
     Then Bilbo makes a break for it.  One in which he is saved yet again by ridiculous luck.  (It was an unfortunate remark, for the dragon spouted terrific flames after him, and fast though he sped up the slope, he had not gone nearly far enough to be comfortable before the ghastly head of Smaug was thrust against the opening behind. Luckily the whole head and jaws could not squeeze in, but the nostrils sent forth fire and vapour to pursue him, and he was nearly overcome, and stumbled blindly on in great pain and fear. He had been feeling rather pleased with the cleverness of his conversation with Smaug, but his mistake at the end shook him into better sense.)  He escapes by luck and circumstance!   
     After the battle of 5 armies- which Bilbo very luckily avoids any harm in against the Goblins and Wargs he meets up with Gandalf, who mentions again the luck of this Hobbit.  (When Gandalf saw Bilbo, he was delighted. "Baggins!" he exclaimed. "Well I never! Alive after all - I am glad! I began to wonder if even your luck would see you through!")
     The adds a nice little touch to the idea of Bilbo's luck- which makes me wonder- is Gandalf truly aware of it?  And Bilbo himself would probably just believe it was the ring- as he is quite content to be a little fellow of no esteem. 
     "Of course!" said Gandalf. "And why should not they prove true? Surely you don't disbelieve the prophecies, because you had a hand in bringing them about yourself? You don't really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck, just for your sole benefit? You are a very fine person, Mr. Baggins, and I am very fond of you; but you are only quite a little fellow in a wide world after all!" 
     "Thank goodness!" said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar. 
     This luck would also explain all the coincidental occurrences throughout the story.  Each occurrence that happened in the nick of time, how everything fell into place just right, and how stuff like being in the right place and right time happened for the moon-runes.  It would explain how salvation was quite convenient. 
     In the end we readers happen to be just like Gandalf and the dwarves- we recognize there is something special about Bilbo, and there must've been a reason he was chosen.  The problem is we are all constantly failing to see what that something is.  His all pervading luck is just as unseen and overlooked as Bilbo is himself.  Could Gandalf see it truly?  Or was he aware of that odd something, like a fish not seeing the water that is surrounding them. 
     Smaug was right- Bilbo's luck didn't come off- time and again, it held through the entire journey, from there and back again it never faltered- it carried him the whole way.

     And if you've made it this far down here is a meme I adapted from one I made up for the Desolation of Smaug post I did.  A CSI: Middle Earth Meme, if you will.

Throughout There and Back Again,

It looks like Bilbo is...

( •_•)
( •_•)>⌐■-■

Hobbitually lucky.


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