This time, I have a project from ninth grade, where we had to choose a character from the Hobbit and write journal entries from their points of view throughout the novel. I choose Gandalf, so this is “Gandalf’s Journal”.
The day I came upon the hobbit:
I was simply passing through The Hill when I came upon old Bilbo Baggins. His grandfather had been a good friend, and his mother had had a fine spirit for adventure. One look at the hobbit and you didn’t see it, but I remembered him from the old days. Wizards have excellent memory you know. But old Bilbo Baggins ,when he wasn’t quite so old, would get very excited indeed when I came around back then, magic and fireworks in tow. And the dwarves needed a 14th member for their adventure. I was not certain I’d find the hobbit, but I did, and I considered it a sign. So we spoke, and I found that he was indeed in need of an adventure. The hobbit seemed quite flustered when he returned inside his hole. It’s quite amusing. So I marked the burglar’s sign upon his door, and told the dwarves to meet me there tomorrow. I told them I had found their 14th member. Let us hope I am not mistaken.
The first day of the journey:
Last was a long night full of explanations and eating. And on this day, the hobbit almost didn’t come on the adventure! That is a note to be made; hobbits do not clean the mantle in the mornings. I of course knew the little hobbit might lose his nerve with one foot out the hobbit hole; it is the very reason I was there at all. But he came, he came running! We may yet make a Took out of this Baggins. If I’d had any doubts, last night and this morning have proven them unfounded. Bilbo Baggins, hobbit and fond of comfort though he may be, is an adventurer at heart. He is, after all, Belladonna Took’s son. A bit too proud, a bit too stubborn, and a bit too scared. But that is, perhaps, exactly why the dwarves need him. They need a cautious one, a voice of reason when I am not there. Bilbo Baggins will certainly make a fine adventurer; all he needs to do is believe in himself. And the dwarves! Well, they do not trust poor Bilbo, but they trust me a great deal. I’m the wizard! And a fine one at that. They will be disheartened to find I do not intend to complete the journey with them. The dwarves are too minded on the gold to think of the dragon or journey, a hobbit is just what they need. Even if neither hobbit or dwarf seems to think so.
The day after the goblins:
After being caught by the goblins, nasty creatures that they are, Thorin created a distraction with the goblins fear of the sword, and in their distraction, I pulled a fancy little trick! Lots of lights and smoke, magic you know. I’d explain, but it is far too much for the funny little brain of anyone who would every read this to understand. Far too much to explain. All you need to know is this: There was a distraction, with magic aide, and Thorin killed the great goblin. While getting captured is never a good omen, the defeat of a great and powerful, not to mention widely feared, enemy boded very well for the looming battle with Smaug. I might make fighters out of these miners yet.
We made it out of the goblins tunnels of course. Dwarves are well suited for the underground, good eyes in the dark. And a little magic always does go a long way. Dori carried Bilbo, his poor hobbit legs can’t run quite as fast. Though in the scramble to flee the goblins Bilbo was lost. He didn’t die, not that we knew. He was simply there one moment and gone the next. We made it out of the tunnels. We didn’t have to much trouble, most of the goblins were behind us, not guarding the exits. We did wait for Bilbo in the clearing, the dwarves taking turns standing guard. It’s dreadful, losing a member of your party. Not knowing if they are alive or not. Not knowing whether to wait or move on. Certainly no one considered going back! We barely made it out as it is. No sense in another casualty. Though I did hope Bilbo was alright. He is not the strongest or the bravest, he is perhaps not even the smartest, but he has a kind heart. Which is more than you could say for the goblins at any rate.
And then he came back. Out of no where. One second gone and the next there! Like his own brand of hobbit magic, which I know for a fact doesn’t exist. There are wizards, sorcerers, necromancers, enchantments, and even a curious little branch of elvish magic. But hobbits do not have magic. And Bilbo, though growing in spirit, was not enough to escape from goblins on his own. And from his story, the way he pauses and thinks, the way he describes the creature Gollum. This Gollum does not seem the sort to honor an agreement, even one such as the riddle game. No, our little burglar has a secret, for he will not even meet my eyes. I do not think he is lying, he did escape after all. But there is something he is not telling us. And I could force him to say it, but he has that spark that was missing. That look of an adventurer is finally there. Like he wants to be here, not like he was dragged. And the dwarves are being respectful to him. They are starting to think of Bilbo as a burglar. A Took rather than a Baggins. So I will let him keep his secret, until the time comes that it need not be kept.
They day I left them at mirkwood:
It is a very good thing Beorn lent us the ponies for the journey to Mirkwood, the company needs to steal their strength for the trek ahead. They are well rested and laden with as much food and water as they may carry. As are as prepared as one can be to enter Mirkwood. And what a fine time for it as well. For I believe I have done all I can for them at the moment. They must complete this leg of the journey on their own, the hobbit especially. He will never prove his skills, even to himself, if he has a wizard to rely on the whole way. He needs to be able to know he can save them himself, if only for having no other choice. And he is well prepared. He noticed Beorn following when none other, save myself, did. And after the goblins, he is more competent and confident. He does not have any brawn, or much brain. But he has spirit, and heart. And Bilbo will lead the dwarves through Mirkwood. And I do hope he succeeds. I have grown quite fond of the lot of them despite myself. Bilbo especially. But what else to be expected from Belladonna Took’s son. The same Belladonna who was one of the only hobbits to ever befriend a wizard. One of the few even brave enough to talk to one. Bilbo Baggins will do great things if given a chance. He is the splitting image of his father, but he is his mother through and through.
Bilbo Baggins will lead the dwarves through Mirkwood. A hobbit leading an adventure party full of dwarves. That is a story that has never been told before today. And I certainly hope there is no foul reason for that. Should they head my warning, and stay on the path, they should make it just fine. But, perhaps not. Only time will tell.