I don't know if I belong to a minority here, but I read The Lord of the Rings before The Hobbit. I was deeply impressed by the character of Bilbo Baggins right from the start, and was absolutely thrilled when one of my friends told me there was actually a sort of prequel to Rings that was centered around my favourite hobbit. This same amazing person then gave The Hobbit to me as a birthday gift, and since then I have been reading it more or less once a year – so here we have one more example of a "children's book" that can cross over age classifications.
This is the part where I'm done with the introduction and intend to move on to my thoughts on the book, but before I do that I just have to mention really quickly that all the pictures in this post are by John Howe, who has made many wonderful illustrations for Tolkien's works. He even impressed Peter Jackson, who hired him (and Alan Lee) to do conceptual design for the films. So remember to admire John Howe's artwork while you read the post, alright?
|Bilbo's Front Hall|
|An Unexpected Party|
|Smaug the Golden|
|Smaug Destroys Lake Town|
So, what in your opinion was Bilbo's bravest deed on his journey to the Lonely Mountain?
- Deciding to go on an adventure in the first place
- Sneaking up on the trolls
- Playing riddles with Gollum
- Saving his friends from the giant spiders
- Getting everyone out of King Thranduil's dungeons
- Burgling from Smaug
- Giving the Arkenstone to Bard and King Thranduil behind Thorin's back
My choice would be number 7, without a doubt. After doing so much to aid the dwarves, Bilbo realizes that Thorin has been overcome by greed and the best thing to do is that one thing that will upset Thorin the most.