“The Hobbit” Characters

J.R.R. Tolkien’s acclaimed fantasy novel The Hobbit centers on the adventures of the unassuming hobbit Bilbo Baggins. Bilbo leads a quiet life until the wizard Gandalf enlists him to join a company of dwarves on a quest to reclaim their stolen treasure guarded by the dragon Smaug.


Bilbo is initially timid and content, preferring the comforts of home to adventure. Yet he soon discovers a well of courage and wits that prove invaluable to the company. Underneath his proper exterior lies a yearning for adventure.

Gandalf orchestrates the journey, seeing in Bilbo what others cannot. The wise wizard aids the group with his knowledge, though he mysteriously disappears for long stretches, leaving them to their own devices.

Thorin Oakenshield, the proud dwarf leader, is consumed by his quest to reclaim his birthright. Haunted by past tragedy and bitterness, Thorin doubts Bilbo at first but comes to respect and rely on the unlikely hobbit’s talents.

The cunning dragon Smaug, who hoards the dwarves’ vast wealth and treasure within the Lonely Mountain, holds particular danger and fascination. Bard the valiant human archer also plays a pivotal role in the epic journey. In the end, the book is full of memorable characters, of heroes and villains.