Bilbo Baggins is the protagonist and titular character of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic fantasy novel, The Hobbit (originally titled The Hobbit, or There and Back Again). In Tolkien's "Middle Earth," Bilbo is a hobbit, a shy, conservative member of a race of small, hairy-footed burrowers who keep to themselves in The Shire. He is conned by the wizard Gandalf into going on an adventure, and in the course of his episodic quests he grows from reluctant bystander to confident hero. The book was first published in 1937 as juvenile fiction; it earned enough praise that Tolkien was urged to write a sequel. He created the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, beginning in 1954. His hero for the trilogy was Frodo Baggins, the adopted son of Bilbo. Both hobbits become bearers of the Ring of Power that is central to Tolkien's fantasy world.
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