This is the graph under consideration:
The Tolkien Professor has observed that Bilbo’s big crossroads are finding the ring, killing the spider, and going down the tunnel toward the dragon. Each scene includes making an active choice to move forward in the dark.
[05.007] ‘Go back? ‘ he thought. ‘No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!’
Clearly these three choice points show up in our graph plus two more peaks – the end of Chapter 1 right before he runs out his front door without a pocket handkerchief, and the end of Chapter 17 (here we have run up against my unsteady hand copying the graph from Lexos in a flawed manner so that the chapter lines I drew don’t quite match up). The words at that peak point are [17.062] “he had seen a sight that made his heart leap, dark shapes small yet majestic against the distant glow.” Also, the Chapter 8 spider-killing peak extends into Chapter 9 and, although the Chapter 6 peak is overshadowed by the Chapter 5, there is one almost as large as the Chapter 12 and deserves mention!
Big thanks to Comfort & Food Guessers Kris, DMae, SonofSaradoc, Marie, Molly, SLMcAdie!
And Well Done Adventure & Challenge Guessers Dr Dmitra Fimi, Mattclen2, Repton, Tom Hillman, Galiodoc, Tom, SonofSaradoc!
And Shout-Out to Plot-Driven Guessers TriGirlJ, Tiberius, Ronan, Tom Hillman, Logan, Moxie, SonofSaradoc!
And the Winner is Kaypendragon! The name “Bilbo” makes this graph!
Are you fascinated, too? I hope that like me, you’re inspired to sift through the ends of Chapter 1 and ends of Chapter 17 as well as Barrels Out of Bond to see how they are related to Bilbo’s three big crossroads, or if we have a larger category here. Do these six sections define the character even as his name identifies him?
Olsen, Corey. Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012. Print.
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Annotated Hobbit. Revised and expanded edition annotated by Douglas A. Anderson. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston. Print.