Always interested in Fate vs Free Will!

01.099 and I chose Mr. Baggins.
01.099 Just let any one say I chose the wrong man or the wrong house,
01.100 I have chosen Mr. Baggins
01.117 the chosen and selected burglar.
01.130 and if I have chosen my own time
04.049 and they chose out their very quickest runners
05.015 I guess it’s a choice feast;
06.008 and why the wizard had not chosen someone with more sense.
08.040 is to choose the tallest tree
08.041 They chose him,
11.006 For this purpose he chose Balin and Fili and Kili,
12.039 Perhaps before long one or two could be chosen
12.052 I was chosen for the lucky number.’
12.095 and you shall choose your own fourteenth,
13.021 and choose my own share;
13.021 and I think I would choose this,
13.021 and choosing had not really been meant
17.015 Curse him for his choice of you!
17.018 that I might choose my own fourteenth share?
17.049 and it prevents your head from being specially chosen


I am thrilled to report that the students in my Intro College Comp course here at River Valley Community College are enthralled by my demo of this project! We chose “Sky” as a word to explore. For a work with so many landscape references, I am amazed that the common word “Sky” comes up so infrequently.

• 01.083 in a dark sky above the trees.
• 03.047 in the sky together.
• 03.050 blue sky
• 06.067 in the sky
• 06.078 beneath the sky!
• 06.085 in the sky,
• 08.004 and of the sky,
• 09.061 He could see the paler sky between them.
• 10.018 in the sky
• 11.014 and was open to the sky above;
• 11.037 and evening sprang into the sky.
• 12.007 in a pale sky barred with black
• 14.002 in the sky.
• 14.040 here and there across the sky.
• 16.007 The sky was black
• 17.040 A black cloud hurried over the sky.
• 17.042 and gazed at the sky.
• 17.054 Soon actual darkness was coming into a stormy sky;
• 19.019 the sky darkened


In honor of Professor Verlyn Flieger, we explore the common word “adventure”, which is not so very common for a hobbit to have…

Coming to us from Latin through French and Anglo-Norman, “adventure” meant destiny, fate in the 11th century and the meaning moved to, chance event, accident, chance, fortune, luck by the 12th century. Adventurous activity, especially as undertaken by knights and even marvel, wonder. The sense of a certain type of story full of the deeds of brace knights became part of this word in the 13th and 14th centuries.

• 01.003 but also because they never had any adventures
• 01.003 This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure,
• 01.004 and have adventures.
• 01.005 Not that Belladonna Took ever had any adventures
• 01.006 and adventures sprouted up all over the place wherever he went,
• 01.011 in an adventure that I am arranging,
• 01.012 and have no use for adventures.
• 01.013 We don’t want any adventures here,
• 01.017 and lasses going off into the Blue for mad adventures?
• 01.020 to send you on this adventure.
• 01.021 Sorry! I don’t want any adventures,
• 01.023 and beginning to think that he had escaped adventures very well.
• 01.043 for they sounded much too adventurous –
• 01.058 whether a most wretched adventure
• 01.060 in the least an adventure.
• 01.123 a fine adventurous lad
• 01.132 and lots of adventures of a most unpleasant sort he had,
• 02.027 but still he began to feel that adventures were not so bad after all.
• 02.032 never saying if he was in the adventure
• 02.036 adventures are not all pony-rides
• 03.025 He thought their opinion of his adventure might be interesting.
• 03.033 in the story of Bilbo’s great adventure is only a small one,
• 03.050 with their hearts ready for more adventure,
• 04.003 when you are off on dangerous adventures
• 04.004 that they would pass without fearful adventure
• 06.019 Then they wanted to know all about his adventures
• 06.088 after the dreadful adventures
• 06.100 So ended the adventures of the Misty Mountains.
• 07.011 for after all this is not my adventure.
• 07.128 that the adventure was far more dangerous
• 08.047 their tale of all the many adventures they had had since.
• 08.145 and the beginning of another adventure
• 09.012 tiresome, uncomfortable adventure!
• 09.063 much of his adventures that night,
• 09.063 and greatest adventure,
• 10.002 and through many adventures to see it,
• 10.011 and if you want to go on with this silly adventure –
• 12.006 at the beginning of their adventures
• 12.041 in their adventure.
• 12.058 since you know all about Bilbo’s adventures
• 12.080 You aren’t nearly through this adventure yet,’
• 15.024 In any case he felt that the adventure was,
• 16.016 and ever since the adventure
• 18.018 This is a bitter adventure,
• 18.021 and he was now weary of his adventure.
• 18.051 and adventures before he got back.
• 18.054 and he turned his back on his adventure.
• 19.005 to hear the tale of their adventures.
• 19.024 for their nasty adventure with Tom
• 19.047 that all your adventures

Mister Baggins

One of the great pleasures I have taken in joining the ranks of Tolkien scholarship is meeting and working collegially with such wonderful folks as Emily Austin, a scholar and visual artist.  Ms. Austin is in the middle of a project considering when Bilbo is called “Mr. Baggins” in the narrative, and I think she has caught on to something.

Ms. Austin, here are all the instances of “Mr. Baggins” (or the possessive form, or “Mister Baggins”) in the work. I think that with the help of the Hobbit Paragraph Index, your instinct is going to pay off.  Look to see who is calling him that – is it almost always Gandalf?  and not the narrator?

If you’d like the list of “Baggins” with or without “Mister”, or the list of “Bilbos”, I am, dear friend, at your service.

  • 1.012 said our Mr. Baggins,
  • 1.016 Mr. Bilbo Baggins.
  • 1.017 that Mr. Baggins was not quite so prosy
  • 1.043 Throng!’ thought Mr. Baggins.
  • 1.050 but poor Mr. Baggins said he was sorry so many times,
  • 1.058 thought Mr. Baggins,
  • 1.083 and very quickly he was plain Mr. Baggins
  • 1.090 Gandalf, dwarves and Mr. Baggins!
  • 1.091 To the estimable Mr. Baggins,
  • 1.096 Then Mr. Baggins turned the handle
  • 1.099 and I chose Mr. Baggins.
  • 1.100 I have chosen Mr. Baggins
  • 2.004 “What message?” said poor Mr. Baggins
  • 3.016 What brings Mister Baggins
  • 4.042 and here’s Mr. Baggins: fourteen!
  • 4.045 said poor Mr. Baggins bumping up
  • 5.009 in Mr. Baggins’ place,
  • 5.019 I am Mr. Bilbo Baggins.
  • 6.006 leaving Mr. Baggins
  • 6.018 Mr. Baggins,’
  • 6.024 Mr. Baggins has more about him than you guess.’
  • 6.05 near Mr. Baggins’ hole at home,
  • 6.056 and give Mr. Baggins a hand up!’
  • 7.022 Don’t be a fool Mr. Baggins if you can help it;
  • 7.03 Come on Mr. Baggins!
  • 7.039 That is Mr. Baggins,
  • 7.079 that Mr. Baggins had been mislaid.
  • 7.088 Mr. Baggins saw then how clever Gandalf had been.
  • 7.121 and he poked Mr. Baggins’ waistcoat most disrespectfully.
  • 7.136 Mr. Baggins’ eyes are sharper than yours,
  • 7.142 and I am sending Mr. Baggins with you.
  • 7.149 Mr. Baggins.
  • 8.016 Mr. Baggins is talking about.’
  • 8.041 Poor Mr. Baggins had never had much practice
  • 8.062 I shall send Mr. Baggins alone first to talk to them.
  • 8.076 made a great difference to Mr. Baggins.
  • 8.104 but Mr. Baggins was
  • 8.125 From which you can see that they had changed their opinion of Mr. Baggins very much,
  • 8.127 Mr. Baggins?
  • 9.011 Poor Mr. Baggins –
  • 9.012 it would have to be done by Mr. Baggins,
  • 9.015 until in fact the remarkable Mr. Invisible Baggins
  • 9.036 said Mr. Baggins to himself.
  • 9.061 In this way at last Mr. Baggins came to a place
  • 10.004 It might have been some comfort to Mr. Baggins
  • 10.016 and Mr. Baggins.
  • 10.016 Mr. Baggins.
  • 10.023 and Mr. Baggins who has travelled with us out of the West.’
  • 10.040 though doubtless Mr. Baggins remained a bit of a mystery.
  • 10.045 dwarves, Mr. Baggins,
  • 11.013 Mr. Baggins had more than the others.
  • 12.002 Now is the time for our esteemed Mr. Baggins,
  • 12.026 Get inside Mr. Baggins12.036 Mr. Baggins?’
  • 12.078 Mr. Baggins’ one idea was to get away.
  • 12.092 Mr. Baggins!’
  • 12.095 Mr. Baggins,
  • 13.010 At length Mr. Baggins could bear it no longer.
  • 13.017 Mr. Baggins was still officially their expert burglar
  • 13.036 Mr. Baggins!’
  • 13.039 All the same Mr. Baggins kept his head
  • 16.014 Mr. Baggins,
  • 16.022 I am Mr. Bilbo Baggins,’
  • 16.043 Well done! Mr. Baggins!’
  • 19.037 The return of Mr. Bilbo Baggins
  • 19.037 before Mr. Baggins was
  • 19.042 that Mr. Baggins’ waistcoat was more extensive
  • 19.047 Mr. Baggins,


A thank-you to Tom Shippey!

  • 1.117   even a Hero.
  • 1.117   and in this neighbourhood heroes are scarce,
  • 3.032   and heroes of the North for ancestors,
  • 12.006   dwarves are not heroes,
  • 18.002   ‘At any rate I am not yet one of the fallen heroes;