Category: baggins

tolkienmatters: Sting was an elvish sword used…


Sting was an elvish sword used by Bilbo Baggins and his heir Frodo Baggins, Forged in the First Age in Gondolin, it’s purpose in battle was a dagger, but to a small hobbit it made an excellent short sword. It glows silver, blue on the edges, when goblins and orcs are nearby, which is a quality of First Age Elvish swords. It’s use during the Fall of Gondolin is unknown, but it was found by Thorin’s Company on their Quest to Erebor. Following the encounter and defeat of the trolls the Company found their hoard which held numerous treasures. Bilbo took the sword as he was unarmed at the time, and clearly underestimated the danger of the quest. Throughout his quest he kept it in his breeches, it is described as a plain sword with a leather sheath. It was used to intimidate Gollum for escape from the Misty Mountains, but it wasn’t until the dwarves were captured by the Giant Spiders of Mirkwood that Bilbo baptized the blade in blood. The “sting” of his sword upon the spiders is what prompted it’s name. The sword served Bilbo throughout his quest, and he brought it home to the Shire and ultimately Rivendell. There it was passed unto his heir Frodo Baggins, for his Quest of the Ring. Frodo used it extensively in the Mines of Moria and the Taming of Smeagol. It was able to cut the webs of Shelob, which is significant as they were immune to the barrow blade of Samwise. When Frodo was captured by the orcs of the Tower of Cirith Ungol, the sword passed to Samwise Gamgee, who took it from the “dead” Frodo. Wielded by Sam, Sting helped Samwise storm the Tower, save Frodo, and they finished the quest. Sting was given to Samwise as Frodo went to the Undying Lands, It became an heirloom of Sam’s family.

“Somehow the killing of the giant spider, all alone by himself in the dark without the help of the wizard or the dwarves or of anyone else, made a great difference to Mr. Baggins. He felt a different person, and much fiercer and bolder in spite of an empty stomach, as he wiped his sword on the grass and put it back into its sheath. ‘I will give you a name,’ he said to it, ‘and I shall call you Sting.’” – Bilbo showing his Tookish side, The Hobbit, Spiders and Flies. 

Bag End was a hobbit hole (smial) belonging to the Baggins…

Tolkien’s rendition of Bag End, I don’t know the date don’t sue me.

Fellowship of the Ring movie set (2001

Bag End was a hobbit hole (smial) belonging to the Baggins family. By Shire standards it was very luxurious as the Baggins family was wealthy. Described as a dwelling built into The Hill with a large green door and bright brass knob. Inside was almost entirely wood including polished chairs, lots of pegs for hats and coats (for visitors), high ceilings for wizards, and plenty of storage for plenty of food – All on the same floor. The best rooms were on the left side as that side had windows. Located in Hobbiton and built by Bungo Baggins, it remained the home of the Baggins Dynasty until the departure of Frodo Baggins where it was given to Samwise Gamgee. It was the setting for Gandalf’s invitation to Bilbo to join his adventure to Erebor and the dwarf party that ensued. Bilbo left Bag End for little over half a year and all the hobbits (led by the opportunistic Sackville-Bagginses) deemed him “Presumed dead”. Bilbo came back to his home and belongings being auctioned off! He foiled the plan and lived there with his adopted heir Frodo Baggins. When Frodo became the Master of Bag End (as Bilbo was fleeing to Rivendell in his old age) the events of the One Ring transpired. In order to mask their quest Frodo sold Bag End to the dreaded Sackville-Bagginses and purchased a smial in Crickhollow. Frodo’s return to the Shire was dampened by it’s occupation by Ruffians under the leadership of Sharkey (spoiler alert it’s Saruman). Saruman was using Bag End as his headquarters in the mass occupation and resource extraction of the Shire. It was formerly occupied by Lotho Sackville-Baggins but once Saruman arrived he was disposed of (and possibly eaten by Wormtongue). Following the Battle of Bywater Saruman was slain by the tormented Grima Wormtongue on the very doorstep of Bag End. The Shire was restored, Lobelia Sackville-Baggins gave Bag End back to Frodo, and the quest was over. Frodo went to the Undying Lands and then gave Bag End to Samwise Gamgee (who served at the estate’s gardener prior) who I assure you took good care of it.

“’Our last meal at Bag End!’ said Frodo, pushing back his chair. They left the washing up for Lobelia. Pippin and Sam strapped up their three packs and piled them in the porch, Pippin went out for a last stroll in the garden. Sam disappeared. – The band’s last meal in Bag End before their Quest of the One Ring, Fellowship of the Ring, Three Is Company

It’s weird how in LOTR there are so many characters who have two names, and two (usually…

It’s weird how in LOTR there are so many characters who have two names, and two (usually conflicting) personalities?

  • Gollum and Smeagol, obviously. But also:
  • Strider the ranger and Aragorn the King
  • Noblewoman Eowyn and warrior Dernhelm (the alias she took when riding out to battle in disguise)
  • Bilbo’s stuffy “Baggins” side and his adventurous “Took” side
  • Sauron the Deceiver and Annatar, Lord of Gifts
  • Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the White

add more if you think of them