How Long Bilbo’s Journey Takes In The Hobbit (Compared To Frodo In LOTR)

Bilbo Baggins’ journey in The Hobbit is surprisingly longer than Frodo Baggins’ journey throughout the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The two hobbits are the main protagonist of their own respective stories within Middle-earth lore, and both went on excruciatingly long journeys to complete a dangerous quest. They each faced many obstacles along the way, with Frodo even following in Bilbo’s footsteps at the beginning, encountering the same group of trolls (albeit they had been turned to stone via Bilbo and Gandalf decades earlier).

In Lord of the Rings, Frodo’s journey takes him from the Shire to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring. On the other hand, Bilbo’s journey in The Hobbit is to join 14 dwarves, led by Thorin and Gandalf, to the Lonely Mountain to reclaim the land from the dragon Smaug. Both succeed in their quests, though neither without taking a permanent toll on themselves, which leads them both to depart for the Undying Lands at the end of Lord of the Rings.

How Long Bilbo’s Journey Takes Compared To Frodo’s

While the stories of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are both presented across movie trilogies of similar scale, the length of the two journeys differs, according to the Timeline of Middle-earth history. Bilbo joins Thorin’s company in The Hobbit to journey to the Lonely Mountain and leaves the Shire on April 27, 2941. The adventure to the Lonely Mountain and the return journey to the Shire takes Bilbo 421 days (almost 14 months) as he arrives home on June 22, 2942. This is confirmed in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies when Bilbo returns home to find his belongings being auctioned off and is told he was declared dead after being missing for over 13 months.

In comparison, Frodo’s journey in Lord of the Rings is slightly shorter. Frodo leaves the Shire with Samwise Gamgee and the One Ring on September 23, 3018. Including detours, Frodo walks from the Shire to Mordor and Mount Doom and back in 404 days (just over 13 months) as he and the other Hobbits arrive back in Hobbiton on November 1, 3019. Most would assume that because Lord of the Rings is a bigger story and the original novels are much longer than the single book of The Hobbit, Frodo’s journey would be the longer one. However, considering both journeys encountered diversions and challenges, the two amount to a similar length.

How Much Time Passes Across The Hobbit & LOTR Trilogies

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogies occur during the Third Age of Middle-earth and span over 80 years, six months, and 21 days. The Hobbit’s story begins when Thorin Oakenshield meets with Gandalf for the first time, so they can quest to free the Lonely Mountain. This meeting happens on March 15, 2941. Lord of the Rings’ timeline begins 60 years later with the celebration of Bilbo’s 111th birthday. At the end of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Samwise returns home on October 6, 3021, after watching Frodo sail from the Grey Havens.

The world of Middle-earth is rich, and this is made clear by how many journeys can be explored in this world over 80 years. Lord of the Rings takes its time with its epic story and executes Frodo’s journey beautifully. The Hobbit, a much shorter book, expands on its arcs across its movie-trilogy timeframe, with plot lines beyond Bilbo’s adventure. While this doesn’t sit well with audiences, it’s surprising to discover Bilbo’s journey is longer. The Hobbit trilogy ultimately had the breathing room to show Bilbo’s journey there and back again.