Which fictional character was born on the 22nd of September in the year 1368?
And the answer: Frodo Baggins.
In J.R.R. Tolkien's books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the 22nd of September is the birthday of the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, though they were born in different years. Today, fans around the world celebrate the 22nd of September as "Hobbit Day."
There are two main hobbits in Tolkien's legend: Bilbo Baggins, the original in The Hobbit, and his nephew Frodo Baggins, who takes over the action for The Lord of the Rings. More than just small characters with big feet, this pair revolutionized the fantasy genre. Never before had the canon seen two little people with a desire for peace take on the challenges of evil and the burden of the fate of the world.
Tolkien's 1937 The Hobbit first introduces the reader to the lovable Bilbo Baggins. Swept up into adventure, Bilbo has no tricks up his sleeve, or initial desire to choose bravery. Yet, along the way, he outsmarts a trio of trolls, creeps into a dragon’s lair to steal the Arkenstone from under its nose, and, of course, out-riddles Gollum in one of literature’s more masterful scenes. That's quite a lot of determination for any old hobbit.
Then there's Frodo. Driven by a desire to save the world, Frodo leads the reader through the saga of good against evil. Unlike a simple adventure story, The Lord of the Rings finds Frodo in situations that Bilbo could not hope to imagine. This innocent hero struggles against corruption, while Bilbo stands as a reminder of a more human reality.
While the merits of each hobbit could be contested endlessly, perhaps it's better to celebrate them both this September 22nd. Learn more about hobbits and Middle Earth here.