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Throughout the course of The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins learns to adapt, problem solve, and finds his own strength and courage. One of the most revealing moments comes in the end when Bilbo must sneak into Smaug's lair. "Already [the dwarves] had come to respect little Bilbo. Now he had become the real leader in their adventure. He had begun to have ideas and plans of his own" (199). Bilbo has really come into his own, developing his leadership and taking command of difficult situations. He becomes the most dependable member of the party: rescuing the dwarves from the spiders, liberating them once again from Thranduil's dungeons, discovering the secret door to the Lonely Mountain, and facing down Smaug.
As much of Bilbo grows and adapts, there is much of his character that remains the same. His loyalty and honest heart remain as steadfast of traits as they were in the beginning. Bilbo tries to mediate the elves and dwarves by offering the Arkenstone to Thranduil, saying: "I may be a burglar--so they say: personally I never really felt like one--but I am an honest one, I hope more or less" (244). Despite all the high adventure, battle, and intrigue, Bilbo stays true to himself. He remains loyal to the dwarves throughout the novel, even when it goes against his own self-interest to do so. Many times he could have abandoned them to secure his own comfort, but Bilbo stays true as seen in his response to the Elf King's invitation to stay with him:
" Thank you very much I am sure," said Bilbo with a bow "But I don't think I ought to leave my friends like this, after all we have gone through together." (244)
Adventure strengthens Bilbo's best character traits, making him more dependable and loyal than ever. In the end, he emerges a true hero.
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