Luck the idea, at first, Bilbo flat out

Luck always finds a way to people; whether it be through narrowly avoided accidents or

through something smaller. In The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien suggests the possibilities that are
between luck and divine intervention. Throughout the book, Tolkien suggests that prophecy or
divine intervention is above luck, as shown when Gandalf tells Bilbo that not all of his
adventures were the product of luck, or when Gandalf first takes the dwarves to meet with
Bilbo to be their fourteenth crew member.

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First of all, Tolkien implies that luck wasn’t the only thing making Bilbo and the dwarves’
journey successful. When Bilbo and Gandalf are talking at the end of chapter nineteen, Bilbo
mentions that he is surprised that “…the prophecies of the old songs have turned out to be
true, after a fashion!” (Tolkien Chapter 19). Prophecies in books often come true by the end of
each story, so luck would not have much to do with the entire story. Gandalf even replies, “You
don’t really suppose, do you, that all your adventures and escapes were managed by mere luck,
just for your sole benefit?” (Chapter 19). This hints that luck, while playing a part in Bilbo’s
meritorious adventures, wasn’t the only thing playing its hand in the overall scheme of the hunt
for the treasure. Because of this, one can ascribe that something of a higher power is
influencing the direction of the journey.

Second, when Bilbo first meets the dwarves with Gandalf, Thorin is apparently unhappy
and vitriolic with Gandalf’s decision about Bilbo being the fourteenth member of their
adventure team. Gandalf retorts, “You asked me to find the fourteenth man for your
expedition, and I chose Mr. Baggins. Just let anyone say I chose the wrong man or the wrong
house, and you can stop at thirteen and have all the bad luck you like, or go back to digging
coal” (Tolkien Chapter 1). The way Gandalf happened on Bilbo to be the fourteenth person for
the expedition is no ordinary luck. Though later on in the chapter he is noncommittal about the
idea, at first, Bilbo flat out despises the fact that he was chosen. When Gandalf first approaches
Bilbo and suggests the idea of an adventure, Bilbo says, “”We don’t want any adventures here,
thank you! You might try over The Hill or across The Water.” By this he meant that the
conversation was at an end” (Chapter 1). But he’s wheedled into going, which is exactly what
Gandalf and the dwarves needed, since Gandalf wasn’t going to stay with them forever. Luck
didn’t bring Gandalf to Bilbo; necessity did.

Choosing Bilbo and the success of all of his adventures were not lucky; they happened
due to a higher fate that transcends our understanding. Choosing Bilbo was out of necessity
and the achievements of his adventures were product of prophecies coming true. People can
relate to being lucky, like winning the lottery, and they can also relate to things happening in
which they have no explanation for.