The Hobbit shows that the events of the Hobbit took place sixty years before Bilbo's grand birthday party which took place in the 'Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring' as clearly the openings of both the movies cross each other.

From the movie Bilbo seems to be very young too. However he himself announced that it was his 111th birthday on the party. That leaves him 51 years old when Gandalf meets him for the first time. But on the contrary he shows no sign of old age.

Am I missing something from the book?

  • Bilbo did not age another day since he had found the one ring, so why on earth is he portrayed as being younger in the new trilogy than he was in the LOTR trilogy. Poor casting and not more friendly at all.
    – user3697
    Commented Dec 25, 2012 at 3:30
  • I don't think Bilbo wore the ring 24/7 in the following 60 years. And he did look quite young for a 111 year old.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Dec 25, 2012 at 9:35
  • 2
    Not exactly an answer to the question - but your point is well made, they should have cast a younger person in the LOTR. "Well preserved .... unchanged would be nearer the mark" are quotes from the book - to my ears written in a way to describe gossipy neighbors jealously describing his youthfulness, rather than a literal 'did not age a day' though.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Dec 25, 2012 at 10:02
  • I think that the casting of Bilbo in the hobbit was an excellent choice, the only thing I have wrong with it is that the scene in LOTR FOTR where we see Bilbo take the ring was a lot different and that is what has disappointed me the most really. However as for someones comment on Frodo looking older the young Bilbo I disagree because I think Elijah Wood looks slightly younger then Martin Freeman and so he fits the part perfectly in the movie
    – user5120
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 21:27
  • @MoonShine - I think so too, the casting has been very well done. I think at some point they might retcon that sceene in TLOTR, and perhaps refresh the effect a little bit. Gollum in The Hobbit looks quite a bit better than in TLOTR.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 22:43

2 Answers 2


You are correct, Bilbo is 50 when he meets Gandalf in the Hobbit ... in Third Age 2941, 60 years before the party in TA 3001, at the start of the Lord of the Rings. He will turn 51 later that year in the story.

Hobbits live longer then Humans, shown by the fact that Bilbo's age at the party of 111 is not that unusual, what is unusual is how young he looks for his age due to the ring. Also Hobbits come of age at age 33, rather than is typically 16-21 for Humans today.

You say that Bilbo is quite young in the movie. Martin Freeman is 41 years old now, so was around 40 when filming the movies. Given that Hobbits live longer, I don't think its unrealistic to think that he doesn't look typically old for a 50 year old Hobbit.

  • Frodo was 33 years when Bilbo celbrated his 111th birthday.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 12:23
  • 3
    @Oliver_C yes, and together their ages added to 144 the number of guests at the party. And Frodo looks younger than 33 for the same reason that Bilbo looks younger than 50.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 12:27
  • Does anybody know how old is Gandalf? Just feeling curious!
    – Mistu4u
    Commented Dec 25, 2012 at 9:46
  • 6
    @Mistu4u. Gandalf was thousands of years old by the time of the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings stories. He is one of the Istari, who came to Middle Earth about 2,000 years before, and is practically immortal (i.e. left alone he would live forever but could be killed, such as by the Balrog at the end of TFORR).
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Dec 25, 2012 at 9:55
  • Bilbo and Frodo actually share the same birthday: September 22nd (on the Shire calendar)
    – Dennis_E
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 8:50

The reason why Bilbo and Frodo look younger than what their age really is is because Hobbits life expectancy is around 100, with some living three decades past 100. So they age slightly slower than humans For Example: An 18 year old human is equivalent to a 33 year old hobbit A 35 year old human is equivalent to a 50 year old hobbit

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .