While texting Robyn once, I came to the realization that I am a hobbit. We were talking about some mundane, everyday thing and the conversation turned to the fact that I’m totally fine with staying at home with Netflix and food rather than going out and being around people. My brain being as it is, I made the connection to a fictional society with fictional creatures and realized that I am more or less Bilbo Baggins pre-adventure.
I love adventure stories but given the chance, I most likely wouldn’t join on.
I’ve talked before about being a shy introvert, and going off to slay some great Dark Wizard is way out of my comfort zone. While I strive to push myself, I know that were I to say “yes” to an adventure I’d probably regret it soon after. It could be over a plethora of things, from discovering the lack of showers to just wanting a moment to myself with some books and music, to wanting to sleep in a real bed. All of these, plus my own mental blocks, plus the physical ones, would be a lot. This is the reason why while I love stories like The Hunger Games or Game of Thrones, I’ve never actually wished I were actually in them. There’s no questioning that I would most likely die pretty early were I to be unceremoniously dropped into a story like that.
The hobbits of the Shire are very much like this. They like to keep to themselves, tend to only hang with their own, and frown upon any suggestion of leaving to go on an adventure. Bilbo and Frodo are odd in their desire to leave and go on a quest through Middle Earth, though when Gandalf initially comes to Bilbo for help, he declines.
Even I write stories that I couldn’t physically see myself in. This has nothing to do with race, gender, class or any of the other identities I have that sometimes are made invisible in the media and all to do with myself specifically and knowing my limitations (though as I write this, maybe I should write this story…it might be interesting. Stay tuned for that I guess).
Like everything I write about, this also connects to my love of Harry Potter. Part of the reason I love the Wizarding World so much is because though Harry and his friends are forced into situations that force them to travel and adventure in order to save the world, the Wizarding World in general is just as mundane as our Muggle one, aside from the ability to use magic. While their everyday lives may seem bizarre to us, they are their everyday lives. One of my favorite comments from J.K. Rowling is when she talked about how the presence of mage eliminates a lot of physical barriers for magical people. They don’t have to worry about being physically stronger when they can use a spell. It’s the level of wandwork that makes someone better, not their brawn. As someone who is not particularly athletic (despite playing multiple sports as a kid) and who would much rather chill, this is appealing.
While my love of fantasy includes my love of adventure stories, I’m not prone to becoming “the Chosen One” or even the sidekick down to go through anything. I’d much rather stay in my hobbit hole with all of these books and food, thanks.