Bilbo Baggins/Thorin Oakenshield
|Pairing:||Bilbo Baggins/Thorin Oakenshield|
|Alternative name(s):||Bagginshield, Thilbo|
|Gender category:||M/M slash|
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The Bilbo/Thorin pairing was not seen prior to the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (AUJ). It is the most popular pairing in Hobbit fandom, and the most popular slash pairing in both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings fandom.
Fan fiction prior to the release of An Unexpected Journey (AUJ) which featured either Bilbo Baggins or Thorin Oakenshield was not slash, but rather gen fiction which focused either on Bilbo after the Battle of the Five Armies or on Thorin's death. Initial interest in the Bagginshield ship came from actor Martin Freeman's popularity among Sherlock fandom, as well as the scene on The Carrock near the end of AUJ. This scene, cited by many as the first sign of "shipability" between the two, is sometimes referred to as "The Hug." The earliest known Bagginshield fic was published in December of 2012, shortly after AUJ's release.
The release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (DOS) caused a rise in the popularity of the Bagginshield ship. Additional evidence cited in favor of the ship was Thorin's willingness to follow Bilbo's lead in Mirkwood, and a scene contained in the Extended Edition of the film when Bilbo vouches for Thorin in Lake-Town.
Opinions in the fandom varied wildly as to how Thorin's descent into Dragon Sickness would be portrayed in the third film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (BOTFA). Works prior to the release of the film characterize Thorin as greedy, paranoid, and violent toward the Company. Evidence for this characterization was cited from the text of The Hobbit, especially Thorin's reaction to Bilbo giving the Arkenstone away. However, the BOTFA film unexpectedly portrayed Thorin as relying especially on Bilbo during the Dragon Sickness, trusting him while suspicious of the rest of the Company. In particular, "The Acorn Scene" is considered to be strong evidence that Thorin's Dragon Sickness is better around Bilbo. When Thorin confronts Bilbo's betrayal on the ramparts of Erebor, the scene is significantly more emotional and less violent than in the book - and has been described as an awkward breakup.
Common Tropes in Fanworks
Everyone Lives/Nobody Dies AU - Easily the most popular trope in the ship, this alternate universe states that Thorin did not die in the Battle of the Five Armies. Often, Thorin's nephews Fíli and Kíli survive as well. Frequently, this trope deals with Thorin's recovery from the battle as well as a confession of feelings.
Consort AU/Erebor AU - A subtrope of Everybody Lives, these fics take place in the reclaimed kingdom of Erebor, with Thorin as king and Bilbo as his Royal Consort.
Shire AU - A subtrope of Everybody Lives, these fics posit that Bilbo and Thorin retired to live the rest of their days at Bag End in the Shire.
Ones - Based on fanon Dwarven culture, the concept of a Dwarven 'One' varies from author to author. Most frequently, it is depicted as similar to the soulmate trope, in that every dwarf has their One and they'll know it when they meet. Some interpretations of the concept are not based in the soulmate trope, but in the theory that dwarves are demisexual as a race, mate for life, and therefore will only fall in love once. Notably, many fics which feature the One trope do not have a similar concept in Hobbit culture.
DFP!Thorin - Argued to be a misinterpretation of Thorin's character, the name of this trope stands for "Dark Fuck Prince!Thorin." Early Bagginshield works featured depictions of Thorin's character as aggressive, sexually forward, and dominant, exhibiting many stereotypical "seme" tropes. Evidence cited for this characterization primarily comes from the text of The Hobbit, especially the scene on the ramparts, as well as Thorin's dismissal of Bilbo in AUJ. In fics featuring DFP!Thorin characterization, often (but not always) Bilbo was portrayed as the woobie with stereotypical "uke" tropes, perhaps owing to frequent characterization of Martin Freeman's John Watson in Sherlock fandom.
Tumblr users AnonymousSong and evil-bones-mccoy, created the Quest for Erebor Liveblog. Operating under the conceit that Bilbo Baggins and Thorin Oakenshield were in possession of enchanted journals which allowed them to record the events of the Quest for a live audience, the two set out to chronicle the Quest in real time, beginning in March of 2015. The Liveblog is considered to be mixed canon, as it is not wholly compliant with the canon of The Hobbit or Jackson's trilogy. For example, in Jackson's trilogy, Azog was the main antagonist. However, in the Liveblog, Bolg is the antagonist, as Tolkien book canon states that Azog was killed at the battle of Azanulbizar.
While the Liveblog was originally intended to have a canon ending (meaning Thorin, Fili and Kili would be killed in the Battle of the Five Armies), as November approached the authors began a fundraising campaign with the stated reward for meeting goal being an Everybody Lives continuation of the Liveblog through the reconstruction of Erebor. The goal of the fundraiser was to assist with medical bills and student expenses of the authors. On December 1, 2015, the fundraiser met its goal, and the Liveblog continued.