On Bagginshield and Heteronormativity

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Title: On Bagginshield and Heteronormativity
Creator: bodysnatch3r
Date(s): 22 January 2015
Medium: online
Fandom: The Hobbit, Tolkien
Topic: Bagginshield, Slash, Heteronormativity, The Hobbit, Fanfiction
External Links: Tumblr
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On Bagginshield and Heteronormativity is an essay in the The Hobbit fandom by bodysnatch3r published in 2015. It criticises Bagginshield fanfic writers for creating heteronormative content.


  • Bagginshield is unbalanced as far as power dynamics are concerned
  • Bilbo is often written as a "feminine" character while Thorin is written as a "masculine" one
  • Thorin's obsessive actions in BOTFA are not romantic and should not be read that way
  • Masculinity in Slash


[A] direct result of [Bilbo and Thorin's] physical disparity is the fact that thorin dangles bilbo over the battlements. thorin is strong enough to grab bilbo and hold him to near death. yes, thorin is ill right then, and thorin reacts according to his illness, but that is, from whatever point of view we look at it, a terrible thing to do. not even terrible– it is despicable.

it is as horrible as hitting someone. it is not romantic. it is not, it is not, in any way, a terrible lovestruck, pained thing to do. if someone loves you, they do not hit you. they do not isolate you. they do not condemn you to death. they do not tell you you are a rat.

Reception & Reviews

Reception was generally positive, with a few dissenters.

You've likely gotten this 100x at this point, but the Bagginshield critique you posted is A+ & so important for folks (like myself) who ship it to keep in mind in creating fanworks. The consort thing is a truly disgusting trope & ignoring BotFA's abusiveness is too. Glad to see an intelligent discussion of the problems in that potential relationship finally. And thank you for sharing your own experience in the post too. That can't be easy to discuss. Hope all is well. :) (ameliadoesaninternet)
I don’t think all bagginshield fics/portrayals are like this (lol #NotAllBagginshield), and I don’t think IC bagginshield has to be like this (in fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve read good bagginshield stuff that isn’t like this), but it is certainly very common, and that’s one of the reasons I’m done with the ship. It also explains why we have SO MUCH het!bagginshield with a female Bilbo, which… I don’t like at all, to say the least. But yeah, also the whole notion of Bilbo being the only one~**~~ who can get through Thorin blah blah, I hate that. Luckily I haven’t seen that stuff about Thorin’s mistreating of Bilbo being interpreted as the actions of a jilted lover because that wtf people shit is so messed up ugh no. (orchis)