Every once in a while, on a Thursday, I post an old school assignment that I have written as a “throwback thursday” type thing when I have an assignment I’ve found that seems interesting enough to post. This time I have an essay from the 9th grade about The Hobbit and the signifigance of Bilbo naming his dagger.
The Hobbit: Essay
What do you think of the name “Sting” for Bilbo’s dagger? What would you have named it? Why?
Bilbo got his sword from the trolls back in the early days of their journey. At that time, it was not named, and he felt there was no need to name it. As far as he knew, it was not an important sword, is was simply a sword he now had for protection. Bilbo was not a swordsman, or even a fighter. He just felt safer having a weapon. At the time it didn’t need a name. In Mirkwood, Bilbo got separated from the dwarves. He was all alone, the wizard Gandalf was nowhere near to help them this time. And Bilbo, all on his own, killed one of the fearsome Mirkwood spiders. The spider felt the “sting” of his sword, unlike anything it had every known before. And after this accomplishment, Bilbo’s confidence grew. So he decided to name his sword. And he named it “Sting”.
In my opinion, “sting” is a pretty good name for Bilbo’s sword. For one thing, it refers to the feeling that won him his first battle, the sting of his sword to the spider. And for another thing, the word “sting” doesn’t necessarily make you think of something fearsome or lethal, much like a hobbit. Things that sting are usually more of an annoyance than anything else, like bees. But they can be aggressive and deadly if they have a mind to be, much like Bilbo himself. He named his sword well, because it is not the sword of a fearsome creature, it does not need an awful, fearful name. It’s a hobbit’s sword, and the name “sting” reflects that.
I would have named the sword something much worse than Sting most likely. I am notoriously bad at naming things; I was that kid that named her fish things like “Bluey” and “SilverFin”. No one should ever trust me to name anything. But if I had to name the sword, I most likely would have named it something like “stabber” or something, because that’s what you do with a sword, you stab things. Or, I would have named it something like “arrow”, as a joke. Because a sword is a short-range weapon, where was bows and arrows are long range, and it would have confused enemies. And sometimes an enemy’s split second hesitation and confusion can be all you need to win.
After defeating the first spider in Mirkwood, Bilbo named his sword “Sting”. This is a good name for his sword because it reflects the act that lead to it’s naming, and it reflects it’s owner and namer. It is a good name for a hobbit’s sword. And I wouldn’t want to change it’s name. And I don’t know what else Bilbo would have named it. And I think it’s a good thing Bilbo named his sword, because it shows he is becoming more secure in his role in this adventure. He is getting ready to fight bigger foes. It shows the blossoming of his Took side and that even if he doubted it out first, it shows Gandalf was right to leave them when he did, and was right to put his faith in the hobbit.