A Baggins Comes of Age

J.R.R. Tolkien writes this about Frodo Baggins: “Frodo was going to be thirty-three, 33, an important number: the date of his ‘coming of age.'” According to this textual evidence (and it would seem that all the authoritative Tolkien texts have it; no major recensions have omitted it to this text critic’s knowledge), the meaning of it would appear to be that the age 33 is something of a watershed for hobbits. Elsewhere, when Tolkien describes Bilbo’s invitation to Frodo to come and live with him, he writes that “At that time, Frodo was still in his tweens, as the hobbits called the irresponsible twenties between childhood and coming of age at thirty-three.”

The reason this author brings it up is that today is the date on which another Baggins has come of age, namely, yours truly, the Green Baggins (for what the Green means, as well as the reason for “Baggins,” see here). I turn 33 today. I would normally not talk about my own birthday on my blog. However, it’s not every day that a Baggins comes of age, and I thought my readers might be interested in being made aware of it. Unfortunately for my readers, this Baggins is not rich enough to continue the time-honored hobbitly tradition of giving away presents to all who deserve them on his birthday, at least in this Baggins’s mind, so you will have to make do with this post, and a hearty thank-you to all my well-wishers (except, of course, the Sackville-Bagginses).



  1. Allan said,

    July 12, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Happy Birthday Lane. I’ll be joining you in the “33 Club” in 3 weeks.

    Thanks for your work on this blog and others. You are a breath of fresh air in the way that you carry yourself when answering questions, explaining topics, etc.

    I pray those around you would rejoice in celebrating your birth and life.

  2. Pam Rambo said,

    July 12, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Happy Birthday. And the best gift you can give away to me is free, except for your time – PRAYER. That gift is sent to you as well.

  3. Cris Dickason said,

    July 12, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Happy Birthday, Lane! Thirty-three, I can still remember that age – together we would NOT add up to that famous 144 of the Long-Expected Party.

    Here’s a few folk that share your day:
    12-Jul-1937 Bill Cosby (74)
    12-Jul-1934 Van Cliburn (77)
    12-Jul-1917 Andrew Wyeth (94)
    12-Jul-1908 Milton Berle (103)
    12-Jul-1895 R. Buckminster Fuller (116)
    12-Jul-1895 Oscar Hammerstein II (116)
    12-Jul-1861 George Washington Carver (150)
    12-Jul-1817 Henry David Thoreau (194)

    You will know you’re old when you take on an intern who will remark on hearing the year you matriculated or graduated from WTS, “I wasn’t born yet.”


  4. greenbaggins said,

    July 12, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Cris, thanks for that list. I was away of Bill Cosby and Henry David Thoreau. I didn’t know about Van Cliburn, and I’m a pianist! But there is a name that you forgot: Julius Caesar (yippee!)

  5. Dave Sarafolean said,

    July 12, 2011 at 10:06 am


    Happy Birthday! I was 33 when I entered seminary. I give thanks to God for your contributions to the church. You are in my prayers.

  6. Martin said,

    July 12, 2011 at 10:11 am

    Congrats! May you make it to your eleventy-first as well!

  7. David Gadbois said,

    July 12, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Happy birthday, Lane! I’m only 1 year and 5 days behind you.

  8. Tim Prussic said,

    July 12, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Good show! 33 years is quite an accomplishment – one I share with you (at least until August).

  9. Reed Here said,

    July 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Happy B-day Lane!

    Boy do I feel old :(

  10. Marcia Swann said,

    July 12, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    So very happy for you to come of age now! Praying you do it thrice over, if the Lord tarries!

  11. July 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Let this old codger (I was 33 in 1985) wish you a very wonderful and happy birthday, as well. Since no one has mentioned it yet, let me remind you that our blessed Lord was 33 (more or less) at the time of His crucifixion and resurrection.

    May our God grant you many happy returns of this day!

  12. Frank Aderholdt said,

    July 13, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Wow, I was 33 in 1981. That’s like a whole ‘nother century. No cell phones, no personal computers, no “Internets,” no iPad (so sad). At least Ronald Reagan was Presisdent.

  13. ray kikkert said,

    July 13, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Happy Birthday … time for a trip to The Prancing Pony … under better circumstances … for a birthday brew for the brave and true :)

  14. Matthew Holst said,

    July 15, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I’m just wondering who the contemporary Sackville-Bagginses are? Hmmm… let me see…

    Happy Birthday.

  15. greenbaggins said,

    July 15, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I didn’t have anyone in particular in mind. I was just having a bit of fun.

  16. July 16, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Happy Coming-of-Age Day! May Liszt echo across the Shire.

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