We fans were all a-flutter at that whispered line at the close of The Hobbit video blog. Not only did it send the appropriate chills, but it sparked a heated debate as to whose voice it was. Was it Ian Holm’s? Or Martin Freeman?
If you guessed Freeman (and the majority did), you’re right. Peter Jackson updated his Facebook with a little note: “One comment that came up from the recent video blog was the Bilbo voice at the end — many of you assumed it was Sir Ian Holm. Whilst Ian will be returning as the older Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, that recording was actually Martin Freeman’s voice, taken from a script read through we recorded when the cast first arrived. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure who it was when I first heard it, either. Cheers, Peter J.”
And that’s how we found out Holm was reprising his role as Bilbo Baggins. You know, we’ll probably find out Viggo Mortensen is dropping by in a similarly casual manner, which will neatly all his role juggling after all. (I brushed that theory off because it seemed too late to be announcing anyone. But it’s never too late in Middle-earth.)
Incidentally, while looking up a Holm-as-Bilbo photo, I found this. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t know what Holm looked like when he was young. He was actually quite handsome. And to think, I would have cried foul if they cast someone who looked like this as young Bilbo. (Not that Freeman isn’t attractive in his own way, he’s just more … hobbity, shall we say?)