The unexpected Journey of the Hobbit

TheHobbit_FirstEdition

The Hobbit, or There and Back Ag, better known by its abbreviated title The Hobbit, is a fantasy novel and children’s book by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. But I guess most of you guys know this!

I had the need to write a small appreciation about this particular story because I would be fascinated to have this book in my hands, even more after I heard some good thoughts about this book, (Anita, I know you´re a big fan).

Yet, after watching the Lord of the Rings and then with the release of this first movie of the trilogy, I could not wait to ask the  first person about how it was! Good? Bad? My first impression was confused I have to say, perhaps because I didn´t know that this was  a series of three epic fantasy adventure films.

The Hobbit (2012)

To be honest I just thought it was one single movie made as late introduction of Lord of the rings. (Sorry!) So I had so many questions after watching the DVD and I was so unhappy with the end of this film. Then, ofcourse I heard about J.R.R. Tolkien and his fantastic book. (Why didn´t I think in that before??)

Anyways, I don´t have the book in my hands, it would be a treasure to have! But I was told that the whole story is amazing! Which made me feel comforted. So next thing was to try to read a bit more about it. And here´s what i found:

Who is Bilbo Baggins?

Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit in comfortable middle age at 50 years old, was hired in spite of himself as a “burglar” by the wizard Gandalf and 13 dwarves led by their king Thorin Oakenshield on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and its treasure from the dragon Smaug. The adventure took Bilbo and the companions through the wilderness, to the elf haven of Rivendell, across the Misty Mountains and the black forest ofMirkwood, to Lake-town in the middle of Long Lake, and eventually to the Mountain itself. Here, after the dragon was killed and the Mountain reclaimed, the Battle of Five Armiestook place.

About his journey

In his journey, Bilbo encountered other fantastic creatures, including trolls, elves, giant spiders, a man who can change shape into a beargoblinseagleswolves and a slimy, murderous creature named Gollum. Underground, near Gollum’s lair, Bilbo accidentally found a magic ring of invisibility, which he used to escape from Gollum.

By the end of the journey, Bilbo had become wiser and more confident, having saved the day in many gruesome situations. He rescued the dwarves from giant spiders with the magic ring and a short Elven-sword he acquired. He used the ring to sneak around in hostile environments, as well as his wits to smuggle the dwarves out of the elves’ prisons. He was able to hold his own in conversation with the wily Smaug. When tensions arose over ownership of the recovered treasure, he tried unsuccessfully to bring the opposing sides to compromise, using a stolen heirloom jewel as leverage. This strained his relationship with Thorin, but the two were reconciled at Thorin’s deathbed. At the end of the story, Bilbo returned to his home in the Shire only to find that several of his relatives, believing him to be dead, were trying to claim his home and possessions. In addition to becoming wealthy from his share of the dwarves’ treasure, he found that he had traded respectability for experience and wisdom.

J. R. R. Tolkien’s illustration of Bilbo Baggins.

Bilbo_Baggins_Tolkien_illustration

2012. Peter Jackson´s Adaptation

At times, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey manages to recall the highest points of Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. The characters are warm, the landscapes vast and pristine, the CGI mostly an enhancement. In adapting a beloved book as a prequel to a beloved film franchise, Jackson invites nostalgia from the film’s opening moments, as Bilbo Baggins (played as an older hobbit by Ian Holm, and for the majority of the film by Martin Freeman) is shown writing an account of his life for the benefit of his nephew Frodo (Elijah Wood), himself a future adventurer. Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), Elrond (Hugo Weaving), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), Saruman (Christopher Lee), and Gollum (Andy Serkis) appear throughout, if not to propel the plot, then to gently remind viewers of the elements shared by this trilogy and the one from the recent past.

I would like to share the trailer with you

Now, It is not my intention to bring you to the same analysis I had when watching this first movie, actually I would like you to share with me what do you think about it!  Yet, I did find some interesting things that i would like to share with all you:

4 Curious tips:

1- Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro was the first to be called to direct “The Hobbit”. In fact, the filmmaker spent years involved in pre-production, but in May 2010 he left to pursue other projects. Then appeared Peter Jackson.

2- Initially, “The Hobbit” would be adapted into two films. It was in full production phase, when it was about to finish the first the first film, which Jackson and his team realized they needed one more film. Thus was born the new trilogy more than two hours each.

3- Several Actors were called to play Bilbo Baggings on this film, including: David Tennant, Shia LaBeouf, James McAvoy, Erryn Arkin, Tobey Maguire and even Daniel Radcliffe, famous for the “Harry Potter”. The final choice was Martin Freeman.

4-Richard Armitage, who plays Thorin, the leader of the 13 dwarves who accompany Bilbo, debuted on stage giving life to an elf in a stage adaptation of “The Hobbit”.

My request:

I would like to hear what do you think of this film and if by chance you have had read the book, Wow! Please share your thoughts about it! In personal opinion, i can´t wait to see the rest of the trilogy! 🙂

Finally, I thought it would be nice to leave you with this:

Gandalf

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5 thoughts on “The unexpected Journey of the Hobbit

  1. I haven’t seen the movie so I can’t give my thoughts on it just yet. I was pretty excited to see it when it came out in theaters but life got too busy around that time for me to go. It would have been great to see a movie like this on the big screen but I guess there’s something to be said about watching it in the comfort of home without having to sit behind someone wearing a tall hat or in front of people talking obnoxiously loud through the movie or something ;).

    I can vouch for the book though, it’s a great read. I first read it when I was around 8 years old and loved it so much I’ve read it once every couple of years ever since. It’s one of those adventure stories that you can get into no matter how old (or young lol) you are. For Christmas I got a version of The Hobbit with pictures from the different versions of the book around the world and notes in the margins telling interesting things about how JRR Tolkien put together the tale of Bilbo Baggins, so now I have a new way to read the story.

    In fact I like The Hobbit so much that now I’m a little hesitant to watch the movie after hearing some bad reviews about it from friends who have seen it already. I know that movies usually can’t live up to the magic of what books deliver but it would be a real bummer for me if The Hobbit movies were done terribly. Well…you didn’t say that the movie was horrible so this gives me hope lol.

    Oh and btw I definitely recommend this book for you Nairim, I think you’d like it a lot.

    • I didn´t say say how it was the movie according to my expectations, you are right! 🙂 But, I think I´ll be able to appreciate the better when I can sit down one afternoon and watch at home the trilogy, one after another. Yet, I´m recommendind as well to watch this first film, because you can have a critical eye on the work brought to the screen,… Did the film (this first movie) make justice to the book? I don´t know, I also think as much as you do that one movie wouldn´t live up the magic of the original book, but in other hands, we must see it as another point of reference!

      • Okay so I finally saw The Hobbit movie this weekend and…I liked it :). Jennifer surprised me by bringing the movie home and we watched it at dinner. I was worried during the very beginning though because it seemed way too slow and a little off key, and I was starting to feel bad that Jennifer would have to sit through this on account of me lol. But after they left Bilbo’s house things got a lot better and turned out to be the kind of movie I was hoping for.

        To answer your question yes I think the movie did justice to the book (or at least the parts of the book it’s covered so far). I say this as someone who understands that a movie can never be a direct adaptation of a book due to the differences in the types of media, so some changes to the story doesn’t bother me as long as they’re reasonable and good for the story of the movie.

        I think the movie kept the spirit of the book well, and I like the things that were added in from what JRR Tolkien wrote after The Hobbit that helps the audience understand more of the big picture than is presented in the book. We watched the movie for a 2nd time today and liked it even more.

        That said, the book is way better…but then again the book is usually way better than the movie no matter what the movie :D. I think the only exception of this for me is the 3rd Harry Potter movie ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’, much much better than the book by far.

  2. So you finally watch it, you guys!! Glad to hear! yay! I understand what you say, all I wish is to have the chance of reading the book! But now I feel curious, what kind of changes did you noticed from the adaptation? Ofcourse I had the same feeling when Gandald send all that messy ppl into the house, all that cheese they ate! Did you see how much cheese was it?? I mean I was stressed! lol then the dishes! omg, it was a stressful part to me. LOL

    • The biggest changes that I noticed are the things that were added from the later notes and works of JRR Tolkien.

      Things like Radagast the brown wizard and the shadowy Necromancer weren’t a big part of the book (Radagast was just mentioned in the book and I don’t think the Necromancer was even mentioned at all). The book focuses mostly on Bilbo and not much of the backstory of what’s going on in the world of Middle Earth.

      I think these things were added to stretch the one book into 3 movies lol, but it’s done well so far so I’m happy they are doing it this way.

      The beginning of the movie…blah…it was like being stuck in an awkward conversation with a boring acquaintance or something. What a horrible way to introduce people to a movie trilogy, especially one with such potential like The Hobbit. I think with some better editing the beginning would have been great, but somebody should be fired for letting the beginning of the movie happen that way. In fact I think many 10 year old kids on YouTube could have edited the beginning into something more engaging.

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