The Hobbit

The HobbitI’m almost 2/3 of the way into my next book, so I guess I’m overdue for blogging about The Hobbit. As most of you undoubtedly know, J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is a prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, set about 60 years before the events in Lord of the Rings. It follows the story of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, who, despite his dislike of adventures, finds himself caught up in a quest to regain the dragon-guarded treasure and homeland of a band of dwarves.

The Hobbit was written for children, which keeps the story light-hearted and amusing. The narrator occasionally interjects his own voice and involves the reader (“If you have ever seen a dragon in a pinch, you will realize that this was only a poetical exaggeration…”). It’s also only about 300 pages long, which seems awfully short for a movie trilogy, but I’m not going to complain much. 😉

I only wish there had been more character development; most of the dwarfs weren’t given distinct personalities or stories. There’s Thorin Oakenshield (the king and main dwarf character), Bombur (the fat dwarf), Fili and Kili (the young dwarfs who often go scouting), and… nine other dwarfs. :-/

Overall, I thought The Hobbit was a fun read and one that children and adults alike can enjoy.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyTwo weeks ago, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (the first in a series of 3 movies based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit) was released in theaters. I’ve been excited to see it for a while now and I read the first 6 chapters of The Hobbit in preparation.

Needless to say, the movie was awesome. Some people said it should have been shorter, but I never got that impression. I was, however, surprised by how much the movie differed from the book. I didn’t have any problems with the changes, but there were many times I was like, “Whoa, this is not how it happened in the book” or “Uh, this never happened.” Here are the biggest changes I noticed:

  • The Arkenstone – A large wonderous gem discovered by Thorin’s ancestor. I’m pretty sure this is actually in the book (I’m still reading it, so I don’t know for sure), but there was no mention of it in the first 6 chapters.
  • The Pale Orc – Thorin’s adversary in The Hobbit movie. This character seems to be made up entirely.
  • The Necromancer – An obscure powerful villain that Gandalf is worried about. While this character may exist later in the book, he’s not around in the first 6 chapters.
  • Galadriel and Saruman – In the movie, there was a meeting between Gandalf, Elrond, and Galadriel, and Saruman to discuss the dwarves’ journey and the Necromancer. No such meeting occurred in the book. Gandalf (and the dwarves) did visit Elrond, but Galadriel and Saruman were never even mentioned in the book.
  • Radagast the Brown – One of Gandalf’s wizard friends, who tends to the plants and animals of the forest and rides on a sled pulled by rabbits. There is no mention of Radagast in the first 6 chapters. In fact, I think the only reference of him in the whole book is a very brief mention in Chapter 7.

Despite the deviations from the book, I thought the movie was very well done and I can’t wait to see it again!

TIL – Tolkien, WTF, and spaghettification

So much for a daily “today I learned.” 😛 Here’s what’s new in my brain today:

  1. Tolkien played a major role in C.S. Lewis’s conversion from atheism to Christianity (source)
  2. “Hva faen?” is how you say “WTF?” in Norwegian (source)
  3. “Spaghettification” is not just a fun word; it’s a real thing having to do with astrophysics (source)