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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Have you (re)read the book in connection with the movies coming out?
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Mar 8 2013, 1:35am

Post #1 of 52 (619 views)
Have you (re)read the book in connection with the movies coming out? Can't Post

So, I've just realized it's been some years since I've read The Hobbit cover to cover. This got me wondering, how many people here have reread the book lately? Did you want to refresh your memory about Bilbo's adventures? Or maybe you've avoided reading it for the same reason?

For me it's the latter, and I'm trying to hold off on rereading the book until the movies are done. I guess I'm a bit worried that by having the book fresh in my mind, I'll have my own ideas about how certain events should play out and I'll be disappointed if it's different. Also I might have forgotten some things about the story that might surprise me when they show up in the movies, so it's a way to avoid spoilers.

Does anyone else get this feeling? Have you been pleasantly surprised by the way some scenes have played out in the movie, even though they're the same in the book? Or have some things disappointed you that would otherwise not have if you didn't remember how they played out in the book?

Want to chat? AIM me at Yami Liokaiser!


Mar 8 2013, 1:37am

Post #2 of 52 (386 views)
Just bits and pieces, [In reply to] Can't Post

in order to keep up with conversations here and at HoF.

Tol Eressea

Mar 8 2013, 1:47am

Post #3 of 52 (392 views)
I did [In reply to] Can't Post

I re-read it about 2 months before the movie aired. I have to say, in terms of characters like Thorin...I have really enjoyed Jackson's interpretation and actually i liked movie Thorin (and not anything to do with looks in spite of our jokes) better. The book Thorin was, as Ro mentioned in that other thread, little more than an angry garden gnome to me. That sums up my feeling about it very well. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie Thorin. A better character, more driven to avenge the loss of his homeland than to simply get the treasure back, visually dismissive of Bilbo at the start and a leader of the company in all respects.

Not that I don't have issues with the film. I do. There are some departures from the book that I don't care for. The Goblin King is one of those for me. The Stone Giants also was something I felt over wrought.

I absolutely loved Riddles in the Dark though.

Freeman's Bilbo also is spot freaking on. Absolutely great to me. Love it.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


Mar 8 2013, 1:48am

Post #4 of 52 (376 views)
I read them every year [In reply to] Can't Post

So it just works out that way.

Grey Havens

Mar 8 2013, 1:48am

Post #5 of 52 (373 views)
Slowly rereading... [In reply to] Can't Post

I saw the movie, and then my son read the book, and watching him read through all my favorite scenes reminded me of it. SO I am slowly rereading it.

I'm not worried about remembering it too well - I am not someone who is bothered by changes in movie adaptations, and I am interested in takes on scenes that are different from my own ideas.

Tol Eressea

Mar 8 2013, 1:52am

Post #6 of 52 (368 views)
Same for me [In reply to] Can't Post

Movies are art. They tell stories differently than do books and I'm always interested in the changes a director makes and I think that's why I love the EE's so much. I love listening to the director's commentary and why they made the changes they did etc. I find it fascinating.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


Mar 8 2013, 2:02am

Post #7 of 52 (357 views)
I read them every year [In reply to] Can't Post

Though i did read the hobbit before the movie came out which i think was a mistake.

I don't think i will do that this time as i want to go into DOS with as little as i can of the book in my mind so i think what you are doing - not reading them til after the movies is a good choice or read it now long before the next one is released.

Some things i felt were done well/better than i imagined such as the dwarves singing. other things were done in a different way but not really much better or worse - Gandalf's demonstration of magical power when in Goblintown, riddles in the dark. Finally some things i feel i imagined better/better in the book such as the warg attack.

I know many people prefer movie thorin - lots seem to be female, lol. I feel like he is a good character but not thorin really - they have changed the character from one who would be disliked by many into one who is fitting for the times we live in. For example, what is wrong with wanting to take back the gold? It was his and his families. To me the dwarves are a bit useless in the book - but that is down to it being a children's book. When you read The Silmarillion you realise the dwarves aren't really like how they are in the hobbit and because of this (combined with other books such as unfinished tales and history of middle earth series) they become much more rounded characters - it is a shame though that Tolkien didn't write a story from their perspective - their version of The Silmarillion.

This is not saying i don't like RA as thorin - i do, but i don't think he is being thorin really. I think it would have been interesting to see how they would have done a more book faithful thorin - would certainly have been brave of them! And probably foolish in terms of marketing etc.

All in all my advice would be don't read them close to the release of the movie as i did - it only raises expectations and leads to disappointment, better to go in with a vague recollection of how you imagine certain places/people and then you will be more accepting to the films version and more likely to enjoy it rather than going 'this is great but...'


Mar 8 2013, 2:27am

Post #8 of 52 (350 views)
Reading them and the movies can be a good thing. [In reply to] Can't Post

Obviously for you it didn't work well for whatever reason. However, say for me it only makes the experience better. Even if you're a first time reader I think it would be a good thing. If you're a yearly reader at this point it shouldn't be an issue. We know what happens and most of the details.

I don't know if I like Movie Thorin more at this point but I do like him. I'm not female either. Lol

Ill finish where I started in that I'd read them before, our expectations as fans are already high. The whole leads to disappointment I think comes from someone looking to be disappointed. I love the books and I love the movies they each help me love the other more. It all depends on how openminded a person lets themselves be.

Ziggy Stardust

Mar 8 2013, 2:36am

Post #9 of 52 (337 views)
I read it before the movie [In reply to] Can't Post

Twice as a matter of fact. Once in September, and again in November. I plan to re-read it again soon, since the movie is coming to DVD, and because I just really love the book. The Hobbit (and other favorites) I make it a point to read often. They just make my life so much better.


Mar 8 2013, 2:39am

Post #10 of 52 (351 views)
lol not every fan of thorin is female! [In reply to] Can't Post

I like movie thorin and as far as i know im a male. Tongue

But yeah it didn't work for me but it's good it did for you. As i say that was just my own experience and advice from that.

I have to say though i disagree about being disappointed because i was looking to be. I was so pumped up about the movie before hand and how i was hoping/thinking it would be as great a movie as i felt fotr was when i was younger. For me i felt disappointed because for me it didn't match my imagination, which you could say arrogantly i thought was better - though i should have been more open minded about it differing from my own interpretation of the book and not get so annoyed when i felt it was worse - all these things i feel could have been lessened had i not read the book just before i went to see the movie as i think it would have allowed me to keep a more open mind, sure i would have known the plot completely (at least for where it sticks to the book) and the characters would have an image in my head - but it wouldn't be as crystal clear as it is for me when im reading the book - but then i probably just have a bad long term visual memory - the crystal clearness, lol, of it seems to fade fast. That is why next time i won't read it before hand - it will go back to its usual time for me - xmas hols.

For you it allows you to marry the images you yourself have created along with the images and characterisations from the movie and create something i am guessing is better than either individually - that has happened for a few others as far as i am aware on here and i think that's awesome and i wish it could happen to me. perhaps if i can be more open minded it might do!


Mar 8 2013, 3:01am

Post #11 of 52 (321 views)
That would be correct :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

See there ya go. That's at least two dudes. lol

I don't know then. Maybe because of how good you feel you have it played out in your head failure was the only way. If you had expectations like that its hard to meet. I know how high mine were from just lcoing the work so much, the Collectibles, writing reviews for TORn, camping out all night for the panel at comic-con, etc. I'd say you we're even higher on that scale than I was. lol

That's a good way of putting it. When I read the books I play all of what you said and include the OST (all the films) and it just makes for an amazing experience. I wish it could as well. It makes for a darn fun experience.


Mar 8 2013, 3:12am

Post #12 of 52 (316 views)
I read it the day of the premiere [In reply to] Can't Post

And I LOVED the amount of dialogue taken directly from the text. It was astonishing, really. I don't mind the changes/additions as of now, because the details have not been filled yet.

I plan to re-read it again on Dec. 12th. This year I managed to stop right before Beorn (Queer Lodgings). I thought that would be our ending point for AUJ. But for DOS, there are a few options. I'll have to make a shot in the dark. Might be soon after Smaug's death. But we have 9 months to talk about that...

Just realized I need to read LOTR again soon. Seems like it's been forever! Hopefully I can find the time during the fall (the only time I can read Tolkien, other than before the premieres lol) to do it.


Mar 8 2013, 3:15am

Post #13 of 52 (316 views)
Lol to be fair i didn't say only women are fans [In reply to] Can't Post

i said lots...:P

I do think my expectations were unrealistic but i couldn't help it as im just a big kid at heart, lol.

The book is important to me as it introduced me to this world when little - as it did for loads of others of course. I also think my expectations were very high, mainly down to how great i consider the lord of the rings movies to be, more than myself thinking i know better all the time, lol (cause i don't).

I think had the previous trilogy not been so good then i would have gone into this with much lowered expectations. i think ultimately for me it's just not as good a film basically.

Ah well always next time!

As for putting on the OST for making a better experience. I would recommend that guy on the other thread whose review you didn't want to waste time reading. Fair enough you don't like his review but his work on reading the book and combining that with OST stuff and just random sounds from the movies is great - plus he does great voices of the characters i think. It might (if you like audiobooks) be another way to read them - i tend to listen to the audiobook and kinda follow along with the book so as to concentrate but still let my mind wander so i can imagine it.

On a side note i would love to experience comic con - i am not a massive comic book fan, lol, but i think that's more just from not getting the chance to read them rather than disliking them - the few i have, i have liked. And some of the comic book movies i like.

I just realised you come from Pleasant Hill - that sounds like such an idyllic place to leave and also reminds me of silent hill for some reason, im sure there is a pleasant something, somewhere in the story.


Mar 8 2013, 3:32am

Post #14 of 52 (312 views)
Yep [In reply to] Can't Post

I read it a couple months before AUJ came out just to keep it fresh in my mind. I wondered how different it would be from the book. I was pleased that the very first line of the book was included, and was generally pleased with the movie. Smile

All that glitters is not gold...

(This post was edited by Heatherleawv on Mar 8 2013, 3:33am)


Mar 8 2013, 3:47am

Post #15 of 52 (303 views)
This is true. lol [In reply to] Can't Post

That you did. I was just playing devils advocate. Tongue

I understand. I was worried that I might have set the bar too high. I'm with ya man. At 31 I'm still a big kid at heart. So I'm with ya 110%. Cool

I can understand that. I know how important the world is to me so I know that you already have high expectations because of that alone. Plus then you factor in how good The Lord of the Rings movies came out and it just gets amped. I would disagree on it not being as good but respect that you have solid personal reasons for feeling so.

I might try that sometime. I've not tried an audiobook version of any of the books but it could be an interesting experience. As far as that guys review I've read enough reviews where I shake my head at for reasons Ro stated that I just don't need to read anymore like that. It comes across harsher maybe than I meant but I'd rather read sound reasons for not liking this film like I've seen from some folks here. If that makes sense.

It's a blast man. This will be the 9th year in a row for me and its just so much fun. I will say that having Middle-arty being on of the headliners. Honestly, comic-con now is less about comic books and more about a bit of everything.

It's a nice place. It's a small country town in Missouri so we get all the seasons. The winter can make it scary when we get lots of snow and ice.


Mar 8 2013, 4:11am

Post #16 of 52 (306 views)
Re-read it right before release, and again after I saw it. [In reply to] Can't Post

Luckily it's a faster read than LOTR (say nothing of Silmarillion).

It's funny, because even though I had read it before and had my own vision if what everyone and everything looked like, since the movie all I see is the movie in my head when I read it. I mean, since LOTR I had a permavision of Bag End and Gandalf, but now I have trouble imagining the dwarves as I did before I saw the film. I'm sure the same thing will happen with Smaug.


Mar 8 2013, 5:43am

Post #17 of 52 (303 views)
I reread The Hobbit immediately after seeing AUJ [In reply to] Can't Post

And then bits and pieces when I need to check something for discussions here :)

My favorite part is Mirkwood -- so I'm a bit apprehensive about DoS. The rest they can change/embellish all they like, but there are really some things in Mirkwood that I would love to see exactly as in the book.

Old Toby
Grey Havens

Mar 8 2013, 5:55am

Post #18 of 52 (290 views)
I read it again about two months before AUJ came out [In reply to] Can't Post

and then again after I had seen AUJ several times. I have to say that for years I didn't care for or about the dwarves in the story. I certainly didn't like Thorin nor Thranduil, and even Bilbo at times didn't strike me as very nice (I never thought his snitching the Arkenstone was a good thing to begin with.) And since the manner in which it was written was obviously geared for the younger generation (although all of Tolkien's works have wide appeal regardless), while I certainly enjoyed reading TH over the years, it never was high on my list of Books I Love, as opposed to LOTR which was probably at the top of my list.

Now it's really interesting what effect this movie has had on me. For one thing, I absolutely love the movie, even though I grumble a little about Radagast (his rabbits make up for it, IMO). I went in the first time not expecting to be very thrilled, since my own feelings about the book were rather lukewarm anyway. But so many things were so right for me in the film, the dwarves especially, that I was completely blown away. (And yeah, like some others here, I've got the Thorin-Sickness bad!)

Then when I went back and read TH again, it was in quite a different light. It wasn't that I saw the movie characters instead of the ones as they were written. I can pretty much separate the two mediums in my mind. But I realized that a lot of my interpretations were based more on my own assumptions rather than what was actually written on the page. I don't know if I'm explaining this well, but seeing the movie has actually made me appreciate the book more. And reading the book again has made me appreciate the glorious things I see in the film. And knowing how it all ends in the book, and knowing how good PJ is at giving us visually emotionally devastating moments, I can't wait for the next two films. (Oh, yeah, I'll probably re-read TH again....and again.)Smile

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)


Mar 8 2013, 8:25am

Post #19 of 52 (276 views)
The omission of the talking purse makes it unbearable for me to read. / [In reply to] Can't Post



Mar 8 2013, 8:37am

Post #20 of 52 (273 views)
I deliberately didn't reread the Hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't reread it before seeing the film because I reread LOTR just before going to see the FOTR film and was baffled by what I saw on my first viewing of it. It was only when I saw it a second time that I 'got it'.

I decided to go to see the Hobbit with few expectations – without even reading any reviews. I thought it would be like the children's book and that I wouldn't particularly like it. I was in fact surprised at how good it was. I have a vague memory of the Hobbit book in my mind, and Thorin and the Dwarves were very indistinct in it, while Thandruil and the Wood Elves I remember as being rather silly. From memory, the only characters who were clear in the book were Bilbo and Gandalf. I thought Bilbo was actually quite evil for what he did to Thorin – this despite the fact that I had no particular feelings for book Thorin, unlike the wonderful Thorin of the film.

I won't be rereading the Hobbit until after I've seen the third film.

(This post was edited by Glorfindela on Mar 8 2013, 8:39am)

Fredeghar Wayfarer

Mar 8 2013, 10:29am

Post #21 of 52 (264 views)
I reread it (and then some) [In reply to] Can't Post

I went on a bit of a Tolkien bender prior to the movie. In the year and a half leading up to AUJ, I reread The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. I was pretty excited for the movies and wanted to spend as much time in Middle-earth as possible.

I think I did end up being disappointed by aspects of the film as a result. Everything was pretty fresh in my mind and I had expectations of how things would play out. I missed certain lines of dialogue that were cut, thought the Stone-giants were too over the top, wanted talking Eagles, longed to see scenes that are being saved for later in the trilogy, etc. That said, I think my biggest issues (*coughcoughAzogandRadagastcough*) would have been the same either way, as they were pretty significant departures.

On a more positive note, I got a greater appreciation for scenes that were close to the book since I had just reread it. Gandalf's good morning, the Dwarves in Bag End, and the "Riddles in the Dark" scene all felt pitch perfect since I remembered the book versions more vividly.


Mar 8 2013, 10:44am

Post #22 of 52 (254 views)
I re-read it in November. [In reply to] Can't Post

I seem to be alone in actually liking the fact it's a kids book not really tied to LOTR! I read the book after seeing PJ's LOTR trilogy and reading LOTR, but I actually really enjoyed the fact it was so differerent and simple, even though I've read LOTR, COH, UFT, The Sil and large parts of the H.O.M.E and the H.O.T.H, I don't really think of the Hobbit book as part of 'LOTR Canon', anf just view as a simple tale to entertain Tolkien's kids. I would have been perfectly OK with a simple Kid's film adaption

I was very apprehensive about seeing vague notes from the appendices used as a bais for a rewrite (which judging from what I've read so far of the Hist of the Hobbit, wasn't somehting Tolkien was overly fussed baout) so decided to re-read it to get a 'purist' perspective on things-a mistake. I was pretty indiffernt to the film when I saw it the first time round, but after rew-watching it again I think its alot better than I gave it credit for-good not great. The pointless Azog, White Council and Stone Gaints deviations, and the abscence of Dain pretty much ruin the film for me as a fan of the book, and as a filmgoer I didn't like the splastick humour or Overblown CGI.I still think Armiatage was ten years too young for the role of Thorin. Other than it was fun but not amazing 6.5-7.5/10

‘As they came to the gates Cirdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and we was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed, and said ‘All is now ready.’

Perhaps the most fascinating Individual in Middle Earth


Mar 8 2013, 10:56am

Post #23 of 52 (257 views)
I read it... [In reply to] Can't Post

... immediately before seeing the movie after a long time of not reading it (over 5 years).

And it reminded me that I would not have cared much for a simple adaptation of the Hobbit. I am so greatful for the transformation of the story into the bigger Middle-earth context.

That is why I was not really disappointed about much (Not sure about Azog, yet, though. Depending on how his and Bolg's story is explained in the next two, I might really like it or hate it. For AUJ he was a villain on par with Lurtz, and more memorable).

Except the stone giants... I would have LOVED to only see shadows moving in the mist... that would have been creepy and menacing.

(This post was edited by Arannir on Mar 8 2013, 10:57am)


Mar 8 2013, 11:26am

Post #24 of 52 (254 views)
Personally I'm not sure about accepting PJ's approach to the story. [In reply to] Can't Post

Whichever way you cut the film was a re-write not an adaption of the Hobbit.Tolkien himself never had the inclination to re-write the story (he abadoned the 1960 rewrite after just one person read it) and always viewed it as seperate.
I don't think it's really fair to compare the Hobbit book to the film, and I always liked the fact it was a fairyrtale written to entertain his kids. As cool as some of it is I wasn't that excited about the Dol Goldur subplots etc becuase they would be mostly made up anyway, and rewrite the tone of the source story. Personally the thought of the director who put elves at helms deep, sauron at the black gate and turned gimli into an idiot being congratulated for 'finshing Tolkien's job' on the hobbit rewrite is one I can't accept.

The whole reason I liked the book was becuase it was so different-I was really looking foward to seeing talking animals, whimsical singing and out and out fantasy landscapes-if Tolkien found the tone to be such an issue he had 35 years to rewrote it, I honestly would have felt better if PJ was just honest and called it 'I don't like the tone of the book so I'll call it LOTR the Prequel Part one inspired by some vague notes'-It was called the Hobbit so I expected it to be like the hobbit. PJ just treated it as an extension of LOTR, adamittedly some will say I should have seen that coming, but I kept relatively clear of many big spoilers.

I can understand why some people preffered his vision, but I always viewed and liked the Hobbit as being different and wanted to get a fresh perspective on things. The Slapstick humour, overblown CGI and Azog stuff didn't help. I'm not saying it was terrible, the first Hour, the production design and most of the cast and set peices were outstanding, but it was too subplotty, too self indulgent and too differnt to the book for me to love it. It's defintely a fun film though 7 out of ten, but it was'nt the Hobbit and I doubt Tolkien would have liked it.

Hopefully this will be the last of the books to be adapted for a while. Persoanlly I hope Del Torro gets a chance to do his version in the future

Oh well there Tauriel and Legolas to look forward to...

‘As they came to the gates Cirdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and we was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed, and said ‘All is now ready.’

Perhaps the most fascinating Individual in Middle Earth


Mar 8 2013, 11:34am

Post #25 of 52 (250 views)
I avoided reading The Hobbit before the movie [In reply to] Can't Post

but after seeing the movie, I was confused because I couldn't remember the stone giants even being mentioned, let alone the long episode involving them, I knew Azog was an alteration from the book, couldn't remember how and Rivendell did notseem quite right (although I was quite glad not to have Tra la lally). I did enjoy the film, but to get movie and book worlds straight in my mind, I re-read the Hobbit and the relevant bits of the LOTR appendices to refresh my memory. On previous reads, I had not liked the dwarves much and found it difficult to reconcile TH Bilbo and Gandalf with LOTR Bilbo & Gandalf. I loved the movie representations of these characters and it helped me to enjoy the book much more when I went back to it. Re Thorin, like many, I have been guilty of fangirl shenanigans here about RA, but quite apart from this, I do like the movie character better- I could never understand why Gandalf would want to rely so much on book Thorins character.
I will re-read again soon, because I have a new copy of the book. I have been unwell for the past few weeks and yesterday, my parents presented me with a present to cheer me up. It is a hard back special edition of The Hobbit, with colour plates taken from Tolkien's original illustrations. The cover is embossed with other Tolkien cover designs, including a red, shiny Smaug. It is a really beautiful book and I can't wait to look at it properly!

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"

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