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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What does The Hobbit mean to you?

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 17 2013, 10:49pm

Views: 716
What does The Hobbit mean to you? Can't Post

Lately there have been plenty of discussions about likes/dislikes of the movie, as well as expectations and the problems of adaptation. It's all made me very curious as to the different perspectives on the story held by people here, and how that affects how they relate to the movie. I'm sure we'll go on to talk extensively about that connection, but before that becomes the focus I'd love to hear from everyone where the essentials...the "heart" of the story lies for YOU.

What is it that makes The Hobbit what it is? Is it the sense of childlike wonder? Is it the adventure? The humor? Is it the connection to the world of LOTR? Is it the characters, or the places, or...? Tell us why you love the story enough to be a "fanatic", a "geek": a member of a message board dedicated to talking of nothing else! Regardless of how we feel about the movie, we all love the story in some form or we wouldn't be here. And what's important to us about the story has a lot to do with what's important to us in an adaptation. So let's talk about not just what we love, but why. Why are you passionate about The Hobbit? I'll start!


My earliest introduction to Middle-earth was watching the Rankin-Bass Hobbit and Return of the King on television when I was very young. I think they showed them on consecutive nights, or maybe consecutive weeks, but I know they were sort of mashed together in my mind. It was probably the first fantasy I ever saw. I only remember a couple of scenes that really made an impression as a child, but later when I picked up the books I started with The Hobbit and read straight through LOTR in one gulp.

So for me, The Hobbit has never stood completely on its own. It's always been the prelude to LOTR. I got very attached to Bilbo - not only were hobbits of childlike stature, but he wasn't always the most brave or most wise, so that even a child could relate to him as he faced all these awesome and dangerous things - impressive wizards, rough (and pompous) Dwarves, mysterious Elves, the creature Gollum who was the single creepiest character to me for years (at least until I saw the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), and talking spiders and dragons, and prophecies and battles. In addition to my first fantasy, it was probably the first big adventure story. My affection for Bilbo was such that it took me probably until the arrival in Rivendell in FOTR for me to resign myself to Frodo being the main character in LOTR. In fact, while I loved LOTR from the start, it took many readings for me to really warm up to him, sort of like having to get used to a new Doctor in Doctor Who.

When I re-read the stories as I got older, I began to be more and more fascinated by the depth and history in LOTR, and more irritated by the slightly intrusive narrative tone of TH. In the end, I much prefer the style, depth and characterization of LOTR and have re-read it many times for each reading of The Hobbit, but I still have an enduring affection for Bilbo and his adventure, most especially Riddles in the Dark and his encounters with Smaug. To me, the story of how a simple homebody could have a great adventure - and incidentally find a small object and commit an act of mercy that changes the history of his world - transcends its presentation; I find the story to be in some ways even better than its telling, as it presents a story that has just as much meaning for adults as for children under its simple surface. While I have a great affection for the story as it stands, I think I might have loved a re-written Hobbit in LOTR style even more, though we'll never know!

Overall, I think it is first the characters of The Hobbit: Bilbo, Gandalf, Gollum, Smaug, Beorn, Bard, Thorin, the Elvenking, the Eagles and the prophetic Thrush, and secondly the places: The Shire, Rivendell, Beorn's House, Mirkwood, Esgaroth, the Lonely Mountain that have made me love the story so much and for so long.


"Dark is the water of Kheled-zram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."

Subject User Time
What does The Hobbit mean to you? Silverlode Send a private message to Silverlode Jun 17 2013, 10:49pm
    memories jimmyfenn Send a private message to jimmyfenn Jun 17 2013, 10:57pm
    For me Sinister71 Send a private message to Sinister71 Jun 17 2013, 11:00pm
    Well, I was never all that keen on the book Glorfindela Send a private message to Glorfindela Jun 17 2013, 11:12pm
    Childlike wonder is a good start. Elizabeth Send a private message to Elizabeth Jun 17 2013, 11:48pm
    For me its a few things, and hard to sum up malickfan Send a private message to malickfan Jun 17 2013, 11:50pm
        Bomby is a First Responder? Bombadil Send a private message to Bombadil Jun 18 2013, 1:05am
    A childhood love, overshadowed by LotR arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Jun 18 2013, 12:54am
    everything. flameofudun Send a private message to flameofudun Jun 18 2013, 1:20am
        I like The Hobbit RachellovesLOTR Send a private message to RachellovesLOTR Jun 18 2013, 1:39am
    The Hobbit and me. bungobaggins Send a private message to bungobaggins Jun 18 2013, 2:15am
    I first discovered The Hobbit in the Children's section of my local library... Eleniel Send a private message to Eleniel Jun 18 2013, 5:49am
    For me namarie Send a private message to namarie Jun 18 2013, 6:34am
    I like it well enough demnation Send a private message to demnation Jun 18 2013, 7:00am
        Same... bborchar Send a private message to bborchar Jun 18 2013, 12:32pm
    humour, Bilbo and his way of facing problems, scenery elostirion74 Send a private message to elostirion74 Jun 18 2013, 8:15am
    Magic and wonder and a sense of the deep past.... dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Jun 18 2013, 8:35am
    to be honest when I read TH as a kid Elenorflower Send a private message to Elenorflower Jun 18 2013, 1:11pm
        Appeal of TH Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Jun 22 2013, 1:45am
    I didnt read The Hobbit as a young child and IMO that makes a huge difference Noria Send a private message to Noria Jun 18 2013, 1:36pm
    It is the first real book I ever read Ffnir Send a private message to Ffnir Jun 18 2013, 2:14pm
    After 30 years of The Hobbit, I had a new insight today. entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jun 18 2013, 2:47pm
        yeah. hutch Send a private message to hutch Jun 18 2013, 7:58pm
    For me hutch Send a private message to hutch Jun 18 2013, 7:56pm
    It probably Rostron2 Send a private message to Rostron2 Jun 18 2013, 10:00pm
    I simply enjoy the tale immensely. Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Jun 18 2013, 10:48pm
    For me Ham_Sammy Send a private message to Ham_Sammy Jun 19 2013, 3:08am
    Great question, Silverlode! Roheryn Send a private message to Roheryn Jun 19 2013, 4:54am
        You know, I haven't read The Hobbit entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Jun 19 2013, 1:11pm
    Cool question! Here is my answer Domien Send a private message to Domien Jun 21 2013, 2:12pm
    It's means getting outside your box Elessar Send a private message to Elessar Jun 21 2013, 11:16pm
    This will be one of my shorter posts. It is and was magical and enchanting. AinurOlorin Send a private message to AinurOlorin Jun 22 2013, 5:40am


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