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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
should the hobbit have even been made into these films?
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jimmyfenn
Rohan


Jun 18 2013, 4:38pm

Post #1 of 91 (1763 views)
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should the hobbit have even been made into these films? Can't Post

this is more philosophical than inflammatory!

the hobbit book was always a kids book, and as tolkien admits it wasnt even set in middle earth at the time of writing. also the hobbit is basically a rough version of lord of the rings, its themes, structure and storyline is very similar in many ways. should we really be connecting these two books into whole set of films? isnt it like taking a cartoon character and trying to fit him into a scorsese film? or something like that.

what we have is a hobbit film that is in the exact same world as the lotr films, yet the books are in a way not based in the same universe,the style is different,the magic is different the writing is wholly different, its for kids, whlst lotr is not! i would argue that the hobbit films are sort of more based on the timeline in the lotr appendices rather than the hobbit book itself!

this is why i think people like me are having problems with this new trilogy, for alot it simply isnt the hobbit as they read it. and for others its not a true prequel to the lotr films, its trying to be both and not truly accomplishing either. for others of course is perfectly fine. yes itll make lots of money and fill seats, but lots of film achieve this, that isnt the point.

the hobbit films are (so far) well made and enjoyable, but i think they are most popular with people who know tolkiens work mainly through the films. which is neither a good or bad thing,but becuase this is where the films are aimed, i dont thinks its letting us get closer to more authentic hobbit film. they are basically compromised simply by the fact they are a true prequel. if they wernt so attached to the lotr film trilogy then i think there would be a lot more freedom for them to achieve a greater interpretation with out the trappingi s of being comapred too and having to fit side by side with the lotr trilogy

if the hobbit was made first, it would have undoubtedly have been a completely different film, would it have been better to have cut its ties with pj films and gone out on its own? all i can say is id have loved to have seen how that would have ended up. i do love watching the new films, its based on tolkien afterall, for me though i think its need to fit in with the lotr films are both denying it of its freedom, and restraining its fairytaleness.

"You Tolkien to me?!" - Hobbit de Niro


Glorfindela
Valinor


Jun 18 2013, 5:22pm

Post #2 of 91 (824 views)
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I think so [In reply to] Can't Post

A lot of people are obviously enjoying the experience.

The trick is to separate the book and film in one's mind Ė I do this and there is no conflict for me between the two. For me, The Hobbit is PJ's The Hobbit, in a clearly identifiable Middle-Earth setting, and the book is Tolkien's work. I can enjoy both with no problem.

For me, the LOTR films and books are totally unlike each other, too, and I had to separate the films and books in my mind Ė I was totally baffled by FOTR when I first saw it. Most of the characters (apart from Gandalf) bear no resemblance to how I had pictured them in my mind.

I think, too, that one of the problems for a lot of people is that they were expecting a huge amount from the film, and had a clear vision as to what they were expecting. Inevitably, if that happens one is setting oneself up for disappointment.

For myself, I would not have been interested in a book version on the big screen, incorporating things such as tra-la-la Elves, 'garden-gnome' Dwarves and a Thorin who is a very indistinct, standard type of character with no particularly distinguishing features. It's the character development and acting that interest me the most in the film.


The Mitch King
Rohan


Jun 18 2013, 5:34pm

Post #3 of 91 (748 views)
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I think you are right [In reply to] Can't Post

on much of what you said. For some the added stuff the people consider "over the top" ruins it for them and for some the difference from LOTR ruins it. I find myself in a strange medium. I always wanted to see PJ do a LOTR-like Hobbit the first time we hear Bilbo talking about the three trolls in FOTR and then you see them as stone too! That really made me hungry for more of the big picture. I love that the characters stayed the same(Gandalf, Saruman, Elrond, Galadriel etc) so you know they are connected and we already know the perils they go through in the LOTR movies. IMO what the Hobbit movies do is keep that connection to PJ's other movies(I was very disappointed about GDT making the Hobbit) and give the movie a lighter more "fun" feel than the LOTR as it should. These movies come down to how do you cope with changes and can you accept that they are continuous and yet very different feeling from LOTR at the same time. I for one love the feel of the Hobbit movies so far so yes I am glad they have been made!


(This post was edited by The Mitch King on Jun 18 2013, 5:36pm)


Elessar
Valinor


Jun 18 2013, 5:47pm

Post #4 of 91 (717 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm having a great time with them as are many people I know. I'm glad they are being made and that I can experience more great films based on Middle-earth, :)

PS: I know Tolkien's work through both and I'm happy.



(This post was edited by Elessar on Jun 18 2013, 5:48pm)


arithmancer
Grey Havens


Jun 18 2013, 6:50pm

Post #5 of 91 (651 views)
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Yup! [In reply to] Can't Post

Not only are these movies great fun for many viewers - but, whatever Tolkien's intentions may have been in 1937, since 1954 due to Tolkien's own writing choices, "The Hobbit", for many, many readers, has been a book set in Middle Earth, less than one lifetime of a hobbit earlier than the events set forth in "The Fellowship of the Ring". Wink


ShireHorse
Rohan

Jun 18 2013, 6:58pm

Post #6 of 91 (721 views)
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Jimmy, I didn't want The Hobbit made [In reply to] Can't Post

when I heard PJ announce it all those years ago.

To begin at the beginning: I think it depends on when you first read the book. A lot of people (although not everyone) who read the book as children, have starry-eyed memories of it and it means so much to them because they associate it with childhood enchantment. They can find it painful to have those images punctured by someone else's imagination.

Others, like me, read it after LotR: it suffered by comparison and I didn't like it very much although I appreciated that it contained great moments like Riddles in the Dark and the conversation with Smaug.

The reason why I initially didn't want PJ to make it was because, after LotR, it seemed like a backward step. I also didn't see how any production could satisfy childhood memories and that it would also suffer from odious comparisons with LotR just as the book of TH suffered in my case after reading Tolkien's greatest work.

I changed my mind a few years ago after following the efforts made to put it on screen, watching the vlogs and discussing it here and elsewhere. I read it through three times on various forums as a group read and I thought about the Appendices. I decided two things: that it COULD be made and give satisfaction to me and others if the Appendices were included and if characterisation was better than in the book. I also thought that the Appendices should be seen as a stepping stone from one book to the other - almost a letter from Tolkien saying "OK, you guys, if you really must insist on doing it then here are a few clues."

I must also say that, just because I had my doubts, I would never have deprived others of the pleasure by insisting that the film shouldn't be made. There's always the "off" button for those who think PJ has done it all wrong - no need to interfere with other people's needs and enjoyment.

Now that PJ has made the film, I am very thrilled. I totally appreciate the difficulties he has been faced with and my personal opinion is that he has risen to the challenge.

Glorfindela says that the trick is to separate the book from the film. I would agree that this is one way. My trick is a lot more difficult: I try to imagine that I have never read TH and that I have never seen the films or read the book of LotR - that AUJ is the first step in a long journey. I just can't wait to have all 6 films in my hands so that I can watch the story from the beginning and see it getting grander and darker and more epic until it reaches its fabulous conclusion.


Old Toby
Gondor


Jun 18 2013, 7:19pm

Post #7 of 91 (654 views)
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Yup, I think you're right [In reply to] Can't Post

I love both the books and the films and have no problem keeping them separate in my mind, so I completely enjoy both! I also try not to go into the films with a lot of preconceptions, and certainly no pre-judgements of "I will probably hate this..." which is why I try not to read a lot of posts and steer away from speculations. I try to keep as blank a slate as possible, and so far I haven't been disappointed. I would hate to think that any movie 'shouldn't be made' just because of my - or anyone else's - opinions.

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


dormouse
Half-elven


Jun 18 2013, 7:20pm

Post #8 of 91 (630 views)
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Yes, I think so... [In reply to] Can't Post

Because it's giving a lot of pleasure to a lot of people, self included. So many things in life are difficult or sad or worrying that anything to look forward to and enjoy is worth celebrating. It isn't harming the book; it's just another version of the story. For me at least the trick to enjoying it has been the same trick I learned with the previous films; don't go into it with a lot of preconceived ideas about how it should be done and what I want to see. Embrace it as it is, for what it is: one man (or one creative team)'s vision of The Hobbit, reworked for the screen. Look for what's good in it, for little insights into the story I've never thought of, and forgive the things that clash with my mental picture.

You see, I don't think you're right in saying that it's mainly people who know Tolkien's work through the films who enjoy AUJ. I can see lots of people in here like me, who have known and loved the books for decades, who also love the films - mainly, I think, because they have the knack of separating books from films, and taking each on their own terms.

The Hobbit as you read it will always be there and maybe one day someone else will make a film of just The Hobbit. You might like that better but you might find you don't. It's already been done in the Rankin-Bass Hobbit and I think that's hideous and fails to capture any of the things that I love in the story. It beats me why people compare AUJ to a cartoon when that thing exists! But I know that a lot of people here really love the RB cartoon so I cross fingers and say of course it was fine to make it - just don't expect me to sit and watch it! Wink


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jun 18 2013, 7:28pm

Post #9 of 91 (676 views)
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IMO it would have worked better had PJ stuck to the original plan for TH: [In reply to] Can't Post

2 films - 1 an adaptation of TH, the second a "bridge film" and prequel to LotR. That way, we could have gotten a pure version of TH which stuck to the book (which easily could have been done in 3/2.5 hours, perhaps closer to 4 for the EE), and another film with the Necromancer/White Council story which would have given those who wanted something closer to LotR what they wanted. The fans who reject "fan-fic" and wanted a fairy-tale atmosphere to TH would have their film and could have taken or left the second, and vice versa - everybody would have won.

In any event, I'm glad we didn't get the very original plan - 1 hobbit film and 2 LotR movies, the intention from the mid 90's.

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


arithmancer
Grey Havens


Jun 18 2013, 7:37pm

Post #10 of 91 (616 views)
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When was that the plan? [In reply to] Can't Post

My understanding was that two films would have included Hobbit material in both.


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jun 18 2013, 7:39pm

Post #11 of 91 (605 views)
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For quite a while actually. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


bborchar
Rohan


Jun 18 2013, 8:08pm

Post #12 of 91 (599 views)
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Why not? [In reply to] Can't Post

Everything else does.


「さようなら、ミスターホームズ」〜アイリーンアダラーのメール

「ベルグレービアの醜聞」


Noria
Rohan

Jun 18 2013, 8:40pm

Post #13 of 91 (573 views)
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Yes, they should have been made. [In reply to] Can't Post

Once the LotR movies were so wildly successful, it was inevitable that The Hobbit would also be filmed, notwithstanding all the difficulties that arose. The aim of the studios which own the rights to the book would be to duplicate the success of the trilogy by sticking to the same formula as much as possible. So The Hobbit was always going to be expanded and made more epic. There was never a chance of a little movie based on the little Hobbit book after the LotR movies appeared. I'm glad to have the White Council plot and have no problems in principle with Tauriel, Legolas etc.

As many others have said, itís not true that only movie firsters like AUJ and the trailer for DoS. I first read LotR and The Hobbit some 35 years before PJís FotR appeared and have read each book more times than I can remember. I regard the movies as slightly different versions of the same stories, with slightly different characters, themes and events, versions which I love almost as much as the original books. I actually enjoy and prefer the fact that there are differences between book and film. Thatís because PJ has rarely crossed the line that would make me, personally, say thatís not LotR or The Hobbit. I do understand thatís not so for other people and I feel sorry for them.

I was a bit taken aback by the different tone of AUJ the first time I saw it but soon came to appreciate and enjoy it. It's different from that of the LotR trilogy, but Tolkien's Hobbit is different from his LotR as well.

Even if I didn't really like AUJ (but I do), why shouldn't other people enjoy it if it pleases them?


Darkstone
Immortal


Jun 18 2013, 9:30pm

Post #14 of 91 (557 views)
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The bridge film lives! [In reply to] Can't Post

According to VoronwŽ_the_Faithful's reading of New Line's contract with Saul Zaentz, they have the rights to make an indefinite number of films based on the characters, places, events, things, etc. of LOTR and The Hobbit.

Kristin Thompson, who has also seen the contract, concurs.

******************************************
Pippin: "When you guys fall in the forest, does it make a sound?"
Bregalad: "Are you kidding? Scott fell last week and he hasn't shut up about it since!"


RosieLass
Valinor


Jun 18 2013, 9:36pm

Post #15 of 91 (582 views)
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For me, it's not even that complicated. [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the Hobbit book, and a film version is a good thing.

I just wish it had been done by someone other than Peter Jackson (i.e., with no PJ & Co. involvement at all, director or producer or otherwise).

Not only because I'm not entirely pleased with what he did to LOTR, but also because I would have loved to see an entirely fresh, independent take on Middle-earth.

A stop-motion Hobbit by Tim Burton would be awesome.

As critical as I was (and am) of the unnecessary changes they made to LOTR in the films, I'm having a hard time working up any real heartburn about the changes to the Hobbit, even though these films depart even further from what Tolkien wrote than the LOTR films did. In part, the Hobbit isn't as close to my heart as LOTR is, so I'm more forgiving. Also, I've had more than a decade to come to grips with the fact that, in my opinion, PJ & Co. either don't understand Tolkien enough to adapt his books properly, or they don't care to do it properly. (I'm still not convinced that Aragorn, as Tolkien intended him, is unfilmable, and until someone tells me why, I will continue to believe that his character [among others] is simply badly written.)

Either way, I only "like" LOTR but I "love" AUJ. And I expect to "love" DOS as well. (Depending, of course, on how abominable I find Tauriel... Tongue )

"BOTH [political] extremes are dangerous. But more dangerous are team fanboys who think all the extremists are on the OTHER side." (CNN reader comment)

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)

(This post was edited by RosieLass on Jun 18 2013, 9:37pm)


RosieLass
Valinor


Jun 18 2013, 9:39pm

Post #16 of 91 (533 views)
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I hated the idea of a bridge film. [In reply to] Can't Post

And I'm glad they abandoned the idea.

Adapting material from the appendix is only marginally better, because at least it starts with Tolkien's ideas.

"BOTH [political] extremes are dangerous. But more dangerous are team fanboys who think all the extremists are on the OTHER side." (CNN reader comment)

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jun 18 2013, 9:39pm

Post #17 of 91 (539 views)
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Should The Hobbit Have Been Made Into These Films [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, all three of them in fact.

Which only means The Lord of the Rings came up short by six episodes. They need to finish that.


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Jun 18 2013, 9:39pm)


geordie
Tol Eressea

Jun 18 2013, 9:49pm

Post #18 of 91 (516 views)
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In my opinion - no. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Lusitano
Tol Eressea


Jun 18 2013, 9:54pm

Post #19 of 91 (520 views)
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Indeed [In reply to] Can't Post

"I just wish it had been done by someone other than Peter Jackson (i.e., with no PJ & Co. involvement at all, director or producer or otherwise). "

So do i. We had that opportunity with GDT, sadly, it did not materialize. Now we have Jackson in full bloated mode, infusing a classic with hollywood standards,,excesses, cliches, and vulgarity.

"Not only because I'm not entirely pleased with what he did to LOTR, but also because I would have loved to see an entirely fresh, independent take on Middle-earth"

Ive come to think that, perhaps the best way to adapt Lotr is through a television adaptation, following the model HBO established with GOT : 3 seasons, 10 episodes, each season being a book : Fellowship, Towers, King.

To do justice to the book, without excesses, inventions, removal of important events or characters such as Tom Bombadil and the Scouring, Barrow Downs, television may very well be the best medium for adapting Lotr.

As for TH, one or two films was enough and its a story that can easily be translated to the big screen.

Vous commencez ŗ m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Jun 18 2013, 10:05pm

Post #20 of 91 (510 views)
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Know Versus Care [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...in my opinion, PJ & Co. either don't understand Tolkien enough to adapt his books properly, or they don't care to do it properly.


I believe they don't care, despite the lip service that they do. The subtle changes in text they included that were otherwise unnecessary to change suggest that they believe they know better how to construct it. Their choice of Azog, instead of for example Bolg, I just found out from a quote was extremely superficial because Boyens thought the name was too cool not to use. So much for the respect for history as Tolkien laid out. They found the Appendices so valuable, but do not feel any compunction to honor it. We routinely hear how it becomes a worse movie when they depart of Tolkien.

But despite all that, I'm glad the movies were made.


(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Jun 18 2013, 10:05pm)


malickfan
Gondor


Jun 18 2013, 10:20pm

Post #21 of 91 (531 views)
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Yes...if only to increase the chances that The Silmarillion will never be screwed up by Hollywood [In reply to] Can't Post

Jimmy don't you mean 'Should the Hobbit ever have been made into a film without The Talking Purse present?'

But seriously despite my many issues with AUJ, it has brought entertainment to many thousands of people around the world, that in itself is a thing to be thankful for (even if, as a huge fan of the books, I wish it had been done more in the spirit of them) and the chance to see Billy Connoly charging down Azog on a Armoured boar is worth waiting three years for alone.

I do however think PJ's films have run the risk of damaging the book for new readers-Is a teenager used to excessive action sequences detailed subplots (Azog, White Council, Dol Goldur Radgast etc) and deep characterisation likely to feel any connection with the slighty archaic and very simple childrens book That The Hobbit is? No in my opinion-whilst we are follwing every single news thrread on the films are are fully aware of the intergrated material inspired by the appendices etc, very few members of the general public new to the franchise will be aware of The Hobbit's changing context in Tolkien's mytholgy, or that Azog etc were based (very loosely admittedly) on Tolkien (the appendices weren't credited as source material in AUJ).

This is not a very interesting signature is it?


arithmancer
Grey Havens


Jun 19 2013, 2:18am

Post #22 of 91 (448 views)
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I can't speak to teenagers... [In reply to] Can't Post

But my 8 year old son was moved by seeing AUJ (twice, because he begged to see it again) to read "The Hobbit" in full (even though it took him the better part of a month, he is a pretty strong reader for a second grader, but not to that degree...).


demnation
Rohan

Jun 19 2013, 2:23am

Post #23 of 91 (493 views)
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"badly written" [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you mean in the book, or in the movies? Because either way, I agree with you.Wink

My Sam Gamgee is indeed a reflexion of the English soldier, of the privates and batmen I knew in the 1914 war, and recognized as so far superior to myself- J.R.R. Tolkien


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jun 19 2013, 2:55am

Post #24 of 91 (408 views)
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They more than likely would have used the appendices for the bridge film, though... [In reply to] Can't Post

But this kind-of suggests why it may have worked: those who wanted a straight-up adaptation of TH would have gotten it, and those who wanted a LotR prequel would have gotten it...rather than the hybrid which was ultimately produced.

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


RosieLass
Valinor


Jun 19 2013, 6:47am

Post #25 of 91 (393 views)
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Ha! [In reply to] Can't Post

I mean the film, of course.

Book-Aragorn may not be everyone's cup of tea, but Tolkien wrote him as a "type," a king figure. As such, he didn't have, and didn't need, a character development arc.

Movie-Aragorn was just a putz. Tongue

"BOTH [political] extremes are dangerous. But more dangerous are team fanboys who think all the extremists are on the OTHER side." (CNN reader comment)

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)

(This post was edited by RosieLass on Jun 19 2013, 6:50am)

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