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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
The Quickly Aborted 1960 Hobbit Rewrite...Missed Oppurtunity or Depressing Mistake?
Poll: The Quickly Aborted 1960 Hobbit Rewrite...Missed Oppurtunity or Depressing Mistake?
Missed Oppurtunity
Depressing Mistake
A bit of Both
There isn't really enough of it published to make a fair judgement
Since it was written privately in old age, quickly abandoned, and unknown and umentioned (even in his biorgrahy) for decades after his death was it really something that serious?
I haven't read it
It would have been interesting to see it progress a little longer
Loved reding it, but It wasn't The Hobbit
I have no strong opinions ethier way
It would have been nice to see The Hobbit and LOTR link more fully
View Results (47 votes)


Sep 14 2013, 3:03pm

Post #1 of 3 (236 views)
The Quickly Aborted 1960 Hobbit Rewrite...Missed Oppurtunity or Depressing Mistake? Can't Post

How do you feel about Tolkien's abandoned attempt to recast The Hobbit in the style of The Lord of The Rings?

In the light of its frequent mentions on the Hobbit board, I thought it would be intresting to discuss.

For me personally I'm glad it was abandoned, although what we have is rather intresting writing ( I was particularly fascinated by Trolls destroying the bidge to Rivendell, and the hints at Thorin's later corruption, it's all in the details...) and I would certianly have liked to see it proceded a little further (If only to see whether the Stone Gaints and 'Oh Tra La La lalley... made it in) it just feels a little depressing to me, the changes are so relatively minor it felt like robbing a fairytale of its charm, for no real reason, rewrting a children's story for children who wanted to think like adults-The Talking Purse made it in, as did the multi colured beards, and other 'fairytale elements'...but it just dosen't feel like The Hobbit.

I have always been glad The Hobbit stands apart-the later backstory developed in Quest For Erebor and the Appendices etc isn't necessary for me to enjoy the story, and I tend to read the book ignoring all of this info, rewriting the story in the style of the sequel to me would risk sidelining Bilbo's story as merely part of the whole, rather than a whole on its own. Speaking from my own experience The Hobbit is normally the only book by Tolkien I can persuade friends to read, the implication being the other books are too long or dark for their tastes-who's to say how many other people might not have discovered Tolkien if it weren't for the simple Gateway of The Hobbit? Would a rewrite still have the charm and universal appeal a childrens fairytale has?

It is also rather worrying to think of what might have happended if it was published-Tolkien was by his own admission a notorious niggler, if this rewrote had been a sucess, who's to say he might not have done the same with LOTR , and spent his twilight years in a loop, writing even less of the first age...

It is certainly interesting reading though, and I do wish the chapter in Rivendell was finished at least-the Elves being the centerpeice of Tolkien's mytholgy I feel whatever Tolkien would have written here would have shown a very definite idea of where the rewrote was going.

Your Thoughts?


Sep 14 2013, 9:20pm

Post #2 of 3 (152 views)
I think it would have been worth another attempt [In reply to] Can't Post

If Tolkien had gone back and started the re-write over--being careful to maintain the general atmosphere and tone of the original version--then I think he should have given the project another go.


Oct 6 2013, 2:31pm

Post #3 of 3 (161 views)
I would have loved a complete re-write. [In reply to] Can't Post

But with much deeper changes than what Tolkien seemingly started to do.

Never cared much for TH as a book at all... simply read it too late when I was already deeply into LotR and the Sil and never was able to make myself ready for a children's novel. Maybe this will change once I have kids or am a godfather and can introduce them early on to the world of ME via TH.

(This post was edited by Arannir on Oct 6 2013, 2:32pm)


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