Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Hobbit - A Childrens Book

Yngwulff
Gondor


Oct 12 2013, 8:26am

Post #1 of 18 (769 views)
Shortcut
The Hobbit - A Childrens Book Can't Post

Didn't Tolkien himself write it for his kids?

A fairy tale bedtime story for kids, scary and exciting with a little embellishment at times, but without a lot of the graphic and adult level content.

Enter PJ and PB and this is the "How it really happened" adult version.

Barring a couple timeline changes and variations from canon like Azog, this at least would give a semi legit reason for the changes and perhaps PJ and PB's reasonong is some instances. One could even infer that Bilbo's recollection of events were flawed by the passage of time due to his extreme age as well, but thats a matter for another discussion perhaps...

Does this theory/explanation help anyone swallow at least some of the changes from book to film???

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.



Arannir
Valinor


Oct 12 2013, 12:03pm

Post #2 of 18 (426 views)
Shortcut
Not semi-legit... [In reply to] Can't Post

... because who would judge that?

All of what they have done is basically legit. A legit interpretation of the professor's work, just the satisfaction with the outcome is very different - from absolute hate to some who even speak of improvements. I guess the only excuse PJ and Co would use is that they are fans themselves who created a movie based on the professor's work that they found to hit the right balance of truthfulness, enjoyability,meeting the expections of both fans and studio and a movie they themselves would like to see.

But as long as what you describe helps some people to swallow some things easier, that is fair enough, I guess. Similar to the "untold" Bombadil episode.



A dragon is no idle fancy. Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of mens imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold. J.R.R. Tolkien

Words of wisdom that should be remembered - both by critics, purists and anyone in between.


Glorfindela
Valinor


Oct 12 2013, 12:06pm

Post #3 of 18 (407 views)
Shortcut
Well, yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

I've taken it right from the very start that what PJ has done is to adapt the story from a charming but very basic children's book to a story for adults, also largely also suitable for children. Apart from perhaps Gandalf and Bilbo, the characters in the book were extremely sketchy, like cardboard cutouts. I personally would not have been attracted to a film adapted straight from the book which is why I was completely uninterested in the film until I actually saw it. (I didn't even see any trailers or promotional material before the film.)

I've never had any problems with the way the first film has been adapted, though I do draw the line at the introduction of new, non-book characters in DoS, except perhaps if their roles are very minor (to be honest I'd rather not see them at all, since I am most interested in Thorin, Bilbo and Gandalf and their doings).


In Reply To
Didn't Tolkien himself write it for his kids?

A fairy tale bedtime story for kids, scary and exciting with a little embellishment at times, but without a lot of the graphic and adult level content.

Enter PJ and PB and this is the "How it really happened" adult version.

Barring a couple timeline changes and variations from canon like Azog, this at least would give a semi legit reason for the changes and perhaps PJ and PB's reasonong is some instances. One could even infer that Bilbo's recollection of events were flawed by the passage of time due to his extreme age as well, but thats a matter for another discussion perhaps...

Does this theory/explanation help anyone swallow at least some of the changes from book to film???



IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Oct 12 2013, 2:32pm

Post #4 of 18 (368 views)
Shortcut
More LIke Fill-In-The-Blank [In reply to] Can't Post

My view is that PJ and CO were "filling in the blanks". Do you do this when you read? I do. I think about what is missing from the narrative and try to figure out where characters are and what they might be doing, etc. I ask questions and answer them to my satisfaction, keeping in mind the world the author presents to me. Naturally our blank-filling is not going to be the same. That's why I had, for instance, an ongoing debate with a friend about how much better Stars Wars would have been if Chewbacca had turned out to be a skinchanger and was in reality Anakin Skywalker. Some of us are happy with how PJ fleshed out the story and some of us aren't and some of us like some things and not others. The question is: "how much blank-filling can you stomach before the movie turns sour for you?"


Mahtion
Rivendell

Oct 12 2013, 5:00pm

Post #5 of 18 (363 views)
Shortcut
Part fill in the blank and part wish fulfillment [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
My view is that PJ and CO were "filling in the blanks". Do you do this when you read? I do. I think about what is missing from the narrative and try to figure out where characters are and what they might be doing, etc. I ask questions and answer them to my satisfaction, keeping in mind the world the author presents to me. Naturally our blank-filling is not going to be the same. That's why I had, for instance, an ongoing debate with a friend about how much better Stars Wars would have been if Chewbacca had turned out to be a skinchanger and was in reality Anakin Skywalker. Some of us are happy with how PJ fleshed out the story and some of us aren't and some of us like some things and not others. The question is: "how much blank-filling can you stomach before the movie turns sour for you?"


I admit I am bias in my appreciation and reception to the Hobbit trilogy. Based on the omissions and changes made to LOTR trilogy I didn't see much difference in how PJ and crew adapted each. I know the Hobbit is a well loved work and that some do take offense to the changes in tone and narrative but I just don't see purpose of holding one trilogy to a higher standard of book faithfulness.

I have read LOTR, the SIl, HoME, BoLT and the Hobbit and having begun reading them in High School I never appreciated the Hobbit. The reading seemed disjointed and rushed, chapters skipped around and the pace was odd. I kept rereading passages to try and find some cohesive story progress but it didn't seem possible. This is why I think the story as it stands needs to be fleshed out to match the cinematic world created in LOTR.

Also one of the major deviations in LOTR trilogy was the lack of Elves. There was no Gildor, no Elladan and Elrohir, Glorfindel and barely Cirdan. Many of the pivotal moments were scrapped altogether or sidelined like the Grey Company in ROTK or the Grey Havens or the long time spent in Woodhall, Rivendell or Lothlorien.

Due to these changes I am welcoming the heavy emphasis on the Mirkwood Elves and the fleshing out of Thranduil as well as Legolas. I want to see as much of the Elven involvement in the BoFA and Laketown as possible. My favorite part of the Hobbit was Mirkwood and I look forward to Desolation of Smaug.

Bring on the Elves!


Arannir
Valinor


Oct 12 2013, 5:09pm

Post #6 of 18 (334 views)
Shortcut
Very interesting take especially on the Elves... [In reply to] Can't Post

... and several points close to my own perception, especially concerning TH as a book.



A dragon is no idle fancy. Whatever may be his origins, in fact or invention, the dragon in legend is a potent creation of mens imagination, richer in significance than his barrow is in gold. J.R.R. Tolkien

Words of wisdom that should be remembered - both by critics, purists and anyone in between.


Faeverith
Registered User


Oct 12 2013, 11:39pm

Post #7 of 18 (260 views)
Shortcut
Very much fill-in-the-blanks, and it's awesome [In reply to] Can't Post

I first read The Hobbit when I was 8, and it made a tremendous amount of sense to me at the time, but when I went back and re-read it last year, I noticed how much was NOT said, particularly in relation to where the bloody heck Gandalf disappears to and why, and the effects that has later on. These additions in the film adaptation kind of make me wish there was a "full version" of the novel, as it were.


Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Oct 13 2013, 12:45am

Post #8 of 18 (282 views)
Shortcut
To me... [In reply to] Can't Post

...there is a major difference between making a more "mature" version of something, and adding things that had nothing to do with the original. Now when I say "original", I mean all of Tolkien's legendarium/history, and not just The Hobbit. I'm much more interested in The Hobbit in the wider context of Middle-earth lore, than I am in the story of The Hobbit itself. So I like the idea of a more "grown-up version" of The Hobbit that incorporates the Dwarves' backstory, Gandalf's motives, the White Council, and Dol Guldur. I'm even OK with explaining Bard's backstory a bit and filling in some blanks for him, and I'm also fine with the inclusion of Legolas, as it makes sense for Thranduil's son to be around (Tauriel, that remains to be seen). I'm OK with some inventions and deviations as well, but I have to admit that I don't like when PJ outright contradicts Tolkien's written word and then over-emphasizes it, as is the case with Azog. Don't like the whole "Azog wants to wipe out the line of Durin" sub-plot at all.


(This post was edited by Salmacis81 on Oct 13 2013, 12:48am)


Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Oct 13 2013, 1:05am

Post #9 of 18 (249 views)
Shortcut
Just to add to this statement... [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
Don't like the whole "Azog wants to wipe out the line of Durin" sub-plot at all.


I would have found the "Thorin's revenge" sub-plot much more palatable had it been Bolg as the aggressor instead of Azog. It's not so much the invented sub-plot that bugs me as it is the decision to pull Azog out of his own timeline and insert him into the timeline of The Hobbit.


Yngwulff
Gondor


Oct 13 2013, 2:11am

Post #10 of 18 (238 views)
Shortcut
me too 110% [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
Don't like the whole "Azog wants to wipe out the line of Durin" sub-plot at all.


I would have found the "Thorin's revenge" sub-plot much more palatable had it been Bolg as the aggressor instead of Azog. It's not so much the invented sub-plot that bugs me as it is the decision to pull Azog out of his own timeline and insert him into the timeline of The Hobbit.


Azog dead and make Bolg the baddy instead of his daddy .... and it's all good in da hood

I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.



Mahtion
Rivendell


Oct 13 2013, 4:39am

Post #11 of 18 (237 views)
Shortcut
LOTR is no different [In reply to] Can't Post

At least Azog is included, Glorfindel is completely overshadowed by a character only mentioned in the Appendices. Arwen had no business taking Asfaloth, it makes sense in the created romance. The romance between Aragorn and Arwen was implied but never fleshed out.

Elladan and Elrohir paved the way for the Fellowship, they were monumental in their assistance but they again have no part in PJ's cinematic vision. I just do not see how having Azog alive and hunt Thorin is more of a deviation than removing a pivotal character like Glorfindel.

Azog or Bolg what does it matter....Glorfindel or Arwen.

Allow not the shadows of the Enemy to dull your courage or shatter your resolve. We are yet to all pass from the walls of Arda. The light of Aman still shines upon our fair faces, for we are the Calaquendi.


malickfan
Gondor


Oct 13 2013, 10:42am

Post #12 of 18 (223 views)
Shortcut
Personally the whole reason I liked The Hobbit book was because it was a children's book [In reply to] Can't Post

And I don't really consider it part of the mythology of LOTR and The Silmarillion.

I read it aged 18 after reading LOTR and Unfinished Tales (multiple times) so I got the backstory first, whilst I found the tone and pace of the book a shock to say the least it's gradually become what I like the most about the book.

If anything I actually enjoy more as a read than LOTR-sure it's simple and short, and lacking the prose and power of Tolkien's other works, but for me it is simply a more enjoyable experience-Tolkien is writing purely for fun never forgetting his target audience, in the LOTR, on the other hand (for better or worse) he often gets bogged down in the details. It's nice to pick up a book by Tolkien that isn't bogged down in his mythology or pretensions/strengths as a writer, and dosen't require a week to read, the differences between The Hobit and LOTR are so big IMO, that I have alot of trouble even considering The Hobbit as a part of the mythology.

Although I have read The HOME, HOTH etc, and I'm fully aware of Tolkien's intentions to connect The Hobbit more fully with LOTR, In my eyes it's not necessary to enjoy the story, and certainly shouldn't be automatically accepted as an excuse to drastically change a story loved in it's current form for 40+ years-if Tolkien wanted to link the two together he had ample opportunity to, even a reference to legolas or Gandalf's adventures in Dol Guldor wouldn't have been a burden

Whichever way you cut it the appendices are essentially vague background notes, so Jackson isn't filling in the blanks, he is more or less rewriting The Hobbit as a LOTR prequel, something I don't believe Tolkien ever really considered (The Talking Purse is still in the 1960 Hobbit that tells you all you need to know IMO), that's why I wasn't particularly excited about an expanded Hobbit-I loved the book on its own terms, the material in the appendices being so vague I couldn't see much to get excited about, and personally the way Jackson is deviating *Azog* only serves to prove my fears-the appendices expanded the tone and story of the Hobbit, they shouldn't be used as a basis to rewrite the tone and spirit of the Novel.

I prefer to think of The Hobbit as it was originally conceived a spin off fairy tale of the BOLT, '26 Silmarillion. Thorin, Gandalf etc to me are separate characters to the ones featured in LOTR-I realise that's an odd way of looking at things.

That said I wasn't entirely opposed to an expanded hobbit-I never necessarily wanted to see a film of The Hobbit done as per book-I would have been fine with a fleshed children's film in the vein of the book, OR a fleshed out serious Hobbit integrating elements of The Appendices as long as it was done well and for good reason (The Hobbit book wouldn't work on its own as modern film), however Jackson tried to do both, and in my mind failed as a consequence. What makes The Hobbit its own dosen't stand well with LOTR at all, and Jackson IMO, went overboard trying to link the two, failing to recognize what Tolkien himself ultimately realized.

Alot of his changes and additions aren't necessary IMO, the frequent references to LOTR feel like self indulgent fans service, and some changes Tauriel is one, I have serious concerns about, purely because they may be transforming the story of The Hobbit in a way never suggested by the book or Tolkien's writing, the basis being some vague reference to the spirit of Tolkien's wider mythology.

I personally have found it a little disconcerting how some people resent The Hobbit for not being something it really isn't (A LOTR prequel) rather than appreciating it for what it primarily is-a stand alone children's story, and seem to think Jackson's approach to the story is one that best reflects the spirit of Tolkien and the wishes of all fans-I mean even if The Hobbit was rewritten to match LOTR in tone, it would be at best an inconsistent lesser carbon copy, I'd rather not read that. All the additional material and the mythology of Lord of the Rings being a licence to ignore or ret con The Hobbit as published.

In fact judging by my own personal experience with friends and family, and the reviews I had seen on the net, until I joined TORn I had always assumed The Hobbit was more popular than LOTR amongst the general public!

I guess that speaks volumes for my posting history...

Of course I realize it goes both ways, some are not overly fond of the book or more open to adaptations-totally fine of course, and I'm hardly the best person qualified to criticize the movie business. I am trying to keep an open mind (I'm failing currently) on DOS, but I do sometimes think my view on The Hobbit book acts as a barrier to posting here or perhaps to enjoying the film, and the 'think positive at all costs' vibe I get from TORn, though not a bad thing of course acts as a barrier to meaningful discussion.

Sorry for the rambling rant guys.

I don't have much to say.



Fredeghar Wayfarer
Lorien


Oct 13 2013, 7:40pm

Post #13 of 18 (180 views)
Shortcut
I agree with this [In reply to] Can't Post

"...there is a major difference between making a more "mature" version of something, and adding things that had nothing to do with the original."

This is my main problem with the Hobbit films. I'm fine with adaptation to flesh out the story and translate it to another medium. Novels and films are very different forms of storytelling and some changes have to be made. I expected and enjoyed the more developed personalities of the Dwarves, the added dialogue, the White Council/Necromancer sub-plot. All of this was true to the spirit of the book while also expanding it to make an exciting action-adventure/fantasy movie.

What I objected to were the changes that had nothing to do with the book or its spirit. The changes that were seemingly only done because the filmmakers wanted to make a trilogy and needed to stretch things out as much as possible. Bringing Azog back from the dead simply to have a villain in film one. Expanding Radagast's role with a major sub-plot and a ridiculous rabbit sled. And while it's too soon to really judge, Tauriel makes me a bit nervous. I have no problem with adding a female character (a modern Hobbit needs a few). I just worry that she'll be expanded beyond just a Captain of the Guard and end up with a major and completely invented plotline for the sake of stretching film two.

I see a lot of people on this thread saying they didn't care for The Hobbit that much when they read it or that they're more interested in it in the greater context of Middle-earth history. What about those of us who loved the book? Those of us who really wanted to see a film adaptation of, you know, The Hobbit and not The Lord of the Rings: Year Zero or completely invented Peter Jackson fan fiction? I did enjoy parts of AUJ but I worry that this is going to continue to be my issue with the trilogy -- things that go beyond mere adaptation and cross over into complete invention for the sake of three movies.



Faleel
Rohan

Oct 13 2013, 8:06pm

Post #14 of 18 (167 views)
Shortcut
The [In reply to] Can't Post

Quest of Erebor?


Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Oct 14 2013, 2:08pm

Post #15 of 18 (130 views)
Shortcut
Oh, there are changes to LotR that bug me too... [In reply to] Can't Post

...but since I was specifically discussing AUJ in my comment, I didn't feel any need to compare AUJ changes to LotR changes.


Quote
I just do not see how having Azog alive and hunt Thorin is more of a deviation than removing a pivotal character like Glorfindel.


I know there are many who mourn the omission of Glorfindel, but he really was not a "pivotal character" in the story. Glorfindel disappears just as soon as he appears, and we never hear from him again after that. I don't think Glorfindel was any more important to the whole story than Bill Ferny, Fatty Bolger, Ghan-buri-Ghan, or Beregond. He was a minor book character who was combined with/replaced by another minor book character, which is extremely common in book-to-screen adaptations. Omissions had to made in the case of LotR, and Glorfindel didn't make the cut. Could he have appeared? Sure, but it also makes sense that they didn't want to introduce a character that we would have seen for all of a minute, and then never heard from him again.


Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Oct 14 2013, 2:41pm

Post #16 of 18 (127 views)
Shortcut
Book [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I see a lot of people on this thread saying they didn't care for The Hobbit that much when they read it or that they're more interested in it in the greater context of Middle-earth history. What about those of us who loved the book? Those of us who really wanted to see a film adaptation of, you know, The Hobbit and not The Lord of the Rings: Year Zero or completely invented Peter Jackson fan fiction? I did enjoy parts of AUJ but I worry that this is going to continue to be my issue with the trilogy -- things that go beyond mere adaptation and cross over into complete invention for the sake of three movies.


I totally understand how those who were hoping for a straight adaptation of the book are disappointed. But even as someone who IS more interested in something akin to "The Quest of Erebor" rather than just "The Hobbit", I'd say that there is plenty of actual Tolkien material for Jackson to use in order to connect it to wider Middle-earth history without having to go inventing sub-plots that were nowhere to be found anywhere in his writings. Taking characters like Azog (and it looks like Thrain too) out of their timelines and giving them sub-plots in the present is just a step too far, IMO. Everyone has their "red line", and that is mine.

In some cases, I am OK with inventions, as long as they are used to either fill in blanks or as "window-dressing". Take Bard, for instance. In the book, we have Smaug wreaking havoc on Lake-town, and then literally out of nowhere, Bard enters the narrative and kills him. No, I don't want a large emphasis placed on Bard's home life, but a little bit of backstory for him is fine IMO, as he's an important character. I'm also not miffed about Legolas being included, although if he ends up taking up a lot of screen-time because of some invented plot-line, my opinion on that will likely change. Tauriel, yeah I'm also a little nervous there. If they use her sparingly, I won't have a problem. But I have a hard time believing that will be the case...

Anyway I enjoyed AUJ despite some of my misgivings, and I expect I'll enjoy DoS the same.


Mahtion
Rivendell


Oct 14 2013, 2:46pm

Post #17 of 18 (144 views)
Shortcut
Exactly these are unfair expectations [In reply to] Can't Post

I know there are many who loved the Hobbit and wish it to have a proper adaptation. We know from PJ's intentions that he was never concerned with making a faithful adaptation. Wrong or not, how can we expect as much from him when it was not his plan or vision? As mentioned the Hobbit exists almost outside or parallel to the greater Middle Earth mythos. If this is the case then it would be impossible for PJ to have his sought after prequel for his acclaimed LOTR trilogy.

Should he have called it Quest for Erebor or the Dragon in the Mountain, sure he could have but he already has the rights to the book and a title change is not necessary. Anyone looking for faithfulness or capturing the "spirit" of the Hobbit is denying what is developing and has been. These are PJ's movies and his objective is to develop a connected series.

These movies will never be about solely Bilbo because the world that precludes LOTR is politically and culturally diverse and showcases many characters. A proper adaptation would never have satisfied PJ who is ambitious and the many fans of the LOTR trilogy who wanted cohesion and relevance over faithfulness to the Hobbit which may not appropriately belong in the mythos.

Allow not the shadows of the Enemy to dull your courage or shatter your resolve. We are yet to all pass from the walls of Arda. The light of Aman still shines upon our fair faces, for we are the Calaquendi.

(This post was edited by Mahtion on Oct 14 2013, 2:48pm)


Salmacis81
Tol Eressea


Oct 14 2013, 2:56pm

Post #18 of 18 (136 views)
Shortcut
While I agree with what you're saying... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I think a version connected to the wider mythos could have been achieved greatly, without bringing Azog back from the dead or concocting Nazgul tombs.

 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.