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

Jun 19 2013, 3:08am

Post #26 of 32 (137 views)
For me [In reply to] Can't Post

The Hobbit was my first fantasy book. I loved it. I devoured it. I remember the little pink jammies i wore sitting on my bed at home reading it in the mid 60's to this day. I was entralled at the wonder, at the description of the places and people. I remember being irritated at Thorin (LOL) as far as his stubbornness and I cried when he died at the end. I loved Bilbo. My favorite Tolkien character of all time. Little Bilbo. Leaving his home, his comfort all for the treasure of Erebor. I remember the spiders. THE SPIDERS! and the naming of Sting, and the River Running. So full of wonder at all the descriptions. It was my first love in Fantasy and I cherish it very much so.

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

Grey Havens

Jun 19 2013, 4:54am

Post #27 of 32 (140 views)
Great question, Silverlode! [In reply to] Can't Post

Rather like you, my first memory of anything related to Tolkien was the Rankin-Bass Hobbit, when I was about five years old. I didn't actually get to watch it then, though. I remember sneaking down the stairs after I'd already been put to bed, and discovering that my parents were watching a cartoon on TV. I sat down surreptitiously on the stairs to watch it too, but was quickly discovered and put back to bed unceremoniously. I protested -- if it was a cartoon, it had to be good! -- but my parents said it was not for kids.

I must have watched it in its entirety on tv at some later point, maybe several times, but I don't remember when. Haven't seen it since I was a kid, but that image of Bilbo was firmly fixed in my head, and I've always thought that's what he should look like.

I discovered the book sometime in junior high, and enjoyed it a lot; it was my first introduction to fantasy. I was fascinated by the adventure and the fantastical elements of Middle-earth: it seemed like such a more interesting place than our own world. Shortly thereafter, when talking to a family friend, he recommended I read The Lord of the Rings (I hadn't even heard of it yet, at that point -- call me oblivious!). After a few false starts, I finally made it past Tom Bombadil and from that point on in the story, I was in love.

So, for me, The Hobbit reminds me of childhood, of discovering a magical world that was so much more interesting than our own. It was also the gateway for me to LOTR, which is my most beloved book ever. And while I love the book, the movie has so far given a depth to the book that I found lacking in comparison to LOTR; re-reading the book now is that much more enjoyable, in particular because each of the Dwarves has sprung to life in a way that they don't in the book.

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 19 2013, 1:11pm

Post #28 of 32 (131 views)
You know, I haven't read The Hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

since I saw the movies. I need to do that. I remember reading LOTR for the first time again after Fellowship was released and the knowledge of the movie enhanced my experience. I had a similar feeling after reading LOTR again soon after I finished the Sil. There was so much more depth that I had missed before

I'm sure reading The Hobbit again now will be a different, better experience now that I've seen the first movie.

Registered User

Jun 21 2013, 2:12pm

Post #29 of 32 (89 views)
Cool question! Here is my answer [In reply to] Can't Post

I discovered fantasy really by reading The Hobbit when I was... 10, 11 I think? Could be 12, I don't know. But I do remember the massive impact the book had on me. To this day it remains very important to me. To me, the story of The Hobbit is one of those things that keep me in touch with a sense of the past, of beautiful nostalgia as well as hope for the future. It's inspiring. It's inspiring because it tells the story of a person leading a cozy but boring life who becomes a great adventurer. It's inspiring because it has moral truths to convey about greed and what really matters in life, but above all it's inspiring because it actually shows you this wonderful, wonderful world, full of magic and awe. It just has a certain atmosphere and impact that is mysterious and that makes me want to keep looking for that same sense of wonder at all times, in small things in the world, like going for a walk in the woods. It continues to make me happy in that way.
I think Peter Jackson got that and to me, he gave the film version that same wonder because when I see it, I feel those same feelings again and that's what matters most to me.


Jun 21 2013, 11:16pm

Post #30 of 32 (88 views)
It's means getting outside your box [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the things I love about The Hobbit is Bilbo getting outside his comfort zone. I've been told on more than one occasion that I need to get outside my box. So I can relate to Bilbo wanting to and not wanting to do that exact thing. It's something I've worked on the last several years. So that's just one of the things The Hobbit means to me.


Jun 22 2013, 1:45am

Post #31 of 32 (78 views)
Appeal of TH [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
I think what appeals about the Hobbit is the message that even the smallest and meekest comfort loving person can defeat their fears and become brave to save a friend.

Find that true too. And I enjoy the whimsy, and the tone of it - that fussiness that Bilbo has and the almost avuncular narrative voice; yet simplicity its most touching parts. I read LOTR first, fell so in love with it, that TH was almost a 'dessert' in a way, a lighter course for afterwards. So the first time I read it I knew Bilbo would turn out okay, and I think that's why it felt so comforting to read. It's always been my 'comfort' book that I can just open at any page and start in.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Jun 22 2013, 5:40am

Post #32 of 32 (100 views)
This will be one of my shorter posts. It is and was magical and enchanting. [In reply to] Can't Post

Familliar and yet wondrous. I was in for the duration and ever after the moment a certain Wizard showed up at the doorstep and was greeted with good morning. I loved the book and the old animated movie (minus the fact that the wood Elves were somewhat deformed). Gandalf resonated like someone from a past life, and the whole of the story had everything I ever enjoyed in a great bed-time tale, at once giving me a sense of cozy comfort whilst reminding that the wide world was all around and filled with wonders and terrors and more wonders. It was and remains a shining example of the Enchanted Realms & Sword And Sorcery genre. It is also a wonderful folktale, told in the manner of those ancient stories, and the enchantment it weaves on the willing heart is a powerful one.

In Reply To
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.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

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