December 14, 2012
That’s the date Peter Jackson’s ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ will be released. Also, I imagine that my final exam for my programming course will be sometime around then, and I would prefer that my exam was before the movie, so that I won’t be distracted by its release (and thoughts of sitting in a dark theater enjoying the Adventure and the merry Company that takes part in it).
I’ve been looking forward to seeing a movie rendition of The Hobbit (not counting the animated version from 1977) ever since The Lord of the Rings films came out. Of all of Tolkien’s books, The Hobbit is the only one I have ever read more than once. In fact, I have probably read The Hobbit at least three times, and perhaps four (this latest being the fourth). In 6th grade I read the shortened 6th-grade-version in our big, thick white literature book, but I did not include that read-through as one of the times I’ve read The Hobbit.
I’d like to add that I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings before the movie version of “The Fellowship of the Ring” was even released back in 2001. So, wanting to remember what happened in The Hobbit as it happened in the book (meaning so that I didn’t see the movie and not remember whether or not that scene was either in the book or added simply for the sake of the movie), I decided to reread it one more time before December 14.
To say I enjoyed rereading The Hobbit is an understatement. It was a pure delight. And in my mind I was able to freely imagine Bilbo as I wanted to do so, and imagine the dwarves in my own way as well, instead of having seen a movie and thus being influenced as to their manner of voice or looks, or what have you. I know that if I ever reread “The Fellowship of the Ring” I would likely think of Elijah Wood as Frodo, instead of the Frodo I pictured in my mind when I was 13 or 14.
If you haven’t read The Hobbit, and are wary about spoilers, you might want to stop here. And then I suggest you read the book before the movie is released on December 14 (that’s the release date here in the United States, at any rate).
One of the parts I have always immensely enjoyed in The Hobbit is when Bilbo creeps up to the three trolls and overhears – and interrupts – their conversation. I found myself chuckling at it all, and at the ensuing arguments. I doubt that the films will keep the hilarious yet necessary English dialogue between the trolls, and even that between the trolls and Bilbo. But hopefully I’ll be proved wrong.
Also, I thoroughly enjoyed reliving the experience of reading about the skin-changer Beorn and how Gandalf introduced the Company to him in pairs of two dwarves every 5 minutes. I really do hope they include that in the film just as Tolkien wrote it. It has me wondering, too, how much of the actual dialogue they’ll use in the film and how much new dialogue will be written to replace it.
In short, rereading The Hobbit was a great decision. If you haven’t done so, but are thinking of picking it up one more time before the film comes out, then I encourage you to dive into this wonderful tale of daring, danger, and delight.
This is the front cover of my copy of The Hobbit, which my dad bought for me in 2000. I imagine that the artwork and cover will be different (or has already changed) once the new movie comes out.
The back cover of my copy of The Hobbit. At the top of the cover is the announcement that “The Lord of the Rings” will soon be an epic motion picture. Now, 10 years later, The Hobbit will be joining those movies, and rightly so!