The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

The Hobbit MovieThe first words spoken in Peter Jackson’s new movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, are “My dear Frodo.” With these words, Jackson informs his audience that The Hobbit is really an extension of his The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tolkien does not mention Frodo in the book because his novel was about the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, and The Lord of the Rings was a sequel that followed the doings of Frodo Baggins. Jackson, however, has made The Hobbit a prequel, which means some bits will not make sense if you have not seen his The Lord of the Rings movies first.

Jackson turns The Hobbit into a frame tale. The movie begins on the morning of Bilbo Baggins’s eleventy-first birthday, the event which kicks off The Lord of the Rings, and an old Bilbo Baggins, once again played by Ian Holm, is writing his memoirs to his nephew Frodo, Continue reading

Aging with The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien’s  The Hobbit turns seventy-five today. I, however, didn’t manage to read it the year it came out. I first became acquainted with the book about twenty-five years ago. My mother, in a fit of nostalgia, bought me a boxed set containing The Hobbit and the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings. She had read The Lord of the Rings in the late 60s when Tolkien-mania was in full swing, and I think she hoped that buying me copies of the books would atone for the fact that she never scrawled “Frodo Lives” on a subway wall. Continue reading