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Movie & Book ~ The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

the hobbit 1979 edition unwin paperbacks

You can follow my progress with Movie and Book at Letterboxd and Goodreads.

I first read The Hobbit as a spotty teenager at the beginning of the ’80s. It was my favourite book then and after the recent re-read – I still have my original 1979 edition – it has once again stolen my heart. I may not read The Hobbit again, well possibly not until my later years, but at least I can re-live the emotions through this trilogy directed by Peter Jackson.

The first instalment – The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – takes place in the first 112 pages of the book just at the end of the Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire chapter. There are changes afoot in this first of the trilogy of movies. Some are minor and others just seem to be there either to add balance the movie itself or allow some of the characters from The Lord of the Rings trilogy a cameo role. I liked that the movie placed a back-story to Thorin as King under the mountain even if the Pale Orc is from an earlier age (something I can not confirm or deny at the time of writing this post). Like I said these changes are done for the benefit of the audience and I’m not so precious of Tolkien that it bothers me. As long as the feel and theme of the story don’t unravel too far away from the core. If your curious to know all 19 supposed changes made in the film follow this link.

As a book, The Hobbit allows me to experience the growth of Bilbo Baggins. From a homely half-ling to adventuring burglar that comes to lead the unexpected party in the second part of the book. There are hints of Bilbo’s growth in An Unexpected Journey but there are also changes that don’t do as much justice to his own development. I am curious to how the second movie, The Desolation of Smaug, deviates from the book on this point. We should remember that Frodo is influenced by the past deeds of Bilbo and The Hobbit needs to be almost a love letter for Frodo.

 

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