The Hobbit (with spoilers)
I watched The Hobbit last night with the family. It was enjoyable and I did like it. It was not, however, a movie that matched the book all that well. I’m not unhappy about that, because I did like what Peter Jackson was trying to do, which seemed to me to be doing more to set up what would come later as far as laying the foundation for the LOTR. Specifically, going to Rivendell and the meeting between Elrond, Galadriel, Saruman, and Gandalf, really set out some things that explain a great deal about how they are reacting and noticing the rising of Sauron (or trying to pretend that it isn’t happening). It was also really interesting to see the way that the others perceived Gandalf. He was a bit of a lone wolf and not in a good way. Like he was running about doing things that they found both annoying and objectionable. It seemed that this was his habit. Only Galadriel seemed to accept his behavior with a kind of shrug–he is what he is after all.
Another thing that was very different was the way that Thorin is far more and equal or more major character than Bilbo. This really isn’t Bilbo’s story at this point, though that may change. He was much more anti-Bilbo than the book, it seems to me, and there was a lot of really cool conflict between him and Gandalf. There was a back story involving Moria and a big nemesis orc that he had battled and thought he killed, but now is pursuing him. None of that is in the book, but I think it’s necessary (or something like it), to building him as a character, and also in giving the group more of a sense of danger (as the nazgul were in LOTR). Otherwise, they don’t really have any major pursuit and therefore nothing to really drive the urgency, except, gotta make it to the mountain in time. In a trilogy movie, that wouldn’t be enough. Plus this establishes a connection to the LOTR movies.
Frankly I’m not sure there’s enough material in the book for three movies. I don’t think one would have done it justice, however. I’m really curious what will happen next. My favorite scene is in Bilbo’s house at the beginning with the meeting. So dead on.
I do have one question for you. I can’t remember the history of Moria and I was confused about it from the movie. So can anyone tell me what it is? Because Gimli was so surprised it was destroyed in LOTR, but it seems like it had fallen before The Hobbit in the movie, so what’s the story?
I understand some material was drawn from The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales, but it’s been so long ago that I read those that I have no memory of those details.
As for Moria, the mines had fallen, yes. Before the events of LOTR, but after The Hobbit, Balin, who is with Bilbo in the Hobbit, tries to reclaim Moria. By the time of LOTR, Gimli thinks Balin has been in the process of reclaiming Moria. He soon learns Balin has failed. The mines being desirable for the metal Mithril, like the mail Frodo wore in LOTR.
My husband and I saw the movie a few weeks ago and he said that the movie dragged. I had not read the book since the 8th or 9th grade. I decided to reread the book and see how well the movie matched it. I was amazed at all of the scenes that were added to the book in order to fill out the first three hour installment. Does anyone know if they are pulling from some of the other material that was written by Tolkien? I have only read Hobbit and LOTR. I have also found myself SLOGGING through the Hobbit. As a matter of fact, I have put the book down a few weeks ago and haven’t picked it up since. The Harry Potter books read better for me (love HP). The Hobbit was my first fantasy book that I ever read in my life and it changed my reading life forever. Now, I don’t think I will ever finish rereading it and will probably be thinning the book out of my ‘library’.
I don’t know the story of Moira, sorry.
Kbritain has it right, if I also recall correctly from the LOTR (books) appendices. I believe the mines of Moria were overrun by orcs prior to The Hobbit, but those orcs went to fight in the Battle of Five Armies and their numbers were depleted, making it possible for Balin to reclaim Moria. He began mining again, and was successful for a while, until the orcs again multiplied and again overran the mines.
I agree that the additional scenes were interesting in the character development and overarching conflict of The Hobbit and LOTR, but the added battle sequences felt heavy-handed–forcing the plot pace to pick up. The CGI was too thick for me, as well, and distracted me from the story. I could live in Rivendell, though, or the Shire. Gorgeous. I absolutely adored the Unexpected Party scene, too. It was fantastic.
Overall, I will say that the first time I watched The Hobbit, I was a little disappointed, but I like it more each time I watch it (up to three now).
Actually a very good history:
It’s been a while since I read the Hobbit but I have read a TON of reviews, etc. The White Orc is a story from the appendices for another dwarf. Peter Jackson said he brought it in for the exact reason you stated – to bring that sense of urgency and beef up the characterization of the dwarves (not exactly his words but summarized).
I like the addition though I’m always a stickler for keeping things to the book. 🙂 Like I think there’s still things they’ve skipped in this book… but it’s been years since I’ve read it. I read the Hobbit before the first LOTR movies came out…
If you check out Pinterest, you actually find out a lot of interesting tidbits that may or may not be true. 🙂 (I’ve reposted most of those on my Geek page.) Things like Gloin is Gimli’s dad. And that the hobbit with the bowl cut is the record keeper who Gandalf takes the book from in the Mines of Moria and that Balin is the dead dwarf buried in that tomb there.
I like the additions in that I trust Peter Jackson to make the world work and still keep the heart of the story. What I enjoy to is that the movies still have surprises for me rather than being just an exact adaption, though I don’t remember all the details. But I saw what he did with the LOTR, saw what he thought of doing but didn’t (I have seriously watched all like 17 hours of extras on the extended editions), and I like what comes out in the middle.
One of my favorite scenes are those at Bilbo’s house as well. Once I heard the song, I flipped and ordered the special edition sound track and it is amazing!!! I love the Misty Mountain song. Gives me goosebumps! And I love that Richard (Thorin) is actually the one singing…
Besides, it’s fun to have hot dwarves… 😉 LOL