My Prediction

Note: The following is an exact copy of a post I made about The Hobbit movies on on 1 February 2009.  The project evolved considerably in the four years between this essay and the release of the first film, but I have left this page up since I find several of the predictions still hold weight.

I’m calling it.  Based on what we know (several years in advance, yes), The Hobbit will be a disappointment.  Maybe not to movie-goers or fans of PJ’s work, but to those of use who know and love TH the book, many from early childhood, it will disappoint.  And unless PJ, GDT, etc. make some major changes to the tune they’ve been singing, it’s going to disappoint big time.

Let me explain.  We all know that TH is a story about Bilbo Baggins, the reluctant hobbit hero who gets swept along on a great adventure, becomes a successful burglar, and helps his dwarf friends recover their ancient treasure.  Bilbo also develops a lot on in the course of the story, even though he is 50 years old when it begins.  TH was originally a children’s book, though it has many adult fans, and is consequentially fairly light-hearted, particularly in comparison to its sequel: LOTR.  TH and LOTR are separate stories, and not that much alike.

LOTR is a grand epic, a history of mythic proportions.  These qualities are one of the chief appeals of the book to its fans.  PJ’s movies on the other hand are action flicks.  This is not to disparage action flicks, but they are an entirely different genre from LOTR.  The changes in LOTR from book to movie shouldn’t affect TH, as it is a separate story, but this doesn’t seem to be how it will play out.

Even though there is a new director (Guillermo del Toro), Peter Jackson will be Executive Producers, and his co-writers, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, will also be returning to help write TH.  Furthermore, they seem intent on making TH not only a prequel to LOTR (rather than LOTR being the sequel), but they seem to want to make TH the movie in the image of LOTR the movie(s).  Literally.  Many of the actors from LOTR whose characters did not appear in TH – including Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, and Dominic Monaghan – have expressed interest in reprising their roles.

‘But wait,” you may say. “You’ve forgotten – there is a bridge movie.  All these LOTR actors are simply going to appear in the bridge.”  That may be, but GDT (del Toro) has hinted that TH will take up both films, possibly with some additional material to tie it in with LOTR in the second film (see here).  Rumors are rampant about what material may be used to tie in TH with LOTR – The White Council, Aragorn’s and Arwen’s early relationship, etc. – without pausing to think of a deeper issue: these two films (part of a single “narrativ”, according to GDT) will not be The Hobbit as we know it.  If made in the manner discussed, it will be a largely fabricated conglomerate of storylines that really have nothing to do with each other.  TH is separate from LOTR, but GDT seems to want just the opposite.  This will not be The Hobbit, this will be “The Lord of the Rings Part –2” and “The Lord of the Rings Part –1”.

So I’m calling it.  These movies will be major disappointments.  Maybe they will be good as movies, though deviations from Tolkien’s works didn’t help LOTR.  Set aside TH as you know it though – and Abandon all Hobbit ye who enter here.

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3 Responses to My Prediction

  1. Ellyllyon says:

    I agree with your points. But aside from Arwen being included and Tom Bombadil & Glorfindel being exclude, the movie pretty much followed the story. It was just accurate enough to be enjoyable.

    As far as The Hobbit goes, they have the same people at the helm. I don’t doubt that they leave a couple of things out and pull other stuff out of their backside. I know most fans will go in with an open mind, but there’s going to be something really big to screw it up. I for one disagree with the movie being chopped in two. One movie is sufficient to tell the story. My only concern is that in doing this, they risk mixing up the events as told in the Hobbit and those told in “The Council of Elrond”, thus filling the gaps in with, well, filler. Gollum gets away in the end. There is really no reason to stick Aragorn and the rest of the characters they’ve decided to include. Filling in the gap where Gandalf disappears is not worth it if that’s what they plan to do.

    • Eldorion says:

      I agree with your point about cutting the story in two. However, I believe that they are doing so to make room for additions to the story; namely, the White Council/Dol Guldur storyline. With that inclusion they might well need two films to tell the story, but like you I don’t see the need to make the addition.

      As for the faithfulness of LOTR, I suggest looking over a bit more of the site. Tom Bombadil and Arwen were some of the least important changes. 😉

  2. evengrace says:

    I agree with a lot of these. The movie and the books are very different and Peter Jackson was forced to change the storyline of many aspects because (as said) he creates action movies. I also agree that the Hobbit may be a disappointment. Bilbo’s story has nothing to do with any other storyline besides the Ring, so I see no reason to cast the other LOTR members as a result. I do not think there should even be a bridge because we will be jumping from two completely separate stories.

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