Fantasy Friday: The Hobbit

Finally, another Fantasy Friday post! Many apologies for the delay 🙂

I was talking to a friend about our favorite fantasy books, and what we still read from childhood. As those who’ve followed me on this blog for awhile know, I love The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. I read it at least twice a year. That doesn’t mean I don’t see its flaws, I do, but I still greatly enjoy the story.

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I still cry reading certain scenes, and laugh at others. I’m still captivated by the tale, the journey, even after so many years of reading it. I love that- few books have stood the test of time for me in such a manner. Bilbo, of course, is my favorite character, but the dwarves hold a special place in my heart. I’m fairly certain if I were part of that world I’d be a hobbit or a dwarf 😀

Now, the conversation with my friend naturally went to the Peter Jackson trilogy. We have differing opinions on the subject but that has created lively debates, which we both love. And that is what this Fantasy Friday is about- the trilogy 🙂

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I happen to adore the movies. Not as much as the LOTR trilogy (that’s another Fantasy Friday post!), but I still love them. I think Jackson did a great job with the dwarves, and (unlike some fans) I loved Smaug. But Martin Freeman was a fantastic Bilbo Baggins- I don’t think there’s another actor who could’ve played that role so wonderfully.

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The dwarves were fantastic as well- I’ll admit Balin is my favorite 🙂 They were close to what I pictured in my mind. All the actors did a brilliant job. And Richard was spot-on as Thorin. He really made me love that character even more than I already did from the book.

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Lee Pace as Thranduil was perfection. Perfection. That was damn good casting.

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One thing me and my friend could agree on was the addition of Tauriel. I know many didn’t like her, but I really enjoyed Evangeline Lilly in the role, and loved that Peter Jackson added her because the lack of female presence in the book has always bothered me. I thought Tauriel was kickass, a fiesty, strong elven warrior with a great heart. She balanced Legolas well, and stood up for what she knew was the right thing to do.

Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel

Now, let’s talk a moment about what I didn’t like.

I really hate (yes, hate) what they did to Tauriel. Jackson basically wasted what is a great, kickass warrior and turned her into nothing but a love interest. I thought she and Legolas were a good pair- hinting at that would have been fine. But Jackson put her in a love triangle and highlighted that as if that was all she was for a good portion of the third movie. And yes, I am one of those readers of the books that disliked her falling in love with Kili. I love Kili, don’t get me wrong, but that was a pairing that never should have happened.

One of the things that always bothered me after reading The Hobbit and the LOTR trilogy was that Legolas was not in The Hobbit. I always thought he should have been, so when Jackson added him to the movie I was pleased. He may not have been as stand-out as he was in the LOTR movies, but I did like that he was there.

Overall, I loved the trilogy. I could tell it was rushed in places, that not enough time was put into the movies- which would be because Jackson took over when del Toro had to back out and the studio wanted those movies NOW instead of giving Jackson time- but they’re still a good companion to the LOTR movies. I liked the tie-ins he did between this trilogy and LOTR. They made sense and I enjoyed the additions…though, I still wish that scene with Galadriel, Elrond, Saruman at Dol Guldur would have lasted longer than it did.

I try not to compare The Hobbit book to the movies because liberties are taken- they have to be in some instances due to constraints- but for the most part I think Jackson captured the heart of the heart of the story. I still cry during the scene with Thorin and Bilbo when Thorin is dying. Breaks my heart every time. And the party (re, rave) that Gandalf basically threw at poor Bilbo’s house is perfect (in my humble opinion).

And yes, I have indeed watched all six movies (extended editions) marathon style…and loved every minute of it 🙂

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