My Thoughts On The Hobbit Trilogy

For those of you who have not had the pleasure, I will quickly summarize the trilogy.

In the first movie we have narration, Bilbo being used as a Kleenex, and goblins who look nothing like their orc counterparts, not to mention the fact that they speak English… with a British accent.

In the second, we learn that Mirkwood is confusing – unless you climb the trees, and then it’s amazing, with a nice breeze and autumn-colored leaves that turn into these cute blue butterflies –

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that a morgul  shaft will render you sweaty and several shades paler than normal – and, who knows, may even induce childbirth,

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that liquid gold has absolutely no ill affects on dragons, and lastly, that Bard is a man of many talents.

In the last movie we begin to doubt Bard’s parenting,

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Azog and Bolg’s mortality,

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to wonder why dwarves who have miraculously survived the first two movies are now dropping like flies and if Legolas will ever get it through his thick skull that Tauriel is not interested.

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So. Now that we’ve established the basic principles…

Let the list begin.

1. To The Nerds

I hear a lot of people whining about how The Hobbit movies do not stay true to the book.

Before you join this group, make sure you’ve gotten your facts right. Jackson seems to have gotten his material straight from Tolkien himself. Check the Appendices in your copy of The Lord of the Rings, or read The Silmarillion. It’s in there.

Some of this stuff will surprise you, I think.

Some of it surprised me, and I’m one of the biggest nerds there is.

Like Azog. He’s in there.

Bolg, his son? He’s in there.

Dol Guldur? Yep. This was a real fortress.

The Necromancer? Absolutely.

Gandalf and Thorin’s  meeting at the Prancing Pony in Bree? You bet.

Thrain wandering around in the wilderness? That, too.

Gundabad? Mmm-hmm.

Satisfied yet?

Besides, you have to remember that Tolkien wrote The Hobbit for children. He hadn’t done any of the intensive research and worldbuilding he had done by the time he wrote The Lord of the Rings.

Some gaps obviously had to be filled.

Now, to be fair, Jackson did make a few unprecedented changes.

2. Tauriel

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Tauriel was the topic of much debate.

Personally, I have no problem with her. Mirkwood, and the elf kingdom that the dwarves were held in there, came straight from the book. I thought it was a great idea to pick out a representative of the Mirkwood elves as a supporting character.

The trouble starts when a love triangle looms in sight – a love triangle Tolkien didn’t so much as hint at.

3. Legolas

If you have read The Hobbit, you know that a guy named Thranduil is not in it.

But the King of the Woodland Realm is. And in The Lord of the Rings, the King of the Woodland Realm is named Thranduil.

And the messenger he sends to the Council of Elrond happens to be his son. That would be Legolas.

So it absolutely makes sense that he would appear in The Hobbit movies.

However, I’m not a fan of Legolas myself, so I wasn’t thrilled to see him. And his whole, “Hey, Tauriel, let’s go off on our own to singlehandedly take on the forces of evil!” is ridiculous.

And, don’t quote me on this, but he seems to have changed eye color?

4. The Dwarves

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They did not get the hood-and-hair colors right! 

Come on, Jackson. Where are your priorities, my man?

But let’s be serious for a moment. There were some things about the dwarves I didn’t like. The innuendo was new and eye-roll-worthy at best.

Bofur is annoying.

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I want to murder Ori.

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Bombur was supposed to be fat, not obese and his supposedly comedic scenes are sickening.

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Dori, Oin, Nori, and Bifur are useless, unlikable characters.

And Fili and Kili are too darn good-looking!

 

On the other hand, I fell wholeheartedly in love with sweet old Balin.

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Dwalin is my spirit animal.

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Thorin is glorious perfection.

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And Fili and Kili’s bromance is awfully cute.

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5. Martin Freeman

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The Lord of the Rings movies have sported some truly gifted actors over the years – Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Andy Serkus, and Elijah Wood among them. Martin Freeman is instantly admitted into this elite group. Not only admitted, but in a league all his own. He is fantastic!

Richard Armitage, who played Thorin, also had quite an impressive performance.

6. Three Movies

I actually agree with this complaint. I don’t see why the story had to be dragged out so long.

Not that I’m smart enough to tell you what should have been left out.

It just seems like the second half of the first movie is “Let’s run away from orcs!” and the second half of the second movie is “Let’s run away from this dragon!” and not much gets accomplished.

Ultimately…

Jackson’s commitment to accuracy and quality is admirable, and in his hands, the story behind the simple children’s book takes on the texture and emotion it wanted all along. These movies are on a level with the original trilogy.

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So tell me, friends! What are your thoughts on The Hobbit trilogy? Do you like it? Hate it? Was it as good as the original trilogy? Better? Are you a Legolas fan? What did you think of Tauriel? The love-triangle? The hot dwarves?