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194 Notes

The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug review (spoilers)

As I did last year, I thought I’d detail some of my thoughts about the new Hobbit movie. Spoilers ahead, so I’ll put it under the cut:

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134 Notes

There were originally seven Dwarf kingdoms, founded by each of the seven Dwarf “Fathers.”  The most common to show up in stories were “Durin’s Folk” (also called “Longbeards”) which consisted of guys like Thorin and Gimli. Durin’s Folk were the friendliest with Elves & Men, and were also the ones who founded kingdoms like Moria. Dwarves are largely very secretive and reclusive, so it’s mostly Durin’s Folk, given their relative openness, who appear in Tolkien’s stories.
There are others like the Broadbeams and the Firebeards, who hail from the Blue Mountains and have a large role in the First Age.  The other Dwarf kingdoms are place further East, and I don’t believe they have significant appearances in any stories.
I think most of the Dwarves in The Hobbit are part of Durin’s Folk, but by the time of the 3rd Age that ethnic group expanded into several kingdoms, like the Grey Mountains, Iron Mountains, Blue Mountains, Iron Hills and Erebor.  
I have a theory that Durin’s Folk are really just the Dwarf race that looks more like what humans would call “Dwarves,” while the others had different appearances.

There were originally seven Dwarf kingdoms, founded by each of the seven Dwarf “Fathers.”  The most common to show up in stories were “Durin’s Folk” (also called “Longbeards”) which consisted of guys like Thorin and Gimli. Durin’s Folk were the friendliest with Elves & Men, and were also the ones who founded kingdoms like Moria. Dwarves are largely very secretive and reclusive, so it’s mostly Durin’s Folk, given their relative openness, who appear in Tolkien’s stories.

There are others like the Broadbeams and the Firebeards, who hail from the Blue Mountains and have a large role in the First Age.  The other Dwarf kingdoms are place further East, and I don’t believe they have significant appearances in any stories.

I think most of the Dwarves in The Hobbit are part of Durin’s Folk, but by the time of the 3rd Age that ethnic group expanded into several kingdoms, like the Grey Mountains, Iron Mountains, Blue Mountains, Iron Hills and Erebor.  

I have a theory that Durin’s Folk are really just the Dwarf race that looks more like what humans would call “Dwarves,” while the others had different appearances.

1518 Notes

Where the “Extra” Content in The Hobbit Came From

A question I’ve seen come up among fans of The Hobbit book is “where is all this extra stuff coming from?”  It’s a fair question if you’ve only read The Hobbit, as there are many events in the film that are totally absent from that text.

The fact of the matter is, despite the film’s name, Peter Jackson isn’t really adapting The Hobbit so much as he’s adapting The Quest of Erebor, which is Tolkien’s name for the larger, more inclusive story that involves more than just Bilbo’s adventure at the time.  While some of the events and timelines have been condensed or shuffled around, there’s actually very little in The Hobbit film that’s not taken from Tolkien’s writings, in fact less than The Lord of the Rings films.

What many don’t know is The Hobbit was actually written before Tolkien had decided that it would directly be a part of his larger Middle-Earth universe, and only in later editions did he actually change its text to make it fit into that continuity (most notably, Tolkien re-wrote the Riddles chapter, where originally Gollum gave Bilbo the Ring as a prize).  Even so, many details in the story contradict the larger narrative, and this was chalked up to Bilbo embellishing or omitting events, or simply not being aware of some certain aspects of what was occurring around him.  Unlike The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is written from the limited perspective of only a single character, and many character motivations and contexts (like why exactly Gandalf would use a Hobbit to begin with and the jarring introduction of Bard the Bowman) are absent.  This is fine for The Hobbit in itself, which is largely just a fairy tale, but as a prequel to  The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien felt it fell short.

With this in mind, after drafting The Fellowship of the Ring, Tolkien began writing The Quest of Erebor, which told Bilbo’s story in a style closer to The Lord of the Rings, including Gandalf’s adventures concerning The Necromancer, Saruman’s growing obsession with the Ring of Power and so on.  For space reasons, Tolkien was only able to include a condensed version of this story in the appendices of The Return of the King, but the complete story was published in Unfinished Tales in 1980.

Peter Jackson does not have the rights to directly adapt Unfinished Tales, but there is sufficient content in The Return of the King alone to justify making The Hobbit into three films.  A strict adaptation of The Hobbit book or a larger one of The Quest of Erebor are equally legitimate, but the latter is a much more effective way to create a prequel to The Lord of the Rings, which is Peter Jackson’s intent.  For those more interested in a film adaptation of The Hobbit alone, I’d recommend the Rankin-Baas version from 1977, though even then it had to make concessions for many of the fairy tale logic problems found in the book.

I hope that explains the additional scenes for people who were curious!

552 Notes

A very quick speed painting of The Necromancer of Dol Guldur!

A very quick speed painting of The Necromancer of Dol Guldur!

307 Notes

Brief Hobbit Review for Tolkien Nerds (spoilers)

I really liked it!

I have some lore and continuity thoughts below, primarily from the point of view of an insufferable Tolkien nerd. Spoilers ahead, DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN IT

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