As those who follow my blog will know, I recently finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, as I soon as I was done, I grabbed The Hobbit and basically read it in one go.
It’s been a while since I last saw the movies, but here’s what I think of the LOR prequel!
Bilbo Baggins (yes the old Hobbit from Lord of the Rings) is young and happy, until Gandalf (and 13 dwarves) knocks at his door. Turns out Bilbo is to go on an adventure: defeating the dragon Smaug and help the dwarves reclaim their mountain.
Book vs. Movie:
Well, before I say anything more detailed, I’d like to point something out: LOR consisted of three books each 300 to 400 pages long which resulted in a trilogy of 3 hour-long movies. The Hobbit on the other hand is one 300 page book, but still they made 3 movies out of it.
I remember when seeing the films (especially the last one) the story felt lengthy and you could clearly tell they were in for the money. However, after I read the book, I changed my opinion (well, not about the money-making, but about the lengthy part).
The Hobbit is an interesting read and far easier to get through with than LOR but I guess this is the problem. Many parts of the novel seem a bit, well unrealistic. I am aware that dragons and Hobbits do not exist but some points annoyed me. Tolkien spends an entire book explaining how powerful and dangerous the dragon is. Then Smaug has a little chat with Bilbo, flies of and is killed by Bard. The whole killing thing takes exactly one paragraph. The battle of the fives armies is a similar problem. It only begins on the last 20 pages of the book but you don’t really get a battle. After two pages Bilbo is knocked out and regains consciousness only after the fighting is over. Seriously Tolkien? That’s not okay.
Moving on to the film I have many positives points on my list. First of all the fight with the dragon is far better than in the book. I mean, in the film the dwarves at least have a fight with the damn thing instead of simply a little chat.
Where the novel is rather one-dimensional, a few more plotlines were created for the movie. Laketown is briefly mentioned in the book whereas it gets quite a bit of screen time in the film. The people are also characterised far better than in the book. Due to not having their own plotline the characters remain totally pale and you can’t bond with them at all.
It’s also pretty cool that they brought Legolas back for the films (he doesn’t appear in the books). Thus the elves also get their own storyline and more depth (the love story wasn’t that necessary but whatever).
Also very important: he battle in was epic. In the film you get a real fight, not just “..and then he passed out.” What I also appreciate is that Thorin has to overcome an inner conflict aswell, which is not so much depicted in the books.
Last but not least: the movie is way more fun. Better conversations and witty answers are guaranteed. Two of my favourite characters were solely created for the films: Alfrid – this guy was absolutely hilarious. (I’m pretty sure he wasn’t supposed to be funny, but at least for me he was) – and Radagast – no idea what that wizard is smoking but he was extremely funny to watch.
Summing up I have to say that I prefer the movies. Although three parts may have been too much, the films have way more depth than the books. The story gets more interesting and the characters are simply depicted in a better way. Skip the book and take the time to watch the three films. Although some stuff is also unrealistic in the films, it will at least make you laugh!
What do you think? Let me know in the comments1