On Christmas I finished reading The Hobbit. No, not for the first time, but yes, because of the upcoming movies. The last time I read it I was in Jr. High or High School, and there was much I had forgotten. While I remember that it was much more of a children’s story than The Lord of the Rings, I didn’t remember to what extent. For example the trolls named Bill, Burt, and Tom felt very out of place in the Middle Earth of LotR. I had forgotten how they were characterized, and how vastly different they were than the cave troll from Moria.
I also didn’t remember to what extent Bilbo continuously saved the dwarves. The entire middle section of the book seemed to be a series of the company getting into trouble, the dwarves getting captured, and Bilbo rescuing them. This happens with the goblins, the spiders, and the wood elves. It probably would have happened with the wargs, but instead of Bilbo it’s the great eagles. It seemed odd that a company of 12 dwarves, a hobbit burglar, and a wizard (even if most of them were level 1-3) could get into such trouble, and that only the burglar could get them all out of it!
I did remember that for the most part the dwarves weren’t given a whole lot of personality. Beyond Thorin, Kili, Fili, and Bombur the dwarves get very little face time and no real personality! I have the feeling that even with 2 movies there will be a limit as to how far the personalities of 12 dwarves can be developed, especially as they’ll be sharing so much screen time with Bilbo and Gandalf. However, judging by the actors chosen by Peter Jackson, and the costumes they wear, a lot of their personality has already been developed. Rather amazing how much we take in visually, and how different these dwarves are as compared to Gimli.
Of course, now I have to wait an entire year to see it on the big screen, and even then only the first half!