Hello everyone! Welcome back to my blog! Today I am so so SO excited to talk about the book I just finished. I have been waiting forever to read this, and I have so many things to say about it. So, let’s just get right into it!
Today, I want to talk about The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. This is part of my 2022 reading goal but I’m counting it towards my book count for 2021 because I wasn’t expecting to start so early. Not sure if that makes sense, but it does to me. This is the 34th book I read this year and reading The Lord of the Rings is going to be my major goal for 2022 besides just a normal book goal. Also shoutout to my best friend, Erin, for buying this book for me! I love when friends support my reading addiction.
I didn’t know a lot about The Hobbit before reading it. I never saw the movies or really heard that much about it. Whereas I’ve seen all the LOTR movies and know all the characters, plot, etc. I’ve said this in previous posts, but I had been reading some of the illustrated guides by David Day before reading to try to give me some background knowledge. I know Tolkien created an entire world, language, creatures, and such, and I wanted to be prepared in case it was a lot of information at once. He practically created the fantasy genre. I’m kidding, but you get it. But after reading, I can say it really wasn’t. It was easy to remember all the characters and their exotic names. And it was easy to remember which character was what type of creature i.e., dwarf, elf, goblin, etc.
Overall, I loved it. I loved the Tolkien world, I loved the characters, I loved the development, I loved the villains, all of it. I would 100% recommend, and I will definitely be reading again.
The book was also very short. It’s only like 330 pages, so not entirely sure how they got THREE movies out of a 300-page book. I thought there were only two, but I just looked it up to fact check myself and apparently there’s three! I’m kind of shocked. I know there’s a lot of mixed reviews about them. But it did do $2.9 billion in the box office so…. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. The LOTR rings did about the same for all three movies. Again, is that good or bad?
One good thing about the movies was that after I finished reading a chapter or a specific scene, I would watch the movie version of the same scene just to see how it turned out or just to see another interpretation of it. The one I loved the most was the Chapter 5 Riddles in the Dark (yes, I know the chapter and chapter title). This is where Bilbo Baggins not only finds the ring but meets Gollum.
That was my favorite chapter. Especially because Gollum is such an iconic character in this world. We also see how he loses the ring. One thing that surprised me is that his speech isn’t hard to read or understand. He does talk in third person, and he does switch between Gollum and Smeagol but it's not as confusing to read as I thought it would be.
In this scene, Bilbo was running from the Goblins and is now lost in the tunnels of the cave. He reaches this little open water area, and this is where Gollum lives. They strike a deal. They have a battle of wits in the form of riddles. If Bilbo guesses correctly, Gollum must show him the way out. If Gollum wins, well then…he gets to eat/kill Bilbo.
I cannot begin to express how much I loved this scene. Not just because of the characters, but the thought of someone possessed and obsessed with such dark power still knowing/ remembering the little “human-like” experiences like having eggs for breakfast. Gollum is now completely unrecognizable from his hobbit (?) form. I believe that’s what he was at one point. But he still likes solving riddles, he still knows riddles to tell Bilbo, etc.
And the movie scene was so close to the book version. I’m talking the same dialogue, word-for-word. So, I really enjoyed that.
Anyways, I digress. I feel like the world Tolkien built is so descriptive and vast that it’s not hard to adapt his books into movies. I mean for content at least. Because the Hobbit scenes I watched were pretty true to the book. According to google the budget for the “Hobbit” was 180 million and about 93 million for LOTR. And fun fact, Peter Jackson, who directed LOTR also directed “The Hobbit.” So, thank god for consistency.
Okay, back to the book. The other really cool scene was when Bilbo and the dwarves were walking through the spooky, dark and dangerous forest. Right after Gandalf was like see ya, I’m not going in that forest. And in this forest, there are a bunch of giant spiders that capture the dwarves and little ole Bilbo must save them. I just thought this scene was so interesting, especially since I remember the scene when Frodo battled Shelob in Mordor. But also, the idea of giant hungry spiders…it’s a no for me. I also watched the scene from the movie which was more terrifying to see the spiders but still on point from the book.
Before I wrap things up, I of course, have to talk about Smaug, the dragon. Now, this was a scene I was highly anticipating because I knew that Bilbo actually talked to the dragon. And as a reader, you want to know how things are going to go. Bilbo and the dwarves had been traveling for months and everything had been built up to this one point. But it’s also ironic because while they knew this was the end point on their quest, they never made a plan to 1. kill the dragon or to even lure it out of the mountain and 2. what to do with all the treasure it was hoarding. Maybe they knew deep down they weren’t going to succeed or maybe it’s just a part of their dwarf nature. I can’t tell.
Also, there’s just something about having a well-spoken villain that just hits different. In the beginning Smaug is very calm and interested in Bilbo. But as his motives come to light, Smaug releases all hellfire (literally) and turns into the villainous dragon we were all expecting.
One of the things I noticed while watching clips from the movies was how the ring affects Bilbo. In the clips, I’ve seen Bilbo becomes possessive of it. Not to the extent Gollum did, but there was obsession. In the books, the ring is only mentioned a couple of times and Bilbo only uses it when himself or his friends are in danger. And then at the end, as we already know, he keeps it until it’s given to Frodo.
Ultimately, I highly recommend diving into this world. It’s so amazing. I cannot say enough good things about it, and I could honestly keep writing, but I’m cutting myself off. Otherwise, this post will turn into a twenty-minute read that no one asked for. This is definitely a 5/5 star read.
The next part of my goal is to read The Lord of the Rings. I’m very intimidated by this book since there’s so much more development, more characters, more action, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m also very excited!
Alright, folks that’s all I have for today! Thank you for reading! I know it was a lot today, but I couldn’t help myself. Come back next week!