The Hobbit: Taking Us Back Again

By now, you’ve probably seen the brand-new trailer for The Hobbit (if not, watch it now). The movie doesn’t come out for another year, but everyone’s excited – including me.

We’re always honest here about exactly how nerdy we are, so I suppose I ought to own up and admit when I’m not; I’ve never read The Hobbit. Indeed, I’ve never read much Tolkien at all; I read The Silmarillion (for a class, worst introduction to Tolkien ever) and The Fellowship of the Ring, and found them both rather dry.

In fact, I’ve always envied the imaginations of the Tolkien fans; I love the Lord of the Rings movies, but I totally missed all the lush imagery when I read the novel myself, so perhaps I’m lacking something in the world-building part of my brain. On the other hand, I’ve found myself enjoying a great deal of fantasy lately, though I was strictly hard sci-fi growing up; maybe it’s time I give the books another chance.

All this to say, though I may not be an OG Tolkien fan, I do, without question, love the movies. When I heard, years back, that a Hobbit movie was in the works, I was confused. Isn’t that more or less a children’s book? If the content is so much lighter, how will it stand up against the epic vastness of the trilogy?

After viewing the trailer, most of my worries are assuaged. The tone of the movie seems to work just fine; and now that I consider it, I suppose Fellowship of the Ring, in particular, has a broad spectrum of tone, ranging from the joy and silliness of the shire to the terror of the Ringwraiths. I’m willing to bet anything in The Hobbit will fit in the middle quite nicely.

The Lord of the Rings movies were always obviously a labor of love, and in The Hobbit, that same attention to detail – and continuity! – is evident even in the trailer. Perhaps I’ve got Star Wars on the brain, thanks to the new MMO, but it occurred to me that geek parents theoretically face the same old Star Wars dilemma: which movie do you show the kids first? In this case, I think showing The Hobbit would be the obvious choice; and unlike that other trilogy, it should be a near-seamless transition from one to the next, despite the decade between them.

Now, since I haven’t read the novel, this means I am not having the same emotional responses to certain elements of the trailer. So here’s another old conundrum: should I read the novel at some point before the movie comes out? Should I allow myself to continue to be immersed in Peter Jackson’s vision first? What do you think?

How About You?

What do you think of the new trailer? Are you counting down the days ‘til next December? Is there any specific element you can’t wait to see brought to life?

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