Tolkien's Middle-earth A Lunch community for J.R.R. Tolkien fans. <![CDATA[The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012 film) Quick Tip by BaronSamedi3]]> Sun, 28 Sep 2014 00:38:52 +0000 <![CDATA[ Concerning Hobbits...]]>
To put things into perspective, Bilbo Baggins is telling the tale.  The Hobbit is a pretty simplistic story in and of itself.  The Dwarves have found themselves driven out of their home by the evil dragon Smaug.  As a result they have no place to go and decide that perhaps they should fight to get their home back.  That's the basic plot of what The Hobbit boils down to.  It is not, however, what the movie in and of itself is about.  In fact, the movie seems to happily forget about Smaug after the prologue.  Instead we find ourselves witnessing a story about a bunch of Dwarves who have issues with orcs who are pursuing them throughout.  Smaug is very much an after thought.  That, and the Hobbit does quite a bit to try and set things up for the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Including bringing familiar faces to us as well as making certain allusions to Sauron and the like.  The moment when we see Gollum drop the ring is enough to bring shivers to the audience in and of itself. 

Which is one of The Hobbit's smallest problems.  The fact that were it not for Lord of the Rings you... probably wouldn't care about some of it so much.  That's not to say the story is bad, it's only to say that the film's strongest moment (that is the meeting with Bilbo and Gollum) only has any sort of significance if you're a fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  And if you're watching The Hobbit, chances are you enjoyed those movies.  The meeting here is easily some of the best and most tense the movie has to offer.  It's a great little thing to see in a lot of ways--and it doesn't just come off as fan service.  Although you do get more sense that Peter Jackson is trying to put more emphasis on being a prelude to The Lord of the Rings than telling any sort of story at hand.

It's a good thing that the elements that work with the hobbit work really well.  In particular, watching Bilbo Baggins grow throughout the journey is most appreciated.  We're ready for adventure.  Particularly because he's also a very charming character (albeit, it's a text book example of The Hero's Journey).  The film is also a wonder on the eyes.  So much so that you'll appreciate the set pieces and battles quite a bit.  But again, a lot of what you see in some parts, relies a lot more heavily on your fandom of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, than having nearly anything The Hobbit does stand on its own two feet.  It's almost as though Peter Jackson is trying to remind you, much of the time, why you loved him in the first place.  I hate to bring comparison to George Lucas's Star Wars prequels (though this is a great deal better than those) but this is part of what Lucas went for when making The Phantom Menance.  A lot of the film relied quite heavily on your love of Star Wars to sell it.  It's very similar here.  Bringing back familiar faces, artifacts and locales.  For fans of the LOTR trilogy this is all wonderful stuff. 

On the other hand, The Hobbit suffers from a few glaring things that's really hard to overlook.  The most obvious is the fact that the movie is just too damn long for its own good.  The Hobbit was (for Tolkein, at least) a really simple book.  It was also just one book.  A story this simple and one that lacks the complexity of the Lord of the Rings really doesn't call for three films.  Particularly because throughout we don't even see Smaug because it's much more focused on getting us to The Lord of the Rings rather than telling its own self-contained story.  Since we know that this is leading to that the focus seems to be more about making The Hobbit connect than anything else, while also trying to repeat that success.  Again, I hate to bring comparison to the Star Wars prequels, but this is part of the reason those movies didn't come across so well.  They weren't interested in telling a story so much as they were interested in getting us to the story we all admired in the first place. 

This sounds like I'm telling you The Hobbit is no good.  But that's not the case.  It is.  But the way it's done makes you question what the actual purpose of making the film was... and why it was so damn important to split it into three parts.  In particular, the book itself just wasn't that long to begin with.  It was also so simple that even splitting it into two movies isn't exactly the best idea here.  On the other hand, at least there would be a bit more sympathy in two movies.  But it isn't even that, so much as it is that I fear each movie being three hours long.  Regardless of what anyone says... there simply isn't enough story in The Hobbit as a book to sustain three moves that are each three hours long.  Peter Jackson is going to have to add A LOT to the Hobbit for that.  And I'm guessing if he does a lot of it will be filler that is there for nothing other than making sure the two trilogies connect with one another. 

But the length of the movie has other problems.  Some parts of it are just downright boring.  And others are just trying to pad out the length of the film.  Pacing is not exactly Peter Jackson's strong suit.  It wasn't with the original trilogy either.  But he had to make it bigger and epic somehow (The Fellowship of the Ring was a terribly boring albeit, VERY well made film).  The Hobbit just has some moments that are too boring.  They don't all last for long but it's still there.  At the very least we're given more comedy and moments to laugh and enjoy than we were in say... The Fellowship of the Ring.  Where as The Fellowship of the Ring was more backstory driven, The Hobbit is more free to jump right into things without having to make sure the audience is on board with everything that's happening.  But again, The Hobbit has to sneak in that sort of stuff anyway.  It just can't help but make allusions to a story we've already seen. 

At least most of it works with The Hobbit.  What probably works the least are the set piece battles that accompany them.  And this is perhaps the most glaring flaw.  If there was one thing Peter Jackson was VERY good about in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, it was building up some sort of tension in the battles.  That perhaps lives could be lost.  Or that the characters stood to lose SOMETHING.  Here, in what is most certainly an overpopulated film, there's never any real tension.  For Gandalf and Bilbo there's not much reason to be.  We already know they'll survive the journey, but the movie even seems to be afraid to put them in any real peril throughout.  This isn't something that really helps.  A cast of fifteen adventurers and at no point do they really get separated or find themselves at death's door.  Okay, let me rephrase, they DO find themselves at Death's door.  Multiple times.  But you never, at any point, get the sense they are ever in any real danger.  The Dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf come across giant rock golems, for instance... but even here--in a moment where the characters are literally helpless--we still never get the sense anything is ever at risk.  Do you remember when in the first Lord of the Rings when Gandalf stands off against Balrog?  Even if you don't remember, I can say four words that bring it to mind (YOU SHALL NOT PASS!).  Gandalf saves the Fellowship from what seems like certain doom, only to be dragged into the abyss with Balrog.  Granted Gandalf doesn't die... but the Fellowship loses a key member.  In fact, the movie ends with the fellowship being split up and having more problems than solutions.  There's a sense of worry the audience is able to feel.  You don't have to kill characters... you just have to be able to sell to me that THEY know they're in danger. 

The Hobbit simply doesn't have that.  There is perhaps one moment near the end of the film where Thorian confronts the head of the orcs. Aside from that many of The Hobbit's moments force you to realize that the set pieces are much more about being grand spectacle than adding to any sort of driving force (again, the rock golems really have no particular purpose).  It diminishes some of the love we could've had for some of these characters as a result.  There's even a moment where the characters literally ride a bridge down a chasm and NO ONE appears to be hurt or worried or troubled or anything.  They literally just walk away.  Again, not to bring comparison to Lucas's Star Wars prequels, but this sort of stuff is just really boring.  It's mesmerizing special effects but it doesn't do anything to make me care about the characters when you suddenly realize that if someone gets stabbed they'll just dust themselves off and continue on their merry way.  Simply put, The Hobbit is filled with mostly forgettable characters.  Great spectacle, sure, but not enough to get me to fear for the characters I'm watching on screen. And since there are so many of them I never felt compelled to.  Even if someone had died I'd probably have forgotten their name anyway; likewise, it's not as though you can spread out a lot of screen time and development among them all.  That still doesn't separate from the fact that none of them are in any real danger throughout the journey.

There's simply no real sense that they're in trouble.  And in the moments where it seems like they could be the film manages to conveniently do something to make sure that isn't the case.  In one scene Bilbo literally just ducks down while all the orcs walk by.  Granted the movie explains this before hand... but it's anti-climactic.  The movie makes up for it (a little) by making sure one does stick around to see him... and then you realize our character in question is Bilbo.  Since he has plot immunity in the sense of the story it's really nothing to fret over.  Again, I just never got the sense that I should be worried about anything which happens to the characters.  And because the story seemed to be that much more focused (in quite a few spots) on trying to make sure it ties to The Lord of the Rings the movie was mostly... well... there.  It's not bad.  And I actually liked it.  It was just hard to ignore those three particular things.  The movie is too long for such a simple story (and doesn't make up for it by sticking in character depth), it's constantly reminding you that this is leading up to The Lord of the Rings and the danger the characters find themselves in feels so artificial.

You get the sense that Peter Jackson is simply trying too hard sometimes.  It's as though he's saying, "Remember?  You all liked this stuff!" Without really grasping WHY we liked it.  Again, not to keep bringing comparisons to a certain prequel trilogy, but George Lucas kind of went into those Star Wars prequels with this same thing in mind and it didn't pay off.  It pays off a lot better in the Hobbit sure, but it never came across as though The Hobbit could stand on its own two legs.  It comes across more as Peter Jackson trying to reclaim his glory days.

That's not to say the Hobbit doesn't pay off, though.  It actually does.  It's still a good movie that's easy on the eyes.  Once you get past this idea that Peter Jackson is constantly saying, "Remember why you liked me?"  And once you get past the absurd length of the movie, it's really enjoyable.  The battle scenes are really well done.  Much of the dialog (read: All of the dialog) is REALLY well crafted.  And yes, you WILL be reminded of why you liked the original Lord of the Rings trilogy.  There are a LOT of good things about the Hobbit.  If you liked The Lord of the Rings you should definitely go and see this movie.  It might take a moment to get beyond some of those peculiar problems, but I promise that if you were a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies it isn't impossible to.

Remember, the other reason The Phantom Menance and the prequels failed was because they not only tried the fanservice route but also lacked good writing, acting, cinematography, set designs (that being, everything was in front of a green screen) and a coherent plot.  The Hobbit doesn't actually suffer from those issues at all.  The acting is brilliant, the dialog fully appropriate and the set designs are clever.  The cinematography has that feeling of epicness to it as well.  The Hobbit may have its issues that stick out like a sore thumb.... but the movie itself doesn't come with a big pile of them.  I was actually pleasantly surprised.  And while I pray to God that the next two movies aren't three hours long (and I doubt I'll get my wish) at the very least they could potentially be really good and wonderful... provided Jackson is willing to reach a little higher in terms of his characters and the danger they're placed in.  It's hard to see past some of the bigger issues.  They may be few but they're ENORMOUS, I feel. 

At the very least the trilogy gets off to a decent start.  Even if it's a little easy to feel like more could've been done beyond the spectacle to make it more satisfying.]]> Fri, 21 Dec 2012 06:52:17 +0000
<![CDATA[ Youthful, Lighter and Does Well as the First Movie in a New Trilogy]]> Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings trilogy” was ambitious, truly impressive in a technical sense and had a whopping over 9 hour combined runtime in movie theaters. Jackson found that the story even lacked several things that he made “platinum extended” editions of his trilogy that came to a near 12 hour runtime. Such an undertaking would have seemed audacious, but given the fact that the original material by J.R. R. Tolkien was a literary epic that had 1,200 pages, such an effort proved justified.

When it was announced that Jackson was going to make a prequel to his trilogy, based on another of Tolkien’s books (a mere 320 page book), “The Hobbit” many were ecstatic while many others became a little put off. Jackson had decided to make his prequel another trilogy as in Lucas’ prequel trilogy to the original “Star Wars” trilogy, many thought that the original material by Tolkien had so much less to work into a trilogy, that it became more an attempt at marketing and money-grabbing than actually about storytelling. In addition, this first film will have an obligatory 3D (please skip the 3D) and will be the first film to be shot at 48 fps (the usual is 24 fps). Now I cannot comment as to how it worked out in 48 fps or how the film fared in 3D, since I prefer to see it in regards to storytelling than all the technical (arguably unnecessary) additions.

                      James Nesbitt as Bofur, Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Stephen Hunter as Bombur, Graham Mctavish as Dwalin, William Kircher as Bifur and Jed Brophy as Nori in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

Finally, the moment of truth is upon us, and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” has been released. The film begins with Gandalf (Ian McKellen) arrives to enlist the aid of a homebody called Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) for a quest. The goal would be to slay the dragon Smaug just so the land of the dwarves can be recovered. The two are joined by a company of 13 warrior-dwarves led by Thorin (Richard Armitage) and their quest will take them on an epic journey into the many realms of Middle-Earth; into the world of goblins, rock giants, trolls and elves as the band is also hunted by the forces of the white Orc.

                     Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Sylvester McCoy as Radagast in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

                    Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

This first chapter of the trilogy includes Bilbo’s encounter with a creature we have come to know as Gollum (Andy Serkis) and reveals the story as to how Bilbo came about the Ring that will be the main core of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Jackson who co-writes the screenplay along with Guillermo Del Toro, Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh, obviously had to make several deviations from the source material. I do not mind adaptations to have certain changes, since one needs to appeal to all viewers, including those who had not read Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”. Here, Jackson seems to have focused on making this new trilogy to directly be linked into his previous trilogy. Some familiar faces from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy make appearances. Prodo (Elijah Wood) is shown in a prologue, Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), Saruman (Christopher Lee) and Elron (Hugo Weaving) also make appearances to drive the film’s plot development.

I do have to say that Jackson did show improvement when it comes to his directorial savvy. While it is to be argued that this film lacked a lot of the majesty that made “The Fellowship of the Ring” so impressive 11 years ago, Jackson does appear to be more confident. His shots feel more smoother and his action sequences feel a little more intense and in your face. The film also was able to generate a fair amount of suspense, and the pacing Jackson took into the film was more energetic that made the film go about a brisk pace. I noticed several pacing issues in Jackson’s “King Kong” and “The Hobbit” did not show such issues. For a 169 minute film, it moved very well and I never felt bored.

                      Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

                     William Kircher as Bifur, James Nesbitt as Bofur, Jed Brophy as Nori, Stephen Hunter as Bombur, John Callen as Oin, Graham McTavish as Dwalin, Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Mark Hadlow as Dori, Adam Brown as Ori, Ken Stott as Balin, Peter Hambleton as Gloin in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

                     Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen as Gandalf in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

Of course, much of the film’s burden was carried by Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage and Martin Freeman. McKellen is on familiar ground, and as Gandalf, his presence exuded the same familiar presence that fans of the franchise have grown to love. Martin Freeman brings several welcome notes of light humor and playfulness to help along the pace. Radagast the Brown (Sylvester McCoy) also gave good moments of whimsical personality. The company of dwarves connected well with Bilbo, the chemistry and the dynamics felt real, that they could be differentiated from each other. The film also had several moments of emotions, as the screenplay set its groundwork (no doubt for the next two films). This was a film built on what can be seen as realization, the beginning of a journey in which the journey itself is the reward.

Having seen the film in 24 fps, I have to admit that the film looked as good as the films in Jackson’s original trilogy. The costumes and make up were stellar as always, they gave the characters depth in a visual sense. Sorry, I choose not to spend extra $$ for unnecessary 3D. The set designs had that familiar style and the cinematography was as impressive as ever. The creature designs do feel a little uneven. I felt that the White Orc had the appearance of a video game boss-bad guy, but it was not enough to make me like the film less. The troll and goblin designs were as good as they were in Jackson’s first Tolkien trilogy while the moment of suspense with the rock giants was pure visual and aural flamboyance. The film had a good amount action and chase scenes, which aided in the film's brisk pace.

                         A scene from "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

                         Gollum voiced by Andy Serkis in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

Despite the fact that purists of Tolkien’s original book will say that most of this new trilogy is built on ‘fat and fillers’, I doubt anyone can really say that any additions felt or seemed as such things. Ok, it sure felt like a lot of marketing was built around it, but hey, which high-budget movie isn’t? To its credit, the plotting was steady and its flow went smoothly, it did not feel like a ‘long movie’ at all. I have to admit, I am one of those folks who always feel that an adaptation should capture the essence of its source material and to stay within its confines; but I found myself, not wanting to pass judgment just how faithful it is to Tolkien's book until the completion of this new trilogy. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is one film that made me curious that I look forward to its next chapter “The Desolation of Smaug”. The new adventure has began and I will be along for its ride.

Recommended! [4- Out of 5 Stars]

Comic-con promotional poster for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected journey." Poster art for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."

]]> Sun, 16 Dec 2012 01:57:57 +0000
<![CDATA[ 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'...a 3D trip through Middle Earth at 48fps (Video)]]>
Shot in 48FPS, instead of the usual 24, as well as 3D, Peter Jackson has once again created a visually stunning, exciting, magical film that takes us on a journey through Middle Earth.

The film opens with an aged Frodo (Ian Holm) telling a story.  We are instantly transported to the dwarfs' kingdom known as Erebor.  It's here the little guys are living happily ever after with their gold and gem stones.. That is until they get a visit from a fire breathing dragon known as Smaug.  This is one nasty monster.

He not only destroys the Dwarfs home, but Smarf steals the Arkenstone, a beautiful jewel that holds great power. 

Okay so after this visually stunning opener, we are then transported to the home of a young Bilboa (Martin Freeman) The little hobbit is living a peaceful, orderly house in Bag End. But his tranquil existence is about to come to an abrupt end.

Out of the blue, Bilboa gets a visit from Gandalf The Grey (Ian McKellan) followed by 13 Dwarfs and their leader, the very sexy and very legendary warrior, Thorin (Richard Armitage).

Gandalf uses every trick in his arsenal to convince  the super relunctant Bilboa to accompany the dwarfs on a trek to find their stolen treasure and reclaim their homeland. 

Little did Bilboa realize that this journey would be an adventure of a lifetime...

One that takes him and the Dwarfs into the Dark Mountain where they encounter treacherous lands swarming with goblins, orcas, deadly Wargs, giant spiders, sorcerers...and of course...
A fellow named Gollum (Andy Serkis) and his Precious..

It's here, inside an underground lake, after finding a RING, Bilboa must discover the  depth of his courage, as the fate of Middle Earth hangs in the balance.

For those of you who can't get enough of 'The Hobbit' don't worry...This is the first in a trilogy.

Did I love this film as much as I did 'Lord Of The Rings'?...No...At times the comedy was a bit too much and bordered on corny.  As for the 48 FPS, I didn't mind it.  But I do know many people who absolutely hated it.

Also I would have liked to see more of Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Hugo Weaving (Elrod) and Christopher Lee (Saruman), but I'm sure their parts will be expanded in future films.

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, opens in theatres Friday December 14, 2012 and I do urge everyone to see it, whether you're a fan or not.  It's a sensational piece of filmmaking by Mr. Jackson.  Not perfect, but really, really good.

Check out our video for our bagel rating and more of our witty banter.:  Hint: My score is much higher than John's.

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Thanks everyone and please share your thoughts with us.]]> Thu, 13 Dec 2012 16:52:14 +0000
<![CDATA[ The Hobbit: How Are They Making This Book Three Movies?]]> The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is being broken up into three different movies. 

You may remember Jackson's last crack at the J.R.R. Tolkien books, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The series was near-perfect, and while the last movie had eight different endings his hard work was rewarded in the form of being named the Best Picture of the year by the academy. 

It has been nine years but Jackson has now returned to Middle Earth to tell the story that happened before Frodo set off to destroy the one ring. And while each movie in his previous trilogy was one movie set to one book he has broken the smallest book from this world into three different movies. For example Fellowship of the Rings was 400 pages and all fit into one movie, meanwhile the first Hobbit instillation covers the first 100 pages. Perhaps worried that he would offend Tolkien by leaving out a comma from the source material. To no one's surprise the movie does tend to drag a little. 

How does six chapters become a three hour epic, by adding tons of back story. The result is a lot of exposition that didn't need to be included. Jackson spent what seemed like the first hour of the movie having Bilbo answer the good 13 different times to introduce each dwarf that would be joining the journey. Each indistinguishable from the next, the only dwarf that seemed pertinent to the story was the dwarf king Thorin. 


He also adds characters to the movie, such as Frodo who never appeared in The Hobbit but somehow took up 10 minutes of screen-time to set up a frame story that was completely unnecessary. Jackson takes literal footnotes from the book and makes them the main antagonists when the story has a way better villain we never meet A TALKING DRAGON. For those who appreciate that kind of detail I expect you will love The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; but whatever you do, DON'T SEE THIS MOVIE IN 3D.

Peter Jackson chose to shoot the movie at 48 frames per second this allows the 3D visuals to pop more on screen. There are many in the industry who believe this is where film-making is going. But with any new technology there are a lot kinks to it and it takes a while for the audience to get used to it.

The shooting style makes the movie look more like a well-done video game. From the opening scene in the Shire when all the actors are standing and talking, it looks like the movie is on fast forward. None of the characters move naturally, its like they are all on five hour energies.

Jackson doesn't allow any of his scenes to breathe. You would think at that length a couple more minutes wouldn't matter. Shooting at this speed is supposed to help the action sequences but it just makes them all look like cartoons. This technique detaches the audience from the movie and that is the last thing you want in an epic at this length people checking their clocks.

If you can somehow get past these enormous problems you come to find the The Hobbit has a rich story with fantastic action and wonderful acting. Martin Freeman is the perfect Bilbo as he blends a charm with nerves to mail the character. He is a believable as a a hero just coming to terms with the task ahead of him. Ian McKellen returns a Gandolf the Gray and it seems to be more of the same from the original.

That is really where this movie fails from the first three. More of the same. No one was expecting the kind of world, the story arc that Jackson was able to craft in the original, it all came as a magical surprise. Here we already know what is coming and that leaves the audience wanting.

When the movie comes out to DVD you know what would be nice if instead of an Extended Director's Cut (which to me seems impossible there would be any scenes that were left out) it came out as an Editor's Abbreviated Cut. There is a good movie in here, it just needs a concise retelling and the special effects to be left out. If 2-D was good enough for Frodo, it should be plenty good for his Uncle Bilbo. C-]]> Tue, 11 Dec 2012 22:03:44 +0000
<![CDATA[The Hobbit (1977 animated film) Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22]]> Rankin/Bass animated film based on the original version of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is rather light family-friendly fare, it is also true that The Hobbit as a novel was fairly light and adventurous in tone. The book wasn't meant to be this colossal epic like The Lord of the Rings. It had humble beginnings and I think the whimsy and modesty of the book comes through in this charming animated film.
This film has often been maligned by Tolkien scholars and hardcore fans of the novel for abridging the story and leaving out key characters and events. There are some who accused the film of being "too cute", of being "Disney-fied", others complain about the use of contemporary folk music in the soundtrack ,or say that the animation style was too "Japansese-y".

Personally, I think that the film does succeed as an adaptation of a children's book as it does appeal to children and it does keep all of the major characters (except Beorn) and themes from the novel intact.
As a musical fantasy, I think the film works well within both genres, and it's especially good considering that it was a made-for-TV film. The animation is certainly of a very high quality.
The music, while anachronistic, helps to set the mood for the film and truly the songs are very good.  Beorn's absence from the story was a shame, but I can see the logistical reasons for leaving him out (not dissimilar to leaving Tom Bombadil out of LotR). The depiction of Smaug is quite memorable and iconic too.
I also love the voice casting here. Orson Bean makes a terrific Bilbo and John Huston is beyond superb as Gandalf.]]> Thu, 1 Sep 2011 16:04:34 +0000
<![CDATA[The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012 film) Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22]]> "I have a bad feeling about this."

So, here is my brief overview on The Hobbit film adaptation (including important events leading up to the conception of the film):

1937 - John Ronald Reuel Tolkien's mythopoeic children's novel The Hobbit is published to widespread critical acclaim and would later be the basis for his epic and ambitious three-part sequel The Lord of the Rings.

1977 - The Hobbit animated musical television film is released by Rankin/Bass and is critically panned despite later developing a cult following

1995 - Peter Jackson and company show their desire to make an epic live action film trilogy consisting of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (the three volumes of the novel being condensed into two films).

2001-2003 - The Lord of the Rings films are released as a full trilogy over the course of three years and rumors of a Hobbit film circulate amongst rabid Tolkien fans. The films would become the most high profile fantasy series other than Harry Potter and would be nominated for numerous awards including 30 Academy Award nominations for which the trilogy would win a total of 17. The films were almost universally acclaimed by critics and audiences though some Tolkien fans were disappointed with the departures made from the novel.

2005 - Peter Jackson launches a lawsuit against New Line Cinema for denying him revenue on The Fellowship of the Ring resulting in New Line co-founder Robert Shaye saying that Jackson would never work for New Line again. At news of this, thousands of fans of both J.R.R. Tolkien and Peter Jackson expressed their wishes that he should be allowed to direct the film and even went so far as to create extensive petitions to encourage New Line to reconsider their stance.

2006 - Amidst the ongoing dispute between Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema, MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) offered to help get the film made under their banner. MGM also put forth the idea of making two films rather than one, suggesting that a film to take place between The Hobbit and Jackson's trilogy would be of interest.

2007-2008 - After a series of films failed to provide New Line with either the critical prestige or the commercial success they hoped for, various studio execs including Robert Shaye made comments that they would like to see Peter Jackson involved in some way in a film of The Hobbit.  Then in December of 2007 it was announced that The Hobbit was indeed going to be getting made into a film and that Peter Jackson would serve as a producer. Not only that, but rather than one film, it was officially announced that there would be two films. Initially, the idea was to adapt The Hobbit into one film and then create a sequel which would serve as a bridge between the events in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings taking additional material from the appendices in the books. The suggested release dates were December of 2011 and 2012.

2008-2009 - In April of 2008, Mexican director Guillermo del Toro was chosen to direct the films, much to the approval of fans, as well as serve as a co-writer.
In August, the early stages of writing the script began with Guillermo joining Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens. In August of 2008 del Toro announced that the proposed bridge film had been discarded and that the two films would now be solely based on The Hobbit essentially splitting the story into two halves. This decision was met with skepticism by fans and critics for a number of reasons, most notably that The Hobbit is shorter than any of the individual volumes of The Lord of the Rings and that splitting the story up seemed like it was purely for commercial gain (giving the studio and the executives the potential to make twice as much money from one property)
In February 2009 The Tolkien Estate and HarperCollins filed a lawsuit against New Line Cinema claiming that the films based on Tolkien's work were a breach of contract and for fraud. The estate claimed that they had only been paid $62,500 despite the fact that The Lord of the Rings films has grossed around 6 billion. In September 2009, a settlement was reached and it was acknowledged that New Line could move ahead with pre-production of the proposed films.

2009 - Peter Jackson announced that the screenwriting process was taking longer than expected.

2010 - In January of 2010 it was announced that the films would not be released until December 2012 and December 2013. As Guillermo del Toro posts various comments and interviews and engages in online chats with fans, readers become aware that he intends to stay very true to the book and place a great deal of emphasis on Tolkien's characters and themes. In addition, del Toro explained his ideas for the visual in the film stating his love of animatronics, models, and miniatures over CGI, though Gollum would remain a digitally animated performance using motion capture technology. However, in May 2010, after MGM had reported numerous financial problems, del Toro left the project as it had not yet been officially greenlit for production and that he had other films that he wanted to do in the meantime which could not be pushed back.
Countless rumors began to circulate as to who would step in to fill the director's shoes.
In June, Jackson was reported to be in negotiations to direct the films, which was what many fans had been hoping for from the start.
In September of 2010, an actors strike was organized and a boycott of the two films was suggested, though later this was resolved.
In October, New Line announced that the films would be shot in and shown in 3D (something that del Toro had explicitly said he did not want to do) and that Jackson would be directing.

Since then, there have been last minute changes to the cast, announcements that Jackson intends to add material to the films from the appendices (material which Tolkien chose not to place in the book for a reason), as well as announcements that Jackson has added characters to the film to form a love story (none of which was in the book) and that he would have actors and characters from The Lord of the Rings return in The Hobbit despite the fact that they weren't included in the book (some of them didn't even exist at the time of story) and that they in no way played a part in the events as created by Tolkien.

How do I feel?
... Personally, I liked it a lot more when Tolkien's books were on the shelf as close to perfection as he was able to get them, before corporate greed set in and everyone decided that Tolkien's literary masterpieces belonged to companies and studio execs who could alter and exploit them for commercial gain.

Do I think I could be wrong?
... Yeah, sure, of course I could be. But how many times do these long-awaited films that have been through production hell actually turn out to be good? The Star Wars prequels, The Matrix sequels, the last Indiana Jones film - all of these were huge disappointments to fans and critics, but filmmakers and studios made millions, billions even, because of them.

What's my point?
... It's obvious that film adaptations of source material - be they books, comics, myths, TV series, etc. - will always have a great deal of artistic and financial potential. But when the desire to make money becomes the primary objective and overshadows the desire to do justice to a good tale or to please the fans who made that tale the pop cultural phenomenon that it is, then studios need to wake up and realize that the power lies with us, the viewers. We can choose not to see these films. In fact, maybe that's what we need to start doing. Somehow, we need to show them that media interaction between fans and creators is essential and that from a commercial standpoint they cannot succeed without our paying to see these films, and that we will not see them unless there is a genuine effort to preserve the source material which we have elevated in our hearts to a level of true transcendent art. Art... that's something that we see rarely these days.
]]> Mon, 30 May 2011 22:51:22 +0000
<![CDATA[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Quick Tip by Trekscribbler]]> Of particular note, Viggo Mortenson (sp?) is superb as Aragorn/Stryder.

Of surprising pleasure, Elijah Wood brings a subtle intelligence to the role of Frodo Baggins, the hapless Hobbit who inherits the task of bearing the ring to the dark lands of Mordor.

Of unyielding praise, Ian McKellan deserves an Oscar for his performance as Gandalf.

]]> Tue, 3 May 2011 16:57:24 +0000
<![CDATA[ Forgotten Films by Peter Jackson]]>
#3: 1992 brought about the release of Dead Alive, a campie horror comedy film that I have always considered one of my favorite films.

#2: In 1989 a very disturbing film was released call Meet the Feebles.  This flick was the second feature length film Jackson directed.  Although it is not a widely known film it is one that you will never forget once you see it.

#1: The Frighteners hit theaters in 1996 and terrified me.  15 years later and I can still remember the movie poster of the of the monster pushing its way through a white canvas.  It was not just the poster that scared me as a 10 yr old horror fan, but the idea that when it was our time to die that we might have a number etched into our forehead.  Personally I find this to be the best picture he made.

I feel that these early films are far too often forgotten and they shouldn't be.  If you haven't seen these films I recommend checking them out. ]]> Tue, 19 Apr 2011 02:11:04 +0000
<![CDATA[ The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers]]> This is another perfect film in what's most likely the greatest fantasy franchise ever (Harry Potter doesn't count). There's absolutely nothing wrong with it, the only thing that even remotely irked me was that I found it a bit too long. The acting, the story, the characters, the visuals, the Battle of Helm's Deep, the villains, the dialogue, and the continuation of the story is what makes this film perfect. Yup, that pretty much covers it...everything is just perfect.

First of all, the actors do really well in continuing the development of their characters, especially Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin). I also loved the introduction of Gollum/Smeagol (played brilliantly by Andy Serkis). They really play around with the split personalities and when bad things happened to him, I felt genuinely sorry. I can't wait for how they'll resolve Smeagol's problems in Return of the King. Another thing, I think Smeagol can simultaneously be the cutest and ugliest creature in the whole world of fantasy, but no one seems to agree with me.

I'm glad that the rest of the characters in the Fellowship are fleshed out and used a little more than in the Fellowship of the Ring. Aragorn is much more developed and Arwen's decision whether or not to live a mortal life is really explored and taken seriously as opposed to rushed. Legolas and Gimli are used more and used better, and that makes me very happy because they're both great characters. The friendship between Frodo and Sam really strengthened throughout the events of this movie, and that is really shown well and showcases the good character in Sam and his willingness to stick by Mr. Frodo no matter what. Merry and Pippin are also less goofy and shift out of their role of comic relief.

This is another example of CGI done right. The Lord of the Rings films prove that great visuals don't need to overwhelm or replace a good story. These films just get even better as the series go by, most likely because Peter Jackson is more secure with the fantasy genre and takes it further in the movie without taking it too far. That being said, the Two Towers is bigger, louder and more over-the-top in the usual sequel fashion, but it uses that to its full advantage to perfect the battle of Helm's deep.

I feel it is absolutely necessary to dedicate a portion of this review to Christopher Lee's performance as Saruman. Lee was probably the best actor in the movie, and Saruman is one of the greatest literary villains of all time. He wasn't featured much in the Fellowship of the Ring, but when he was featured, he kicked ass. In terms of casting, you couldn't have gotten a better actor than Christopher Lee. He looked the part, he acted the part, and most importantly, he sounded the part. Seriously, his voice is really freakin cool. Saruman is featured more in this movie, and it is definitely better for it. I can only wait and see what will happen to Saruman when Sauron is destroyed.

I have not yet seen Return of the King, but seeing this, I really desperately want to. Great characters, great story, great visuals, great everything make for this perfect film. If you haven't seen it, it's a must-see for anyone and one of the best fantasy films of all time. I can only hope Return of the King will be better.]]> Fri, 24 Dec 2010 00:23:10 +0000
<![CDATA[ His love of literature is contageous]]> Most of this book is spent discussing literature-- Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, fairy tales, etc. These are not hard-core philology lectures but rather discussions about the works and why they are important to the human condition.

Tolkein's love for these works and topics cannot be understated. He laments that too much emphasis is placed on dissecting rather than appreciating Beowulf, and his discussion of Sir Gawain is again full of love and awe. This is contagious, and one cannot help reading this and want to go back and read the works again.

While the fields of philology relating to epic poetry have moved ahead at a lightening pace since Tolkein's time, and hence some of his statements are rather dated, most of the material is still solid and the sense of appreciation lives on.

In the words of a Scandinavian poet:

Cattle die
Kinsmen die
The self dies too;
I know one that does not die:
The glory of the dead man.

These works are glorious and every medieval lit fan should read them.]]> Mon, 13 Dec 2010 03:44:02 +0000
<![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by SheilaDeeth]]> Fri, 5 Nov 2010 00:00:53 +0000 <![CDATA[The Lord of the Rings (novel) Quick Tip by SheilaDeeth]]> Fri, 5 Nov 2010 00:00:22 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Quick Tip by vampire_eyez]]> Tue, 12 Oct 2010 03:31:11 +0000 <![CDATA[Communities on Lunch Quick Tip by TheJohn]]> Wed, 22 Sep 2010 05:54:17 +0000 <![CDATA[The Lord of the Rings (novel) Quick Tip by Joe_Kawano]]> Sun, 8 Aug 2010 20:12:11 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by Joe_Kawano]]> Sun, 8 Aug 2010 19:27:19 +0000 <![CDATA[ Green suns & star-spangled grammar]]> Finding out at the age of ten from the back covers of "The Lord of the Rings" that there were medievalists and that Tolkien was one, I vowed to study what he did. While unlike "Tollers" my doctorate did not lead me to a donnish tenure on an ivy-draped quad, I always admired the humanity and grace not only of his famed fiction but his patient letters and insistent essays. Re-reading his collected criticism twenty-five years after it first appeared, its engrossing paths through scholarly debates make occasional detours permissible and often worthwhile. As with Tolkien's "Secondary World" of Middle Earth, as a "sub-creator" not only of probably our greatest modern mythology but as a rigorous (if rambling in his donnish digressions) scholar, you find in "Monsters" much evidence that without his deep understanding of language, that he'd never have been able to convince you of the essential reality of his imagined realms.

This knack, as T.A. Shippey, his successor in his position at Oxford, has argued in "The Road to Middle Earth," depends on "asterisk reality," or what JRRT calls here more delightfully "star-spangled grammar." (237) As his son and editor Christopher explains: "the reference is to enquiry into the forms of words before the earliest records; in those studies the conventional practice is to place an asterisk before hypothetical, deduced forms." (n. 3, 240) This may seem dry to non-academics or those lacking a fascination with philology. But for Tolkien and his audience, the invention of sustainable elements of his myth depended on the languages he concocted-- and vice versa.

In his "A Secret Vice" (1931) Tolkien elaborates-- if a bit unevenly in this essay never published-- how assembling "art-language" relates to crafting mythology: "to give your language an individual flavor, it must have woven into it the threads of an individual mythology, individual while working within the scheme of natural human mythopoeia, as your word-form may be individual while working within the hackneyed limits of human, even European, phonetics. The converse indeed is true, your language construction will 'breed' a mythology." (210-11) This is why Tolkien outlasted so many of his predecessors, peers, and imitators. He knows the deep structures of the language and from the combination of creativity and limitation inherent in how what we speak conveys what we conjure, he built Middle-Earth upon this rich foundation, half-excavated, half-hidden.

This trove, as his best-known essays here on "The Monsters & the Critics" and "On Translating Beowulf" show, depended on perceiving that Old English poem as such, more than merely a word-hoard to be ransacked by historians and professors for linguistic traces of Geats and thanes. It pivots on a balance between what its Christian author could reach back from, into the recently-departed pagan past, and forward into, the fatalistic yet salvific quality of heroism infused by morality. The codes of the Saxons meshed with those of their Catholic evangelists, and Tolkien in these early critiques moved the study of the poem away from archeology into poetics.

He did the same for "Sir Gawain & the Green Knight." He corrects earlier scholars who mined the verse only for traces of earlier legends; he reminds us of its inescapably Christian morality, which (as in Beowulf) moves the reader as its maker towards a value system based on belief in the Sacraments rather than one relying only upon a code of honor or "a game with rules" such as his host expects him to play. The tension between an earthly pursuit and a heavenly mandate enters the drama. In Beowulf, the monsters occupy the center, with youth and old age, victory and defeat, on each end for the hero to face. For Gawain, the confession-- in Tolkien's perceptive reading-- turns the narrative away from pagan-pursuing or Pentagram chasing into a decision to follow a more "real and permanent" world of what's worthwhile rather than the frivolous folly of "an unreal and passing" court.

His "Valedictory Address" gently attacks the "the workings of the B.Litt. sausage-machine" at Oxford precisely fifty years ago. I'm glad he was spared what the academy's been turned into now. My dissertation chair had studied under Tolkien around the time this address was given. Tolkien had the reputation of a nearly incomprehensible lecturer, so I am unsure if his auditors learned his lesson!

Tolkien does offer advice for those of us who made it through later expansions of the slaughterhouse that is the Research University today, Oxford or its lesser factories. Perhaps we may find wry if wise counsel as independent scholars and freeway faculty who labor on with few financial or institutional rewards: "There is no need, therefore, to despise, no need even to feel pity for months or years of life sacrificed in some minimal enquiry: say, the study of some uninspired medieval text and its fumbling dialect; or of some miserable 'modern' poetaster and his life (nasty, dreary, and fortunately short)-- NOT IF the sacrifice is voluntary, and IF it is inspired by a genuine curiosity, spontaneous or personally felt." (226-27) The trouble is, then and so much more now, that so many in academia follow the leader into an 'au courant' theory, some adviser's own project, producing but the tired labor dutifully repeated.

To his credit, Tolkien convinced us in his fiction and warned us in his criticism of how language deserved respect, whether we were schooled in the Lit. or the Lang. His lecture on "English & Welsh," delivered the day after publication of "The Return of the King," also encourages us. Language, as "a natural product of our humanity," is native in a profound sense transcending the first one we learned in our cradle. "Linguistically we all wear ready-made clothes, and our native language comes seldom to expression, save perhaps by pulling at the ready-made until it sits a little easier. But though it may be buried, it is never wholly extinguished, and contact with other languages may stir it deeply." (190) Welsh, for Tolkien, did this along with Gothic, Finnish, Latin and Greek-- among others. He concludes with evoking the sheer pleasure of Welsh. Maybe dormant for many "who today live in Lloegr and speak Saesnag," yet there, as with so much he mixed from real languages into his mythological vision's purview, for us to find enchantment and satisfaction.

More than once, Tolkien offers his vision of how words can capture a deeper meaning. "You may say 'green sun' or 'dead life' and set the imagination leaping." (219) The power of the adjective to transform the noun, the freshness of nouns coupled in vivid pairs: the structure of the Old English line finds its echo eleven-hundred years later in Tolkien's inheritance, his conception of a linguistic design that, as "On Fairy-Stories" delves into-- if after many detours and asides and byways-- deepest, liberates us and even provides glimpses of the "eucatastrophe" of the Gospels, the happy ending of the Resurrection Story that men wish so much to be truly true.

]]> Sat, 31 Jul 2010 22:59:52 +0000
<![CDATA[ Just couldn't get into it]]> I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend, i thought it looked and sounded good since i absolutely love the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I'm really sad to say how mistaken i was. This book was dull, slow, and nearly impossible to get involved in reading. Its long drawn out lackluster chapters had me literally falling asleep at several points. It totally lacked the long loved Tolkien story telling. It was super hard to follow and even harder to understand even at the end. It took me three separate tries to get through this book, and that nearly never happens to me. The beautiful word picture that i grew to love in Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit was totally non-existent. I'm not going to say that i don't recommend this book to anyone because i really don't like to do that, i'm just saying that it's not for everyone, and maybe you should check it out from the local library instead of buying it.

]]> Fri, 23 Jul 2010 03:55:50 +0000
<![CDATA[ THIS is the young adult novel to read]]> Forget Stephanie Meyers, younglings.  THIS is the novel that will stretch your imagination.  You want monsters?  We got that.  You want adventure?  Got that too.  Romance?  Well, there is Bilbo and his love of food and creature comforts and the Dwarves and their love of gold...

In the precursor to the Lord of the Rings series, we are introduced to Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and Middle Earth.  Bilbo is the common man, or rather hobbit, that just wants to enjoy his food, tobacco and occasional fireworks.  He is invaded by Gandalf, 13 dwarves and an invitation to go on an adventure, which wakes up his 'Tookish' side.   For those of you who don't know, that's the disreputable side of the family that actually LIKES (gasp) to go adventuring.  Bilbo winds up being the burglar for the group, because Gandalf declares, "He is a burglar because I say he's a burglar."  Well now, how can you argue with that?

They start traveling with the intent to retrieve the Dwarven treasure that has long been lost and under the control of the dreaded dragon Smaug.  We are then off and running on a series of adventures and misadventures, that eventually lead up to something called the Battle of the Five Armies.  I could make the argument that the love of money is a root of all evil and that it can corrupt even the strongest soul, but Bilbo doesn't get corrupted.  Although he does find this quirky little ring that turns him invisible and for some reason he doesn't admit to having it.  We learn more about that in the Lord of the Ring series though.

This is more light-hearted than the Lord of the Rings, even though there is war, death and greed in abundance.  There is also beauty, love and friendship to balance it out.  Tolkien is considered by many to be the father of modern epic adventures.  Start off with the Hobbit, explore a new world,  and see for yourself how rich an example of  imaginative writing can be.]]> Wed, 21 Jul 2010 18:05:54 +0000
<![CDATA[The Silmarillion Quick Tip by caleil]]> Tue, 20 Jul 2010 20:30:28 +0000 <![CDATA[ Classic Every Time]]> I recently reread this amazing children's classic and I was amazed at how fun and exciting it still was. The Hobbit is much more child-friendly and light hearted than the Lord of the Ring trilogy but with surprising depth. Honestly, I see myself rereading this again in a year or two, probably right after the movie comes out just so I can say how much better the book is.


]]> Mon, 19 Jul 2010 06:19:12 +0000
<![CDATA[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Quick Tip by GiovanniSodi]]> Mon, 19 Jul 2010 04:06:28 +0000 <![CDATA[The Silmarillion Quick Tip by wordlover]]> Sat, 17 Jul 2010 18:04:23 +0000 <![CDATA[The Two Towers Quick Tip by wordlover]]> Sat, 17 Jul 2010 16:56:57 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by wordlover]]> Sat, 17 Jul 2010 15:06:15 +0000 <![CDATA[The Two Towers Quick Tip by rickfazollo]]> Thu, 15 Jul 2010 20:00:10 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by twit10]]> Tue, 13 Jul 2010 19:36:57 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by kara_telfer]]> Mon, 12 Jul 2010 23:09:27 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by farnorthgirl]]> Fri, 9 Jul 2010 07:44:39 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by Honeybunny]]> Fri, 9 Jul 2010 02:39:59 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by Esoteric]]> Tue, 6 Jul 2010 03:07:11 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by rockinrw6]]> Mon, 5 Jul 2010 18:21:02 +0000 <![CDATA[ A charming lighthearted read]]> Almost everyone has heard and read the Lord of the Rings series by Tolkien and is all too familiar with the adventures of Frodo and Sam as they try to destroy the ring. This book is more like a prologue and explains how Bilbo came upon the ring in the first place and describes all of his adventures in great detail.

It has a much more focused plot than the Lord of the Rings because for the most part all of the characters stay together and there is only one storyline to keep track of for the entire book which makes this a great read for younger children. 

But just because the book is great for children doesn't mean it is bad for adults. It is quicker to get through than many other books but it is a great lighthearted way to spend a weekend. The story manages to keep a relatively happy mood even during distressing parts of the book and is just charming.

This book helps to paint a more complete picture of the land of Middle Earth that Tolkien created in the Lord of the Rings and provides a nice introduction to the rest of the series.

I would recommend this book to anyone that loves the lord of the rings or wants a milder and less intense book with the same feel as Tolkien's other books.

]]> Sat, 3 Jul 2010 05:08:44 +0000
<![CDATA[The Two Towers Quick Tip by cideon]]> Fri, 2 Jul 2010 20:15:05 +0000 <![CDATA[The Return of the King Quick Tip by cideon]]> Fri, 2 Jul 2010 20:14:04 +0000 <![CDATA[The Fellowship of the Ring Quick Tip by cideon]]> Fri, 2 Jul 2010 20:13:35 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by cideon]]> Fri, 2 Jul 2010 19:44:09 +0000 <![CDATA[The Return of the King Quick Tip by Lauren328]]> Fri, 2 Jul 2010 17:25:17 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by Lauren328]]> Fri, 2 Jul 2010 17:13:39 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by josheklow]]> Fri, 2 Jul 2010 16:43:44 +0000 <![CDATA[The Fellowship of the Ring Quick Tip by Shandorian]]> Fri, 2 Jul 2010 10:13:08 +0000 <![CDATA[ What a journey!!!]]> Fri, 2 Jul 2010 00:07:28 +0000 <![CDATA[The Lord of the Rings (novel) Quick Tip by LauraWalters]]> Thu, 1 Jul 2010 21:31:45 +0000 <![CDATA[The Lord of the Rings (novel) Quick Tip by rfloyd2013]]> Thu, 1 Jul 2010 17:32:40 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by rfloyd2013]]> Thu, 1 Jul 2010 17:23:44 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by simbaraves]]> Thu, 1 Jul 2010 02:54:16 +0000 <![CDATA[The Lord of the Rings (novel) Quick Tip by hawthorne82]]> Thu, 1 Jul 2010 00:56:55 +0000 <![CDATA[Gandalf Quick Tip by hawthorne82]]> Thu, 1 Jul 2010 00:30:44 +0000 <![CDATA[The Hobbit (novel) Quick Tip by paul46]]> Wed, 30 Jun 2010 20:32:12 +0000