2012, the year of the Hobbit
Tolkien's original cover art for "The Hobbit."
November 9th, 2011
01:11 PM ET

2012, the year of the Hobbit

On a blank sheet of paper, for reasons he couldn’t explain, one of the world’s most beloved authors scribbled the words “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit” – a sentence that would become the opening line to a book that would pave the way into Middle-earth.

J.R.R. Tolkien may not have initially known what the word “hobbit” entailed, but with any great story, it began with a simple idea – an idea that flourished into one of the most celebrated pieces of literature.

“The first journey all started with The Hobbit, which is why it’s so treasured. The book is in every word a classic,” Clifford Broadway, writer for TheOneRing.net (TORn) said. “The first journey is always the most memorable and leaves the strongest impression on readers.”

TORn is the online destination for news, rumors, and discussion of Tolkien's work and of media based on his work. Peter Jackson's film adaptions of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" are frequent topics of Tolkien fan conversation on TORn.

Nearly seventy-five years later, Tolkien’s inventive world has continued to endure. And it seems it has also endured beyond his written work– both penning Middle-earth into existence and expanding on his fantasy masterpiece through visual language.

When The Hobbit debuted in 1937, it featured about twenty original drawings, including the popular emerald dust cover imprinted with the misty mountains that Bilbo and his friends pass over in their adventure. Throughout the years, additional Tolkien illustrations have been published in various editions.

Now, to mark next year’s 75th anniversary, HarperCollins has published the Art of the Hobbit, a collection holding never-before-seen drawings and paintings the author used to illustrate his seminal novel.

“I’m delighted that people can be reminded that Professor Tolkien was more than a craftsman with words. He was also an accomplished watercolor artist and illustrator,” Broadway said. “I love that this publication commemorates Tolkien’s artistic design for The Hobbit.”

While preparations were being made for the upcoming anniversary, the illustrations were unearthed in the archive of the Bodleian Library in Oxford. And acclaimed scholars Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull have turned the happy accident into a fantastically rendered book that Tolkienites are sure to devour.

“This is going to be very well received and fans are going to respond strongly,” Larry Curtis, a writer for TORn said. “I think it’s a great publication and an academic side will be thrilled to see these illustrations. And I think those who barely know the world will also be very drawn to the book.”

A lot of fans have already seen many of Tolkien’s art; however, this is the first time a book has been produced to collectively showcase the prolific author’s own vision of his world. The artwork ranges from an assortment of ink drawings, maps, sketches and watercolors sumptuous with color.

“We hope that those who know only the text of The Hobbit will be excited to discover that it was originally an illustrated book, and that those who have read The Hobbit with its usual set of pictures will be glad to find that Tolkien made many more,” Hammond said.

As for how the book is laid out, the editing duo tells CNN that they arranged the artwork in the order of the events in The Hobbit, and to the best order that Tolkien made them. The book also includes four foldouts, each of which show four to five illustrations in a sequence side by side and in a large size.

Additionally, they’ve also been able to include many more Hobbit renderings than they had room for in their earlier book, J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, many of which have not been previously published and all of them in color.

“We have separate sections for several maps that Tolkien drew, and for his binding and dust-jacket design,” Scull said. “We had the most fun, though, in putting together one of the page details from the illustrations showing Bilbo at home and having his adventures.”

With the word “hobbit” firmly embedded in today’s lexicon, the popularity of Tolkien’s works has grown significantly over the years and has inspired a legion of fans. Curtis adds that these newly published illustrations will measurably add an extra dimension to the late author.

“The writing can stand on its own. But it’s really exciting, even for a non-die hard fan to have something new from him. Its pretty great,” Curtis said. “I don’t know how excited people can get about books or works about dead authors, but it adds a lot.”

It’s well acknowledged that Tolkien’s literary work is extensive, especially with the influx of posthumous work, starting with The Silmarillion that was apportioned by Tolkien's son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien.

“We would all be much the poorer if we couldn't read posthumously published works by Tolkien such as The Silmarillion, Roverandom, Mr. Bliss, and of course the invaluable manuscripts collected by his son,” said Hammond. “All of these reveal new aspects of his genius, and it's important to see his paintings and drawings because Tolkien's powers of invention as an artist equaled his skill with words.”

Tolkien’s art for The Hobbit certainly expands upon his story and the Art of the Hobbit aims to show readers how the tale was written. The editors add that his final illustrations of Hobbiton, for instance, includes details not put into text until The Lord of the Rings. And so when it comes to posthumous work, Broadway thinks Tolkien fans will always eat it up.

“On the publishing side of things, there’s always an immediate approval from the community. If someone comes out with an adaptation, that’s when things get a little dicey,” he said. “However, the majority has always been excited for new Tolkien. I think a lot of us think, “Aren’t we lucky to be alive that we can get our hands on it?””

Curtis shared a similar outlook, adding that posthumous content is always wanted for Tolkien devotees.

“It continuously gives people a little more to discuss and reinvigorates that fandom,” he said. “Anything authored or illustrated by Tolkien has always been handled appropriately and there’s great scholarship that goes into handling his posthumous work. It has led to some great things.”

Nobody however knows the world better than Tolkien himself. And now with the release of the Art of the Hobbit, coupled with the 75th anniversary and Peter Jackson’s long-awaited film adaptation set for next year, it will all spark a renewed interest in the book that started it all for Tolkien.

“The Hobbit is an evergreen book and The Art of The Hobbit will without a doubt create a lot of new curiosity,” says Curtis. “I think the combination of that and the films will absolutely create a resurged interest in the books.”

Tolkien’s work and creativity has left an unrivaled mark on our culture— his world and his characters aren’t only confined to the page, but have thrived in various mediums of art, music, film and fandom. And although the films have certainly brought the magic within the pages to life, Tolkien will forever remain the true artist who has captured the imagination and hearts of millions.

It all began in a hole in the ground where there lived a hobbit and just as wanderlust was awakened in Bilbo Baggins, it’s the hope that old and new fans alike can also have a wanderlust awakened in themselves for Tolkien’s world.

“We can all identify with little Bilbo, who discovers a world outside his comfortable home and hidden abilities within himself,” Scull said. “We hope that Tolkien's visions for The Hobbit will impress themselves upon readers, as a contrast to however the filmmakers interpret their work. And that our book will lead more to read The Hobbit and to form their own personal visions of its characters and world.”

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soundoff (163 Responses)
  1. buy cheap backlinks

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    June 7, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  2. Alonso Alfaro

    Nasty hobbitses! We hates them!

    November 29, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  3. Ryan

    I enjoyed the other 3 books and got The Hobbit from the library to read prior to deployment. I got about half way through and lost interest in it, and I love to read. My wife loves this book but I just couldn't get in to it. Maybe it's because I know what happens and basically new the story.

    November 11, 2011 at 4:53 am |
    • Bob

      The first time I read it I gave up after 100 pages and I think a lot of people do. If you force yourself to get past the first hundred pages you won't put the book down.

      November 11, 2011 at 9:14 am |
    • CEW

      Wierd. I've always loved The Hobbit, and have read it many times – there are no boring parts, as far as I can tell. But I can't get through the LOTR (I've made it as far as about 1/2 way through TTT).

      November 30, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  4. Bubba

    I'd be remiss if I didn't mention China Miéville; he hates Tolkien with a passion and finds him a corrosive agent eating away at the roots of fantasy. Despite this quirk, he's a great guy and probably the greatest fantasy writer working today. Read Perdido Street Station either way. If you like Tolkien, try Stephen Donaldson, Guy Kay, and Steven Erikson.

    November 10, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Quid Malborg in Plano TX

      Sounds like a right C-U-Next-Tuesday.

      November 10, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • MRR in NoVA

      China Miéville isn't fit to shine J.R.R. Tolkien's shoes... much less malign him...

      December 1, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Irina

      Um I've actually never read The Hobbit . Apparently it used to be part of the 7th grade renidag list until some crazy parents complained about it, so we read The House of Dies Drear instead. It was, the suck.

      April 9, 2012 at 4:17 am |
  5. woodrow

    I read this book 42 years ago. The Hobbit was the best book he wrote. The rest of the tale became too serious and tedious. Same with Harry Potter. It's when the idea is new that it has the greatest sparkle. But to me the Hobbit was the Harry Potter of my generation.

    November 10, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • jp

      well said. Discovering Tolkien, Middleearth was a cherished time of my childhood.

      November 16, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  6. JonnyDepth

    Cant wait for the Movie!!!! WOOOOOO

    November 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  7. M@!

    In the words of Bill Bailey, "Y'know, Gloin! Gimli's dad."

    November 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Subha

      Like no other : like court romance-> just a cnomig of age in a stylish wrapper, some charismatic ol\' actors in the oyster we call earth (actually it\'s their world producer-director oriented fantasy)So true, so fantastically in the open this is: rush of cold heart in a frenzy of blushing, energizing rumble, unstoppable force of symbiotic madness raging from within a frail shell of a body, just thrashing this blur of an envelope to stir up such emotion within it that it\'s rocked from its place and shaken from left to right (yeah, that\'s the way it goes) into a rejoiceful state that builds up to the experience you described (this is a personal insight into the joy of cinema and should be read as such). Good Besser Der best. Keep doin\' what ur\' doin\' ! (Hug) best wishes and all the pie in da\' world 4 you!

      March 5, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  8. Dave

    Westeros >>> Middle Earth

    November 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • Peter

      Sorry, but having read both, I can't agree. Both series are quite enjoyable in their own way, though.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  9. Jack Be Humble

    Check out Leonard Nimoy singing the hobbit song on youtube.

    November 10, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • M@!

      So wrong, and yet, so groovey.
      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGF5ROpjRAU&w=640&h=390]

      November 10, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  10. LiberalNN

    Love the Hobbit books and I think the BBC rendition they did in the late 1970s kicks serious ass, fans should check it out!

    November 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Displacedmic

      I'm pretty sure I could have read the hobbit in the length of time it took me to read that article.

      /i kid

      November 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • johann1965

      Do you mean the BBC audio version? If so...that was fantastic. I listened to it during a marathon 13 hour broadcast on public radio back in the early 80s.

      November 10, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
  11. Martin

    Really enjoyed this. Wow 2012 is truly going to be a great year!

    November 10, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • milton

      To bad the world will also end that year...

      /i kid 2

      November 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  12. john harvey

    Another gift from the world of Tolkien is very welcome. It is one more aspect to the fantastic dimension that already exists. The power of such creativity and heart of this man has come to define fantasy. It also has the power to outlve the gambit of written works and the so-called critics of the day. It has the power to have so many people plunge in with complete abandon (Jackson, Shore, actors, set designers etc) to capture the heart and emotion in the LOTR's movies. And it is about to happen yet again with The Hobbit. We yet again get to immerse ourselves in the epic beauty of Middle-earth, and this time with our dear Bilbo.

    November 10, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  13. Jolene

    Love it! Thorin Oakenshield :)

    November 10, 2011 at 9:16 am |
  14. Peter

    Neat

    November 9, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  15. Buck

    Balin's the best of the lot!

    November 9, 2011 at 9:36 pm |
  16. Matthew

    Christmas gifts this year and next year.

    November 9, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  17. Andrew

    Cool.

    November 9, 2011 at 9:27 pm |
  18. Doomsday

    They better hurry up then since December 21, 2012 is the end of the World as we know it.

    November 9, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Jmaes

      Every day is the end of the world as we know it.

      December 2, 2011 at 1:10 am |
    • ryncobuz

      exeUHx yuunnuhmijie

      December 28, 2011 at 4:42 am |
    • vmbgiqgpm

      35BWAj eyocbouqiuqe

      December 29, 2011 at 5:04 am |
  19. Mason

    I think I was in 7th grade when I read the book... so long ago! I think the guy was a genius, but I think his Lord of the Rings series is far more influential than The Hobbit. But like the article said... first journey is always the most memorable so I'll always have a soft spot for Mr.Bilbo.

    November 9, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  20. Joyce

    I don't know if I want to see the movie. It makes me weary that it'll completely taint my image of The Hobbit. Is it wrong to say that I didn't like any of the LOTR movies? :/

    November 9, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Cameron

      Yes.

      November 9, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Bubba

      The movies were a failure: No Bombadil, No Scouring of the Shire. The Giant Cave troll must have the best agent in Hollywood; only his foot was in the book but he was in all three movies. I won't see the Hobbit movie.

      November 10, 2011 at 11:50 am |
      • $teve Job$

        I didn't know people from WV could read or had enough money for TVs.

        November 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
      • Bubba

        What are you even talking about? I'm about a third-tier Tolkien expert compared to guys like Shippey and Timmons, and they didn't care for the movies much either. I agree totally with Shippey that the Horn of Rohan blowing in the Shire is the point of the whole book; Jackson thought it was boring and couldn't figure a way for Bombadil to be in the movie, even though without the Barrow-Wight they could not have defeated the Witch-King. But this is over your head anyway, so buzz off.

        November 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • completely wrong

      Yes, it is completely and irrevocably wrong

      November 11, 2011 at 9:40 am |
  21. Andy

    I hated the Hobbit when I was in high school (hated fantasy in general)... but now that I'm much older, I've come to appreciate it greatly.

    November 9, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  22. Alice

    I haven't read the book since I was a kid... I probably should get on that before the movie comes out. But I think the movie is going to be super different than the book. Oh well!

    November 9, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Melany

      I hear it's going to be a lot different :( BUT I will probably still love it! I LOVE the Lord of the Rings series on film.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Joyce

      I don't know how Peter Jackson is going to top Lord of the Rings, but I HOPE he does! Gonna be epic!

      November 9, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Bubba

      There will be a kung-fu fight between Gandalf and Darth Vader, a car chase involving orcs in MiniCoopers, and naked elfgirls. Bilbo will be replaced by new character Jar-Jar Hobbits, while Gollum will become a Mafia chieftain who sells stolen rings to orcs, and Carrie Fisher will reprise her role as Princess Leia. Instead of Middle-Earth, it will be set on the planet Pandora, and it will be 3-D.

      November 10, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
      • GonzoG

        Now, Dude, WHO WOULDN'T want to see some "Naked Elf Girls"? Seriously. We're Geeks, yes, but at least us the GUY GEEKS certainly could get behind seeing some Naked Elf Girls.

        November 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
      • $teve Job$

        Bubba is a complete idiot.

        November 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
      • Don't Care

        I once saw a girl with pointed ears in New York. Cute. I asked if she was an elf or a Klingon. What she said was very rude and ....physically impossible.

        November 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
      • Bubba

        Aw, some thirteen-year-old kid named $teve is mad at me. Wait until he finds out I know his mom.

        November 10, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
      • JC

        We ALL know $teve's mom, don't we?

        November 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  23. Derrick

    Hobbitses! Sneaky little hobbitses!

    November 9, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Lubiana

      Preciousssssss

      November 11, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  24. Adrien

    I wish I could go to New Zealand...

    November 9, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  25. Kyle

    More art, more hobbit, sounds good to me.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:41 pm |
  26. Nick

    Although CNN poster Anika Chin has some interesting information, she's not entirely accurate. Her statement that, "this is the first time a book has been produced to collectively showcase the prolific author’s own vision of his world," isn't true. In 1979 HM published "Pictures by JRR Tolkien"; this was a coffee table book with 48 illustrations, most of which pertain to Middle Earth. All were previously published in calendars during the early and mid-seventies and collected by Christopher Tolkien into this book.

    I do, however, look forward to seeing the previously unpublished works.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Matt

      Dwarves don't look how I imagined for the movie, but still excited.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
      • Matt

        Didn't mean to reply. woops.

        November 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
      • Lubiana

        yeah some of the dwarves are actually hot, which to me is kind of weird. Hot dwarves?

        November 11, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Zorica

      Wonderful Wonderful news!!I always watned to know more about the development of Bilbo's character and that was what got me going on the Hobbit.You must be wrong on the two film thing though becoz I agree with Jonas theres hardly enough content!Anyway Many thanks for the wonderful news!May the power of the ring be with you!

      May 24, 2012 at 4:01 am |
  27. eric Hatch (Loveland OH)

    I'm looking forward to both book and movie, having been introduced to The Hobbit in 1956 or so. But this review is really badly written, almost to the point of illiteracy. Yuk.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  28. Bill

    It's been 35 years since I received the Hobbit and the 3 books of the Lord of the Rings as a Chriistmas gift. These were paperbacks, and I still have them, although they are in tatters from all the times I read and reread the books (I quit counting a few years ago after 10 times through the four books). While I've received many gifts over the years, nothing has come close to touching my heart and soul the way these masterpieces have.

    November 9, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
  29. anxietyjunkie

    My mother has a hardcopy edition of the Hobbit with the sleeve in the picture.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  30. sockpuppet

    overrated

    November 9, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
    • UhYeaOk

      To many big words for you eh?

      November 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • David, CA

      When can we hope to see your generational-spanning masterpiece then?

      November 9, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
      • Bazoing

        How do you know what generation includes this idiot?

        November 9, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • Nikki

      Sockpuppet - How said it is for you that you cannot read and comprehend these incredible books. Now, go away and don't bother those who can.

      November 10, 2011 at 10:39 am |
      • GonzoG

        Socky has the right to his opinion, so I will not get personally critical with my retort.

        I must ask Socky, however, If you're not interested in the Tolkien world, why do you waste your time posting about our article. It's not FOR you. The genre and milieu we adore is OURS to gush over, not yours to critique.

        November 10, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Bubba

      Hobbit is more accessible than the trilogy, but you still need some reading comprehension skills. Remember when this was written; almost every fantasy book since the Sixties has borrowed from or been inspired by Tolkien.

      November 10, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
      • Arjhuna

        Please call me re an interview on Morning Report Monday monnirg on filming getting underway in The Hobbit. You can reach me this evening on 04 4741905. Regards,Conan Young, producer

        April 8, 2012 at 2:52 am |
  31. cpc65

    I have several copies of The Hobbit that I've acquired from used bookstores in Boston, MA and Providence, RI and the hardcover copy with the above cover has always been my favorite.

    November 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  32. jd

    I am a little disappointed to see that Tolkien's name is spelled wrong (Tolkein) three times in this article. Including the text under the image. Does nobody check these texts anymore??

    November 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • Rethink

      Facebook pays people who find problems with Facebook. Perhaps CNN should adopt the same approach.

      November 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
      • BKS

        Yes, You Get CNN points for speed reading for typo's :)) Win Prizes.

        November 9, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • JS

      I'm a copy editor and I submit corrections to CNN on a regular basis, because they could clearly use a hand in that department. They've never fixed a thing. I guess accuracy isn't as important as it used to be!

      November 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
      • jd

        I do see a lot of mistakes and spelling errors in articles at CNN while English is actually my second language. I am just amazed that they don't check these things better, it looks really unprofessional.

        November 9, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • hawaiiduude

      because cnn spells everything the yiddish way.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:01 pm |
      • Don't Care

        Honi honi ku'u okole.

        November 10, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  33. GonzoG

    I am SO glad most of the posts are from fellow geeks and not haters.

    FRODO LIVES!

    November 9, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  34. Unknown

    Tolkien was the world’s first Dungeons Master!

    November 9, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • MMallon

      Too true. It is fair to say that without Lord of the Rings; without Tolkien's postmodern retelling of the old Western European myths about dwarves, elves and goblins; that Gygax and Arneson would not have the academic and literary pedigree to draw on for Dungeons & Dragons. And without D&D, without games where players work cooperatively to accomplish objectives in solving puzzles and overcoming obstacles; where their character gains power and resources over time as reward for completing tasks; most modern video games wouldn't exist as they currently do at all. Even something as simple as a first person shooter, today, typically incorporates some traditional element of an RPG: over time, your character gains access to more powerful weapons or other upgrades while searching for power-ups and other items to use during his mission.

      It is impossible to overstate Tolkien's impact on popular culture.

      November 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • MrId

      Rolling the 20d baby!!!!!

      November 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
  35. John

    Next year needs to happen now! I need to read this book again. I'm sure Peter Jackson will create a cool interpretation!!

    November 9, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  36. DD

    Thorin Oakenshield!!!!

    November 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      I hope they give Kili, Fili and Thorin a good send off.

      November 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
      • Jeslyn

        Unparalleled accuracy, unequivocal clarity, and undeniable ipmtoracne!

        December 25, 2011 at 6:26 am |
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        December 25, 2011 at 11:38 am |
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        December 28, 2011 at 7:34 am |
  37. Joshua

    Wow 2012 really is the year of The Hobbit! Can we say, awesome?!

    November 9, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Shary

      Ah, I had an email up here but it was spammed into obvoiiln. I will try again and feature it on the main page, since you are not the first to point to a lack of a private means of contact.It's ansionnachfionn(AT)live(DOT)comSionnach Fionn in this context is more the White Fox . So blanc ? Or is my French really that poor?

      July 3, 2012 at 3:54 am |
  38. Mark

    Sweet article! Nothing can beat the book and Tolkien's interpretation, but I am really stoked to see the movie!

    November 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  39. chip

    Very much looking forward to this. Despite the fact that it's a fairly short book, I'm glad it's being broken into two movies. There is too much character and back story to simply have your run-of-the-mill 90-120 minute movie.

    November 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • basketcase

      Regardless of whether it was split, there's no way it would be a run of the mill 90-120 min. movie. All three LOTR movies were close to or over 3 hours.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  40. Tanker

    We wants the Hobbit Movie. We Wants It, We Wants It!

    November 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      You'll have to tell me then. What do i have in my pocket?

      November 9, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
      • Kate

        Handses!

        November 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
      • UhYeaOk

        Ewwww! Kates a clever hobbitsss!

        November 9, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  41. Miguel White

    Hmmm, the movies were great, and the books were great.
    Every once in a while we need to remind the "purists" that there is no way a movie can capture every aspect of what an author pours into a book. The have about 2 hours to develop setting, characters, plot, conflict and resolution. When you think of the tasks involved – it is very impressive that a movie can capture those major elements.

    When I have read the book, I have no heartburn most of the time with the movie – it is an adaptation and needs to be viewed on its own merits.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Keith Ketchum

      @ Miguel White-
      Hmmm, the movies were great, and the books were great.
      Every once in a while we need to remind the "purists" that there is no way a movie can capture every aspect of what an author pours into a book. The have about 2 hours to develop setting, characters, plot, conflict and resolution. When you think of the tasks involved – it is very impressive that a movie can capture those major elements.

      When I have read the book, I have no heartburn most of the time with the movie – it is an adaptation and needs to be viewed on its own merits.

      -
      However it is Peter Jackson... so it'll likely be a 3 to 4 hour movie... for each part (1 & 2) and it will likely be superb.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:20 pm |
    • Bubba

      They omitted the ending completely because they didn't like it. Tolkien would have hated the movies.

      November 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  42. James

    Yes! This is fantastic!

    November 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  43. Voice of Reason

    I love the books – I think Tolkien's ability to paint a picture in the english language is a treasure. But Pete Jackson's movies do what Hollywood does best: Take a great story and turn it into a crappy movie. His LOTR movies were an insult to truly great literature. Now he's going to sacrifice The Hobbit on the alter of corporate media as well. Can't wait for the light-up action figures in the Happy Meals... >sigh<

    November 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Miguel White

      Wrong "purist" – see my post above..... you are far from the voice of reason on this.

      November 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • chip

      Peter Jackson was not a Hollywood insider and the movie wasn't even made in Hollywood. You don't even have the basic facts right. Not to mention the movies were amazing and actually INCREASED the number of people who also love the books.

      November 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
      • Hammami

        I always have loved rainedg the Little House on the Prairie series and would love to do it again with anyone who wants to listen. Some books are like old friends.

        July 1, 2012 at 10:53 am |
    • MMallon

      The problem here is that the text means different things to different people. Peter Jackson's interpretation of the work and how it made him feel, and how he would depict the characters and plot lines and settings on-screen if he had the chance, is not at all like what I would have done. But I respect his opinion and more than that, I am grateful to him for somehow preserving the SPIRIT of what Tolkien was trying to convey even if he couldn't match the pictures I had in my head growing up with the book.

      I am supremely optimistic that lightning will strike twice with The Hobbit.

      November 9, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Bregginkrak

      The interpretation of the written word by a human mind has so many potential nuanced variables that it is impossible for just two people to have an exact shared meaning of the words, let alone a film adaptation of a complete story. When it comes to the filming of literature I think we have to be content with “close enough” or “true to the story line” and not expect the film to mirror the pictures that the words evoked in our own individual minds as we read the book.

      November 9, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Ally

      @Voice, I understand the little pangs you can get when you've loved a book and the movie interprets the characters or even the plot line in a different way. But these books are so long and involved that filming them ver batum would likely ruin the pacing needed to keep people interested on the big screen.

      I adore reading Tolkien and I love Peter Jackson's interpretation of them. Have you watched the extras included on the extended DVDs of the movies? There's some great history included and Peter goes through the difficulties they had trying to do the best version possible.

      November 10, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • Bubba

      Miguel, the fact that YOU like it means very little. The movies are ok, but they aren't good enough. Like Star Wars if Luke just blew up the Death Star and married the princess.

      November 10, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Ted Dubin

      If it weren't for "corporate media" no one would have ever read the books, let alone seen any movies. A "corporation" is responsible for most every book we've ever read.

      November 18, 2011 at 11:53 am |
      • LotrFan

        Maybe movies are responsible for making you and many others read books, but The Hobbit was incredibly popular long before making a movie of it was even dreamed of. And many of us read books before they are made into movies. Some of us only want to read the book and have no interest in the movie.

        November 19, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
      • LotrFan

        And not all good books are published by large corporations (much less were they when The Hobbit was written). Try going to an independent bookseller to see some really good books from really small presses. Much better reading is found there than in the ny York times best seller list.

        November 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  44. Lubiana

    Completely awesome!

    November 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  45. Jake

    Really nice article! I hope the movie is as good as his book. Looking forward to it!

    November 9, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
  46. Allison

    Ooooo! This is so cool!!! And I can't wait for the movie too!

    November 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  47. Don

    Anyone hope to hear from Tom Bombadil? He is one of my all time favorite characters. The One ring held no power over him. I very much hoped he would be included. And how does anyone justify leaving out the scourging of the shire? Not only a great scene, but critical to understanding Hobbits as a rule.

    November 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
    • Uncle Owen

      Excuse me but I'm totally about to dork out on you.

      Do you think Tom Bombadil was some form of Maiar? He's not mentioned specifically in the Silmarillion, but it's clear that he is not on the same plane as the mortals. He might even be a Valar, considering characteristics you mentioned, like not being affected by the ring. Gandalf is a Maiar and he is affected by it...

      November 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
      • Me

        NERD ALERT~!~!~!~!

        November 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
      • Uncle Owen

        Hey, I warned you all...

        November 9, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
      • Sylladora Vanyamar

        Geek begets geek. I believe it is Eru Ilúvatar.

        November 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
      • chip

        I agree that he's probably one of the Maiar, or a similar being. It's not likely that he was an incarnation of the creator (Iluvitar) because in the Council of Elrond it is said that if they gave him the ring for safe-keeping, Sauron could eventually defeat him. This would seem to put him on an equal playing field at or slightly above Gandalf, but probably slightly above, mostly due to the fact that Gandalf was susceptible to the power of the ring, while Bombadil was not.

        November 9, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
      • What?

        I didn't understand a word you wrote...

        November 9, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
      • Narmuriel

        Somewhere I read that Tom Bombadil was an extrodinarily powerful Earth Elemental. Think Father Time, or Mother Nature.

        November 9, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
      • Sylladora Vanyamar

        That is the popular belief, but Galdor stated at the council of Elrond that the elves know little of (Tom), save the name. Elrond then alludes to the fact that Tom may be the spirit of Arda, of earth.

        The ring affected Sauron (and would have affected Gandalf or Sauruman), (all Maiar), that is clear, so Tom cannot be a Maiar. Even the Valar themselves became envious at worst or jealously protective of the Silmarils, so they are not immune from the powers within Arda. Only Tom stands unaffected by any force other than Tom. To me, that is the definition of a creator, revelling in his beloved creation of Middle-Earth, and nurturing it from within in spite of the evils of Melkor. My second guess is that he is the spirit of arda, but I like the creator theory much more. As for Elrond's comment that "the power to defy the Enemy is not in him (Tom)," I believe that is because the creator would never interfere with the fates of Mandos.

        November 9, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
      • IvanTheMediocre

        I'm sorry there was no Bombadil, too... but even sorrier there was no Goldberry.

        November 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
      • Bubba

        Bombadil was the First. He walked the world alone and saw Creation in progress. Elrond said he would fall last of all if Sauron won. There's a poem about Bombadil that predates Hobbit and the trilogy, depicting him confounding every opposed force by singing powerful songs to them, as he drives away the Barrow-Wight and lets the sun in by singing the walls down. Caer-Caveral in Steve Donaldson's work is much like Bombadil.

        November 10, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
      • Bubba

        I've always seen him as a childless Adam, who married himself to Nature instead of fathering a new race.

        November 11, 2011 at 8:13 am |
    • Tim

      If I listed my top 5 scenes from the books, at least 3 were not in the movies or were majorly messed with. So I try not to equate the movies too strongly with the books – more like artwork that represents something but is not the thing itself. The books were awesome. The movies, nice.

      November 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • NJM

      So true Don. It actually took me a couple readings to truly appreciate Tom. Indeed, only after reading the Silmarilian did I fully appreciate him – he was after all a Mair from Valinor. As yes,... no Scoring of the Shire?!? And what about the totally fake unfolding of Aragorn's relationship with Arwen? AAAugh!!!

      November 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • chip

      I don't disagree with your feelings on those things being left out of LOTR, but I think the scouring of the Shire would have almost required another movie in and of itself to properly develop it. Tom Bombadil, while certainly a part of the quest in the book probably would have been difficult to intepret into a movie at all.

      November 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Quid Malborg in Plano TX

      Bombadil was the Kwisatch Haderach. Fools.

      November 9, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  48. Michael Regina

    Cool article, thanks for the TORN shoutout!! Love it!

    Sincerely,

    Michael Regina
    Editor in Chief – TheOneRing.net
    http://www.facebook.com/michael.regina
    http://www.twitter.com/mikereginatorn
    http://www.linkedin.com/profile?viewProfile=&key=13212777

    November 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  49. Brian

    Great article

    November 9, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  50. Badonkadonk!

    This is so awesome! I wonder if Peter Jackson would consider filiming The Silmarillion?

    November 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • jane

      to the person wondering if jackson to make film of silmarillion. silmarillion is a nice place to delve to better understand milddle earth, but by itself not a movie waiting to happen–a book of tales that, ok, with jackson's ability could be 10movies. besides, he has incorporated aspects of some of the tales in the lotr movies.

      November 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Brandon

      If they made that book into a movie, it would be 20 hrs long.

      November 9, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
      • NJM

        Yes, 20 hrs for each of the three installments!

        November 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
    • Drazulfel

      The Silmarillion is better suited to a series of animated shorts. Please don't crucify me for comparing Tolkien to George Lucas... but, something similar to the animated approach to The Clone Wars would work nicely for The Silmarillion.

      November 9, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Ryan

      I hope not. I bought the book to take with me to Iraq in '09 and didn't like it one bit. Long, drawn out, couldn't keep up with who was who, and couldn't picture what was going on in my mind.

      November 11, 2011 at 4:57 am |
  51. Brendon

    Awesome article! I'm glad they put together a book with his drawings!!

    November 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  52. Bill

    Hell yeah, read this book 8 or so times. Such a great story. Looking forward to it.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • Joe

      kassa Posted on I would very much like to do my masters in early cdohlhiod Education because I love to kkow more about how childresn learn, and I want contribute by preparing the right materials .

      April 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  53. dragonwife1

    Parts of both The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings never fail to make me cry, even though I've read it many, many times since I first discovered The Hobbit in junior high (far too many years ago). Any author who can make his or her characters so completely believable and well-rounded (no pun intended, given hobbits' love of food!) is a blessing to the world.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Me

      What parts make you cry? Just curious.

      November 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
      • Steve

        For, it would have to be when Faramir professes his love for Eowyn in the Houses of Healing in ROTK.

        November 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
      • Cedar Rapids

        In the hobbit for me it was the death of Fili, Kili and Thorin.
        I was young at the time and it was the first 'proper, grown up' book I ever read. For me heroes did not die and so to read of their deaths was a shock to me and made me cry.

        November 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • mungo32

      I have been reading LOTR to my 6-year old son. Last night we got to "The Ride of the Rohirrim." Theoden's battle-cry before he led the charge made me tear up as I was reading it. Such emotion and power in that scene. I'm glad that they kept it verbatim in the movie.

      November 9, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Quid Malborg in Plano TX

      I never cried during any part of either "The Hobbit" or LOTR. I did cry watching Spock's funeral in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." I also cried during Gary Cooper's farewell speech in "Pride of the Yankees," and when Winona Ryder asks Jihnny Depp to hold her in "Edward Scissorhands" and he replies "I can't." :...-(

      November 9, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
      • Quid Malborg in Plano TX

        Y'all do realize that Johnny Depp's real name is "Jihnny", right? Thought so...

        November 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • MMallon

      I often cry when reading the books or watching Jackson's film adaptations of LOTR. Even some of the scenes he invented for cinematic purposes hit an emotional note with me.

      I, too, discovered The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in middle school. I am a writer myself and was probably already headed in that direction but reading Tolkien sealed the deal for me. It changed my life in that it redefined what I considered literature to be, and what it was for.

      November 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  54. Lindros

    Been reading this to my 5 yr old boy, he's loving the adventure and the creativity of a book vs tv is so rewarding to see in him.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • mungo32

      I'm doing the same with my son. We started reading the hobbit when he was about 4 1/2. Then I let him watch the animated version when we were done. I was so happy to hear him say that he liked the book better! Now we're in the midst of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. It's so fun to see him stare at me with excitement while I'm reading. Such a great story that spans all audiences.

      November 9, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  55. chris

    one of the concepts that makes this book so great is the idea that something so small could transform a huge world of scary lookin kats

    November 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • chris

      with limited use of his powers

      November 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  56. Matthew

    Excited to see. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then fans of Tolkien's works will now enjoy through his own illustrations a much more expansive narrative of his vision of the worlds he imagined.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
  57. The Real Truth

    The dragon was a sissy.

    November 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Never Laugh at Live Dragons

      Smaug was NOT a sissy! Bard just got a lucky shot in.

      November 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  58. Jimbo Jones

    Cool

    November 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  59. WasabiPotPie

    first!

    November 9, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • $teve Job$

      first at what? Being a d00che that still uses "first" in a thread? 13 year olds did that about 3 years ago. You're late to the game, gaysian.

      November 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm |