nesting * geeking * critiquing

Confessions of a Hobbit Virgin

I like to think I’m pretty hip to the geekier things in life. Something I’ve never explored, though, is the world of J.R.R. Tolkien. Haven’t seen any of the movies (gasp!), haven’t read the books, haven’t taken the time to even learn much about it. And yet, I went to see The Hobbit at the theater yesterday; even ponied up the money for the IMAX 3D experience (which may or may not have had something to do with the fact that I wanted to see the first 9 minutes of Star Trek: Into Darkness).

bilbo_teaser

(downloadable poster at thehobbit.com)

Equipped with a notebook and pen, I was ready to catch some Hobbit cooties and write my way through the movie. For your reading pleasure…

What I Know Going Into This Movie:
• There’s a guy named Gandalf who looks a lot like Dumbledore
• I think it’s set in “middle earth,” which I understand to be New Zealand
• Tolkien was friends with CS Lewis and I like him, so I should like this (theoretically)
• I know from listening to the radio that they sing at some point in this movie; I don’t think it’s supposed to be a funny scene, but the morning show spoof was hilarious
• This is either a prequel or sequel to Lord of the Rings. Prequel, I think.

Jack and the Giant Slayer preview—Maybe worth seeing
Man of Steel preview—I’m so there!
Star Trek: Into Darkness preview—though it goes against everything I traditionally stand for, I’ll probably see it

(At this point, I begin writing in complete darkness, which makes for some pretty scribbly scribble)

Who is Frodo? Is Frodo a Hobbit? Is this guy that’s talking *the* Hobbit?

Ooh, that guy has a fancy beard. His name is Thor? Copyright infringement!

That elfin king looks like a queen.

It’s dark. Harder to write than I’d expected.

DRAGON!

Why do dragons want gold? What’s a dragon going to do with gold? I mean, really, he’s not going to go buy stuff or invest in the stock market. Is it just about absolute power and all that?

Do we ever get to see the dragon?

^^Nope, just feet and tail and shadows, apparently.

Uh oh, the elf king isn’t helping. Selfish elves!

Okay, so the dwarves all lived in a mountain and it belongs to the dragon now. So they’re going to wander in the wilderness, and they’re not forgetting that the elves didn’t help them.

Ah, so this old guy is *the* Hobbit, and he lives in a ‘hobbit hole.’

Hey, that guy looks like Elijah Wood!

Sounds like the old hobbit guy is Elijah Wood(?)’s uncle.

What’s this party they’re preparing for? Why are we having a party?

First mention of Gandalf followed by a smoke ring and 60-year-old flashback.

Is this whole story told in flashback?

Gandalf speaks in riddles, but I gather they’re going on an adventure.

The old hobbit—who’s now a young hobbit due to the flashback—is finally identified as Bilbo Baggins. They called Neal that in an episode of Freaks and Geeks. That’s a funny show.

Gandalf is apparently from the 1990s, because he’s wearing a braided belt.

Is he using a wand to carve on Bilbo’s door? Maybe he really is Dumbledore?

Bilbo eats fish. And he has a really cool looking farm table.

A bunch of random people are showing up now.

Are those guys named Feely and Keely? Am I hearing this right?

Sounds like Gandalf likes his vino.

Oh, good, now the dwarves (who all apparently know each other) are having a burping contest.

Are all hobbits OCD or just this one?

I really feel like I’m missing something here.

Dumbledore Gandalf just said “Let us have more light”—he should’ve just said “LUMOS!”

These fellas are all trying to take back the mountain treasure from the dragon. And Gandalf has a key. I didn’t realize you need a key to get into a mountain.

^^The key goes to an invisible door. Great. Dwarf doors are invisible when closed.

So Bilbo signed a contract to become a burglar? What kind of values is this promoting?

Hobbits can pass by unseen. I think I might be a hobbit, or at least turn into one every time I go out in public.

I didn’t realize that hobbits are Scottish, but it seems they invented golf so they must be.

The dwarves just mentioned that some of them are toymakers. Does this mean that Santa actually employs dwarves and not elves?

Ah, there’s the singing that they made fun of on the radio.

Feely or Keely, one of them, looks like Charlie Swan (aka Billy Burke).

Bilbo is sad that they left without him. Running barefoot seems unwise with all of those farm animals around.

Awwwww, curly-haired horsies!

They just mentioned The Shire. I’ve seen that on Pinterest, so now I finally get where it came from.

Oh gross, that guy is snoring moths in and out. I might not be the target audience here.

What did they just call that giant guy, an ork? Like Mork from Ork? He looks more like the white guy from Prometheus than Mork. (I don’t know what the Prometheus guy’s name is, so I’ll just call him Prometheus.)

Prometheus is giving up just because his hand was cut off? Merle Dixon from The Walking Dead didn’t give up.

“They not dead, they just ugly” (<—no idea why I wrote that in my notes)

Yay, subtitles! Now I might actually understand some of this. I could use subtitles for Gangnam Style, too, btw.

There are only 5 wizards? Isn’t Hogwarts turning them out anymore?

This small brown wizard guy…did a bird poop on his head, or is he growing tree bark?

There is apparently dark magic in this Tolkien world. Dark magic that is accompanied by giant spiders. Why’s it always have to be spiders??

Shoot, that cute little porcupine is going to die 😦

^^all better now. Yay! 🙂

A sleigh that’s pulled by bunnies? Fun!

Wait, are their names Billy and Killy not Feely and Keely?

I’m smart, why don’t I get this?

Is Gandalf really a giant and the dwarves are normal size?

Trolls in the dungeon!

Potty/sneeze humor.

Whoa, I never knew that sunlight turns trolls into boulders! Good move, Gandalf!

I don’t know who that guy is, but it sounds like he’s speaking parseltongue.

Those dog-like creatures look kind of like what I thought the ones would look like in The Hunger Games. Did they just call them “wogs”???

Elves to the rescue! And they live in Naboo!

Elf boys look decidedly like girls.

So the subtitles tell me they’re called “orcs” but I don’t understand why they’re going back and forth between elf-speak and English. Why not just pick one?

I just learned that dwarves are both stubborn and proud. Maybe they’re the Scottish ones, not hobbits.

I’m yawning a lot now. Reading maps by moonlight makes me sleepy.

If this is “middle earth,” where are top and bottom earth?

Ha! The Prometheus guy has a claw now, just like Merle Dixon.

I think “dwarf-scum” must be like “Jedi poodoo”

Is that the White Witch lady from Narnia? Looks like her name is Lady Lorien. Thank you, subtitles.

COUNT DOOKU!

Wait, how can Gandalf and Lady L communicate wordlessly? Are all wizards telepathic? Or maybe they’re actually vampires like Edward and Alice?

She just said they’re facing forces they don’t understand. Welcome to my world, Lady.

Gandalf just said that Bilbo gives him courage. That’s pretty sweet.

Hey, I wonder if anybody else could even see Lady L? I didn’t notice if she was talking to anybody besides Gandalf.

Where the heck did a giant flying rock come from? Is there a rain-wrapped tornado or something?

^^Giant rocky storm guy, of course.

The mountains are made out of rock ’em sock ’em robots, apparently.

Bilbo has a sad. The dwarves said he doesn’t belong.

Prometheus dog monster (wog?) is on their scent. And why again does this Prometheus guy care? I’m getting kind of confused here.

Oh snap! Bilbo’s sneaking out.

Now the dwarves are sad because they don’t belong anywhere either. I wonder if all this talk of ‘belonging’ is what makes this a book for kids to read in middle school.

Sword is glowing blue…orcs are a’comin! Lots and lots of them.

If you’re bitten or scratched by an orc, do you become one? Maybe that’s just zombies.

So the orc city looks like a cross between Geonosis and the Ewok village. The orc king looks like a cross between Ursula and King Triton…and George Lucas.

I recognize that creepy looking little creature. I’m pretty sure he’s in the other movies, and his name is Gollam? Gollum? It sounds like he might have multiple personalities. And what’s this talk of precious? I’ve heard jokes about it, but I still don’t get why he says it.

I spy a ring!

Ugh, more riddles. I’m not smart enough for all of these riddles.

Oh boy, Skinny McCreepy is going nuts over his lost ring. Why doesn’t Bilbo just give it back?

And we’re back to the orcs. Are they actually orcs or goblins? I think I just heard someone say goblins.

And Gandalf can travel in big flashes of white light? Does this include lightning?

13 of them taking on the entire population of orcs(goblins?); those odds don’t seem too good.

Bilbo should probably hide the ring in his underwear for safer keeping. That little vest pocket seems like it’d be shallow.

WAIT A SECOND! The ring makes you invisible????? I absolutely did not know that about the ring. Go, man, go!

And now we’re back with the dwarves who are running on narrow walkways that hang high above the ground. Such is the stuff of my nightmares.

Ha! They pulled a reverse Indiana Jones thing with that boulder. Running behind the boulder makes a heck of a lot more sense than trying to outrun it. Nice!

Orc(goblin?) king just got jabbed in the eye and cut across his fat belly, but there’s no blood. Do they not bleed?

Bilbo hasn’t just run away from Gollam yet? And why is the creepy little guy so attached to that ring?

Again, running barefoot doesn’t seem wise.

Aww, they just said, “Where is our hobbit?”

^^correction, only Gandalf said it, I guess. Because now the dwarves are slandering Bilbo.

BAM! Bilbo put egg on their face by showing up out of nowhere. And Gandalf spots the ring but doesn’t say anything. Sneaky.

Prometheus guy and his “wog” are back again.

I really hope they’re called “wogs” because I’m going to feel stupid publishing this if they’re not. I could take the time to research first, but it’s only fair to let people know what I actually thought during the movie.

Gandalf just said something to a moth. I’m guessing that he’s sending for Lady L since she said she’d be there to help when called upon.

Huh. Thor’s name is actually Thorin. My bad.

Blood-thirsty, tree-climbing wogs.

Smokey the Bear would NOT approve of setting a forest fire as a means of distraction/escape.

Celebrating and forgetting you’re still stuck in a tree=bad. Maybe this will end now and be a true ‘cliffhanger.’

And now Thorin is mad. Prometheus is all “bring it, dwarfy” (I’m just making up my own script at this point).

I wonder what the name of the white guy in Prometheus even is.

It looks like Thorin’s not going to make it. While I’ve not been a big fan of his, this is actually almost kind of sad.

Come on, Bilbo, come help!

Wait, how did they all end up getting out of the tree?

And why doesn’t Bilbo put the ring back on and become invisible to fight the bad guys??

Look, Hippogriffs! Wait, nope, just big rescue birds that I’m guessing were sent by Lady L.

Our heroes are whisked away to safety. But why don’t they just go ahead and fly them on over to the mountain?

Gandalf just used magic to save Thorin the way Palpatine used the Force to save Vader on Mustafar.

Thorin’s about to admit he was mistaken about Bilbo.

^^saw it coming and still heartwarming.

^^Bilbo says, “I would’ve doubted me too” and the audience laughs.

How do they get down from that giant rock? And why don’t they seem to realize how far away the dwarf mountain still is?

There’s a thrush bird. I think I remember them mentioning a thrush bird in part of the prophesy about the hidden door.

And now the bird is beating a shell on the side of the mountain, where I’m guessing the dragon is.

^^Yep, dragon’s awake. Now we get to see his/her eye too. And that’s A LOT of gold.

roll credits.

There you go: I just saved you $13 and 3 hours of your life. But in all honesty, I spent most of the movie horribly confused yet captivated (except for that part with the map where I got sleepy). Maybe you had some of the same thoughts that I did. Let me know!

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8 responses

  1. Wow, wow, wow! Best summary of The Hobbit I have ever read. I’m a hardcore Tolkien geek and never thought how this movie would play to someone who hadn’t seen the Rings trilogy. Freaking amazing job.

    Here’s my thoughts on it, I’m a big nerd so less awesome funny plot synopsis than yours 🙂

    http://timsspoileralert.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/the-hobbit-an-expected-review/

    1.2.2013 at 3:06 pm

  2. diverjanny

    Hilarious! Now I have to go directly to the theater and see it for myself!

    1.2.2013 at 3:13 pm

  3. Vicki Riley

    You NAILED it ! 😀

    1.2.2013 at 3:53 pm

  4. This post is so much fun! I read “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” after the movie of “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” was released. (It took a really long time, and I always ended up seeing the movie version of “The Lord of the Rings” before I got to that point in the book.) So, I kind of had a similar experience of not exactly knowing much background information when watching the three “The Lord of the Rings” movies.

    This is either a prequel or sequel to Lord of the Rings. Prequel, I think.

    First mention of Gandalf followed by a smoke ring and 60-year-old flashback.

    Is this whole story told in flashback?

    The kind of funny thing is that even though “The Hobbit” was written first, since the recent 2001-2003 movies of “The Lord of the Rings” were made before the movies of “The Hobbit” that are now being released, they’ve incorporated some hints at stuff that happened in “The Lord of the Rings” into the movie of “The Hobbit”. There are scenes (e.g. the part in Rivendell with Elrond, Gandalf, Galadriel, and Saruman; the “flashback” at the beginning) that feel like they were put in for the purpose of including characters from “The Lord of the Rings” and foreshadowing what happens in “The Lord of the Rings”, even though it deviates from the book.

    Fun fact: Tolkien revised parts of “The Hobbit” after its initial publication to make it fit in with “The Lord of the Rings” when he decided it could all be in the same universe. The in-universe explanation for this is that Bilbo lied in the original story he wrote about what happened with Gollum, but later admitted the truth.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I just get passionate about the topic.

    Thanks very much for writing! 🙂

    1.2.2013 at 9:06 pm

    • This is great! I look forward to delving into the LOTR universe one of these days

      1.2.2013 at 10:00 pm

  5. Haha! Good one!

    1.2.2013 at 10:14 pm

  6. Wow, how fun was that! Middle-earth sounds a lot like middle-age; you never know exactly what’s going on, who it’s going on with and how did I get here. And I totally understand about the invisible thing. I think..

    1.4.2013 at 11:07 pm

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