As you may have gathered from previous posts I have made here, I really look forward movie/book tie-ins. In anticipation of the forthcoming release of The Hobbit (2012), I would like how I came about getting to the point where I felt I HAD to read the book.
By reading The Hobbit for the first time at this point of life I clearly passed up the opportunity to read J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic as a youth. In fact, I had no desire to read it despite being a nerd growing up. In fact it is not that the world of fantasy and sci-fi was something lost upon me (I was a huge Star Wars fan), but I simply was not a voracious reader. In fact, for the most part, I found reading to be a taxing process.
Fast-forward several years later and my attitude toward reading changed dramatically. And I have the movies to thank for that. In high school I got into classic films big time. I then started to notice that many movies I was watching were based on works of fiction. As a result, I started to gradually get more into reading. In fact, if not for Alfred Hitchcock, I would have missed out on reading one of my all-time favorite novels, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.
After completing my university studies and entering the workforce, I was able to return to my newfound love of pleasure reading thanks to daily train commutes to work.
Also during this time, the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) films were released. Part of me certainly felt like I was missing out on details found in the source material, but I concluded that the time had passed to read the books – they WERE kid’s books after all. Thus, I appreciated the spectacle of LOTR as purely cinematic events.
That all changed with Harry Potter. Until I saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (OOTP), I was content to not bother reading J.K. Rowling’s books. However, after watching OOTP, I was left feeling like I was missing a lot of details. This feeling was amplified when I discovered OOTP was not only the LONGEST book but that it had one of SHORTEST running times of the film series.
Armed with that information, I immediately went to the bookstore and started reading all the books. Since completing all of the books in the series, I have been rewarded with a satisfying trip to the movies. At this point it is safe to say that I am on the periphery of fan-girl status. Not sure I am ready for Comic-Con just yet.
With the HP franchise concluding this summer, my “enthusiasm” has naturally gravitated towards the next epic book-to-film adaptation – Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit, Parts I and II.
I was all the more delighted when I started to hear the casting news coming out of the production. I recognized the names of Martin Freeman (The Office, Sherlock) as Bilbo Baggins (Richard Armitage (North and South and MI-5) as Thorin Oakenshield and Aidan Turner (Being Human) as Kili.
Remember at this point, I have NOT read The Hobbit so even knowing the names of Thorin and Kili meant nothing to me; the only Hobbit characters that had any resonance with me with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf. I was not even sure which other characters crossed over from one book to the next.
Imagine my surprise in discovering the characters of Thorin and Kili are DRAWFS! John Rhys Davies was my “Middle Earth” vision of what a dwarf should look like. And with all due respect to Mr. Davies, Armitage and Turner are quite attractive so the thought that they are dwarfs (dwarves), left me a little perplexed.
Apparently many dyed in the wool Tolkien fans were equally perplexed by the casting choices. Simply type in the words “sexy/handsome dwarfs and The Hobbit” into Google to see what I am talking about. I will not elaborate here but I will say I trust Peter Jackson and his team.
So instead of putting me off the idea, I was more interested in The Hobbit than ever. And that is where I am at the moment. I am currently in the thick of the novel and hope to finish the novel by the end of the month. And then the countdown begins – 18 months (or more) and counting!