Episode 94: The Hobbit – That’s What I’m Tolkien About

November 25, 2012

Featuring Matt Anderson and Ben De Bono

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4 comments on “Episode 94: The Hobbit – That’s What I’m Tolkien About

  1. Michael Nov 26, 2012

    Great episode title! Very glad you took the time to have this discussion. Ben is right about it being a great entry point into Tolkien’s works (let alone fantasty in general). My fifth-grade English teacher read “The Hobbit” to us aloud, and I fell in love with it. I didn’t move on successfully to “Lord of the Rings” for many years after, but might not have ever given it a try if not for Mr. LePere reading us “The Hobbit.”

    (Oh, and shameless plug alert: I wrote a study guide for “The Hobbit” for Progeny Press, a Christian homeschooling company, still available – makes a great Christmas gift! http://stores.progenypress.com/-strse-148/Hobbit%2C-The-Study-Guide/Detail.bok?xcategory=)

    I agree with Ben that we fans should learn the value of contentment, but I also think we should keep an open mind toward “The Hobbit” movies. I know I’m going to go in expecting to be entertained. Sure, they want my money; but I also think Jackson et al. are going to deliver a quality product.

    I think Colbert is going to be in so much makeup, and on screen so briefly, if you blink you’ll miss it, and no one will know. And as for whether it’s “prequel” material or not, Ballantine has been marketing the thing as “The Enchanting Prelude to ‘The Lord of the Rings'” for at least 30 years. So much pre-judging and naysaying going on in this episode!

    Also kindo of surprised to hear Ben dismissing the story for any thematic importance it might have, more or less. There is certainly plenty of stuff about greed beyond Smaug. Remember all that business with the Arkenstone?!?

    Matt, how does Gandalf trick Bilbo into joining the dwarves? He tells Bilbo up front, that first morning at Bag End, that he is looking for someone to join an adventure; he sends Bilbo running off after the dwarves the night after the party – where does he trick him at all? If anything, he just doesn’t give Bilbo a chance to say no!

    Anyway, still enjoyed the discussion, as always!

  2. Two?!
    Matt, you lost so much esteem from me with that one rating.
    Also, did you not count my email as being from a Catholic? (Being that I’m a Protestant becoming a Catholic?)

  3. To Ben: The Hobbit as a book could be adapted as a movie without adding anything from outside sources/influences but it wouldn’t be a good movie and it could not be tied into the exsisting movie trilogy. Books are one artistic medium and movies are another. To adapt a book that was the creation of one mind to another artistic medium requires a new creation by another mind. It is inherent in the process that what is produced will not be what was originally written. Also it is implied heavily in both the appendices of the Lord of the Rings and in many of Tolkien’s other writtings that there is a great deal more happening outside of the pages of the Hobbit and most of this material is what ties The Hobbit to the Lord of the Rings. That they don’t have film rights to some of that material does not matter because there are not making those movies but they can draw inspiration from those sources legally. The additions to the books that are likely in the movie are more often than not additions that Tolkien himself made as he continued to devolop the histories and are referenced in more places than just published works. But regardless I point again to the first point that movie adaptions are a second creative process that create an original result. No matter how good a movie director one is they cannot write a book with a movie camera. Sorry, really enjoy the podcast, looking forward to the Jubilee.

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