This December, the first of the two new Peter Jackson films based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s book The Hobbit will be released. It will be called The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey and needless to say I can hardly wait to see it. I have been a fan of Tolkien since I was in middle school, WAY back when. I remember (and used to own) the animated versions that were put out when I was a kid. So yeah, I am totally a geek about Tolkien. And of course Kelly likes him too, else we would not have included a little Tolkien in our actual wedding ceremony. No, we did not have anyone dressed up in costume or anything*, but we did use the Song of the Entwives instead of a traditional psalm.
Anyway, like many other kids, I of course had my favorites when it came to the characters in the stories. Despite some passing similarity between myself and the Hobbits – a love of gardening, my big hairy feet, my short stature, a love for food and good beers – I have a strong preference for dwarves. I have always loved dwarves, possibly because Gimli was my favorite character from the books, and because I really loved the version of the character portrayed by John Rhys-Davies. And because The Hobbit features a band of dwarves, I loved that story as well. So you can imagine how excited I am about the prospect of another Tolkien story brought to life on the big screen. And for Pete’s sake, Billy Connelly is going to play a dwarf in the movie! How awesome is that?
Here’s where the serious geekery begins, so if you can’t handle that, then “waaah”, don’t read any more. You have been warned.
So when playing any sort of fantasy-based RPG or MMOG, I always played a dwarf. EverQuest, EverQuest II, World of Warcraft, Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, you name it, I was a dwarf. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly many other characters from Tolkien that I find interesting or that I outright admire. Faramir was one that comes to mind immediately, although my initial impression of the character played by David Wenham was not a good one. I certainly like David as an actor, but I felt like the filmmakers had not done justice to the character. That changed once I had the chance to see the Special Edition of the films, in which the character (and that of his brother Boromir) is fleshed out much more fully. The thoughtfulness that so drew me to the character is much more apparent, and Wenham really brings that out in some of those scenes. Generally I thought the casting for the films was just amazing. I mean, Sean Bean as Boromir? WOW. And Bernard Hill as King Theoden was really inspired. Theoden has so many of the best lines and speeches in the book. And the way Miranda Otto played Eowyn was just wonderful. The scene where she slays the Witch King was one of my favorites from the book, and the movie did not disappoint. I just can’t say enough about how fantastic the casting was. Honestly, I could probably do a whole post on every major character but I will refrain… for the moment. At least we will get to see some of the characters again in these new movies (the two Sir Ians – Holm and McKellen – yay!).
So if you have not seen the films, please see the Special Edition versions, as they include MUCH from the book(s) that is otherwise missing. Needless to say I will be holding out for those versions of the Hobbit films on DVD.
*If we had been able to have some of the Guardians of the White Tree of Gondor (see photo below), with maybe an actual White Tree of Gondor somewhere where we could have photos with it, that would have been cool.
And of course, I myself was a Guardian of the Citadel for Halloween a few years ago. I did not have the correct helmet (we geeks care about those sort of things) but I did really like this shot that my friend (and best man at my wedding) Jaspher took.