Independent Reading Project Script:
-The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
-Made into 3 movies, the first “An Unexpected Journey” came out in 2012.
-Considered one of the most defining books of the 20th century.
-Defined the modern fantasy genre.
Paragraph or Two about book:
Gandalf spontaneously recruits bilbo for the journey with the dwarfs to save their kingdom from Smaug. They face many perils on their journey....
-Bilbo: Our reluctant Hero. He, though refusing to help in the beginning, slowly gains a knack for saving his comrades through feats of cunning.
-Gandalf: Mysterious, the guide/advisor of the dwarves, providing powerful assistance when times got difficult.
-Thorin Oakenshield: The leader of the dwarves, and the rightful heir to the mountain throne. He is also one of the tallest dwarves ever (Able to ride a horse)
-The dwarves: Bombur: The lazy, large dwarf. Almost always eating, sleeping, or whining. Balin: Though all of the dwarves didn’t care much for bilbo, Balin had his back the entire time.
-Smaug: The dragon who took control of the kingdom under the mountain. He looks down on all other living organisms.
Conflict: The primary conflict is that of the dwarves against several adversaries, such as goblins, giant spiders, elves, and Smaug. There are several societal conflicts however. The races of humans, goblins and wolves, dwarves, and elves are usually at odds with each other, they team up against common enemies (Goblins and dwarves vs Humans, elves, and dwarves). The main characters also go through trust issues, such as Bilbos constant secretiveness and his risky decision making.
Favorite Character: My favorite character is Bilbo Baggins. He goes through the most change as a character. He is never reluctant to save his friends, yet never minds going against them for the greater benefit, like stealing the arkenstone to give as a negotiation device.
Take Away: The main thing you can learn from the Hobbit is that, if you are trying to achieve a goal, you have to WORK TOGETHER. The only way the dwarves and Bilbo were going to survive their mission is through teamwork. When the mission fell to shambles, it was because of either bilbo or another party members selfishness. They could have been more successful if they were organized and got along.
-Now, the Hobbit is a work of fantasy, removing almost all aspects of reality. The events are completely impossible in life. However, the ways the characters, especially the dwarves and Bilbo interact, it can be fairly realistic. Bilbo faces the problem of trust. The dwarves don’t trust him initially. He is constantly talked about behind his back during the earlier parts of the story, until he comes to the rescue numerous times. The way he is treated here reminds me of how I used to feel about my “friends”. Some people talk about each other behind their backs. It makes you feel hated. This must have made the journey even more difficult than the initial danger of the mission.
-I really like the book.
-Strengths: It is the defining work of modern fantasy. JRR Tolkien pioneered fantasy, almost all aspects of fantasy are based on his works. The book has extremely good detail, and the characters, though there are a large amount of them, are very memorable. Seriously, making 13 dwarves with rhyming names have distinguishable characters is a great feat.
-Weaknesses: These days, most people are accustomed to faced past and action filled sequences in their fantasy. The Hobbit will NOT fulfill this need. The action is slow as can be. A single sequence in a mine, one battle against goblins, lasted for 3 chapters. Tolkien’s eye for detail can be a blessing as well as a curse, making each sequence last forever, as every little detail is described in full. Also, the book was written in the 60’s, a time before women’s rights were fully appreciated. A strong female lead would have helped the book a lot. The story mostly focusses on a group of men, and their encounters with other men and genderless creatures.
-If I could change something in the book, I would change the amount of action vs the amount of traveling. The book has way too much traveling for the modern reader. More action is really all the book needs to make it into a modern work of fantasy. That and strong female leads.
-The Hobbit is a great book for all those who love fantasy. You get large amounts of action sequences, and powerful characters. The Hobbit is also great for those who love detail in their books. Wether it is thought processes, multiple character viewpoints, or songs and riddles, you will receive a plethora of detail.
Hobbiton = 6698
Narrator: This is Bilbo Baggins.
Bilbo: (Facing away from the camera, into the distance, turns around) Huh? Who’s there?
Narrator: He is hobbit, a short little man with no wish for adventure, or a need to leave his home. He lives a small little existence...
Bilbo: Hey! My great-great-
Narrator: Yes, we know your ancestors were the most adventurous of hobbits, but we are talking about you. You can’t steal credit for other peoples feats... Oh, here comes Gandalf!
Gandalf: Bilbo, old friend! You’re going on an adventure!
Bilbo: Wait, what? (To Himself) I’ll give this man some tea, but there will certainly be no adventuring from me!
Inside Bilbo’s House = 6702
Gandalf: Ah, here come the dwarves!
Bilbo: Dwarves? What dwarves?
Dwarves: Ah! Gandalf! We are here to take back the treasure!
Bilbo: What treasure?
Gandalf: These dwarves are here to take back the treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug.
Bilbo: Dragon? No, I will have none of this Tookishness!
Gandalf: But you’ve already been hired! Pack your things! We are going!
Thorin: (Serious tone) Wait Gandalf.
Gandalf: Yes Thorin?
Thorin: We must first sing.
The misty mountains theme plays in background.
Bilbo: Gandalf, why are they singing?
Gandalf: Why, it is the dwarves' way of explaining the background story through an overly long and repetitive poem, which he author used to attempt to add a bit of color to the book. I believe it may have been entertaining during the time the book was written...
Bilbo: Moving on... Alright, who is in charge here.
Thorin: It was my kingdom which has been taken from me. I am Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror.
Bilbo: OOOOkay. When do we begin, before I lose my tookishness altogether.
Thorin: First thing in the morning.
Forest = 6694
Narrator: So Bilbo proceeded to sleep in a great deal. Then, he embarked on a mighty journey filled with walking and hiking and trekking and even strolling. This is also a story about talking behind the backs of your comrades.
Forest = 6692
Dwarves: Argh that Bilbo, he’s useless.
Bilbo: (Goes crying off camera).
Narrator: These are the most realistic emotions you will find in books even to this day. The company traveled through caves and forests and rivers and more forests.
(The backgrounds switch through different backgrounds as the company changes the way it walks)
Cave = 6685
They fought many dangers;They fought goblins only to be rescued by Gandalf.
(Running from goblin noises in a cave)
Tall Tree = 6684
They fought wolves and more goblins only to be rescued by randomly appearing giant eagles.
Mirkwood = 6674
They got trapped by giant spiders only to be rescued by Bilbo.
(Running through forest from giant fake spiderleg)
River = 6691
They were captured by elves, and rescued by Bilbo.
(Bilbo maniacally chucking them into barrels)
Screen Note: Warning, barrels contain dwarves. Extremely Fragile.
Lonely Mountain = 6679
They were chased by a dragon, only to have it chase after and be killed by a human.
Smaug: Hahaha, pathetic mortals, I empty my nasal passages in your general direction! No one can stop m---
(Dragon puppet flies off and is shot down by arrow)
Erebor Treasure Hall = 6701
As you can see, the story revolves around the dwarves going on a journey, and being absolutely helpless. You would think the author would do a better job of making their supporting cast useful in the slightest...
Dwarves: Hey! We heard that!
Narrator: Oh calm down gentlemen. You are the defining fantasy dwarves, have some self respect. Your story has defined fantasy for the ages. Though, why are you all a bunch of men. Have you just left the females at home? Was there no such thing as a strong female lead back in the 60s?
Dwarves: Oh, we hadn’t thought of that...
Bilbo: Come on guys, we have treasure to steal and a dragon to not slay! Oh yeah, have you guys noticed Gandalf’s disappearance? He seems to appear out of nowhere just when we are helpless without him...
Thorin: He has his ways... Now, let us take our treasure!
Bard: The dragon destroyed our village! Give us the treasure!
Elf King: We captured you, give us our treasure!
Thorin: Wait, no!
Bilbo: Well Gandalf, looks like we need to get those stupid dwarves out of danger again...
Narrator: The Hobbit, now a major, hold on, three major motion pictures! Winner of countless awards and the defining piece of fantasy. For the full exploits of a once pathetic hobbit, a powerful and overly generous wizard, and a pack of completely useless dwarves, read the hobbit.