Eva wants to know how we are all faring with The Hobbit, and I must say I am enjoying it a moderate amount, which is a moderate amount more than I was expecting to enjoy it. At the start of chapter 9, these are my thoughts:
1. When I started out, my reaction was exactly the same as it was when I was eight: I was so indignant on Bilbo’s behalf! How dare those nasty dwarves come in, and mess up his nice house, and eat all his food, and then be all snotty and dismissive of him when he bravely comes on the quest with them? Stupid Gandalf. Totally uncool of him to put that mark on Bilbo’s door without even asking.
2. The elves are a bit camp, aren’t they? Less grand than they will be in Lord of the Rings?
3. The scene between Bilbo and Gollum is exactly as I remember it. I even remembered one of the riddles. I remembered it verbatim! Alive without breath / Cold as death / Never thirsty, always drinking / All in mail, never clinking. From when I was eight! I must have heard it again at some point in the interim. Nobody’s memory is that good.
4. Bilbo is such a good hero for me! At first, bless him, he is all nervous and resentful at having to go on the quest, and then he grows more confident and intrepid, without ever being less hobbity and relatable. He always misses his cosy hobbit-hole and yearns to be back there; he gets a head-cold and is miserable. Oh, Bilbo, you don’t even know how much I relate to this.
5. I wish Bilbo would stop putting on the ring so cavalierly! Knowing as I do that the Ring is Bad and wants to rule them all and in the darkness bind them, I feel very uneasy about Bilbo.
The Hobbit is turning out to be rather sweet, after all. Still it does not please me as much as Lord of the Rings, and I will be happy to move on from all this hobbit adorability at the start of February. It will be time for some rugged handsomeness from Strider the Ranger. (It is always time for this.) (Esp. as Viggo Mortensen plays Aragorn in my head now as well as the movies.)
By the way: You know that phenomenon where Viggo Mortensen owned the role of Aragorn so much that I now can’t think of Aragorn without thinking of Viggo Mortensen? Where a book character gets taken over in your mind by the actor who played him/her in the movie? If you were going to name that phenomenon, what would you call it? Go vote for this week’s Bookword Game over at an adventure in reading! (I am not trying to influence your vote, but I like “gone Hollywood” as in “Aragorn’s gone Hollywood for me”. :P)