Half(ish)way through The Hobbit

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)

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20 thoughts on “Half(ish)way through The Hobbit

  1. Oh, I have such fond memories of reading Bilbo’s exploits. He is such a dear character. I think that’s why I still like The Hobbit better than LoTR, because it’s so personable.

    I used to memorize some of those poems when I was young. I recited the one about baths spouting up on high, to my family!

    • I think I’m going to end up still liking Lord of the Rings better, with all its exciting adventures! But I like The Hobbit far more than I expected to, and it’s all down to Bilbo being charming. 🙂

      My sister loved the poems too…I’m afraid I always skip them!

  2. Bilbo is so wonderful! He’s all grumbly–and rightfully so. But then he comes through when it counts.

    And yes I can’t help but shudder at the cavalier ring use now, but I remember when I first read it thinking what a handy little gadget that would be!

    • I do too! In fact, even with Lord of the Rings at the back of my mind, I still feel like an invisibility ring would be really handy. Yes, there would be that little price to pay of ending up getting a finger bitten off, and being totally miserable forever, but meantime HOW COOL I would be.

  3. Um, I can’t even comment intelligently, because now I have Viggo Mortensen as Aragon in my head. So all I can say is “Yum!” I didn’t even like the movies (except for the first one), but I will be forever grateful to them, because when I read the books now, Aragon is even hotter. LOL

    • I thought Viggo Mortensen – in addition to being very hot as Aragorn – did a really good job of making Aragorn more interesting. I mean in the books he’s all sort of noble and upright all the time, which I guess he is in the films too, but for whatever reason (and it’s not the addition of LOTS OF ARWEN), he seems like a real person in the films. But, you know, a real person that you’d follow into battle. 🙂

  4. I love The Hobbit! I think Bilbo is such a great character – he shows that no matter how insignificant we may seem, or feel, there is a hero inside all of us!

    The thing with Viggo and Aragorn is that Viggo is ONLY hot when he plays Aragorn – I have watched some other films with him in and he’s totally not hot. I think it’s the facial hair, slight dirtiness and commanding horsemanship that makes me weak at the knees when I watch him in LOTR. Clean shaven, he doesn’t do it for me! Though his eyes are incredible…

    • Ugh, I know! I don’t understand – he was soooo handsome and amazing as Aragorn, and he never looks that way in his other films. Though he is, I think, a superb actor.

  5. “It will be time for some rugged handsomeness from Strider the Ranger. (It is always time for this.)”

    I truly laughed out loud when I read this.

    On other matters, I read The Hobbit (and saw a stage version too) when I was younger and before LOTR, and yes, the ring was so different then. It was merely fantastic: fun, magic, and mysterious – rather like Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak – with no brooding doom and gloom hanging over it beyond Bilbo’s own propensity for getting into awkward situations. (And, isn’t the word ‘awkward’ weird to type?).

    • Haha, it’s from something – the rugged handsomeness thing – when the first film came out, some spoof of it said that it was time for rugged handsomeness from Strider the Ranger. I can’t remember what.

      Awkward is so weird to type. I always end up leaving out a W.

  6. Viggo as Aragorn didn’t bother my mental picture of the character too much, but Orlando Bloom as Legolas has completely taken over my imaginative picture of the character.

    • I would say, the ones I can’t separate from their movie characters are Aragorn, Gimli, and Gandalf. Most of the others I can imagine independently of their characters. But, you know, I’m perfectly happy to have Viggo Mortensen in my head as Aragorn, cause of all the sexiness. 😛

  7. Time now to admit that I have never seen the movies. I was afraid they wouldn’t match the pictures in my head. But I am tempted now . . .

    How were the Riders of Rohan in the movies? They are my favorites from LOTR.

    Only the first book, and already I am considering delving into audio books (for the songs) and the movies. What an adventure!

    • I loved the Riders of Rohan in the films! Eomer is sooo good-looking, and there’s this gorgeous violin theme that goes with Rohan. Plus, you know, they have lots of good heroic moments with heroic accompanying music.

  8. I love how this post on The Hobbit turned into a conversation about actor hotness! I also love Viggo in the role but I think I am having an easier time not imagining him while I read because I haven’t read the LOTR books.

    I guess since J.G. confessed to not having seen the movies I should admit that I have seen the movies and not read the books. Yes, I am one of those who loved the movies and never got through the books. BUT, I am going to remedy that with this readalong.

    • I didn’t read the books until the films came out, and then only because I’m the girl who can’t stand not knowing how everything ends. I’m always afraid that prevents my fondness for the books for being legitimate. But I did enjoy them, once I read them!

    • All this talk about Viggo Mortensen playing Aragorn is making me really, really want to watch the films. Argh, wish I hadn’t promised my sister I’d wait to have a LOTR marathon until she gets back to town in March!

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