Tolkien, Hobbits, Warfare And Realism


Let me begin by saying that I have long loved reading The Hobbit and the three-volume The Lord of the Rings. And I have enjoyed the six films which are now all out as well. As I have so often said, the books – and films – make so very vivid the truths that we are in a war, that sometimes battle is called for, that good things are worth protecting, and courage and sacrifice are so often the need of the hour.

Indeed, I relate so much to the hobbits, who much prefer peace and quiet to war and adventure. I too would much rather just sit at home and read a book. But that is not possible when all that we hold near and dear is under direct and sustained attack. Thus I love the books, and have also greatly loved seeing each new film as it has come out.

And yes, I know the purists are not happy. Who could hope to get it fully right in the eyes of diehard Tolkien fans? The six films have many critics for many reasons: leaving out Tom Bombadil altogether, adding a love interest and adding Legolas in The Hobbit, etc, etc.

And of course Jackson milked the success of the LOTR for all its worth, turning a children’s book into another three-part film, a replica of his first successful trilogy. Yes, I know, the films are certainly far from perfect. But I am not sure I will see in my lifetime another 20 hours or so of film adaptation of the four books done as good as this, all things considered.

But it is not his film version of events that concerns me here, but the entire hobbit project. I wish to speak about the hobbits, the Shire, adventure, warfare, heroism, and much more. And this of course is the stuff of these four volumes. Early on for example we meet Bilbo Baggins and learn of his love of home, comfort, and security.
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