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Culture “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” By Victoria Southwood / Gavel Media Staff of 13 dwarves fighting to reclaim their dwarf The tale of Bilbo Baggins is familiar to kingdom, Erebor, from the dragon Smaug. The most: he began as a quiet hobbit of Hobbileader of the motley crew, Thorin Oakenshield, ton, the Shire, living peacefully and minding is a legend of the Shire and leads Bilbo and his his own business until Gandalf the Grey encompanions on an unforgettable journey. tered the scene. Throughout his journey, Bilbo encounters In the beginning of The Lord of the Rings all sorts of creatures, of whom Gollum may be trilogy, Bilbo’s nephew Frodo Baggins, led a the most significant. His encounters with Golsimilar life. lum allow Bilbo to discover his own capacity The Hobbit: An Unexpected Adventure befor courage and ingenuity, while helping him gins with Gandalf journeying to the Shire in come into possession of his “prepursuit of recruits for his next big adventure. cious” ring. In LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo is this This is the plot line as defined lucky recruit. For those who have only been by The Hobbit film website, and introduced to the films and are unfamiliar it is safe to say that while it with the books, it might be a surprise to know sounds consistent with that of that the precursor to this trilogy, The Hobbit, the novel, fans will be sitting started off with a nearly-identical scene. on the edge of their seats, While both our generation and the one anxious to see if the film before have been exposed to hobbits, gobis true to its 75-year-old lins, dwarves, orcs and wizards before, not as origins. many know of the history behind Bilbo BagThe seemingly angins. The story will tell how he developed a cient story behind The relationship with wizard Gandalf the Grey, Hobbit and LOTR is how he truly won possession of his “precious” one of the most interesting aspects behind ring, and what the oh-so-important story he its contemporary popularity. Most surprisis writing in the beginning of Fellowship of ing may be the fact that a child discovered the Ring is. Luckily, the population of LOTR it. fans who did not read Tolkein’s books from At 10 years old, Rayner Unwin was the beginning finally have the opportunity the first person to read the manuscript to find out. of The Hobbit in 1935. He diligently rePeter Jackson, director of the LOTR trilogy, ported the story to his father, a pubwill once again bring the stories of Middle lisher, who, upon Rayner’s request, Earth to theaters in this latest installment. had the book published by 1937. Jackson is not the only returning crew memLater, as Rayner Unwin became ber for fans to be excited about. Much of the a publisher himself, he was aporiginal cast will be making appearances, proached with LOTR manuincluding Ian McKellan, Cate Blanchett, Ian scripts. Holm, Christopher Lee, Elija Wood and Andy Despite the fact that he Serkis, with Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins thought the books would on Friday, Dec. 14. lose roughly £1,000 upon The Hobbit takes place 60 years before publication, he viewed the time of LOTR. It begins with the arrival of them as a work of geGandalf in the Shire, as he attempts to recruit nius and decided to Bilbo to embark on a journey with a team publish them anyway. 38

the GAVEL / December 2012


This was a genius move in itself. Anticipation for The Hobbit is building among fans, as the LOTR trilogy is one of the most famous series in film history. Each of these films is among the top 33 grossing box office hits, and the novels have been polled as one of the most popular literary works of the century. In preparation for the release of the film, the New Zealand filming location is used as a

theme in multiple facets of life. The country has created legal tender featuring Hobbit images and Dwarvish words (these are technically not meant for circulation, but the most expensive coin is worth roughly $3,000 USD). Additionally, Air New Zealand has started showing a Hobbit-themed in-flight safety video — search for it on YouTube under “An Unexpected Briefing #airnzhobbit.” Peter Jackson even makes a cameo in the short film. Fans will finally get a visual representation of the story of Bilbo Baggins of the Shire, 75 years after The Hobbit was published. As about nine years have passed since the last release of a film, fans of Tolkein’s work will no doubt show up to theaters excited to continue this visual journey through the world of hobbits, dwarves, dragons and orcs. Screenshots by Louise Sheehan/ Gavel Media


The Hobbit  

Gavel Media December 2012 Culture Article

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