So now you (and everybody else) has seen the movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. You've read the book, though probably years ago, right? And watching Peter Jackson's epic kickstart to a new trilogy, many of us were wondering: Was all of this really in J.R.R. Tolkien's book?
Well, the story of Bilbo (Martin Freeman), the hobbit who goes on his grand adventure with Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and a bunch of dwarves to reclaim the Lonely Mountain (and the gold!) from the fire-breathing dragon Smaug is a way shorter book than The Lord of the Rings. But what Jackson envisioned was a series that would lead right up to Frodo's exit from The Shire, giving extra life to more minor parts of both books.
Did you catch them all? Here are some extra paths that An Unexpected Journey takes:
1. Radagast the Brown and Others Show Up: Although the wizard Radagast (Sylvester McCoy) is briefly mentioned in Tolkien's book (he had a larger role in the author's Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales), he wasn't an active part of The Hobbit's plot. He is now, as he rides his rabbit-driven sled, protecting the woodland creatures. Why would anyone not want to see that? The mysterious Necromancer is talked about (albeit briefly) in An Unexpected Journey and will likely become a much larger part in films two and three. Who or what is he, though?!
2. The Pale Orc, Azog, Is Not as Dead as We Thought: Part of Thorin's (Richard Arbitage) backstory is a fight with a really nasty orc who killed his grandfather. In the book, Azog (Manu Bennett) has been slain by the dwarf Dáin in the years since. In the film, however, Azog the Defiler loses an arm after a battle with Thorin and is believed to be dead by the dwarf leader. But the Pale Orc is very much alive and has vengeance on his mind. We have a feeling Azog will be featured throughout The Hobbit trilogy.
3. The Quest Is About More Than Just Gold: In the book, Bilbo and Gandalf are helping the 13 dwarves reclaim their stolen pile of gold from the dragon Smaug. To make the movie feel more grand and noble, Jackson plays up the notion of Thorin and Co. losing their homeland, Erebor, under the Lonely Mountain, where the gold is kept. That is in the book, but now there's a lavish flashback that mirrors the one Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) told in the opening of Fellowship which gives An Unexpected Journey an epic feel. And speaking of Galadriel...
4. Save for the Addition Galadriel, Hobbit Is All Dudes: Another new scene takes place during the stop in Rivendell, where Gandalf discusses with the rest of the White Council (Galadriel, Saruman and Elrond) the possible threat of the Necromancer. Saruman (not quite evil, just seemingly naïve) dismisses this new intel. The seeds of the much bigger Rings tale are planted. Seeing Galadriel reminds us that elf ladies are around too. We can't wait to meet Evangeline Lilly in her role as Tauriel!
5. Frodo, What Are You Doing Here? The character of Frodo Baggins wasn't created until Tolkien began writing The Lord of the Rings—over a period of years after he published The Hobbit—but Jackson uses Fellowship's opening in The Shire as a way to bridge the two trilogies. Elijah Wood reprises his role as Frodo as does Ian Holm as the older version of Bilbo in newly shot scenes.
6. The Three Trolls Camping Scene: This scene is in the book, so it's not actually an addition, but anyone who's seen the extended cut of The Lord of the Rings films will recall Samwise telling Frodo to look up and "see Master Bilbo's trolls!" By then they are statues, though. It's fun to look back and see just how Bilbo outwitted the oversize brutes (though in the book a bit more of the credit goes to Gandalf).
7. All This Extra Stuff Is Not From The Silmarillion: When Jackson started speaking openly about expanding The Hobbit into two and then three films, many wondered if new beasties and locations would come from Tolkien's huge five-part but unfinished work. Not so, since neither New Line Cinema or MGM owns the rights. In order to expand The Hobbit into more a fitting prequel that nicely leads into Rings, material from the extensive LOTR appendices, which further develop the world of The Hobbit, was added. Trust us, in total that's plenty for three films and then some.
Did we miss your favorite new addition? Do you despise these changes? Sound off in the comments!