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Looking Forward to 'The Hobbit'

by Photo of Hannah Rettoun

Some surprises in store for Peter Jackson’s highly anticipated LOTR prequel.

Looking Forward to 'The Hobbit'

In this article…

The Hobbit is on its way! Let's take a look at characters new and old converging in An Unexpected Journey and There and Back Again.

While the Lord of the Rings trilogy focused on Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring, The Hobbit shows us the journey on which Bilbo Baggins discovers the ring that changed his life forever. 

Naturally, many characters from the LOTR trilogy will return to Middle Earth in the expansion of Bilbo's story, including "old Bilbo" (Sir Ian Holm), who was seen in the first and third films. While Frodo (Elijah Wood) was the protagonist of the first three films, he will be taking a back seat to his cousin Bilbo in these films.

Gandalf the Grey, however, will be just as important.  Sir Ian McKellen returns as the illustrious wizard who arrives in the Shire to send Bilbo on an adventure to reclaim the dwarf kingdom of Erebor.  Gandalf can't guarantee that Bilbo will make it back alive, but I guess when Gandalf asks you to do something, you don't say no. 

Other familiar faces will be ladies' favorite Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Lothlorien elf Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), Master of Rivendell Elrond (Hugo Weaving), LOTR villain Saruman (Christopher Lee), and the corrupted hobbit-like creature Gollum (Andy Serkis).

Since this story is being told nearly 60 years before Frodo inherited the ring, there is a whole new band of characters to get to know.  First and foremost, Bilbo Baggins.  Martin Freeman plays young Bilbo, who abandons the comforting life of the Shire to help 13 dwarves regain their territory from the dragon Smaug. 

The 13 dwarves all have very similar names and very impressive facial hair. Hopefully I can get this straight, because the dwarves themselves had difficulty sorting them out (2:55). 

Here we go: Dwalin (Graham McTavish), Balin (Ken Scott), Kili (Aidan Turner), Fili (Dean O'Gorman), Dori (Mark Haldow), Nori (Jed Brophy), Ori (Adam Brown), Oin (John Callen), Gloin (Peter Hambleton-- note the resemblance to Gimli, this is his father), Bifur (William Kircher), Bofur (James Nesbitt), Bombur (Stephen Hunter), and Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage). 

Stephen Fry will be the leader of the men settled at Lake-town near the Lonely Mountain, and Bret McKenzie will be Lindir, an elf of Rivendell.  Even though Flight of the Conchords star McKenzie was featured in the first and third LOTR films as Figwit, he will be seen as a different elf this time around. 

Fellow Lost fans will be excited to hear that Evangeline Lilly has a brand new role in The Hobbit. Lilly, who played Kate Austen on Lost alongside former boyfriend and LOTR vet Dominic Monaghan (Meriadoc Brandybuck), will play a character of Peter Jackson's creation. Tauriel, a Mirkwood elf, was not in Tolkien's stories, but has been described as the head of the Elven guard.  Tauriel will apparently play a bigger role in the second half of this hobbit tale. 

One more thing: both movies are being shot in 3D. I usually don't enjoy films in 3D, but I imagine The Hobbit will be the exception to that rule. An epic tale this vast could benefit from the treatment.


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