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The HobbitThe Hobbit, or There and Back Again, better known by its abbreviated title The Hobbit, is a fantasy novel and children’s book by J. R. R. Tolkien. Set in a time “Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men”, The Hobbit follows the quest of home-loving Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popular and is recognized as a classic children’s book.

Bilbo’s journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings into darker, deeper territory.  The story is told in the form of an episodic quest, and most chapters introduce a specific creature, or type of creature, of Tolkien’s Wilderland. By accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey and adventurous side of his nature (the “Tookish” side) and applying his wits and common sense, Bilbo develops a new level of maturity, competence and wisdom.

The final chapters deal with the climactic Battle of Five Armies, where many of the characters and creatures from earlier chapters re-emerge to engage in conflict. Critics have cited Tolkien’s own experiences and the themes of other writers who fought in World War I, along with the author’s professional knowledge of Anglo-Saxon literature and personal interest in fairy tales, as the chief influences.

Due to the book’s critical and financial success, Tolkien’s publishers requested a sequel. As work on The Lord of the Rings progressed, Tolkien made retrospective accommodations for it in one chapter of The Hobbit. These few but significant changes were integrated into the second edition. Further editions followed with minor emendations, including those reflecting Tolkien’s changing concept of the world into which Bilbo stumbled.

The work has never been out of print since the paper shortages of the Second World War. Its ongoing legacy encompasses many adaptations for stage, screen, radio, and gaming, both board and video games. Some of these adaptations have received critical recognition of their own, including a video game that won the Golden Joystick Award, a scenario of a war game that won an Origins Award, and an animated picture nominated for a Hugo Award.

The Hobbit Movie

In 2008, it was officially announced that the popular novel and prequel to The Lord of the Rings would begin production.  Originally, Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings, announced that he would be involved the movie’s production, but that he would not be directing it.  Nerves were quickly put to rest when it was announced that Guillermo del Toro was chosen to direct the project.

After months of correspondence, it was decided that two movies would be made to tell the story of The Hobbit.  The first is set to focus on the novel itself, while the second will focus on maintaining a clean, smooth transition into The Lord of the Rings trilogy that we all love.  To help make this possible, Peter Jackson was also selected to write the script and has reunited the ‘ole crew to come up with a good script.  MGM, one of the producers of The Hobbit moves, experienced problems with their debt holders, which caused for a delay in production of the movies.

Also to be included in the Hobbit films is the story of the White Council, which was a council summoned by the request of Galadriel, which included a group of Eldar Lords, Wizards, and Elves of Middle Earth.  Saruman was the head of The White Council, despite being against the will of several of its members.  The council was called to discuss the rising power of Sauron and his attempt to find The One Ring.  It will be in this part of the film that we will see many familiar characters from Lord of the Rings, including Saruman, Galadriel, and Elrond.  It is also at the White Council in which Gandalf first begins to suspect Saruman’s desire to serve Sauron.

After much waiting and hoping, Guillermo Del Toro made a decision that he was going to step down as Director of the films, due to other commitments he had made.  He felt that due to the delays, staying on as director would conflict with many of his other committed projects.

Once again, The Hobbit was Father less.  Many rumors hit headlines of speculative directors that could step in, but nothing seemed to pan.  That is, until Peter Jackson himself, finally decided that he would come on and direct the two films.  It seems only right that he is the one to do them.  Many of the same faces from The Lord of the Rings will be seen in The Hobbit, which should bring back some good memories, as long with a fresh batch of new ones.  During production of the movies, Peter Jackson announced that indeed 3 MOVIES would be made telling The Hobbit story.  The first two would focus on the novel itslef, with the third attempting to link the movies with the Lord of the Rings series. Click here for a full cast list so far.  The first movie is set to be released in 2012, with the second to be released in 2013, and the third to be released in 2014.