As a writer, a lover of books, and a lover of films, one of the things I always take special notice of films adapted from books. Sometimes they turn out great, absolutely amazing (see: The Fault in Our Stars)! Other times… well, other times we don’t talk about it.
Today though, we are going to talk about it, it being The Hobbit. I actually really enjoyed The Hobbit films and I absolutely love the book. If I’m being honest, the movies actually made the book more enjoyable for me because I could picture the characters in my head (which is helpful when twelve of the characters are dwarves with similar names!).
But I’m not here to go on about how amazing the book was or how fantastic the films are, those things will be written in my individual reviews of them. I’m here to talk the differences between the films and the book.
Well, the first and probably most obvious difference is that there is ONE book and THREE films. Why? Some people say it was a money grab, that Peter Jackson was just milking the film to be like Lord of the Rings. Personally, I think it’s because Jackson knew it would make a better trilogy than trying to squeeze everything into one, two-hour film. I mean, I can’t even imagine Bilbo leaving the Shire at the start of the film and somehow they pack everything into two hours so that they can reach the Battle at the end. Not possible.
The next difference, and probably one that stands out most in my mind, is Tauriel. She was not in the book at all. Peter Jackson included her because this is the 21st century and you can’t release a major film series that has no strong, female characters. Admittedly, her being a strong, female character was overshadowed a little bit when they stuck her in a love triangle, but hey, more on that when I review the second film.
The barrel scene in the film is also completely different from in the book. In the film we see the dwarves and Bilbo escape in the barrels and drift down the river. In the process Kili gets injured and this leads into a whole new storyline. Does this happen in the books? Well… sort of. They do escape in barrels, but the barrels are sealed and the elves actually deliver them themselves without ever knowing it.
*Slow clap for the Elves of Mirkwood*
Legolas, Elrond, Radagast, and Galadriel are not in the book at all, but all play quite a large role the films. Everyone who’s seen Lord of the Rings knows who Legolas, Elrond, and Galadriel are, but I doubt most people who read The Hobbit were expecting to see them in the films. As for Radagast, he was hardly even mentioned in the books, but played quite a large role in the films.
Finally, Azog is dead in the books. No really. One of the main antagonists of the entire trilogy does not exist in the books.
Right? I was so confused when I realized this. Bolg, Azog’s second-in-command is the leader in the book, Azog was killed over a hundred years before the events in the book take place!
Now, these aren’t the only differences between the book and the films, and there are more lists out there just like this one. However, despite these changes, I genuinely enjoyed the book and the films. I like them for different things and in different ways, as I usually do with books and movies, but I still like them nonetheless.
Have you read The Hobbit? Seen the films? What did you think? Was there anything that stuck out in your mind?