Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Childhood Love of The Hobbit

I have been thinking about the reasons I liked the hobbit when I was a child.  One reason is the very cool maps of Middle Earth.  I enjoyed following the character's travels along these maps while reading the story.  I remember doing this with Lord of the Rings also. 

The other thing that I really liked as a kid were hidden things that could only be discovered by being in the right place at the right time.  An example is the Indiana Jones film Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Indiana had to take a staff with some sort of crystal attached to the top of it to a certain place at a certain time.  Light from sun passed through the crystal and pointed the way to the ark.  For some reason, I love that stuff!

The Hobbit has similar scenarios.  Although the dwarves and Bilbo had looked at the map at Bag End, it wasn't until Elrond looked at it that he sees moon runes.  He is looking at the map with moonlight shining through it.  This is the only way to see these letters.  It must also be the same phase of moon as when they were written.
 Here is an animation of the map with moon runes.  I loved this part of the book because the moon letters also point to another hidden object which comes at the end of the Hobbit.  The moon runes read:

"Stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's day will shine upon the keyhole."

Bilbo figures this one out when he sees a bird (thrush) knocking a small shell onto a rock.  The light from the sun then illuminates a keyhole on the rock face.  The key to open the door actually came with the map from the beginning of our story so the whole thing comes full circle.

If you don't remember these events from The Hobbit you should read it again.  It is a very fun and enjoyable read...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Who's Returning for The Hobbit

Many of the characters from Lord of the Rings will be back for The Hobbit.  Obviously Bilbo (Martin Freeman/Ian Holm) will be back since this story is about him finding the ring.  Gandalf (Ian McKellen), and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) will be included in the cast of The Hobbit as will Gollum (Andy Serkis) and Saruman (Christopher Lee).  Some of our elf friends will be back including Elrond (Hugo Weaving), and Galadriel (Kate Blanchett).  Missing from the elf line up is Arwen (Liv Tyler) who was not in the original story "The Hobbit" so that makes sense.  Actually, most of her part for Lord of the Rings the movie was taken from the appendices in  the books.  I guess otherwise it would be mostly a guy film without her and Eowyn who also had a bigger role in the movies.  I don't know how they will work him in but Frodo (Elijah Wood) will be back for The Hobbit.  Frodo was not originally in The Hobbit story by J.R.R Tolkien and since this movie is a prequel to Lord of the Rings I am not sure what his role will be.  I guess we will all have to stay tuned...