Well, I hope some of you have taken the time to re-read this lovely book. If not, I think enough of us have read it/remember it that we should be able to have a lively discussion. I’ll start with a few thoughts; feel free to respond to mine or just chime in with your own!
- Female characters. You know, there are none. Absolutely zero. Not even one who exists solely to heal the heroes’ wounds or give them something to fight for. I actually didn’t notice this when I was a kid, nor when I re-read it several years ago as an adult, but wow. How does this affect your enjoyment of the book? I’m entirely too in love with it, personally, for it to really be ruined, but it does kind of put a damper on things for me.
- The films. For the past two weeks, the filmmakers have been releasing pictures of the dwarves, a couple at a time. Here’s a pretty good rundown of the pictures released so far. What do you think? My first thought was that the dwarves look entirely too serious. Unlike the LotR trilogy or the Silmarillion, The Hobbit had a bit more charm and fun to it. My concern is that this film is going to treat the material with as straight a face as first three films. While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I think we’d lose some of the whimsy of The Hobbit, which was, after all, written for children.
- New things. I noticed, upon re-reading last week, that this book makes it a lot more obvious that hobbits are supposed to be English. So many things that Bilbo does, says, or thinks are just so British: the tea party, Bilbo’s desire for good hospitality above all else, his concern about the proper way to address other creatures encountered along the way. It had never occurred to me how many times manners and decorum is mentioned in the book. It’s rather adorable.
What does everyone else think?