Gollum. Sorry, I had to clear my throat, and that’s how you do it apparently (according to The Lord of The Rings). Actually, that little “hack” is what kept me from watching LOTR for years, or rather what it belonged to. Yes, Smeagol, my parents decided, was WAY too creepy for me as a kid. So even though I knew some about LOTR I never saw it on the screen… till now.
That is discounting the hilarious Lego video games…
Yeah, I’m late to the party, but I am honestly glad I was. I would have had nightmares about this series of movies if I had watched them just a few years prior. I am finally the perfect age to have seen these, and I’m here to give you the perspective of a first-time watching from a teen girl who loves analyzing movies.
This will have Spoilers for both The Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit.
First of all, I need to clear up that we watched them in order of release, and we did not watch the special editions. I have heard the special editions are better, but for first-timers, I think we (My mom, sister, and I) needed something a bit quicker and to the point. I do believe I will try out the special editions in the future though.
I understand why people have mixed feelings about LOTR’s main protagonist, Frodo. A lot argue he wasn’t the real hero of the story since he succumbed to the ring’s influence in the end, but… I honestly adored him.
It is not often nowadays, that we see such an innocent and overall good-hearted protagonist, but he still managed to not be perfect (which is definitely a good thing). It was sad to see him being influenced by the evil of the ring. What made him worthwhile was that he had a determination to continue on an awful journey that had almost no bright side except the hope that the evil that tempted him would be destroyed in the end.
I have seen a few people say Sam is the actual hero of LOTR, and it is definitely an arguable point. Sam was the one who kept Frodo going. In truth, if Sam hadn’t been there Frodo would have never gotten to the mountain. Sam went so far as to carry Frodo on his back. Their undying friendship made (and still makes) my heart melt. Why don’t we get these kinds of friendship stories anymore???
Honestly, though, Sam probably wouldn’t have made it alone either. He probably would have been just as compelled by the ring’s influence as Frodo had. Frodo and Sam both had to encourage each other and point each other back toward the light. That’s the point. No one in the fellowship could have destroyed the ring on there own. The ultimate hero of LOTR is selfless, loyal friendship. LOTR made me realize that the protagonist (in a positive arc) doesn’t have to be the hero, they just have to accomplish showing the reader the message and play their part in taking a long, hard road to get there.
The other side characters (Merry, Pippin, Legolas, Gimli, and Aragon) had more of a part to play than I thought. Merry and Pippin were obviously comedic relief but they evolved to have actually meaningful arcs, as well. Aragon too had his own battles to fight (much of the very literal, but a lot physiological as well). Gimli the dwarf was the only one who I thought needed more development. He seemed fairly one dimensional, outside of a few more potent moments. I would have said the same for Legolas if we hadn’t seen him in The Hobbit movies.
Legolas was given more motivation and, of course, a backstory in The Hobbit, and even though he wasn’t in the book (It has been a while since my Mom read the Hobbit aloud, but she is actually re-reading it to my siblings and me), he was definitely a standout character in the movies. It makes me wish he had more of a part to play in LOTR.
A few of the Dwarfs in The Hobbit were much more interesting than Gimli in LOTR, including Thorin and his nephews. I enjoyed that there were a lot fewer battles in The Hobbit movies, focusing mainly on the journey, but I enjoyed the message of the LOTR much more. I thought it was really unfortunate that Thorin and his nephews died, especially since Keeli was so close to having an elf girlfriend (who wasn’t even in the book and was probably added just for him).
Bilbo was a bit of a different protagonist than Frodo. At first, he was a bit of a reluctant hero. Though like Frodo, once committed, he didn’t give up. I actually didn’t care for old Bilbo in LOTR, but The Hobbit allowed me to understand him and thus like him better.
The main difference between Bilbo and Frodo was that Bilbo was deceptive. Bilbo’s ease with lying on multiple occasions further fueled his deception and hiding of the ring upon finding it. The conclusion of The Hobbit and Bilbo’s (somewhat negative) arc is a warning.
That is not to say Bilbo had no redeeming qualities. He might have a bit of a harder outer-shell than Frodo, but deep inside he profoundly cared about others and did what he could to make things right.
Gandalf is the classic old and wise mentor figure. He is impossible to hate. I enjoyed that he wasn’t invincible but actually had to go through some trials of his own. I was glad to see him being more prevalent in The Hobbit.
Also, Gollum was a very interesting character. Somehow I could feel creeped out, yet still feel bad for him, and even think he could be humorous in a way. His arc was really interesting to me because even though there were glimpses of light in him he eventually was destroyed by his greed.
Ultimately, these movies really know how to touch your heart. They were sad yet joyful at the same time, and that feeling is a difficult one to create. For that alone, I would definitely recommend these movies, with the warning that they can be very dark and somewhat creepy at times.
I did the forbidden thing and haven’t read the LOTR before the movies, but I definitely want to see how JRR Tolkien’s story was changed for the movies.
What is your opinion on Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit? Which Trilogy do you prefer, or have you not seen any of them yet? Let me know in the comments!
Bye, for now, everyone!