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Tweaking the Hobbit

The production of the film adaptation of Tolkien’s The Hobbit has been a painful one to watch for some fans. Additions of characters and events have left fans wincing from the current authenticity of the story.

“Why make a Hobbit movie if you’re going to make massive changes?” asks Rebecca Smallwood, 35, a programmer who is the founder and owner of the Tolkien fan site Council of Elrond. “Part of me suspects that it’s because they have to fill up two movie’s worth of time, and if that’s true, why then split it into two films?”

The ‘massive changes’ she speaks of are additions of the White Council’s attack on the evil fortress of Dol Guldur and characters such as she-elf Tauriel. While the former was mentioned in the book (mentioned, not depicted) the latter is but a creation of director Peter Jackson’s.

“Certain additions of characters and events, I don’t mind. The White Council was mentioned in The Hobbit, and its inclusion seems perfectly fine to me.” says Kellie LoGrande, 18, a professional writing student and freelance jewelry designer.

However, LoGrande does have a problem with the addition of a romantic subplot. After rumours surfaced that a she-elf with a romantic plot would be added into the movie, she created the Facebook page ‘Don’t put Itharil into The Hobbit’. Her fear was that Jackson would be adding a clichéd and flawless character with unnecessary romance.

“It’s like something we’ve seen a thousands of times in bad fan-fiction,” she adds, “It [The Hobbit] will do extremely well without any romantic additions, I’m sure!”

Apart from new characters, some familiar ones might be returning to the Lord of the Rings (LotR) prequel, one that has been confirmed is Orlando Bloom’s Legolas, a move described by Fiona Jallings, 24, founder and owner of Tolkien resource site, as “fan-girl bait”

“I’m hoping that Legolas appears only as a cameo – the feast the hungry Dwarves disrupt comes to mind.” Jallings says, yet she is doubtful that it will be the case.

It would seem that fans now have no choice but to trust in Jackson and hope that the story they see on screen will be the one they know and love.

“I just hope that what is added is true to Tolkien’s work. When telling a pre-existing story, it should resemble the pre-existing story, or it isn’t the pre-existing story anymore. It’s something different.” says LoGrande.

However, Jackson should be careful not cross the line with too many modifications as Smallwood warns that he might lose his popularity with the fans.

“PJ [Peter Jackson] has a lot of goodwill from the fans, because despite their flaws, the LotR films are still fairly decent – but he’s in danger of losing a lot of that goodwill if he modifies the storyline of the Hobbit too much.”

Deepti Bhatta
Deepti Bhatta
Deepti Bhatta is a versatile wordsmith whose passion for storytelling knows no bounds. With a background in literature and a penchant for exploration, Deepti brings a fresh perspective to the realm of entertainment writing.


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