Dwarves are awesome!!!
I want to express my extreme nerdy excitement over The Hobbit now, before I actually see the movie Friday evening (one lousy part about having an impending child is not being able to stay awake for midnight movies.) Once I actually see the movie I will be obliged to look at it with a LOTR nerd’s sharply critical eye. For now, my visions remain pristine.
My love affair with The Hobbit goes waaaaaay back. I mean, the Lord of the Rings is great and everything, but I think most Middle Earth-ians (Hobbit-ites? Fro-hards?) will admit that The Hobbit was their first love.
My first encounter with The Hobbit started with my dad, who read the book aloud to me when I was in early elementary school. I don’t mean to brag, but my dad is the best at great at reading books aloud. Each character had a separate voice- Gandalf sounded just like a wizard should sound, deep but a little rough around the edges, Bilbo sounded high and throaty, the trolls sounded like they were from Liverpool and the dwarves sounded like they were part of a Minnesota hockey team. He’d read a chapter to me every night before bed- only one chapter, even if the dwarves were stuck in the middle of Mirkwood. Sometimes my mom would come in to find me with the covers pulled up to my chin staring blankly at the ceiling as visions of dragons and elves and goblins danced through my head. The Hobbit was my first fantasy adventure.
I don’t know how many times I’ve read the book over the years. My dad’s copy finally fell apart and I had to duct tape it back together. I listened to the audio book on repeat while I lay on the bathroom floor night after night with a migraine. The poems especially would whisk me away from my headache with their rhythms and excitement. I memorized some of the poems for school assignments and can still remember a lot of them now.
The Hobbit was the first Lord of the Rings novel J.R.R. Tolkien published and I can feel the love he had for the story seep through the pages. The Lord of the Rings trilogy might have epic battles and grand themes, but I think The Hobbit hits a special place in all of us who deep down wish that one day we would find a wizard and 13 dwarves knocking on our door at tea time.