The Hobbit, or There and Back Again The Hobbit, or There and Back Again discussion


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Do you have to read this first before LOTR?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I have tried to read the Hobbit a thousand times and just can't seem to get into it... I have seen the first Hobbit movie but there are things movies leave out... So I was wondering, if I want to read Lord of The Rings, which I do, do I have to read the Hobbit first? Or does it not really matter?


Martine I do not think that it is crucial to read it first, as many people read LOTR before they even read The Hobbit. Being a little obessessive about my reading habits (I have rituals!), I read The Hobbit first. I found it helpful to understand Bilbo and Gollum better. I even enjoyed The Hobbit more.

Btw, I watched The Hobbit too and it is very detailed. Not much was left out. To me, it felt like reading the book again.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Well that's good then. I do love the movies :)
Thanks!


Scott Yes, LOTR is a direct continuation of this novel.


Casey I read LOTR first and struggled through them. However, I read the Hobbit and absolutely loved it. I wonder if I had read the Hobbit first maybe the LOTR would have been easier for me to get through. I will have to try them out again, starting with the Hobbit.


message 6: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Hoots Em, I read the LOTR trilogy first and then the Hobbit and I do not believe it makes a difference. They are both separate and complete stories in their own rights. But, reading one enhances the reading of the other. Read on Em and enjoy the experience. Dan Em wrote: "I have tried to read the Hobbit a thousand times and just can't seem to get into it... I have seen the first Hobbit movie but there are things movies leave out... So I was wondering, if I want to r..."


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks! I just adored the movies, I've seen them at least ten times each, and I've always been interested to read the books, so I guess I will start soon. Thanks guys for your help :)


Cherie The movies are so detailed that honestly you could watch the movies and get twice as much out of it than the book.


Cherie As far as the hobbit Is concerned, I mean. There will be 3 movies for the hobbit alone, all almost 3 hours long not including the extended versions. So if you wanna just watch the movies I think that's fine. Personally the hobbit was the fastest and most entertaining to read in my opinion. But the Lotr are different. They are slow reads, comparable to game of thrones, but they also have much more detail than the books.


Cherie Than the movies*.. My bad


message 11: by James (last edited Nov 17, 2013 05:38PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

James If you want to read LOTR first go ahead, but LOTR triology has a lot of details and it takes awhile to finish the books. I personally would start with The Hobbit, but it your choice overall. I hope you are having a fun time reading the LOTR trilogy Em.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

I am a little worried it will take me a while to read them, like I'm still only half way thru GOT and it's so hard to keep going... But I will see.


Matthew Fischer Anyone having a bit of trouble reading the Hobbit will probably not get very far in the Lord of the Rings.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Youre probably right ^


Cherie I read the hobbit within a couple days, whereas the Lotr took over a month and I read them before seeing the movies. Generally if I try to read a long book after seeing the movie I get lazy. *cough* the count of monte cristo *cough* but I remember thinking while reading the fellowship, "goddamn, I could walk to mordor in the time it takes to read these books". Because it is basically like you are on the journey with them every step of the way, Not much is left out. It is THAT detailed. Some people like this, some don't, but if you can't get through the hobbit you probably won't get through the fellowship.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

While you all are believing in me so kindly, I am going to try and read these goddamn books even if it does take me the entire year.


Cherie Haha :p I believe in you. Do what you gotta do, girl. ;)

If you work to finish Lotr, I'll try to finish the count of monte cristo (I've tried reading that crap like 4 times already... It's good but I get so lazy Dx it just sits on my shelf taunting me >=[ )


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Cherie wrote: "Haha :p I believe in you. Do what you gotta do, girl. ;)

If you work to finish Lotr, I'll try to finish the count of monte cristo (I've tried reading that crap like 4 times already... It's good b..."


Deal.


message 19: by Ira (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ira You can read the Lord of the Rings before the Hobbit. The things that happened in the hobbit that are crucial to understand the LOTR plot are explained in the beginning. I read LOTR first without problem. It actually helped to get into the Hobbit when I knew a bit more about the world Tolkien has created.


Jennasaur You don't necessarily have to read the Hobbit first, it'll just give more insight on how Bilbo got the ring in the first place.


Sakthidharan I remember that some crucial back stories on Hobbit are mentioned in the start of LOTR as prologue. That was sufficient for me to read LOTR.


Janella A little side note ~ once you've read The Hobbit and LOTR, you really should read The Silmarillion. My husband hated it, but I loved it. It really completes your understanding of the history of Middle Earth.


Ellie I agree with most, you don't need to read it first but it is definitely an easier read. I started with the Hobbit and am just about done with The Fellowship of the Ring which has taken me months to finish. I have a habit of reading several books at once. The one thing I do have to say is how they turned Merry and Pippin into bubbling idiots in the movies when in fact they are the complete opposite in the books.


message 24: by J.D. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.D. Brink I believe The Hobbit was intended by Tolkein to be a children's book, and it is therefore (in my opinion) a less labor intensive and more enjoyable read.

I think he then wrote LotR later, having invented such a rich world that he wanted to do more with. (And I believe LotR was all one book first and the publisher made him break it up -- thank god.) I read Fellowship and struggled and I think I did read The Two Towers but I kinda skimmed/skipped through the passages of the hobbits and Golim walking for hundreds of pages. (shameful, i know, but... what can I say?) My friend assures me books 2 and 3 are far better than my experience with Fellowship but... there is a lot of travel and lush scenery involved.

So in a nut shell, I personally suggest reading The Hobbit first and enjoy it. Then once you wade into Fellowship decide how much you want to work for those three books. (You may decide 2-3 hours per movie is good enough.)


message 25: by J.D. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.D. Brink I'd also like to comment how I find it CRAZY that Peter Jackson is turning a 300 page children's book into NINE OR TEN HOURS of movie. ("crazy" is the nice was to say it... I really want to say "ridiculous".)


Ellie J.D. wrote: "I'd also like to comment how I find it CRAZY that Peter Jackson is turning a 300 page children's book into NINE OR TEN HOURS of movie. ("crazy" is the nice was to say it... I really want to say "r..."

I completely agree, you know the studio decided after the success of the LOTR's trilogy that they could cash in more with another trilogy. Just the fact that they are introducing characters from the future in this book is truly stretching it. As far your previous statement I remember watching a documentary on J.R.R. Tolkien a few years back and his publisher said it was too long and needed it either edited or made into more books.


message 27: by J.D. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.D. Brink Douglas wrote: "J.D. wrote: "I'd also like to comment how I find it CRAZY that Peter Jackson is turning a 300 page children's book into NINE OR TEN HOURS of movie. ("crazy" is the nice was to say it... I really w..."

Thanks, Douglas. I haven't sat down to watch the Hobbit first installment, but the commercials for the second look like they are pulling all kinds of stuff to fill the time. Basically, looks like they are using the Hobbit as the framework for their own version of an epic movie marathon. I guess there's nothing *wrong* with that as long as folks enjoy the end result but... It ain't "The Hobbit".


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

No, but I read this book and enjoyed it.


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

What I meant to say was, there is a part in the new hobbit trailer where they said Legolas is falling for the female elf (ive forgotten her name) and apparently that isn't true in the book?


Cherie Yeah, legolas isn't even in the hobbit.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Cherie wrote: "Yeah, legolas isn't even in the hobbit."

WHAT? SERIOUSLY?? Why would they put him in the movie then???


Cherie Because apparently they just fucking can. >_> half of the stuff in the hobbit movies aren't in the books.


message 33: by [deleted user] (new)

That is utter crap. I'll admit I have a huge crush on Orlando Bloom, and seeing him as Legolas in LOTR is what actually made me watch the movie, and I love him to bits but that pisses me off. How could they have done the first movie so well and now all this stuff to the hobbit?


Ellie Legolas isn't the only one that we will see in the Hobbit movies, it is to my understanding that Aragon and Gimli will be making an appearance which is completely screwed up considering the time frame between The Hobbit and Fellowship.


Cherie I think they asked the actor of Aragorn if he would do the hobbit and he turned them down because aragorn wasn't in the hobbit.


Elentarri Douglas wrote: " it is to my understanding that Aragon and Gimli will be making an appearance which is completely screwed up considering the time frame between The Hobbit and Fellowship. "

I really hope that's a joke! Aragorn is something like 10 years old at the time of the Hobbit, and I didn't see any man-children running around Rivendel in Part 1.

Gimli is about 40 or so, maybe he pitches up to help his father.

Legolas is the son of King Thranduil so I can sort of see a minor side role there, even if he isn't in the book. Putting a love scene in with minor, made up characters is silly though, IMO. The story does not revolve around Legolas, it revolves around a hobbit and 13 dwarves.


Ellie Elentarri wrote: "Douglas wrote: " it is to my understanding that Aragon and Gimli will be making an appearance which is completely screwed up considering the time frame between The Hobbit and Fellowship. "

I reall..."


Exactly!


Jenna Zark I read all the LOTR books in college and read the Hobbit first, but I think you can read the LOTR trilogy without reading the Hobbit. On the other hand, I think reading it gives you more background and would make it a richer experience.


message 39: by Mark (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mark Kaye Yes the Hobbit come before LOTR, but unless you want the back story of how Bilbo first gets the ring there is no real need to read it first.


Bjarne Amilon Matthew wrote: "Anyone having a bit of trouble reading the Hobbit will probably not get very far in the Lord of the Rings."

I'm not sure this is so. I love both books almost equally, but it is striking what difference there is between the simple cosy stile of the Hobbit and the high epic style of LOTR. It is not my case, but other readers could have difficulties reading one that they do not feel with the other.


message 41: by L.A. (new) - rated it 5 stars

L.A. Miles I read all three LOTR books when I was 8 years old and didn't read The Hobbit until I was 13. I think both can definitely be enjoyed separately, yet each story augments the other. I probably should have read The Hobbit first since it was more appropriate for my age, being lighter in nature, but that's hindsight.


Jason I've read the Hobbit prior to the LOTR. I'm currently re-reading but I'm starting from the Silmarillion this time around. And I think when I get to the Hobbit and I'm going to go through the appendix (same for when I re-read LOTR). I've always been fascinated with the entire lore of the Hobbit and LOTR so I want to kind of engage my mind into the entire background as much as possible before hitting those two.

Do you NEED to read the Hobbit first? Not really. It does give you a background into LOTR but its not necessary as the LOTR has an appendix which expands the lore found in those books, which is more extensive than the Hobbit.

As for the movies, the is more going on in the Hobbit movies than I remember, hence the re-read. And in some instances it seems to be made more accessible in language than the LOTR movies. That is not a bad thing but there is something said for the language in all the books that is pure Tolkien. I think LOTR movies captured it best but I find it a little down played in the Hobbit. Of course the same can be said for the Hobbit book. But still the way ideas are put through in the book is just fantastic.

No movie can really do justice to a book, just create the visuals that the language in the book provides.

Still, your decision.


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