An unexpected journey captures viewers’ imaginations

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Bethany Schram
Assistant News Editor

As a proud owner of all three extended editions of the Lord of the Rings films, saying I was excited for the release of the prequel to the series “The Hobbit” was an understatement.

As usual, Peter Jackson lives up to the cinemagraphic greatness he is known for. From the beginning, he quickly reminds me of the places and characters I have loved and missed.

We return to the lush farms and greenery of Hobbiton and Bag End, Bilbo Baggins’ quaint home. Both Ian Holm (Old Bilbo) and Elijah Wood (Frodo) make cameos in the beginning scenes.

The re-introduction of these characters set up the stage for the other “Lord of the Rings” films and gives insight into the character of Bilbo.

As for Bilbo, Martin Freeman’s portal is spot-on. The smoking, eating and carefree banter he so effortlessly uses made me wonder if he really was born a Hobbit.

Late one morning as Bilbo Baggins enjoys his pipe on his front porch, a gray wizard called, Gandalf greets him. They engage in a discussion as to the meaning of “good morning,” before the wizard frightens Bilbo with talk of adventures.

“The Hobbit,” explains many important aspects of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. We learn of how Bilbo got involved in his “adventures,” acquired his sword, and more importantly how he found the ring itself.

Though some scenes contradict with the “The Lord of the Rings” explanation of how he found the ring, it is the most accurate representation.

In relation to the book, I could easily quote lines directly from the novel. There are some subtle differences between the two, but only one particularly stands out.

The main villain, a ghoulish white Orc in pursuit of Thorin, the leader of the dwarf company, does not appear in the book. He is believed to be dead in “The Hobbit,” but his presence makes for a terrifying re-occurring villain and many great battle scenes.

Lacking from other films, “The Hobbit” poses a very clear message of what it means to belong somewhere. Bilbo struggles to fit in with the Dwarf company, just as they struggle to find a home in Middle Earth. The ending is a cliffhanger, so prepare yourself. After you see the “The Hobbit,” the wait for the next film is going to be painful.

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