Hi friends! I’m here to review an extremely famous classic,, one that I haven’t read before. Actually, my only experience with J.R.R. Tolkien is the first two Hobbit movies. Lord of the Rings apparently doesn’t exist in my life. But we’re talking about The Hobbit today, so let’s get on it!
Whisked away from his comfortable, unambitious life in his hobbit-hole in Bag End by Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon…
I surprisingly didn’t hate this like I thought I would. I have tried reading this TWICE before and gave up. Very dramatically*. But this time I finished! And I have some thoughts!
*although that’s probably because i had to read it for school. quite the motivator, school is.
I’m not going to do favorite and least favorite elements, because I just have one big mish-mash of thoughts. First, BILBO BAGGINS.
talk about a relatable hero.
The entire adventure, Bilbo’s all like, “It’s cold. And I’m hungry. And also, do none of you actually have a plan for slaying this dragon?” If I were a heroine in a story, I would be more Bilbo Baggins than Katniss Everdeen. He’s just so likable. Bilbo is clever and witty, more unlikely hero than gilded warrior. His character development is IMPECCABLE. Honestly, he’s just a great main character overall.
And the other dwarves? Gandalf? Comedy gold. Especially with Bombur. Everyone’s interactions with each other ranged from “petty fighting” to “oddly inspirational” to “unbelievably hilarious”. I also found Tolkien’s breaking of the fourth wall to be rather amusing.
In general, Tolkien describes way too much. I skimmed over his long drawn-out soliloquys because oh my gosh. I don’t need to know how one random tree looks from every angle and how it relates to a battle we’re “not talking about in this book”. But the plot itself was well-done. It was exciting! And had a surprising mixture of mental challenges and physical struggles. In fact, sometimes it felt almost psychologically taxing on our heroes.
the climax? it was a tad bit disappointing.
If you know, then you know. But the resolution with Smaug, and the final battle all felt a bit rushed. But I did like the story well enough, and I adored Bilbo Baggins. His exchange with Gollum? Creepy, yet iconic.
Anyways, I can see why this is a classic. It has many of the elements that fantasy has now: dragons, dwarves, quests, and magic. This definitely deserves to be one of the original, famous fantasy books. Tell me: have you read this? Have you seen any of the movies?