The Brilliance of Book-to-Movie Adaptations (AKA Why I’m Scared to See The Hobbit)

Warning: Contains spoilers if you haven’t read The Hobbit.
You should probably read The Hobbit.

Every time I watch this trailer and see #OneLastTime, my heart fills with dread and my eyes fill with tears and I think, Oh no, I don’t want to see this movie. I don’t want to say goodbye to the world Peter Jackson brought to life, but I know they’ll always be there for me in their little packaged DVD cases, begging me to set aside 1,023 minutes for a Middle Earth marathon.

You know who won’t always be there for me? Fili. Kili. Thorin, son of Thrain, son of Thror, King Under the Mountain. I don’t want to say goodbye to the heirs of Durin; I don’t want to watch them die. This is the first time I’ve cried while rereading The Hobbit, and it’s because I know what’s coming on December 17.

There’s something horrifying about getting knocked out with Bilbo as a reader, and waking up to find that the battle is over and so many of your friends are dead or dying and you just have to learn to deal. But there’s something equally riveting–and herein lies the brilliance of book-to-movie adaptations–about seeing it all, seeing it unfiltered, and seeing it up close and real on the screen in the most visceral way. When it comes to final installment of The Hobbit, I don’t wanna. They’ve spent two perfectly visualized movies giving so much life and character to three dwarves with epic good looks, and now they’re taking them away.

In the book, though it’s mentioned only briefly, you know that Fili and Kili die, defending Thorin with shield and body. It’s painful because they’re so young, but that only adds to the weight of the sacrifice they made for their king and their uncle. The book makes your heart big and it makes your heart sad but the movie is going to rip it to pieces in the best-worst way. It won’t be quick and after-the-fact; we will hear every last cry and see them fight to the death for honor and loyalty, for love and for Thorin Oakenshield. Their deaths are going to be drawn out and tragic and Boromir-level-epic.

So let me repeat myself: I don’t wanna. I need Fili and Kili in my life. And Tauriel.
I want the King Under the Mountain to realize the destructiveness of greed before it’s too late.

This movie is making me say, “Damn you, Tolkien,” in a way I’ve never thought to say before. And I’m so excited. So come back in a few days, I’ll be making lembas bread with flour and tears.

Then Bilbo turned away, and he went by himself, and sat alone wrapped in a blanket, and, whether you believe it or not, he wept until his his eyes were red and his voice was hoarse. He was a kindly little soul.
-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

I’m with you, Bilbo. I need my blanket, too.

One thought on “The Brilliance of Book-to-Movie Adaptations (AKA Why I’m Scared to See The Hobbit)

  1. You Know… It’s a touching tribute to characters which came to life due to this extra-ordinary marathon of epic-drama. But, I have just begun to hate Tolkien and Peter Jackson for their failure to deliver even MORE. Can we have some more, please.

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