Page Turner: The Hobbit

At this rate, being locked in my own home will give me enough time to read all the Lord of the Ring books. Time will tell, and with the official UK Lockdown that started on Monday, looks like I have a nothing but time on my hands.

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More or less the UK as of Monday

While this was my first time reading the book, I was already pretty familiar with the plot. No, not because of the movies (let’s not talk about those) but because my mum used to read it to my sister and me when we were little.

She still wonders why I grew up to be a nerd.

In fact, the copy she used to read to me and I recently finished, a 1997 collectors edition hardback, was given to me by my uncle for my birthday. If there is one person who rivals my mum for love and knowledge of the world of Middle Earth, it’s my uncle Thomas. He was one of the first people in Scotland to play D&D in the 80s and forced my mum to play.

I honestly think being a nerd might be a somewhat generic trait, at least in my family.

Anyway, back on topic.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien follows Bilbo Baggins as he is dragged out of his cosy quiet life in the Shire by a group of Dwarfs on a quest to regain their stolen home and treasure.

Right off the bat, I have to say that Bilbo is not only my favourite character in the book but possibly one of my favourite fantasy characters. His reluctance to go and missing his home comforts above all else make him a rather relatable character.

Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not Today. Good morning! But please come to tea -any time you like! Why not tomorrow? Good bye!

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He doesn’t spend the whole story moping though. He is a very insightful person and sticks to his morals. It was interesting watching his bravery grow from chapter to chapter, proving his worth not only to the Dwarfs but also to himself.

I didn’t connect with the Dwarfs as much since they don’t really get fleshed out personalities like Bilbo with the exception of Thorin Oakenshield. Thorin seems to be the exact opposite of Bilbo. At first, the two don’t exactly see eye to eye. Thorin grows to respect Bilbo during their journey together.

What I really liked was noticing themes and characters who would become important in The Lord of The Rings but weren’t fully realised yet. For instance, Thranduil is only referred to as the Elvenking of Mirkwood. He didn’t even have a name yet! There are also references to a necromancer several times. No prizes for guessing who that turns out to be.

I felt that the pacing near the end of the book was a bit rushed. Especially around the battle of the five armies. However, the rest of the book is rather slow-paced. Filled with detail that makes you feel like you are travelling with our heroes.

I know I said we were not going to talk about the movies but I felt the need to say that I enjoyed the book far more than those films. Well, I still like the first one but the other two really suck in my opinion.

All and all, I enjoyed The Hobbit and can see why it’s so beloved. If you are looking for a fairly substantial book to read while being cooped up at home, The Hobbit will serve you well. What better time to read about a fantasy world then now?

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