From the smallest beginnings come the greatest legends.
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In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit. And when he left the safety, comfort, and familiarity of that hole, he found dangers, joys, and worlds he never knew existed. He also discovered much more of himself.
After the box office and critical success of his The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, director Peter Jackson returns to Middle Earth with the story that started the saga. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is a classic fantasy full of—as one book reviewer wrote in 1927—“deft scholarship and profound reflection.”
The Hobbit is classic quest literature in the spirit of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and King Arthur and the Holy Grail. Along his journey, our reluctant hero Bilbo and his companions give us much to talk about regarding the idea of home, the ugliness of sin, and prejudice.
Discussing the Scenes
1. The True Face of Sin
(Isaiah 64:6, 2 Corinthians 10:3–5, Psalm 51)
On the shore of an underground lake, Bilbo comes face-to-face with a creature twisted, isolated, and deteriorated by his obsession and paranoia over a powerful ring. Well known to audiences from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Gollum is a hobbit who became so enamored by the ring that he killed for it and used its power for personal gain—a power that transformed him internally and externally.
2.Home: Why Leave The Shire?
(Read Genesis 12:1–9, Psalm 137:1–6)
“We [Hobbits] are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures,” Bilbo explains. “Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!” Yet something inside Bilbo is torn. He loves the safety, comfort, and familiarity of The Shire, but there is an internal conflict with his yearning for adventure. Eventually, he chooses adventure over security. He leaves his home for the unknown of the larger—scarier—world.
3.Grudges and Prejudices
(Leviticus 19:18, 1 John 2:9–11, Colossians 3:13, Matthew 5:43–48, Acts 10:23–46)
As in the Lord of the Rings films, Peter Jackson’s first Hobbit adaptation highlights strife and tensions between Tolkien’s fantasy races—especially dwarves and elves. It’s explained here that the dwarves’ grudge against the elves dates back to when the dwarves were in need and felt deserted by the elves. Understandably hurt and angered, the dwarves’ have not forgotten the treatment, and it has resulted in mistrust, prejudice, and hatred for the elves.
As the Credits Roll
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (New Line Cinema, 2012), directed by Peter Jackson, rated PG-13.
Photo © Copyright New Line Cinema
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