All Things Hobbit – All Things Tolkien


(a small review)

The story has long been  pleasing child and adult for over 70 years –



Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins


And it was this photo below that re-ignited an old “Hobbit stirring”  in me …


I wish to give credit to Gary Schollmeir (Dec.4th WordPress.com) to this wonderful photo taken by him somewhere out on our beautiful west coast of the U.S. (Gary and I speak, ie. comment to each other from time to time and he liked my use of the title Hobbit-esque for this fine photo. Gary titled the photo Nurse stump,{click to enlarge}).

See the right eye staring at you and the nose and beard and the crazy hair of the overhead branches.

I probably came upon this Hobbit-esque title due to the fact that the movie is coming out in the U.S. on Friday December 14th and it was on my mind for a while. I read this book back in high school many years ago and thought that I would blog today on the topic.



You can start with either the book or the movie as I expect the movie to be an excellent introduction for those never having read J.R.R. Tolkien the author of this book and the subsequent Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The fine movie director, Mr. Peter Jackson, having already made the Trilogy into 3 movies, now begins again with the Hobbit which will be broken down into 3 parts and three movies. The Hobbit is actually the start of the story of Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves on their adventures in Middle Earth together with Gandalf. Later in life Mr. Baggins hands over the reigns or rather the Ring to Frodo his nephew and that is when the trilogy begins. But firstly, Mr. Baggins and company will have the many splendid adventures any deserving youngster would want in a lifetime.

My son and I read the Hobbit each a number of years after the original publication in 1938 (above left). The cover versions for each of us are seen below, mine of the left and one of his on the right.



The Hobbit takes place in and around Middle Earth. A trailer of the movie can be visited by clicking this link. (The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey)


(and if you think this link is a disappearing trick wait till you see the Ring)

An Elvish Ring with writing in the language that Tolkien a linguist constructed from among the many phonetic sounds he was familiar with like Finnish and Gaelic. He also created a written alphabet to go with the sounds and if taught to others one could have a new language emerge (though many languages in this world are being lost and not created).


Tolkien image

J.R.R. Tolkien the linguist reads from one of his poems  Namarie (Farewell)  in Quenya an Elvish language. This poem is sung by Galadriel in the Trilogy to Frodo and the Fellowship.  (click the link below for the You tube video). Having traveled with friends from Finland one can hear some similiar sounds from the Finnish language inserted into the language of the poem.



Shall we continue on to :      The middle of Middle Earth.


Where exactly is this place ? Does it really exist ?  Who lives there and can I meet them?

These are all questions which have been asked and will be asked by others in the future. They are all fine questions. Questions which can only be answered by you the reader, and only after having read the book. But to begin you need a map or two (something I have always been fond of, maps and places to travel to. This probably began shortly after I received my first National Geographic subscription, around the age of 8, from my Godmother).

So to reacquaint all here is a map for Middle Earth.

Now for those less familiar, the Shire (home to Mr. Bilbo Baggins) is in the middle of Middle Earth. This is the place that will become most familiar to us and become most desirous and comfortable for us to return to once the travels of Mr. Baggins begin. Funny, how they say “Home is where the Heart is”. But, sometimes we only wish we were at home. mm…mmmh., Comforts!


We begin like many looking for the Shire and Hobbiton by traveling down some back lanes and alleys into the fields and forests stretching about our fine land. Soon enough the shrubbery encircles us and trees of very different forms appear, just as above and below. Then we come upon an opening and a hillside appears far distant with round doorways and flowers blooming out front. A cart appears to be pulling uphill to one particular door. An old man dressed all in grey, known as Gandalf the Grey, steps down from the cart, staff in hand.


The Shire : May look a smidge like your place in Vermont, but it’s not. Not the same at all.



Least We Forget the Beauty that Becomes Hobbit land. New Zealand, Land of the Kiwi, is where The Hobbit was filmed.


Mt. Cook, New Zealand


Gandalf approaching your Home ?



And if we were to build ourselves such a Hobbit home in the hillside, might it look like this ? With a fine round wooden door and a window right or left to look out onto the Shire.


And what about inside. Should it be comfortable and warm. Filled with small fine pieces of wood craftmanship to hold our belongings. Perhaps a corner for a small library would be nice. A fireplace of course is a requirement to keep us warm like a Hobbit.



Now then a small doorway, but why so? Oh, because Hobbits themselves are small. Smaller than us humans, though a wee bit larger than a dwarf. But still small, about half our size, and with fury feet and no shoes. Tough big or at least oversized feet, like these. Mr. Baggins walking about the wilds of Middle Earth.


Now the rest of Hobbiton and points beyond are also just fine. Fine enough that no Hobbit wished to leave his or her home. For why should we when there is so much comfort.





Now don’t forget Hobbits are a very Social bunch ! The question is who would you invite for dinner ? Perhaps, 13 uninvited Dwarves !


Sit a spell have a spot or two of tea as every good Hobbit does and allow your new friend Gandalf a moment alone for a bit of his Pipe.



Now You think, what is the rest of the Story? What does Bilbo Baggins do with Gandalf and this motley group of Dwarves. Well, I suggest you read the book or go

see the movie that our friend Mr. Peter Jackson has made as otherwise I might give it away. And that would not be fun. But, Yes Mr. Baggins must leave the comfort of

the Shire and go away for a dangerous adventure.


Mr. Peter Jackson (Director)





So please enjoy the World of The Hobbit, each and every part. Go see the film. Read the book. You likely will not be disappointed.

Credits for photographs from: the film set of The Hobbit (directed by Peter Jackson), &  AFP/Getty Images, &  Natasha von Geldern (blog of WorldWanderingKiwi.com), & from Nicu Hoandra Photography, &  from Gary Schollmeir at wordpress.com and book covers over the years from J.R.R. Tolkien library foundation.

My World of the Hobbit review by Jean-Bernard Cabana.