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Archive for December, 2012

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Five Ways that Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit is better than his The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

1. He found an actor that can capture the essence of what a hobbit is.  Martin Freeman plays a definite homebody who likes his creature comforts but who has that bit of steel in his soul that keeps him going when things turn dire.  Elijah Wood was a human with big, fake feet.

2. He found an actor that was age appropriate for the part.   Wood was too young to play Frodo, who in the books was fifty years old when he began his adventures.

3.  He made dwarves be awesome.  LOTR made Gimli into a comic-relief buffoon.  Thorin Oakenshield may exhibit some foolishness in his prideful attitude, but he is no buffoon.  Likewise, while several of the dwarves look and act silly, they are on the whole serious and sympathetic characters.

4.  There are goblins, and not just orcs.  The Great Goblin, especially, was well-done.  The fight scene in the goblin’s lair is pretty good, if over-the-top.

5.  Changes to character actions make sense and are an improvement.  In LOTR, Jackson had Faramir attempt to steal the ring from Frodo.  That’s stupid.  In The Hobbit, Jackson has Bilbo come up with the idea to trick the trolls by arguing with them about the proper way to cook dwarves (this was done by Gandalf in the book).  That was inspired (and created a very funny scene in the process), because it gives the dwarves evidence that Bilbo has some wits about him, and is therefore not altogether useless.  In the same scene, Bilbo sneaks into the trolls’ camp not to prove his worth as a burglar, but to try to free the ponies that the trolls had captured.  He tries to get a makeshift knife from one of the trolls’ belts rather than trying to steal his wallet.  There may be disagreement about whether the motivation presented in the book fits Bilbo’s personality better, but at least the change makes sense.

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This might be good for an establishing scene at the very beginning of your campaign; when the characters enter the city or town where the adventure will begin, say.

 

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