10 Things You Learn on a Journey Through Middle Earth

David Conrad

David has a PhD in History from the University of Texas at Austin. He loves classic film, classic TV, Tolkien, and Star Trek. He lived in Japan for three years and is always eager to talk about it. Follow him on Twitter at @davidaconrad or e-mail him at david@flickchart.com.

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5 Responses

  1. Doug Gordon Doug Gordon says:

    #1 Peter Jackson destroyed the Hobbit.

    • David Conrad says:

      I couldn’t have learned that on my visit, since it predated those movies, but one of the things that always sticks out to me about the LOTR cast is their obvious love of thinking about their time in New Zealand on the world’s “most expensive home movie.” It really does feel like a special place, and they were able to go out in the most beautiful parts of it and make something great and powerful. I hope The Hobbit actors had the same positive, life-changing experience that the LOTR actors report to have had, but I imagine it was much different for them: bigger, fewer on-location shots, more attention from the outside world, a legacy to try not to tarnish (I don’t blame the actors for the things that went so wrong.) It is true that, having been to New Zealand and having felt so in-touch with the LOTR movies, my disappointment with The Hobbit was deeper and made me sadder than it otherwise might have.

  2. Nigel Druitt Nigel Druitt says:

    LOVE this. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Crabitha says:

    I understand Doug Gordon’s feeling that Jackson ‘destroyed the Hobbit.’ But I also remember feeling the same way in the 1970s when the movie version of The LOTR was released. My sister and I drove all the way to Louisville to meet up with our brother to watch the film because it was an ‘event’. We were perhaps expecting too much and I think I remember feeling the exact same way Gordon feels. The movie had destroyed the Lord of the Rings. Luckily for us, Tolkien’s work will live on and hopefully some day, someone will make the movie that will leave us feeling the way I felt after viewing Peter Jackson’s first movie depicting LOTR.

    I only saw the first movie episode of Jackson’s “The Hobbit.” I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing.

    In LOTR, Jackson captured a lot of what Tolkien’s works meant for me when I read them for the first time (a summer after my family had moved to a new state and town where we knew no one and would have otherwise been a terribly lonely time at age 14). The Hobbit movie, on the other hand, was ruined for me when Jackson seemingly tried to make it into an epic like LOTR. The Hobbit should have been treated with the respect it deserved, and enlisted the background to LOTR of what in some ways I think of as the innocent age. Before LOTR. Before the war to end all wars, etc. It’s almost as if Jacksone was trying to outdo himself from his LOTR days. What a mistake. The Hobbit should have been gentler and kinder. But it’s not ruined by Jackson, someone in a a decade or two or three will come along and make the film with the respect and handling it deserves.