A Ten Year Old’s Take on Peter Jackson’s, The Hobbit…

… For my son’s tenth birthday yesterday I took him to see The Hobbit. If the previous Lord of The Rings movies were any indication, there is a lot of walking in The Hobbit. Roughly two hours of walking. It was during one of the many grand and lengthy walking scenes that my son leans over and wonders out loud, “Why doesn’t Gandalf just summons those giant birds of his and be done with it?”

Which naturally reminded me of this…

And at the end, well sort of the “end” [spoiler alert] when he does finally hitch a ride on the back of a giant magical eagle my son literally made this face…

… and he absolutely couldn’t believe that the damn birds dropped them off at the top of some cliff when they were clearly “almost there!”. The sheer exasperation on his face was priceless. “They were so close! Just a few more flaps and they’s be at gates of the Lonely Mountain! Stupid birds! It’s just one more thing for them to walk down from!”

Walking…

… and more walking…

“Oh, what ever shall we do, Thorin II Oakenshield, son of Thráin, son of Thrór, King Under the Mountain?” “Walk, you fool.”

I think the source of my son’s frustrations was that this was the first movie he’s seen without having first read the book. His annoyance with the whole movie was comical. He told me later, “Why didn’t Gandalf just light those pine cones on fire to start with? It was like he kept forgetting he was a wizard. Wiz-ard! ”

Maybe I should have titled this post, Taking Sheldon Cooper To The Movies.

Updated: But wait. Let us consult the nerd canons.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Suburbanbanshee

    In the actual book (The Hobbit, that is), the eagles point out at length
    that thirteen Dwarves, a Hobbit, and a Wizard are actually pretty
    darned heavy. The only way they manage to pick them up AT ALL is by
    doing it on the fly (or on the drop), and by the time they get to where
    they’re going, the eagles are moaning about sprained wings. In LoTR, the
    eagles barely manage to get Frodo and Sam from Mordor to Gondor, and
    again, it’s only managed by picking them up on the fly. Gandalf is
    rescued from Saruman’s tower on the fly, also. Gandalf after
    revivification is strangely “lighter”, according to his eagle friends,
    but even then, he’s very concerned not to overburden the eagles.

    Basically,
    if the eagles ever have to land somewhere low, they are going to have a
    heck of a time building up enough launch speed. Dropping from a cliff,
    or flying up on a thermal and then down to a cliff or mountain or tower,
    is much more their speed.

    And the Lonely Mountain is hundreds
    upon hundreds of miles away from the eagles’ and Beorn’s country;
    Mirkwood alone is frickin’ huge. Rohan is just a little further south
    along the mountain range, by comparison, and it’s still a far piece.

    Beyond all that, the giant eagles are descended from Valinor’s eagles, so they are actually not quite normal eagles and are more like animal angels or wizards. They probably know the Creator’s desires in these matters, even if more dimly than the messenger eagles of Valinor.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Oh my gosh! I showed your reply to my son and he said he has his math fair project idea now. He’d been struggling for a few weeks for an idea. He just ran off to his room muttering something about finding out how much dwarves weigh? I think he is determined to find out how far it’s logistically possible for giant magical birds to carry hobbits and wizards.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez
      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003366527204 Steve Robinson

        While he’s at it maybe he can figure out the airspeed of an unladen swallow and how much a coconut weighs. :)

        • James H, London

          Stop that! Far too silly!

    • Amy P.

      That is still an awesome answer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/neal.l.meyer Neal Meyer

    It’s been a while since I read the book, but I recall the dwarves asking the Eagles if they can fly them further, and the Eagles were like, “no, the men will shoot at us, thinking we are trying to steal their sheep,” which apparently they have done before. Swooping in and saving the dwarves and Gandalf from goblins was fine (they hate goblins), risking themselves by carrying the dwarves to the lonely mountain, where they can be shot at by men or incinerated by a DRAGON for the sake of gold? Not so much. It’s only when the men, elves and dwarves are fighting the goblins and wargs (and the dragon is dead) do they come to help again.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

    Yes. I thought the same.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jahchild101 Seth Taylor Moore

    Radagast was a tad silly, but he was nowhere near the buffoonery of Jar Jar. It seems that one critic said that and everyone else started copying him because he is really a much different character. Jar Jar was annoying because he was always so clumsy, but he was also always there. His voice and mannerisms were obnoxious, and he looked foolish. Radagast is hyper and forgetful, but beyond that he is a good character. Now was the bunny sled necessary? No, and perhaps it shouldn’t have been included. But his character has much more complexity to it than Jar Jar’s, even though he wasn’t in most of the movie.

    • James H, London

      You’re forgetting the utter worst thing about Radagast in the movie: the guano plastered all down the right side of his face! When you’re watching a close-up on the big screen, it’s hard to overstate the magnitude of suckage propagated into the space-time continuum.

      That guano is a worse crime than any comic-relief assigned to decent characters, worse even than Arwen as a shieldmaiden, worse even than accusing the Mirkwood elves of dumping the dwarves of Erebor when Smaug did them over. It’s a load of sh*t, basically.

  • Marissa Nichols

    the eagles fly away so that they can make a part 2 and 3, of course! (not really)

  • http://snickersnackbaby.blogspot.com/ David Ferguson

    Not quite Jar-Jar territory. The only way to salvage Radagast’s portrayal is to recall Saruman’s rant: “Radagast the fool!”

    To the wise and powerful Radagast seemed silly. Much like Gandalf’s obsession with the halflings over the centuries seemed a waste to Saruman. It is too bad that Peter Jackson took a rather ham-fisted approach in portraying Radagast’s perceived silliness.

    Actually, the greater crime, in the original LOTRO movies was to turn Gimli into comic relief.


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