I’m a bit late with Day 5 because we went to see a late showing of The Hobbit. If you haven’t been, it was excellent! I know that there were small changes from the book, but visually and in the overall feel of the film, it was just as I had always imagined.
I read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings for the first time for T.A.G. in the third grade. The most terrifying part for me was the chapter “Out of the Frying Pan Into the Fire”. The image of the wargs, who were joined by the goblins (not orcs), chasing the company up the trees, the goblins singing their horrible song, was the stuff of nightmares. Especially coming as it did on the heels of Bilbo’s encounter with Gollum.
I remember reading a little under the covers with a flashlight and then closing the book and physically pushing it away in fear, as though touching the paper would allow the wargs to creep out into my bedroom. But with reading, the last part you read is what sticks in your mind. It’s like a pause button, and I had to pick the book back up and continue reading in order to escape the wargs. So I’d read a bit more and repeat the process. Eventually the company and I were all rescued by those glorious eagles, and I was able to continue until I had to repeat the same process in Mirkwood.
Though there were changes, the film is true to the spirit of the story. It was so well done that, even though I knew what would come next, knew how they would escape from each of the perils they faced, I still tensed and held my breath, still gripped Ken’s arm in anticipation, still hoped they would make it out. And when those wargs showed up, I physically shuddered with a thrill of fear.
I very much missed the song that the goblins sang, because I think as a kid it very much added to the horror of their situation, but I think Peter Jackson did a fantastic job capturing the first part of the book. If you haven’t seen it yet…go!
Fifteen birds in five firtrees,
their feathers were fanned in a fiery breeze!
But, funny little birds, they had no wings!
O what shall we do with the funny little things?
Roast ’em alive, or stew them in a pot;
fry them, boil them and eat them hot?
Burn, burn tree and fern!
Shrivel and scorch! A fizzling torch
To light the night for our delight,
Bake and toast ’em, fry and roast ’em!
till beards blaze, and eyes glaze;
till hair smells and skins crack,
fat melts, and bones black
in cinders lie
beneath the sky!
So dwarves shall die,
and light the night for our delight,