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Does The Hobbit Movie Stay True To The Original Story

Updated on June 7, 2012

On this page we are going to be taking a look at how closely the new Hobbit movie sticks to the original book by J.R.R Tolkien. We will tell you the major differences and then of course some of the ways in which the film does stay true to the book. Fans of Tolkien will no doubt be eager to learn just how closely Peter Jackson’s version of The Hobbit is to the original.

In December 2012 Peter Jackson finally releases his massive prequel to The Lord Of The Rings. This long awaited venture back to Middle Earth has been eagerly anticipated by millions. Fans of Tolkien’s work though are a little concerned that Jackson may take the film away from the original story just to pack cinemas. So is this the case? Does the new Hobbit movie stay true to the original book published all those years ago?

Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson's Previous Record

So first of all before we get into the debate about The Hobbit, how did Peter Jackson do with his other Tolkien classic? Well when The Fellowship Of The Ring hit our screens a decade ago critics slammed it for deviating away from the original writings. For true Tolkien fans who were familiar with the books the movie did throw up some rather big questions. For instance, where was Tom Bombadil? An entire chapter is dedicated to him in the books but there is not even a mention of him in the movie. Another issue was when Frodo has been stabbed by the Ringwraith and is being rushed to Rivendell. In the books it’s Legolas who finds the Hobbits and takes Frodo back to Rivendell. However in Peter Jackson’s version of the film it is Arwen who finds them and rushes Frodo to her father.

There are various other parts of the three movies that do not tally up with the actual original trilogy of books. Throughout the years where the films were released Tolkien fans complained about sections of the books that were omitted and bits that were added to the film. Despite this fact though, very few people would argue that Jackson did in fact create a wonderful set of films. In doing this he brought Tolkien to the masses and really opened up the fantasy world to people who would never have given it a second look.

When questioned about why he had changed large section of the story, Jackson responded by saying he felt it made the film flow better and gave audiences a better viewing experience. Few would argue that this was indeed the case. So although die hard Tolkien fans did complain a little, overall the issue was swept under the carpet. So what can we expect from the new movie?

The Hobbit Movie

The Changes Made In The Hobbit

First of all it’s important to realise that The Hobbit and the LOTR books are very different. The Hobbit is really a children’s book, almost a fairytale, whereas the LOTR is far darker and would be considered more adult reading. Despite that though Peter Jackson seems to want to create that same dark theme in his Hobbit films. If he were to bring out a children’s fairytale the vast majority of people would be disappointed. So this leaves the director with a dilemma. How can he stay true to the writings whilst packing out cinemas once again?

So what changes are we going to see in the movie? Well the main storyline is all there. If you have read The Hobbit then you should be able to follow the story quite easily and we are expecting the majority of the story to stay the same. But there will of course be a few extra bits, a few omissions. One area where Jackson seems determined to put his own stamp on things is the way he ties the two stories together. As this is a prequel it is no easy task, but there are going to be various parts of the film that make the viewer think back to LOTR.

In the new Hobbit movie we will also see characters that should not really be there. For instance Legolas makes an appearance, he is not mentioned in the books but he gets a cameo in the film. Also Frodo, no mention of him in the book but again Jackson has found a way to incorporate him into the movie. There will be various other little bits of the film that also differ from the original and thus send certain people into a rant about authenticity.

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Should Peter Jackson Stick To The Original Book?

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Does It Really Matter?

When all is said and done does it really matter? Well yes and no. If Jackson had steered away from the storyline and basically created his own version of The Hobbit then yes it would have mattered. The reality is though that he has not done this. Yes there are a few added extras and a few small omissions but overall the film does stay fairly true to the book.

The reason Jackson has done this is the same reason he did it in LOTR. He wants to create the best viewing experience for film goers that he possibly can. Some people will sit there in the cinema and point out flaws, but for the vast majority who just want to be entertained the movie should do the job. The way Jackson creates links from LOTR to The Hobbit makes viewers relate to the story that little bit more and creates that nostalgic feeling. So although we do sacrifice a tiny bit of Tolkien’s work, overall we do come out with a really good piece of cinema.

The films that Peter Jackson has brought out really have opened up the world of Tolkien to so many people. If the author had any idea the scale of which his books are now reaching then surely he would be very proud. If you are a real fan of The Hobbit book then we advise you to simply go and view the movie with an open mind, don’t pull it apart, just enjoy it for what it is, a masterpiece of fantasy film making.


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Terrible movies

    • Anate profile image

      Joseph Ray 

      4 years ago

      The problem with the films is not minor changes. It is the fact that they do major changes. He completely changes the character of Beorn for instance. He also changes the character of Elrond because Peter Jackson seems to have something against Elves. Then he also decides to add characters and make the romantic interests for people. The Hobbit did not need a love triangle.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I hate how he has changed dialogue to be "cute" and "dramatic." Jackson adds a lot of bitching and arguing that wasn't in the book. Everybody whines about there being no Tom Bambadil but I don't think its so bad to leave things out. It's worse to keep things in and totally change them to modern reality show versions. Also, I think wrapping it all up after destroying the ring in RotK was fine. I thought the final battle with Saruman in Hobbiton to be excessive and was more of a thinly veiled political statement from Tolkien. FotR was the only good one because it followed the book very well - even if it left things out!

    • citywolf profile image

      Sarah Wolfe 

      6 years ago from Oregon

      My concern with The Hobbit is that Jackson has chosen to stretch the book into three movies. quite a gamble. I hope they can make it work. I think the beauty of the hobbit is that it moves along at quite a clip as apposed to the LOTR series. I would hate to see such an exciting book end up, well slow.


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