The Hobbit trilogy has always been a source of contention within the Tolkien fanbase. Were three movies necessary for a 300-page book? No. Was it still fun to travel back to Middle-Earth via a trilogy from Peter Jackson? Some would argue yes, others, no.
Whatever your feelings toward the films, we can at least agree that An Unexpected Journey faithfully brought some famous scenes from The Hobbit to life. Come with me as we take a trip down memory lane and look at six scenes from the book we think An Unexpected Journey nailed.
1. Gandalf Greets Bilbo
I absolutely love that Peter Jackson chose to keep the book quotes from this interaction between Bilbo and Gandalf in the movie:
“Good Morning!” said Bilbo, and he meant it. The sun was shining, and the grass was very green. But Gandalf looked at him from under long bushy eyebrows that stuck out further than the brim of his shady hat.
“What do you mean?” [Gandalf] said. “Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?“
“All of them at once,” said Bilbo.
“Good morning!” [Bilbo] said at last. “We don’t want any adventures here, thank you! You might try over The Hill or across The Water.” By this he meant that the conversation was at an end.J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
Besides it teaching us all a hilarious way to respond to people when they cheerily say, “Good morning!” when we’re in no mood to talk. It’s a great way to reintroduce Ian McKellen’s Gandalf. After all these years, he’s still got sarcastic quips at the ready.
2. Thorin & Co. Invade Bag-End (and Stress Out Bilbo)
Poor Bilbo. All he wanted was a peaceful night in. Instead, he had to play host to a bunch of hungry, boisterous dwarves.
While the book does a great job of emphasizing Bilbo’s distress at not just one, but thirteen outsiders invading his personal space, the movie, I think, takes it to a whole new level. Martin Freeman’s acting in this scene perfectly represents how we’d all feel if strangers came waltzing into our homes, raiding our pantries.
But hey, despite the chaos, the dwarves did clean up the dishes afterward, which was nice. Not like me, who leaves dishes in the sink and hopes they magically clean themselves. Good on you, Thorin & Co.
3. Blunt the Knives and Misty Mountains
There were a lot of songs in The Hobbit, and I can understand why Peter Jackson would want to cut them out for the movie, but I’m glad these two made the cut. Blunt the Knives is an upbeat tune that pokes fun at Bilbo’s need for peace and order. It’s also a great way to establish the jolly nature of the dwarves.
Misty Mountains is on the other side of the vibe spectrum. It’s somber, reflective, and haunting, yet still a bit hopeful. Also, major props to Richard Armitage, who played Thorin, for killing this song. His voice is part of what makes it work so well in the movie, and it made the teaser trailer for An Unexpected Journey goosebump-inducing.
4. Arguing Trolls
Above, you’ll see an actual photograph of my last three brain cells trying to figure out what to eat for dinner. Kidding (but also not really). It’s actually a photo of the three mountain trolls famously arguing about how they’re going to cook Bilbo and the dwarves:
A nice pickle they were all in now: all neatly tied up in sacks, with three angry trolls (and two with burns and bashes to remember) sitting by them, arguing whether they should roast them slowly, or mince them fine and boil them, or just sit on them one by one and squash them into jelly.J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
Watching Tom, Bert, and Bill bicker about cooking methods wasn’t just funny to see play out in live-action, but exciting for fans, since it was a perfect call-back to that scene in Fellowship of the Ring when Bilbo describes the encounter to a group of young hobbits during his birthday party. It’s the little continuity details that count.
5. Stone Giants
This scene wasn’t necessarily a major event in the book, but it was really cool to see acted out in the movie. Who knew watching some stone giants beat each other to rubble (literally) would be so entertaining?
With the night sky, pouring rain, lightning, and sound effects, the scene almost had a horror vibe to it. Special effects-wise, it’s a scene I’ll always remember thanks to the movie.
6. Riddles in the Dark
I’ve saved the best for last. “Riddles in the Dark” is probably one of the most famous chapters in The Hobbit. Luckily, the live-action version didn’t disappoint.
As always, I can’t praise Andy Serkis’ portrayal of Gollum enough. From the body language and movement to the iconic voice, Serkis steals every scene he’s in. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t praise Martin Freeman’s performance as Bilbo in this scene, either. From his line delivery to his facial expressions, Freeman perfectly captured the fish-out-of-water mannerisms that Bilbo constantly exhibits throughout his adventure.
Not to mention, my favorite interaction in the entire movie is in this scene. The long pause and curt, “Fair enough,” response Bilbo gives after Gollum (a little too sweetly) says, “If Baggins loses, we eats it whole,” is hilarious.
The Hobbit films will always have a special place in my heart. While I have my issues with them, I can still sit down and enjoy the adventure through Middle-Earth with Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin, and the rest of the dwarves.
Don’t worry, we’ve got more Hobbit content for you. From our favorite book quotes to our take on why The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies just didn’t work. We’ve got enough Tolkien content to keep you entertained while you enjoy second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper.