The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey can be found here.

While writing his memoirs, elderly hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) tells his nephew Frodo (Elijah Wood) how, 60 years earlier (his younger self played by Martin Freeman), he set out on an expedition with the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) and 13 dwarves, led by the dwarf Thorin (Richard Armitage), on a quest to reclaim the dwarven kingdom of Erebor in the Lonely Mountain, which was attacked, destroyed, and taken over by the dragon Smaug.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is based on the first six chapters of the novel The Hobbit, or There and Back Again (1937) by British author J.R.R. Tolkien [1892-1973]. Chapter seven through 13 were adapted in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013) and the remaining chapters 14 through 19 were dealt with in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014). The screenplay was written by New Zealand screenwriters Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyes, and Peter Jackson (who also directed), along with Mexican screenwriter Guillermo del Toro.

Yes. In fact, all returning characters are played by the same actors who played them in The Lord of the Rings trilogy: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), These include Frodo, Gandalf, Elrond (Hugo Weaving), Galadriel (Cate Blanchett), Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Saruman (Christopher Lee), and Gollum (Andy Serkis). Bilbo is played by Ian Holm at the start of the movie, and then later, in the flashback in which the movie takes place, the younger Bilbo is played by Martin Freeman.

The prologue, showing Smaug's attack on Erebor and the city of Dale, took place in the year 2770 of the Third Age (TA). This is 170 years before Bilbo journeys with the Dwarfs to Erebor (2940 TA), and 230 years before Bilbo's 111th birthday party as seen in the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring (3000 TA). The Battle at the gates of Moria, seen in a flashback, took place in 2799 TA, 29 years after Thorin and his fellow Dwarfs were exiled from Erebor by Smaug (141 years prior to the start of An Unexpected Journey and 201 years prior to Fellowship). In the beginning of the movie, it is stated that Bilbo's journey to Erebor started 60 years prior to his 111th birthday party.

A lot of background on many events in Middle-Earth is described in The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and its appendages, as well as The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. The attack of Smaug on Erebor was not the only confrontation between Dwarfs and dragons; the Dwarfs who had settled in Erebor had been driven away from their former homes by dragons almost 200 years before. In the film, Azog the Defiler kills Thror during the Battle at the gates of Moria, after which Thorin cuts off Azog's arm, assuming that the Orc later died of his wounds. In the books, Thror was already killed by Azog 9 years prior to the battle, when he tried to enter Moria alone. This started a war between Orcs and Dwarfs, which was won by the Dwarfs during the battle at the gates of Moria, at the cost of many lives; Azog was killed in this battle, although not by Thorin, but by his cousin Dan Ironfoot (who is not seen until The Battle of the Five Armies). Although he is the major antagonist in the three Hobbit movies, Azog is not present in the Hobbit, but his son Bolg is seen in The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies).

Bilbo is 49 when he sets out on his quest, and arrives in Lake Town by barrel on September 22nd - his (50th) birthday. This is mentioned explicitly in the text of his birthday speech in The Fellowship of the Ring.

In J.R.R. Tolkien's timeline, this would be easy to answer; Aragorn was 87 years old when he first met Frodo in The Prancing Pony in Bree. Bilbo found the One Ring 77 years earlier, making Aragorn a 10 year-old boy being fostered by Elrond (under the name "Estel") at the time that Bilbo visited Rivendell with Thorin and Company. Jackson has Frodo leave the Shire with the Ring much sooner than he does in the books, compressing the timeline of the films by approximately 16 years. This is evidenced by the fact that the Hobbits Sam, Merry and Pippin are already adults at the time of Bilbo's birthday party in the films; whereas, according to Tolkien, the three would have still been children (by Hobbit standards). In the extended edition of The Two Towers, Aragorn tells owyn that he is 87 years old at a point that seems to follow his birthday of March 1st (assuming that the Battle of the Hornburg takes place in March 3002 of the Third Age). If all of this holds true (and assuming that Aragorn's birthday didn't slip his mind) then Aragorn would have been 25 years old in Jackson's adaptation of The Hobbit at the time when Bilbo is traveling with Thorin and company. Although Aragorn is not present in any of the Hobbit movies, he is briefly mentioned in The Desolation of Smaug.

Yes. Glin (Peter Hambleton) (Gimli's father) is present at the Council of Elrond, both in book and film of The Fellowship of the Ring. Glin's appearance in the movie is only a silent cameo, which is in complete contrast to the book where it is Gimli who is silent at the Council (he lets his father do the talking). It is Balin's (Ken Stott) tomb which is found by the fellowship of the ring in the Chamber of Mazarbul in Moria, and it is Ori (Adam Brown) who wrote the last passages in the Book of Mazarbul from which Gandalf reads. Ori's skeleton is presumably one of the ones in the Chamber, almost certainly the one from which Gandalf takes the journal he reads in the film. in (John Callen) also lost his life in the attempt to retake Moria; he was killed by the Watcher in the Water, the same beast that attacked Frodo outside the entrance. Thorin is mentioned by Gandalf but not seen.

Initially, this project was planned for one and later two films, following the original book more closely. Shortly before Guillermo Del Toro left the directing position, he agreed with MGM that a third movie should be developed to bridge the gap between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, since both books were so starkly different in tone and film audiences may have a hard time reconciling the two films. By the time Peter Jackson became director, he continued developing the idea of a third film and also decided that there were large chunks of the book's story where Gandalf is unseen and that this could be explained with information that later appears in The Lord of the Rings books and its appendices. In order to fill in these scenes, characters like Galadriel and Saruman, whose presence is implied in the appendices, were added to the film, although they are absent from the book itself. Additionally, extra characters like the Orcs help give the first film its own story arc with a beginning, middle and end that doesn't rely on the ultimate goal of the Dragon which will not occur until the second film and also provides a motivation for the originally unnamed orcs to serve as an obstacle. From a show business perspective, the popularity of the Lord of the Ring films probably lead to demand for a re-occurrence of the characters in The Hobbit.

Hobbits, Dwarves, Elves, Trolls, Wizards, Goblins and Orcs are prominently featured and have speaking roles. A Dragon, Eagles, a Nazgl, and some Men are seen but do not have speaking roles. Wargs, forest animals, stone-giants, and giant spiders are also seen.

The Dwarf-kingdoms refer to the Houses or Clans founded by the original Seven Fathers of the Dwarves. The most renowned of the Seven Fathers was Durin I, also known as Durin the Deathless. The Seven Houses were as follows: (1) the Longbeards (Durin's Folk), who founded the great Dwarf-kingdom of Khazad-dum (Moria) and other strongholds in Erebor, the Ered Mithrin (Grey Mountains) and the Iron Hills, (2) the Broadbeams, who founded the dwarf-city of Belegost on the east side the Ered Luin near Mount Dolmed (Blue Mountains); Bifur, Bofur and Bombur of Thorin's company were probably Broadbeams, (3) the Firebeards, who founded the dwarf-city of Nogrod in the Ered Luin south and east of Mount Dolmed, (4) the Ironfists originated in the Orocarni (Red Mountains) far in the East. The Ironfists and Stiffbeards might have inhabited the northern end of the range, (5) the Stiffbeards originated in the Orocarni (Red Mountains) far in the East; The Ironfists and Stiffbeards might have inhabited the northern end of the range, (6) the Blacklocks originated in the Orocarni (Red Mountains) far in the East; the Blacklocks and Stonefoots might have been concentrated in the southern end of the range, and (7) the Stonefoots originated in the Orocarni (Red Mountains) far in the East; the Blacklocks and Stonefoots might have been concentrated in the southern end of the range. The Noegyth Nibin (Petty-dwarves) were not a distinct Dwarven folk but were exiles from several Dwarven Houses and were the first of the Dwarves to enter Beleriand. They died out early in the First Age.

The expression "you haven't aged a day" should be understood as a rhetorical phrase, not taken literally. Bilbo looks much younger than he should have looked, considering his age. This is obvious if you follow his appearance both in the first and in the third installment. (In a few months, his face and body age faster than in all previous decades together.) This expression is there to stress Gandalf's overall suspicion over some puzzling moments of the adventure Bilbo and he had together, yet never strong enough to enforce action. Gandalf is not much overwhelmed when he discovers that Bilbo has the ring. He just does not know which ring it is. Gandalf even says in one moment (when the ring is called 'precious' by Bilbo) "it's been called that before, but not by you", which is revealing his thought process and that the ring is something he has focused on for quite some time. Seeing that Bilbo looks far younger than he should is another signal for him, which is why he uses that particular expression. It reveals his mind state as much as his unwillingness to destroy abruptly his vision of a protected and serene Shire. In the discussion with Saruman, he is rebuked for not paying closer attention to moments like these, which, for the wizards, should be much more obvious. Also, it is hinted that Gandalf has visited the Shire several times since Bilbo's adventure, so it is probable that Gandalf means he hasn't aged a day since the last time they met, which must have been decades after the Quest of Erebor. Certainly, Frodo was familiar enough with Gandalf to be quite fond of him.

Trolls were created by the fallen Vala Morgoth during the First Age in mockery of the Ents -- ugly, stupid, large, clumsy. They were made in the years of the Great Darkness, before the Sun and Moon were set in the sky. If caught in the direct rays of the Sun, common Trolls return to the stone from which they were made. There are four common strains of Trolls: Hill-trolls, Cave-trolls, Snow-trolls and (the most numerous) Stone-trolls. Bert, Tom and William were Stone-trolls. A hardier breed of Troll, the Olog-hai, surfaced during Third Age in southern Mirkwood and on the western borders of Mordor. Bred by Sauron near the end of the Third Age, the Olog-hai were much more cunning than other Trolls and they could endure sunlight as long as they were under Sauron's protection. The Olog-hai spoke the Black Speech of Mordor.

In The Lord of the Rings, both the books and the films, every time Frodo wears the One Ring to become invisible, the use of this power calls the attention of the Eye of Sauron in Mordor and his Ring Wraiths, whom Sauron had sent out to find the ring. However, in The Hobbit, Bilbo is able to use the Ring's invisibility power without this danger. Since the story takes place 60 years before The Lord of the Rings, the explanation is that Sauron has not yet gathered all his power in Mordor and cannot as easily detect the use of the One Ring, especially since it has been lost with Gollum beneath the mountains for 500 years. This is also alluded to in the scene in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when Gandalf meets with Galadriel, Saruman, and Elrond and says that he suspects Sauron is planning to return. Sixty years later, in The Fellowship of the Ring, when Bilbo uses the Ring at his birthday party, is the first time Sauron felt someone using the Ring, which is why Gandalf is so hasty to get it to Rivendell.

The immediate answer would be that Gandalf had taken a few moments to clean it up. However, simply rubbing it with a rag or his cloak probably wouldn't have been sufficient to give it a shiny new look, though an in-universe explanation could be that an Elven Blade can never be tarnished. In reality, it's a simple continuity error. In the commentary track for the DVD and Blu-ray release of the movie, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh explain that the few moments inside the troll cave were shot later than the scenes outside the cave after the group discovers the hidden treasures. Therefore, the prop Sting had been furnished by the prop department was all cleaned and polished for the camera.

Durin's Day falls on the Dwarves' New Year. Their New Year occurs on the first day of the last moon of autumn. However, Durin's Day happens only in years when this moon and the sun appear in the sky together.

Trapped in the trees by Azog and his army of warg-riding orcs, Gandalf, the dwarves, and Bilbo climb higher to escape the wargs' snarling jaws as they leap against the trees, toppling them over the cliff. Unnoticed by anyone, Gandalf catches a moth, whispers to it, and sets it flying. He then begins hurling pinecone fireballs to the dwarves, who catch and re-hurl them at the wargs, igniting the entire ground in flames. While the dwarves and Bilbo hang from a tree precariously dangling over the cliff, Thorin rushes toward Azog but is easily knocked down and about to be beheaded by an orc. Bilbo unsheaths his sword and rushes into the melee to save Thorin from certain death. Spurred on by Bilbo's bravery, the other dwarves follow, but the orcs obviously have the upper hand. Suddenly, a flock of giant eagles, summoned by the moth, swoop in and begin saving dwarves and tossing orcs and wargs off the cliff. The eagles carry off Gandalf, Bilbo, Thorin, and the other dwarves and deposit them safely on the Carrock, a tall monolith in the middle of the River Anduin. Gandalf successfully revives Thorin, who heartily apologizes to Bilbo for doubting his bravery and dedication. As the Great Eagles fly away home, Thorin directs everyone's attention to the sight of Erebor, the last dwarven kingdom in the Lonely Mountain of Middle Earth. 'I do believe the worst is behind us,' sighs Bilbo. Meanwhile, under a blanket of gold coins inside the Lonely Mountain, the sleeping dragon Smaug opens one eye.

A similar question also comes up by some viewers of the film version of The Return of the King, and the answer is largely the same: The Eagles of Middle-Earth are sentient beings with intelligence and pride, not beasts of burden. Every time Gandalf calls upon an Eagle to help him he is asking for a favor in a dire situation and not making a command of them. This may not be as clear in the film versions because the back story of the Eagles is not given, nor do they speak as they do in the books. In this film, the Eagles left the heroes short of their goal because they were asked to save them from the Orcs and nothing more. Furthermore, since they are indebted neither to the dwarves nor their mission, the Eagles would not, at this point, put themselves at such risk by going so near to Smaug, i.e., they would have nothing to gain from doing so. They also tell Gandalf that they would go nowhere near where men lived and risk getting shot at, "for they would think we were after their sheep. And at other times they would be right (from the chapter titled "Out of the Frying-Pan Into the Fire")."

Most of the changes actually take part in the second half of the film. At the beginning, there is an extension in Erebor. Thror teases Thranduil with white jewels he desires which help us understand his motivations later on. This way, the deep animosity between the Elves and Dwarves can be understood slightly better. Added dialogues with Gandalf in Rivendell are an improvement for understanding the story. For instance, the last of the 7 Great Rings of the Dwarves is mentioned. It will have a meaning at a latter point in the story - therefore, it is quite unclear why it was removed from the theatrical version. There is also a better exposition for the dwarf Bifur - for example, the axe stuck in his head is mentioned - an unusual device which was just taken for granted in the Theatrical version. However one has to admit that the changes in The Hobbit do not have the same impact or satisfaction for fans of the literary original as the ones for the Lord of the Rings saga. Apparently, there was already enough opportunities to adapt the (not too extensive) book material even for the theatrical version. An added song at the table is rather superfluous, a musical performance by the Great Goblin is even unnerving, and Bilbo's fascinated glance at the Ring is probably a bit too intense for his current character development. Some of the new scenes are rather a matter of taste; anyway, it is rather obvious that the filmmakers could not add as much valuable information to The Hobbit, as it was the case with Jackson's previous trilogy. Nonetheless a detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.

The full theatrical trailer for the film can be found on the official Hobbit website here with five separate endings after the title screen (including the original dwarves ending). Full breakdowns and analysis of the new trailer can be found here.

Yes, it was shot in 3D at 48 fps. It is also available in 3D at 24 fps and 2D at 24 fps. At the time of the film's release, viewers could check with their local theatres to find the format they wanted to see.

Peter Jackson previously signed on as an executive producer. The main reasoning appeared to be timetable conflicts with other directing commitments Jackson already had or has made. The fact that Jackson was in a financial conflict with New Line Cinema at the time may have also played a role. There may also be the matter that the previous Lord of the Rings movies are hugely popular movies. This will raise the expectations considerably for The Hobbit, while the novel is in many regards (e.g. story structure) quite similar to the Ring-trilogy, which has also become much more popular than The Hobbit over the years. With Peter Jackson at the helm, expectations will likely rise to unrealistic proportions. This could lead to potential mass disappointment with the fan base, arguably comparable to when George Lucas decided to create his prequel trilogy to the original Star Wars trilogy himself, and when Steven Spielberg created a fourth Indiana Jones movie after nearly 20 years. Jackson himself also experienced first-hand just how high expectations can get when he is listed as director, having met with some harsh criticism for his post-LotR movies (King Kong, The Lovely Bones). His official reason, as stated by himself on the bonus material on the BluRay version of An Unexpected Journey, was that filming the Lord of the Rings films in one megaproject was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, once for which he did not have the energy to repeat it, hence his desire to see the project realized by another director.

However, after months of pre-production without any prospect of the films being green-lit, del Toro left the project. When the financial conflict with New Line Cinema was suddenly settled and no replacement had yet been found, Jackson felt he had spent enough time in pre-production to overcome his reluctance, and agreed to step in as director. Moreover, due to the delays in production, his schedule had been cleared. He has directed all three films with shooting started in February 2011. Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who all wrote the previous Rings Trilogy, have written the screenplay for The Hobbit Parts 1, 2 and 3. The movie has been split into three parts with added expanded content from the book (i.e., drawing story elements from the Appendices). It is clear that the maker's intentions for this film go beyond a mere introductory prequel. The choice to extend the single, relatively-small, 297 (paperback) book was allegedly Jackson's, and he claims it is due to the sheer amount of content in the expanded universe so that the story can be told in its entirety as well as fan service, though there have been valid claims that the huge financial investment and potential profits were a factor in the final choice.

Strangely enough, he didn't. It takes longer for Thorin and Company to reach the Lonely Mountain from Bag End in the films than it did in the book. In both, they left Bag End on a Thursday. April 27. The Company arrives at Lake-town on September 22 (Bilbo's birthday) in the book. They depart Esgaroth around October 9 and reach the Mountain at or near October 12. It takes as much as another two weeks to find the Secret Door and wait for Durin's Day. In The Desolation of Smaug, Bilbo and the Dwarves reach Lake-town on October 25 and Erebor on October 27 (Durin's Day in the film).

Yes, he does. Peter Jackson appears briefly at the beginning of the film. He is barely recognizable, because of makeup and prosthetics. He is a limping dwarf who tries to escape from Erebor after Smaug has attacked it.


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