Before going on, I just want to warn anyone reading this who has not read the novel The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, and who is just coming to know Bilbo and his troupe of dwarves through Peter Jackson's movie of the same name starring the great Martin Freeman, this post does contain SPOILERS that have not yet been seen in the movies. So if you're trying to keep yourself from knowing anything that could happen in the next two movies, don't read this post. There, I warned you.
I came to The Hobbit years ago, when we read it in class as fourth-graders. We also watched the animated movie, which probably if I saw it now I would greatly enjoy it. BUT as a fourth-grade girl who was more concerned about not being a nerd than embracing that side of me, I found the novel dull, boring and completely uninteresting. When the Lord of the Rings movies came out, I went and saw them in theaters with my family, and slowly but surely began to be very interested in all things Middle-Earth. So I read the books. Having devoured the books and LOVING them, I decided (many years down the road) to finally reread the prequel as an adult. Lo and behold, I loved it. I was enamoured of Bilbo and felt his joy and pain. Smaug scared as well as intrigued me, and Thorin, while being a pompous ass throughout most of the book, won me over in the end.
This past winter, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey came out in theaters. As I was already a huge fan of the work Peter Jackson had done with the trilogy, not to mention the work of Martin Freeman (as talked about here), I was thrilled that we would be going to see it over Christmas. And of course, I loved it. Martin was exactly what I thought Bilbo would be, Ian McKellan was of course fantastic as Gandalf, and I found new favorites in old favorites, as Fili and Kili quickly became the hottest dwarves I had ever seen, and Bofur became amazing in my eyes. So when it came out on DVD, I didn't buy it. But I did feel inclined to read yet again the adventure our friend Bilbo took away from his Shire.
This really wasn't a surprise to me, as I do love to reread things. But what did surprise me was the emotion I showed at the end of the book. At the end, when Thorin lays dying and calls Bilbo to him and asks forgiveness for being so hard and for giving up their friendship, I didn't just see Thorin the pompous ass who I didn't really have a thing for. I saw Richard Armitage playing Thorin, who we got to know so much deeper and better that it was like a friend dying before my eyes. In the book, the fact that Fili and Kili die is addressed in a matter of a few sentences. They died in battle, protecting their wounded fallen uncle. Those lines, though they were always my favorites, never affected me the way they did last night. Because now, I wasn't just reading about how two dwarves died. I was reading about how two dwarves died, and I was seeing in my head Dean O'Gorman and Aidan Turner bringing those two dwarves fabulously to life, and how Peter Jackson was going to make those few lines come to life and affect the entire nerd population with the utter devastation of the fan favorites dying. Dying honorably, but dying nonetheless. And it just hit me really hard, to where I had to stop reading for a while because I was busy crying. I had to put my book down, because I knew what was going to happen and I had to mentally prepare myself for it. Then I shook my head over my utter ridiculous nerdiness, and I finished the book. And then I went to bed.