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Greetings everyone!

I've red that they are thinking about making 2 movies based on the book. This is great news indeed! I always had the impression that the Hobbit, compared to Lord of the Rings, was a story for kids (awesome still, yet with a lot less dark main theme or central idea). Maybe because I was a kid when I first red it <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> or maybe it was indeed Tolkien's intension to be so, it doesn't really matter.
What's important however is that Tolkien wrote it and that fact alone can make it extremely challenging for anyone to attempt filming a movie that is an adoptation of the book.
Yet I think that since Jackson & co managed to create a movie trilogy for the LotR, one can rest assured that a Hobbit movie (in 2 parts) is coming for us and that it's gonna be really good.
I'm curious though of what actually the 2 movies will be about.
a) 1st movie the Hobbit (whole) and 2nd movie a "bridge" to LotR?
b) 1st movie 1st half of the Hobbit and 2nd movie 2nd half?
I definetely wish it's the latter. :?
What do you guys think?
Hi Bofur! It's pretty clear that the bridge movie as it was originally conceived (a separate story from The Hobbit) is not going to be happening. In fact I think that's been the case for about a year now. Instead the two films will both cover The Hobbit, plus the storyline of the White Council.

Also, The Hobbit is most certainly a children's book, though the filmmakers want to make it more like LOTR (more mature and darker, I would imagine) in that respect.
Thank you Eldorion! This forum is awesome btw.
I agree 100%. It is a children's book. A great many details that are found both in the Hobbit and the LotR highlight this. Gandalf appears less wise, Thorin is presented as noble yet flawed Dwarf lord and the 12 Dwarves that accompany him are depicted as a comical bunch of unarmed bodyguards (at least for the better part of their journey). Noble Balin who leads the tragic -and as it proved short lived- expedition for the retaking and re-colonization of Khazad Dum, appears as a mere second-in-command of the company; Some of the elves of Rivendel appear to be children and that is one of the few hints that the reader gets of their existance during the third age.
And so on.
The fact that they are even remotely thinking about including the background story of the White Council's assault at Dol Guldur in the films proves the intent of focusing in the darker and more mature-audience-friendly side of the story.
I really hope they don't mess it up. Especially when it comes to Saruman's double -or should I say triple-play. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
Define 'children's book', please. :mrgreen: .

I would rather not write a lecture on how The Hobbit is not a 'children's book' when I have the wrong definition. :oops: :lol:

... Thanks? :roll:
Well [i:xjkdxiie]The Hobbit[/i:xjkdxiie] was written for children (Tolkien's children, specifically) and published with the children's market in mind. It has a lighter tone and feel (in some places) than some of the other Middle-earth writings, and it only mentions the deeper themes present in Tolkien. I don't really see why it shouldn't be considered a children's book. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />

That's not to say, however, that it can't be read and enjoyed by adults too. I think there are other children's books as well that have appealed to adults and children alike - including [i:xjkdxiie]The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe[/i:xjkdxiie] and the first few [i:xjkdxiie]Harry Potter[/i:xjkdxiie] books.
Your point is valid Eldorion, but even Tolkien disliked the appellation "children's" book. Yes he wrote a book for kids, but he didn't think a book should be written as if it were a "kids" book. He wrote the Hobbit with this principle in mind. So I always try to remember to put "children's" or "kid's" in quotes when referring to the Hobbit (or Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter too for that matter). I think referring to the Hobbit as a "children's" book without quotes is akin to calling LotR a Trilogy <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .

I've never heard that Tolkien was opposed to calling [i:mgkpqwk5]The Hobbit[/i:mgkpqwk5] a children's book, do you recall where you read it? And even though it is not as childish as many other books aimed at children - it's certainly no picture book! :lol: - it [i:mgkpqwk5]is[/i:mgkpqwk5] still distinctly more childish than [i:mgkpqwk5]The Lord of the Rings[/i:mgkpqwk5] (not to say that that is a bad thing, though I recognize that the word "childish" may carry connotations like that for some people).

I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't count as a children's book, unlike LOTR as a trilogy which is simply factually incorrect (as you probably recall that's a pet peeve of mine :twisted:).
It am not a 100% certain, but it may have been mentioned in Carpenter's biography, which I re-read last year. But I have read it in more than one place, possibly in a Lewis bio, or some articles.

I think there may also have been some discussion about how Tolkien felt about "children's" "fairy books" in the biographical notes accompanying [i:vkd0c5e3]Roverandom[/i:vkd0c5e3] (which is an adorable book that more definitively fits the term "children's book"Wink Smilie. But apparently, if I recall the notes correctly, Tolkien felt a little ashamed of writing "down" to his kids, and resolved not to do that in [i:vkd0c5e3]The Hobbit[/i:vkd0c5e3].

I'm positive that there is also some discussion of how he felt about describing "fairy stories" as "children's books" in his excellent essay [i:vkd0c5e3]On Fairy Stories[/i:vkd0c5e3]. So I am fairly certain that he would have bristled at The Hobbit being called a "children's book". If you can't find a copy of [i:vkd0c5e3]On Fairy Stories[/i:vkd0c5e3], PM Beren, he might be able to help you out.

Gah, I was on vacation so I couldn't respond so quickly to you, Eldorion, but yes, [b:hsvxdyaf]GB[/b:hsvxdyaf] covered it rather well, which is oddly exactly what I was thinking :roll: .

So... Thanks! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />
First, my apologies for taking so long to respond.

Second, unfortunately I don't have [i:zplgbde7]Roverandom[/i:zplgbde7] and I couldn't find a reference to the tone of [i:zplgbde7]The Hobbit[/i:zplgbde7] (as opposed to that of LOTR) in the index of Carpenter's biography. I did, however, find numerous references to it in the index of [i:zplgbde7]The Letters[/i:zplgbde7]. For instance, in Letter 215 Tolkien states:

[quote="J.R.R. Tolkien":zplgbde7]When I published [i:zplgbde7]The Hobbit[/i:zplgbde7] -hurriedly and without due consideration - I was still influenced by the convention that 'fairy-stories' are naturally directed to children .... it had some unfortunate effects on the mode of expression and narrative method, which if I had not been rushed, I should have corrected.[/quote:zplgbde7]

Various forms of this appear in a number of other letters, and in most of them Tolkien expresses his regret with the extent to which he aimed [i:zplgbde7]The Hobbit[/i:zplgbde7] at children (or at least, that he did so in the normal way of the time). However, regardless of his later regrets, it's fairly certain that [i:zplgbde7]The Hobbit is[/i:zplgbde7] in fact a book for children, whereas Tolkien's other writings are not. However, regardless of the label (or lack thereof) "children's book", his writings can still be read and enjoyed by people of many different ages.
Excellent research Eldorion :ugeek: . I suspect, based on some of the other sources mentioned, that the Hobbit was written "in transition" as it were. As the letters demonstrate, Tolkien was still clearly fixed in the traditional mode of writing "Fairy Stories" as directed towards children, yet he was already on his way to "rectifying" himself. I think that many elements of The Hobbit, while still maintaining a child-oriented stance, indicate a maturation of his approach to story-telling. :mrgreen:

Agreed, GB. I suspect that some of the changes made across different revisions of [i:1fu2yi5o]The Hobbit[/i:1fu2yi5o] also reflected that process, though I only have a Third Edition myself so I can't compare to earlier versions.

Going back to the original question though, I think it safe to call [i:1fu2yi5o]The Hobbit[/i:1fu2yi5o] a children's book as it [i:1fu2yi5o]is[/i:1fu2yi5o] distinctly different than LOTR, though certainly not as puerile as some of his other (non-Middle-earth related) works.
Hello All,

Odo here to purchase a portion of this discussion.

I think TH is a children's book in that it is suitable for children. T seemed to be a bit ambivalent about the book. I think he wrote it as much for himself (the adult him but also the child-in-him) as much as for his children. If we call it a children's book or a fairy story or a tall tale or merely a 'story', I think we still manage to describe TH correctly.

As to LOTR. I see it as Juvenile Fiction (when I'm not seeing it as 'just' a fairy story - which is my usual stance). This is in the historical sense of stories usually being told by adults to kids and young people (ie transitional age groups - half-child-half adults)(with, of course, the oldies sitting around pretending that they don't believe fairy stories!)

I'm fairly sure that folk will take umbrage at LOTR being called 'Juvenile Fiction', but I stand by that. 'Childrens' Fiction' 'Juvenile Fiction' 'Adult Fiction'? Much blurring goes on. But if TH is meant for children, then LOTR is, truth be known, juvenile-ish.

Anyone not interested in the Fantasy Universe, would call all it's many versions 'kids stuff', let's face it. I believe that nearly all fairy-stories (fairy tales) are serious works. Some are written more lightly than others - but dark themes (in the better works) always intrude, in some more subtly than others. Fairy stories amuse (usually) but they tend to be underlined with reality - they 'teach' while allowing us to think for ourselves - and usually without the 'preach' component. Hopefully we all remain 'learners' no matter how old we get (I trust you understand my point?)

(Has anyone read any Roald Dahl? Adult stories disguised as kids stuff - but I digress).

The whole child genre thing seems slightly ridiculous to me. The only books I think of as being 'for' children are those written for tiny tots.


NB This may sound quirky to you guys, but I find things like so-called 'Adult Fiction' more childish than any fairy story could ever be - though 'juvenile-ish' might be a better way to describe it.
I guess it depends what you mean by "adult" fiction <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> ...ahem...*cough*

But seriously, I find "childrens" fiction, or "young adult" fiction much more satisfying than most "grown up" fiction. And Dahl is the perfect example.


You understand me completely. Yes... 'that' kind of 'Adult Fiction.' But I now include a lot of supposedly mature literature as well. Example: 'The Da Vinci Code'. Full of fantastic silliness - yes indeed (but good fun nonetheless!) Why isn't it in the bookshelves beside TH?

It's funny you should say that 8-) . I would put The Da Vinci Code, The Hobbit/LotR, and Narnia all on the same shelf--but not in the children's section, nor the literature/general fiction section--but all in the sci fi/fantasy section.


With you all the way on that.

Now, what about Wuthering Heights?

Erm...I'll have to ask Mum what she thinks of that :oops: <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> .


I'm shocked!

You haven't read Wuthering Heights?

Though it's nice to hear your Mum is so cool. Wuthering heights is a MASTERPIECE. Weird and wild and dark and wonderful. Don't be fooled by any movie you might have seen or heard of.


NB Are there any lasses on this site? If so, please tell Gandalf's Beard to read Wuthering Heights. Surely a lass somewhere on this site has read it! Come forward PLEASE. Don't let GB go on being developmentally stunted!
About LOTR - I've always been interested by the two main types of criticism of it. On the one hand are people who dismiss it as juvenile (not saying that you're doing that Odo, but some people seem to think juvenile is a dirty word) and on the other are people who think it is too obscure and complex for even some adults to understand. Personally I have a hard time classifying it on an age scale, but the disparity of reviewers is rather puzzling (and amusing).

I was being a bit of a Devils Advocate when I suggested LOTR was 'Juvenile Fiction' to GB. I was waving a red rag, really. After all, GB and I have been exchanging a bit of banter ever since I popped my head into your site. (GB gives as good as he gets! I like that!)

Yes, what does it matter what genre TH and LOTR are in? I'm with you on that. We're just swanning around on a sea of semantics - and it's good fun, isn't it?

Of course it's fun Odo! :mrgreen: I'm just saying that I'm not really sure how to classify it [i:1c9rijii]by age[/i:1c9rijii] - ie. children's, juvenile, young adult ( :? ), adult, etc. I think it fits into the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre overall though, but I see that as a different matter.

You made me think of something I've always found interesting since I learned of it. Rayner Unwin when reviewing TH suggested it would suit, I think, 5-9 year olds. I read it at about 12 - and loved it - but I reckon I would have struggled to get through it if I had tried to read it earlier. And some of the themes and concepts, I thought more likely to interest much older children (including, maybe, adults). TH is not very formulaic when I think about it. It is not the straight forward story some people make it out to be. According to acceptable modern publishing standards (for fantasy), it might not be published if it was submitted today! Thank goodness for young Rayner! I don't think it was (generally) acceptable even back then!

But I ramble...

I did read the Hobbit at about 7 or 8 myself (did I mention Mum was a schoolteacher and had me reading at an early age). Then it was just another Fairy Tale, but better, more Epic. But re-reading it as an adult through the years, I get so much more out of it. So many layers of context are woven into the fabric.

As I re-read a few pages of The Hobbit earlier tonight, it reinforced my view that between the advanced language, the layers of meaning and mythopoetic allusions, the Hobbit really is much more than a "children's" book, even though that was Tolkien's originally intended audience. But then most Tolkien Fans seem more advanced linguistically than readers who just read "the other sort" (to borrow a phrase from Lewis).


I must say there a lot of very young people on this site who seem so stunningly erudite and well read. It's wonderful to see, but quite daunting really. How did they all become so wise so young? It's often said each new generation is smarter than the one preceding it. And this site does seem to support the idea.


NB My kids keep telling me they're smarter than I am. I stamp my foot, yell "Balderdash!" and throw rocks at them. But I know they're right.

Hey! I hardly think it fair either that your Mum was a school teacher. What an unfair advantage! I had to marry a school teacher to get some intelligence into my bloodline!
I think Tolkien in particular just draws the intellectually (as well the imaginatively) inclined to his world :ugeek: . I have to admit though, as I get older, I have to rely on a sometimes faulty memory :roll: , and research for it's own sake. So it's great to have youngsters around with all the info at their fingertips :mrgreen: .

I just realized that this thread is called 'Bofur'. Does that mean 'Bofur' is another word for 'Almost anything goes'?

Going home to bed now. See you folk later.

Poor Bofur. His thread has inadvertently become a "chat" thread :lol: . It seems that the New Members section of the forum has become a default "chat" sub-forum. We do discuss a lot of personal and non-Tolkien issues here.

Hello friends!
It's your chat thread speaking lol <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />
First of all I think it's a great honor to have your noob-ish comment expanded to a 4-pages chat thread(!)
Oh and please pardon my grammar or other errors, unfortunately english is not my mother language.
Anyway, I wanted to apologize for causing such a turbulence by calling the hobbit a "children's book". I never meant to insult or offend anyone in this forum or -even worse- imply anything about this excellent book. I'll be brief. Tolkien is simply peerless. He and his work belong to the world; he will ever have a place among the true geniuses of literature like Fiodor Dostoyefski, Franz Kafka, John Steinbeck and others.

What I meant by calling it a "children's book" is that I find it so much friendlier to younger readers than the Silmarillion or the LotR. Simple as that. Even if Tolkien himself hadn't implied it, it would still be a reasonable conclusion. Yet there lies the magnificence of Tolkien; He wrote a book about a small creature going out in the great world and making a difference. This notion itself is enough to grab a young reader's attention all through the end. A mature reader would be already there whithout any help.

I do not claim that I have enough knowledge about literature in general to even attempt to analyze Tolkien's writing. I am just grateful that he published his works and now everyone can enjoy them. And I think it's a shame to compare Tolkien's Arda with other lesser speciments of epic fantasy literature. Harry Potter? Who the h*** is that? It's like trying to compare a tall mountain with a pile of rocks- nonsense!
I for one thing, grew to cherish the english language because of Tolkien.

Someone said that when Tolkien wrote about Bilbo's magic ring he didn't know that it would turn out to be the One ring, one of the main motifs in the LotR. In the Hobbit we get only glimpses of the main theme that rules his other books- the climactic march towards a permanent transformation of the world. But that's perfectly understandable since it's the story of an adventure from the hobbit's point of view. Not Thorin's, not Gandalf's, not Beorn's. Bilbo's. So that the reader- even a young one- can relate more easily to the protagonist. The idea of the book is that of a journey to the unknown. As the hobbit slowly learns more about the world as he goes on, so does the reader slowly immerses himself into Tolkien's world. Your first impression of a merry little story changes very soon and dramaticaly. The story soon turns into a darker hue as places and characters get introduced, sometimes in detail, others with just a brief background story, others with none at all. Just the way human memory works. Take one of your journeys for example. Do u get to know and then recall every detail of every place u visited or person u 've met along the way?
Ahemm, well... pardon me friends, I got too excited.
Not a children's book, a book that would make even children go nuts! <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />
Wow Bofur!

English not your first language! You could have fooled me. You now make me think my first language isn't English either - I do struggle with it a bit (it's all the grammar I think - and all the borrowings of words from other languages! Yes, that must be it!).

You know it even makes me wonder what my first language might be?

As to this "Children's Book" discussion. I've had a bit of a back flip. I actually think it is quite accurate to call books like TH "Childrens Fiction". I'm thinking about oldies sitting around the cook fire in a cave (somewhere in France about 80,000 years ago - about five thousand if you happen to be a Creationist, of course) grunting guttural tales to explain to their children about things they didn't understand in the first place, but certainly were confident enough to speculate about!

Of course, all the older tribes-folk (cave-folk?) would have sat around chewing their elk and listening too with just as much interest...

Hey! And maybe Mature Fiction didn't even exist back then, which would make, by my reckoning, "Childrens' Fiction" actually "Adult Fiction" as well...

Now Ive really managed to confuse myself.

I don't know for sure, Bofe - if I may be so familiar! -but I feel your thread has got me thinking... that surely can't be good.


NB I find this thread terribly liberating... Thanks Bofur!

NB Where does the apostrophe go in Children's'? (And is it even an aposrophe? ''''')