5 Things You Didn’t Know about ‘The Hobbit’

Full Sail students are invited to a free screening of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on May 9, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Full Sail Library. The screening is part of the school’s monthly Movie Night @ the Library program.

Admission to the film is one food item for the Student Pantry. Popcorn and drinks are provided.

The long-anticipated film, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novel, was released in the U.S. on Dec. 14. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first in a three-part film series by director Peter Jackson that includes The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: There and Back Again.

Already seen the film? Here are five facts you may not have known about the book or the movie:

#1 The 13 dwarves in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey have long and elaborately-styled hair and beards. To create their unique looks during the more than 200 days of filming, the production used more than 450 miles of yak hair. (Source: The Hobbit – Production Diaries)

#2 To create the dragon Smaug’s gold-filled lair (which we’ll surely see more of in part two – The Desolation of Smaug), the production depleted all of the gold paint in Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, and the surrounding islands. The crew had to order more from Germany. (Source: The Hobbit – Production Diaries)

#3 There has been some controversy among diehard Tolkien fans over Jackson’s addition of a few characters into the Hobbit storyline. One of the characters, Azog the Defiler (also known as the Pale Orc) is an actual character – albeit a dead one – mentioned in the book. In Jackson’s version, Azog is very much alive and a major antagonist to the characters, fueling much of the drama in the latter part of the film. Even more controversial is the addition of a new character – a female elf guard named Tauriel. Much to the chagrin of purists, Tauriel is said to play a prominent role in the second film. (Source: the-hobbit-movie.com) 

#4 The book’s opening line is: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” These words were first jotted down by J.R.R. Tolkien on an empty page of a student’s composition book that Tolkien was grading. After writing them, Tolkien reported that he had to know more about what a Hobbit was, why it lived in a hole, what kind of hole it was, etc. He developed a story that he first shared with his children and later turned into a manuscript, which eventually ended up in the hands of Susan Dagnall of publishing firm, George Allen and Unwin. (Source: English Composition Course Director Elise McKenna and tolkiensociety.org) 

#5 Stanley Unwin, the chairman of publisher George Allen and Unwin, gave The Hobbit to his son Rayner to read and critique. The 10-year-old gave it the thumbs-up and it was published in 1937. Years later, an adult Raynor, by then a big fan of Tolkien’s work, successfully advocated for the publication of The Lord of the Rings, which the company reluctantly published, anticipating that it would be a financial loss. (Source: English Composition Course Director Elise McKenna and tolkiensociety.org)