Joyous Yule, Tolkien fans!
I too was refreshing my browser like a mad thing at 10:00 EST on 12/20…
I know that many of you would like to talk over the new trailer for The Hobbit movie. I too was refreshing my browser like a mad thing at 10:00 EST on 12/20 to get the film clip to load, and I am as excited as most of you are to see some of what Peter Jackson is planning for the first film.
The first thing I noticed is that it looks like the trailer bears out the main thing I’ve been concluding from the casting news and revealed snippets we’ve gotten so far: the film is obviously heavily dependent on the Tolkien’s later re-writings of a lot of the Hobbit material, especially the “Quest of Erebor” which was published in the Unfinished Tales. I have to admit that I was excited to see what looked like a lot of solo Gandalf shots — I’ve been hoping for some good coverage of Gandalf in the dungeons of the Necromancer in Dol Guldur, and my hopes are higher after the trailer.
And, as many of you guessed, I was pretty pumped to hear Thorin singing “Far over the misty mountains cold”! Of all the melodies I have ever heard that song put to in film, dramatization, or audiobook, that was my favorite, I have to say.
I’ve a lot more to say to about the trailer, of course. I hope to go through it pretty carefully in January, and I will release a few special podcast episodes on it. In the meantime, however, I am very heavily engaged in (that is to say, completely snowed under by) another major project: finishing my Hobbit book! The completed manuscript of Exploring the Hobbit is due to Houghton Mifflin by New Year’s Eve, and I am in the midst of polishing up the final draft now. I will have more updates soon, but I am really excited about the book! In the last few days, I have twice had one of my favorite reading experiences — re-reading one of Tolkien’s poems and realizing something huge about it that I’d never thought of before. The two poems in question are the Wood-elves’ second barrel song and the King beneath the Mountain song in Lake-town. The second one, in particular, I realized I had been misreading my whole life!
Once I get the manuscript safely sent away, I will get to the special film-trailer episodes and also talk a little bit more about what you can expect to see in this book I’m finishing. In the meantime, enjoy the holidays, and Godspeed!
– President Corey “The Tolkien Professor” Olsen
Be sure to check out Dr. Olsen’s lecture series on The Hobbit, as well as updates about his new book Exploring The Hobbit and much more!