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Thu
Jan 2 2014 12:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: A Return for The Desolation of Smaug

poster for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug

Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit, which I’ve reopened so we can talk about the movie The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. As you may recall, I liked the first movie more than I expected, and was surprised at some of the ways it adapted events from the larger Middle-earth canon. After the jump, I’ll discuss how I felt about this movie and run through some comparisons with the books. As always, spoilers for the movies and everything Tolkien (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits). You can catch up with the past reread posts at the Hobbit reread index and the LotR reread index.

This post turned out to be epically long, but it’s broken up into sections for ease of reference, so click the jump link and let’s talk!

[“Like butter that has been scraped over too much bread”]

Thu
Apr 4 2013 12:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 19, “The Last Stage”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous reread of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien wrote about Middle-earth (that is: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we conclude the reread with the book’s final chapter, “The Last Stage.”

[Read more…]

Thu
Mar 28 2013 12:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 18, “The Return Journey”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous reread of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien wrote about Middle-earth (that is: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we consider the penultimate chapter, “The Return Journey,” which covers more than that title suggests.

[Read more…]

Thu
Mar 21 2013 12:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 17, “The Clouds Burst”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous reread of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien wrote about Middle-earth (that is: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we consider Chapter 17, “The Clouds Burst,” which contains many things indeed (though not, as far as I can tell, any rain).

[Read more…]

Thu
Mar 14 2013 12:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 16, “A Thief in the Night”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous reread of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien wrote about Middle-earth (that is: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we consider Chapter 16, “A Thief in the Night,” in which expectations of varying kinds are confounded.

[Read more…]

Thu
Mar 7 2013 1:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 15, “The Gathering of the Clouds”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous reread of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien wrote about Middle-earth (that is: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we consider Chapter Fifteen, “The Gathering of the Clouds,” which is in no way ominous setup for bad things to come, nuh-uh, no way.

[Read more…]

Thu
Feb 28 2013 1:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 14, “Fire and Water”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous reread of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien wrote about Middle-earth (that is: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we consider Chapter 14, “Fire and Water,” in which we leave Bilbo and the dwarves for major happenings elsewhere.

[Read more…]

Thu
Feb 21 2013 1:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 13, “Not at Home”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous reread of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien wrote about Middle-earth (that is: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we consider Chapter 13, “Not at Home,” which title has a couple of meanings.

[Read more…]

Thu
Feb 14 2013 1:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 12, “Inside Information”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous reread of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien wrote about Middle-earth (that is: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we consider Chapter 12, “Inside Information,” in which there are more riddles in the dark and which causes me to discuss controversial subjects, so please read my disclaimer before commenting.

[Read more…]

Thu
Jan 31 2013 1:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 11, “On the Doorstep”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous reread of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien wrote about Middle-earth (that is: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we start the second half of the book with Chapter 11, “On the Doorstep,” in which there is rather a lot of faffing about.

[Read more…]

Thu
Jan 24 2013 1:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 10, “A Warm Welcome”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous reread of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien wrote about Middle-earth (that is: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we reach the halfway point of the book, Chapter 10, “A Warm Welcome,” in which (almost) everyone but Bilbo is pretty happy for a change.

[Read more…]

Thu
Jan 17 2013 1:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 9, “Barrels Out of Bond”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous reread of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien wrote about Middle-earth (that is: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we consider Chapter 9, “Barrels Out of Bond,” which I would really, really like to see the Mythbusters tackle.

[Read more...]

Thu
Jan 10 2013 1:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 8, “Flies and Spiders”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous reread of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien wrote (that is: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we consider Chapter 8, “Flies and Spiders,” in which there are the creeping horrors (and much else besides).

[Read more . . . ]

Thu
Jan 3 2013 1:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 7, “Queer Lodgings”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.comWelcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit (and Happy Gregorian New Year). You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous reread of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien (that is: The Hobbit, LotR, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we consider Chapter 7, “Queer Lodgings,” the title of which demonstrates the continuing evolution of English, or possibly that Britain and the United States are two nations divided by a common language. Or both.

[Read more . . . ]

Fri
Dec 28 2012 1:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Movie Interlude

The Hobbit Reread on Tor.com: Movie Interlude Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter re-read of The Hobbit. This week, we are actually pausing the book reread to consider the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which I saw last weekend and which, by happy coincidence, stops exactly where we left off with the book.

Short version: The movie is obviously flawed and too long, yet I enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting. Slightly longer version: If you disliked the Lord of the Rings movies in their entirety, there is no way you will like this. If you liked some or all of the LotR movies, then you will probably like some or all of this, but I can’t predict the proportion. (You can find links to my thoughts on the LotR movies at the bottom of the LotR reread index. Or you can catch up on past posts in the Hobbit reread index.)

See behind the cut for the rather long version—with spoilers for both the movie and everything Tolkien, so feel free to read Tor.com’s review with only minor spoilers instead. (To my surprise, it is in fact possible to meaningfully spoil this movie.)

[Read more]

Thu
Dec 20 2012 1:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 6, “Out of the Frying-Pan Into the Fire”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.comWelcome back to the chapter-by-chapter reread of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous re-read of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien (that is: The Hobbit, LotR, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we consider Chapter 6, “Out of the Frying-Pan Into the Fire”; I have checked three different editions and that title is correctly punctuated, so take it up with Tolkien and not me.

[Read more . . . ]

Thu
Dec 13 2012 1:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 5, “Riddles in the Dark”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter re-read of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous re-read of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien (that is: The Hobbit, LotR, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we consider Chapter 5, “Riddles in the Dark,” which was excerpted in at least one commonly-used schoolbook and caused a number of you to read The Hobbit in the first place. I have to say, I’d have done the same.

[Read more . . . ]

Thu
Dec 6 2012 1:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 4, “Over Hill and Under Hill”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter re-read of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous re-read of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien (that is: The Hobbit, LotR, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we consider Chapter 4, “Over Hill and Under Hill,” which is probably titled that because “Over Mountain and Under Mountain” doesn’t sound right. (Which is good, because it saves Frodo from later taking the pseudonym “Mr Undermountain.”)

[Read more... ]

Thu
Nov 29 2012 1:00pm

The Hobbit Reread: Chapter 3, “A Short Rest”

The Hobbit reread on Tor.com Welcome back to the chapter-by-chapter re-read of The Hobbit. You can find past posts at the reread index, or you can catch up with our previous re-read of The Lord of the Rings. As always, the discussion will contain spoilers for everything Tolkien (that is: The Hobbit, LotR, The Silmarillion, and various posthumous tidbits); if you haven’t read the book before and would like to remain unspoiled, I recommend reading along with Mark Reads first.

This week, we consider Chapter 3, “A Short Rest,” which is pretty much what it says on the tin.

[Read more... ]

Sun
Nov 25 2012 2:00pm

Rewatching The Return of the King

cover of Return of the King DVDThis post is actually two in one: first, we have a guest review from LaShawn Wanak, who won the opportunity in a charity auction lo these many months ago, and then we have my additional comments.

Onward to the rewatch of the movie adaptation of The Return of the King! Spoilers for everything Tolkien, as usual, after the jump.

[Read more...]