Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Apologies (and review)

My apologies to everyone, I know I've been meaning to update, but the holidays have been keeping me real busy. To make up for lost times, here's a review for one of my favorite stories.

Since the release of the live-action adaptations of Tolkien's epic, people across the world have come to know the heroes Gandalf, Aragorn, Frodo, and the rest of the Fellowship of the ring. However, the story that came before the legend is in a league of its own. The story I refer to is, of course, The Hobbit.
This story follows the adventures of Frodo's adoptive father, Bilbo Baggins, whose quiet life in the Shire is ruined when Gandalf the wizard comes with an adventure for him (which he wants nothing to do with, as they make one late for dinner). However, later that week, he gets a bunch of strange visitors: a band of dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield, who are friends with Gandalf. Bilbo learns that they plan to take back their home and treasure, which was stolen by the great dragon Smaug, and they want Bilbo's help to steal back parts of the treasure at a time. Greatly reluctant at first, Bilbo agrees to go with them.
As Bilbo and his new friends journey through the northern lands of Middle-Earth, they encounter trolls, elves, and goblins along the way. During one misadventure, Bilbo encounters Gollum, who accuses him of stealing his precious (the One Ring, which Bilbo found on accident). Bilbo manages to escape Gollum, and later proves his worth when he saves his friends in the forest of Mirkwood.
Despite all his accomplishments, nothing can prepare Bilbo for when they make it to the dwarves former home, The Lonely Mountain. Smaug proves to be more terrible and wicked than Bilbo thought, for after Bilbo steals from his hoard, Smaug goes on a terrible rampage and destroys Esgaroth (also known as Lake-town). A few days later, Bilbo and his friends learn that Smaug was slain by a man named Bard, and armies of elves and men had come for a claim of the treasure. Thorin, by now, has become obsessed with the treasure, and refuses to yield any of it. Conflict seems inevitable, especially when dwarves from the Iron Hills come to aid Thorin.
Just before either side can start fighting, Gandalf alerts them to an incoming army of goblins who are bound determined to take the land for themselves. The three armies unite to stand against the goblins, but during the fighting, Bilbo is knocked unconscious and doesn't come to until the battle is over. A few of Bilbo's friends have perished, and Bilbo grows to dislike the aftermath of a battle. Good times do come though, as a new alliance is made between the men, the elves, and the dwarves. Bilbo is given some treasure for his efforts and he finally returns to his nice Hobbit hole.
This story is easily one of my favorites, because it tells of a person who has to leave his comfortable life and go on a long and hard journey. The character grows and matures more than he could ever do at home, and he (unknowingly) finds the key for the future of Middle-Earth. This is definitely one story that will never get old, no matter how much time passes. I recommend this book for any fantasy lover.

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