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J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is one of the most popular fantasy novels ever written and an impossible part of the rich world of Middle-Earth. The adaptation of The Hobbit is being made by Peter Jackson, turning the 400 page novel into a trilogy and making it a prequel to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
We are getting introduced to a new set of characters and for those not in the know, here is a quick guide of the major players in the new trilogy. A few of them do not appear in An Unexpected Journey, but play pivotal roles in moving along the events of the first film.
We have seen Bilbo in Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring and Return of the King, but The Hobbit is his story and he is the hobbit in question. In the start of The Hobbit, Bilbo was someone who was not brave, nor adventurous and never left the Shire. But Gandalf and Thorin recruit Biblo on their quest to the Lonely Mountain for his skills as a burglar, bringing him on the adventure of a lifetime where he finds the Ring of Power.
Gandalf the Grey
We have seen the wizard in Gandalf in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy and he has a prominent role in The Hobbit, being the one who finds and recruits Bilbo for his big adventure. But he disappears and reappears many times because behind the scenes, the dark lord Sauron appears be rearing his ugly head.
Thorin Oakenshield is the leader of the Dwarfs, the exiled king of The Lonely Mountain who leads a band of dwarfs to reclaim their home from Smaug the Dragon. The treasure is also a nice incentive, as well the prized Arkenstone. Thorin is a strong leader and a fierce warrior, but he has a fiery temper and trust issues.
Smaug the Dragon
Smaug is the main antagonist of The Hobbit, the dragon who has taken over The Lonely Mountain, exiled the dwarfs from their home and horded their treasure. He has all the typical traits of a dragon: size, strength, flight and fire-breathing, but he is no raging beast; he is an intelligent creature and a formable foe.
Fili and Kili
Fili and Kili are two youngest members of the company of dwarfs, enthusiastic blokes with a happy-go-lucky attitude. Because of their speed and good eyesight, they are very useful as the company’s scouts.
Dwalin and Balin
Dwalin and Balin are brothers and the first members to arrive at Bag End (Bilbo’s home) unexpectedly. Dwalin is a fierce warrior armed with two axes, and someone you would not want to get on the wrong end of. Balin is the de facto second in command, the second oldest dwarf in the company and in Lord of the Rings, led an attempted colonization of Moria.
Dori, Nori and Ori
Dori, Nori and Ori are another set of brothers to be a part of the company. Dori is physically the strongest and one of the bravest members of the company, willing to throw himself into danger to save others, while Nori tends to stay in the background. And Ori is one of the few dwarfs to join Balin’s colony in Moria.
Gloin and Oin
Another set of brothers are Gloin and Oin, Gimli’s father and uncle. Like real brother they sometimes do not get along which can lead them into trouble. Oin is the dwarf that is bankrolling the adventures whilst Gloin acts as the company’s medic, even though he challenges authority. Both are still handy on the battlefield.
Bifur, Bofur and Bombur
Brothers Bifur and Bofur and their cousin Bombur are the food-loving members of the company and serve as comic relief, particularly Bombur, who is the heaviest and less healthy of the Dwarfs. Bifur also has a problem, having an axe stuck in his brain, leaving him only able to speak Dwarfish. Still, he fairs better than the axe-headed Orc in The Two Towers.
Bard the Bowman
Bard the Bowman is another rightful king who has been exiled from rule. Like Thorin he is a warrior, and as his name suggests is an archer, but he is much more reluctant to take up rule.
Radagast the Brown
Radagast the Brown played a small but pivotal role in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, being a member of the Wizard Council and leading the efforts of help Gandalf escape Isengard. But his role was cut from the film adaptation and replaced with a moth. To compensate, Radagast is getting an important role in The Hobbit. He is a wizard known for his affinity and link with nature, and easily senses when something is wrong.
We get to see how Gollum loses his precious in The Hobbit. We know Gollum is a hobbit that becomes corrupted by the Ring, living an isolation under the Misty Mountains, eating fish and the occasional orc, because that’s good eating. He is a little annoyed when he loses his prized piece of jewelry, to say the least.