The Hobbit Trilogy expands its original source material massively, but how did it do its characters justice in the end, or how did it fail them?
For fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, there are often many debates and opinions about the differences between books and movies. And, while many fans were generally happy with the cinematic interpretation of The Lord of the Rings, the reaction to The Hobbit was a little more mixed. There are some pretty noticeable differences between the ending of many characters in the beloved book and the ending of their movie, which left fans with a lot of strong emotions.
However, there were also characters whose endings were quite similar to what happened in the book, or who were at least satisfying to fans. Here are the character endings fans supported, as well as the ones they rejected.
ten Rejected: Tauriel
Tauriel is a character that many fans have outright dismissed because she was never in the books at all and wears full makeup for the movies.
Fans felt that it would have been better to include an existing character, even from Tolkiens’ extensive works, instead of creating a new one just to introduce romance that didn’t make sense in the context of the film. Middle Earth. So while fans weren’t happy with her ending, it was mainly because they didn’t think she needed to be in the story.
9 In the character: Bard
Bard, like many other characters, was given a more fleshed out story and a lot more scenes than he has in the book. Viewers see a lot more about his family situation, and some fans appreciated him more than others.
However, he does at least the one thing that is absolutely essential for Bard: he kills Smaug. This powerful scene is important. Overall, its highlights and ending were in line with the book.
8 Rejected: Legolas
While some fans were happy to see Legolas being included again as Bilbo and the Dwarves go to Mirkwood, others don’t like it because it isn’t on the books.
However, even people who wanted to see more of Legolas weren’t happy with his story arc. He was placed in a strange love triangle which became the reason for his hatred for dwarves. Many fans thought this was incorrect in the history of Middle-earth.
7 In the character: Balin
Although there are a lot of dwarves in Thorin’s company, Balin is the one that stands out for many fans. He was one of the friendliest dwarves to have had more stages and development, and his friendship and support for Bilbo made him easy to appreciate.
Its ending is fairly consistent with the book, and viewers also see Balin’s final fate in The Fellowship of the Ring when his grave is shown in Moria.
6 Rejected: Thorin
The movies changed a lot of things about Thorin to make him more of a typical fantasy hero than he was in the books. Above all, they made him much younger and tried to play on his attractiveness.
A lot of fans didn’t like these changes, and they weren’t always happy with the way he was portrayed in these movies regarding his personality. While Thorin’s death somewhat mirrored the canon of the book, fans didn’t like the never-ending battle with Azog which was often more cheesy than anything else.
5 In the character: Smaug
The Hobbit was made into three films, and since it was based on a relatively short book, many scenes were added.
So while some of the footage involving Smaug, like when the dwarves try to kill him with molten gold, might have been a bit ridiculous, Smaug’s characterization was pretty good and they really captured his intellect and fierceness. And, he was killed in the movies by Bard, just like in the book.
4 Rejected: Thranduil
Thranduil might have been a character that a lot of people overall liked, but a lot of individuals didn’t like his ending. His conversation with Tauriel was strange and awkward, but his conversation with Legolas could have been even worse.
Thranduil asked Legolas to find a man named Aragorn, and many fans felt it was forced exposure that did not reflect what had happened in the books. They also didn’t like Thranduil becoming almost a disapproving father archetype.
3 In the character: Gandalf
Gandalf is possibly one of the most beloved characters in all of literature, and Ian McKellen’s portrayal of the character is adored by many.
Fortunately, in many ways, he’s one of the only characters in The Hobbit that looks like it was at the start of The Lord of the Rings. There are no major changes made to it, and The Hobbit establishes his relationship with Bilbo which continues over the years.
2 Rejected: Fili and Kili
Of all the endings that have bowled fans over, the way the deaths of these two characters were handled could be the most heartbreaking of all.
Instead of the deaths being about family and those kinds of relationships, the focus has been on the romance between Kili and Tauriel. Fili’s death was almost like an afterthought, and Kili died with Tauriel by his side instead of dying side by side with his brother. It differed too much from the source material, and fans who always loved these two characters weren’t happy.
1 In the character: Bilbo Baggins
While some of the characters in the movies didn’t really feel like they were in the books, Bilbo was one that many fans were happy with.
Just like in the books, he has one last conversation with Thorin where Thorin finally accepts him. He then brings his share of the reward and treasure back to Hobbiton. Things with Bilbo are set up well to go straight to the start of The Fellowship of the Ring.
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