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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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This article is about the 2012 live action film. For the 1977 animated film, see The Hobbit (1977 animated film).

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first film of the movie trilogy The HobbitPeter Jackson, who previously directed the Lord of the Rings trilogy, directed all three films. It was a major box office success, grossing over $1.017 billion worldwide.


The title bears a similarity to the first chapter of The Hobbit novel, An Unexpected Party.

It refers to the hobbit Bilbo started his first and also the last adventure with the request of the wizard, Gandalf.


On his hundred and eleventh (111th) birthday, the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins decides to write down the full story of the adventure he took 60 years before for his nephew Frodo. Bilbo writes about how, prior to his own actual involvement, the Dwarf Thrór was king of Erebor and brought an era of prosperity to his kin until the arrival of Smaug  the dragon. Drawn by the amount of gold that the Dwarves have amassed, Smaug destroyed the nearby town of Dale before driving the Dwarves out of Erebor. Thrór's grandson, Thorin Oakenshield, sees King Thranduil and his Wood-Elves on a nearby hillside and is dismayed to find them taking their leave rather than aiding his people. This makes Thorin develop an everlasting hatred of elves.

Thorin and the rest of the Dwarves of Erebor, under the command of Thror and his son Thrain, attempt to take back the lost Dwarf kingdom of Moria. However, they are ambushed by hordes of Gundabad Orcs. A large-scale battle breaks out, and Thror is beheaded by the leader of the Orcs, Azog the Pale. In his rage, Thorin seizes a sword and a slab of oak and attacks Azog murderously, attempting to avenge his grandfather. He fends of Azog and slices the Pale Orc's left arm off. Azog flees into the mountains with his kin, believed to be dead from loss of blood.

Following this, Bilbo is tricked by the wizard Gandalf the Grey into hosting a party for Thorin and his band of Dwarves, which doubles as Bilbo's recruitment as the Dwarves' "burglar" to help them recover their treasure and their home from Smaug. Bilbo reluctantly joins the company on their journey to the Lonely Mountain, Thorin previously believing he would refuse. The group is captured by 3 mountain trolls, Tom, Bert, and William but Bilbo is able to stall the trolls from eating them until dawn, when Gandalf saves the company by exposing the trolls to sunlight, turning them into stone. They search the trolls' cave and find treasure and Elven blades. Thorin and Gandalf each take an Elf-wrought blade, Orcrist and Glamdring respectively. Gandalf also finds an Elven short-sword, later to be known as Sting, which he gives to Bilbo. Being Elven blades of the First Era, Gandalf says they glow when near Orcs or Goblins. However, only Sting actually does so.

The group encounters Radagast the Brown, a wizard who lives in the forest of Greenwood. He tells them of a strange presence he encountered at Dol Guldur and how it is poisoning the forest. The group is then chased by Orcs on Wargs, with Radagast drawing them off with his Rhosgobel Rabbits-pulled sled. Gandalf leads them through a stone passage to Rivendell as the Wargs and Orcs above are slain by Elven riders. Elrond discloses the map's indication of a secret door that will be visible only on Durin's Day. Gandalf talks with the White Council (Elrond, Galadriel, and Saruman the White) about his involvement with the Dwarves, explaining the presence Radagast encountered and expresses mild suspicion that this necromancer is the Dark Lord . The others are skeptical, believing Sauron to have been defeated forever, and that this necromancer is not a true threat. Elsewhere at Amon Sul, Yazneg, the leader of the attacking orc party, reports back to his master Azog of his failure, who then kills the unfortunate orc. Azog then issues a bounty upon Thorin's head, and races off with the rest of his party.

Against the Council's wishes, Gandalf sends Bilbo and the Dwarves toward the Misty Mountains. While passing through the mountains, Bilbo and the Dwarves encounter a battle between three stone giants, and are forced to take refuge in a cave. Elsewhere, Azog and his orcs follow the Dwarves' trail to the Misty Mountains. While the company sleeps, Bilbo decides to leave and return to Rivendell after talking to Bofur, who believes in him. He is overheard by Thorin, who believes he has been proven right that the hobbit is not up to the quest. But before Bilbo can leave, they are all captured by Goblins and taken to their leader, the Great Goblin. Gandalf arrives and saves the Dwarves from the Goblins; they then fight their way out of Goblin Town, killing the Great Goblin during their escape. Bilbo was separated from the Dwarves right after their capture and encounters Gollum, who accidentally drops a mysterious ring while killing a stray Goblin to feed on. Picking up the ring and placing it in his pocket, Bilbo finds himself confronted by Gollum. They play a riddle game, wagering that Bilbo will be shown the way out if he wins, or eaten by Gollum if he loses. After Bilbo wins by asking Gollum what he has in his pocket, Gollum realizes Bilbo has stolen the ring and attacks him. Bilbo discovers the ring grants him invisibility and evades a furious Gollum, following him to find the way out and deciding out of pity not to kill him, despite having the chance to do so.

Bilbo rejoins the group once he sees them after hearing Thorin voice his doubts that Bilbo will return, keeping the ring he found secret. The moment of triumph is cut short as they are ambushed by Azog and his hunting party. After taking refuge in cliffside trees before the Wargs uproot most of them, the final tree is partially uprooted, leaving most of The Company hanging over the cliffside. Thorin then charges Azog in an attempt to save the others, but is badly wounded and knocked to the ground. Bilbo defends Thorin from being killed by one of Azog personnal bodyguards, notably the one with an abnormally large grin, and as Azog's other Orcs move in, Fili, Kili, and Dwalin rush in and attack them, and a fight ensues. The group is then saved by eagles, who fly them to safety on the Carrock. Gandalf wakes the unconscious Thorin, who finally accepts Bilbo for his courage and bravery. As the party sees the zenith of their journey, the Lonely Mountain in the distance, Smaug awakens from a long slumber...[1]


By type 
Characters Species and creatures Locations Factions, groups and titles
Events Objects and artifacts Miscellanea



Factions, groups and titles


Objects and artifacts



Martin Freeman portrays a young Bilbo Baggins and Ian Holm reprises his role as the Older Bilbo Baggins. Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis will reprise their roles as Gandalf and Gollum, respectively. Hugo Weaving and Cate Blanchett will also reprise their respective roles as Elrond and Galadriel.

The character of Radagast the Brown appears in the movie and is portrayed by Sylvester McCoy, known mostly for his portrayal as the seventh incarnation of The Doctor on Doctor Who. Although he is mentioned in the book The Hobbit (in Chapter 7 on page 109 when Gandalf asks Beorn if he remembered Radagast and that he was Gandalf's cousin who lived on the Southern borders of Mirkwood), for the rest of the book Radagast makes no appearance.

Bilbo with Dwarves

Bilbo in Rivendell with Dwarves


Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf the Grey in a photo from the set of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012).



Extended Edition onlyEdit


Men of DaleEdit

Dwarves of the Lonely MountainsEdit

Mirkwood ElvesEdit

Hobbits of The ShireEdit

Hunter OrcsEdit

Elves of RivendellEdit


Sequel films in the trilogyEdit

In The Desolation of Smaug (released on 13 December 2013), having successfully crossed over (and under) the Misty Mountains, Thorin and Company must seek aid from a powerful stranger, Beorn, before taking on the dangers of Mirkwood Forest—without their Wizard. The film follows the group through Mirkwood, their arrival in Lake-town, and their exploration of the Lonely Mountain, culminating in the desperate fight against the ancient dragon Smaug.

The Battle of the Five Armies (released on 17 December 2014) covers the death of Smaug, the Battle of the Five Armies, and the Attack on Dol Guldur.

DVD ReleaseEdit

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey arrived on digital download on March 12, 2013, and on Blu-ray combo pack, blu-ray 3D combo pack and 2-disc DVD special edition on March 19.

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTSThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack and DVD Special Edition contain the following special features: Full Suite of Peter Jackson’s Production Videos. Enter Middle-earth of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” as Academy Award-winning Director Peter Jackson takes you behind the scenes, on location and amidst the star-studded cast in a series of video journals that puts you in the forefront of latest in filmmaking with more than two hours of additional content. Highlights of the journals include:

  • Start of Production
  • Location Scouting
  • Filming in 3D
  • Post-production Overview
  • Wellington World Premiere

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition was released on November 5 on DVD and became available on Itunes October 22, with fourteen deleted scenes.

  • The extended edition has thirteen minutes of new footage, and 9 hours of bonus features.
The Hobbit AUJ Extended DVD Edition


  • Guillermo del Toro was originally on board to direct, but bowed out due to "ongoing delays in the setting of a start date for filming."
  • When it appeared Martin Freeman would not be available to play Bilbo in The Hobbit films due to scheduling conflicts with the BBC television series Sherlock, other actors such as James McAvoy and Tobey Maguire were considered. A false rumour was spread online that David Tennant was considered, but both Tennant and Jackson denied this. Tennant was actually considered for (and offered) the role of Thranduil but had to turn it down when his girlfriend discovered she was pregnant.
  • Ryan Gage was originally cast to play Drogo Baggins, father of Frodo Baggins. According to Peter Jackson, "Ryan is a great young actor who we originally cast in a small role, but we liked him so much, we promoted him to the much larger Alfrid part."
  • The scene when Bilbo first puts on the Ring is very similar to the scene in The Fellowship of the Ring (film) where Frodo puts on the Ring in The Prancing Pony.
  • The Filmmakers titled the project Little Rivers, so no one knew it was the Hobbit.
  • When a Giant Eagle grabs Thorin's unconscious body, his oak-log shield falls off his arm and is permanently left behind.

Memorable QuotesEdit

"While I can honestly say I have told you the truth, I may not have told you all of it."
Bilbo Baggins

" I know you doubt me. I know you always have. I often think of Bag End. I miss my books, and my armchair, and my garden. See, that's where I belong. That's home. And I came back don't have one. It was taken from you, but I will help you get that back in any way that I can."- Bilbo Baggins

"Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To find our long forgotten gold.
The pines were roaring on the height,
The winds were moaning in the night,
The fire was red, it flaming spread;
The trees like torches blazed with light.
Thorin Oakenshield,Fíli, Kíli, Óin, Glóin, Dwalin, Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori and Ori

"True courage is not knowing when to take a life, but when to spare one". Gandalf

"I'm looking for someone to share in an adventure..."

"Allow me to introduce: Fíli, Kíli, Óin, Glóin, Dwalin, Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, Ori, and the leader of our company, Thorin Oakenshield."

"Thorin: I cannot guarantee his safety,
Gandalf: Understood.
Thorin: Nor will I be responsible for his fate.

Gandalf: Agreed."

Thorin Oakenshield and Gandalf

"Gandalf: You'll have a tale or two to tell when you come back.
Bilbo: Can you promise that I will come back?
Gandalf: No, and if you do, you will not be the same."
Gandalf and Bilbo Baggins

"Bilbo: My Name is Bilbo Baggins.
Gollum: Bagginses, what is a Bagginses, Precious?"
Gollum and Bilbo Baggins

"The world is not in your books and maps… it's out there!"


Main article: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey/Development

Deviations from the bookEdit

Main article: Tolkien vs. Jackson: Differences Between Story and Screenplay

The Deviations mentioned below have already inspired a Provisional Purist Mod[1] of the movie.

  • Elijah Wood appears briefly as Frodo Baggins, whereas this character does not appear in the book. However his appearance is purely a cameo as the set-up for the movie is that it's the Red Book of Westmarch being written and read by Bilbo shortly before Fellowship of the Ring.
  • The Dwarves did not arrive in order (first Dwalin, then Balin, then Kili and Fili, then Oin, Gloin, Dori, Nori, Ori, Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur all at once, and then Thorin arrived significantly later) and they did not have their multi-colored hoods or beards as they did in the book.
  • Bilbo was shown to be allergic to Horses.
  • The Dwarves surrender when the Trolls threaten to rip Bilbo in two instead of being overpowered and popped into bags. 
  • The group is attacked by Orcs on the way to Rivendell, just after the Trolls sequence in the movie. This did not happen in the book.
  • Bilbo goes to the Trolls because they steal the Dwarves' ponies.
  • In the book, it was Gandalf that stalled the trolls until they turned into stone. This was done by Bilbo in the film.
  • The trolls' cave is wide open, and there is no locked door blocking it.
  • In the book, Bilbo finds Sting and takes it. In the film, Gandalf comes upon it and gives it to Bilbo.
  • Radagast the Brown aids the Dwarves in escaping the Orc Warg Riders near Rivendell. In contrast, Radagast did not appear in the book at all, and there is only one mention of him.
  • Radagast investigates the darkness of Mirkwood, and at Dol Guldur encounters the Necromancer and the Witch-king of Angmar, with whom he briefly duels and from whom he takes the Morgul Blade. In contrast, Tolkien never wrote of any such incident.
  • In the book, it was Bilbo that alerted the party when the trapdoors in the goblin cave open. In the film, the dwarves realize this just as they fall into the hole.
  • Azog has survived the war of the Dwarves and Orcs in which he was wounded by Thorin, who cut off his arm, and hunts Thorin Oakenshield and his followers. In contrast, in the Tolkien literature Azog was beheaded by Thorin's cousin Dáin Ironfoot in the Battle of Azanulbizar, well before the events of The Hobbit. The events of leading to and included in the battle are also altered: Thror leads an army to Moria to reclaim it as opposed to investigating it with a single companion, and he is beheaded during the battle while in the books this occurred several years beforehand. The origin of Thorin's name of Oakenshield is taken from the appendices of The Return of the King, but here takes place during battle with Azog and involves him picking up an oaken branch rather than cutting it off a tree.
  • While at Rivendell with Thorin's party, Gandalf meets with Elrond, Galadriel, and Saruman (the film's version of the White Council) and relates Radagast's news about Mirkwood, but Saruman discounts Radagast's news about the Necromancer, who he says must be no more than a human pretending to be a wizard. This conflicts with Tolkien's version, in which the White Council already knew that the Necromancer was Sauron and was at Dol Guldur, since Gandalf had already confirmed this 89 years earlier, and Saruman had discovered two years earlier (although he did not inform the Council of this) that Sauron had learned of Isildur's loss of the One Ring at the Gladden Fields by the river Anduin and his servants were searching the area. Accordingly, in Tolkien's version, in the year of the events of The Hobbit, Saruman finally agreed to an attack on Dol Guldur because he wanted to prevent Sauron from finding the Ring.[2]
  • There is no mention of Galadriel in the book, although she IS part of the White Council.
  • At the White Council meeting, Galadriel relates how the Witch-king of Angmar, after his defeat near Fornost, had been killed and sealed in a tomb in that could not be opened in the High Fells. This is a serious departure from canon (Tolkien's writings), in which the Witch King had not died, but fled. In fact, Glorfindel had stopped pursuit of the Witch King and prophesied, "Do not pursue him! He will not return to these lands. Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of man will he fall."[3] This prophecy, of course, was the basis for the later dramatic moment in The Lord of the Rings in which Éowyn was able to kill the Witch King because she was not a man. This prophecy no longer makes sense if the Witch King had already been killed and is now (as Saruman implies) just a spirit raised by a necromancer who could "summon the dead." Furthermore, per Tolkien the White Council knew the Witch King had not been killed because he and the rest of the Nazgul had previously been fighting with Gondor and had captured (and presumably killed) the last king of Gondor at Minas Morgul in TA 2050, long after he had fled Fornost .[2] It is possible, however, that the Ringwraiths could not die due to their Wraith nature and were imprisoned in the tombs, and only Sauron had the power to call them forth.
  • In the book The Hobbit, as in the prologue to The Fellowship of the Ring (film), Bilbo Baggins finds the One Ring by chance when his hand happens to fall upon it as he is crawling through one of the dark Goblin-town tunnels, well before he comes across Gollum. In this film, Bilbo sees Gollum fighting with a Goblin and we see Gollum drop the ring during the fight.
  • When traveling along the mountain pass, Bilbo observes the stone-giants hurling rocks at a distance, "across the valley." Bilbo and his companions take refuge under a hanging rock during the thunderstorm (thunder-battle), but are never involved in the stone-giants' game.
  • In the book, the goblins only had tunnels, not rope bridges.
  • Gollum has six teeth in the book, not nine.
  • In the book, when Gollum and Bilbo were playing the game of riddles, the cave was pitch black and Bilbo could only see Gollum's glowing eyes and hear his voice echoing through the walls of the cave. In the film, the cave was partly lit up and Bilbo could see Gollum entirely.
  • In the film, Gandalf does not use multi-colored fire when lighting the pine cones.
  • In the film, Gandalf saves the dwarves in the goblin cave with a flash of light and instantly slays the Goblin King. In the film, the Goblin King is merely knocked aside in this scene, and is slain later on.


Extended EditionEdit

The extended edition of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released on October 22, 2013 for digital downloads and November 5 2013 for hard copies. It includes these scenes:

  1. The introduction. The Elvenking Thranduil is given more screen time. He approaches the throne while Thrain gestured for a dwarf to show Thranduil a chest of gems. As Thranduil looks entranced and reaches for it, the dwarf closes the lid. Bard's ancestor Girion is given screen time. He is seen behind his Wind Lance attempting to shoot down Smaug during the dragon's attack on Dale.
  2. Bilbo's introduction to himself. A flashback wherein a young hobbit boy comes running up to Gandalf and plays with him. His mother Belladonna runs after him and acknowledges Gandalf as an old friend.
  3. After Bilbo meets Gandalf on the front bench, he buys supper from Hobbiton while suspiciously looking around everywhere to make sure Gandalf is not around.
  4. Kili glances over to a female Elf in Rivendell and winks at her. Dwalin sees him and Kili begins making excuses. In one of his excuses, he mistakenly calls another male Elf a female and Dwalin corrects him. The rest of the dwarves laugh much to Kili's embarrassment.
  5. While eating, Nori complains about the song played by the Elf musicians. Bofur climbs up a platform and begins singing. The other dwarves join in and start throwing food around. Elrond and Lindir look surprised but said nothing about it.
  6. Bilbo wandering around Rivendell during the daytime. He approaches the statue holding the shards of Narsil before a particular painting catches his eye. The painting depicts Isildur about to cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand. Bilbo is particularly interested of the One Ring on Sauron's hand.
  7. A conversation between Bilbo and Elrond in Rivendell. Elrond also welcomes Bilbo to stay in Rivendell if he wishes.
  8. Lindir complains to Elrond about the dwarves' behavior. They find them swimming in a large fountain.
  9. Gandalf and Elrond further discuss Thorin and Company's quest. Elrond voices his concern of Thorin himself, since both his grandfather and father succumbed to madness. Bilbo and Thorin overhear this conversation.
  10. At the White Council, Gandalf brings up the fact that the Ring of Power once owned by Thorin's father mysteriously vanished. Saruman dismisses this as it would be of no use since all believe the One Ring was lost long ago.
  11. A new song from the goblin king and longer interrogation.



  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A (I, iv).

External linksEdit

Differences between the book and the film


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