Years before I had ever heard of D&D, I was enamored of the tale of Bilbo Baggins and the thirteen dwarves. I was both scared and excited by the old wyrm, Smaug, the Spiders of Mirkwood and the Dwarf-eating Trolls. I loved Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver, and Glamdring, the Foe Hammer, and Black Arrow. I wanted to be Bard the Guardsman.
Then, in 6th grade, I was introduced to D&D. And the spark that Rankin/Bass had ignited was fanned into a blaze that burns bright to this day. Suddenly I could be Bard. I could wield magic weapons and slay dragons. I remember in those first years of playing the game, I always imagined the adventures looking like The Hobbit, and narrated by John Huston (who provided the voice of Gandalf).
This past weekend, on a lark, I dug out our DVD of the movie and watched it with Connor. He was somewhat interested, and paid some attention. Oddly, the scenes that most caught his attention were with Gollum. And while I was watching it, I was totally taken back to my youth.
As a kid, my life was not very easy or pleasant at times. But the music and adventure in this movie always transported me away. If I could go back, I would make my young self read The Hobbit earlier.
Suffice it to say, I am very much looking forward to Peter Jackson’s new movies. I absolutely love his version of LotR, and have watched all three extended cuts in one sitting (that’s about 12 hours of movie) on more than one occasion. And I am looking forward to being transported to Middle Earth yet again.
I have also been struck with a wonderful idea for a collector's edition of The Hobbit. If it turns out to be somewhat doable, it could be a great gift idea for some of my fellow geeks. More on that later, if it materializes.