Questions about "Lord of the Rings"

I have never read any of the LOTR books up until now. With the movie coming out this year (and I have to see it because my favorite actor is in it), I want to read the books before I go see it. I tried several times recently to get into “The Hobbit” but I just couldn’t. I don’t know why. I’m sure it’s a great book, but I just wasn’t into it.

So I’m skipping to the first in the LOTR trilogy. Will I be totally lost because I skipped “The Hobbit”? Is there anything I should know about hobbits, Middle Earth, Gandalf, etc. before I dive into the trilogy?

Naw, everything’s explained pretty well in the LOTR, assuming you have a few brain cells to rub together. But I’m sure people will be along to fill you in shortly anyway.

I don’t think you’ll miss anything by skipping the Hobbit. It’s more of an introduction to the LOTR trilogy than an active part of it. It just explains how Bilbo got the Ring that figures so prominently in LOTR. Bilbo himself plays a very small part in LOTR.

It should also be noted that the Hobbit and LOTR were written for different audiences. The Hobbit was intended to be a kids’ book, more or less, while LOTR was meant for older readers. I for one read the Hobbit when i was 8, but didn’t read LOTR until i was in high school. Had i first picked up the Hobbit in high school, i probably would’ve put it down pretty quickly.

I agree that you should have no trouble reading LOTR without first reading The Hobbit.

If you have trouble getting into the first volume, keep at it. IMHO, the first vol starts off kind of slowly, then takes off.

I don’t think you’ll have any problems. The Hobbit is somewhat more allegorical than LOTR, and that sort of thing gets cloying to modern tastes.

Personally, I read LOTR in 3rd grade, read it again in 4th because I didn’t understand it :slight_smile: and then read the Silmarillion in 5th (don’t ask me how I made it through, let alone how I still remember anything) and THEN read the Hobbit.

Silmarillion is something you’ll want to read after you read LOTR and the Hobbit. It really clears things up.

Did someone call me?

Word to the wise … don’t believe anything that Gandalf dude tells you. Trust me on this one.

That’s a pretty ring you have there, Jeannie. Mind if I take a look at it?

Ahem…this short, hairy-footed individual says: “Don’t make me come over there.”

The salient points from the The Hobbit are recapped well enough in the beginning of Fellowship that skipping the book shouldn’t cause any problems. The need to establish the backstory and the character of hobbits for those who haven’t read The Hobbit is part of what makes Fellowship start off slowly. Once you get to Crickhollow, it’s pretty clear sailing, so don’t give up.

I read (and greatly enjoyed) both The Hobbit and LOTR in first grade (mostly in class, much to my teacher’s consternation–fortunately, I never showed her Shield of Three Lions :eek: ). I did find new things every time I reread them for several years, though. I didn’t manage to slog through the Silmarillion until 5th grade.

From the Harvard Lampoon take on LOTR (“Bored of the Rings”?)

[a character] runs into the camp brandishing a burning faggot … AEEEIEE screamed the faggot

Just for the record, there’s an engineering firm in Toledo by the name of Proudfoot Associates, on Heatherdown Road. I suspect Uncle Beer is keeping something from us – though that’s OK as long as he doesn’t make a hobbit of it.