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Hobbit Heavy Petting

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Peter Jackson’s unequalled masterpiece fantasy achievement of a thrice-blessed trilogy, Lord of the Hugs, er, Rings was the ultimate realization of the fabled Tolkien story. (Or is it storied Tolkien fable?) That hulking beast of a narrative will not have to suffer interpretation again until some new medium is invented, like when we all start watching little plays produced by tiny nano-Peter Jacksons, nano-actors and nano-costume designers who’ll live in the nano-Hollywoods we’ll all have implanted in our optic nerves by Sony.

The universally lauded epic had only one fairly major flaw. It had…what must be…the longest…most drawn out… epilogue…in the…hissss-tory of cinema. Almost like, everyone involved knew that they had done such a good job that no one would mind sitting through a 25-MINUTE POSTSCRIPT!

Much of this lengthy coda was taken up by — there’s nothing else for it — a hobbit hug orgy. After being rescued by giant eagles from the rock in the middle of Mt Doom’s lava river, Frodo awakes in a soft-focus fluff cloud of a bed. After a few choice words with a weirdly giggly old Dame Maggie Smith, er, Gandalf the Wizard, he’s accosted by his two giddy hobbit buddies in a cringe-worthy slow-motion hug frolic…in bed.

I wish Gollum were here.

For an eternity it seems, minutes even, Frodo and Pinkus and Marty, or whatever their names, are in full-out fur-flying hug-o-rama-lama, while one-by-one the rest of the Fellowship, the adult faction, wander in, to leer regally at the spectacle of these child-like creatures coming this close to losing it and getting it on — whatever it is that hobbits might do.

Should we be watching this?

Gimli, the strapping dwarf, is first, and seems to be casting his gimlet eyes with a special appreciation for frolicking with smooth hobbit flesh — that which is not covered by fur, that is. He’s been there, it appears.

Then comes Legolas, the elf, and the only one in the room who looks remotely — or legally! — huggable…since he’s also the one that most resembles an actual GIRL.

Then comes Aragorn, nice enough looking fellow, in theory, but not going to get hugged by this blog-hobbit until he gets a hose-down and a shampoo-rinse-shampoo-again. Whoof!

And that’s just the beginning. In the bedroom section of the sequence most all of the action features Frodo, Pupkin and…the other one. Faithful Sam, the other lava rock Eagle rescuee made his appearance but did not partake, just looked on wistfully at the excessive hobbit PDA. Later though, at the harbor, yet another more complete round of gratuitous hugs ensues and Sam gets his fair share. Actually he gets a little more…and a little more…and then, being Frodo’s special friend gets even more. Frodo plants an especially loooooong nibble-the-cooties kiss on the scalp. Ick.

Is that Herbal Essence?

Now artistic license is one thing, but Lance Shears, my 14-year-old son and our region’s most sought-after Tolkien impersonator (“JRR has left the building.”) assures me that there is no such scene in the book. He reports (Sorry. Never made it through the books myself. What are they about?) that the comparable scene in print comprises those few pithy words between Galdalf and Frodo and that’s about it (Hur hur. He said it.) Period. And though I haven’t seen it since sometime in storied and fabled 70s — the Middle Epoch of the last Demi-Century…that nameless span between the Hippie Interlude and the Age of the Nerds — I can guestimate that Ralph Bakshi had no such episode in his blessedly abbreviated, single-picture, animated Lord opus.

So if this is any evidence of how committed Jackson is to the Hollywood Hug Principle, I fear…nay, I dread what he might have in mind for the male lead and the title character in his upcoming we’ll-never-need-another-remake of King Kong.

Can’t wait.

(Stop by Cinema Squeeze for the latest on Hollywood hugs.)

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About Billy Shears

  • Got an e-mail notification of your comment, Ross. Glad to see folks still come across this one. I managed to stay awake, through the first screening but I don’t know if I could again.

    Great comments, folks.

    Stop by the newest site run by some friends of mine.


  • ross warren

    Goodness wasn’t lord of the rings boring ? I had to sit through it with my kids. It didn’t come close to the impact of the book. At least with the book you could put it down or have a sleep, not so the film….not my cup of tea at all.
    Those dam hobbits

  • Glad to see the post sparked such a lively colloquy.

    And for the record PW, insecurity doesn’t enter into it.


    As you’ll see if you jump over to Cinema Squeeze to follow my reasoning that all this hugger mugger is a phenomenon worthy of serious study, which goes beyond the law of averages and, sometimes, common sense stagecraft. In one movie Matt Damon nearly breaks his back to lay a hug on Danny DeVito. I mean, couldn’t they have arranged for Danny to be standing on a chair? (Answer. Yes. It’s a movie, they can do anything they want.)

    Here’s the link to the archive. Start at the bottom, “First Awareness”.


    Thanks all. I’m enjoying all the comments.

  • Anyone else see the google-ad up there “Frodo has failed:The Fellowship failed – Bush has the ring – free t-shirts,cards and stickers”

    Funny – never thought of John Kerry as a hobbit

  • RJ

    I agree with the original post. I loved the entire trilogy (watched it all in one sitting, on DVD, all nine hours or so worth). But the last half-hour or so of the last movie was so…lame.

    All we saw were hugs and tearful goodbyes. Are these hardened warriors, fresh from a great, incredibly violent, victory over pure evil? Or are these weepy pussies, possibly all homosexual, who want nothing more than to grasp each other in special places and plant sloppy wet kisses on each other?

    Epilogues should be brief, not endless and treacly. That is, if anything, the one failing of this magnificient trilogy.

  • Eric Olsen

    unlike most modern myths, it’s a myth that is actually mythic

  • Yep, returning war heroes cleaning out the closet (and local heroes) might have been a bit uncomfortable, perhaps:)

    I read the LOTR once a year or thereabouts, and generally feel misty-eyed when the ships sail for the West

  • Eric Olsen

    me too, that’s where we found out that part of the “purpose” of the great journey was to prepare the other three hobbits to lead the Shire beyond the idyllic, passive provincialism of the past and to take charge of their own destinies.

    I understand the time and attention constraints facing Jackson, but the absence from the movie of any ass-kicking back home was my only real disappointment with the whole trilogy

  • Scouring.

  • Was is Scouring or Razing ?

  • I liked the hug scenes for exactly the same reason. Made for a great time to weep tears of joy and relief; my son and I both hugged and cried throughout. Still, given a choice, I would have rather seen the Scouring of the Shire.

  • I sat through RoTK for the first time during a midnight showing and had had about three hours of sleep the previous night, working on my grad school thesis.

    I was like, Come On Already!

  • Bennett

    Yeah, but in the book, the return to the Shire is where Merry and Pippen show some of the steel they earned in battle, and a very poignant confrontation with a much reduced Sauruman (Sharkey).

    One of my favorite “post Mt Doom” moments.

  • Eric Olsen

    that’s a good point too, Tan

  • Most of my friends hated that scene. But I liked it because I felt it was really that rare moment in the entire trilogy that everyone was at peace. After what turned out to be an almost 10 hour epic, how could you not appreciate the serenity of knowing that your friends survived alongside you. I’m getting chills thinking about it.

  • Eric Olsen

    exactly: he didn’t mean to squish the (insert small furry creature here)

  • bhw

    All I remember is the Looney Tunes version: “I want to hug him and squeeze him and call him George.”

  • Eric Olsen

    those advocates of the Hug Principle should keep in mind the lessons presented in “Of Mice and Men”

  • Billy, don’t let your insecurities spill out so publicly next time.

    There, there, it’s okay. Want a hug?


  • Eric Olsen

    hee hee – Freudian slip?

  • The Thuderbirds fell flat. You must have meant something else 🙂

    Thunderbirds are go !!!

  • Eric Olsen

    don’t forget the puppet version – but will they be able to rise to the vertiginous level of Thuderbirds?

  • Nancy

    …a … a STAGE version? What next, LOTR On Ice? Maybe I should have rooted for the bad guys after all…?

  • :-0

    Of course, you forgot the new imminent stage version.

    No, seriously.

    I envison, appropriately, another “Ring of The Nibelung” (a la Wagner)

  • Nancy

    Oh, & I thought I was the only one in the world thought there was too much sweetness & light in ROTK. Thank god!

  • Bennett

    Nice laughs, this is. I agree with your son. Way to much license was taken at the end of the story.

    Wholesale hug-and-cry-o-ramas, but none of the great stuff from the third book.

    No “Rousing of the Shire”, man I was pissed off at that. Instead, we got weepy weep.



  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Billy, very nice – there’s a lot of damn hobbit-hugging in that extended denouement

  • Funny, enjoyed the spin – of course, our Duke De Mondo has had similar thoughts in the past – the Sam/Frodo connection is deep