The Hobbit: The Tolkien Edit

Some kind soul out there took a knife to Peter Jackson’s 8 hour film adaption of a 250 page children’s book and slashed half of the running time.

Let me start by saying that I enjoy many aspects of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy. Overall, however, I felt that the story was spoiled by an interminable running time, unengaging plot tangents and constant narrative filibustering. What especially saddened me was how Bilbo (the supposed protagonist of the story) was rendered absent for large portions of the final two films. Back in 2012, I had high hopes of adding The Hobbit to my annual Lord of the Rings marathon, but in its current bloated format, I simply cannot see that happening.

So, over the weekend, I decided to condense all three installments (An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies) into a single 4-hour feature that more closely resembled Tolkien’s original novel. Well, okay, it’s closer to 4.5 hours, but those are some long-ass credits! This new version was achieved through a series of major and minor cuts, detailed below:

I watched the first two films but threw in the towel after that barrel scene. This might be worth taking a look at though.

(via Kottke)


  1. I am ah HUGE Tolkein fan, and I enjoyed Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy very much. I own all three of the extended editions, and watch them all once every year in marathon form.

    I was sooooo excited when I found out that he was moving forward with an adaptation of the Hobbit. I was really excited when I heard there were going to be 2 films. My excitement diminished when I heard there would be three films. WTF? The Hobbit is way shorter than LOTR. How will that work?

    Even so, like a true fan, I bought my opening night IMAX tickets and couldn’t wait for the premier. My heart broke into pieces after I saw the first film (although I will say i thoroughly enjoyed the first 30 or so minutes of meeting the dwarves and their singing). I saw the second in the theater, but like a month after it was released, and only because I was bored and a friend wanted to go. I wept inside when I saw “that barrel scene”. I recently saw the third, again, out of boredom and being coerced by friends. It was awful, and I lost all respect for Peter Jackson and a part of my soul died.

    So now, every year, I will watch LOTR. I will mourn the wasted potential for a Hobbit movie that might leave me with the same warm, fuzzy feeling LOTR leaves me with. I hope that Mr. Jackson is content with his decision to SELL OUT and RUIN what could have been an epic flick. Hope he thinks about it every time he looks at his bank statement or counts his stacks of cash. That bastard.

    OK, rant over 🙂 Happy Friday 🙂

    1. I also have all three extended editions of LOTR, so I was originally psyched when I saw the first trailer for The Hobbit. But then I thought about how drawn out LOTR was, and how certain parts were emphasized to make it more marketable, so I waited on it. Then I read the reviews and never did go see it. I still haven’t seen any of them, so maybe I’ll enjoy this cut version.
      I like when a fan makes an edited version of a crappy movie/series and improves on it. There’s a Star Wars movie called The Phantom Edit that cuts out all the stupid Jar-Jar crap.
      I started making an edited version of the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movies to cut out all the filler and pandering Philosophy 101 crap, but never finished it. [shrug]

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