I love The Lord of the Rings. It’s the movie franchise that pretty much changed my entire life: it opened up an incredible new world to me, got me seriously into fantasy, and Christian allegories, and Tolkien in general, and gave me my best friend.So to hear The Hobbit is coming out… well, that’s pretty damn cool. You know why? I get to leap back twelve years in time and revisit the biggest obsession I have ever had. It’s taking everything in me right now not to spew Tolkien-related stuff all over this blog from now until December, and then on through the following year. Why? Because… I never tire of talking about it. I will never outgrow it. I am getting the chance to see all my favorite characters (and some new ones) all over again, in a second franchise, in a world I absolutely adore — and that is fantastic.

And now, I hear the news that The Hobbit will be three films instead of two. Part of me is screaming and jumping up and down with utter excitement. You know what this means, right? It’s not just about Bilbo and the dwarves anymore… it’s about Gandalf, and the Necromancer, and Galadriel, and Elrond, and the rise of Sauron, and so much more. And… that’s where the mild apprehension sets in. I trust PJ. I really do. I don’t have a single complaint with his adaptation of LotR other than that he diminished Eowyn and Faramir’s romance so much (seriously, dude, what the hell? you have like 5 hours of battle scenes and you can’t spare 20 minutes for a secondary romance?). I thought most of the changes he put into place¬† were terrific. So, yeah, I trust PJ to take The Hobbit and the Appendixes and to come up with a truly kick-ass prequel series.

But… can he do it without losing the essence of what The Hobbit is actually about? Bilbo! It’s his story. His adventure. With three movies, I have a feeling we’re going to see a bit less of him. Don’t get me wrong — I’m all for seeing Galadriel in action (that would be the highlight of my entire life!), I want to see the “other” wizards in Middle-earth, and if he throws in more Elrond or even, glory be, a bit of Aragorn, I will be the first girl in line to buy a ticket (well, that’s going to happen anyway). I just hope this stretching out of the story doesn’t stretch Bilbo too thin, “like butter stretched over too much bread.” But you know what? Bilbo is to The Hobbit what Frodo is to The Lord of the Rings: important, but it’s not all about just him. It’s about Middle-earth too.

So… yeah, I guess my response is more excitement than trepidation. Particularly since we only have to wait six months for the final installment. But PLEASE tell me we don’t have to wait until the final film to see Smaug! And DO tell me that we might get to see a bit of Arwen after all…