Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hobbit Birthdays

Quite a few people emailed me today to remind me that today, September 22, is the date Tolkien chose for the birthdays of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Since I'm still in the midst of reading The Lord of the Rings aloud to my daughter -- we're just about to be introduced to Théoden -- and enjoying it immensely, I appreciate being reminded of this. My thanks to all who did so.

(As an aside, I thought I'd mention that, as is my wont, I like to include illustrations to accompany my posts, especially short, insubstantial ones like this one. Unfortunately, it's exceedingly difficult these days to find illustrations of Bilbo and/or Frodo -- never mind both of them together -- that don't come from Peter Jackson's movies. Talk about colonizing the imagination!)

24 comments:

  1. It's also my wife's birthday. When she first read LotR she became extremely happy to learn of her shared birthdate.

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  2. I googled (image) "Frodo Bilbo Alan Lee" and got this one that seems appropriate for a birthday :)

    http://tubulure.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/bilbo_frodo_ori.jpg

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  3. did you want whimsical? i found this...

    http://sugarpunk.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/hobbit-hole2.jpg

    http://sugarpunk.wordpress.com/2010/03/20/major-geekery/

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  4. Tove Jansson did some nice illustrations for the Swedish and Finnish versions of The Hobbit:
    http://www.zepe.de/tjillu/hobbit/s/308.htm

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  5. 'The Annotated Hobbit' is wonderful. It is filled with a drawings from a wide variety of sources. Very much worth the purchase.

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  6. @ Ed Keer

    Those are cool

    What's really sad was that there never came to be more Maurice Sendak illustrations for the Hobbit.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-LzEKYBixxmE/TZ9YZGXZLvI/AAAAAAAAAsM/T1UKT4a5WFU/s1600/hobbitsendak.jpg

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  7. @Welcome to Dungeon!
    I didn't know about Maurice Sendak but this one is really great. Thanks.

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  8. Thanks to everyone for all the illos of the Bagginses. My Google-fu is weak today, but it's good to know they're out there.

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  9. @Welcome to Dungeon! That is awesome.

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  10. You couldn't close your entry without taking a stab at the Jackson franchise, could you?

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  11. You couldn't close your entry without taking a stab at the Jackson franchise, could you?

    In fairness, no one visual interpretation should dominate a literary subject, otherwise you get things like deerstalker-wearing Sherlock Holmes and an older ruby-slippers-wearing Dorothy. Much as I love, say, Frazetta's Conan paintings, it's unfortunate that most illustrators use them as a basis instead of the original stories. Similarly, there's a lot of Tolkien art which goes to the film's production design instead of Tolkien, which results in a homogenized and bland glut of images. It was already bad when everyone was just taking off John Howe and Alan Lee's illustrations.

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  12. Google "Bilbo Hildebrandt" to find the image of Hobbits that had colonized the imagination before Peter Jackson...

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  13. As per my usual tradition, I'll be dining tonight at Bilbo Baggins in Old Town Alexandria, VA! (a very good restaurant, if anyone is ever in Northern VA)

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  14. There is also a restaurant called The Hobbit in OC, MD. Highly recommended, and has plenty of theme decor. Wish I were close enough.

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  15. @dhowarth: Thanks. Next time I'm over that way I'll check it out. Bilbo Baggins in Alexandria was the busiest I've ever seen it tonight and delicious, as always.

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  16. It's also the birthday of Kara Zor-El, aka Supergirl,and Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films.

    No idea if any of them read Tolkein or not.

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  17. dhowarth333 said...
    There is also a restaurant called The Hobbit in OC, MD. Highly recommended, and has plenty of theme decor. Wish I were close enough.


    @dhowarth333

    Isn't that the restaurant that has the Rankin Bass image of Bilbo on the sign outside? At least I think I remember that being the visual as we drove by. I have never actually eaten there but I remember seeing the place as a kid. Funny I was just there (Ocean City, MD) last week and I can't remember seeing the sign anymore, not that I was looking for it at that point in time.

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  18. Anke Eissmann has done some great and evocative Tolkien art:

    http://anke.edoras-art.de/kunstplus_shop/originale_e.html

    The concept of Jackson colonizing the imagination - I think the Hildebrtandts did the same thing back in the 70's.

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  19. Taranaich: I agree with you but I think-- if nothing else-- Jackson's LOTR provides a more effective and faithful visual match for the most part than those examples. Not perfect of course, but I think they work in that regard at the very minimum.

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  20. My point was that the post was positive and happy and "yay Tolkien" until the topic of images came up (in a parenthetical aside, no less). Was it really necessary?

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  21. I think it is time you accept the fact that 'Hob' is an old word for 'Elf' and move on with your lives...

    In the end Bilbo is just a short, rural elf. Which is odd because Goblin is also Rural - and now we know where they converge to create Hobgoblin.

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  22. There is a hobbit cafe in Houston. Great burgers, an awesome chicken salad called the withywindle, and a long beer list. You can sit outside under the trees. Weird thing is now a lot of folks go there as a 20 something young hip professional place. But lots of great stuff on the walls even if there is also some Jackson stuff but I don't mind that- I love the movies almost as much as the book. Peace

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  24. http://sethspopcorn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/hobbit.jpg

    Rankin/Bass' Bilbo will always be the One True Hobbit for me, although looking at it now I'm amazed at how much it reminds me of Pat, the SNL sketch character.

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