In "The Hobbit," Tolkien describes the journey of Bilbo, Gandalf and 13 dwarves who travel to the Lonely Mountain to reclaim the dwarvish homeland and treasure stolen by the dragon Smaug. Using "The Hobbit" and other writings by J.R.R. Tolkien, director Peter Jackson stretched the story into three films; in film one, "An Unexpected Journey," the Company's quest takes them as far as the eastern side of the Misty Mountains.
GandalfIan McKellenThe irascible wizard is back with his reassuring gravitas, a little less world-weary and god-like this time than in "The Lord of the Rings" since, in "The Hobbit," he's not yet learned of the world-dooming Ring of Power.
Bilbo BagginsIan Holm | Martin FreemanThe reluctant and eponymous hobbit-cum-burglar is handpicked by Gandalf as the "lucky" 14th member of the Company. Bilbo is played by two different actors: Ian Holm makes an appearance as the "old" Bilbo at the film's beginning; Martin Freeman plays a Bilbo 60 years younger than Holm's and is our central plucky hero.
Thorin OakenshieldRichar ArmitageThe dwarves' proud and stalwart leader, and heir to the dwarvish throne, Thorin drives the quest for homeland and fortune. He also has a score to settle with the orcs and despises elves. Burdened by the past, Thorin is to "The Hobbit" as Aragorn/Strider (Viggo Mortensen) was to "Rings."
The 12 DwarvesVarious actorsWhite-bearded Balin is the group's elder statesman. Fierce fighter Dwalin, Balin's younger brother, sports head tattoos and is Thorin's greatest supporter. Brothers Kili and Fili are the Company's spirited youngsters. Dori is the group's sophisticate; he's the brother of crafty Nori. Wide-eyed and meek Ori is the most junior dwarf. Half-deaf Oin is the brother to money-grubber Gloin, the father of Gimli from "Rings." The final three are cousins: the mumbling Bifur, with an orc-axe lodged in his skull; the jovial Bofur; and bumbling, obese gourmand Bombur.SarumanChristopher LeeIn "The Hobbit," this head of the White Council and wizard-in-chief is noble and decent, not yet turned into the dangerous character he becomes later, in "Rings," when he allies himself with Sauron. Still, we don't trust him.RadagastSylvester McCoyAnother wizard, Radagast the Brown prefers the company of birds and beasts to men, elves or hobbits. Jackson interprets him as a woodsy, batty Dr. Doolittle, who talks to the animals.FrodoElijah WoodThe hero of "The Lord of the Rings," Bilbo's nephew has a cameo in the "flash-forward" scene that frames the adventures of Bilbo.GaladrielCate BlanchettGaladriel doesn't actually appear in Tolkien's "Hobbit." Nonetheless, in Jackson's version, she's back as the ethereal and somewhat creepy elf queen. We find her in Rivendell to discuss what to do about the rise of the Necromancer.ElrondHugo WeavingWielding a dangerously arched eyebrow, Elrond is lord of the elves and guardian of Middle-earth, residing in Rivendell, an oasis of elves and high culture amidst a wild world of orcs, trolls and other nasties.GollumAndy SerkisPart phlegmy actor, part CGI magic, Gollum appears for the first time deep in his cave in the Misty Mountains, having lost his birthday present: the ring. Expect his trademark split-personality weirdness.
Album review: Alesso, ‘FOREVER’
The best parts of Swedish producer Alesso’s debut LP hint at his knack for crafting mood music; too bad the rest feels incomplete without streamers, lasers, and crowds.
With Wynn casino license award, gaming commission actions deserve scrutiny
Did the gaming commission violate state law in granting a casino license to Steve Wynn?
A Pats fan on Deflategate: ‘apologize for nothing’
Embracing the uncertainty and standing proud in the shadow of Deflategate.
Tom Brady’s troubles: A Bill Littlefield poem
Plus, send in your own Deflategate poem for a chance to win a Brady jersey.
Searching for the inspiration behind Archie Comics’ Betty
A new documentary film called “Archie’s Betty” explores Archie Comics cartoonist Bob Montana’s past in Haverhill.
Mass. film tax credit pays dividends — for Hollywood
As state officials know, the film industry goes where it’s paid to go.
How we’re failing our female veterans
From ill-fitting equipment to an ill-equipped VA medical system, we must do better.
The VIP Lounge: Jimmy Tingle
The comedian and his wife, Catherine, spend as much time as possible at their summer home in Wellfleet.
What makes shows like ‘Mad Men’ so great?
What is the tie that binds “Mad Men,” “The Wire,” and others that puts them in a more rarefied group?
What can’t grads afford because of student loans? Kids, for one.
Crushing debt is making a generation put off living their lives.
Want to own a Modern marvel?
For the first time since architect Henry B. Hoover built his Modern-style home overlooking the Cambridge Reservoir in 1937, the house is going on the market.
Seeing both sides of Aruba
Aruba’s slogan is “One Happy Island,” and it doesn’t take long to understand why.
Let millionaire ex-presidents pay for themselves
Bill and Hillary Clinton didn’t start the fire of postpresidential buckraking.
St. Augustine celebrating 450th anniversary
The city has enough history, culture, cuisine, outdoor recreation, and natural beauty to rival Florida’s other destinations.
New restaurant taking shape in former Hamersley’s space
Restaurateur Rebecca Roth Gullo will open Banyan Bar & Refuge with chef Phil Tang early this summer.
An innovative Indian restaurant in Bangkok
Located in the swank Fraser Suites Sukhumvit in Bangkok’s buzzing night life district, Charcoal takes its inspiration from the streets of India.
Abelardo Morell’s photographs revisit last winter
Abelardo Morell photographs the snowy season in “A Mind of Winter,” at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art.
Help! Alitalia misspelled my name and won’t change it back
When an Alitalia representative misspells Barbara Stuckey’s name, she’s sent on a wild goose chase to get it fixed. Does she have to buy a new ticket?