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Making Middle-earth

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.

Map of journeys
The Hobbit's journey
The Company's journey in the first movie, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
The Company's journey in the second two "Hobbit" movies
Frodo's Journey in "The Lord of the Rings"
Extra
Click for more information on each location
Map of journeys
Map of journeys
The Shire
Trolls
Rivendell
Misty
Carrock
Places
The Shire
The Shire
This is the place where Hobbits live, a peaceful bucolic land, with green valleys and small houses, or "hobbit holes," built in the hills. Bilbo lives in the village of Hobbiton, where his journey begins when Gandalf knocks his door and Thorin and his dwarves arrive to take him on their quest.
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The Trollshaws
The Trollshaws
Just before arriving in Rivendell, Bilbo and the dwarves enter The Trollshaws, a patch of woods west of the Misty Mountains. Here they encounter a trio of stone trolls named Tom, Bert and William.
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The Shire
Rivendell
An Elvish outpost in Middle-earth, Rivendell is the House of Elrond, king of elves. Located at the edge of gorge in a hidden valley, and therefore hard to find. One of the most beautiful places in Middle-earth, this is the center of Elvish culture.
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The Shire
The Misty Mountains and Goblin Town
A goblin hide-out deep in the Misty Mountains, Goblin Town is ruled by the Great Goblin. In these tunnels and caverns, Bilbo becomes lost, then finds the One Ring and Gollum, an encounter that becomes the key of "The Lord of the Rings" story.
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The Shire
Carrock
This enormous rock in the upper reaches of the River Anduin is where the eagles deposit the Company after their escape through the "back door" of the Misty Mountains.
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Characters
  • Gandalf
    Ian McKellen
    Character
    The 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 Baggins
    Ian Holm | Martin Freeman
    Character
    The 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 Oakenshield
    Richar Armitage
    Character
    The 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 Dwarves
    Various actors
    Character
    White-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.
  • Saruman
    Christopher Lee
    Character
    In "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.
  • Radagast
    Sylvester McCoy
    Character
    Another 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.
  • Frodo
    Elijah Wood
    Character
    The hero of "The Lord of the Rings," Bilbo's nephew has a cameo in the "flash-forward" scene that frames the adventures of Bilbo.
  • Galadriel
    Cate Blanchett
    Character
    Galadriel 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.
  • Elrond
    Hugo Weaving
    Character
    Wielding 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.
  • Gollum
    Andy Serkis
    Character
    Part 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.

Ryan Huddle, Chiqui Esteban/Globe Staff

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