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.
Move over, millennials. Gen Z is the hot new target audience
Generation Z, loosely defined as those 20 and younger, are starting to spend their own money, and businesses are noticing.
After 40 years, Fuller Brush man still going door to door
There are three Fuller Brush men left in Mass. Al Cohen, 64, is one of them.
MBTA repair bill up to $7.3b and may rise, panel says
A spokesman for Governor Baker praised the board for its work but did not commit to more money for the agency.
In stunning reversal, nanny’s murder case dropped
The medical examiner’s office said it could no longer stand by its ruling that a Cambridge infant’s death in 2013 was a homicide.
Judge could rule on Deflategate as soon as Tuesday
“The parties tried quite hard” to reach a settlement but couldn’t find common ground, US District Judge Richard Berman said.
Time for Hillary Clinton to cut through the noise
Ads and high-profile endorsements can still be undermined.
Joseph Kennedy says he’ll support Iran nuclear agreement
Kennedy acknowledged that some voters in the district, which is heavily Jewish, might not favor his stance.
US makes appeal for climate change action at Alaska conference
The Obama administration cautioned that the consequences that have hit the Arctic the hardest would soon engulf the world.
Stocks see worst month in 3 years
Investors were still sorting out conflicting messages on when the Federal Reserve Bank will raise interest rates.
Grenade kills officer outside Ukraine Parliament
As lawmakers took up a measure to give greater powers to separatists, nationalist protesters clashed with police outside parliament on Monday.
Seeing Rijksmuseum’s 10-year renovation in stops and starts
Oeke Hoogendijk’s documentary “The New Rijksmuseum” looks at the renovation of the great Amsterdam museum.
Hacker known for work with Anonymous launches digital news service
Gregg Housh, a hacker who went to prison for illegal online activity, is recasting himself as a journalist.
Specialists see no criminal trouble for Clinton in e-mail flap
Based on the public evidence, specialists in government secrecy law see almost no possibility of criminal action against Hillary Clinton or her top aides.
Walsh proposes 13.7 percent City Council pay hike
Councilors’ salaries would increase to $99,500 — but not the $105,000 that they want.
Migrants stalled at Austrian border
The Austrian police began checking vehicles crossing from Hungary overnight, finding 200 migrants and arresting at least five people.
Tips for an online age: What not to share
These days, sharing has graduated from the intimacy of a simple person-to-person gesture into something more like a public performance.
Wes Craven, slasher of suburbs
Movies like “A Nightmare on Elm Street” required a generation of understimulated suburban teens.
Give it up, Ohio: Denali is back
Laying claim to another state’s landform seems more than a little presumptuous.
Slim pickings at the start of Allston Christmas
Young adults hoping to furnish their homes on the cheap didn’t find much for the taking on Monday.