I think the funniest thing about Linkara's The Hobbit reviews
(which I am rewatching at the moment) is that I don't disagree with any of the critiques he has to the storyline--it's all spot-on true for how to build a good story. The extra characters, the climax, Bilbo's role in it, the second
climax, etc.--none is particularly good novel technique.
--And yet, at the same time, every single thing he critiques is another reason why The Hobbit
is my favorite book in the world.
Most of it boils down to one thing--that it really is Bilbo's
story. It gives us his
point of view, and while he's a hero, he's not a Hero. So I like that the Dwarves are kind of an amorphous mass, with one or two personality traits materializing out of it sometimes, because I have the feeling that's kind of how I'd perceive it if I was sort of accidentally dragged on this adventure. I like how he was
accidentally dragged on--for all that it's nice to show him consciously deciding to change his life in the movie, I like how Gandalf actually just flusters him into joining in the book. I really
like that he bitches the whole damn way--I hadn't realized how important it was that he piss and moan all the way to the Lonely Mountain until it was taken away in the movies. Yeah, he's rising to the occasion, but by god, he's not happy about it.
But what I especially like is Linkara's big complaint--the double-climax and how Bilbo plays into it.
that he doesn't slay the dragon. I like that his contribution was a small one--a critical piece of information that would get around to some other
hero to do the job. Here in a world were we can't actually do heroic, world-saving deeds, the idea of doing a small thing that still touches off a great change is a really uplifting one.
I like the Battle of Five Armies. Aftermath is difficult and more complicated than a usual denouement is. And your friends can turn into jerks even then.
And most of all, what I like is how Bilbo tries to handle the standoff leading up to the battle. His true bravery is in his attempt to make an outcome that works out best for everyone--trying to do the right thing despite his own friends' not appreciating that. And that he tries to solve it peacefully. And that he fails
--but that everyone realizes what he was trying to do, and winds up respecting the hell
out of him for it. He may have changed them a little more for next time--maybe they'll try a little harder to fix things.
So, yes. It doesn't really reflect everything we're used to
in a story, but it's something I really love. His story is one of the small people who don't
slay dragons or move mountains. He's just the guy who flubs his way through the adventure he's dragged on, trying to do mostly the right thing as he goes. It's not the person we like to imagine ourselves as, but it's rather nice to realize that the person we actually are
, for all our flaws, can be respectable, too, in our own small and admirable ways.
And that he snarks the whole time. Really, I can't overstate how important it is that he whines so much.