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An Ambitious Fan Recut THE HOBBIT Trilogy Into One 4-Hour Film

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit is about 300 pages long. Unlike The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit isn’t part of a trilogy. That didn’t stop Peter Jackson from turning the single book into three long films that included plenty of extras not in the book. As a fan of most things Middle-earth, I was excited to see more of Tolkien’s work on the big screen but also dismayed by how the tone of the adaptation wasn’t quite right and the action sequences that dragged on and on. The person behind a new cut of The Hobbit trilogy felt similarly and took the time to edit over 9 hours of footage into a single film that clocks in at 4 hours and 21 minutes. Give this person treasure from Smaug’s hoard!

The author of The Hobbit recut goes by Tolkien Editor and talks about being frustrated that the narrative got away from focusing on the hobbit of The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. He was gone for large swaths of the second and third films, and his journey is at the heart of the story. In his cut, Tolkien Editor redirected the plot to center on Bilbo and excised unnecessary diversions and subplots. For example, Tolkien Editor pared down the barrel scene that seems like it was only inserted as a template for a future theme park ride – not that I have feelings about it.

Other cuts include the whole investigation of Dol Guldur, Tauriel and the weird love triangle with Legolas and Kili, Bard’s imprisonment, and the prologue with Old Bilbo. Overall, it sounds like a movie I want to watch rather than one I feel obligated to watch (which is what happened with The Battle of The Five Armies).

Tolkien Editor hasn’t uploaded the recut to YouTube, but it is available for download. Learn how at Tolkien Editor’s site; you can read more about the changes there, too.

Do you think Peter Jackson’s take on The Hobbit went on too long? What would you change about the trilogy? Let us know in the comments.

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  1. Bashful Pixie says:

    I see a LOT of fan-edits all cutting down the Hobbit movies to the basic Bilbo story. The one I like the best is the one that was cut down into a “Prequel to Lord of the Rings” – and shows all the goblins, orcs and Sauron stuff. Search YouTube for ‘Necromancer of idol guilder trailer” (or something like that.)

  2. MrBurns says:

    Thank you Sir for the initiative and yes PJ version was too long with some unnecessary characters.

  3. Aleks Savkic says:

    How dare tolkieneditor DESTROY someone else’s work!!!!!!

    This is disgusting butchery of an artwork piece!
    Every film, like it or not, is a form of art

    just because YOU dont like it does not make it any less art!

    This film is NOT tolkieneditor work

    It is NOT his vision to destroy or edit
     Imagine that someone comes along and cuts up the Mona lisa because they didnt like it!!!
     What this person did is the same thing butchering someone else’s art!!!!!!

    If he wants to present movies then he should become a director and not a hacker!
    He stole this vision and destroyed it

    Like the film or not it is someones vision someones art!!!!!

    • Moo says:

      How so? Jackson’s version is still there for people to watch.This is along the same lines as people r )eworking other artworks. Are all the parodies of The Scream (for example, ruining the original in some way?

  4. Per says:

    All Tolkien Editor says is “I dont like what Peter Jackson did, wha wha, i can do it so much better!!!””
    If you think that, then do the whole movie yourself then!! I would like to see Tokien Editor make a movie of his own before he whines about someone elses.

  5. An Jooken says:

    I don’t know what everyone is complaining about, this was a Peter Jackson movie, so of course it was going to be long. As a cinefile and lotr fan myself, I absolutely loved it. There were bits that were not really necessary, but if you want a short movie than go watch something else. Also, I loved that it expanded on the dwarves a little more. In the book, it’s like they’re ‘Thorin and the others’, instead of individual beings. At least in the movies, you know who’s who and they each have a very distinct personality. 

  6. kkk says:

    Good, I felt it was so dragged out and spread thin by the 3rd film. I yawned so many times and just sat there thinking “really? this is still going on?”.

    I would’ve been happier if it was one movie, maybe two that covered the book. The first was good, the 2nd was okay, the 3rd was literally 20 minutes of plot dragged out for 3 hours.

    The LotR fit well into its 3 films, even the extended editions. There was always something going on, and the plot stayed true. It followed the stories of each group very nicely and had a very consistent flow that actually made sense. The action scenes, amazing.

  7. Madison says:

    Anyone who thinks that The Hobbit was way too long has never read any of the books. Yes, the actual book The Hobbit is short but it has a lot of background information in The Simirilion. Everything that happened in the movies happened in the book just with less words. Forgive the man for trying to provide the real fans with a great movie trilogy. It was perfect.

    • Christabel says:

      Riiiiiight. I’m sure that’s exactly it. Azog survived the battle at Moria?? Really. And that whole fight scene with the orcs on the Mirkwood river (you know the dwarves in the barrels) that happened? That and so much more did NOT happen in the book. What Jackson did with the Hobbit is the equivalent of making the Lord of the Rings 8 movies.Oooh and it’s the Silmarillion! Not the “Simirilion”. I don’t really think you’ve read anything and therefore CANNOT pretend like you have. I am so happy Christopher Tolkien is not giving the rights of The Silmarillion to Peter Jackson! Peace out!

  8. mxx says:

    I don’t see why he wouldn’t wait until the third extended cut is out. If you care THAT much about cutting down the films into book form, then you care about those little snippets of Beorn that were probably cut from the theatrical release, and anything else that didn’t make it into the 3rd movie. He’s just going to have to recut it again (and you know he will).

  9. Cole says:

    I loved the full versions of the movies, but I am still excited to watch a pared down cut, and am glad that the world now has both.

  10. Chance says:

    I don’t understand all the whining about the length of the trilogy. With the exception of Tauriel, who was completely unnecessary, I enjoyed it.

  11. Jenni says:

    Bless you with the light of Galadriel!  This new cut is exactly what I hoped for the moment BOFA was over. Elves in love with Dwarves?!? Blasphemy!!!

    • Xan says:

      I think Legolas and Gimli may have something to say about that…

      Though tbh I’ve been waiting for this since the first one.

  12. Aron says:

    let’s just pray there’s never a mini-series “The Silmarillion”

  13. RG says:

    Oh fuck this.

    On principle alone, Tolkien = long and exhaustive. You’re supposed to slog through it. If Tolkien had done the rewrite his publisher convinced him to scrap, the Hobbit would have been the same slog with all that background, and it’s from those unpublished notes that Jackson adapted the movies. It’s not the fault of Jackson, it’s not the fault of modern cinema… it’s Tolkien. End of story.

    • S as in "Smaug" says:

      Long? Yes. Exhausting? Well, that is a matter of taste. Myself, I prefer the trilogy of the ring as books, because Jackson’s version is more of a Happy Meal-variety. Lots of action and completely simplified. The Hobbit is much the same. The story is quite short and the focus is supposed to be on Bilbo and his journey, but of course, Jackson made it into another chance to do cool battles. If you’re a fan of using your head, stay away from the movies, but if you just want to enjoy simple fantasy action, stay away from the books.

      • RG says:

        Bilbo is the audience surrogate, and he’s observing as much of the outside world as we’re supposed to be… which means less time spent watching him, and more time spent watching what he’s watching. The things people complain about are not faults in bad adaptation, but facts of adaptation itself.

        It’s pretentious to presume that because action was expounded upon, the core story is not intact. That’s a false dichotomy. Also, the idea that you have to “use your head” on The Hobbit is laughable; it’s a children’s book. There’s not as much to it as you’re making out, and in fact, if it had been translated literally in this day and age, it would have been a laughing stock. The devices which move the plot along are clunky and contrived. Tolkien is great, but far from perfect.

        Translating something to film is not an exercise in absolute reverence. Your devotion as a fan doesn’t make the books critically better. Some things the books do better, some things the films do better, but it’s not simply a breakdown of “action vs. smarts” but a wiser person has ability to recognize that neither is wholly superior.

        What you see as “lots of action and completely simplified” is more likely the fact that on screen, people don’t just state their emotions bluntly the way Tolkien wrote them. They do it through acting and nuanced characterization, and Tolkien was simply no good at that. Any director would have been insane to translate that stuff directly.

  14. Went to the eary release imax 3d showing of the full trilogy. It was definatley worth it to see all that peter jackson did once, in imax 3D and to see it once only. it was beuatiful and it was good to at least get to see more of middle earth surrounded by fellow enthusiests. but having said this i would much rather have a shorter version to enjoy on my own time and had honestly thought of doing a re-cut myself when i had the time to get around to it, which at this rate would probably be never. Besides the bloat (which i can ignore) the only thing that really upset me about pj’s adaptatino was the path through mirkwood. there are incredibly important themes to be found in those chapters that got cut out. 

  15. Billybobbaggins says:

    YES! It was…very long. Very bloated and very BORING. As a film fan and fan of The Hobbit, the movies hit the mark many times but added so much It’s just so distracting from what should be such a straightforward and simple story people love.

  16. Yokuutsu says:

    LOTR was not a trilogy. It was one gigantic book, but at the time it was cheaper to print it separately so they cut it up.

    • Uselessencyclopedia says:

      At which point, they cut it into six books, not three.

      • mrm1138 says:

        I’m not sure where you’re getting this from. In the case of LOTR, the term “book,” as in books I-VI, are just used as a subdivision of the complete narrative, much in the way that other authors might use “part.” LOTR was originally published in three volumes, which is confirmed in the “Note on the Text” at the beginning of the one-volume edition (as well as the Kindle edition of Fellowship).
        There was a 7-volume hardcover set published in 1999 (one volume for each book, plus another for the appendices), but as far as I can tell, that’s the only time it’s every been published as more than three volumes.

        • oyferder86 says:

          Tolkien wanted actually originally to have LotR divided into 7 books (where book 7 was the appendices), but it was cheaper to publish 3 books than 7

  17. Cheryllion says:

    It’s exhausting to even think about watching the Peter Jackson version. The book was more small-scale, intimate and charming to me. The Rankin-Bass version? Perfection! 😀

    • ed says:

      Yup, and at 1/7? the length of Jackson’s adaptation of a CHILDREN’s book.
      You’ll miss out on Beorn and the Arkenstone, and the movies’ special effects and Angrid– but that’s what reading the book is for!

  18. Rich says:

    Fanboys always think they know better. Ridiculous as always.