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Series / The Hobbits

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"Is it possible that there is still a hobbit who doesn't know the tale of the ring? Very well. I will tell it. One last time."

The Hobbits (original title: Hobitit) is a low-budget Finnish 1993 nine-part television miniseries, based on J. R. R. Tolkien's most famous works: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It's adapted from a Finnish 1988 play version of the story, features mostly the same cast, and was directed by Timo Torikka.

As expected, it's quite a Compressed Adaptation. The Riddles in the Dark chapter is the only part of The Hobbit which is actually shown on screen, and the rest of the series focuses entirely on Sam and Frodo, turning the War of the Ring into a Great Offscreen War. However, it also includes parts of the book which are usually Adapted Out, most notably Tom Bombadil and The Scouring of the Shire.

The plot is narrated to us through a Framing Device where an elderly Sam tells the story one last time to a group of young hobbits, before he too journeys into the West.

Compare The Keepers, a similarly low-budget Russian adaptation.


  • Adaptation Name Change: As in the Finnish translations of the books, several names were changed. (Though the online English subtitles use their original names.)
    • Strider is now called "Konkari."
    • Gollum has been renamed "Klonkku."
    • Downplayed with Merry, who is now named Merri.
    • Barliman Butterbur is named Viljami Voivalvatti.
    • Shelob is called Lukitar in this series, despite being called Lukitari in the books.
  • Age Lift: Frodo is older than in most adaptations, though this is actually Truer to the Text.
  • Ambiguously Human: Due to costume limitations, the various races of Middle-Earth really don't look that different from normal humans.
    • Elves, wizards, and whatever Tom Bombadil is look just like regular people.
    • Hobbits just seem to be slightly short people with (rather fake looking) curly hair.
    • Gimli - again - simply looks like a regular person who happens to be somewhat short in stature (and not even short enough to be a human suffering from dwarfism.)
    • The Ringwraiths are simply men in black cloaks. Granted, they are meant to be cursed human kings.
    • Klonkku is still clearly affected by the ring, as he has lost his hair and gotten a sickly greenish complexion, but he looks less mutated than usual, giving off the impression that he might just be an insane cannibal.
    • As mentioned elsewhere on the page, what we can see of Sauron implies that he is pretty normal-looking. Granted, he is a member of the same species as Gandalf and Saruman.
    • Even the Orcs mostly just look like a Barbarian Tribe with some kind of facial infection.
  • Artistic License Sword Safety: During the Riddles in the Dark scene in the first episode, Bilbo is holding his own sword uncomfortably close to his throat. Blink and you'll miss it, but at one point near the beginning of the scene, he appears to come within a hair of stabbing himself with it. However, it may be justified, as he's struggling to maintain his composure against Klonkku, a creature dead-set on eating him — never mind that he wants to show the monster that he's armed.
  • Beard of Evil: Saruman, unsurprisingly.
    • Sméagol also had one before his transformation into Klonkku, in contrast to the Perma-Stubble Kari Väänänen wears as Konkari.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli just sort of disappear after the skirmish at Amon Hen. The out-of-universe explanation is that the creators lacked the budget to film their story. The in-universe example, of course, is that Sam is focusing exclusively on the tales of the hobbits, particularly himself and Frodo.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: One of the... more drastic diversions from the source material. Though this is mostly a case of Lost in Translation, as the original Finnish words are actually rather mild.
  • Doing In the Wizard: The series retains the scene where Frodo and Sam argue whether or not their rope was untied by magic or not, it actually shows Gollum doing the deed. A possibility the book only implied.
  • Driving a Desk: Used as the Fellowship traverse the Great River, while keeping the "boat" itself completely offscreen. Getting an actual old-looking boat and rowing it down a river was apparently out of their budget.
  • Empowering Lake Lady: Galadriel, as always. Though she plays it even more straight here, as she's portrayed like a literal water spirit, only seen as a reflection in her lake.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: The Eye of Sauron is portayed like a normal, human eye at the bottom of Mount Doom.
  • Fan Disservice: Gollum / Klonkku being half-naked is nothing new, but this series is not as good at utilizing a Scenery Censor as other adaptations, meaning that there are times when his... precious is shown quite clearly to the audience.
  • Fat Bastard: Klonkku, at least compared to most other interpretations of the character.
  • Large Ham: Several with the raspy shouting Klonkku taking the cake.
  • Living Shadow: The Ringwraiths seem to be this, though there are a few shots were you can see their faces.
  • Magical Native American: This series' version of Tom Bombadil seems to be inspired by this trope.
  • Melodrama: Let's just say that you can tell that most of the cast were stage actors.
  • Not So Above It All: During Frodo's impromptu musical number at the Prancing Pony, Voivalvatti is seen fretting and looking confused at the wild party that has just broken out. A couple minutes later he has joined in on the fun and is happily dancing along to the music.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Presumably due to time and budget constraints, many of the most iconic scenes from the books are only told to us by our narrator, never shown. This includes Gandalf's battle against the Balrog, the taking of Isengard, most of the war scenes and nearly all of The Hobbit.
  • Once an Episode: (Nearly) every episode features a song as part of the soundtrack.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Klonkku's eyes are red after he falls under the Ring's influence.
  • Samurai: Boromir is one, for some reason.
  • Simpleton Voice: Bilbo doesn't sound quite all there.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Gandalf never actually dies in this version, the Fellowship merely assume that he does since they Never Found the Body. In actuality though, he is said to have been saved by Gwairhir and brought directly to Lorien, skipping over his resurrection completely.
  • Spiritual Sequel: As adaptations of The Lord of the Rings go, it is probably most similar to Rankin/Bass' adaptation of The Return of the King, as they both focus on the Hobbit's side of the story, give Elrond a beard, keep Legolas silent, and feature many songs, almost to the point of being a musical.
  • Stock Footage: Several examples. Most notably, it seems like the exact same footage of the Ringwraiths is used almost every time they appear.
  • Talking to Themself: Klonkku/Sméagol communicate in this manner, with tone and harshness of his/their voice changing depending of who's in charge. The overall effect is surpisingy similar to Andy Serkis' portrayal of the character(s).
  • The Unintelligible: Occasionally, Klonkku's lines are so incoherent that not even the subtitler has any idea of what he's saying.
  • The Unseen: The only thing we see of Sauron is his eye, which looks like that of a regular human. We do see the forging of the one ring, but it's done as a close-up shot, so we only see the tools he uses.
  • Vocal Dissonance: The effects of the ring eventually gives Frodo a very hoarse voice.
  • The Voiceless: Legolas has no dialogue whatsoever.
    • However, in one scene, he can be seen muttering something in the background, although even then his voice is soft enough that the audience can barely hear him.