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YMMV / The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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Click here for tropes pertaining to the trilogy as a whole.


  • Anticlimax Boss: Given the Great Goblin is enormous and intimidating (almost as big as a Troll), an epic fight between him and Gandalf seems likely when he blocks the party while they're on the verge of escaping from Goblin town. Thanks to Gandalf, an Eye Poke from his staff and Glamdring, the Great Goblin goes down easily.
  • Author's Saving Throw: The extended version had Smaug redesigned to make his design closer to the rest of the trilogy.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
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    • The stick insect on Radagast's tongue.
    • The Goblin King's impromptu song performance in the extended edition.
    • The stone giant sequence. For anyone who doesn't remember the short passage it was adapted from, it seems even more so, as unlike the trolls and spiders there's zero explanation given for the giants. In the commentary Peter Jackson even says "I wonder what they're fighting about?"
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The Goblin King's corpse crashing down on top of the party after they just narrowly escaped the goblins.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • At the dinner in Rivendell, Balin dismisses Sting as not really being a sword but more of a letter opener, which was available for purchase from the Noble Collection website before the movie premiered.
    • Compare The Carrock in The Hobbit (which foreshadows the introduction of Beorn the bear-man) and Grizzly Peak at Disney's California Adventure.
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    • A scene in the extended edition has Kíli jokingly flirt with an Elven woman before assuring the others he's not really into their kind. Come The Desolation of Smaug, he falls for Tauriel.
  • Nausea Fuel: The Great Goblin's "wattle".
  • Narm:
    • Saruman's beard, which is noticeably thicker and bushier than it will be 60 years later.
    • The extended edition has the "Goblin Town" song sung by Barry Humphries. It's described as an abomination rather than a song by one of the characters, so this reaction may be intentional.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Thranduil's screentime in the prologue is minimal, but fandom nonetheless went nuts.
    • Gollum's scene is frequently cited as the best part of the film.
    • The Necromancer has only one scene, but what a scene it is.
  • Pandering to the Base: The Adaptation Expansion of The Hobbit into an epic three-part prequel setting up The Lord of the Rings with added action scenes, LOTR characters and other Continuity Nods, and subplots only loosely based on the later books has led to accusations of this, from those who would have preferred something closer to the simpler, less complicated book - which can be taken as a standalone tale while the films, by design, cannot be. For the first film, the sticking points include the Azog and White Council subplots, as well as old Bilbo and Frodo's cameos.
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  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Via a Heartwarming Moment involving a Man Hug and the sentence, "I have never been so wrong in all my life" between Bilbo and Thorin, spawned a veritable army of Thorin/Bilbo fangirls who immediately dubbed the pairing "Thilbo", "Bagginshield", or, most properly, "Thilbo Bagginshield".
  • Ship Tease: Quite a few people felt there was something between Galadriel and Gandalf.
  • Signature Scene: The Riddles in the Dark, culminating in the moment where Bilbo chooses to let Gollum live.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: Because this first film is quite faithful to the book (at the beginning, at least), the first act of the film is spent with several flashbacks involving the dwarves and Smaug, and the entire sequence of the unexpected party at Bag End, with bland exposition. Because of that, it takes 40 minutes for Bilbo to finally leave the Shire and set out on his journey with Gandalf and the dwarves.
  • Special Effects Failure: Probably the most notable failure caused by the HFR is during the long shot where the dwarfs ride a snapped-off multi-tiered bridge down the side of a crevasse.
    • Sting's blue glow is inconsistently applied during the final battle with Azog.
  • Squick:
    • Pay attention during the unexpected party. Dwalin punks Óin by pouring ale down his ear trumpet. Óin deals with it by blowing the ale out. With his mouth.
    • Bilbo being mistaken for a troll's hanky and subsequently ending up Covered in Gunge.
    • As if the goblins weren't disgusting enough, the Great Goblin orders Thorin and company to be searched in every crack and crevice.
    • The Great Goblin's throne doubles as a toilet. His actor describes him as "grossly incontinent".
    • The Great Goblin's beard of neck fat.
    • Azog's iron prosthetic is just stuck through his arm and pokes out on the other side.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • Gollum flips between adorable and terrifying constantly, especially when he's struggling to come up with answers to Bilbo's riddles. (In other words, between Sméagol and Gollum...)
    • A lot of the goblins as well, like the Goblin King's tiny secretary. Having similar character designs to the goblins in Labyrinth doesn't hurt.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • While the film's many battle scenes, vistas, and creatures are undeniably impressive, a very subtle one qualifies too. Saruman may have met and talked with the white council, but Sir Ian McKellen revealed that Sir Christopher Lee wasn't on set at all during filming; all his shots were filmed in England, then spliced in afterwards. Considering how natural his interactions are with the others, it's an impressive achievement.
    • Gollum and the Goblin King are both incredible achievements in motion capture technology, similar to Gollum’s impact on the technology in 2002. But the real star is Azog, who is on the same level as those two, and whose screentime was all done in 4 weeks!
    • Smaug's eye opening at the end. Everything about it, from the pupil contracting in the light to the inner eyelid sliding back, is incredibly well-made.

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