What started as a simple adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous children’s story has morphed over time into an epic spanning the length of three feature films. Production of the films has been tumultuous to say the least, as original director Guillermo Del Toro famously abandoned the project, with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson eventually returning to take the helm. While the spirit of The Lord of the Rings films is intact in The Hobbit trilogy, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who feels that the new trilogy is superior. In truth, An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug, the two films released so far, have been disappointing in several ways.
Here are 10 reasons The Hobbit franchise is inferior to The Lord of The Rings.
10. Unutilized Characters
The basic plot outline for The Hobbit is that Bilbo goes on a quest with a company of 13 dwarves to reclaim the dwarves’ kingdom, which was taken from them by a deadly dragon. The films so far share the novel’s practice of only developing a few of the dwarves in the interest of time, while the others are only given the barest of traits and personalities. Unfortunately, this practice works much better in the novel. On-screen, it’s perplexing and a little frustrating that most of the characters are given no personality or agency. Again, Jackson is only following Tolkien’s lead but with three films worth of running time, a little more time could have been spent on developing existing characters rather than introducing a whole batch of new ones.