I’m not excited for The Hobbit.
I’ve been trying to avoid this for months. Telling myself that I am excited, really. That I’m just nervous it won’t live up to wonder that was Lord of the Rings, and that I should have faith. Because what ex-Lord of the Rings teenage fangirl, who counted down to the release of each movie, and watched Fellowship so many times she could probably still recite it from memory, wouldn’t be excited about the release of three new movies?
This one, apparently.
The Lord of the Rings is mostly a boys’ club, but (at least in the movie version) Eowyn is a pretty kickass figure, and one of my favorite fictional characters. They built up Arwen’s role in the story, and Galadriel is one of the Elven ringbearers, so at least there are women there, doing things, even if they are only a small fraction of the visible population.
Not so for The Hobbit. It’s been a while since I read the book, but I think I’m right in saying that there are basically no female characters in the story. Perhaps one of the elves or villagers is a woman? I’m not sure. But women don’t play a named, significant (or even insignificant) role in the story. They don’t matter. They basically don’t exist.
Of course, Peter Jackson can’t put out a film that is 100% male characters, so he’s put Galadriel into the story, and invented a new elf called Tauriel. But unless Jackson diverts quite dramatically from the books (and, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind), these characters can’t be much more than window dressing. They can’t play an integral part in the story. And I think these character posters make it clear: with the exception of Galadriel, it is male character after male character after male character, adventuring together and doing their white male things.
So now my past, Lord of the Rings-loving self is clashing with the new self, who hates “boys club” epic fantasy. And I have no idea who is going to win when the first film is finally released next month.