Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Hobbit Revisited

Several weeks ago I wrote a response for J.R.R. Tolkein's The Hobbit, in which I explained that I was most impressed not by it's silly characters or epic-style plot, but by it's beautiful, expansive, believable world. Since then I have written several blog entries regarding my interest in the fictional worlds of the different fantasy and science fiction stories I read. Throughout this school year, particularly with the help of this class, I have realized my complete obsession with world building in fiction. I was very happy to discover this love, as it made me extremely confident in my choice to major in Game Art and Design with it's focus on world and experience creation, as opposed to the focus on character and story creation in Computer Animation. Looking back, I recognize The Hobbit as being one of my first introductions to this idea of a complex fictional universe, and it is memorable simply for this reason.

The Hobbit, along with The Lord of the Rings trilogy, is based in a fantastical and completely fictional world that is so thoroughly and extensively created that it feels completely believable. It is filled with different races, languages, beliefs, mythology, fantasy politics, and a complex history. It is a world created with intense care and attention to detail. With a world so deep and believable as this, a book like The Hobbit seems like only one miniscule story in the massive history of Middle Earth. An infinite number of excellent, as well as convincing, stories can be told when their creator makes their world deep enough to fit in. In fact, a series of “history books” could be just as easily produced, and would be just good as if not more interesting than the actual “stories”!

As a whole, this class has introduced me to many pieces of literature that have greatly inspired or influenced me. From The Hobbit and onward, I am glad to have been exposed to such a range of genres not only for their entertainment at the time, but for their lasting effect on me and my future work in school and in my career.

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