So a little while ago, the trailer for The Battle of the Five Armies, the last movie in The Hobbit trilogy, was released, and as I was watching it, I felt a bittersweet mixture of excitement and sadness. On one hand, I am so pumped for the last movie to come out to conclude the incredible adventure this trilogy has so far been. On the other hand . . . I don’t want it to end.
When the original Lord of the Rings movies came out, I was too young to watch them, or even really care about them. So I never got to see them in theatres and didn’t even watch them at all till several years later. When The Hobbit came out, however, I was set and determined to watch it in theatres on opening night. With the first movie, I actually found myself in the theatres three times for it—once with my dad and grandparents, again with my grandma on my mom’s side, and again with my friends. I only watched the second movie twice, but it was the same: I was there opening night to take part in the adventure.
And what an adventure it’s been.
Watching a movie on the big screen (and in 3D, to boot) is of course a magical experience in itself. The image fills your entire vision, the sound fills the whole auditorium, and the 3D effects whisk you into a world that appears to be tangible and real. You’re fully immersed in a way that just doesn’t exist when you watch in on your home TV. And then, when the movie you’re watching is full of hobbits, dwarves, and dragons, it becomes that much more magical an experience.
Considering The Hobbit was the first time I’d ever ventured into Middle-earth on the big screen . . . well, there was enough magic in that experience to make a dragon’s treasure hoard seem mundane and dull.
The green beauty of The Shire, the firelit expanses of the goblin lair, the breathtaking elegance of the elven kingdom, the ruggedness of Lake-town. Meeting the reluctant and often disgruntled Bilbo (played by the wonderful Martin Freeman, my favourite actor); Thorin and his grim task; Gandalf the Grey, a much beloved wizard; Tauriel and Legolas, fair and graceful elves; Smaug, the fearsome but dignified dragon. Travelling to all these incredible places, meeting all these amazing people (and dragons), I really felt like I became a part of the adventure.
So now . . . watching the trailer for the last movie in the trilogy (and possibly the last movie to ever take place in Middle-earth) . . . it’s sad. I’m not ready to leave the adventure yet. I don’t feel ready, anyways, but I don’t think Bilbo feels ready to fight a dragon yet either. I guess we’ll both have to face our doubts when the time comes and hope there is a happy ending for us.
As are the trailer’s final words: “one last time . . .”
It’s never easy, leaving behind an adventure and the companions who were with you all throughout it, but I guess that’s what memories are for. After all, I’ll never forget the night I entered Middle-earth for the first time on the big screen, or the breathtaking feeling of watching the end credits after that first movie. I’ll never forget the amazing experience it’s been, and thanks to the wonders of technology, I can always return.
And so I eagerly await the moment I can return to Middle-earth, resume the adventure with my wonderful companions, and come to the end of the journey.
One last time.
May the adventure never end, but live on always in your heart.