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    Posted December 11, 2012 by
    provo, Utah
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    'The Hobbit' is here!

    More from jeffreyroot

    The Hobbit: Nine Years of Waiting for a Long Expected Party


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Jeffrey Root’s fascination with Middle Earth started when he took a Tolkien literature class at Utah Valley University.

    The class were asked to create their own worlds, written languages, races, histories and art projects.

    “I grew an appreciation for the creation process that went into developing the world of Middle Earth,” said the 30-year-old, who now works as a support technician and studio director who created the outfit himself.

    'After seeing The Hobbit preview I went to fabric stores for some material. My wife taught me how to sew and every once in a while she steps into to correct what I am doing. I also carved my sword out of wood. I make and sell wizard wands, but this was my first attempt at carving a sword and I am pleased with the outcome.'

    To transform into a Hobbit Mr Root left his hair in curlers overnight and applied some prosthetic ears in the morning. “I love Halloween. It's always been my favorite holiday. It is a day where you can be something other than yourself. You can be a hero, an adventurer or just plane dead.”

    - stinabacker, CNN iReport producer

    It was nine years ago that I found myself standing with the rest of the crowd in a theater, applauding at the end of the Return of the King. To this day it stands as the greatest movie theatrical experience I’ve had, not because I feel it was the greatest movie ever made, it’s not even my favorite movie. As a viewer I felt so invested in the characters and their journey. I felt like I shared in their falls and their triumphs. No story, no adventure has ever topped the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It still ranks in the top five most read books of all time.
    I wasn’t much of a reader before I watched these movies. I will actually admit that it was quite difficult to get through the first book. I found myself flipping back and forth to a map of Middle Earth, trying to figure out where the Hobbits were headed. While the movies were not an exact interpretation of the story, they really helped as a guide when reading. Many people are very critical when it comes to adapting books to screen, but I feel that it helps with the experience. Sometimes you even have to treat them as completely different subjects, as no two are alike. When I went to read The Hobbit, I found it easy to imagine the character of Bilbo as a younger version of Ian Holm, the actor who plays Bilbo in The Lord of the Rings.
    When I decided to go back to college at Utah Valley University four years ago, I found out that a Tolkien literature course was offered. I didn’t know that such courses existed and the fact that it was the only course that focused on a single author made me wonder what other treasures were in the Tolkien vault. In this class I was introduced to another book called, The Silmarillion, kind of like The Bible for Middle Earth. Little did I know, my wife bought a first edition copy from her local library for a dollar. She didn’t know what it was, but she thought it would look cool on her bookshelf. The Silmarillion has its own creation story, wars between heavenly beings and back-story for all of the races in Middle Earth. In class we were assigned to create our own world, complete with maps, races, languages and a history. I was in charged of creating languages and visuals for our class. I even sculpted my version of a Troll holding Bilbo for an art project. The assignment was to help us appreciate the work that Tolkien went through in creating the world of Middle Earth. It was an experience I will never forget.
    This week I find myself organizing a very expected party for The Hobbit along with ten other people. Our tickets are purchased; my homemade Bilbo costume sits in my closet, ready for a night at the theater. I even made a replica of Bilbo’s sword Sting out of wood. While I have a feeling that The Hobbit split into three movies will be “Like butter scraped over too much bread,” as Bilbo would say, I am still hopeful that continuity will remain with the movie going experience I had nine years ago. The question remains; what will I eat for my pre Hobbit dinner off of Denny’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Menu”? Will it be “Gandalf’s Gobble Melt” or the “Shire Sausage Skillet”?
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