‘The Hobbit’ journeys to Issaquah Library celebration

December 11, 2012

By David Hayes

Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo Baggins in ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.’ Warner Bros. Entertainment

In 1999, a little-known director from New Zealand undertook one of the greatest risks in cinematic history, committing $285 million to consecutively film J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

Peter Jackson’s gamble paid off big — a $2.9 billion worldwide box office haul with 30 Academy Award nominations and 17 wins.

Now, 13 years later, Jackson is hoping to capture lightning in a bottle again with the release on Dec. 14 of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the first installment of a planned trilogy from Tolkien’s “The Hobbit or There and Back Again.”

To celebrate the release, the Issaquah Library is hosting a Second Breakfast Party.

The party will be the third the library has hosted recently for popular movie releases, including “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games.” Teen librarian Jessica Lopez said readers live, eat and breathe such books, which frequently have long hold lists in the library.

“Naturally, those who love these books so much would jump at the opportunity to attend a party with activities, food, raffles and prizes centered around them,” she said. “‘The Hobbit’ is unique in that it is more of a beloved classic than a hot new teen book, but I think it definitely has a following of people who are excited about the party.”

If you go

‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ Second Breakfast Party

  • 11 a.m. Dec. 15
  • Issaquah Library, 10 W. Sunset Way
  • 392-5430
  • Open to all ages

Long before Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin left the Shire to help destroy the One Ring and save Middle Earth from the machinations of the Dark Lord Sauron, as detailed in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, Frodo’s uncle Bilbo had an adventure of his own.

Written by Tolkien in 1937, “The Hobbit” details how Bilbo was recruited by the wizard Gandalf the Grey to be a burglar and lucky 14th member of a band of dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, looking to reclaim their heritage and ownership of the Lonely Mountain and the treasures that lie within. The biggest obstacle to their quest is the dragon Smaug, who pillaged the dwarven kingdom from Thorin’s grandfather and still sleeps upon the vast treasure.

In their journey to Lonely Mountain and beyond, the unlikely group has run-ins with elves, trolls, giant spiders, goblins, wargs, men and a certain recluse by the name of Gollum.

Lopez and children’s librarian Ann Crewdson have planned many activities for their party that pay homage to many of the key elements of “The Hobbit,” including:

  • A ring toss
  • Nerf bow and arrow skill exhibition
  • Hobbit trivia
  • A workshop on how to write your name in elvish
  • A raffling off of prizes for movie tickets, an illustrated copy of “The Hobbit,” an elvish dictionary and a movie poster. There will also be a treasure chest with fun prizes.

In keeping with the Second Breakfast theme (Hobbits have at least seven meal times, including breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner and supper), Lopez said the party will have Hobbit-like food, like elven lumbus bread, Hobbit cake, dried fruit and juice (sorry, no mead).

She added party attendees are invited to dress as their favorite characters; she and Crewdson will dress as a Hobbit and elf themselves.

“As librarians, we love to see enthusiasm related to any book, and these parties, I think, are our way of encouraging and celebrating the enthusiasm and love of reading in our communities,” Lopez said.

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