The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - 2012
Age-appropriateness: violent battle sequences, scary images
Overview: A reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of dwarves to reclaim their mountain home, and the gold within it from the dragon Smaug.
Themes: adventure, meekness, greed, courage, mentor, loyalty, honor, family, trust, betrayal, forgiveness, courage, pride, evil
The Quick 3
Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.
1. Adventure. Would you prefer to live a life of surprises and risks, or a life where nothing unexpected ever happened?
Bilbo Baggins lived a cautious life in The Shire. He, like many other Hobbits, didn't take a lot of risks or go on any dangerous adventures. Bilbo said that he lived a life where "nothing unexpected ever happened".
2. Greed. Have you ever felt greedy? What causes people to care more about money and toys more than other people?
Thror, and many of the dwarfs, loved gold and jewels to an unhealthy degree. They pursued more and more gold as an obsession. They greed lead them into dangerous territory. Thror's greed was described as a "sickness of the mind". Dragons were said to "covet gold with a dark and fierce desire". Greed is having a selfish desire for money and toys.
3. Loyalty. Do you have any friends that you would describe as loyal and honorable?
Thorin explains why he loves his friends so much. "Loyalty, honor, a willing heart. I can ask no more than that". Loyalty is showing trust and constant support for someone.
After The Movie Discussion Guide
Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.
1. Thror, and many of the dwarfs, loved gold and jewels to an unhealthy degree. They pursued more and more gold as an obsession. They greed lead them into dangerous territory. Thror's greed was described as a "sickness of the mind". Dragons were said to "covet gold with a dark and fierce desire". Greed is having a selfish desire for money and toys. Have you ever felt greedy? What causes people to care more about money and toys more than other people?
2. Thorin was in Erebor when Smaug took over the kingdom. He watched as the Elves decided not to help. Thorin refused to forgive, and he never forgot, all of those who hurt him and his friends. Colossians 3:12-13 says, "Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." Do you find it difficult to forgive people who hurt you? What makes it so difficult?
3. Radagast the Brown was a wizard who spent his time among animals. He lived among them and protected them. Long ago, God entrusted Noah with protecting animals. In Genesis 7, God commands Noah to take care of animals in preparation for the great flood. Do you enjoy being around animals? Why do you think it's important to respect God's creation?
4. Gandalf was fearful that his enemy, Sauron, would gain strength and do his evil deeds. Gandalf fought hard to protect Middle-Earth from this primary enemy. We, too, have an enemy in this world that has bad intentions towards people. Gandalf is taking action, much like what we see encouraged in 1 Peter 5:8: "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." What type of evil in the world do you think you have to watch out for?
Check out this article on How to Talk to Your Kids About Satan/Evil.
Minute By Minute Guide
Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.
:12 Bilbo Baggins lived a cautious life in The Shire. He, like many other Hobbits, didn't take a lot of risks or go on any dangerous adventures. Bilbo said that he lived a life where "nothing unexpected ever happened". Would you prefer to live a life of surprises and risks, or a life where nothing unexpected ever happened?
:23 Bilbo finds himself surrounded by dwarves, who behave much differently than the Hobbits he's used to. Have you ever found yourself in a room where everyone else is different than you? How does that feel? How might you come to appreciate the different way of living?
:31 Gandalf sees the potential in Bilbo, as he encourages the Dwarves to use him on their quest. While many might look at Bilbo and not see much from the outside, Gandalf believes in Bilbo. God also does not measure someone by what they look like on the outside. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'" Have you ever felt like someone judged you by what you look like on the outside? If someone could see your heart, how would they describe it?
:35 Thorin explains why he loves his friends so much. "Loyalty, honor, a willing heart. I can ask no more than that". Loyalty is showing trust and constant support for someone. Do you have any friends that you would describe as loyal and honorable?
:47 Thorin is part of the dwarf family that is in the line of Durin. They have a rich family heritage of leadership and kingship. Thorin is proud and honored to be in his family. How proud are you to be a part of your family? Have you ever heard any stories about the accomplishments of your ancestors?
:56 Thorin refuses to trust the Elves, even if it's likely that they will help him. Thorin remains bitter toward the Elves because of their past actions, and it's clouded his judgement toward them in the present. Gandalf thinks Thorin is foolish for holding such a grudge. Is there anyone in your life who has broken your trust and you find it very difficult to trust them again? Is there any chance that bitterness might be unhealthy?
1:03 When Bilbo was in trouble with the cave trolls, all of the dwarves came to save him. They saw their friend in a difficult task, and they didn't want to leave him behind and allow him to be hurt. How reliable are your friends? When you're in trouble, do they provide support?
1:11 Gandalf advises Bilbo that "true courage is about knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare one." Courage is being brave enough to make good choices, even when you’re afraid. What do you think Gandalf means with this advice? Why would it take courage to spare a life?
1:29 Thorin refuses to be kind to the Elves, continuing to hold a grudge against them for their past actions. Gandalf scoffs at his disrespect, saying, "Save me from the stubbornness of dwarves. Your pride will be your downfall." Proverbs 16:18 warns against something similar: "If you are proud, you will be destroyed. If you are proud, you will fall." Pride is feeling that you are the best and most important. Why do you think pride is such a dangerous, destructive thing?
1:41 Gandalf says that some people "believe that it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what's I've found. I've found it is the small things. Everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love." God's Word also speaks to the importance of love that we all show one another. "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." (1 Corinthians 13:7). Do you agree with Gandalf? What do you think fights against the evil in this world?
Check out this article on How to Talk to Your Kids About Satan/Evil.
1:51 Bilbo feels like he doesn't belong in the company of Dwarves. Bofur agrees, saying that Dwarves don't belong anywhere either. Have you ever felt like you didn't belong? What made you feel that way?
2:06 Bilbo and Gollum exchange riddles with one another. Do you like to solve riddles and puzzles?
2:21 Bilbo overhears Thorin explain how the Hobbit must have abandoned them. Bilbo goes on to explain that he hasn't left because he wants the dwarves to have a home. Have you ever had someone in your life doubt you? How does it feel to think that others don't think highly of you?
2:36 Thorin thanks Bilbo for his heroic act of bravery. Thorin apologizes for doubting Bilbo. Bilbo was willing to risk his own safety in order to save Thorin's life. Jesus Christ did something similar, but what He did was way better. Jesus gave up His entire life in order to save ours. Because of our sin, we were separated from God and there was no way we could make it right. But God loved us so much that He gave His one and only Son so that He could take the consequence that we were supposed to pay. Jesus did that so we could be with God forever, in heaven! How do you feel, knowing that Jesus gave up His life to save you?