OBJECTIVE: Watch The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring once per every week of 2014.
WHEN: January 19, 2014, 2:49 pm. (Week 4, Jan 19-25.)
WHERE: In the living room of my apartment in Portland, ME.
FORMAT: Blu-ray on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Eating Reese’s Puffs. Mmm.
Lots of stories, particularly in the adventure, fantasy, and sci-fi genres, center around protagonists that exist solely for the audience to project themselves onto. In order to make this process easier, the main characters are sometimes lacking in many distinct traits, so you can imagine yourself finding the treasure, blowing up the Death Star, or fucking the twinkly undead boy in your science class. However, since these audience surrogates are supposed to be our guides to fantastic worlds we don’t yet understand, it helps to make them somewhat relatable to the media consumers they’re aimed at.
Which is why Hobbits are nnnerrrds, man.
“Alright, dweebs, make with the lunch money!”
Before I dive into this topic, I’m not hating on nerds. If anything, the Hobbits struck me as nerds because I recognized a lot of my own traits in their behavior. But even the blandest of my favorite protagonists still seem a little cool compared to the Hobbits. Marty McFly skateboards and plays the guitar. Reed Richards is a confident leader, and if you want to argue that Ben Grimm is the actual audience surrogate because he needs everything explained, you go right ahead and tell me how The Thing is a dork. Hell, even Luke Skywalker at his absolute whiniest still wants to go kick ass for the Rebel Alliance. But Hobbits… Hobbits suck, man.
“Can we please stop for some Funyuns and Code Red?”
Look at those little poindexters. How has Aragorn not gone on a wedgie spree five minutes into this trip? He’s only just met them and they’re complaining that they want to stop and eat. Oh, yeah, I have to mention their eating habits. Hobbits consume seven meals a day. Couple that with how much they hate leaving home and you’re not looking at a whimsical fantasy race, you’re looking at a bunch of stereotypically overweight World of Warcraft players.
“I swear to God, if Cunderthunt levels up before we get back, I will murder you.”
The Hobbits even fit into different categories of nerd so you can pick which one you’d like to latch onto. Frodo is the dreamer type that longs for adventure but doesn’t necessarily seek it out, which should appeal to 80% of the people lazily draped across sofas to watch someone else go for a hike, catching them in a perpetual feedback loop of sedentary sadness. But hey, maybe you’re shy, like that cautious little Samwise, always doing whatever his friends are, you loyal pushover, you! Or perhaps you’re the high-energy spaz of your nerd circle, just like Merry or Pippin, except there’s only one of you, even though Devin would like to think he’s just as funny as you, but he’s not, because you take improv classes and Devin just quotes Internet memes and Will Ferrell movies all day, so what does he know?
Fuck you, Devin.
The Hobbits’ nerdiness is especially apparent when a cool guy finally joins their party. Aragorn is like ten Clint Eastwoods compared to these wimps. And what do they do? Whatever the fuck he says, that’s what. What kind of group instantly changes leadership just because they were acknowledged by a tough guy that wears all black? Nerds. Actually, the whole fellowship makes them look worse by comparison. You’ve got the cool guy (Aragorn), the rebel (Boromir), the muscle (Gimli), the pretty boy (Legolas), and the old dude they let hang around ‘cuz he’s always got pipe weed (Gandalf). Holy shit, it’s Freaks and Geeks: Middle-earth.
They even took a class picture.
Also, Bilbo’s birthday party looks about as fun as a church function, and anybody who actually enjoys those earthy community shin-digs doesn’t strike me as someone that can make friends anywhere else.
Further nerd evidence: Frodo’s Urkel dancing.
And the icing on this socially awkward cake: the Hobbits are the most terrified of sex. What, you don’t remember any sex in Fellowship? Well, of course there isn’t any literal sex; I’m talking about the ring. The One Ring represents sex, right?
Again, I’m not taking cheap shots at nerds like it’s a group that I’m exempt from. If anything, I’ve probably discovered yet another reason why I dislike this movie: I don’t enjoy being reminded that I’m a fat, lazy daydreamer that annoys his friends and hates leaving the house.
ONE THING THAT WOULD HAVE IMPROVED THE MOVIE: