Mary Wright Layton is a Senior studying English language with a writing minor at BYU. Mary loves reading fantasy novels and hopes to become a creative writer.
In an apartment in Provo there lived a student – a student who dearly loved The Hobbit, the classic fantasy novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Bilbo, the hobbit, is the small creature who inhabits the world of Middle Earth and the hearts of numerous avid fans like me.
I first fell in love with The Hobbit in 5th grade. Perhaps 11 is a bit young for trudging through the overly descriptive forests of Mirkwood, wandering aimlessly through the goblin tunnels of the Misty Mountains, and braving the fiery wrath of Smaug the dragon. I admit I wasn’t always enchanted by every word of elven poetry nor enthralled by each of Tolkien’s tedious geographic descriptions. But nonetheless, a mysterious force compelled me to read the literary masterpiece again and again. Maybe it was the ring. It had taken hold.
The mysterious force turned out to be simply the fantastic storyline of adventure, bravery, loyalty, and good versus evil. Bilbo is an ordinary hobbit, content with his life of peace and quiet in the Shire. But when the wizened wizard, Gandalf, knocks on his door, there is no going back. Bilbo discovers strengths within himself he never knew existed. His transformation is a part of the book I really love. In a way, everyone is a Bilbo Baggins. They wish an unexpected and exciting journey would come knocking on their door, waiting to whisk them off to unknown lands for the adventure of a lifetime. Well, maybe not everyone wishes that, but I did.
Soon I will be able to revisit all the joys of The Hobbit when it is brought to life on the big screen. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I have tickets for Thursday’s midnight showing! I can’t wait to watch Bilbo, Gandalf, and all 13 dwarves battle trolls, goblins. wargs, giant spiders, and make their way to the Lonely Mountain. But for now, the road goes ever on and on . . . studying for finals goes ever on and on.
-Mary Wright Layton