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Friday, November 14, 2008

The Hobbit: Bilbo and the Trolls

"Blimey Burt. Look what I've caught," said William.

This is one of my favorite scenes in literature. 
The most enjoyable performance of this scene is from the 1974 Argo Records Vinyl LP audio version of The Hobbit, performed by Nicol Williamson.

The whole reading is wonderful and this scene is particularly excellent. Williamson's performance of the characters is perfect. If you get an audiobook version of The Hobbit, do not get any other version, especially any of those bungling, full-cast performance versions.
The 1974 Nicol Williamson reading is the definitive reading of The Hobbit. Sadly, it is almost impossible to find now. I have found that it occasionally pops up on Youtube. Look up "The Hobbit 1974 Argo Records"

"You can't expect people to stop here forever just to be et by you and Burt. You've had a village and a half between you since we came down from the mountains."

Bilbo should have gone back quietly and warned his friends, but he decided to do a bit of good, quick burglaring. He could not go straight back to Thorin and company empty handed. So at last he crept behind a tree just behind William, plucked up courage and put his little hand in William's enormous pocket. There was a purse in it, as big as a bag to Bilbo.
"Ah, This is a beginning!"
It was!
William turned round at once and grabbed Bilbo by the neck, before he could duck behind the tree.
"Blimey Burt, look what I've caught," said William.
"What is it?" said the others coming up.
"Lumey if I knows. What are ya?"

"Bilbo Baggins, a bur- ..uh hobbit."
"A burrahobbit?" said they, a bit startled.
"What's a burrahobbit got to do with my pockets anyway?" said William.
"And can ya cook em?" said Tom.


  1. I'm really enjoying watching your progression on this series. Now I'm really wanting to go out and buy a copy of The Hobbit.

  2. Speaking of audibooks, does anyone know whether or not an unabridged reading of The Lord of the Rings exists?

  3. Hahaha bloody brilliant... :)

    I kkiinnda see some Brian Froud in the faces of the trolls, that intentional? it works great.

    I personally loved the design of the trolls in the old cheesy but awesome 1960's cartoon version of the hobbit that was on TV.

    As weird and drugged out as the cartoon is, it does have a really good authentic Tolkien woodsy feel to it that would work well for the live action.

  4. I just recently started to read the Lord of the Rings books, I must say I'm going to go backwards soon and read the Hobbit after the trilogy series. I'm anxious to see your take on this scene, man. Great sketches!

  5. You can find The Hobbit, performed by Nicol Williamson at http://ifionlyhad.blogspot.com/search?q=hobbit

    It's my favorite version as well.