Even though the movie is coming to theaters on Friday, it's still a little hard to believe that J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit will be made into three whole movies. Sure, the book is the prequel to the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it's also famously short and written for children. How does Peter Jackson plan to wring any kind of drama out of it?

WIth the first installment of the new trilogy, An Unexpected Journey, we're finally getting an idea of how it will work-- and though the story sticks closely to the big beats of the book you remember, there are are some additions and even, over the course of two and a half hours, some parts left out. Read below for the eight biggest differences between The Hobbit book and movie, and once you've seen it, jump into the comments to let us know what you think of the changes!


It starts with a massive flashback to Smaug's takeover of Erebor.
Before we see Bilbo, Gandalf or any of the main characters, the story begins by showing us the dragon's invasion of the dwarves' ancestral homeland-- setting up the stakes for their desire to take their home back, and giving us a peek at the dragon who doesn't appear in the rest of the movie. It's very similar to the start of Fellowship of the Ring, when Galadriel gave us a quick rundown of Middle Earth. You'll have to decide for yourself if it's wise to start a movie without its title character, though.

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