Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a prequel to his Lord of the Rings trilogy, which most people rushing to The Hobbit will have already seen. In the new film there are many nods or foreshadowing to adventures or characters seen in LOTR, and connections to be made. But if you are not an obsessive Tolkien-head or haven’t recently rewatched the earlier films, they may go over your heads. Here is a list of references big and small in this first entry of the new Hobbit trilogy that were presaged in the LOTR films. (Wait, not presaged: What do you call foreshadowing if it’s to a prequel? Post-saged? What is this, Looper?)
The Hobbit takes place 60 years before the Lord of the Rings adventure, save for the new film's prologue, which unfolds about twenty minutes before The Fellowship of the Ring begins. In it, Elijah Wood returns as Frodo to chat with old Bilbo (Ian Holm) about the elder Hobbit's upcoming 111th birthday party — the one that Gandalf arrives for at the beginning of Fellowship. In this Hobbit prologue, Bilbo is procrastinating his party prep by working on his memoir, There and Back Again, which is also the subtitle of J.R.R. Tolkien's book The Hobbit. Bilbo tells Frodo that his greatest party-related fear is an unwanted appearance by his distant relatives, the hated Sackville-Bagginses — who, you'll recall, do show up in the party in Fellowship.
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