Where are the Drunken Hobbits?

By – Kyle Osborne

Maybe it is appropriate that the inn and pub in the Shire is named The Green Dragon.  Dragons in and outside of Tolkien’s world are often represented in different ways.  In a similar fashion, I felt that the Green Dragon was treated differently across the three forms of media used to portray The Fellowship of the Ring.  

                The movie version of The Green Dragon is probably the most well remembered of all of the representations. A fun and invigorating scene full of laughter, ale, and tipsy hobbits. It all starts with a great drinking song by two of my favorite hobbits and manages to keep this light mood throughout the scene. Even as the conversation turns to darker topics the characters treat it lightly and manage to throw in some hobbit wisdom. The Green Dragon catches your attention and holds it as tales of strange things and Sam’s possible love interest are introduced. Although this portrayal is a lot of fun, it draws a stark contrast to The Green Dragon in the novel and game.

                The novel treats this conversation in a more somber and serious manner. Sam, who is the focus of this passage, has a conversation concerning the “strange happenings” around the Shire. While the argument itself is not necessarily dark, the passage seems dark. First of all there weren’t any dancing hobbits, but the reader also knows that foul things are afoot in Middle Earth and can’t help worrying as these hobbits ignore sign of danger. Sam’s demeanor also plays a large role in the mood of the passage. Sam is contemplative and quiet after his discussion, which also seems to dampen any of the drinking song feeling that might have been present in the passage.

                While the novel’s portrayal is dark, the game’s is boring. All of the life and vitality that is present in the movie was sucked out for the game. I understand that you can’t have a whole house of hammered hobbits, but they can at least be moving around. Not only are the NPC’s uninteresting, there are also very few of them. Instead of the fun and engaging setting of the movie, I walk into the lifeless area in the game and feel sad. The way the inn is presented in the game, it fails to draw me in or make me want to see it again. In a sad, but ironic realization, I found that the Forsaken inn is much livelier than the Green Dragon. At the Forsaken Inn at least I can sit around and listen to the sarcastic waitress tell customers to get their own drinks or speak with many of the people who inhabit the space.

                In these completely different portrayals of the same place, it was interesting to see how the different media caught or failed to catch the interest of the audience.

                Honestly, I just wanted to be able to walk into the Green Dragon and see drunken hobbits dancing.