Why do Frodo and other characters that don't appear in The Hobbit appear in the cast of Peter Jackson's film?

Frodo turns 33 when Bilbo turns 111, so Frodo was born the day Bilbo turned 78. In FOTR, it is said that Frodo was becoming restless when he turned 50, and that it was near that age that adventure had befallen Bilbo. This means the events of The Hobbit happened twenty-something years before Frodo was born.

The appearance of Legolas, Galadriel, old Bilbo and Saruman suggests scenes "from the future", but the appearance of Thranduil suggests that Legolas might be playing a major role in the movie.

  • 25
    Without watching the movie or knowing the script, it's impossible to answer with anything but "will make more money from familiar actors and ties to LOTR movies". Feb 17, 2012 at 2:50
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    FOTR: Fellowship of the Ring. I thought it was a typo. :) Feb 17, 2012 at 6:29
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    Thranduil did actually appear in the original book too; he was the Elvenking in Mirkwood.
    – user8719
    Nov 27, 2013 at 23:29

2 Answers 2


The trailer starts with "My dear Frodo, you once asked me whether I had told you everything about my adventures", and you see young Frodo and old Bilbo.

Thus, it seems that the story of the Hobbit is part of Bilbo's narration, or it may even be Frodo reading "There and back again", who remembers his young days (as seen in the trailer), before delving into the history recounted in "The Hobbit".

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    This actually follows the pattern of the old "The Hobbit" cartoon I remember watching as a kid. The entire story there was told as a gathering at Elrond's pad with all of the usual suspects present.
    – jkerian
    Feb 17, 2012 at 16:31
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    Tolkien himself wrote an epilogue to the Lord of the Rings, where Sam reads his (many) children from the Red Book, and answers their questions. The movie's approach might not be unlike this. (Tolkien scratched it, though, preferring the final words as they stand: ‘"Well, I'm back", he said.’)
    – Martijn
    Feb 18, 2012 at 11:33
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    So far, this has turned out to be true. It just sets up the writing of Bilbo's book. The rest of the movie is a "flashback" set up by Bilbo remembering back to his younger days and adventure. Dec 17, 2012 at 21:07

In addition to Jonas's point about the movie being told as a flashback/story to Frodo, there's the possibility that The Hobbit movie will extend somewhat beyond the end of the book (to help bridge it with Lord of the Rings). There's a bunch of things that happen between Bilbo returning home and his 111th birthday that might be worth seeing. One of those things is Frodo's parents' death and then his relationship with Bilbo.

  • But that would go in the second movie, wouldn't it? Assuming, of course, some sort of chronological order to the story.
    – Janoma
    Feb 17, 2012 at 14:20
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    And in that case, it'd be very funny to see Lobelia in Bilbo's house at the time of his return :-)
    – Janoma
    Feb 17, 2012 at 14:21
  • I think I saw in one of the production's video blogs that the second movie ends with Frodo running off to see if Gandalf is coming. So it butts right up to the beginning of the Fellowship movie. Can't remember which video. Feb 21, 2012 at 15:47

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