Any fan of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy must have been eagerly anticipating this release. With Peter Jackson at the helm, ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy had to start on a high and reach the standard of the original trilogy or else it might flop. Trilogies often stand out from the crowd; however, ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy had ‘The Lord of the Rings’ looming over it. It had the pressure of a $3 billion trilogy shadowing over it, and the hopes of many fantasy fans resting upon it.

I’m looking for someone to share in an adventure’

It’s the prequel, which makes it sad for Aragorn fans… he’s not in ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy, sorry girls. However, Orlando Bloom will be reprising his role as Legolas for films two and three. Anyway, there are obvious ties to the original trilogy with it beginning with some familiar faces, Ian Holm as Bilbo and Elijah Wood as Frodo - and Bilbo is writing his book. [Note: Yes, Rings fans, this is the book from the trilogy] In the trilogy, we learn what Frodo writes at the end of the book… but now, we’re in for a treat, we get to watch what Bilbo’s story is, and answers questions that aren’t explained in the trilogy.

You may ask questions like: Why are the dwarves and elves enemies? Where do all the swords originate from? How does Bilbo actually get involved? This film focuses around the dwarves, and introduces the quest, but answers the above. Thirteen dwarves plan to return to their former land of Erabor to reclaim their kingdom and treasure from Smaug the dragon. However, they’re in need of a fourteenth member, Gandalf suggests shy, unadventurous Bilbo. The leader of the dwarves, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), is not convinced. We are then taken on their journey through the wild where they encounter the familiar Orcs and Wargs, but also discover that the land is swarming with Goblins and Shapeshifters. Travelling through the goblin kingdom, Bilbo has to prove himself to the dwarves whilst at the same time meeting the creature that will completely change his life forever, the creature that we’ve met in the original trilogy, the creature who originally found the ring… Gollum.

You’ll watch this and every so often you’ll recognise something from the trilogy or be able to piece Middle Earth history together whether it’s discovering who Gimli’s dad is, how Galadriel is related to Elrond and Arwen, or what Saruman was like before he turned evil. Your knowledge becomes more and more rounded, and the Rings trilogy makes even more sense than it did before!

So, did it live up to expectations? Yes, the first of ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy succeeded. Much like the first of the Rings trilogy, it might take people a couple of watches to get to know the characters and the storyline, but it seems the way that its going, it’s going to be another successful trilogy. If you’ve never seen Rings, then it doesn’t overly matter that you haven’t, this is the prequel after all… just make sure you watch it at some point! It’s great, it created cinematic history, and you’re really missing out on one of the greatest stories from one of the greatest minds that lived, JRR Tolkien. Brilliant man, brilliant story, brilliant legacy.