THE HOBBIT was NOT written as a prequel to LOTR . It came into being when, after looking at the seventy-fifth essay booklet with nothing but blank pages (that Professor Tolkien was trying to grade for an essay test), Tolkien found himself writing "Down in a hole there lived a Hobbit." " Hm," said he. "That`s interesting . I wonder what the bloody hell a 'hobbit' is?", then proceeded to keep writing to find out. It was a 'one-off' children`s book he didn`t think anyone else but his children would be interested in. When pressured to write another book, he found, as he wrote LOTR, THE HOBBIT was becoming a prequel - which meant it needed extensive rewriting. Tolkien made copious notes to do so, but died before he could. Peter Jackson is using those notes. So this IS Tolkien. For the record, which makes the better scene: the Stone giants, off in the distance, glimpsed in the passing (as in the book), or the Thunder Battle as staged by P.J. in the film? I know what I think Professor Tolkien (who detested how the Flower Children and 'tolkienists' took all the fun out of his books) would have said: "HUZZAH! At last SOMEONE who is not trying to turn my stories into a humorless religion!" ENJOY!