A great franchise is timeless. When J.R.R. Tolkien published The Hobbit in 1937, little did he know that it would go on to spawn one of the most beloved stories of all time. From the seeds of this classic children's tale, The Lord of the Rings was born.
Fast-forward roughly 80 years later, and both stories have been widely adapted into multiple forms of media. From animation to radio to feature films, every generation of children and young adults since has been exposed to the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and his Ring in some form or another.
The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, directed by Peter Jackson, has broken all sorts of records. The films combined have won more awards than any other film series in history. The Hobbit trilogy, on the other hand, was a financial success but is much less beloved.
Suffice it to say that The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are both household names. What's a household name without a few memes to go along with it? The internet does love to poke fun. The biggest point of contention in adapting The Hobbit was the length of the films. The biggest point of contention with Lord of the Rings fans is how much better it was than The Hobbit trilogy.
Here are 15 Savage LOTR VS The Hobbit Memes.
15 No justice for Bilbo
Bilbo's unexpected journey wasn't as epic as Frodo's. Still, it was no small feat. The poor guy never wanted an adventure. Hobbits by nature prefer the safe life. From the moment Gandalf knocked on his door, Bilbo went through everything reluctantly.
He did get one really cool thing out of the deal: in Smaug's cave, he found a nifty little ring that turned him invisible. Of course, it turned out to also be the master weapon of the dark lord Sauron and the most powerful weapon on the planet. So poor Bilbo didn't get to keep it.
The text on this image from The Fellowship of the Ring isn't a direct quote, but it sums up what Bilbo must have been thinking fairly well when Gandalf informed him that he could not hold on to the ring.
14 There are no new ideas
We also all know this person. The nerd hipster wannabe who has a hot take on everything. It's the same person who tells us that the Justice League is an Avengers ripoff. Or the person who wants us to know that Lord of the Rings ripped off Harry Potter.
To be fair, for those unfamiliar with J.R.R. Tolkien's works, The Hobbit trilogy may have looked like a cash grab knock off of Lord of the Rings. After all, it kind of was.
That doesn't change the fact that Tolkien wrote The Hobbit first.
The films (obviously) even use may of the same characters, but do not be fooled. The only reason the prequel came later was that it was only after the massive success of the first trilogy that Hollywood saw the huge payday that Tolkien's earlier story could deliver.
13 Nothing is simple
Sean Bean is most famous for two things: dying in almost every role he plays and this meme. Little did he know that when he uttered the line "one does not simply walk into Mordor" that the image and scene would one day become the lifeblood of the internet.
This is one of the most savage uses of the meme. A film adaptation of The Hobbit should have been a very simple thing. Where the Lord of the Rings books are huge tomes filled with all kinds of mature material, The Hobbit was for all intents and purposes a children's tale.
We don't blame the Lord of the Rings trilogy for what The Hobbit films became. We blame Star Wars. After the massive success of the original trilogy, Hollywood realized that forcing audiences to continue to come back for additional installments of an otherwise short tale was a no brainer.
12 Keep the pen
We've all been here. We need a pen at work, so we borrow a coworkers or schoolmates. At the end of the day, the lender forgets. Now we're faced with a moral dilemma. Do we be the moral compass in the office and give the pen back? Or do we take the low road and never run out of pens?
Bilbo must have felt the same when it came to the One Ring. After all, depending on which adaptation you buy into, he either went through 300 hundred pages or three super-long movies to get the thing.
He almost got eaten by multiple creatures for it! Why shouldn't Bilbo keep the magic ring that turns him invisible?
We shouldn't we keep the pen that got us through our work day without having to go to the store and buy a four pack?
11 The other geek fight
DC vs Marvel. Vampires vs werewolves. Star Wars vs Star Trek. No matter what the topic, we geeks always have our favorites - the clear winner in our eyes that trumps the other side without a doubt. The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies are no different.
We know that Tony Stark and Captain America fight all the time. We don't usually get to see them argue about small things like movies, so we have to leave that up to our imaginations.
It makes sense that Tony would be the one to choose The Hobbit. Tony's always making the wrong choice for the right reasons. The Hobbit was the first book in the series, so why wouldn't it be the better film trilogy? We also know that Captain America's sense of logic is almost unparalleled. This argument easily could have caused a war between the two.
10 Most love stories have one thing in common
Poor Smeagle's tale is a tragic one. He was a simple hobbit and his mind was easily corrupted by the power of the One Ring. From the moment he laid eyes on it, he loved it. He killed his friend Deagle for it. For his crime, he was cast out of his village and into a life of solitude.
He found a new home in caves. He forgot the taste of bread and the sound of trees. He forgot his own name and became the creature Gollum. Then like all the others, the ring betrayed him. After that, he spent the rest of his life trying to get it back.
He wasn't out for any power of political gain. He just wanted his precious back. He even died for it. What does all that add up to? Still a better love story than Twilight.
9 We know how you feel, Bilbo
The real joke is that there are so many different ways to say it. The Hobbit is a 300 page book. The Lord of the Rings is an epic story spread out over three books and thousands of pages. Somehow, Peter Jackson found enough material to make both trilogies the same length.
This scene comes from The Fellowship of the Ring. Bilbo is describing why he feels like he wants to leave Bag End. He explains that he's grown tired of his mundane existence. Of course, the O ne Ring has a lot to do with it. He fiddles with it in his pocket as he speaks.
It's too bad Peter Jackson couldn't be free of his obsession with trilogies. If The Hobbit films had been cut down to one, they might have felt much lighter and more enjoyable. Much like Bilbo's life after he finally let go of the ring.
8 Pippin and his big ideas
Merry and Pippin serve as the comic relief in The Fellowship of the Ring. As such, their antics are endlessly meme-able. This gem comes from a funny scene between the two Hobbits and Aragorn. Pippin is asking about breakfast. Aragorn reminds the small one that they've already had breakfast. He then goes on to mourn the loss of elevenses, luncheon, and afternoon tea, dinner, and supper.
The purpose of the scene is to show how unprepared the hobbits were for such a long journey, Pippin in particular. Of course, it's also unintentional real-life foreshadowing. Peter Jackson and his crew had no idea what they were really in for when they set out to make a trilogy out of The Hobbit. Too bad Aragorn wasn't there to soundly put them in their place.
7 An honest conversation
Sir Christopher Lee and Sir Ian McKellen are both top notch actors. Both possess a scene-stealing charisma that brought unending charm to the Lord of the Rings films. Saruman may have been a bad guy, but he was still one of Gandalf's oldest friends. As such, the two were always able to speak frankly with each other.
In the actual scene, Gandalf goes to Saruman looking for help. He's found the ring and he fears Sauron will as well. Slowly, Saruman reveals to Gandalf that he may be too late. Saruman has already pledge his allegiance to the dark lord. He advises Gandalf to do the same.
Imagine if the scene had taken place in the real world. Gandalf tells Saruman of the planned Hobbit trilogy. Saruman may be evil, but he's not stupid. He would have seen the writing on the wall.
6 He's a little old for you
Tolkien didn't care much for romance. It's not that it was completely absent from his books, but it definitely wasn't the main focus. Hollywood will be Hollywood though, so we got a heap ton more of it in the films. Mostly we got it from the world of men, with a few Elves thrown in for good measure.
One thing that's abundantly clear from the films is that all men in Middle-earth look pretty much the same. They've all got shoulder length hair and grizzled beards, and they're all white dudes.
The actual reason Eowen didn't end up with Aragorn is because he was destined to end up with Arwen, the love of his life. But it's funny to consider that age could have been a factor. She instead ended up with Boromir's younger brother, Faramir. During the films Aragorn was almost 90 years old. Faramir was like 36.
5 What are you doing here?
Hey look, it's Legolas! Everyone's favorite Elf! And Orlando Bloom is reprising the role! Great! What a bankable star! We're so glad to see that this super important character from The Hobbit is being properly adapted into the film!
What do you mean he's not even in the book? What do you mean they only threw him in to pad the run time? What do you mean it makes no sense that in Lord of the Rings Legolas didn't at least mention to Frodo having known his uncle Bilbo and fought along side him?
To be fair, Legolas' father shows up in the book version of The Hobbit. He's not, like, mentioned by name or anything, but he's there leading the Elves in The Battle of Five Armies. Apparently, Peter Jackson needed more cool shots of Legolas shooting arrows, so here we are.
4 Something's not right here
This may actually be the best use of this meme on the internet. Generally, the line "I have no memory of this place" from the film is preserved. Here, someone decided to take yet another stab at The Hobbit trilogy. It's a lighthearted stab that actually applies to a lot of prequels.
We've already talked about how Legolas wasn't even in The Hobbit book. Now let's talk about how time works. Orlando Bloom obviously continues to age, but The Hobbit takes place a full 60 years before The Lord of the Rings. Legolas should not look older here.
In fact, Legolas is over 2000 years old. 60 years shouldn't really have any visible effect on him one way or another. It's not like the technology didn't exist for that either. Chalk this one up to laziness from the makeup and special effects departments.
3 It finally happened!
This is actually a plot hole for almost every on screen archer. Think of Oliver Queen. How often does he run out of arrows? What about Hawkeye? It happened once in The Avengers, but he pushed a button and the problem went away.
At least those two can fall back on the flimsy excuse of technology. Legolas exists in a medieval universe and his arrows are made of wood and metal. There's no lab on Middle-earth. No science, no technology. There's magic, but not enough to be constantly refilling empty quivers.
Think about Legolas' competition with Gimli. It's funny, sure. but their kill-counts rises unrealistically high. Gimli uses an ax - you don't have to refill an ax. How did Legolas manage to keep up?
This is one instance where movie magic and storytelling did not line up.
2 The Oscar goes to... No one
The Fellowship of the Ring won four Academy Awards. The Two Towers won two Academy Awards. The Return of the King won a whopping eleven Academy Awards. That third film is tied with Titanic and Ben-Hur for most Academy Awards won by a single film. It also holds the record for winning every single Academy Award for which it was nominated.
The Hobbit trilogy won precisely zero Academy Awards. That's a very steep fall for the franchise. It means we probably won't be getting The Silmarillion.
This is a scene that actually could have happened on Whose Line is it Anyway? Unfortunately, Drew Carrey stopped hosting the popular improv series in 2007. Wayne Brady continues to appear, though, so this meme may one day actually come to life.
1 One long marathon
There are some marathons you have to sit through at least once in your life. Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Planet of the Apes all spring to mind. Of course you can't talk about marathons without bringing up Lord of the Rings. If you simply watch the theatrical versions of the original trilogies, you're looking at about 560 minutes. If you go for the extended versions, you're in for 680.
Whether you're a fan of The Hobbit trilogy or not, you can't deny that watching all six films back to back will give you a very unique experience. That undertaking will cost you almost 20 hours of your life, though. If you decide to do it, there's the very real possibility that you'll come out looking very much like this shot of Robin Williams from Jumanji.
What did you think of these Lord of the Rings vs The Hobbit memes? Did you get a laugh? Let us know in the comments!