I came to J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit later in life than most, in my early 20's, as they announced that work had begun on the filming of an adaptation of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. After recommendations from a friend, I went out and bought a box set of all four volumes and read them in order from The Hobbit to The Return of the King. I loved those stories from the first chapter! How had I missed them? Did my parents raise me under a rock?
With baited breath I waited for each of the three Rings films to be released, asked for the DVDs each of the following Christmases, and re-read the books, along with Tolkien's other works. But I hated that Peter Jackson, who had so faithfully adapted the source material to screen, didn't start at the "real" beginning, i.e. The Hobbit.
Next year, a dozen years after first reading the book, I'll finally see The Hobbit on screen, by Peter Jackson, with many of the same sets and props and actors as we saw in the Rings. Yay!
And this is the first production still from the film.