Set visit reveals what Elijah Wood's Frodo is up to in The Hobbit

We've known for a while that Elijah Wood was headed back to Hobbiton to don the wig, ears and feet of Frodo Baggins once again for Peter Jackson's The Hobbit. What we didn't know was exactly why, but new photos and a visit to the set are shedding light on where Frodo fits in.

Frodo isn't born until about 30 years after Bilbo returns from his "unexpected journey," but we've known for a good long while that Jackson's story will be a big one (a two-film one, in fact), so it's never been out of the question for a character like Frodo to pop up somewhere outside of the original timeline of J.R.R. Tolkien's novel. So, now that we know he's there, what exactly is he doing?

Ain't It Cool News' Quint went to the set and got an answer:

"What's Frodo doing in The Hobbit? I don't want to spoil too much, but I can say that Frodo is part of the connecting tissue between The Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring.

"In fact, the next shot was an over the shoulder on Elijah Wood hammering a sign up on Bag End's front gate: "No Admittance Except On Party Business." You guys should have an idea where that puts this moment in the timeline.

"Martin Freeman stood in for Ian Holm, who shot all of his scenes and close-ups in London. They would sometimes play footage they've already shot to remind themselves of what they had done previously and to help them match up shots. Peter and crew did that for these reverse shots on Elijah and I got to see Ian as Bilbo once again. It was quite extraordinary, actually. Seeing Ian in close up, wearing the wig, the vest and the pointy ears just put a smile on my face."

So, that gives you a pretty good understand of where young Frodo fits into this story, but the ties to The Fellowship of the Ring run even deeper:

"Their conversation is about Gandalf and if Bilbo thinks Gandalf will show up. Bilbo says "He wouldn't miss a chance to let off his whiz-poppers. He'll put on quite a show, you'll see," and Frodo grins, saying he's going to go surprise him and bounds off down the path like a kid at Christmas. When I say he bounds down the path that's not an exaggeration for illustrative purposes. He was damn near skipping, a glimpse of that pre-ring Frodo we meet in Fellowship.

"It's my understanding this shot will transition to '60 Years Earlier' with Young Bilbo sitting in front of Bag End contently smoking a pipe and casually blowing smoke rings as Gandalf comes along and presents him with his adventure."

So, a fairly simple answer to that mystery. Jackson seems to be returning to the familiar ground of the idyllic Hobbiton just before Gandalf's arrival and the start of Fellowship, only to send it back to another version of the idyllic Hobbiton where Martin Freeman's Bilbo will take over. Sounds like a nice way to tie Jackson's Middle-earth together.

(via Ain't It Cool News)