Warning. Things are about to get a little nerdy up in here. It's almost time to shrink a few feet and journey to Middle Earth with Bilbo 'n his pals. Before we get packed, let's broaden our knowledge of all things The Hobbit with some interesting/useless bits of info to make sure we're well equipped should we come in contact with any goblins/ghost-like wargs on our trip.

If you were aware of all of these tidbits in advance of reading this article then fair play; you deserve some sort of hobbit badge of honour. Anyhoo...

The story of The Hobbit first began way back in 1928 when, bored at school like most young boys are, JRR Tolkien penned the sentence "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit..."

Unlike Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit was actually aimed at kids so it isn’t half as dark or gritty

Tolkien almost didn't finish the book. (The first one, that is). As the story goes, were it not for former student Elaine Griffiths who recommended the unfinished manuscript to her publisher friend, Martin Freeman may never had been given the opportunity to don the oversized, hairy prosthetic feet of his hobbit character.

Guillermo Del Toro was originally in line to helm The Hobbit, with Peter Jackson only down to co-write and produce. However in 2010 Del Toro pulled out due to financial complications leaving Jackson with the task of taking over.

As for Bilbo’s quest? In a nutshell, he sets out on an unexpected journey to reclaim the Dwarf kingdom of Erebor from a dragon called Smaug.

And as for those dwarves...

Snow White had 7 dwarves but Bilbo got 13. Fili, Kili, Oin, Gloin, Thorin Oakenshield, Dwalin, Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, and Ori. Their names were taken from an old Norse poem. Grumpy eat your heart out.

Each dwarf had six wigs and eight bears made from, wait for it, YAK hair. And to think, Aidan Turner still manages to look hot with cow hair.

We can see where Legolas got his looks! His daddy, Thranduil, makes his first on screen appearance. In Tolkien's Hobbit he was called 'The King of Mirkwood' and his full name was only revealed in Lord of the Rings.

Gandalf refers to someone called the Necromancer as being 'one of the evils of the wider world' but we don’t hear much about it again after that. Until Lord of the Rings that is. Oh hai there Lord Sauron.

Frodo and Aragorn don't appear in the book but Peter Jackson didn't think it would be right to go back to Middle Earth without them.

The Hobbit is shorter than Lord of the Rings but Peter Jackson isn’t JUST adapting that story. Tolkien always planned to re-write it but never got the chance so all the info he didn’t use went into 'The Appendices'. It was published with Return of The King and Peter Jackson has incorporated it into the film.

If Bilbo's sword looks familiar that's because it's the same one you see Frodo carrying in Lord of The Rings.

There's only ONE named female in The Hobbit, Bilbo's mum, Belladonna Took. The lads decided that might not work in 2012 though so they brought back Cate Blanchett and added Evangeline Lily.

Stephen Fry makes an appearance as the grubby Lord of Laketown.

Well whaddaya think, that oughta do it?

By Caroline Foran and Sarah Doran