We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Read a Lawyer’s Amazingly Detailed Analysis of Bilbo’s Contract in The Hobbit

23rd January 2013

Read it.

You know it had to happen.

Ordinarily I don’t discuss legal issues relating to fictional settings that are dramatically different from the real world in terms of their legal system. Thus, Star Wars, Star Trek, Tolkien’s Middle Earth, etc. are usually off-limits because we can’t meaningfully apply real-world law to them. But the contract featured in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was just too good a topic to pass up, especially since you can buy a high-quality replica of it that is over 5 feet long unfolded.

First mistake: Giving a document to a lawyer.

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