I definitely prefer Legolas, who is one of my favourite characters in the whole book. The films didn't do him justice at all: he was portrayed like a sort of battle freak with super hero powers while in the book he is Aragorn counterpart in the Elvish world. He is a royal character in so many senses: loyal, brave, wise...I wish he was portrayed better in the movies. Plus, Orlando Bloom was so awful in the part
Apart from Legolas, my favourite character is Eowyn: she is the only human in the story I love. She is so brave and strong, and fragile at the same time. Tolkien describes her with such a poetry it is impossible to admire her. The cage speech "What do you fear milady?" "The cage..." (yes, I know by heart whole passages of the book
) is pure poetry...
Regarding The Hobbit I'm not very happy about Del Toro. He is too visionary for the movie. I mean, Tolkien describes hobbits and the other creatures in a very precise way, with so many details it will be impossible for the director to impose his style without revolutioning the whole world. We'll see what happens.
By the way, though the movies are good (especially The Return of the King ExEd) I suggest that everybody read the books. Are extremely long and have a style that is completely different from modern urban fantasy but they're worth it. I suggest also The Silmarillion: that's difficult in both style and language but it is absolutely wonderful. I personally don't appreciate the Tales of Middle Earth because you can feel that Tolkien's son elaborated his father's notes after he died...that's why I haven't bought yet The Children of Hurin: that's not Tolkien, I mean the original one.
Since there seem to be a lot of Tolkien's fans in here I have a request: does anybody of you have an illustration or screen cap from the movie with the party tree of Bilbo? I need some pictures of the tree and the party scene for my wedding invitations...