My first experience with Tolkien was when I watched the first Hobbit movie. Note, this wasn't what got me interested in it, that part came later. You can imagine how strange that movie was without the slightest bit of context. I thought Gollum was an orc. I thought Thorin was the same person as Aragorn. I thought Bilbo could switch his glowing sword on and off. I thought Gandalf's moth was his spirit or something. The book cleared things up pretty well though.