May 1 2008, 12:53am
Although, I have to say, the dragon in Beowulf scared the heck out of me (first time I have been genuinely frightened by a CGI creature) and I went out of the theater saying "NOW I know why they called Glaurung "the Great Worm." Glaurung, the destroyer of Gondolin always frightened me more than Smaug ever did. B/che was a different type of being.
Which leads me to another point about his voice. Whatever has been written about his voice, and however Tolkien described it, I think here that heresy should be committed, in that the way he speaks should convey his otherworldliness. Shelob and the Balrog by their very existences bespoke of their alien-ness-of their being last remnants of the First Age, left over in ME. Smaug, though, as a Dragon, will need something more, just b/c of his, as you say, familiarity.
Therefore, he should not speak in the cliched Queen's English,(for all that conveys an elegant menace...but heck, we had Grand Moff Tarkin for that. And we don't want him to be another Shere Khan. ) IMO, Smuag should have a completely unfamilar accent, something leftover from the ME of the First Age; perhaps a form of slurred or corrupted Quenya (Morgoth corrupting Noldor speech, as Saruman later corrupted orcs...or, actually, as Morgoth corrupted and twisted captured Elves.) Viggo demosrated this a litte in ROTK at the Rohan camp, when he says to Theoden, "We have until dawn, then we must ride." Thnakfully, they didn't overdo it.) To this slurred/gulped warped Quenya accent, should be overlaid the slightish bit of High Scottish (the accent of Dale, which he had taken residence in.)
I'm sure David Salo and/or Roison Carty could help with this.
(This post was edited by Sunflower on May 1 2008, 12:55am)