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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit: The Core of 'The Hobbit': Edit Log


Sep 4, 3:48pm

Views: 1215
The Core of 'The Hobbit'

At its core, the book The Hobbit is the story of the great adventure experienced by Bilbo Baggins as engineered by the wizard Gandalf. Including additional elements either sourced from Tolkien's greater legendarium ("The Quest of Erebor"; the Council of Elrond) or from the filmmakers' imaginations (the tombs in the High Fells; Kili/Tauriel) threatens to dilute the original story and make Bilbo a supporting character in his own tale.

Now, remember that I went into these films fully expecting the story to be expanded to include such elements as the White Council at Dol Guldur and Gandalf's fears that led to his involvement in the quest of Thorin Oakenshield. I welcomed these additions as necessary to bring the story to an audience in its fullest form. To that end, the creation of new supporting characters was also necessary be it representation of the perspectives of the common Wood-elves of Mirkwood or giving a face and voice to the counselors and advisors of the Master of Lake-town. Where it became a problem, as I see it, was when Peter Jackson determined that these new supporting characters deserved character-arcs of their own and when his newly-fabricated additions meddled with and altered Tolkien's history of Middle-earth.

Jackson sidelines Sauron and the Nazgūl for nearly 3000 years (as opposed to Tolkien having him become active again around the year T.A. 1100). Was this necessary or even desirable? Arguably to some extent to make the threat posed by the Necromancer feel more urgent. My objection is to the specific changes introduced in the films. Jackson wants to alter the "Watchful Peace" and make it more immediate? Fine, Sauron as the Necromancer has dwelt in southern Mirkwood for some time, but move Gandalf's investigation of Dol Guldur to approximately 400 years ago. Sauron, not ready to reveal himself, flees into the East; his servants are still ruling their respective territories elsewhere in Middle-earth; and he is only recently returned to Mirkwood which is reflected in it again becoming darker. We move on from there. That's just one example of why I found many of Jackson's original touches awkward and ill-conceived.

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Sep 4, 3:49pm)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Otaku-sempai (Immortal) on Sep 4, 3:49pm

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