The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Chip the Glasses in after all?

Wandering Ranger

Nov 29 2011, 7:39am

Views: 5854
Chip the Glasses in after all?

Just re watching video blog 3 and around 8.31 there's a shot of plates being thrown around Bilbo's dinner table. I have always thought that Chip the Glasses would be one of the songs to get cut, simply for time and pacing reasons and the fact that scene has so much to accomplish anyway. But it sure looks like that song is in to me. Any thoughts?

So Frodo Baggins boarded the great ship and passed on into the west till the sweet fragrance on the air filled his sense and the sound of singing came over the water. Then it seemed to him that, as in a dream, he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country. The third age of Middle Earth was over, the days of the Rings had passed and the story and song of those times was at an end.


Nov 29 2011, 7:51am

Views: 4300
My reaction was the opposite...

Namely that as careless as they seemed to be with the plates, it would be out of place for them to sing it; The song is, after all, about what they shouldn't do to Bilbo's plates, and they actually take care not to ruin anything while singing it.


Nov 29 2011, 11:45am

Views: 4197
I hope so.

That's one of my favorite Hobbit songs. Kids love it - I loved it when I was young, and my kids loved it when I read it to them. In the movie it will lighten the mood with some real clowning, and be funny - yet send the underlying message about the contempt the dwarves have for Bilbo at this point! I admit that with all the doom and gloom vibes I've been getting lately I'd given up hope that The Hobbit will be as funny as Tolkien meant it to be, but you encourage me.

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Tol Eressea

Nov 29 2011, 1:19pm

Views: 4094
I hope not.

I don't want them to turn this into a Walt Disney movie.


Nov 29 2011, 1:32pm

Views: 4125
Indeed, it would be hypocritical of them

to sing "That's what Bilbo Baggins hates, so carefully, carefully with the plates" while smashing them and making a mess... but perhaps they could turn it into sarcasm or something.


Nov 29 2011, 2:22pm

Views: 4115
How about

They sing the song, and are careful with the plates, as in the book?

Not likely, though, as it looks like they are deliberately smashing things in that shot on the vlog. My question is: where is Gandalf while they proceed to ruin everything? Will it not hurt his character a tad to show that he has absolutely no control over the dwarves - to the point that they deliberately destroy their hosts' cookware?

I really want humor in these films, but I hope it is not the kind that diminishes the characters.


Nov 29 2011, 2:28pm

Views: 4144
Gandalf, the alcoholic

maybe gandalf is just drinking alongside with them, at least i think it isn't mentioned in the book that he does react in any way to the chaos that so many dwraves cause.
i think to show gandalf drinking and having fun doesn't hurt his character, he was even dancing on bilbo's party in the fellowship i think.
to see that the wizard can drink and have fun with the other peoples will make him even more sympathic.
while it is not yet said that they'e destroying bilbo's things...

Tol Eressea

Nov 29 2011, 2:29pm

Views: 4097
They look really drunk in the vlog

Maybe Gandalf is in another room?

Though I hope it's one of the above, because the dwarves breaking stuff for no reason would make them look really bad.

(This post was edited by Carne on Nov 29 2011, 2:30pm)


Nov 29 2011, 2:36pm

Views: 4107
Gandalf doesn't stop the chaos

But in the books, the chaos does not involve smashing things up. There's a difference.

And how, exactly, are plates that are hurled across the room not expected to break? Seems like a reasonable supposition...


Nov 29 2011, 2:37pm

Views: 4143
They shouldn't be rampaging, but

but, i love to see them drunk. and being drunk it's natural that they go a little crazy, but i think it's dependant on their character how crazy they actually go. for example balin or nori will have their selves under control while dwalin or bifur you know...


Nov 29 2011, 2:42pm

Views: 4063
but i agree

but i have to say you're right, it wouldn't seem fitting if they destroy everything but gandalf doesn't help bilbo


Nov 29 2011, 2:56pm

Views: 4053
next thought^^

right now i could figure it out this way:
since we only see some of the dwarves in the scene, some(including gandalf) are helping bilbo do the dishes or search their beds or are outside smoking or whatever, and those inside are messing around.
and on the next moning bilbo will have troubles cleaning in all up so he won't be able to read the message that they've already gone towards the green dragon...


Nov 29 2011, 3:55pm

Views: 4017

Gandalf isn't a drinker, and if he was he wouldn't be affected by the alcohol. He is a lesser god for goodness sake. I think it would be more fitting for him to sit and smoke his pipe while the dwarves is on a rampage.


Nov 29 2011, 3:58pm

Views: 4018

I don't remember seeing the mentioned vlog scene and I don't realy want to spoil myself too much, but couldn't it be that the plates will be replaced by CGI versions before getting smashed, so that it looks as if they pull off all the throwing and catching in the finished movie, but in reality most of the plates are getting broken?

"The past tempts us, the present confuses us, and the future frightens us. And our lives slip away, moment by moment, lost in that terrible in-between."

Grey Havens

Nov 29 2011, 4:15pm

Views: 4037

Has anyone considered that Peter Jackson, aware of this question about what they'll put in the movie, actually staged this little bit specifically for the video as a joke? Or at least the cameras caught the actors playing their parts from the book for some spontaneous set levity? It's possible. Evil


Nov 29 2011, 5:38pm

Views: 3949

Even if the alcohol wouldn't affect him, gandalf could like beer and wine for its taste and have fun and enjoy the whole scenery without getting drunk


Nov 29 2011, 6:06pm

Views: 4050
My theory is that it will be just like the book

I know that in the video blog we saw the dwarves throwing the plates - but if you look closely they are actually throwing them past the camera. To us watching the Vlog it looks like the Dwarves are destroying Bilbo's plates as there are plates all over the ground etc.

But I think that this shot, edited into the flim, could be the Dwarves throwing the plates to each other, catching them, washing them and putting them away - just like the book.

Bilbo will be bewildered, watching his precious stuff flying all over the place, but when the dust settles everything is fine.

I'll be surprised if they actually trash the place.

"Tim... Canterbury... Canterbury Tales... Chaucer... Shakespeare."

Tol Eressea

Nov 29 2011, 6:32pm

Views: 3948
This actually sounds very plausible.



Nov 29 2011, 6:54pm

Views: 3964
As likely as not that's just them fooling around

I'm not at all convinced that that is actually filming for the movie. It looks to me like they are just fooling around.

Much ado about nothing.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Nov 29 2011, 7:04pm

Views: 3923
Sounds good

I like that idea. If the dwarves were actually breaking stuff, it drops them down a notch and starts to turn them into silly goofballs instead of proud dwarves on a quest to reclaim their heritage (yes, they have to have a bit of silliness, but smashing up Bilbo's stuff just doesn't fit). What I like best about that part of the book is that Bilbo really thinks they're going to ruin everything, but they don't.

Bilbo, Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins,
He's only three feet tall.
Bilbo, Bilbo! Bilbo Baggins,
The bravest little hobbit of them all.

-Leonard Nimoy

Grey Havens

Nov 29 2011, 7:23pm

Views: 3959

Yep, that's what I'm suggesting - actors (or Peter) goofing on us.

(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Nov 29 2011, 7:24pm)


Nov 29 2011, 8:25pm

Views: 3971
I douby they are just throwing around props

For nothing. They are all in full costume, acting their parts, and are on a schedule. My guess is that this is definitely a scene from the movie. It's certainly far more likely, probability-wise, that this is for a scene, and not just for fun.

How can you be so certain its much ado about nothing?


Nov 29 2011, 8:39pm

Views: 3902
All indications are that these guys are big jokers

If you watch the sequence in the Vlog, it really doesn't look at all like there is filming going on. It looks like horsing around. Which these guys do a lot of in and out of costume (unless you think that, for instance, Bombur playing air guitar and drums is going to be in the films).

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Nov 29 2011, 8:51pm

Views: 3926

You can see that the dishes DON'T break when they hit the ground. So what would be point of showing them breaking dishes that don't actually break?

And actually some of the people who are throwing the dishes aren't even IN costume. Watch it again; it clear is not a scene being filmed.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

Tol Eressea

Nov 29 2011, 9:06pm

Views: 3911
The camera is rolling, the music is playing

and a crew member is tossing the plates.

I believe they are filming. There's no crewmembers in front of the camera, nor any actors without costume/makeup.

(This post was edited by Carne on Nov 29 2011, 9:07pm)


Nov 29 2011, 9:17pm

Views: 1929
I doubt they would

Use breakable plates for one take. Likely, they are made of hard plastic, and can be reused again and again. Easy solution to unbreakable plates is sound effects of plates breaking...Problem solved.

Also, the guy in plain clothes seems to be throwing plates from off camera. So, it sis likely that the shot involves plates flying in front of the camera from a source that is off-camera.

We shall see!


Nov 29 2011, 9:38pm

Views: 1880

I also think they're filming. The scene we see is a one that actually could happen and is close to the events in the book. if they'd want us to see some fooling around i think they'd show us more of ... well ... these guitar-playing bomburs, something that is very odd

Captain Salt
Tol Eressea

Nov 29 2011, 9:54pm

Views: 1882

I agree that I don't like the Dwarves purposely breaking Bilbo's plates (it makes them appear a tad on the mean-spirited/careless side early on), and would perfer if they do so, Gandalf stop them.

However, it possible this may not end up in the film at all; in the King Kong Production Diary, we saw early glimpses of many scenes which were either removed, or substituted with alternate versions, in the film itself. One can hope, in this case...

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, with axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


Nov 29 2011, 9:55pm

Views: 1895
They are filming.

This scene is in the book! They sing a song and clean the table, very effectively (maybe too much so for poor Bilbo).
James Nesbitt is obviously doing the singing here, while being accompanied on the fiddle by Dwalin!

The tossing of the dishes indicate that the dwarves have started clearing table. One is off-screen tossing the plates from one end of the table, while another is receiving them at the other end. Then the dishes are stacked in a pile and carried to the kitchen.
The dwarves are a practical, effective folk with no need for dilly-dalling here. It may seem like they are intentionally trying to harm the dishes (bilbo certainly will think that), but tey are just being quick about it. The plates will be fine!


Nov 29 2011, 10:51pm

Views: 1901
I agree also

My first impression was that this particular cut was meant to capture the plates flying past Dwalin and Bofur to give the appearance of mayhem, but that in the end it would be a well choreographed sequence showing the dwarves in complete controlled chaos as they sing and work while freaking out Bilbo in the process. The scene will probably cut between dwarves throwing the dishes and others catching them, and others wisking Jenga-like piles of dishes as Bilbo dodges and frets around them. It may make the audience cringe with anticipation, but in the end (hopefully) none of Bilbo's precious china will be harmed.

Aunt Dora Baggins

Nov 29 2011, 10:55pm

Views: 1893
It occurs to me

that the breakage could be a glimpse into Bilbo's imagination as he hears the song, and that he's surprised to look up and see that the dwarves are actually catching the plates.

"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com

Tol Eressea

Nov 30 2011, 12:21am

Views: 1891

I really hope they Keep the songs to a minimum. As someone else said I don't want a Walt Disney film I want the realistic middle earth that PJ gave us with LOTR and I really don't need The Hobbit a musical. I think Nesbitt sings a song but its more like a drinking song than one about dishes. I don't really want singing dwarfs and dancing elves, if the films are too light they wont fit the darker tone that LOTR had


Nov 30 2011, 2:17am

Views: 1847
That would be great

And to those who don't want songs, ancient peoples sang a lot. They didn't have television or Nintendo Wii, so...

Just because its music doesn't make it Disney. I, for one, hope at least "We must away ere break of day" is in. That's a truly haunting and powerful tune.


(This post was edited by Gandalf'sMother on Nov 30 2011, 2:18am)

Arwen's daughter

Nov 30 2011, 2:23am

Views: 1841
On second thought, let's not go to Hobbiton

'tis a silly place.

How will you get to the Lonely Mountain?
Help TORn log enough miles to get us to Smaug's home by Dec. 2013
Walk to Rivendell - Thursdays on Main

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TORn's Costume Discussions Archive


Nov 30 2011, 2:38am

Views: 1872
The Sound of Music

In Reply To
I really hope they Keep the songs to a minimum. As someone else said I don't want a Walt Disney film

Then thank goodness Tolkien didn't put any songs into his books.

He had a more intense dislike for Disney than probably anyone reading these boards. That doesn't mean he had a dislike for music and especially for song.

One thing that is especially nice about the Brian Sibley radio adaptation that the BBC did with Ian Holm is that it manages to capture the songlike spirit of Tolkien, something that Jackson for the most part failed to do.

…all eyes looked upon the ring; for he held it now aloft, and the green jewels gleamed there that the Noldor had devised in Valinor. For this ring was like to twin serpents, whose eyes were emeralds, and their heads met beneath a crown of golden flowers, that the one upheld and the other devoured; that was the badge of Finarfin and his house.
The Silmarillion, pp 150-151
while Felagund laughs beneath the trees
in Valinor and comes no more
to this grey world of tears and war.
The Lays of Beleriand, p 311


Nov 30 2011, 3:05am

Views: 1934
We saw dirty dishes stacked in Bilbo's kitchen in an earlier vlog

They may or may not be filming what we see in the most recent vlog, but the dishes will make it safely to the kitchen.

Grey Havens

Nov 30 2011, 3:10am

Views: 1848

Have people forgotten these little numbers we got in the trilogy?

Hey! Ho! To the bottle I go
To heal my heart and drown my woe
Rain may fall and wind may blow
But there still be many miles to go
Sweet is the sound of the pooring rain
And the stream that falls from hill to plain
Better than rain or rippling brook
Is a mug of beer inside this Took!

Oh, you can search far and wide
You can drink the whole town dry
But you'll never find a beer so brown
No, you'll never find a beer so brown
As the one we drink in our hometown
As the one we drink in our hometown
You can drink your fancy ales
You can drink them by the flagon
By the only brew for the brave and true
Comes from that Green Dragon!

These songs are just as silly (f not moreso) than any of the ones featured in The Hobbit. Yet not once have I heard of anyone listening them, throwing their arms up in the air, and shouting, "Great! PJ has gone all Disney on us! These films are ruined!"

Why is there suddenly a double standard with The Hobbit? Why are those songs perfectly acceptable for LoTR (which is already a dark and grim story to begin with), but the dwarves' songs are deemed "too childish?"

(This post was edited by duats on Nov 30 2011, 3:19am)


Nov 30 2011, 3:18am

Views: 1803
You are so right

Start the movie in the Trollshaws, segue to Dol-Guldor, some torture, a few beheadings, the Necromancer, a siege, and an epic battle. Who needs Hobbits or Hobbiton? That Tolkien, he was so silly.

Grey Havens

Nov 30 2011, 3:32am

Views: 1902
Considering these little gems PJ gave us in the "dark" trilogy

- Legolas and Gimli having a drinking contest, which results in Gimli passing gas, going cross-eyed and then promptly passing out.
- Merry and Pippin singing a drinking song while dancing on a table.
- Gimli trying to shoo away ghosts by blowing at them.
- Gimli tip-toeing across a path of skulls.
- The "dwarf tossing" gag.

I don't necessarily see what's so wrong with the dwarves singing during a rowdy dinner party in The Hobbit. They're about to embark on a dangerous journey that may result in all of their deaths. Why wouldn't they try to have a little fun beforehand?

As for the elves: Sauron hasn't returned to power yet, and their time is not yet over in Middle-earth. It makes perfect sense for the elves to be merrier in The Hobbit.

(This post was edited by duats on Nov 30 2011, 3:35am)

Grey Havens

Nov 30 2011, 5:09am

Views: 1802

Since when is a belch "passing gas?" I think you've got the wrong end.

Grey Havens

Nov 30 2011, 5:51am

Views: 1806
... He farts too

He leans over the table and, well, lets one rip.


Nov 30 2011, 6:15am

Views: 1809
Oh I definitely agree

I'm not saying that I don't think that a seen with the dishes will be in the film, just that I'm not convinced that what we are seeing in the vlog is filming, particularly filming of the dwarves breaking the dishes. There simply is no evidence of that.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'


Nov 30 2011, 6:20am

Views: 1838
The only reason you might not get them singing the song

is that it would seem very staged. Tolkein never seemed to worry too much about random people making up songs and poetry on the spot and doing it very well and sometimes he had whole groups of people do it. For instance, the plate song or the ents singing their battle song in TTT or any number of other examples. In a book you can make some kind of leap in your head that makes it okay but in film it's going to be very weird to have a bunch of characters inexplicably composing a song in unison. I think either they'll just pay tribute to it with a scene or maybe have one dwarf sing the song and everyone else act it out.

The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie.
The cake is a lie___


Nov 30 2011, 6:23am

Views: 1822
Tolkien and Disney

They should bring even more songs into the Hobbit. Thank God Tolkien was such a genious mind and created all these wonderful poems and songs, these belong to middle-earth like anything else. Why keep them out? Lyrical works, poems, songs and all that help to create and understand a culture much more, they are defining element of tolkiens cultures and peoples, how can you not like them and think it'll turn the movie to disney?
mister tolkien wouldn't have liked that.

Grey Havens

Nov 30 2011, 6:28am

Views: 1774

Never noticed. I just watched TT and ROTK again last week. I guess I'll have to go back for a listen of that scene just for the pleasure of it. I only have audio from the front of the TV. I guess it must be more of a whopper in surround.


Nov 30 2011, 6:30am

Views: 1860

In the ancient and dark age world was likely a bit stronger than ours, particularly among peoples with a strong oral history.

People often had a whole cache of poems and songs memorized.

It can work in the films without a problem. Someone starts, and the rest follow. They don't need to "compose" it in unison if they already know it. Particularly if its the "we must away ere break of day" song, which is part of the dwarves' cultural heritage.

Just think of how difficult it is for people to break out and sing "Deck the Halls" or White Snake's "Here I Go Again." I've been at many a party where more than 10 people sing those in unison. Smile


(This post was edited by Gandalf'sMother on Nov 30 2011, 6:33am)


Nov 30 2011, 11:29am

Views: 1786
I agree

I just don't understand why this keeps coming up. Music is part of life - I reckon it would be less realistic if the songs were left out. And as you say, 'Far over the misty mountains/we must away ere break of day' is important and that's such an evocative scene.


Nov 30 2011, 12:06pm

Views: 1787
The reason the songs in The Hobbit don't work

Is because they are so specific to the situation. Particularly 'Chip the Glasses' and 'Tra-la-la-laly' which refer specifically to Bilbo Baggins. How do they all know the lyrics to songs that are so specific to what's going on?

'Far Over the Misty Mountains" is the only song that really works, because they could have sang it many times before, being such a big part of their history and quest. But the others do not.


Nov 30 2011, 12:32pm

Views: 1785
How often have you heard

.. people making up ad hoc words to existing songs to fit a particular situation? Happens all the time, even now. Songs are part of Tolkien's world - and our world. And in fact we do know that songs are being included in the films. We just don't know which songs, or when.


Nov 30 2011, 12:40pm

Views: 1772
Have you seen these dwarfs?

Many of these dwarfs resemble old rockers, or heavy metal musicians. Clearly, that whole dragon business, is just an awkward PR stunt made up by these waisted old artists, in order to gain a bigger crowd when they hit the stage in the groovy city of Lake-Town.

I even found a video of one of their gigs before they had beards:

And another one with beards already:

Ceterum censeo montem artis magicae atrae esse delendam


Nov 30 2011, 2:24pm

Views: 1923
Yes, you need surround sound to hear it

The sound comes from the rear speakers

Tol Eressea

Nov 30 2011, 2:49pm

Views: 1890
Of course not.

If you one doesn't have surround speakers, the sounds get played through the front speakers. Wink

(This post was edited by Estel78 on Nov 30 2011, 2:50pm)


Nov 30 2011, 3:34pm

Views: 1976
1. Chip the Glasses

Could simply be a conventional "template" song, where it is customary to slot in the name of your host. So, if they were at Thorin's house, they would say:

"Chip the glasses, crack the plates, that's what Thorin Oakenshield hates."

Tra la la lally is a bit more difficult, though one might assume that the elves have some sort of telepathic ability which allows them to coordinate spontaneous songs...I personally would leave the latter out, but the former in.


Grey Havens

Nov 30 2011, 3:51pm

Views: 1949
At The Theater

Ok, so let's say the audience is in the theater watching the movie...

Are they really going to take time to consider this thread's rational points of justification, or will they have just enough time to think, "oh, that's weird" before the next scene cuts in?

Tol Eressea

Nov 30 2011, 4:01pm

Views: 1907
It's very simple...

I just don't. No reason required, it's goofy. Doesn't matter if Tolkien wrote it, that scene with the dishes could be straight out of a Disney movie.

In Reply To
how can you not like them

Just to be it clear, i'm not against singing per se (though i'm in favor of PJ's decision to leave out some songs from the book in LOTR), i'm specifically talking about the dishes scene.


Nov 30 2011, 4:17pm

Views: 1887
I think it is likely audiences said to themselves

"Oh, that's weird" quite a few times during the LOTR films. I don't see why a bit of singing is going to suddenly ruin everything.

Plus, I am not sure the assumption that audiences will find singing "weird" is a sound one...

(This post was edited by Gandalf'sMother on Nov 30 2011, 4:18pm)


Nov 30 2011, 4:51pm

Views: 1915
I think it would be brilliant to have some dwarven singing here....

I mean, lets say they are in fact making a movie that is considered more "mature", in which there isn't a place for some of the more whimsical parts of the original story. What better place to insert a song and in essence make a cinematic "nod" to aspects of the story sacrificed during the adaptation.

What could be more natural than a bunch of rough and tumble, drunken dwarves breaking into song and screwing around with their stuffed shirt host? I think it could very easily be made to fit within a more "mature" movie.

For that matter there are other parts of the story line in which they could do the same; put the dwarves in a setting in which a song (drinking song or travelling song) wouldn't be unnatural and wouldn't effect the "tone" of the film. Rivendell, Laketown or sitting about a camp fire in any number of other places along the journey. We're talking about brief interludes here, like when Frodo catches Aragorn singing a sample of the Lay of Luthien in the marshes, not anything like every cast member breaking into song and dance like a musical.


Nov 30 2011, 6:31pm

Views: 1881
'not like every character breaking into song and dance'

you have just provided me with some frankly hilarious mental images there! Laugh


Nov 30 2011, 7:20pm

Views: 1890
If we were in a tavern

I could give a humorous, but slightly sexist retort. Angelic


Nov 30 2011, 7:37pm

Views: 1913
It could be, but it's not

I didn't like all the songs from the trilogy, others I did. I liked Pippen's song in Minis Tirith, I liked the Green Dragon song, didn't like Eowen's graveside singing, or the Elve's lament to Gandalf. That's just my opinion. But I like music, and song, and I think this particular scene could be done very well. On the other hand, if directed poorly or the music arranged lazily, you might be right and it could be childish and I end up not liking it. At this point, I'm hoping for the best, and am looking forward to it.

Then again, I like musicals, West Side Story, to Rocky Horror, and Little Shop of Horrors, and Rent, even Mama Mia.

Grey Havens

Nov 30 2011, 7:58pm

Views: 1899

In Reply To
"Oh, that's weird" quite a few times during the LOTR films. I don't see why a bit of singing is going to suddenly ruin everything.

Plus, I am not sure the assumption that audiences will find singing "weird" is a sound one...

Heh, well my comment was not so much about the movie breaking into song. It was more about making fun of this topic, and maybe how we are taking it too seriously. We have plenty of time to dissect, analyse, debate and adjust our opinions here, but what's realy going to matter is each moment in the film where we don't have anything but immediacy in the theater.

Personally, I thought Pippin's song while Denethor symbolically spilled the flesh and blood of Faramir while eating was okay. So too Merry and Pippin's Green Dragon song. Those things would be okay with me. But Eowyn and Aragorn's songs really make me squirm, depite being mercifully short and cut off.


Nov 30 2011, 9:20pm

Views: 1883
Eowyn's song

Was excellent. It's only awkward if you expect something more modern.

As I said elsewhere, the perceived awkwardness of the song (by some here and elsewhere) is, IMO, what makes it authentic. If you were transported back in time to listen to a Dark Age Anglo-Saxon dirge, you wouldn't likely hear a tune that was familiar to your ears. You'd likely hear something that sounded, well, awkward.

The same goes for Aragorn's song, which I thought was one of the few things that elevated the films beyond just a "cool action adventure." Good on PJ for trusting the source material.

I think these films would be better off if they didn't pander too much. Tolkien didn't test his audience with LOTR, and they are some of the most beloved books of all time. PJ should, and likely will, push the boundaries of what audience's find "comfortable." No matter how much I disagree with some of PJ's choices, and his not always mature style, I will give him credit for at least not being a Ron Howard or Michael Bay.


(This post was edited by Gandalf'sMother on Nov 30 2011, 9:24pm)


Nov 30 2011, 9:20pm

Views: 1848
songs are songs... like them or not, as you said you personally would/did find some songs bad, it's only your personal taste...
but they still belong to the world and should be shown( sung). i didn't like eowyn's song as well but it belonged to the scene. i think those dwarvish or hobbit drinking or travel songs are great and i hope to see more of them in the movies.
and i think the crew around PJ is professional enough and knows their job so the songs will never seem childish, i think they'll be used to create more atmosphere, to make the scenes deeper. it ads a lot if there's not only actors with soundtrack but actors making the music and singing, the characters gain more depth and reality.

Marillë by the Sea

Nov 30 2011, 9:21pm

Views: 1846
Thank you!

Even when characters did sing in LOTR movies, they didn't follow exactly the same lyrics as in the books. In this instance, the dwarves could sing a couple of verses of the dishes song before bursting into laughter at Bilbo's terrified face, but in the end everything turns out well. Frankly, I'm looking forward to this scene and find it very believable: go into a pub and see if you don't spot any rough looking men singing songs.

And why does everyone associate singing songs with Disney movies? Did they cringe whenever someone broke into song on LOTR and thought of Snow White or Cinderella?


Nov 30 2011, 9:26pm

Views: 1849
If the vlog is any indication

It is possible they will sing the "Man in the Moon" song rather than the dishes one. That will avoid what someone else said about the songs being too "situational."


Marillë by the Sea

Nov 30 2011, 9:32pm

Views: 1879

I was surprised Eowyn and Aragorn started singing because I haven't seen many recent blockbuster movies that do that, but after repeated viewings I thoroughly enjoy each scene because it really makes the world more authentic, like it truly happened and belongs in the Middle Ages. I'm really happy that PJ and the writers decided to incorporate as much of Tolkien's songs as possible and I hope they will continue to do so with The Hobbit.


Dec 1 2011, 1:06am

Views: 1844
I disagree

It's not that my ears aren't accustomed to music other than modern music, that was a bit presumptuous of you, I simply didn't like it. It felt forced to me, and her singing voice wasn't very good. Plus she over-acted the scene. But I'm glad someone enjoyed it.


Dec 1 2011, 1:22am

Views: 1805
Got it

But I think what you perceive as being "forced" is simply the style they chose to go with, not a failure of acting. Throughout many cultures, there are and were songs that don't even sound like songs. Belting and grunting and shouting. Rather unpleasant stuff, even to the open-minded appreciator of music.

And I didn't say you had to like it, per se. But I don't think it was done poorly. It just is what it is - a recreation of an old dirge - and should be appreciated for that.

Tol Eressea

Dec 1 2011, 2:32am

Views: 1831
Its not that I didn't like the songs and poems

I thought they fit the book well but I dont care to have the hobbit a musical where everyone is singing and dancing all the time. The orcs/Goblins sang in the book too should they have a sing along in the hobbit too? Can't see it. The world PJ created had songs too but they were well placed, not just breaking into song like they do in the book. I mean a well placed drunken, dwarf drinking song would be fine but most of the songs could be done as atmosphere music done by Howard Shore and that would be fine by me. i agree some of the melodies are haunting but I think thats part of the composers job to incorporate those into the film where you hear them but you dont have to hear 13 dwarfs , or orcs, or elves singing all the time.

Grey Havens

Dec 1 2011, 4:03am

Views: 1773
A good example of this is from "Whose Line is it Anyway?"

On the American version of the show, Wayne Brady could make up some pretty clever lyrics on the fly. I'm sure he's not the only one, as well.

“Tell me one last thing,” said Harry. “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”


Dec 1 2011, 5:15am

Views: 1797
They don't sing "all the time" the books either, so I'm not sure what your point is.

PJ should do whatever he can to make these different from your standard mainstream, action fare. And songs are one way of doing that.

Here's to hoping most of them are kept in.



Dec 1 2011, 7:07am

Views: 1794
Yeah but...

That doesn't scan right. Only 4 syllables allowed in the name.

Wandering Ranger

Dec 1 2011, 7:15am

Views: 1790

all you need is one of them to go "How about a drinking song whilst we feast" and then they break into Chip the Glasses. From that you would get that it is clearly a traditional dwarf song sung whilst eating and drinking. The fact every name you could think of doesnt necessarily fit is irrelevant.

So Frodo Baggins boarded the great ship and passed on into the west till the sweet fragrance on the air filled his sense and the sound of singing came over the water. Then it seemed to him that, as in a dream, he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country. The third age of Middle Earth was over, the days of the Rings had passed and the story and song of those times was at an end.


Dec 1 2011, 9:57am

Views: 1801
i still don't

quite get why you think the singing of songs will turn it into a musical. I mean, they don't even sing in the book all the time so the songs will be well placed in the movies...
IMO they could even do the orc song great: one drumming the rhythm, the others stomping, pushing and slapping the dwarves down into the tunnels and using more like guttural kind of singing, grunting/shouting/screaming with their nasty voices.


Dec 1 2011, 3:28pm

Views: 1786
no songs, just like LOTR..

I understand the desire to not have silly songs and such in The Hobbit films, but let's not forget how many songs and poems made their way into Peter Jackson's LOTR films.

These are the ones I can think of off the top of my head (there might be some I'm missing):

"The Road goes ever on.."- Gandalf
"The Road goes ever on.."- Bilbo
"Hey Ho to the bottle..."- Merry and Pippin
"The Lay of Luthien"- Aragorn
"A Lament for Gandalf"- Lorien Elves
"The Finest rockets..."- Samwise

"Where is the Horse and the Rider"- Theoden
Theodred's Funeral Dirge- Eowyn
"My Land is Best"- Treebeard

"Green Dragon"- Merry and Pippin
"Paths of the Dead"- Legolas
"Home is Behind.."- Pippin
Coronation- Aragorn

I felt they were all appropriate and not a single one took me out of the film. In fact, I felt that they added richness, depth and a sense of history. If PJ approaches The Hobbit with the same sensibilites, I'll be happy. Though, I don't feel the need to hear "Goblin Town" sung by Orcs or "Tra la la lally" by the Elves.


Dec 1 2011, 4:21pm

Views: 2019
Just a point.

Eowyn wasn't meant to sound like a good singer. She was mourning a beloved cousin and chanting a funeral dirge over his grave.

But I have no quibble with you not liking it. I didn't like Aragorn's "song" in the marsh. I would have preferred words you could understand along with an actual melody instead of that tuneless mumbling.

To each our own, right? Cool

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


Dec 1 2011, 4:22pm

Views: 2030
LOTR didn't have enough songs, IMO.

Even if they'd recited more poetry, without necessarily singing anything, it would have helped.

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


Dec 1 2011, 4:25pm

Views: 2051
I have to chuckle a little bit about this thread.

When I think of all the people who lament that Tom Bombadil was left out of LOTR.

What is that whole section but a cheesy, music hall interlude? Cool

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)


Dec 1 2011, 5:06pm

Views: 2039
Right you are

though I should have worded better, my comment on her singing voice. It isn't that she doesn't have a good voice. I like many singers who don't have a traditional voice. I'm having a hard time putting my feelings about the scene into words. It was her performance, the editing, the way the scene was fimed. To me, the film stumbles through this scene. But perhaps that was what PJ and company wanted. It's a funeral after all. But here's how I would have it.

Of all the money e'er I had,
I spent it in good company.
And all the harm I've ever done,
Alas! it was to none but me.
And all I've done for want of wit
To mem'ry now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all.

Oh, all the comrades e'er I had,
They're sorry for my going away,
And all the sweethearts e'er I had,
They'd wish me one more day to stay,
But since it falls unto my lot,
That I should rise and you should not,
I gently rise and softly call,
Good night and joy be with you all.


Dec 1 2011, 7:53pm

Views: 2049
Don't forget "Rock and Pool, nice and cool..." ;-)



Dec 1 2011, 8:10pm

Views: 2036
Cheesy music-hall scenes from the Tom Bombadil chapters

Strange furtive noises ran among the bushes and reeds on either side of them; and if they looked up to the pale sky, they caught sight of queer gnarled and knobbly faces that gloomed dark against the twilight, and leered down at them from the high bank and the edges of the wood. They began to feel that all this country was unreal, and that they were stumbling through an ominous dream that led to no awakening.

Its walls were of clean stone, but they were mostly covered with green hanging mats and yellow curtains. The floor was flagged, and strewn with fresh green rushes. There were four deep mattresses, each piled with white blankets, laid on the floor along one side. Against the opposite wall was a long bench laden with wide earthenware basins, and beside it stood brown ewers filled with water, some cold, some steaming hot. There were soft green slippers set ready beside each bed.

Moving constantly in and out of his talk was Old Man Willow, and Frodo learned now enough to content him, indeed more than enough, for it was not comfortable lore. Tom’s words laid bare the hearts of trees and their thoughts, which were often dark and strange, and filled with a hatred of things that go free upon the earth, gnawing, biting, breaking, hacking, burning: destroyers and usurpers.

The hobbits sat still before him, enchanted; and it seemed as if, under the spell of his words, the wind had gone, and the clouds had dried up, and the day had been withdrawn, and darkness had come from East and West, and all the sky was filled with the light of white stars.

'Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless? But you are young and I am old. Eldest, that’s what I am. Mark my words, my friends: Tom was here before the river and the trees; Tom remembers the first raindrop and the first acorn. He made paths before the Big People, and saw the little People arriving. He was here before the Kings and the graves and the Barrow-wights. When the Elves passed westward, Tom was here already, before the seas were bent. He knew the dark under the stars when it was fearless - before the Dark Lord came from Outside.’

After they had eaten, Goldberry sang many songs for them, songs that began merrily in the hills and fell softly down into silence; and in the silences they saw in their minds pools and waters wider than any they had known, and looking into them they saw the sky below them and the stars like jewels in the depths. Then once more she wished them each good night and left them by the fireside. that moment a clear call came rippling down. There on the hill-brow she stood beckoning to them: her hair was flying loose, and as it caught the sun it shone and shimmered. A light like the glint of water on dewy grass flashed from under her feet as she danced.

Even as they looked out in dismay towards the setting sun, it sank before their eyes into a white sea, and a cold grey shadow sprang up in the East behind. The fog rolled up to the walls and rose above them, and as it mounted it bent over their heads until it became a roof: they were shut in a hall of mist whose central pillar was the standing stone.

Out of the formless stream of sad but horrible sounds, strings of words would now and again shape themselves: grim, hard, cold words, heartless and miserable. The night was railing against the morning of which it was bereaved, and the cold was cursing the warmth for which it hungered. Frodo was chilled to the marrow.

The hardest part about making a movie of a Tolkien book is that the writing and camerawork ought to be truly magical. I sometimes think the New Line films left the Tom Bombadil sections out not because they were too corny (they're not), nor because they would take up too much time (a judgment call), nor because they don't move the story along (first define the story of LotR), but because those sections came out of Tolkien's literary soul and were just too hard to write and film.

There is similar writing, from the same soul, in many parts of The Hobbit. I wonder if these upcoming films will try to capture those parts of the book?

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

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Dec 3 2011, 5:58pm

Views: 1933
same here

Such a fun song and a great moment of playful dwarf teasing at Bilbo's expense.

I hope it stays in.

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere." - Albert Einstein.

Tol Eressea

Dec 3 2011, 9:10pm

Views: 1986
probably some type

of drunken dwarven song but I dont think we will get the song from the book. I know the actor who sings the song in Bilbo's home (James Nesbitt) was singing something about an inn but nothing about dinner ware in the video blog which was done while they were shooting the scene. I don't mind a drinking or drunken song which there were some in LOTR but in comparison there are WAY TOO MANY songs in the Hobbit as Compared to the LOTR. and I don't mind a character singing a song under his breath (gandalf singing the road goes ever on and on in FOTR) or drunken singing Merry and Pippin dancing on the table)but don'tmake it the focus of the scene. I think alot of the songs or poems will be changed to dialogue and not sung in the films


Dec 4 2011, 12:14am

Views: 2700
who knows

 I like the mirth and playfulness of the songs in The Hobbit.

I'd love to see James Nesbitt's Bofur sing quite a bit. I have no problems with drunken or legit crooning from the cast.
All that said, I can clearly imagine the second Hobbit film taking a much darker route so much less singing.

The type of singing I really do not want to hear is that new agey Celtic female choir LoTR stuff for the Hobbit score. That's a small reason why I've never owned the LoTR films on any format: Can't stand it. I understand the placement but it's not my thing.

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere." - Albert Einstein.