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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The "friendly" Gollum from the trailer
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Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 24 2012, 9:16am

Post #1 of 154 (2439 views)
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The "friendly" Gollum from the trailer Can't Post

I've just gone back and re-read the Riddles in the Dark chapter and noticed something interesting. I remember the riddles game as being very tense and Gollum as being very scary, but on my re-read, I noticed that my memory was not entirely accurate The scene starts out on a much less menacing footing and then goes into a slow build throughout until the final "Baggins! We hates it forever!". Here are the general beats of the scene in the book (direct book quotes in bold):

1. Bilbo arrives at Gollum's lake and stops, unable to decide where to go next. Gollum comes up out of the darkness and startles him by whispering and hissing. "What is it, my Precious?" This is the scene from the first teaser trailer.

2. Bilbo holds out Sting and asks "Who are you?" Gollum "was not really very hungry at the moment, only curious" and asks his name. Bilbo tells him, and that he is lost. Gollum asks what he has in his hands, and Bilbo tells him it is a blade out of Gondolin. "Ssss" said Gollum, and became quite polite." He then suggests that they sit and have a chat, and perhaps a game of riddles. This is the scene from the second trailer, where Gollum is being polite and proposing a friendly-seeming game. The first riddle is asked.

3. After the first riddle, Gollum challenges Bilbo to the competition. "Does it guess easy? It must have a competition with us, my precious! If precious asks, and it doesn't answer, we eats it, my preciousss. If it asks us, and we doesn't answer, then we does what it wants, eh? We shows it the way out, yes!" "All right!" said Bilbo, not daring to disagree...." We saw a bit of this in the second trailer, though they've switched the order of the offer, beginning with showing Bilbo the way out and ending with the menace of being eaten if he loses, presumably because ending with the scary option begins to build tension.

4. As the riddle game continues, Gollum begins to lose patience and get more angry. "But these ordinary aboveground sort of everyday riddles were tiring for him. Also they reminded him of days when he had been less lonely and sneaky and nasty and that put him out of temper."

5. Both Gollum and Bilbo have some near losses, and Gollum was "getting angry", "tired of the game" and "very hungry indeed". The tension is building. He sits down right next to Bilbo, which rattles him enough that he asks what's in his pockets instead of a real riddle. Gollum gets three guesses, and loses. Bilbo's fear should be showing plainly at this point.

6. As soon as Gollum loses, Bilbo jumps up, puts his back to the wall, and holds out Sting. Gollum does not dare to be openly hostile yet, but mutters and hisses and decides to go get his Ring and come back invisible. I think we can expect a dual Smeagol/Gollum conversation at this point in the movie.

7. Gollum paddles out to his island and finds his precious gone. Bilbo waits in the dark and hears Gollum wailing, shrieking and crying. He calls out to ask what is wrong, and demands his payment. Gollum begins to suspect. Now he becomes the scary, angry Gollum most of us remember when we think of this passage.

8. Gollum comes back in a rage, Bilbo has the Ring slip onto his finger in his panic, and we get the climactic escape scene.

From reading this, paying attention to the way that Gollum is described along the way, I think that the scenes we saw in the trailer are actually quite a reasonable portrayal of that part of the game. We begin with Bilbo being startled and scared by Gollum, who comes out of nowhere, but then they strike up a fairly normal conversation. Gollum begins merely curious, becomes polite, then as the game goes on he moves through the stages of being tired, annoyed, and hungry, and when he loses he becomes treacherous and murderous. We've seen only the startling arrival and the polite stage, with one hint of the anger and treachery to come. I think there's plenty of room for the scene to get more and more tense and scary as it goes on. From comments made by Andy, the scene as shot lasted 15 minutes. If we even get most of that in the films, we have plenty of time to go through all the different stages in a slow build, followed by a great tense escape action scene.

Silverlode



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Avnar
Lorien


Sep 24 2012, 9:44am

Post #2 of 154 (1121 views)
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Interesting! [In reply to] Can't Post

It's funny how seeing this trailer has made people (myself included) go back and read certain parts of the hobbit Cool

I was reading a part today (sorry don't mean to get sidetracked) where Tolkien wrote that the Orcs that attacked the lonely mountain had "Wargs AND Wolves in their train" ...hmmm.

Does this mean that they are infact different??


Bombadil
Half-elven


Sep 24 2012, 10:02am

Post #3 of 154 (1098 views)
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Absolutely.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Honestly feel that is WHY?
they shot this Iconic Scene First..

Too much rides on the RiddleGame..
Thank you Silverlode
Bomby


Valandil ed Imladris
Lorien


Sep 24 2012, 10:09am

Post #4 of 154 (1037 views)
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thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

I really liked the scene in the trailer and think it's accurate.

But to be sure I bought the Hobbit version with the Alan Lee drawings recently and started rereading ;)


Kendalf
Rohan

Sep 24 2012, 10:25am

Post #5 of 154 (1021 views)
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Great stuff, Silverlode! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I think we're going to see the transformation of Gollum in this scene and that what we saw in the recent trailer was therefore perfectly apt as it was clearly taken from the start of the sequence. The last shot of him, on the other hand, the last thing we hear him scream, will be of the bitter, wicked, malign Gollum and no doubt become as iconic as anything else in Jackson's ME movies.

What I therefore don't think we'll see is one of his trademark split-personality conversations with himself. He'll morph from one into the other instead.


Estel78
Tol Eressea

Sep 24 2012, 11:15am

Post #6 of 154 (1017 views)
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The alternate trailer ending [In reply to] Can't Post

In the Gollum ending we see him as he lost the riddle game yet he still acts very polite, though. By that time, tension should have been higher imho. Who knows, in context it might work better.


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 24 2012, 11:23am

Post #7 of 154 (983 views)
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We did see the Smeagol-Gollum split personality in the trailer... [In reply to] Can't Post

... there's a teeny tiny bit where Smeagol is asking himself what to do if Baggins loses, to which the (presumably) Gollum part replies "We eats it whole". The seemingly friendly Smeagol then turns about, smiles at Bilbo, and says him "If Baggins loses, we eats it whole" Smile



(This post was edited by Earl on Sep 24 2012, 11:23am)


Kendalf
Rohan

Sep 24 2012, 11:42am

Post #8 of 154 (952 views)
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Yes, Earl [In reply to] Can't Post

...you're quite correct. The Smeagol-Gollum dynamic was present and will be. I should have been clearer; what I meant was we won't see one of his entire conversations with himself a la ruins in Two Towers and pool in Return of the King. Besides there not really being an opportunity for it (as far as I can see), I also think the focus will be on his quite rapid and overpowering transformation from playful Semagol to wicked Gollum rather than his internal struggle to regulate his competing personalities.

In short, he'll be mostly-Smeagol then rapidly morph into completely-Gollum.

Just re-read. Geez, am I even making sense? Crazy


Earl
Forum Admin / Moderator


Sep 24 2012, 11:50am

Post #9 of 154 (932 views)
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Are perfect making you sense [In reply to] Can't Post

Heehee Angelic

Nah, I get what you're saying, and I agree, I might be more interesting to see a bit of a different dynamic rather than the same old Smeagol-Gollum debate.



Gusev8
Bree


Sep 24 2012, 12:00pm

Post #10 of 154 (967 views)
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That is in the beginning of the Riddles in the Dark scene ! [In reply to] Can't Post

That is not true at all....

In the Gollum ending we see the very beginning of the Riddles in the Dark scene. Gollum asks first is it lost. Then Smeagol says quicky because he is so polite we know a way out. That is in the very beginning... get your facts straight please. LOL do you think PJ and Andy Serkis are stupid if that was when he loses the ring.... thats not very smart thinking. That is the beginning of the Riddle game not when he already lost....


burgahobbit
Rohan


Sep 24 2012, 12:03pm

Post #11 of 154 (1003 views)
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From descriptions at comic-con (spoilers) [In reply to] Can't Post

This scene was before the riddle game, this is something like how the dialogue will go (stop reading if you don't want the events leading up to the riddle game completely spoiled for you):

G: "Lost?"
B: "Yes, yes, and I want to get unlost as soon as possible."
S: "We knows of a safe paths for hobbitses, safe paths in the dark!"
G: "Shut up!"
B: "I didn't say anything."
G: "I wasn't talking to you."
B: "Now look, I don't know what you game is..."
S (or G): "Games! We love games don't we precious?" (last two roughly from a comic-con footage description)
B: Why don't we play a game of riddles."

Then Bilbo tells Gollum that if he wins he gets to know the way out, and then Gollum decides what happens if Bilbo loses which we saw in the trailer.


burgahobbit
Rohan


Sep 24 2012, 12:06pm

Post #12 of 154 (932 views)
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I completely agree with you [In reply to] Can't Post

In the action shots of the trailer we get a brief one of Gollum hissing and looking terribly angry. I really like the way this scene looks like it is shaping out with the comedy first and then the danger. Thanks a lot for the step by step attitudes of Gollum.


stoutfiles
Rohan

Sep 24 2012, 12:26pm

Post #13 of 154 (999 views)
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The comedy was never in the book, though [In reply to] Can't Post

It went from less scary to scary, but it was always scary, where as the trailer has funny parts.

Gollum is the snake, trapping his prey, and he never does it with humor in the book. You need to make Gollum scary for the scene to be scary, because LOTR has already shown that Frodo and Sam are able to overpower Gollum. Who cares if he gets mad at the end?

No, to do the scene right you need to make it very dark...hardly any light...and you need to show that Gollum has the advantage should he choose to attack because Bilbo can hardly see him. You need to show Gollum as cunning instead of cutesy. Otherwise there's no tension, if Bilbo loses he can easily slay Gollum and is already known to be able to best him in a struggle from LOTR.


Estel78
Tol Eressea

Sep 24 2012, 12:44pm

Post #14 of 154 (899 views)
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You're probably right. [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought Gollum says "have we lost" as in lost the game but after watching it again it sounds much more like "is it lost" as in is the hobbit lost. For my defense, english is not my first language. Wink

Btw, i never said that was when he loses the ring, i said that was when he loses the game (before he goes back to his island and finds no ring).


(This post was edited by Estel78 on Sep 24 2012, 12:47pm)


Gusev8
Bree


Sep 24 2012, 12:53pm

Post #15 of 154 (908 views)
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Iconic scene [In reply to] Can't Post

English isn't my first language either Tongue But, I am sorry for reacting that agressive. This iconic scene is very moving and important for me and a lot of fans all around the world. Can't wait to see this scene in the theater !


Lindele
Gondor


Sep 24 2012, 1:26pm

Post #16 of 154 (878 views)
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You also have to realize [In reply to] Can't Post

what the purpose of this trailer is. It is not just to get the hardcore fans excited.
It is promoting the film. They need people who watch this to relate with Gollum, and remember his fun personality from LOTR.
They want people to remember how much they like Gollum, helping drive them to the theater.


Elenorflower
Gondor


Sep 24 2012, 1:51pm

Post #17 of 154 (899 views)
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I totally agree with you Stoutfiles [In reply to] Can't Post

and I also dont think Gollum had two personalities as such. He had forgotten being Smeagol and had become Gollum, but Smeagol wasnt his alternate personality he didnt have a personality disorder IMO. There were traces of Smeagol and those traces probably made him angry with himself because it made him remember having a normal life so many ages ago. I dont want this turned into a comedic scene because it was a tense and very scary moment for Bilbo, he was inches away from being throttled and eaten, and it was only his wits that saved him. I can imagine Bilbo in the dark his heart pounding in terror as this unseen thing creeps towards him, I certainly dont want a jokey atmosphere.


(This post was edited by Elenorflower on Sep 24 2012, 1:52pm)


Solicitr
Lorien

Sep 24 2012, 1:57pm

Post #18 of 154 (893 views)
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Could also be [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Honestly feel that is WHY?
they shot this Iconic Scene First..


That they were allowing for the great deal of time-consuming CGI work required to render Serkis' mo-cap into Gollum.


(This post was edited by Solicitr on Sep 24 2012, 1:57pm)


Solicitr
Lorien

Sep 24 2012, 2:08pm

Post #19 of 154 (860 views)
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Amen [In reply to] Can't Post

"Slinker" was Gollum's obsequious, smarmy presentation *after* Frodo had "cowed" him, impelled in part (but only in part) by whatever shreds of decency were left to his shriveled soul; "Stinker" was his basic personality, even if a corner of his memory was briefly touched by a voice from Outside, as Gandalf observed; Smeagol was a turd even before he ever stole the Ring.

The "split personality" business (a syndrome which the shrinks now tell us doesn't occur in real life; "Sybil" was a fraud) was again a PBJ failure to understand and/or a cliche-fallback (note that a near-identical scene appeared in Spider-Man the same year). It is an unpleasant fact, as Hannah Ahrendt documented at length, that loving sentimentality and monstrous cruelty can coexist in the same personality.


Bombadil
Half-elven


Sep 24 2012, 2:18pm

Post #20 of 154 (864 views)
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As to Light in his Cave.. [In reply to] Can't Post

In the First scroll
it shows that Stiing is the only Light source.?

As to Gollum
didn't he go around
murdering Orcs invisable in total darkness.

SO this light up scene is pretty un-Natural
and confusing for him.


Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Sep 24 2012, 2:32pm

Post #21 of 154 (850 views)
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Good point [In reply to] Can't Post

Though I think there is a vast gulf of difference between politeness and cutesiness.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Sep 24 2012, 2:41pm

Post #22 of 154 (900 views)
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My issue is neither politeness nor cutestiness [In reply to] Can't Post

It's not even with the fact that they appear to be portraying Gollum with split personality; I think that an argument can be made that the split personality exists in The Hobbit. It is the way they appear to be portraying the split personality. It seems almost a parody of the way it was portrayed in the LOTR films. That could, however, simply be a product of using the trailer for marketing purposes. I am very much hoping that it won't come across that way to me when I see the full scene.

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

The Hall of Fire


Elenorflower
Gondor


Sep 24 2012, 2:55pm

Post #23 of 154 (834 views)
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erm [In reply to] Can't Post

I think when Gollum says, ''I wasnt talking to you'', it was played for laughs for the peanut gallery. Unsure


Solicitr
Lorien

Sep 24 2012, 3:25pm

Post #24 of 154 (835 views)
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As PJ does far, far, far too often [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think when Gollum says, ''I wasnt talking to you'', it was played for laughs for the peanut gallery. Unsure



Shelob'sAppetite
Valinor

Sep 24 2012, 3:52pm

Post #25 of 154 (756 views)
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Excellent point [In reply to] Can't Post

I suppose we will just have to wait half a century for a remake...Smile

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