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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
**In the beginning was the Rankin Bass Hobbit, Part 10-- Kill the Beast!"**
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weaver
Half-elven


Oct 11 2012, 3:53am

Post #1 of 33 (973 views)
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**In the beginning was the Rankin Bass Hobbit, Part 10-- Kill the Beast!"** Can't Post

I have six more images to post in my semi-regular series of posts featuring images from the Soundtrack Booklet of the Rankin Bass Hobbit. Here's another installment, as I thought I'd better get busy before the new films come out!

This time I bring you:

BARD!



And SMAUG!



Here are some discussion questions, or feel free to just comment on the images in general:


1. Bard -- Is this how you pictured him? Does he look like the second cousin once removed on his mother's side of Aragorn to you? To me, he looks more like Sonny Bono!

2. Bard -- What do you think of his attire? Socks with sandals? And what is it with the animated men of Middle Earth never having any pants on?

3.Smaug -- Do you like this depiction of him? What features stand out to you? The ears? Did he swallow a flashlight? Does he remind you of Benedict Cumberbatch?

4. The Black Arrow -- How important is the arrow to you, as part of the story? Do you think Jackson will include it as written, give it a back story, or omit it? What would you do if you were the film maker?

5. Other thoughts?

As always, thanks in advance to all who choose to reply or lurk!

Weaver



DanielLB
Immortal


Oct 11 2012, 7:20am

Post #2 of 33 (428 views)
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Bard and Smaug ... neither of them look very good ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Bard looks like a distant relation of mine. It's quite uncanny the similarity. I didn't know the Thrush was a wood pigeon as well? Wink Bard's attire is quite awful. His shoe things must be tied on too tight - look at his toes! They're green! He also looks weird enough not to be wearing any underwear, Thankfully Bard in the upcoming films looks better!

As for Smaug, he's just a big fat cat that needs a belly rub. Smaug is misunderstood - he doesn't want to kill!

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(This post was edited by DanielLB on Oct 11 2012, 7:30am)


Fardragon
Rohan

Oct 11 2012, 7:28am

Post #3 of 33 (408 views)
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Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

Bard looks good. Tolkien would approve of Saxon style dress.

The thrush, however, looks nothing like any thrush I have ever seen. More like a Jay if anything. And they don't smash snails on stones, as they are too busy planting acorns.

Smaug isn't to bad, but I would like to see something more majestic, and red-gold rather than green-orange.

The Black Arrow is well done, I like the emphasis on the origin of the arrow.

A Far Dragon is the best kind...


Ffnir
Rohan


Oct 11 2012, 7:40am

Post #4 of 33 (391 views)
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I like them ! [In reply to] Can't Post

And it's not even sentimental, since I never saw this movie as a kid.
I always imagined Bard that way, with a mustache, not particularly heroic looking, just one of the inhabitants of a small town of fishermen, but standing up when a dragon attacks !
And Smaug is very original and monstrous, I think his fatness is a sign of his personality, and the big cat thing... well, it makes a mouse of Bilbo, which makes sense to me !


Fardragon
Rohan

Oct 11 2012, 8:43am

Post #5 of 33 (426 views)
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The Black Arrow. [In reply to] Can't Post

In the movie, Smaug is likely to be very very big. This brings up a plausibility problem. Even shot in the vulnerables, a normal arrow is simply too small to kill something that big. It's like killing a human with something smaller than a toothpick.

This leaves the film maker with two options:

1) Really make a big thing about how special the Black Arrow is.

2) Have Bard shoot a more appropriately sized projectile, such as a tree-trunk.

A Far Dragon is the best kind...


DanielLB
Immortal


Oct 11 2012, 9:05am

Post #6 of 33 (399 views)
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This [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
2) Have Bard shoot a more appropriately sized projectile, such as a tree-trunk.



Laugh

No sorry, I meant this:


Quote

1) Really make a big thing about how special the Black Arrow is.



It would be really easy just to give the arrow some sort of backstory, and foreshadow that it will bring about the end of Smaug. Or more elusively, bring luck to it's shooter/bring luck to Laketown etc. Since it was a gift from the Dwarves, there's already an easy connection between the dragon and the arrow.

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Ardamr
Valinor


Oct 11 2012, 10:06am

Post #7 of 33 (358 views)
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Hmm... [In reply to] Can't Post

Knee high socks and a mini skirt Unimpressed

"...and his first memory of Middle-earth was the green stone above her breast as she sang above his cradle while Gondolin was still in flower." -Unfinished Tales


guitarzankansasfan
Lorien


Oct 11 2012, 10:52am

Post #8 of 33 (346 views)
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I've said it before and I'll say it again [In reply to] Can't Post

The moustache makes the man. I'd grow one myself if it didn't add 10 years to my face.

There was a man.
There was a lady.
There was a Dragon Lord.


grinman
Rivendell


Oct 11 2012, 1:12pm

Post #9 of 33 (319 views)
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toothpick [In reply to] Can't Post

A toothpick through the heart could be instantly fatal. Obviously, it would take an amazing shot to get the toothpick between the ribs, but past that there wouldn't be much hindrance. We all know that Bard made an amazing shot! I had always assumed that Bard hit the heart, being that the weak spot was in his "left breast" (if dragon anatomy and human anatomy are congruous).


Phibbus
Rohan


Oct 11 2012, 1:34pm

Post #10 of 33 (311 views)
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Something like... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
2) Have Bard shoot a more appropriately sized projectile, such as a tree-trunk.

This?

Man is but an ass if he go about to expound this dream.


DanielLB
Immortal


Oct 11 2012, 1:38pm

Post #11 of 33 (297 views)
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I'll be really disappointed if this doesn't happen! / [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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dalecooper
Rivendell

Oct 11 2012, 2:08pm

Post #12 of 33 (304 views)
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I've always been partial to this movie, so my answers won't surprise... [In reply to] Can't Post

Smaug looks good to me. He's very feline which fits some of the description of him in the book, even if it pushes away from Tolkien's own, more-reptilian drawing. I don't think that design would quite work in live action, but I like it in this context. He's a fat old cat indeed, but he's malicious too (as cats can be) and his looks match his rumbling, old voice.

Bard I am less fond of, but he works. The outfit is in line with the dress from the rest of the movie and is a reasonable rendering. The mustache is a little overdone and shows the era in which the movie was made.

As for the Black Arrow, I like that RB included it (otherwise the killing of Smaug would be pretty damn random!). And I hope PJ not only includes it, but expands it a bit with some earlier set-up like Bard telling a tale about a time he made some improbable shot and retrieved it against all odds - maybe even a flashback to its forging. IMO it warrants a meatier role. The magic (or semi-magic) weapon that kills Smaug should get a little bit more spotlight.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Oct 11 2012, 2:51pm

Post #13 of 33 (267 views)
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Responses [In reply to] Can't Post

1 & 2. I've always liked Bard, even if Tolkien does bring him out of nowhere. This is one place where Jackson has a chance to give a character a better introduction than Tolkien did. One might expect, though, that he might be wearing some leggings since Smaug's attack on Lake-town occurs pretty late in the year (late-October or early-November).

3. I never had too much trouble with the Rankin/Bass interpretation of Smaug other than his being a bit large in the tummy. I don't recall if his coloration in the image above accurately represents how he was colored in the animated film, though the shaft of the Black Arrow shouldn't be visible.

4. Bard's arrow is, of course, just as much of a deux ex machina as is Bard himself. Again, Jackson has the opportunity to add a bit of foreshadowing to his film adaptation, so that the Black Arrow doesn't feel like a cheat.

5. I'm still hoping that weaver or some other poster will turn out to have a copy of The Hobbit that includes the illustrations from the animated film; I would love to see the illustrations that cover the bits of the book that were ommited from the animated adaptation (especially Beorn, the Wood-elves' forest feast, and the sequences involving the Arkenstone).

'Thus spake Ioreth, wise-woman of Gondor: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known.' - Gandalf the White


Fardragon
Rohan

Oct 11 2012, 2:58pm

Post #14 of 33 (276 views)
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You can explain that in the book [In reply to] Can't Post

But unless you show an arrows-eye view of exactly how the arrow kills the dragon (not unknown of course), it would be difficult to make look convincing on film.

A Far Dragon is the best kind...


Ffnir
Rohan


Oct 11 2012, 4:34pm

Post #15 of 33 (272 views)
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Could a possible explanation of the power of the black arrow... [In reply to] Can't Post

be that it has been forged out of the same meteor than Anguirel and Anglachel, and possibly forged by Eol ? It would explain its ability to kill a dragon in one shot, just like Aglachel, renamed Gurthanc in the hand of Turin, killed Glaurung in one strike ?

Of course it's not written anywhere, but it would be a good explanation IMO


DanielLB
Immortal


Oct 11 2012, 4:48pm

Post #16 of 33 (263 views)
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Since that's all part of The Silmarillion, it wont apply to the new films. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a nice thought though. It was passed down from Girion. Who know's where it originally came from!

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grinman
Rivendell


Oct 11 2012, 5:37pm

Post #17 of 33 (220 views)
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I don't think so... [In reply to] Can't Post

It wouldn't be too hard, in my opinion, to convey that on film at all. Bilbo simply has to say "A hollow in his left breast.... just over his heart". the audience (the ones not keen on anatomy) will then understand the vulnerable nature of the bare patch. The black arrow then simply has to be shown burying itself in the patch (probably all the way) to convey it's effectiveness. A great "yew bow" would require longer, more powerful arrows.. much like the prologue/Helm's Deep Elves and less like Legolas/Aragorn/Faramir. The black arrow could be an especially long arrow with an especially large and wicked looking head (not unlike the RB pic above).

Remember the Death Star battle at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope? Luke had to fire a tiny torpedo down a tiny hole. They briefly explained why this would work and let the rest play out. We didn't have to actually see the "chain reaction" that blew up the reactor. We just saw the torpedo go in the hole and then the reactor blew. I don't see how Smaug's death is too dissimilar in those respects.


Aitieuriskon
Lorien


Oct 11 2012, 5:39pm

Post #18 of 33 (256 views)
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My take [In reply to] Can't Post

1.) When I picture Bard I see a very rugged man in a long, weathered padded archer's tunic, boots, with jet black hair and a mustache worn long in Celtic fashion. He's dressed the same as all the other Laketown guards, but stands out because of his expression (I always imagined it as a somewhat goofy-looking scowl) and the way he holds himself; more noble and austere in comparison to the rest of the guards, who have let themselves go soft. He's in a guardsman's attire, not the tattered ranger-gear Aragorn wears, and I always envisioned him as a bit more hygienic than the Dunedain of Arnor (though I would bet Girion's line had a drop of Numenorean blood somewhere in it, despite the distance from the sea).

2.) I liked the somewhat barbaric attire of the R&B Bard even though it clashed a bit with the rest of Laketown, which is supposed to be a bustling center of trade rather than a dark age hillfort where the men cling to some memory of Roman dress (military boot-sandals, short tunic) but revert to the age-old cloak and fur vest clasped with big silver status-symbols. It's a cool spin on the king-in-exile motif, but I think the outfit needs to be more of a uniform and distinguished somehow from the garb of the Rohirrim, Gondorians, and Easterlings. Though having potential connections to all these peoples, I think Dale and Laketown deserve their own style (which they appear to be doing right going off what was revealed in vlog 8).

3.) I always envisioned Smaug as being a bit more reptilian than the R&B version. Although Tolkien must have drawn much inspiration for the dragon from the one in Beowulf, I don't see Smaug as the serpentine creature from that poem (I think Alan Lee's Smaug is suitable as a rendition of Beowulf's dragon more so than Smaug himself). As much as the high fantasy genre has milked the giant, horned, red dragon look, I still think Smaug should fall under this category.
The one thing they got perfect in the animated film was the fire: beginning as boiling slaver dripping from his mouth, and shooting out looking like proper flame rather than a standard hollywood fireball explosion. There should be something otherworldly about it; the part in the book where Smaug lands on the summit of the mountain in a big gout of flame always gave me the impression that Smaug's fire was somehow more than just some sort of oral flamethrower. It behaves in a certain way, a difficult thing to describe.

4.) I'm sure the black arrow will be a weapon of particular beauty considering the effort weta puts into all its props. I imagine it will bear either very dwarven or elven characteristics, a gift from one of those races.


"After all, I believe that legends and myths are largely made of 'truth', and indeed present aspects of it that can only be received in this mode; and long ago certain truths and modes of this kind were discovered and must always reappear." Professor Tolkien, 1951


grinman
Rivendell


Oct 11 2012, 6:15pm

Post #19 of 33 (217 views)
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Hey! [In reply to] Can't Post

How did you get in my head, Aitieuriskon?!

I agree with nearly everything you said here....


Aitieuriskon
Lorien


Oct 11 2012, 7:41pm

Post #20 of 33 (189 views)
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My guess [In reply to] Can't Post

it's the Thorin avatars Wink

"After all, I believe that legends and myths are largely made of 'truth', and indeed present aspects of it that can only be received in this mode; and long ago certain truths and modes of this kind were discovered and must always reappear." Professor Tolkien, 1951


ElendilTheShort
Gondor


Oct 11 2012, 7:52pm

Post #21 of 33 (199 views)
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Bard [In reply to] Can't Post

doesn't have to and shouldn't look like Aragorn as they are not related and of different race.

Mini skirts for men seemed to be a 70's ME cartoon fixation. Funniest quote I ever saw was the cartoon Boromir saying...Gondor has no pants, Gondor needs no pants. Bard needs leggings, he's in the north and it is getting onto winter.

Smaug was just ok apart from his laser beam eyes. He had a more oriental influence to his face which sets him apart from euro dragons...the good or bad I am undecided on, but his fat guts would have made air travel impossible.

The black arrow is distinctive but the head is too big and flight would be limited, maybe Bard could just knife a non flying fat Smaug with a non flying heavy arrow. Toothpick to the heart is a good example, dragons are soft underneath so once it was in the gap, no problems getting into a heart or lung, that is also how Glaurung died, soft belly, any sword would probably do so no need to link black arrow to first age weapons, justhave it come from the dwarves under the mountain as Bards lore would indicate.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Oct 11 2012, 9:53pm

Post #22 of 33 (173 views)
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Smaug is actually quite red in the movie. The pic in the OP may be from [In reply to] Can't Post

the picture book or something. In the RB film, Smaug is definitely red, and there is sometimes a golden spakrle to his underbelly.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Valandil ed Imladris
Lorien


Oct 11 2012, 10:53pm

Post #23 of 33 (158 views)
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oliphants [In reply to] Can't Post

had lots of arrows in their legs at pelennor, so yeah, PJ will probably make a big thing out of the black arrow with some lines about it's backstory.
And when Bard is releasing it, the camera might follow straight up into Smaug's sexy spot ;)

I don't like Bards strict mustache.. looks kinda weird, for my taste!


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Oct 11 2012, 10:54pm

Post #24 of 33 (158 views)
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Forgot to add [In reply to] Can't Post

the damn picture. lol. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/...nimated-r7nn9rsi.jpg

In Reply To
the picture book or something. In the RB film, Smaug is definitely red, and there is sometimes a golden spakrle to his underbelly.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Eye's on Guard
Lorien


Oct 11 2012, 11:02pm

Post #25 of 33 (147 views)
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Smwarg?// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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