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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Problem with Superflously Altering Azanulbizar and all that lead to it.
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AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Nov 23 2012, 1:32am

Post #1 of 43 (1396 views)
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The Problem with Superflously Altering Azanulbizar and all that lead to it. Can't Post

I know people have spoken on there being various changes to Dwarven history, but I think this one merits particular focus. For one thing, it is, like some of the other rumoured changes (and known past changes) from the notion of the Dunedain singlehandedly sealing away The Nazgul to the tying of Arwen's life to The Ring, entirely uncalled for, superfluous and more than a little forced (if true). It also has the effect of disrupting the entire history of events, AND of botching what was/is already an enormously effective, powerful and emotional narrative.

The Battle of Azanulbizar was fought BECAUSE of the horrific murder of Thror. The dispossessed Dwarven king was, as is known, slain by Azog in a particularly gruesome and mutilating manner, and his butchered remains further desecrated for effect. And the effect it had, when word reached his kin, was that Thrain, his son, wept and tore at his beard in grief and rage for Seven ( a relevant number) nights, and on the seventh declared that the grievance was too terrible and could not be allowed to stand. Thus began the great War of The Dwarves and Goblins/Orcs, which culminated in the Battle of Azanulbizar before the East Gate of Moria. Threre the dwarves had the indisputable victory, completely routing the goblin/orc hordeand slaying Azog. Their victory seemed so complete that Thrain deemed the time had come to retake their Fatherland of Khazad-Dum, but Dain, even as he slew Azog, glanced beyond the gate and beheld The Balrog of Moria, Bane of Durin, original banisher of The Dwarves and for a thousand years the only true Lord of Moria, and in seeing him Dain was filled with terror, and remembered and fully understood what had driven his people from Khazad-Dum in the first place, and realized why they were still in no position to reclaim it.

While most of the parts of this movie that are based primarily upon The Hobbit novel look very promising and well translated, the Appendix based backstory seems more and more troubling, NOT because Peter chose to include it (which I think was largely a good decision, and a very good idea,, Dol Guldur, Galadriel, Council, Azanulbizar et al), but because he seems determined NOT to adhere to it. Why say you are basing extra material upon The Appendices if you are actually intending to contradict virtually everything The Appendices tell you happened?

"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."

(This post was edited by AinurOlorin on Nov 23 2012, 1:35am)


Ardamírë
Valinor


Nov 23 2012, 1:50am

Post #2 of 43 (705 views)
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Appendices [In reply to] Can't Post

It almost feels as though they didn't see all the details in the appendices. While told in a broader scope than either The Hobbit or LOTR, the appendices still do contain a wealth of detail and specifics.

It's as if the writers stripped it to it's bare bones and then added their own meat.

"...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


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Nov 23 2012, 2:47am

Post #3 of 43 (623 views)
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Agreed. That actually describes it very well, save that in some ways they have even tampered (it seems) withthe core structure. And its more than annoying [In reply to] Can't Post

for two principle reasons, the one being that there was plenty of room for them to expand and exercise their own creativity WITHOUT altering, and the other being the ample amount of excellent story that they are either changing or leaving behind. There was AMPLE room for them to add dialogue and details, without ever severely contradicting or omitting the great details already provided.

In Reply To
It almost feels as though they didn't see all the details in the appendices. While told in a broader scope than either The Hobbit or LOTR, the appendices still do contain a wealth of detail and specifics.

It's as if the writers stripped it to it's bare bones and then added their own meat.


"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."


Avnar
Lorien


Nov 23 2012, 3:07am

Post #4 of 43 (624 views)
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I'm almost afraid to ask... [In reply to] Can't Post

Which parts are they changeing?? The Azog/Thror backstory is probably my favourite Tolkien story...

Unsure


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Nov 23 2012, 3:36am

Post #5 of 43 (645 views)
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There are lots of rumours based on comments by the film crew and in books [In reply to] Can't Post

The dwarven history possible alterations range from Thrain not being captured on the threshold of Mirkwood (and that entire, wonderfully creepy tale being left out or altered) but instead being taken in Moria (which Dain all but forbade him from entering, due to The Balrog, unless all of that has also been changed), to Balin and Thrain going to Moria, To Thrain, rather than Thror, having been King when Smaug came. Most bizzare, for Azanulbizar, is talk of Thror being slain AT the battle. . . which is a disastrous anachronism, since the entire reason FOR the battle was the murder and mutilation of Thror. Maybe Sauron resurrected him as well?/?Unsure

"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."


Avnar
Lorien


Nov 23 2012, 5:41am

Post #6 of 43 (523 views)
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Why why why why?? [In reply to] Can't Post

Why do they INSIST on changeing things that are great to begin with!! Mad

Guess I'll have to throw out my weapons and warfare book -everything will be contradicted...

*sigh*


Xanaseb
Tol Eressea


Nov 23 2012, 5:50am

Post #7 of 43 (527 views)
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These are terrible changes indeed... I'm really really saddened by them... [In reply to] Can't Post

*sigh*...

I simply love the whole death of Thror -> Goblin Wars -> Azanulbizar -> Thrain Crazy story... ... If they mess this up I'll be rather disappointed lol
We shall see how it turns out Unimpressed

--I'm a victim of Bifurcation--
__________________________________________

Join us over at Barliman's chat all day, any day!
__________________________________________


Bladerunner
Gondor


Nov 23 2012, 6:33am

Post #8 of 43 (515 views)
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I don’t think the changes to the dwarven history will be as drastic as some fear. [In reply to] Can't Post

In the scenes from Erebor in the last video log, it appears that Thror (and not Thorin) is sitting on the throne (I see a bit of grey beard).
The Sibley and the Fisher books also both reference Thror being in Erebor during Smaug’s attack.
I think reference to King Thrain at Erebor in the Fisher book may be an error or misinterpretation.

Azog beheading Thror in Moria is consistent with the appendices.
The film may not only just be providing more detail as to how this event actually unfolded, but may also be showing Thror putting up a fight (like the dwarves being shown fighting the trolls together instead of being captured one by one).

The Fisher books state that Thrain was captured by goblins on the doomed expedition to retake Khazad-dum, but it doesn’t explicitly say where he was captured.
Hopefully, his capture will still be shown happening around Mirkwood.
Tolkien mentioned that Thrain disappeared during the night, but it seems the film may be providing more detail (i.e. identifying goblins) regarding what actually happened, and not leave it to our imaginations as to how, or by whom he was captured.

By describing the death of Thror and the disappearance of Thrain from the perspective of their horrified and bewildered companions, Tolkien perfectly captured the sense of calamity of these events.
We’ll see if the movie’s “show, don’t tell” approach will be able to provide the same level of mystery and despair.

On a final note, if you consider that not too long ago there was much speculation that the Goblin King, Bolg or Azog were going to be conflated with one another in various combinations, I think any remaining deviations from the story will not be as bad by comparison.


Avnar
Lorien


Nov 23 2012, 6:45am

Post #9 of 43 (443 views)
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I hope you are right. N.T [In reply to] Can't Post

 


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Nov 23 2012, 6:45am

Post #10 of 43 (446 views)
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I know what you mean. [In reply to] Can't Post

I never liked the details of Thror's murder, per se, but the overall story is AMAZING, from Thrain's Seven Days of maddened grieving, to the declaration of war, to The Great Battle, To Dain felling Azog only to behold, at the height of the Dwarven victory, the most dreaded nightmare figure of Dwarven Legend, The Balrog of Moria, and his words to Thrain after that horror, all the way to Thrain's increasing, Ring driven madness and the spooky, fireside ghost story worthy tale of the misadventures that lead him to Dol Guldur.

And, as I meant to say to Adamire, one of the most infuriating things is that the film team HAS the rights to this material!!! I can understand making alterations to material you don't have the rights to in order to involve suits. I have no problem with adding some speculative elements that are highly probable but not stated in the text, like Radagast being involved in the Council's plans against Dol Guldur, or there being fears of The Balrog attacking Lothlorien as there were fears of Smaug attacking Rivendell. . . but to take such a well developed, powerful story as that of Thorin's people and completely rework it without need is very troubling and needless.

"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."


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Nov 23 2012, 6:49am

Post #11 of 43 (445 views)
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I also hope you are correct about some of this [In reply to] Can't Post

though in the matter of Thrain's capture, a mix aof show and tell, perhaps by Balin at fireside, would be ENORMOUSLY effective. . . and the exact details of who captured him is perhaps still best mysterious. More atmosphereic that way.

In Reply To
In the scenes from Erebor in the last video log, it appears that Thror (and not Thorin) is sitting on the throne (I see a bit of grey beard).
The Sibley and the Fisher books also both reference Thror being in Erebor during Smaug’s attack.
I think reference to King Thrain at Erebor in the Fisher book may be an error or misinterpretation.

Azog beheading Thror in Moria is consistent with the appendices.
The film may not only just be providing more detail as to how this event actually unfolded, but may also be showing Thror putting up a fight (like the dwarves being shown fighting the trolls together instead of being captured one by one).

The Fisher books state that Thrain was captured by goblins on the doomed expedition to retake Khazad-dum, but it doesn’t explicitly say where he was captured.
Hopefully, his capture will still be shown happening around Mirkwood.
Tolkien mentioned that Thrain disappeared during the night, but it seems the film may be providing more detail (i.e. identifying goblins) regarding what actually happened, and not leave it to our imaginations as to how, or by whom he was captured.

By describing the death of Thror and the disappearance of Thrain from the perspective of their horrified and bewildered companions, Tolkien perfectly captured the sense of calamity of these events.
We’ll see if the movie’s “show, don’t tell” approach will be able to provide the same level of mystery and despair.

On a final note, if you consider that not too long ago there was much speculation that the Goblin King, Bolg or Azog were going to be conflated with one another in various combinations, I think any remaining deviations from the story will not be as bad by comparison.


"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."


Fardragon
Rohan

Nov 23 2012, 7:48am

Post #12 of 43 (461 views)
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Really? [In reply to] Can't Post

A dwarf wanders into goblin territory - what would you expect to happen?

Would a goblin have faired any better had they wandered into dwarf territory?

The death of Thror was an excuse, not a justification.

A Far Dragon is the best kind...


Macfeast
Rohan


Nov 23 2012, 7:58am

Post #13 of 43 (409 views)
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That's how I feel. [In reply to] Can't Post

I have nothing against changes, as long as there's a need for them and they make sense in context. I could give a decent list of changes I not only accept, but also appreciate.

This rumored change, though, I can't understand. The way it is written, it is practically made for a direct cinematic visualization, and with ample room for creative additions to flesh it out. It is also some of the most iconic pieces of text from the entirety of the Appendices, IMO, and possibly one of the biggest reasons for me being so excited about them expanding so much on the tale, beyond what is contained in the Hobbit. I would miss these moments something severely if they were left out, or altered beyond recognition.


(This post was edited by Macfeast on Nov 23 2012, 8:05am)


irodino
Bree


Nov 23 2012, 8:21am

Post #14 of 43 (463 views)
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PJ did originally film Sauron vs Aragorn in ROTK.. [In reply to] Can't Post

.. and that was such a huge departure, as big as you can get, from the book and the heart of the story. Not only did he think of it, he filmed it, and we are lucky he came to his senses in the last moment, and replaced Sauron with a troll. Clumsy, but at least not as devastating.

I fear we might not be as lucky this time around. There could be changes as severe as that Sauron/Annatar scene from ROTK, in the Hobbit, or worse. But as Aragon said in TTT, "there is always hope!", and so I hope any changes will be only logical and necessary, of the "Arwen at the Ford of Bruinen" type, which was forgivable.

"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."


Eleniel
Grey Havens


Nov 23 2012, 8:38am

Post #15 of 43 (411 views)
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Unfortunately it does... :-( [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

The Fisher books state that Thrain was captured by goblins on the doomed expedition to retake Khazad-dum, but it doesn’t explicitly say where he was captured.
Hopefully, his capture will still be shown happening around Mirkwood.

On page 20 under Thorin's bio it states:

Quote
"Thorin is the son of Thrain, and for long years since his father vanished in the dark halls of Khazad-dum he has born the heavy burden of the hopes of his people: the dream of one day reclaiming the Lonely Mountain and returning to their home."



"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
¯ Victoria Monfort






AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Nov 23 2012, 8:42am

Post #16 of 43 (405 views)
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Whatever would have been expected, it was justification, not excuse. [In reply to] Can't Post

They could have taken any excuse of the many skirmishes to break between Dwarves and goblins over the centuries. Hell, the fact that goblins were even in Khazad-Dum would have been more than enough, but for the memory of The Balrog. The dispatching of Thror tore the ticket. No minor grievance would have been such a rallying cry for all of the Dwarven people, Longbeards and otherwise. And the grievous manner, and the taunt. Had Thror and Nar both simply been murdered, shot by an arrow in the dark, and never seen or heard from again, they would certainly have been presumed dead and sadly deemed mad There deaths might even have been wrongly attributed to Carhadras or The Terror of Moria. But the mutilation, the branding and the taunting. . . it was too much. It spurred the Dwarves to do what they otherwise would not have dared. For a thousand years the mere memory and legend, distant as it was, of The Terror that devastated Khazad-Dum of olde had kept them away, even as orcs and trolls came to populate it. The Dwarves were not simply waiting around for any old reason on any given day to launch a full scale war against all of goblin kind, a war that would decimate both sides. But the manner and disposition of Thror's slaying was truly more than his son or his people could tolerate.

"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."


DanielLB
Immortal


Nov 23 2012, 8:42am

Post #17 of 43 (414 views)
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Which is incredibly frustrating [In reply to] Can't Post

Why make all the fuss of making a third film and telling everyone they're going to use stuff from the Appendices, when they just go and change it anyway?!

Want Hobbit Movie News? Hobbit Headlines of the Week!



AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Nov 23 2012, 8:44am

Post #18 of 43 (376 views)
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Well stated. I completely agree. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

This rumored change, though, I can't understand. The way it is written, it is practically made for a direct cinematic visualization, and with ample room for creative additions to flesh it out. It is also some of the most iconic pieces of text from the entirety of the Appendices, IMO, and possibly one of the biggest reasons for me being so excited about them expanding so much on the tale, beyond what is contained in the Hobbit. I would miss these moments something severely if they were left out, or altered beyond recognition.


"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."


Fardragon
Rohan

Nov 23 2012, 8:49am

Post #19 of 43 (419 views)
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Thror did it deliberately. [In reply to] Can't Post

He was kingdomless and dying, so he set out to get himself killed in such a way that would provoke a war.

Goblins hate dwarves. Just quietly killing him and hiding the body was never going to happen.

A Far Dragon is the best kind...

(This post was edited by Fardragon on Nov 23 2012, 8:53am)


Xanaseb
Tol Eressea


Nov 23 2012, 9:23am

Post #20 of 43 (385 views)
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OK this Thrain being lost in Khazadum thing is really quite infuriating ...... sad face.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I just hope their version works on screen lol...
So so unnecessary though!

--I'm a victim of Bifurcation--
__________________________________________

Join us over at Barliman's chat all day, any day!
__________________________________________


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Nov 23 2012, 9:24am

Post #21 of 43 (376 views)
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Thror was half mad. His devestating circumstances and his Ring had driven him [In reply to] Can't Post

beyond reason. Doubtless a glimpse of The Balrog would have brought him horribly to his senses, but he was spared that particular fate, if what befell him can remotely be considered sparing. Perhaps he would have preferred that far more epic end. But that is neither here nor there. The point is, he was mad. And goblins do not hate all dwarves. As The Hobbit tells, goblins have even worked with wicked dwarves, but they held an especial hatred for Thorin's kin, in large part due to the dreadful war which Thror's death sparked.

But the point wasn't whether or not it was reasonable for Thror to enter Moria, we are all agreed it was not, the point is that the War of Dwarves and Goblins/Orcs would not have happened if not for the brutal slaying of Thror, so for the film makers to have him slain in a battle which his murder set in motion, is a mess. And to substitute it with another event ruins an already excellent storyline which these filmmakers have the rights to.

In Reply To
He was kingdomless and dying, so he set out to get himself killed in such a way that would provoke a war.

Goblins hate dwarves. Just quietly killing him and hiding the body was never going to happen.


"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."


Fardragon
Rohan

Nov 23 2012, 9:27am

Post #22 of 43 (375 views)
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They would have found some other excuse. [In reply to] Can't Post

The the dwarves wanted Moria back. People always find excuses for wars over territory.

If they hadn't wanted a war anyway they would have given Thror a Darwin award and left it at that.

A Far Dragon is the best kind...


Macfeast
Rohan


Nov 23 2012, 12:24pm

Post #23 of 43 (286 views)
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If the dwarves could have found another excuse for starting the war... [In reply to] Can't Post

...why then would Thrór, as you suggest, deliberately go to Moria to get himself killed to provoke a war? So many things could have gone wrong with such a plan, after all; The orcs may not have left Nár alive, Nár may have gotten himself killed on the way back, the orcs might not have been there to kill Thrór. Heck, did the dwarves even know that the orcs were there in the first place?
If the dwarves would have gone to war over any good enough reason, then Thrór could just have gone "oh hey, there's orcs in Moria, twice curse them all, let's go kill them and take back what is ours"; Would have been much less of a gamble if he wanted this war.

Either way, narratively speaking, it is much more interesting for the war to have been sparked by the killing of Thrór, than by the dwarves just coming up with an excuse to go to war.


(This post was edited by Macfeast on Nov 23 2012, 12:31pm)


Jago M
Bree

Nov 23 2012, 1:58pm

Post #24 of 43 (278 views)
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Here's another likely scenario both true to the book and what we have heard so far [In reply to] Can't Post

Smaug attacks Erebor.

After they lost their kigdom Khazad-dum many centuries ago to a Balrog, they now lose their kingdom under the mountain to a fierce dragon and are thus exiled a second time.

Many dwarfs die in the dragon's attack, but others could escape just in time. Amongst these are the royal Dwarfs Thror, at that time king under the mountain, his son Thrain II and his grandson Thorin.

Now without kingdom and not helped by other races (do I remember this correctly?) Thror, already going mad by the power of 1 of the 7 dwarven rings, decides foolishly to reclaim Moria leading the other dwarves there. The others are against the idea but have to follow Thror because he is their king and commander.
Thror, crazy of power, is convinced that he can simply 'claim' his ancient dwarvenkingdom and that the goblins/orcs will obey to his will, so goes to the gate, with just a bodyguard. Azog and the orcs laugh at him, this mighty dwarvenking so foolish to come here alone, they decapitate him, send back his mutilated head.

His army, now with Thrain in charge, is stationed close and immediately decides to revenge him. This way the actual Battle of Azanulbizar ('battle of Moria') begins.

Thrain kills Azog, although many dwarves die they are close to winning the battle and Thrain thinks he can push on and he enters Moria (with amongst others Balin). Here they are ambushed, Balin escapes, Thrain vanishes.
Thorin is now leader of his people.


Instead of making these all different events, they pile them up and make it one single event.
It's still close enough to the book I think. But this way Thrain's disapearing near Mirkwood will be changed.


(This post was edited by Jago M on Nov 23 2012, 2:00pm)


Lacrimae Rerum
Grey Havens

Nov 23 2012, 2:04pm

Post #25 of 43 (238 views)
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I'm not sure it is quite as complicated as that. [In reply to] Can't Post

One would imagine the most likely sequence of cause and effect would be simply:

1. Dwarves lose homeland A (to the Dragon)
2. So seek to take back homeland B (Moria)

I'm not entirely sure that that would seem unlikely in and of itself.

LR

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