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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
How The Hobbit should have started...


Dec 30 2012, 1:41pm

Post #1 of 24 (1189 views)
How The Hobbit should have started... Can't Post

Here's an idea I've been playing with and perfecting for some time now. I've posted similar outlines on TORn before, but it's becoming clearer the more I play with it. Here's where I am now...

(I've got a more detailed idea, but here's the basic jist)

1) We start with Sam gardening in Bag End

2) Sick-looking Frodo comes out and says to Sam that he doesn't need to garden anymore, but Sam explains he enjoys it.

3) Frodo goes to the letter box - his shoulder hurts. Sam asks "What's wrong?" Frodo replies "it's nothing" and looks at his letters.

4) Frodo finds a letter from Bilbo (from Rivendell). After telling Sam how much he misses Bilbo, he reads the letter and looks sadly at Sam.

5) He explains to Sam that Bilbo has been chosen, because of his adventures, to take the last ship into Valinor and that they are to see him off. Frodo looks upset and goes inside.

6) Inside Frodo looks through his things, he goes into the study and sees The Red Book. In the front cover he discovers a note.

7) He reads -Holm Narrates- "My Dear Frodo, you asked me once... ...But now it's time for you to hear the full tale"

8) He looks at the book and skips "Concerning Hobbits" to get to "Chapter One" and reads -Holm narrates- "It began long ago in a land the like of which you will not find in the world today...". The camera pulls back from Frodo at his desk (exactly as it does with Holm in AUJ) to imply the flash-back.

9) After the epic dwarf prologue we go to a busy Hobbiton "...and that's where I come into the tale..." The camera moves through Hobbiton and up to Bag End as he says "...It began as you might expect, In a hole in the ground..."

10) On the line "...and all the comforts of home" We see Freeman's Bilbo (although not his face) shuffling around his house, a little OCDish, gathering his pipe and tobacco and going outside to smoke. He inhales deeply and we see a smoke-ring come out and the title.

11) The smoke ring turns into a butterfly and we finally see Bilbo's face revealed and the story begins.

Then, of course, toward the end of RotK the camera pulls back toward Frodo at his desk again, now implying the flashback has ended. Sam walks in and says "what is it?" and Frodo says the wound hasn't healed. In the next scene they go to see Bilbo off Smile

The party preparation scene and the running off to meet Gandalf (which doesn't actually make sense?) could then be included as the last scene of TABA to merge TH seamlessly with FotR.


Unfortunately, I'm a terrible writer, but I do understand movies and pacing. IMO, not only does this make more sense, and create a better circle. It's also far better paced than the intro we got and also helps to split-up the endings of RotK, because the audience won't be expecting it to end until they've seen the second half of the flashback.


Dec 30 2012, 2:12pm

Post #2 of 24 (579 views)
Nice try, Sean Astin // [In reply to] Can't Post


Tol Eressea

Dec 30 2012, 2:35pm

Post #3 of 24 (587 views)
How Hobbit should have ended. [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe you make a youtube series: how [insert movie] should have started. Wink


Dec 30 2012, 2:44pm

Post #4 of 24 (524 views)
Nice idea QT :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

I think there are several ways the framing device could've worked - they went for the beginning of FOTR, while you've gone for the end of ROTK. Similarly, they could have started the device in Rivendell when Frodo arrives in FOTR. All of them work.

I like how it turned out in the film mind.

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Dec 30 2012, 2:52pm

Post #5 of 24 (535 views)
The intro we got... [In reply to] Can't Post

Seems quite messy to me. We're back in in time from LotR but forward from TH then in the dwarf prologue we're before TH then we're after it again then we're 60 years earlier. It's all over the place.

I don't dislike it, really. But what I do really hate is the cut from Erebor back to Hobbiton with Frodo. We don't need to see any of that. it has nothing to do with anything that's going on and just slows everything down - we all just want to get on and see Freeman by that point! So what I did with mine is play on that by building up Freeman's reveal a bit more, but keep the necessary dialogue over the top.

Maybe the extended edition will add something to make this scene more important. And maybe PJ's ending of TABA is better than Frodo running off to meet Gandalf (although I can't see how it could be, even if it's Bilbo passing the tobacco jar!) I'll wait to see how these things play out before I get too angry about it Tongue


Dec 30 2012, 2:54pm

Post #6 of 24 (515 views)
Nice, but imho it shouldn't. [In reply to] Can't Post

I really like those creative ideas, even though I am glad this is not the movie version.

While the Frodo cameo is already "for members only" and otherwise pretty redundant, your version totally depends on knowing the old trilogy before seeing the Hobbit.

While the theatrical version of the Hobbit also works better in various scenes with some knowledge, it will still be possible to make sense out of it for generations that might start watching the Hobbit trilogy and then LotR.


Dec 30 2012, 3:01pm

Post #7 of 24 (509 views)
I bet the EE will make it more confusing! [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Maybe the extended edition will add something to make this scene more important. And maybe PJ's ending of TABA is better than Frodo running off to meet Gandalf (although I can't see how it could be, even if it's Bilbo passing the tobacco jar!) I'll wait to see how these things play out before I get too angry about it Tongue

There's young Bilbo and first meeting Gandalf that they will show. So it will go something like:

- Old Bilbo
- Erebor flashback
- Young Bilbo flashback
- Old Bilbo & Frodo
- Freeman's Bilbo


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Dec 30 2012, 3:11pm

Post #8 of 24 (483 views)
But it doesn't [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a very typical device to have the first bookend narrated by a character that's unknown to the audience until the end. Think Edward Scissorhands, there's an old lady telling a story to a little girl, and it's not until the end of the film we discover who the narrator is. This would do the same thing.

We build up the Bilbo character as only a name and a voice from 2 other characters, talking about how his adventures and how much he's missed. This makes him seem more mysterious, the audience wants to know who he is and this makes the reveal of Martin's face more meaningful.

The intro we got, however, relies entirely on seeing LotR beforehand. All the references to the party and putting up the sign means nothing to a new audience and also has nothing to do with The Hobbit's story at all.

FotR's intro worked perfectly fine without all the back-story of invitations and Sackville-Bagginses. I don't understand why these things need to be explained 11 years on, in a film that has nothing to do with that party?

(This post was edited by QuackingTroll on Dec 30 2012, 3:12pm)


Dec 30 2012, 3:14pm

Post #9 of 24 (474 views)
This isn't entirely true ... [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
The intro we got, however, relies entirely on seeing LotR beforehand. All the references to the party and putting up the sign means nothing to a new audience and also has nothing to do with The Hobbit's story at all.

The point of the sign is to show that Old Bilbo has become unsociable, slightly recluse. That's what it means to most people - you don't need to have seen FOTR to understand the sign. This is a lot different to the younger, more popular Bilbo that we see in The Hobbit.

I agree though that none of it has anything to do with the actual story.

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Dec 30 2012, 3:15pm

Post #10 of 24 (465 views)
imho [In reply to] Can't Post

Hmm... but I find the sign - for example - to be a small gimmick for the fans, while showing Frodo wounded, after the quest, with Sam... that really goes, for me, much deeper into what the quest for Mount Doom has done to them, how it ended and who survived in what condition.

I some ways it is also too gloomy with the Frodo-depression-reference for the start of the Hobbit.

But, of course, that is only my personal impression.


Dec 30 2012, 3:19pm

Post #11 of 24 (468 views)
Like I said, though. These things might become more relevant in an EE or in TABA [In reply to] Can't Post

If they do, I shall eat my words. Although they might be past their sell-by date by that time.

(This post was edited by QuackingTroll on Dec 30 2012, 3:19pm)


Dec 30 2012, 3:20pm

Post #12 of 24 (458 views)
Ah yes. Agreed. [In reply to] Can't Post

It would've made a perfect EE scene. I think the 3-film split allowed for most scenes which would've ended up in the EE to stay in.

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Dec 30 2012, 3:27pm

Post #13 of 24 (462 views)
But I think the quest of Mt Doom is far more relevant than Bilbo becoming recluse. [In reply to] Can't Post

Bilbo's reclusiveness is only relevant to LotR's story, and is already explained by the sign in FotR. Frodo's wound, however, is a foreshadowing of the seriousness of the events that are about to take place. We need that dramatic intro to say "it's not all fun and games" before going into the comedy of the thing. I also think it's important not to show Frodo's missing finger or to explain exactly why he's so weak. To avoid direct spoilers.

It simply acts as a reminder or foreshadowing to fans and an interesting enigma to new audiences. Bookends always work best if they include a few questions that are answered in the story.


Dec 30 2012, 3:31pm

Post #14 of 24 (453 views)
That is where we disagree... [In reply to] Can't Post

... I think the "foreshadowing" of the quest for Mount Doom is completely irrelevant for the start of the Hobbit trilogy and - for those who know LotR - much more powerful through the way the ring is revealed for the first time.


Dec 30 2012, 3:33pm

Post #15 of 24 (444 views)
Not exactly what I was saying... [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't saying that this scene should've been left for the EE (although that might be true)

My point is that the future films and EEs might include scenes that make the party more relevant to the story. (maybe some Sackville-Baggins scenes?) The party might be more important than we realise, for whatever reason. In which case these scenes shouldn't be cut.


Dec 30 2012, 3:42pm

Post #16 of 24 (447 views)
But for those who haven't seen LotR... [In reply to] Can't Post

They have no idea about how bad things are going to get and I think it's important to establish from the beginning that things aren't necessary going to go well.

By explaining at the start that Bilbo is no longer in Hobbiton, but that he had adventures that allowed him to take the last boat, new audiences will question, who is this Bilbo, what did he do that was so brave and why is he not in Hobbiton anymore. They can also question the state Bilbo is in because we don't see him. These questions, IMO, would make the movie more engaging because people would want to know more.

Starting with old Bilbo, the audience knows that Bilbo comes out alright, that he got a pot of gold that smells like troll and that he has an apparent heir and is all happy. So any dangers Bilbo faces in the story we know he's going to come out fine in the end. It's also terribly slow and uninteresting when none of it is apparently relevant.


Dec 30 2012, 3:52pm

Post #17 of 24 (435 views)
I guess we will have to agree to disagree [In reply to] Can't Post

Because I don't see how showing that Sam and Frodo will survive from the beginning is in any way less of a spoiler than showing old Bilbo (which I found perfectly okay, because it introduces the concept of story-telling, gives a gimmick for the fans, and because of the fairy-tale tone in general mos people wouldn't expect Bilbo to die anyway).

I just don't see how foreshadowing the end of RotK would make anything more engaging for the average movie-goer.

That everything is connected to a much deeper story and the history of ME in general, is done, imho, with the flashback to Erebor.

I do get your point, but I just don't agree.

But, again, I love those kind of ideas and debates. SO I appreciate anyone coming forth with those kind of concepts :)


Dec 30 2012, 4:04pm

Post #18 of 24 (427 views)
I agree to agree to disagree :P You will never be persuaded! But discussion is what these boards are for after all! // [In reply to] Can't Post


Registered User

Dec 30 2012, 5:36pm

Post #19 of 24 (410 views)
Playing with the plot [In reply to] Can't Post

It can be fun, and to put in my two cents: I wasn't crazy about Frodo being there at the beginning, it seemed contrived to me. It was a distraction if only because Frodo's appearance is now subtly different, Wood now being a grown man, yet he should not look different at all. It took me out of the movie. Any good director is going to avoid any element that could possibly take the audience "out of the movie". It's one reason why using actors that are *too famous* or identified with another genre (sorry, actors, I don't mean it bad!) is usually not done...aside from the fact that they cost too much! Using Wood in the way he was, was asking for trouble. So I think it *may* have been some kind of contractual deal, meaning PJ was obligated somehow to use Wood in this film. Or,maybe, it was a pure Hollywood move, hoping to help draw in those LOTR fans as opposed to Tolkien fans (Frodo's in this movie too!) Or just make it easier for such fans to transition. An awful lot of people who loved the LOTR films had not and still have not read Tolkien.
Or I could be completely, utterly wrong, and it was purely a creative decision I don't like. And to be honest, I was impressed with how little-changed Wood did appear. But I still know the guy is 10 years older and it shows. *His manner was different*. More adult.
One more thing...I've read comments to the effect, "PJ is not in this for the money. He doesn't need it." True enough, most likely. But the studio is in it *strictly* for the money, and since they're paying the freight he can't ignore them.

Tol Eressea

Dec 30 2012, 10:01pm

Post #20 of 24 (342 views)
nice indeed QT [In reply to] Can't Post

hmmm, though I just loved the start of the film too much ;)

--I'm a victim of Bifurcation--

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Dec 30 2012, 11:39pm

Post #21 of 24 (315 views)
A Good idea, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a similar idea that Sam would end the last Hobbit movie...AUJ opens with a little "frame" scene featuring Bilbo & Frodo and the Red Book. I think a nice contrast to that scene would be to end the last Hobbit film with a scene where Sam is recounting Bilbo's story to his children (reading from "There and Back Again" of Course), after the events of ROTK.

However, like your idea, this runs into the **showing Sam is still alive and well in the Shire prematurely spoils the end ROTK** (for lack of a better name) problem.

It's a strange problem, because a decade later everybody knows the end of ROTK. The problem is that, in a subtle way, it might rob the LOTR trilogy of some of its drama, at least in my opinion, if you reveal the end of LOTR at the end of the Hobbit. From a fanatic's perspective, it would certainly make Hobbit/LOTR movie marathons a little anti-climactic! I think other posters have pointed this out already.

That being said, I would love to see Sean Astin's Sam once more.

I think a better solution (and a more likely one - wouldn't be surprised if this actually happens) would be to have Ian Holm appear in a final frame scene. This could occur once more at Bag End at Bilbo's desk (now that the pesky young Frodo has gone off to read in the woods, waiting for Gandalf Tongue), or maybe in some other way; maybe we rejoin elderly Bilbo in Rivendell, finishing his book.

I look forward to seeing how this plays out, and whether or not they choose to end the final Hobbit film with a "frame" scene.

morgul lord

Dec 31 2012, 12:10am

Post #22 of 24 (313 views)
I much prefer the movie's way. [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, but it's true.

Your way sounds kind of depressing (i.e. sick Frodo) and spoils the ending of LOTR. You realize some people will watch The Hobbit first, right?

(This post was edited by morgul lord on Dec 31 2012, 12:11am)

Registered User

Dec 31 2012, 11:03am

Post #23 of 24 (271 views)
sailing to valinor [In reply to] Can't Post

my wish for the start of the movie was to see old bilbo and frodo on the ship to valinor. Frodo has questions about the ring and bilbo tells his story, maybe elrond or galadriel could have told about dale,erebor and the coming of smaug.
If the filmmakers could use te bilbo/frodo scenes from AUJ in some sort of way at the end of TABA we could have watched the 6 films in circle

Hope i made myself understandable Sly

Al Carondas

Jan 7 2013, 3:19am

Post #24 of 24 (197 views)
I like that idea [In reply to] Can't Post

for its directness. Or you could even start in Bag End with the same kind of conversation. But I would even go simpler. After all, why do we need to start with a recount of the Dale disaster? Couldn't we wait - as in the book - and have the story of Dale told at the meeting of the Company? Then one could start simply: Bilbo getting his affairs in order before his journey to Rivendell. Frodo makes his cameo and goes off to see the wizard. Back to Bilbo reminiscing. Voiceover "...I may not have told you the full story..." Zoom in on the sketch of young Bilbo and fade right into the Unexpected Journey: "Good Morning."

"Good Morning!"


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