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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Radagast: "I had a thought, on the tip of my tongue..."
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Oin K
Rivendell


Dec 30 2012, 11:50pm

Post #26 of 54 (413 views)
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Could it have been Radagast's idea of a joke? [In reply to] Can't Post

That's what I took from it. Yes, he acts daffy, but he's an Istari, and so no matter how convoluted his cognition might be made by his self-administration of 'woodland remedies,' his mind is still working on levels far above that of ordinary mortals.

The takeaway here is that he had this incredibly grim secret to deliver on which hinged the entire fate of Middle Earth, and yet he is still distracted and gravely concerned with the well-being of the smallest creatures therein. Gandalf knows this about him, and looks up to him in a way for this quality of his - he knows the tiny details are still important even when the big picture is so heavy and ponderous.

And he's familiar with Gandalf, and may even have been thoughtful - and polite, even - enough to open up this interaction with a light-hearted joke, before settling into dark business indeed.

I'm certainly reading more into this than I need to, but I like to think of this moment as gentle Radagast's idea of good etiquette - just like some of the greatest lecturers and CEOs will also start off a Very Important Meeting with a joke.

"The Naugrim were ever, as they still remain, short and squat in stature; they were deep-breasted, strong in the arm, and stout in the leg, and their snouts were long. Indeed this strangeness they have that no Man nor Elf has ever seen a snoutless Dwarf - unless he were rhinoplasted in mockery, and would then be more like to die of shame than of many other hurts that to us would seem more deadly. For the Naugrim have snouts from the beginning of their lives, male and female alike..." (History of Middle Earth, volume 11, The War of the Truffles, p. 205)

(This post was edited by Oin K on Dec 30 2012, 11:50pm)


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Dec 30 2012, 11:50pm

Post #27 of 54 (447 views)
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Surely Galadriel on Gandalf's shoulder qualifies?// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Ref
Rivendell


Dec 30 2012, 11:52pm

Post #28 of 54 (396 views)
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RE: SirDennisC [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
As for the phrase "I had a thought, on the tip of my tongue..." it seems to me to be in keeping with the odd turns of phrase or playful language Tolkien strewed about The Hobbit...


Just to say that it's a very common phrase here in England, used by young and old.

Viewers of a nervous disposition may be interested to know that your television is off and I am speaking to you from inside your head...

*~* Hugh Dennis, Mock the Week *~*

Icon made by the talented dark_jackal32


Arannir
Valinor

Dec 30 2012, 11:53pm

Post #29 of 54 (398 views)
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Yeah... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
but regarding the insect I've read many references to, I am inclined to agree with you:


Quote
but I interpreted this moment as a possible nod to Guillermo del Toro and a loving reference to the stick insect from his film Pan's Labyrinth.


As for the phrase "I had a thought, on the tip of my tongue..." it seems to me to be in keeping with the odd turns of phrase or playful language Tolkien strewed about The Hobbit...







For some odd reason this moment felt really Tolkien-esk to me. Am I a heretic now? :D


JWPlatt
Grey Havens


Dec 31 2012, 12:36am

Post #30 of 54 (407 views)
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True, But... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
That's what I took from it. Yes, he acts daffy, but he's an Istari, and so no matter how convoluted his cognition might be made by his self-administration of 'woodland remedies,' his mind is still working on levels far above that of ordinary mortals.


True, but I think Jackson's more juvenile side overwhelms the knowledge of this - not respect it. If the Istari were real I think the portrayal would be insulting to all, including Radagast.

However, I loved Gandalf's in-passing line about not remembering the Blue Wizards' names in acknowledgement of Tolkien's lack of their definition.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 31 2012, 12:45am

Post #31 of 54 (412 views)
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The Blue Wizards' names are out because [In reply to] Can't Post

an expert advised the filmmakers that they didn't have rights to use those names.

(Or the color, for that matter, but that's probably so small a detail that there's no danger of a lawsuit.)

Your suggested alternate explanation for Gandalf's confusion is fun, thought.

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Elenorflower
Gondor


Dec 31 2012, 12:46am

Post #32 of 54 (387 views)
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I thought it was ridiculous [In reply to] Can't Post

who on earth would not notice a large and prickly live insect in their mouths? I mean it just defies all reasonable logic. He's not that stoned surely?


Kassandros
Rohan


Dec 31 2012, 2:59am

Post #33 of 54 (348 views)
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If one is familair with the creature, isn't "stick insect" an obvious name? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm an American and I grew up calling these wonderful creatures walking sticks. But I've also heard them called stick insects over the years, I think. In any case, aren't the two names so close that there'd be little chance for confusion?

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


Ardamírë
Valinor


Dec 31 2012, 3:06am

Post #34 of 54 (372 views)
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Oh, I thought you were joking [In reply to] Can't Post

Unimpressed

Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima! Hail Eärendil, brightest of stars!


morgul lord
Rivendell


Dec 31 2012, 3:25am

Post #35 of 54 (356 views)
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Loved Radagast and the stick bug! [In reply to] Can't Post

The bird poop, not so much.


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Dec 31 2012, 3:31am

Post #36 of 54 (352 views)
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Think of it as tree sap :) [In reply to] Can't Post

which apparently it really is.Tongue

" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Dec 31 2012, 4:36am

Post #37 of 54 (332 views)
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It may be that it's a regional American thing. [In reply to] Can't Post

Because I'm an American who has always (as far as I can remember) known them as "stick insects", though I have heard the term "walking stick". So I don't think this is really a universal American truth.

Silverlode






Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Dec 31 2012, 4:59am

Post #38 of 54 (319 views)
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Hurrah Wikipedia [In reply to] Can't Post

The Phasmatodea (sometimes called Phasmida or Phasmatoptera) are an order of insects, whose members are variously known as stick insects (in Europe and Australasia), walking sticks or stick-bugs (in the United States and Canada).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phasmatodea

Also, if I'm not mistaken, America includes North, Central and South America; certainly enough area for many regional variations Smile

" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"


Balin88
The Shire


Dec 31 2012, 5:28am

Post #39 of 54 (321 views)
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no place [In reply to] Can't Post

I just thing radagast had no place in the film what so ever, i didnt dislike him i just thought that he played the wrong part, PJ could have taken him as a more serious wizard, take out the bird poo, the sled, and the warg chase, and add radagast, gandalf, and the dwarves fighting their way through to rivendells secret passage then you have a winner ! Why couldnt Radagasts love for all creatures be portrayed through the love of a noble horse, something that shows strength !!


(This post was edited by Balin88 on Dec 31 2012, 5:29am)


Fredeghar Wayfarer
Lorien


Dec 31 2012, 7:27am

Post #40 of 54 (290 views)
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Stick insect [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm an American and I grew up calling these wonderful creatures walking sticks. But I've also heard them called stick insects over the years, I think. In any case, aren't the two names so close that there'd be little chance for confusion?


My thought exactly. A walking stick is a type of insect. Wouldn't it be obvious what a stick insect is, even if you haven't heard that variation of the name?

In any case, I wasn't a huge fan of that moment, or most of Radagast's scenes. I love Sylvester McCoy in the part but his sub-plot was one of the unnecessary bits that made the movie seem drawn out to me. I would have just included Radagast in the White Council scene and skipped all the ridiculous bunny sled/warg chase moments. But that's just me.


Arannir
Valinor

Dec 31 2012, 11:36am

Post #41 of 54 (272 views)
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I... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The bird poop, not so much.




.... actually thought they made quite a point with this. Gandalf speaks about Radagast as this guy misunderstood by most of the rest of the world.

He is so one with nature that he simply does not mind and take it as natural. And although weird, this makes him much more faithful to the Istari's mission in some aspects compared to Saruman, who is already (despite not being totally down the Evil path) more interested in power politics and the "big picture".


CathrineB
Rohan


Dec 31 2012, 12:00pm

Post #42 of 54 (261 views)
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Does it really matter? [In reply to] Can't Post

To me personally, no that part was rather odd, but does it matter? Is it really something get worked up over? I loved Radagast (and even more because I hadn't expected to) so why make a big deal out of a stick insect in his mouth? I got the feeling it was done as a joke. Stupid or not. Because people in the theater (where I was anyway) either laughed or snorted. Most seemed to like the character.


Calmandcloudless
Lorien


Dec 31 2012, 12:28pm

Post #43 of 54 (255 views)
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Yes, I got the impression that it was a joke... [In reply to] Can't Post

...as the result of Radagast's social anxiety. He's found himself in an ambiguous social situation, having encountered Gandalf with a group of threatening Dwarves. His first thought is to spill the beans to Gandalf about the Necromancer, but he thinks better of the idea just as soon as he starts to explain. He decides to stall until he can talk to Gandalf alone, and, unsure how to finish what he started saying, he pulls a silly conjuring trick to defuse the tension. I get the impression that, to some extent, he acts clownishly to show people that he isn't a threat - it's just a crude coping mechanism. Once he can talk to Gandalf privately, we see the 'real' Radagast - much more lucid than he appears to others.

So I don't believe that he really forgets what he was going to say, nor that he really even had a stick insect in his mouth in the first place. It's just a silly trick that helps illuminate one of the more awkward aspects of his personality.


Finrod
Rohan


Dec 31 2012, 3:20pm

Post #44 of 54 (237 views)
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Middle Earth certainly *is* Earth! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Middle Earth is not this Earth, really, so it I view any commonality of nomenclature with some suspicion. Even the word "insect" is suspect. Do insects all still have six legs on Middle Earth? We can make no assumptions. The obvious intent with this was to distance their world from our contemporary Earth, rabbits notwithstanding.


This is quite wrong. Middle Earth very much is this Earth: Tolkien said so. This is not “science fiction”. This is legend. This is myth. This is our collective cultural consciousness. It is not rocket science.

One might as well say that King Arthur’s Camelot did not take place on this Earth, so we should not assume that his horses had four legs and no wings.

…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




Finrod
Rohan


Dec 31 2012, 3:23pm

Post #45 of 54 (234 views)
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Mere casuistry [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The Phasmatodea (sometimes called Phasmida or Phasmatoptera) are an order of insects, whose members are variously known as stick insects (in Europe and Australasia), walking sticks or stick-bugs (in the United States and Canada).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phasmatodea

Also, if I'm not mistaken, America includes North, Central and South America; certainly enough area for many regional variations Smile


Nope, that is The Americas. In English, the word America refers only to the United States thereof. All else is mere casuistry.

…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




Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Dec 31 2012, 4:58pm

Post #46 of 54 (214 views)
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I do know some Canadians that would disagree, [In reply to] Can't Post

although I can't speak for all Canadians.

I do get your point however.

" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"


Magpie
Immortal


Dec 31 2012, 4:59pm

Post #47 of 54 (219 views)
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You've never heard of it so that means no one else has... [In reply to] Can't Post

..or can figure it out that 'stick' insect refers to 'walking stick' such they wouldn't be confused?

Not much of a scientific method being used here.

As someone who's lived a long life in the US and has worked with lots of people with varying skill in the English language for lots of reasons, I like to offer a counter opinion. Most of us could figure this out.


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
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(This post was edited by Magpie on Dec 31 2012, 4:59pm)


unexpectedvisitor
Rohan

Dec 31 2012, 5:10pm

Post #48 of 54 (212 views)
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i said this in another thread [In reply to] Can't Post

but that bit is immediately preceded by a POV shot of branches whipping into Radagast's face as he rides on his bunny sled. while the stick-insect moment is clearly supposed to show a little bit about his character, in that he's "absent-minded" because he has so many different things going on inside his head, i actually think it's more of a humorous illustration of how quickly he was traveling on the bunny sled. like if you're off-roading on a 4-wheeler or motor-bike, the exhiliaration and wildness of that can leave you with a bunch of random stuff all over you and even in your mouth, nose, ears, whatever--without you really noticing it until you've had a moment to pause and take a self-inventory.


Ziggy Stardust
Gondor


Dec 31 2012, 5:44pm

Post #49 of 54 (207 views)
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I didn't expect it [In reply to] Can't Post

and then when he pulls out the stick insect I'm like "...spew! There's a bug in his mouth! lol!" I thought it fit the character fine, and was okay with it. Radagast has been described as an odd loner who prefers the company of animals, and tends to flowers and insects. An in that scene in The Fellowship of the Ring novel, when he rides to Gandalf and tells him he is wanted by Saruman, he seemed, rushed, even panicked. And Saruman described Radagast as a fool, so they needed to portray Radagast as much different to Saruman, who is more serious and has a bit of a wicked streak.


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Dec 31 2012, 6:16pm

Post #50 of 54 (216 views)
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stickbug [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
He's carrying important news but is easily distracted by a stick insect, as if to show how forgetful he is and that his priorities lie somewhere else. I didn't find the scene that bad, but some extra reaction to it from the dwarves would be nice, instead of a cut.


I agree, that's the best take on it yet.

There's a theme here of the animals taking refuge ON Radagast; the stick bug, the birds under his hat ("your hair looks like a bird's nest" brought to weird, hilarious life), and the mice running to take refuge in his robes.

Oh, and apparently he and Bofur shop at the same hat place...

Stick bug: related to preying mantis (or praying mantis if you prefer), while the mantis is a predator, the walking stick is an herbivore. The ones on display in our park visitor's center like pyrocantha. They can reproduce without males.

Go outside and play...

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