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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
"Factual" error?
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MistyMountain
Lorien

Dec 31 2012, 4:42am

Post #1 of 36 (1414 views)
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"Factual" error? Can't Post

Love the films and all but why, oh why, doesn't PJ have a "fact"-checker on staff? For someone SO steeped in Tolkien lore and with getting SO much right, why does he keep making at least one glaring mistake in every movie? In TTT, it was Legolas and his "the Uruks turn Northeast. They're taking the hobbits to Isengard". GAH! I roll my eyes every time. Of course, only an avid book reader (and map studier) will know that Isengard is NOT northeast of where they are.
Now, in the Hobbit: AUJ, it seems he has done it again. Please tell me if I am wrong. I have seen it now 3 times. I am speaking of the Great Goblin scene when he instructs his underlings to start torturing them "starting with the youngest" They shoot to ORI?! Isn't Kili the youngest dwarf? I am rereading the Hobbit right now and can't recall exactly if ages are mentioned at all but then I may have just breezed right by that bit of info. Am I wrong?


Ardamírë
Valinor


Dec 31 2012, 4:56am

Post #2 of 36 (765 views)
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You're not wrong [In reply to] Can't Post

but they've specifically made Ori the youngest for some reason or other.

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and the bells in the steeple, too.
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird is popping out to say coo-coo (coo-coo, coo-coo).


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Dec 31 2012, 4:59am

Post #3 of 36 (753 views)
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Deliberate change? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, Fili and Kili are said in the book to be the youngest (considerably so).

I would guess they made this change deliberately. The movie presents the company as coming from all walks of life. (As Balin puts it at Bag Enf in the film, they are merchants, tinkers, toymakers. etc.) I think PJ (as part of his project of making all 13 dwarves somewhat individualized) wanted a character who is young and not a warrior. Ori talks tough, but his weapon of choice is a slingshot and he is not shown to be particularly effective. Fili and Kili, of course, are warriors. Which I think would have been much less acceptable to change both considering their close blood tie to Thorin, and the end of the book.


(This post was edited by arithmancer on Dec 31 2012, 5:00am)


Nira
Lorien


Dec 31 2012, 6:41am

Post #4 of 36 (625 views)
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I noticed that too [In reply to] Can't Post

It stuck out for me as well, but I agree with arithmancer that this was likely done on purpose. They had to change things to make it easier for an average film audience to grasp many characters quickly. I'll let them slide on this one.

"Why, to think of it, we're in the same tale still! It's going on. Don't the great tales never end?"


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 31 2012, 7:33am

Post #5 of 36 (656 views)
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Who's younger in the book, Fili or Kili? [In reply to] Can't Post

Not Ori, to be sure (although I watched the film for a second time tonight, and like you, was struck by that point).

But Tolkien was apparently of two minds on this subject -- or more likely, made a mistake. As sador has noted before, in The Hobbit, Fili is explicitly named as the youngest (in "Flies and Spiders") while in The Lord of the Rings appendices, the dates of birth shows Kili as younger than Fili. John Rateliff also mentions the discrepancy.

As for Tolkien experts, the filmmakers did run by the script past one such person, and she recommended some changes. Whether this particular point was mentioned, I don't know.

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The Mitch King
Rohan


Dec 31 2012, 7:41am

Post #6 of 36 (623 views)
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Ori [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Love the films and all but why, oh why, doesn't PJ have a "fact"-checker on staff? For someone SO steeped in Tolkien lore and with getting SO much right, why does he keep making at least one glaring mistake in every movie? In TTT, it was Legolas and his "the Uruks turn Northeast. They're taking the hobbits to Isengard". GAH! I roll my eyes every time. Of course, only an avid book reader (and map studier) will know that Isengard is NOT northeast of where they are.
Now, in the Hobbit: AUJ, it seems he has done it again. Please tell me if I am wrong. I have seen it now 3 times. I am speaking of the Great Goblin scene when he instructs his underlings to start torturing them "starting with the youngest" They shoot to ORI?! Isn't Kili the youngest dwarf? I am rereading the Hobbit right now and can't recall exactly if ages are mentioned at all but then I may have just breezed right by that bit of info. Am I wrong?


You are correct. I think this is mainly due to trying to individualize the dwarves. In the movies Nori is the one eager to go on the quest and Ori follows him because he wants to feel included with the "big" dwarves and Dori agrees to go just to watch out for Ori. I got this from the Hobbit Chronicles by WETA.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 31 2012, 8:04am

Post #7 of 36 (648 views)
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Speaking of facts: does Bilbo fib to the dwarves after eluding Gollum? [In reply to] Can't Post

Rather than start a whole new thread for a few random question and push a discussion off the front page, I'll post them here.

1. When Bilbo reappears among the dwarves not far from the goblin-cave exit, Thorin, having just speculated that Bilbo had abandoned the dwarves to return to Rivendell, asks why the hobbit returned. If my notes are correct, this is what Bilbo says in reply:


Quote
I know you doubt me. I know you always have. You're right. I often think of Bag End. I miss my books, and my armchair, and my garden. See, that's where I belong. That's home. That's why I came back, 'cause you don't have one: a home. It was taken from you. But I will help you take it back if I can.



But really, Bilbo hasn't "come back" at all. He was about to leave the dwarves when the goblins captured them all, and since then he's fought with a goblin, fallen to Gollum's lake for the riddle game, and escaped from Gollum and thus the mountains by the same exit as the dwarves, which is only a few hundred yards away from where he's addressing Thorin. He's never had a chance to change his mind, and probably couldn't go anywhere else but with the dwarves now even if he wanted to.

2. What does it mean for Glamdring to be, as the Great Goblin says, "bright as daylight"? It exhibits no brightness that I could see.

3. I glanced at some film-based books at the store yesterday; as was noted here in September by burgahobbit (though I missed it at the tiem), one of the books says of Thorin, "the longer the beard, the more impressive the dwarf". But Thorin obviously has a short beard. Is this a mistake, or will there be a story explaining Thorin's trimmed chin?

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CathrineB
Rohan


Dec 31 2012, 9:54am

Post #8 of 36 (538 views)
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The youngest thing... [In reply to] Can't Post

... puzzled me too. There goes the idea about the lack of facial hair was because of them being the youngest. Doesn't Ori at least have a little beard? Not that the beards actually bothers me, but yeah. Anyway it's not a biggie really.


Scot Down South
The Shire


Dec 31 2012, 9:55am

Post #9 of 36 (551 views)
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Who is the youngest [In reply to] Can't Post

Of course how would the minions of the goblin king know who was youngest ? They would take the youngest looking - which in itself raises a host of questions. Not quite the flaw it appears IMHO.


DanielLB
Immortal


Dec 31 2012, 10:14am

Post #10 of 36 (514 views)
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I was going to suggest this too [In reply to] Can't Post

And it fits fine if we ignore in all the tie-in material.

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Entwife Wandlimb
Lorien


Dec 31 2012, 1:25pm

Post #11 of 36 (438 views)
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and the weakest [In reply to] Can't Post

Ori looks like the weakest of the group, which may be more to the point of offending their natural sensibilities.


Lindele
Gondor


Dec 31 2012, 1:53pm

Post #12 of 36 (424 views)
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I wouldn't expect [In reply to] Can't Post

the Goblin King to know who the youngest is. He doesn't know their backstory and when they were all born.
He just sees the youngest looking one in front.
Having said that, It does seem that the filmmakers are suggesting that he is the youngest.
I don't think this is a mistake, just a choice by the filmmakers.


unexpectedvisitor
Rohan

Dec 31 2012, 2:58pm

Post #13 of 36 (419 views)
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while the film [In reply to] Can't Post

clearly depicts Ori as one of the youngest, it never explicitly states that he is the absolute youngest of the group--sorry, but a shot of him reacting when the Goblin King mentions "the youngest" (not necessarily a singular category) hardly qualifies.

if this kind of thing really works you up, it's difficult to imagine how you could enjoy these movies at all.


DanielLB
Immortal


Dec 31 2012, 3:01pm

Post #14 of 36 (405 views)
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It's not just the film [In reply to] Can't Post

From the Visual Companion:


Quote
Ori is the youngest and least experienced of all of The Company of Thorin Oakenshield; a gentle, sweet-natured Dwarf who has never travelled anywhere before, and never seen a Goblin let alone a terrifying dragon (except maybe in books)."


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sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Dec 31 2012, 5:12pm

Post #15 of 36 (342 views)
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It's these kinds of changes i just do not get. [In reply to] Can't Post

It doesn't affect anything at all, and yet Jackson/Boyens/Walsh feel the need to change it. Not that it amounts to much in this case. It just boggles my mind.


Magpie
Immortal


Dec 31 2012, 5:59pm

Post #16 of 36 (344 views)
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I thought about that scene with Bilbo [In reply to] Can't Post

but when I tried to write down my thoughts, I realized I just didn't have a good enough memory of how things went down to articulate and explain what I thought. I did, at that moment, see Bilbo making a mental choice to invest in the quest. He may not have had a practical choice to stay but not making the mental choice would have put him at odds with continuing with the Dwarves. Once the choice is made, it's a mental shift, if nothing else.

I think I could discuss this more after another viewing or two. So it might be worth it, if you wish, to bring it up again down the road.


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Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Dec 31 2012, 6:24pm

Post #17 of 36 (318 views)
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I believe Kili is the youngest, [In reply to] Can't Post

however I always thought Fili and Kili were twins! Due to the fact they are described as wearing the same color hoods (blue) in The Hobbit, and both played fiddles; also how they are portrayed in Rankin-Bass's version.

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


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Dec 31 2012, 6:25pm

Post #18 of 36 (323 views)
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Could you describe for me what Ori was like in the book, please? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It doesn't affect anything at all, and yet Jackson/Boyens/Walsh feel the need to change it. Not that it amounts to much in this case. It just boggles my mind.


They felt the need to make a number of Dwarves distinctive, something they were not (all) in the book. The only fact about Ori I can recall is that he wrote in a "fair hand" in the Elvish script, and died in Moria. To which the only relevance of his age, is that he not be too old to plausibly join Balin.

I don't see why altering Ori's age is less acceptable than providing him with a personality, and the latter I think is an excellent change.

It seemed to me, anyway, that this change in no way detracts from the movie's depiction of Fili and Kili. (They are certainly still young and immature-seeming.)


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 31 2012, 6:46pm

Post #19 of 36 (322 views)
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Tolkien's Thorin says "Fili is the youngest" in the book. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

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Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Dec 31 2012, 6:50pm

Post #20 of 36 (304 views)
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There really isn't much [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank goodness for the ability to speed read:

Ori had a grey hood, and played the flute. He climbs a pine-tree along with Dori, Nori, Oin and Gloin to escape the Wargs (Bilbo ends up in the same tree when Dori helps him up); he was in the second group of Dwarves (along with Nori) that Gandalf calls while meeting Beorn; he was among the last rescued from the Spiders; he was "waterlogged and...half alive" after being released from the barrel in Lake-Town. As an individual I found no other mentions, just as part of collective decisions.

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


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Dec 31 2012, 6:58pm

Post #21 of 36 (293 views)
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I never mind when they fill in what's not there, [In reply to] Can't Post

as long as it doesn't contradict what is. I do mind when they recklessly change things for no particular reason. A lot of people who see the films also read (and re-read) the books and study the history. Why make the gap between the two wider than it needs to be?


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Dec 31 2012, 6:59pm

Post #22 of 36 (304 views)
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That's how I saw it too. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I did, at that moment, see Bilbo making a mental choice to invest in the quest. He may not have had a practical choice to stay but not making the mental choice would have put him at odds with continuing with the Dwarves. Once the choice is made, it's a mental shift, if nothing else.


It's a whole sequence of moments that I think gave me this impression. I thought this strand in the movie was well thought-out and very well acted.

It started, for me, with Bilbo's decision to leave, which he made in the cave before the Goblins' trap is sprung. In the ensuing conversation with Bofur, he put his foot in his mouth by telling Bofur that the dwarves have no idea what it is to be homesick, because they do not have a home. To me, Bilbo's subsequent backpedalling and expression of regret suggest that it was only then, seeing Bofur's reaction, that he realized not having a home was something that was no more a natural or desirable state for the dwarves than it would have been for him.

A lot happens, and then we have the moment where Bilbo (still invisible) catches up with the dwarves to hear Thorin expressing the opinion that Bilbo won't be back, he's run off home, and good riddance. Here we have no dialogue, just Freeman's expression/body language.To me he seemed (not surprising!) displeased with Thorin's account of him, but had an expression of resolve when he stepped out from behind the tree and revealed himself.

Next, Thorin asks him why he came back. I see no reason not to take Bilbo at his word here, it seems to me consistent with the new understanding I saw him develop in the scene with Bofur, and with how I read his reaction to Thorin's words. Similar statements by Thorin before the cave scene had prompted Bilbo's earlier decision to leave, but now they were not having the same effect. Also, Bilbo could have given other reasons, such as the practical one of there not currently being a better option, or such as a mercenary reason. Thorin could not actually get rid of him, he and Bilbo had signed a contract entitling Bilbo to 1/14 of the proceeds of the (then incomplete) quest, and he had also agreed (with Gandalf) to bring Bilbo along. Which is why I think Bilbo was expressing his honest and newfound commitment to the Dwarves' quest. He'd joined it out of his long-suppressed Tookish taste for adventure, but he was going to stick to it for reasons his Baggins side understood as well.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 31 2012, 7:43pm

Post #23 of 36 (296 views)
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I agree with you both that he's rededicated himself here. [In reply to] Can't Post

But I do find it odd that he described as having "come back" to Thorin's company, when there's really nowhere else he can go at this point.

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arithmancer
Grey Havens

Dec 31 2012, 7:47pm

Post #24 of 36 (281 views)
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Oh, I see what you mean now. [In reply to] Can't Post

To me the use of the words "came back" makes sense because it seems to me that Bilbo believes the dwarves know he was leaving. He told Bofur so, and Bofur wished him good luck for his journey. Thorin's comments, which Bilbo overhears before revealing himself, support such an interpretation of the situation by Bilbo.

Actually, I think Bofur and Thorin are the only dwarves that know Bilbo had been planning to leave, Bofur because he had that conversation with Bilbo, and Thorin, because he was awake and overheard it.


MistyMountain
Lorien

Dec 31 2012, 9:32pm

Post #25 of 36 (259 views)
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Yes, but the goblin king was not in control of the camera [In reply to] Can't Post

It was the film maker and editor who put Ori in the very next shot, reacting to the "youngest" statement.

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