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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Chip the dishes and crack the plates...
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swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Dec 31 2012, 6:40pm

Post #1 of 55 (1989 views)
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Chip the dishes and crack the plates... Can't Post

... I have seen some criticism of this scene in the film. I personally loved it! Thoughts?

Here're mine:

It's one of the songs from The Book. It needs to be there. It's fun to have it there.

The Dwarves descend on Bilbo, an avalanche of chaos in his comfy cozy little world. They decimate his larder, dirty every dish, throw things on the floor, use the doilies most terribly, scrape their boots on Grandma's hope chest. Throughout it, Bilbo is running about trying to minimize the chaos, and suffering epic fail. (note how the Dwarves ignore Bilbo's protests). I felt like the Dwarves were testing his mettle, his temper, his deepest qualities (or is he just a superficial little grocer interested only in the tidiness of his doilies?). They poke holes in his stuffiness, pare away his comfort zone... and they are having fun doing it. They are rather like cowboys, or a biker gang, or a sports team, or a warrior band testing the New Guy. Will he prove worthy of their Quest?

Cleaning up a mess is pretty boring, so we get a bit of Plate Frisbee, which further tests Bilbo's temper.. and shows us that the Dwarves are much much more than comic relief. They have some serious skills, and there is much more to them than meets the eye. They are also honorable folk; they have known all along that they are making a mess of Bilbo's place, and that it is only right to clean it up.

Go outside and play...


Rostron2
Gondor


Dec 31 2012, 6:42pm

Post #2 of 55 (1289 views)
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Loved the song [In reply to] Can't Post

It does show off that they have skills, and aren't just bumbling types. The house is also quite put together again the next morning when he wakes up.

Just as well they ate his whole pantry, he'd come home to some bad smells and science experiments if they hadn't!


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 31 2012, 6:44pm

Post #3 of 55 (1326 views)
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Why this song and not "Fifteen Birds in Five Fir-trees"? [In reply to] Can't Post

Or the tra-la-lally Elves in Rivendell?

Doesn't that undercut the argument that "Chip the Glasses" needs to be there" because it's in the book?

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dormouse
Half-elven


Dec 31 2012, 6:57pm

Post #4 of 55 (1263 views)
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Perhaps because they've found a use for this song... [In reply to] Can't Post

... in the context of the adaptation. It isn't just there because it's in the book, it serves a purpose in the film.

They didn't find a purpose for the ones you mentioned. In fact, if you were to slot either of those songs into the scene where it would properly belong the effect would be either hilarious or ludicrous, or both. That's not to say that they couldn't have made those songs serve a purpose in a film adaptation, just that in this adaptation, they didn't.


DanielLB
Immortal


Dec 31 2012, 6:59pm

Post #5 of 55 (1270 views)
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I thought .... [In reply to] Can't Post

I remember reading when the film premiered that the Orcs sang (or chanted something). Whatever happened with that rumour then? I'll have to do some searching ...

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Alassėa Eruvande
Valinor


Dec 31 2012, 6:59pm

Post #6 of 55 (1230 views)
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Those should have been in the movie, too! [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't much care for the Narnia entrance to Rivendell. How could the plains suddenly open up to a very large river valley that no one noticed before? The lack of singing elves didn't help much either. Frown



I am SMAUG! I kill when I wish! I am strong, strong, STRONG!
My armor is like tenfold shields! My teeth like swords! My claws, spears!
The shock of my tail, a thunderbolt! My wings, a hurricane! And my breath, death!


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Dec 31 2012, 7:03pm

Post #7 of 55 (1238 views)
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It did not have to be there [In reply to] Can't Post

but it was very good that it was.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.
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unexpectedvisitor
Rohan

Dec 31 2012, 7:03pm

Post #8 of 55 (1203 views)
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not really [In reply to] Can't Post

i wouldn't say that "Blunt the Knives" needed to be in the movie but it was a fun scene that fit well into that part of the movie and wasn't really out of place with the characters or the larger narrative. PJ made a concerted effort to include the book's element of song where it seemed appropriate (even stretching a little by giving the Goblin King a little number--but he is a very vaudevillian kind of villain, which i enjoyed and found somewhat fascinating).

by contrast, think of how Tolkien later portrayed the Elves and how they were portrayed in the LotR movie trilogy and try to think of some way the Elves' song from The Hobbit could have been included in a way that wouldn't be incongruous with that. it would have to have been modified to the point of being unrecognizable. it makes far more sense just to save the screen time for other parts of the movie.

also, by the time we've gotten to the Wargs-trees episode, the movie has built up to a fever pitch with the drama and intensity. to have the Orcs break out into song at that juncture would have totally killed it. maybe some kind of homage could have been done, like one of the orcs saying a few of the lines in a sing-songy way, but that would be about the most of it that could have worked. not really necessary and, again, i don't know that it fits well with how the hunter orcs were portrayed.


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Dec 31 2012, 7:05pm

Post #9 of 55 (1195 views)
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I also loved it. [In reply to] Can't Post

What's not to love? Some people have no sense of fun! (OK, some people's sense of fun is radically different from mine. Sly )

I thought the entire Bag End sequence starting from Gandalf's arrival as young Bilbo sat outside smoking his pipe, through to his running out the door trailing his contract, was perfect in every way. Not because it was or was not similar enough to the book, but because it utterly delighted and captivated me. I would not change a thing. I don't think any songs had to be there, but "Blunt the Knives" was a great tune (is it me, or is that theme repeated in later moments of the film?) And they had great visuals to go along with it.


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Dec 31 2012, 7:07pm

Post #10 of 55 (1278 views)
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The path to Rivendell was similar in the book, [In reply to] Can't Post

where Gandalf had a very difficult time finding the entrance into the valley. He followed a path marked with white stones, then " they came to the edge of a steep fall in the ground so suddenly that Gandalf's horse nearly slipped down the slope...they saw a valley far below...Bilbo never forgot the way they slithered and slipped ...down the steep zig-zag path into the secret valley of Rivendell".

I was looking forward to the Elves singing Tral-la-la lally though Tongue

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


Alassėa Eruvande
Valinor


Dec 31 2012, 7:10pm

Post #11 of 55 (1200 views)
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It just didn't seem right to me. [In reply to] Can't Post

I expected more of a forest in the foothills of the Misty Mountains than a secret tunnel in an open plain. You can lose a valley in the foothills easier than in a plain. Smile



I am SMAUG! I kill when I wish! I am strong, strong, STRONG!
My armor is like tenfold shields! My teeth like swords! My claws, spears!
The shock of my tail, a thunderbolt! My wings, a hurricane! And my breath, death!


Ardamķrė
Valinor


Dec 31 2012, 7:13pm

Post #12 of 55 (1213 views)
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Tra la lally [In reply to] Can't Post

I actually really missed that. I wasn't expecting it to be in, but I wish it would have.

I also missed the part of the Elves making fun of Thorin's beard wagging in the foam Unsure

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).


vexx801
Rivendell

Dec 31 2012, 7:19pm

Post #13 of 55 (1229 views)
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Azog [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe in the Extended Cut they have Azog say something as he looks at the company in the trees while he's speaking - "Fifteen birds in five fir trees..." or something, in a mocking Black Speech voice. If that makes sense.


unexpectedvisitor
Rohan

Dec 31 2012, 7:22pm

Post #14 of 55 (1173 views)
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it's definitely different than the book [In reply to] Can't Post

but inspired by it, in a way. it's kind of nice to have surprises, though, in a movie based on a story you know by heart. since the film chooses to emphasize Thorin's mistrust of the Elves early on (and rightly so, I think, rather than only making it an issue later on) the storytelling had to come up with something to resolve the impasse between Thorin and Gandalf about going to Rivendell. that they would have Gandalf play off the Warg attack by essentially "trapping" the company into going to Rivendell--well, I loved how we get another example of Gandalf's cleverness for getting around seemingly unsolvable problems.


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Dec 31 2012, 7:24pm

Post #15 of 55 (1244 views)
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science experiments in the pantry... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It does show off that they have skills, and aren't just bumbling types. The house is also quite put together again the next morning when he wakes up.

Just as well they ate his whole pantry, he'd come home to some bad smells and science experiments if they hadn't!


never thought of that!!! LaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh

Go outside and play...


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Dec 31 2012, 7:27pm

Post #16 of 55 (1157 views)
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fifteen birds and tra la la [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Or the tra-la-lally Elves in Rivendell?

Doesn't that undercut the argument that "Chip the Glasses" needs to be there" because it's in the book?


Well, yes, it undercuts it nicely (parry, block, swash, buckle)... though the fir tree song might have been a bit more out of place as that scene was so Serious!

Really, if they had done tra-la-la lally, I would have to find some wood-elves and march on WETA... LaughLaughLaugh

Go outside and play...


unexpectedvisitor
Rohan

Dec 31 2012, 7:27pm

Post #17 of 55 (1161 views)
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i understand why [In reply to] Can't Post

i understand why you miss the song from the book but, you have to admit, with the depiction of the film Hobbit's Elves being informed by their stateliness in LotR, it's nearly impossible to imagine them singing that song as it was in the book.

in fact, the only thing i can envision is Bret--I mean, Figwit--um, sorry, Lindir--breaking out into a parody number.


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


Dec 31 2012, 7:30pm

Post #18 of 55 (1305 views)
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"Fifteen Birds" would show that the goblins were not too bright [In reply to] Can't Post

seeing how the Dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf climbed into pine and larch trees.

And yes, in the movie the scene was too serious to interrupt with a silly song.

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


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Dec 31 2012, 7:31pm

Post #19 of 55 (1171 views)
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welcome to Narnia [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I didn't much care for the Narnia entrance to Rivendell. How could the plains suddenly open up to a very large river valley that no one noticed before? The lack of singing elves didn't help much either. Frown


I was kind of weirded out/fascinated by the crack in the plains that leads to Rivendell. It would be fun to find a geologist to explain that one. I do remember travelling across the West of America in 1984; you'd be driving through rolling hills (rather like what we see in that scene), and suddenly look off to the side of the road and there would be this ravine...

Rivendell seems built essentially on a waterfall in a canyon.

I live in Pennsylvania, more Shirelike, so I'm not overly familiar with that kind of geology.

Go outside and play...


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Dec 31 2012, 7:32pm

Post #20 of 55 (1153 views)
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I like that... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Maybe in the Extended Cut they have Azog say something as he looks at the company in the trees while he's speaking - "Fifteen birds in five fir trees..." or something, in a mocking Black Speech voice. If that makes sense.


Go outside and play...


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Dec 31 2012, 7:36pm

Post #21 of 55 (1140 views)
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someone needs to do a parody... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
i understand why you miss the song from the book but, you have to admit, with the depiction of the film Hobbit's Elves being informed by their stateliness in LotR, it's nearly impossible to imagine them singing that song as it was in the book.

in fact, the only thing i can envision is Bret--I mean, Figwit--um, sorry, Lindir--breaking out into a parody number.


PJ seems to be doing what Tolkien wanted to (if I remember correctly from somewhere in his letters or bio), rewriting The Hobbit to match more with LOTR. Stately Elves, not silly tra-la-la-lallying ones. That part always makes me cringe in the book. Of course, tra-la-la-lally might be so culturally/time period specific (it sounded fine in 1937, and totally ridiculous now) that it can't translate into a modern film.

Go outside and play...


Fredeghar Wayfarer
Lorien


Dec 31 2012, 7:46pm

Post #22 of 55 (1154 views)
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Tra-la-la-lally [In reply to] Can't Post

I think they should have had Lindir sing it to the Dwarves in the scene where an Elf is playing the flute and Oin stuffs a cloth into his hearing aid. That would have been a logical way to incorporate it into the movie without seeming too ridiculous.

I loved the "Blunt the Knives" song. It was perfect, one of the moments that felt most like the book to me. It probably would have been silly to include many of the other songs but I do wish they'd made homage to them in dialogue. As someone else mentioned, Azog could have mockingly talked about "fifteen birds in five fir trees" when the Dwarves are cornered. The goblins could have shrieked that they were taking the Dwarves "down, down to Goblin-town." And so forth. There were ways the songs could have been referenced at least.


DanielLB
Immortal


Dec 31 2012, 7:49pm

Post #23 of 55 (1210 views)
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Tra-la-la-lally [In reply to] Can't Post

How did the Elves know Bilbo, Balin and Dwalin were coming?


Quote
O! Where are you going,
With beards all a-wagging?
No knowing, no knowing
What brings Mister Baggins,
And Balin and Dwalin
Down into the valley
In June
Ha ha!


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arithmancer
Grey Havens

Dec 31 2012, 7:56pm

Post #24 of 55 (1119 views)
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tra-la-la-lally [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think they should have had Lindir sing it to the Dwarves in the scene where an Elf is playing the flute and Oin stuffs a cloth into his hearing aid. That would have been a logical way to incorporate it into the movie without seeming too ridiculous.


And it would raise Oin's stature in my eyes, by revealing he has discerning musical tastes as well! Wink


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 31 2012, 7:56pm

Post #25 of 55 (1134 views)
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Is it a "silly" song? [In reply to] Can't Post

I've always found it rather gruesome!

"Roast 'em alive, or stew them in a pot;
fry them, boil them, eat them hot?
Bake and toast 'em,
fry and roast 'em!
till beards blaze, and eyes glaze;
hair smells and skins crack
fat melts, and bones in cinders lie
beneath the sky! So the dwarves shall die."

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Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
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