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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The time between the fall of Erebor and The Unexpected Party


Jan 4 2013, 7:05pm

Post #1 of 12 (758 views)
The time between the fall of Erebor and The Unexpected Party Can't Post

Is it ever stated in the film how much time has passed between the fall of Erebor and the Unexpected Party?

I know at one point Thorin says Smaug hasn't been seen fort sixty years, but I didn't take that to mean that he and his people had lost their homes that long ago also, just that Smaug hasn't been terrorizing that part of the world for 60 years.

I'm aware that several promotional tie ins have stated that 60 years have passed between Smaug's attack and the dwarves arriving at Bag End, but I always assumed they had misinterpreted the info the filmmakers and the audio were giving them.

Is it possible that the film's timeline is closer to the books and 200 years separate the fall of Erbor and the Quest for Erebor? I'd like to think this is a possibility.

What does everyone here think?

N.E. Brigand

Jan 4 2013, 7:18pm

Post #2 of 12 (567 views)
And what happened 400 years ago, anyway? [In reply to] Can't Post

Elrond says in Rivendell: "Gandalf, for 400 years we have lived in peace: a hard-won, watchful peace."

But we know that (in the film's history) there was a huge battle between Thror's and Azog's peoples at some point after the fall of Erebor.

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The Shire

Jan 4 2013, 7:27pm

Post #3 of 12 (487 views)
Does it really matter? [In reply to] Can't Post

I mean, what would be the difference, if the gap is 200, 150 or 60 years?

Grey Havens

Jan 4 2013, 7:27pm

Post #4 of 12 (530 views)
I think the "watchful peace" was after the Angmar battle, [In reply to] Can't Post

Where the wtich-king was brought down and buried in his tomb!
I noticed so many references to that war during the white council, so I think it's that they are referring to Smile

Vocalist in the semi-progressive metal band Arctic Eclipse


Jan 4 2013, 7:48pm

Post #5 of 12 (444 views)
Vagueness [In reply to] Can't Post

This is something that differentiates book canon and LOTR/film canon. The timelines are not the same. I'm not sure what in the world they mean by either reference that the dragon hasn't been seen, or by the watchful peace.


Jan 4 2013, 7:52pm

Post #6 of 12 (487 views)
The general notion is [In reply to] Can't Post

that Smaug has been quiet for 60 years, but that there was a wide span of time between the attack and Smaug's dormancy.

As to the Watchful Peace. . . that was poorly played to me. At least the 400 years aspect. I know they want to, as a nod to fans, show their recognition of The Peace lasting for about 400 years. But, in the book, it starts much earlier, and is most peaceful from the time of Gandalf's earlier visit to Dol Guldur until around the time that Deagol and Smeagol find The Ring. It would have been more accurate to just expand the length of the Peace (nothing really dramatic happens in that span anyway, all the really BIG evil moments, from Angmar's wars on Arnor and The Witch-King's eventual defeat by Arnor, Gondor, Lindon and Rivendell. . . and most especially by Glorfindel!, to the rise of The Balrog in Khazad-Dum and his slaying of Durin and exile of The Dwarves and the related flight of many of Lothlorien's Elves, to the seizing of Minas Ithil by The Nazgul, all happen in the century before The Watchful Peace begins) to a 900 year span. For one thing, it would then at least actually include the authentic Watchful Peace, and would also make it even more plausible that such ancient b(B)eings as Elrond and Saruman would think the danger long past.

In Reply To
Elrond says in Rivendell: "Gandalf, for 400 years we have lived in peace: a hard-won, watchful peace."

But we know that (in the film's history) there was a huge battle between Thror's and Azog's peoples at some point after the fall of Erebor.

"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."

The Shire

Jan 4 2013, 8:12pm

Post #7 of 12 (437 views)
Myths vary depending on the telling [In reply to] Can't Post

It reminds me of Legolas' "Last king of Gondor" flub on the way to the Paths of the Dead in ROTK, as Isildur was not, of course, the last king of Gondor by a long shot. You can choose to look at such errors in a few ways:

1. It was just an error, so you can either ignore it or nitpick it.
2. You can come up with some kind of alternate interpretation of the line to make it fit with the established mythology.
3. You can just accept it as the film version's take on the mythology.

I usually go with option 3. The way I view the movies is simply as a new interpretation of the mythology that Tolkien created. I start with the (obviously fictional) premise that there really was some ancient tradition of myths that Tolkien stumbled upon, translated, cleaned up, expanded, and presented to us in the form of his novels. So that's one version. Jackson then came along and decided to reinvent those myths for his films, giving us another version. If you look at it that way, errors, inconsistencies, and contradictions between the films and books are much more easily accepted and forgiven.

How many versions of the King Arthur legend do we have, for example? When did his reign begin and end? What sort of men were Lancelot and Galahad? Was Morgan le Fay really evil? All of this varies depending on the telling. I think Middle-earth is rich enough to be considered its own mythology, and it probably has almost as much to do with reality as any other.


Jan 4 2013, 8:54pm

Post #8 of 12 (391 views)
Not really. [In reply to] Can't Post

Mostly I was just unclear if at anytime in the film someone mentioned how much time had passed since the events retold in the prologue took place.

I guess the answer to my question is "no, it's kind of vague." Cool

Captain Salt
Tol Eressea

Jan 4 2013, 9:09pm

Post #9 of 12 (402 views)
Shouldn't Thorin appear older/greyer then? [In reply to] Can't Post

He looks about 60 years older to me, taking into consideration Dwarf aging and general appearance.

Also, how old is Balin by FotR's time anyway (or how old would he have been, if Gimli had been correct in thinking him still alive)? He already appears to be a Dwarf elder in the Erebor epilogue, older still during TH's timeframe, and should have been capable of hefting his mace when he left to retake Moria sometime after TH's events.

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!

Kangi Ska

Jan 4 2013, 10:32pm

Post #10 of 12 (348 views)
The Retelling of Myths: [In reply to] Can't Post

I was able to find peace with Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings in the way you suggest. By approaching it as a version of the story I was able to accept it as it was. The same is true with The Hobbit. Even tolkien wrotr more than one version. KS

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.


Jan 5 2013, 12:16am

Post #11 of 12 (323 views)
Storywise, it may matter. [In reply to] Can't Post

200 years means a few generations for mankind, making the destruction a thing of the relative past. 60 years on the other hand means some men who still live might have been there, like Bard's father (or maybe even Bard himself), making it all the more personal for Bard (this is what I suspect is a big part of the reasoning behind it). In such a case, the difference between 200 and 60 isn't just a number, but something that may suggest what kind of story they're telling.

Less relevant perhaps (in that it doesn't directly impact the story), it also means possibly changing the age of some of the dwarves. The claim that Fíli and Kíli haven't seen Erebor, for example, makes little sense if it was lost 60 years ago yet they are in their late 70:ies (Kíli) and early 80:ies (Fíli).

(This post was edited by Macfeast on Jan 5 2013, 12:22am)


Jan 5 2013, 6:48pm

Post #12 of 12 (287 views)
Book vs. film [In reply to] Can't Post

According to Tolkien, Smaug occupied Erebor for 271 years. I do get the impression that this was severely condensed in the movie--possibly to as little as 60 years.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


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