Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Exceedingly short night with the Eagles (and a couple others maybe)
First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All


Jan 11 2013, 6:42pm

Post #1 of 26 (949 views)
Exceedingly short night with the Eagles (and a couple others maybe) Can't Post

People have previously acknowledged that PJ's Middle Earth has compressed geography, but now with AUJ it seems like it has very compressed time as well.

I noticed this especially at the end of the movie. As the company makes their way out of the goblin tunnels and down into the forrest the sun is setting. Just as the sun sets Azog & co are upon them. This scene seems to take place in relatively real time and doesn't take that long. The eagles then rescue them, fly through the night for a bit and then the sun rises. As they stand on the Carrock it is most definitely dawn.

So where did all that time go? There should be at LEAST 7-8 hours of darkness.

Are we supposed to believe that it took the eagles that long to fly to the Carrock? Maybe, but surely those huge birds could fly faster than that over a relatively short distance. Moreover, if it really was going to take that long, wouldn't they stop for a bit to check up on Thorin? Gandalf seemed *very* concerned about Thorin when he got off on the Carrock and the impression I got was that Thorin was very close to death without Gandalf's help. If Thorin wasn't close to death and Gandalf just woke up him from being stunned don't you think he probably wouldn't have woken up from being knocked out during those 7 hours or so flying through the air? Don't you think Gandalf or the others or even the eagles and benevolent beings would want to check in on him?

I can't think of any sort of reasonable explanation for this. I think they just really liked having the sunset and sunrise lighting for both those scenes. Maybe an earlier version featured a stop at the Eyrie where they checked up on Thorin, but with this cut they added in Gandalf worried about Thorin on the Carrock but couldn't change the time of day.

There were a couple other cases where night seemed to pass in the blink of an eye:

First, the White Council. When Gandalf goes up with Elrond and sees Galadriel & Saruman it appears that everyone in Rivendell is still up and about. Perhaps they had a very late night, but I can't imagine it would be *that* late after they just came in from a day of being chased by wargs and orcs after a night with trolls. Then the next time we see the white council it is dawn and in the same place? They only now seem to be talking about the important things. Did they all go to bed and then come back in the morning? That's possible and is maybe indicated by Galadriel's costume change. It seems strange though still. Why not just have them meet at night or if it's the next day why not have them just meet for the first time then. It seems again like a case of the production favouring pretty lighting over something that makes sense. This is the most easy one to explain though.

Secondly, the troll night seems to be exceptionally short as well. When this whole sequence begins Bilbo is bringing dinner to Fili & Kili. Bilbo gets captured and we seem to experience the whole sequence in real time up until the Dwarves coming in to try and rescue him. The fight scene doesn't seem to be missing much time either.

By this point I can't imagine it's much past midnight even if they got going on dinner really late. Did putting the Dwarves in bags and on the spit really take them almost till dawn? I suppose it's possible with the stupid trolls, but even that seems a little stupid for them. Where did five hours or more go?


Jan 11 2013, 6:48pm

Post #2 of 26 (534 views)
Interesting observation. [In reply to] Can't Post

I suppose nights would be short in a northern latitude in the summer but the nights you mention do seem especially short.

As to Galadriel's costume, I think Galadriel was wearing and overcoat/dress/thing over her dress and took it off. The brooch is the same.


Jan 11 2013, 6:48pm

Post #3 of 26 (566 views)
It's a deliberate stylistical choice. [In reply to] Can't Post

Peter Jackson loves to use changes in lighting to indicate the passage of time. Basically, if a scene transitions from dusk to darkness in minutes, this is meant to indicate that a couple of hours have passed, even if it isn't obvious from character interactions. So no, it's not real time, it's simply smooth, subtle time transitions.


Jan 11 2013, 6:49pm

Post #4 of 26 (510 views)
That's what I thought as well [In reply to] Can't Post




Jan 11 2013, 6:50pm

Post #5 of 26 (511 views)
Yes, but what has happened in that time? [In reply to] Can't Post

Did the eagles fly the company on a 7 hour tour of the misty mountains in the dark and nobody decided to stop and make sure Thorin wasn't dead?

Did the White Council chill out and play games?

Did the trolls take 5 hours to get the dwarves in bags and on the spit? Surely even the half-wit trolls would realize it was getting close to dawn if that amount of time passed without much activity.


Jan 11 2013, 7:01pm

Post #6 of 26 (485 views)
You are meant to use your imagination. [In reply to] Can't Post

The eagles may really have needed several hours to get the Company to Carrock. The White Council undoubtedly discussed and debated at length about Gandalf's news, and we only got the key moments. And the trolls undoubtedly kept arguing about different ways of cooking and other assorted things, like trolls tend to do. The main point in all these situations is that what you see can summarise everything that happens during the time transition, whether it's simply moving from point A to point B or people talking in circles about the same thing.


Jan 11 2013, 7:07pm

Post #7 of 26 (462 views)
Perhaps the eagles need to stay in the air for a couple of hours for a reason? [In reply to] Can't Post

Azog seems determined to kill Thorin, it wouldn't be too hard to track down the Giant Eagles. Perhaps they stay in the air so the Orcs loose their scent/track?

(I don't like the idea, but it fits.)


Jan 11 2013, 7:13pm

Post #8 of 26 (467 views)
I've used my imagination [In reply to] Can't Post

And it just doesn't make sense. We see the beginning of the White Council's conversation about things that are notable and it is getting light out. Gandalf hadn't brought up his news yet.

Maybe there are other events they spoke about before then and didn't get to any of the stuff we care about till then? But this stuff seems most important. It's not an entmoot where they take forever to get going!

And yes, maybe the eagles did need that amount of time, but why didn't they pause somewhere to check on Thorin? As I said, Gandalf was *very* concerned about Throin when he got off at the Carrock. Using my imagination to explain this is to imagine that even though Gandalf is super concerned about Thorin he'll just leave him alone and not check for 7 hours or so.

It's okay to like a movie but recognize plot holes/goof. This is a plot hole/goof.


Jan 11 2013, 7:15pm

Post #9 of 26 (457 views)
Go to a high peak, set Thorin down, have Gandalf check on him and then fly again [In reply to] Can't Post

If they were determined to stay in the air and it also takes them 7 hours to fly to the Carrock. Surely they could have made a brief pitstop somewhere and still not given Azog anything to really go by. Is it worth leaving a possibly grievously injured Thorin unattended for 7 hours or so to be that absolutely sure that they lose Azog?


Jan 11 2013, 7:23pm

Post #10 of 26 (452 views)
Perhaps that's what Gandalf did [In reply to] Can't Post

And then Thorin went back into unconsciousness during the flight from the eerie to the Carrockl. Wink

(This post was edited by DanielLB on Jan 11 2013, 7:24pm)


Jan 11 2013, 7:33pm

Post #11 of 26 (474 views)
Bigger problem with the trolls.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, the trolls certainly didn't seem to be planning for the short night...

The dwarves on the spit would never have been cooked before dawn - the sun was already rising when Gandalf arrived. So even without Bilbo's stalling and Gandalf's rock splitting no-one was likely to be cooked before dawn.


Jan 11 2013, 8:39pm

Post #12 of 26 (409 views)
Bingo [In reply to] Can't Post

I think they just really liked having the sunset and sunrise lighting for both those scenes.

Bingo. The scene wouldn't have the same feel at night. It needed to be a sunrise...a new day, and this is the day that things finally get easier for the company.

As for Gandalf being worried, maybe everyone went to sleep right after, and only after waking up at the sunrise was Gandalf really worried, assuming Thorin would have woken up by then. Hopefully the EE will clear this up.


Jan 11 2013, 11:42pm

Post #13 of 26 (326 views)
imagination and sense are sometimes mutually exclusive [In reply to] Can't Post

just chill and enjoy the lighting Wink

Davy Jones could've been Bilbo...I mean he was a Brit with a sense for adventure, singing & dancing. And think of the costs it would've save with forced perspective: he was ACTUALLY 5'3. He also hung out with a grumpy tall dude in a hat (Mike Nesmith.) While we're at it let's just have Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork as Merry & Pippin.

The Shire

Jan 12 2013, 12:09am

Post #14 of 26 (309 views)
Maybe they had a rough night and they hate the flying Eagles. [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
...The eagles then rescue them, fly through the night for a bit and then the sun rises....Don't you think Gandalf or the others or even the eagles and benevolent beings would want to check in on him?....

Yeah, well. The Dude abides.

Tol Eressea

Jan 12 2013, 12:25am

Post #15 of 26 (300 views)
yep, stylistic, and perhaps it can be trivially explained as a symptom of the fairy-talism ? maybe that's an excuse ;) // [In reply to] Can't Post


--I'm a victim of Bifurcation--

Join us over at Barliman's chat all day, any day!

Grey Havens

Jan 12 2013, 2:07am

Post #16 of 26 (300 views)
Could eagles fly all night? [In reply to] Can't Post

I know, I know. They aren't real eagles and they are super size eagles.... but could they do it? In other words I want someone to rationalize it like the rabbit sled was rationalized.

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com


Jan 12 2013, 7:25am

Post #17 of 26 (304 views)
EE [In reply to] Can't Post

This is a moment I think the Extended Edition could undo; while historically the EE additions are usually a bit here, a bit there, you'd be surprised what redubbing the film's score to take a new edit into account can do for the narrative.

The biggest example is obviously the difference in how events play in TROTK - the entire Voice of Saruman sequence was ejected, a HUGE sequence. But once you see it in the EE, a whole new narrative is built.

My concern is that, because the drama of the "end of the movie" is where this example rests, and that pacing is pretty magical, they won't place an EE moment in there. I suppose that could be remedied by saying that they were up in those fir trees "all night" with wolves circling below and that it took time for Azog to come down off the High Pass. Not that it's too important for me, I just figure the eagles flew for hours.


Jan 12 2013, 11:42am

Post #18 of 26 (283 views)
I think the missing time goes at the other end [In reply to] Can't Post

It is sunset when they exit Goblin-town, but full night when they climb the trees. I have the benefit of having read the book, but I interpreted this as meaning the company spent several hours running from Azog before they were finally brought to bay.


Jan 12 2013, 12:34pm

Post #19 of 26 (262 views)
Initial google search on eagles [In reply to] Can't Post

How far can an eagle fly without resting?
Eagles conserve energy by gliding in thermal wind currents achieving speeds of up to 80 km/hr (50 mph) and travelling up to 300 km (180 mi) per day. One eagle was known to log up to 435 km (270 mi) in one day, granted this was most likely during migration. Eagles have been measured at traveling 240 km/hr (150 mph) during a dive.

Going off this it sounds like it would be hard pushed to fly the entire night none stop but in the time they do travel the distance covered is massive due to the speed of their flight.


Jan 12 2013, 1:14pm

Post #20 of 26 (254 views)
Probably a myth ... [In reply to] Can't Post

But aren't albatross supposed to be able to fly for weeks/months without landing? If it's down to their size, then the same might apply to the Giant Eagles.


Jan 12 2013, 1:32pm

Post #21 of 26 (259 views)
They land on the water [In reply to] Can't Post

Its true they dont go on land for some years though at times.


Jan 12 2013, 1:36pm

Post #22 of 26 (255 views)
I have no problem with geographic or lengths of time :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate that the story (and film) moves along... so taking license with implying the passing of time instead of compromising the storyline by trying to keep in what would be the actualy timeline is completely okie-dokie with me :)

Good story embellishment and all that ;)

gramma's The Hobbit: Unexpected Journey Line Party Report & Review
and first draught of TH:AUJ Geeky Observation List


I'm SO HAPPY these new films take me back to that magical world!!

TORn's Observations Lists
Unused Scenes


Jan 12 2013, 2:39pm

Post #23 of 26 (239 views)
but [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you mean the average airspeed of an African or European giant magic eagle?


Jan 12 2013, 3:05pm

Post #24 of 26 (246 views)
This bothered me a bit as well [In reply to] Can't Post

My personal excuse then was that it all took place very near Midsummer, and maybe geographically this part of Middle Earth is so scandinavishly north that the nights were really really short. Evil

Grey Havens

Jan 12 2013, 5:01pm

Post #25 of 26 (211 views)
Thank you, rationalization accepted. [In reply to] Can't Post

Close enough to be feasible....and given that sunrise made wonderful photographic background more than sufficient explanation as to why the eagles flew all night.

Nicely avoiding the problem of having them talk to their passengers as they keep them overnight in their nests as occurred in the book.

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com

First page Previous page 1 2 Next page Last page  View All

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.