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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
A point about the White Council attacking Dol Guldur
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kbdiggity
Rivendell

Jan 25 2013, 8:02pm

Post #1 of 41 (1197 views)
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A point about the White Council attacking Dol Guldur Can't Post

I've seen some people suggest this event may take place in the 3rd film, or be placed after Smaug's attack on Laketown.

In the timeline, the White Council attacks Dol Guldur within the same month that Bilbo finds the one ring. It is a few months later when Smaug attacks Laketown and is killed.

Now obviously Peter Jackson could change things around. No one really knows what he is going to do until we see the film. But I strongly suspect we will see the White Council attack Dol Guldur in the 2nd film, and that it will happen before Smaug is killed off.


Kassandros
Rohan


Jan 25 2013, 8:06pm

Post #2 of 41 (580 views)
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Knowing PJ, I imagine the timing of the assualt on Dol Guldur will not at all be influenced by the book's timeline. [In reply to] Can't Post

Given the other changes we've seen, I don't think PJ would feel very constrained by the book's timeline for an event that happened offscreen. It will happen sometime after Gandalf leaves the party before Mirkwood - that's all we know, really. I think the timing will depend on the dramatic narative arc that PJ feels he needs for these movies. He's ignored much more important parts of the book and appendicies.

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


Lightice
Lorien

Jan 25 2013, 8:25pm

Post #3 of 41 (532 views)
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Considering that even the time when the Necromancer established himself in Mirkwood is changed... [In reply to] Can't Post

...it's really doubtful that PJ would let canonical timeline to get in the way of good story pacing. Having the Necromancer fall before Smaug would be a bad decision because it would threat escalation on its head, starting from the greatest threat and moving to the weakest. When you are telling a fantasy epic, you want each peril to be more terrible than the last, and a mere army of goblins simply won't cut it after Smaug the Terrible. There needs to be a greater evil at work behind it to make a credible climax. The sudden storm and flock of bats even implies dark sorcery in the book, so best make it official. But what's evenb worse, setting the Necromancer's downfall before the events of the Lonely Mountain would also mean that there would be no kind of connection between Gandalf's own adventure and the Company, and this simply won't do in a film. The storylines need to be interconnected and influence one another in order to be compelling. You can't tell two stories side by side without any kind of connecting factor. The White Council also lacks an element of human interest on their own, they're not as relatable or approachable as Bilbo and the Company. They can't shoulder a climax for any of the films on their own, especially not without the aforementioned connection to the main protagonists, Bilbo and the dwarves.


Rostron2
Gondor


Jan 25 2013, 8:29pm

Post #4 of 41 (531 views)
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It's going to be a balancing act of action and exposition [In reply to] Can't Post

Given that there's a lot of action in DOS; my guess is that he will move the timeline around and put any kind of resolution of Necktie's fortress into TABA before Gandalf rejoins the action before BOF5A. As you say, this could vary widely.

From a linking perspective, it would make some sense to put it in the third film, so that sets up 'Sauron flees to Dol Guldur,' and then Gandalf's talk with Frodo in Fellowship makes some sense. 'His Dark Tower is rebuilt..."


(This post was edited by Rostron2 on Jan 25 2013, 8:29pm)


Arandir
Gondor


Jan 26 2013, 9:12am

Post #5 of 41 (457 views)
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Silvester McCoy confirmed that [In reply to] Can't Post

the Dol Guldur attack will be in Film 2 (according to an Interview on Empire magazine's December issue).

Of course, PJ may change stuff around by the time it is release - but I doubt it.

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Review


Arannir
Valinor

Jan 26 2013, 9:16am

Post #6 of 41 (425 views)
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And PJ himself... [In reply to] Can't Post

...said that the WC is going to "kick some ass" in Part II.


Lightice
Lorien

Jan 26 2013, 10:59am

Post #7 of 41 (392 views)
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But which "attack"? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
the Dol Guldur attack will be in Film 2 (according to an Interview on Empire magazine's December issue).


Do you think it's the attack? Because Gandalf must still go and investigate the Necromancer in person and will most likely get Radagast as a backup before the White Council in whole can be mobilised. I have a hard time believing that those two things would happen in one film, now that we have a full trilogy in our hands.


emre43
Lorien

Jan 26 2013, 11:12am

Post #8 of 41 (429 views)
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Christopher Lee said in his Christmas messge last year [In reply to] Can't Post

that he is ony in the first two Hobbit films so it is fairly safe to assume the White Council assault Dol Guldur in film 2.


Lightice
Lorien

Jan 26 2013, 11:56am

Post #9 of 41 (367 views)
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Source, please. [In reply to] Can't Post

I really want to see exactly what he said. I simply can't see the full assault on Dol Guldur happening so soon without some seriously rushed pacing, considering that we need Gandalf's investigation and the second meeting of the Council in between, as well. And I'm quite willing to bet money that the Necromancer will be involved in one way or another with the Bo5A.


Vangalad
Lorien


Jan 26 2013, 12:21pm

Post #10 of 41 (379 views)
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Some hints from P.Jackson and C.Lee [In reply to] Can't Post

In DOS there is definitely going to be a conflict at Dol Guldur, yet it is unknown if this contains all the action surrounding the necromancer subplot...
P.Jackson comments on the matter here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUbm-8XAW8w

and C.Lee mentions he's in DOS : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZQeMSzsE8s


All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost,
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.


Lightice
Lorien

Jan 26 2013, 1:10pm

Post #11 of 41 (334 views)
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Pretty ambivalent, I think. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To



I am more inclined to think that the scene in question will be PJ's interpretation of the brief line in the book's unexpected party: "Even I, Gandalf, only just escaped." -- we have seen a mention of a badly injured Gandalf being rescued by Galadriel (and possibly also Radagast), and I have a strong suspicion that this will relate to him snooping in Dol Guldur on his own and getting caught.


In Reply To
and C.Lee mentions he's in DOS : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZQeMSzsE8s


This, too, can be interpreted in multiple ways. It may simply mean that he hasn't shot all the scenes, yet, or that he is not fully familiar with the rearrangement of the scenes he has shot with the turn into a trilogy.

In a nutshell, I wouldn't call either of these conclusive evidence to any direction. My speculations are simply based on what I consider to be good pacing and proper threat escalation befit for a fantasy epic. It is ofcourse possible that in PJ's version the Necromancer will be driven from Dol Guldur relatively early on, but will remanifest to drive orcs into war in the Bo5A, but I still feel it would be very rushed to include Gandalf's investigation, the second meeting of the Council and their assault on Dol Guldur all in the same film.


Vangalad
Lorien


Jan 26 2013, 1:23pm

Post #12 of 41 (315 views)
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Me too [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I still feel it would be very rushed to include Gandalf's investigation, the second meeting of the Council and their assault on Dol Guldur all in the same film.


It's just too many things to be incorporated in one film, there should be something left for TABA besides the big battle.


All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost,
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.


Arannir
Valinor

Jan 26 2013, 1:24pm

Post #13 of 41 (343 views)
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Comparing to TTT [In reply to] Can't Post

Why should it be rushed?

We will have two major storylines in DOS: The Company and Gandalf/WC.

Speaking about the use of time, I don't see why this could not work in DOS when it worked in TTT.

I think it is easiest to compare the Gandalf/WC story with the Rohan storyline in TTT.

In TTT, this storyline covered the whole introduction of Rohan and its characters, the way to Helm's Deep and the actual Battle (plus intercuts to Merry and Pippin). The same amount of time could work very well imho for Gandalf realizing that the Necromancer is Sauron, the information of the WC and the attack.

The only issue I see is the distance between Dol Guldur and Rivendell... so it would work much better if the second WC meeting would take place somewhere else (Lorien, even Rhosgobel or Beorn's House).



Having both Dol Guldur and the Bot5A in one movie would be a major mistake imho.

TABA should - imo - have the death of Smaug within its first 30 minutes and then have the reactions to his death as the major theme - the conflict between the Free Peoples.


emre43
Lorien

Jan 26 2013, 2:02pm

Post #14 of 41 (310 views)
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Sure [In reply to] Can't Post

All you had to do was google Christopher Lee Christmas message. I suppose I will have to do it for you though: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZQeMSzsE8s


In Reply To
I really want to see exactly what he said. I simply can't see the full assault on Dol Guldur happening so soon without some seriously rushed pacing, considering that we need Gandalf's investigation and the second meeting of the Council in between, as well. And I'm quite willing to bet money that the Necromancer will be involved in one way or another with the Bo5A.



Lightice
Lorien

Jan 26 2013, 2:15pm

Post #15 of 41 (325 views)
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Many reasons. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Why should it be rushed?



Most importantly the fact that the White Council can't be compared to either Merry and Pippin or the defenders of Helm's Deep. They are supporting characters with little human interest factor, they can't pull a story climax on their own, or star in a lengthy storyline. Bilbo and the Company need to be on the forefront at all times, with only brief cuts to the White Council business to keep the audience interested. Secondly, the Necromancer can't be compared to Saruman. He is not subservient or secondary compared to any other threat in The Hobbit. He is the most powerful enemy in the story and needs to be treated accordingly. If threat escalation is to be maintained, the Necromancer must be the last to fall.


Quote

TABA should - imo - have the death of Smaug within its first 30 minutes and then have the reactions to his death as the major theme - the conflict between the Free Peoples.



Having Smaug's death at that point would severely reduce its effectiveness on the audience, but what's worse, it would directly compete with the Bo5A for the more epic climax. With Smaug's death so fresh in people's minds, a simple army of orcs will not have the desired effect. This, I think, is one of the main reasons why PJ switched into a trilogy approach in the first place. Furthermore, based on what Andy Serkis slipped in an interview, something climactic will happen in the Laketown in the DoS, and what could that mean if not Smaug's attack?

But never mind all this, I believe that I just figured out the climax of DoS that will keep people wanting for more:

Smaug will attack Laketown and get destroyed, but just before this, if not at the same time, Gandalf will be caught in Dol Guldur and fights for his life to escape. After Smaug is dead, we see near-mortally injured Gandalf escaping with the vital information about the Necromancer's true identity, with enemies on his tail. The end. This would solve the problem of people thinking it's all over with Smaug's death in one fell swoop, if the final reveal is that Sauron is alive and active, and what happens with Gandalf will keep them emotionally involved.


EDIT:

Quote
All you had to do was google Christopher Lee Christmas message. I suppose I will have to do it for you though: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZQeMSzsE8s



And all you had to do was to see that I was shown that already and made my response.


(This post was edited by Lightice on Jan 26 2013, 2:16pm)


Arannir
Valinor

Jan 26 2013, 2:29pm

Post #16 of 41 (305 views)
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Hmmm... [In reply to] Can't Post

I do not really say that happening or how it is emotionally engaging to see Gandalf escape and have a Sauron reveal - as both Gandalf's survival and Sauron's identity is pretty obvious even for the casual moviegoer.



I do agree that the handeling of Smaug is not easy either way, and afterwards there will be critics no matter how you do it.

For me the best possible climax for DoS is an intercut of the DG battle and the Bilbo/Smaug conversation - the movie ending with Gandalf leaving for the North (since Azog seems to be closely connected to the Necromancer there might be some hint that Sauron is retreating but making sure Erebor will be attacked) and Bilbo sending off the thrush to warn Laketown.

Then start TABA with a flashback (maybe Girion's fall) and then the destruction of Laketown and the fall of Smaug.

Although Sauron is the bigger Evil in the story, the most iconic enemy will remain Smaug for this trilogy. Therefore, I think, the story can handle the "falling out" of the enemy Sauron by the end of DoS better than the falling out of Smaug.

I see the issue with having two big climaxes in TABA - but those two work far better for me than DG and Bot5A would together. Especially since it is the Dragon's death that sets the conflict between the Free Peoples in motion (and I want a lot of time left for that, as it is so interesting and for non-fans unexpected that they would actually start a war among each other - almost).

And as said before, since Azog/Bolg seem to get a strong Mordor/Sauron connection, Sauron could still play a role in TABA.


Btw: I do believe the WC line can be emotionally engaging, as Gandalf will play the biggest part in it, possibly also Radagast and even Beorn. I don't see why they would be less engaging as Theoden and Co were in TTT.


(This post was edited by Arannir on Jan 26 2013, 2:33pm)


Arandir
Gondor


Jan 26 2013, 4:16pm

Post #17 of 41 (300 views)
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PJ has also confirmed that Smaug will be in both Films 2 and 3 // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Review


Lightice
Lorien

Jan 26 2013, 4:51pm

Post #18 of 41 (279 views)
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Source. Now [In reply to] Can't Post

I have been following info on the films for a good time now and I've seen or read most interviews on the subject. Never I have seen any sort of confirmation to this end.


Quote
I do not really say that happening or how it is emotionally engaging to see Gandalf escape and have a Sauron reveal - as both Gandalf's survival and Sauron's identity is pretty obvious even for the casual moviegoer.


Sauron's identity is in no way obvious to the casual viewer. Even plenty of serious critics have complained that the subplot concerning Radagast and the Necromancer doesn't lead anywhere, clearly ignorant of their future implications. Gandalf's survival is more given, but there is nevertheless concern about his wellbeing, and whether he can come to the Company's aid, any more.


Quote
For me the best possible climax for DoS is an intercut of the DG battle and the Bilbo/Smaug conversation



How do these two events relate to one another, stylistically or thematically? Because I see no kind of connection between them. Two unrelated events crammed in one space don't make a good climax. Furthermore, in this scenario the events of Dol Guldur are completely unrelated and irrelevant to what is happening with the Company, at the moment. This is also an intolerable state of affairs. As I have repeatedly stated, Gandalf's adventure cannot be an isolated affair with no connection to the Company's quest, and furthermore, there can't be a climax to any of the films that does not feature Bilbo and the Company in a major role.


Quote
Then start TABA with a flashback (maybe Girion's fall) and then the destruction of Laketown and the fall of Smaug.



I can't accept Smaug's death as a mere prelude without a proper buildup. That goes against all rules of drama. You can't thrown down your best cards at the start of the game. There will be nothing left to wow the audience after that. It will only serve to make the slow events that follow and even the climactic battle at the end seem less relevant and powerful. A break is almost necessary to raise the audiences' interest back up, and even then escalation of the threat is vital for this to succeed.


Quote
Btw: I do believe the WC line can be emotionally engaging, as Gandalf will play the biggest part in it, possibly also Radagast and even Beorn. I don't see why they would be less engaging as Theoden and Co were in TTT.



The White Council are not Theoden and co. Theoden is a relatable human being, and surrounded by members of the main cast. What the White Council resembles the most in terms of their role in the story are the Ents; ancient, wise and very cool, but not terribly relatable or human in their own right. Even Gandalf and Radagast are far more distant from the audience than Bilbo or Thorin. They can't drive a climax on their own any better than the Ents could have. Sure, you cheer for them as they kick ass, but there still isn't the same connection there as with ordinary people overcoming impossible odds.

No, this is something that I am adamant about. The White Council can't take over the main plot at any point. They are something that you cut to for a few minutes every now and then before you come back to Bilbo and the Company. Gandalf needs to seem absent to the audience for the bulk of thesecond film, even though we get occasional glimpses to what he is doing. Otherwise his dramatic reappearance for the end has no meaning.


Súlimë
Rivendell


Jan 26 2013, 4:58pm

Post #19 of 41 (264 views)
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I like the idea [In reply to] Can't Post

There is no way they can kill Smaug in DOS without leaving the general audience in confusion.

Maybe Smaug won't be killed after the Lake Town attack? Maybe he is only wounded, and DOS ends with Lake Town in ruins? And maybe Smaug will even live as long as Bo5A...

Much moaning will ensue...Tongue


Arandir
Gondor


Jan 26 2013, 5:57pm

Post #20 of 41 (259 views)
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Source? Same as McCoy's ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Just read the 60-page Middle Earth section of Empire magazine's December Issue and you have your source Smile

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Review

(This post was edited by Arandir on Jan 26 2013, 5:58pm)


Lightice
Lorien

Jan 26 2013, 6:02pm

Post #21 of 41 (254 views)
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I did, in December. [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Just read the 60-page Middle Earth section of Empire magazine's December Issue and you have your source



It says no such thing as far as I was able to see. Give me the exact quote, not a vague declaration.


Arandir
Gondor


Jan 26 2013, 6:14pm

Post #22 of 41 (249 views)
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Okay ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Quote 1:
"Jackson also promises we will get a good look at Benedict Cumberbatch's Smaug in film two" (pg.124)
In itself it hints that the dragon's presence will be seen in Film 2 ("a good look") but points to more stuff beyond DOS.

Quote 2:
"Thus far, they [the VFX guys] haven't been concentrating on the issue of the dragon, given they only really need him for films two and three" (pg.125)
Says it all pretty much there really.

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Review


emre43
Lorien

Jan 26 2013, 6:22pm

Post #23 of 41 (275 views)
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I'm really glad that they are doing this whole White Council sub-plot [In reply to] Can't Post

The only thing that disappoints me is that Celeborn, Cirdan, Glorfindel (and perhaps Thranduil) are not members.


Arandir
Gondor


Jan 26 2013, 6:23pm

Post #24 of 41 (258 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

having at least Cirdan and Celeborn would have definitely made it more interesting ... even though they may not have been active speakers. At least, they would have been present Smile

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Review


Lightice
Lorien

Jan 26 2013, 6:26pm

Post #25 of 41 (249 views)
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First doesn't really say anything on the subject, and as for the second... [In reply to] Can't Post

...we got the Balrog in the Two Towers in a manner of speaking, didn't we? And considering that film three isn't even scripted all the way yet, I continue to hold the idea of Smaug playing an actual role in TaBA in extreme doubt. There simply isn't room for him in it without reducing him to a footnote.

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