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The Little Moments

Grey Havens

Jan 27 2013, 9:11pm

Post #1 of 14 (408 views)
The Little Moments Can't Post

Okay, here's something I've been thinking about (yes, roll your eyes; Ro's at that thinking thing again). We've had a number of threads on The Hobbit board about favorite bits of the movie. When asked about favorite moments (a moment being a single line of dialogue or something else equally short, say 10 seconds or less), people respond with a fair bit of passion and enthusiasm, and altogether come up with a huge long list of these moments. Most people have trouble choosing just one (or even just a handful!), and many describe how their favorite moments are either really funny or quite poignant. The take-home point I get from this is that there are a large number of these moments that we really look forward to when we see the movie, and that these moments add quite a lot to our enjoyment of it (to the point where we're getting goosebumps or forgetting to swallow our mouthful of popcorn).

Now, it was 11 years ago, but I don't remember this level of enthusiasm over similar moments in FOTR (or TTT or ROTK). There were certainly moments we enjoyed, and plenty of favorite scenes -- but I don't remember going through FOTR eagerly anticipating one moment, then another, then another, then another...all the way to the end of the movie. With AUJ, I hold my breath so much waiting for my next favorite moment that it never seems like it's been three hours by the end.

So, is this really a difference between AUJ and FOTR? Did you go through FOTR holding your breath for your next favorite little moment? Do you do this with AUJ? Does AUJ just have a lot more of these little moments for us to enjoy? Did you get as many goosebumps from FOTR? Or have I just forgotten what it was like for the first couple of months after FOTR came out, when PJ's Middle-earth was so new and giddily exciting? Very curious to read others' takes on this.


Jan 27 2013, 9:26pm

Post #2 of 14 (323 views)
Forgetfulness... [In reply to] Can't Post

... on my part. I did have (and still do, when I watch the movies again) some little moments in FOTR (and the other two movies as well), that I look forward to and that charm me or give me goosebumps each time I watch. But it's been a while since those movies were new to me. I think I have mostly forgotten how excited I really was about my first glimpse of Middle Earth because I know those moveis so well now - what with going back and forth over my favourite bits on the DVDs and all. But back then, I was just as giddy, I believe.

Forum Admin / Moderator

Jan 28 2013, 12:02am

Post #3 of 14 (255 views)
I think we did, Ro [In reply to] Can't Post

but with FOTR there was an equal amount of trepidation that the movies would be awful. So our joy was mixed with relief in many instances, but with The Hobbit it's just the joy without the fear.

But I remember us going over the moments where the dialogue was right out of the books, even though it may have been said by a different character, or at a different point of the story. We did have our lists of little moments for FOTR for sure - maybe not as much for TTT and ROTK because we knew what to expect.

For me, I'm enjoying The Hobbit movies more than the LOTR movies, but that's mostly because The Hobbit was my first, and I always liked Bilbo better. I think this movie has a cast that better fits the book characters, whereas in the LOTR movies we had to deal with a Frodo who was a contemporary of Merry, Pippin and Sam instead of several years older, an Aragorn who was conflicted about his destiny, and a Gimli who embodied dwarf jokes.


Jan 28 2013, 12:17am

Post #4 of 14 (242 views)
I don't know what you all did [In reply to] Can't Post

I wasn't on internet forums at the time.

But I was enchanted with moments in FOTR from the first viewing and the number of moments grew with every viewing (there were 9 theater viewings for me from Dec 2002 to August 2003 since my neighborhood theater ran it as a matinee all summer).

I was so in love with Tolkien that summer I journaled about it. One of the topics in that journal was: 'my favorite moments'.

At this time, with three AUJ viewings behind me, FOTR wins hands down in number or moments. That could change if I see AUJ more (although I won't until it comes to my second run neighborhood theater). But it's a different time, a different place, I'm a different person, and it's a different story. I don't expect it to ever rival FOTR for me. *maybe* it will rival TTT. It won't rival ROTK.

I will, of course, reserve any judgement on the next two Hobbit till they're released.

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Jan 28 2013, 1:25am

Post #5 of 14 (234 views)
Fascinating... [In reply to] Can't Post

I think I'm one big goosebump, actually, since that first moment in 2001. Cripes... has it really been that long?

There have been some jaw-dropping moments for me in UJ when favourite moments from the text made it into the film... starting with "Good Morning". I'm one of those who has so many moments and scenes I can't wait to see in all the films that I'm nearly holding my breath through the whole film, one after another, just waiting for those magical moments.

You've really got me stopping and thinking about this, though... which is a good thing. I take so much for granted now with LotR that I've lost track of the newness. The wonderful outcome of that is finding that I'm reliving those delicious moments and emotions all over again right now :D


First draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observation List - updated list coming soon


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

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Aragalen the Green

Jan 28 2013, 1:40am

Post #6 of 14 (239 views)
Scenes vs. moments [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree with you, it seems when I watched LoTR (has it really been that long ago?) I watched for favorite scenes from the books, whereas in AUJ I looked for both scenes and moments. It may be the difference in tone between the two. The Hobbit is much shorter, and told mainly from Bilbo's perspective; while LoTR is more of a sweeping epic, with many different perspectives. Not to say that there aren't moments in LoTR, it's just that there don't to seem to be as many; or they go by too quickly, caught up in the greater scenes and story.

Perhaps Frodo describes the difference best in Fellowship of the Ring: "This is no treasure-hunt, no there-and-back journey. I am flying from deadly peril into deadly peril" (Fellowship of the Ring, A Conspiracy Unmasked). Frodo is not as innocent and protected as Bilbo had been when he started his adventures. Bilbo isn't quite sure what will happen when he sets off, and everything is new and interesting. Frodo is more aware of what his journey is about, and his goal is to get the Ring to Rivendell, then later to Mordor.

Please keep thinking, Roheryn! I love it Smile

There it is: dwarves are not heroes, but calculating folk with a great idea of the value of money; some are tricky and treacherous and pretty bad lots; some are not, but are decent enough people like Thorin and Company, if you don't expect too much.

(This post was edited by Aragalen the Green on Jan 28 2013, 1:41am)

Grey Havens

Jan 28 2013, 2:37am

Post #7 of 14 (233 views)
Moments [In reply to] Can't Post

I just joined the board in December 2012 so I could not comment on what people thought of FotR here back then.

However, I would not have any difficulty coming up with a good-sized list of beloved moments from any of the three Lord of the Rings films. I have of course seen them more times than I have seen AUJ since I acquired the EEs when they came out and have watched them many times since, but (though this is of course hindsight) I think I would have said much the same if you'd asked me back then. Specifically for Fellowship, these favorite moments would include:

- Cate Blanchett, beginning the prologue voiceover in Elvish to open the movie. "The world is changing..." Sets the mood perfectly. I can recall how impressed I was with this start when I first saw it, and it still, over ten years later, draws me back into this story.
- Sam, saying to Gandalf "don't turn me into anything...unnatural..."
- The moment Sam stops in the cornfield, and tells Frodo that if he takes another step, he will be farther from home than he has ever been.
(My very first time seeing the movie, this moment was when I knew, for sure, that there was nothing Jackson would do later in the films that I could not forgive. I was, incidentally, right about this. Smile)
- Pippin at Bree "It comes in pints?!"
- Weathertop, the moment Aragorn shows up to chase away the Black Riders.
- Gimli, breaking his axe in an attempt to destroy the One Ring at Rivendell.
- Moria, Gandalf's "Fly, you fools!"
(Aside from short moments, in this movie I love nearly all of the Moria sequence. I always look forward to seeing "the ancient realm and city of Dwarrowdelf", the fight at Balin's tomb, Gimli thinking he has scared the goblins, the heartstopping added scene with the falling staircase, and Gandalf's epic confrontation with the Balrog).
- Aragorn, closing Frodo's fingers around the Ring in the final sequence of the film.
(The final sequence of the film is also always much anticipated by me. Aragorn's awesome fighting in it, and the character moments in it for all of the Hobbits, for Boromir, and for Aragorn. I just love them all).
- Boromir's final words ..."my brother, my captain, my king".
- Sam's reply to Frodo's declaration that he is going to Mordor by himself: "Of course, and I am coming with you!"

(If we count EEs, I would add Gimli reminiscing about the three hairs on Galdriel's head. Words cannot adequately express my delight that this got filmed, as this is one of the little things in the books that I really love and it was done well in the movie).

I don't see it as something that distinguishes AUJ from Jackson and Co's previous Middle Earth movies. I;d say it is a feature they all share.

Superuser / Moderator

Jan 28 2013, 3:38am

Post #8 of 14 (224 views)
From memory, that's how gramma's Geeky Observation Lists started. [In reply to] Can't Post

She asked people for the little moments they loved in FOTR (mine was the trailing corner of Frodo's cloak as he leaves Aragorn on top of Amon Hen) so that she could watch for them when she saw the film next, and those replies grew into the Geeky Observation List.

So yes, I think there were as many people with favourite moments back then as there are now for AUJ. I love seeing people delight in the little things in the films!

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.

Ataahua's stories


Jan 28 2013, 5:00pm

Post #9 of 14 (204 views)
Love and fear for FOTR [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree so much Entmaiden....I did not even see FOTR until FEBRUARY!!! My husband finally dragged me out. I was so afraid it would stink, and then there was Bilbo saying "like butter scraped over too much bread..." and that's become a huge moment for me in FOTR because its where I allowed the love to start. I have been lucky enough to sit next to some younger fans in several screenings, some of whom were first time Tolkien viewers, some of whom were familiar with LOTR, and their insights surprised me a bit at first. Overwhelmingly (by which I mean all of them) said that they had so much more feeling and that it was easier to bond with Bilbo vs. Frodo.
I have always adored them both, but I have to admit that this film has wriggled under my skin in a big way.

...she took the point at once, but she also took the spoons.

Grey Havens

Jan 28 2013, 7:41pm

Post #10 of 14 (170 views)
I don't remember it quite like this... [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't remember actually holding my breath for most of the movie! Yes, there were (and still are) lots of little things to look for in FOTR, and I was completely in love with it from my first viewing, and there were a few little moments I held my breath for ("There's Figwit!"), but I don't remember being quite so excited about each next little moment. For FOTR, I remember looking for the little things (and I still look for them), but in AUJ, I'm holding my breath waiting for them -- and I think AUJ has a lot more of them. Maybe it's because AUJ has Thorin, lol!


Jan 28 2013, 8:46pm

Post #11 of 14 (161 views)
Ha! [In reply to] Can't Post

Well, of course, there is that ....but you are right, and a large part of the moment-to-moment excitement is the amazing spectrum of chraracterizations we have in Hobbit. (As PJ said what he thought was the worst curse of 13 Dwarves has turned into a great blessing, to paraphrase.) And the time that can be given to adding in those details, reactions and interactions. I posted somewhere else that thankfully PJ sort of scraped together enough clout for 3 LOTR films instead of one (shudder) or two (yuck). And thankfully that success (GO US!) has led to us being able to have The Hobbit done with full and loving justice, with the luxury of all those details and moments. So many of which are indeed breathtaking.

...she took the point at once, but she also took the spoons.

(This post was edited by Brethil on Jan 28 2013, 8:52pm)

Aragalen the Green

Jan 28 2013, 10:43pm

Post #12 of 14 (152 views)
Senior moments. [In reply to] Can't Post

Just because I can :)

There it is: dwarves are not heroes, but calculating folk with a great idea of the value of money; some are tricky and treacherous and pretty bad lots; some are not, but are decent enough people like Thorin and Company, if you don't expect too much.


Jan 29 2013, 7:23am

Post #13 of 14 (138 views)
You just reminded me of something [In reply to] Can't Post

When you were talking about how wonderful it was to hear the line about 'butter, scraped over too much bread...'

Wasn't there a lovely story that Sean Astin told about filming The Two Towers, where he promised someone who loved the books that he would squeeze in Sam's wonder at seeing an oliphaunt? It was very sweet. Someone will remember.


Jan 29 2013, 6:50pm

Post #14 of 14 (138 views)
vaguely [In reply to] Can't Post

Do have a shadowy recollection of that. Going to try to track it down.
Prime example of what makes it all work...the heart is in the text and on the screen, and in everyone who put it there and of course, us.

Incidentally I also can never ever miss the sight of Frodo and Faramir both gazing at Osgiliath in the failing light. "The Ring cannot save Gondor..."

...she took the point at once, but she also took the spoons.


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