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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Comments from a non-fan
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Súlimë
Rivendell


Feb 5 2013, 4:14pm

Post #1 of 37 (1433 views)
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Comments from a non-fan Can't Post

I finally managed to convince my boyfriend to go see AUJ. He is not really a fan of fantasy, and only has a very vague impression of the Lord of the Rings movies. He used to get Gandalf mixed up with Dumbledore.

Anyway, after much hype from me, he agreed to see AUJ -- a bit reluctantly of course. I think he was just wondering why I liked it so much.

Here are some of his comments after the movie:

- The Erebor flashback was AWESOME

- He liked all the wizards (yep, all three -- Saruman included). He asked with interest about the blue wizards and whether they were going to appear in the next movie. He was not quite sure if Galadriel was also a wizard. His favorite wizard was Radagast, who he thought was very entertaining.

- Liked the bunny sled and the hedgehog.

- Felt that The Company was totally useless and kept getting themselves into trouble and always had to wait for Gandalf to save the day.

- Gollum was great.

- There was too much killing (!) He was wondering why they had to kill everything they came across: trolls, goblins, wargs (which he thought were wolves; he did not like it when he thought they were killing animals)

- Overall, the movie was entertaining to watch, but the main problem was that he felt that nothing happened, and it was just a series of the same thing (company gets into trouble with some enemy, Gandalf saves them, repeat).

- He looks forward to seeing more of the dragon in the next film.

That's it. Just sharing :)


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


Feb 5 2013, 4:27pm

Post #2 of 37 (751 views)
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sweet! [In reply to] Can't Post

Nice insights!

It's interesting to see what non-geeks think. We get so lost in our own viewpoint ... we need to step outside it and see what others are seeing.

I think the "episodic nature" of The Hobbit (the book even more so... and Narnia had the same structure) must be an artifact of the time and place the book was written. We have such different standards for storytelling now.

Go outside and play...


Escapist
Gondor


Feb 5 2013, 4:31pm

Post #3 of 37 (760 views)
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An episodic story is perfect [In reply to] Can't Post

for reading bedtime stories to children, one chapter each night.


(This post was edited by Escapist on Feb 5 2013, 4:32pm)


Yva
Rivendell


Feb 5 2013, 5:58pm

Post #4 of 37 (737 views)
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Too much killing [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
There was too much killing (!) He was wondering why they had to kill everything they came across: trolls, goblins, wargs (which he thought were wolves; he did not like it when he thought they were killing animals)


I actually had the same feeling, at times. Not because I have issues with movie violence as such (I guess I play too much evil videogames), but because it felt we were leaving the cartoon violence territory and crossing into the real violence territory in scenes that still had too much of a fairy-tale feel, and the fairy-tale elements and realistic elements didn't mix well in those moments where more realistic violence had to be shown in order for us to believe the dwarves were fighting for their lives.

For me, this was very apparent in the the trolls scene. Their appearance, the snot joke, the funny voices, smacking each other with saucepans, dwarves in their undies (later), all this indicated a light, fairy-tale tone. Then suddenly the dwarves run in and start this fierce, brutal fight. Even though there was no blood shown, I found myself wondering if this was necessary, and I felt sorry for the trolls because after all, they were just hungry.

Goblintown suffered a little bit from similar discrepancy in my opinion, but at least we know the goblins are essentially evil. It wasn't a huge problem for me.

Granted, I think the Trolls scene might have been the most difficult in this respect and from now on the more realistic violence should't be causing too many issues. We crossed the Misty Mountains, we're now past the funny Trolls and cartoony Goblins, and we'll be dealing with dark and evil spiders, orcs, dragons and... um, zombies.

As for killing the Wargs - I understand why would anyone feel there's too much killing here. I'm kind of sensitive to the whole wolves/hyenas = evil prejudice, even if they are magical half-wolves.




Quote
Felt that The Company was totally useless and kept getting themselves into trouble and always had to wait for Gandalf to save the day.


Hehe, too true :)


Rostron2
Gondor


Feb 5 2013, 6:05pm

Post #5 of 37 (654 views)
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Interesting// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


andwise
Rivendell


Feb 5 2013, 8:17pm

Post #6 of 37 (594 views)
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nice to hear... [In reply to] Can't Post

From non fans isn't it?!....I talked my wife in to a viewing which I was quite pleased about,although she did a company me to ROTK 10 years ago and she enjoyed that...anyway,she loved the first hour and commented that it was better and 'funnier' than FOTR.she particularly loved the arrival of each dwarf and the singing.after the trolls I think she thought it was going to go more like rings but she was pleasantly surprised with the capers in goblin town,espesially the goblin king! also loved the eagles rescue and finally jumped out of her skin when smaugs snout blows the treasure away and the growl echoes round erebor.haha.all in all she enjoyed it more than LOTR as she always says its 'a bit heavy going' the hobbit was 'more fun' that'll do for me! SmileSmile

Arrow....black arrow,I have saved you to the last.you have never failed me and always I have recovered you.I had you from my father and he from old.if ever you came from the forges of the true king under the mountain,go now and speed well


Kimtc
Rohan


Feb 6 2013, 1:26am

Post #7 of 37 (497 views)
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The sheer amount of Goblin hacking is overwhelming [In reply to] Can't Post

But I felt the same way in some of the LOTR movies, particularly the way Legolas and Gimli actually kept a running score. And everyone Aragorn came near got his head chopped off. These guys were like the Middle Earth Terminator.


glor
Rohan

Feb 6 2013, 2:29am

Post #8 of 37 (521 views)
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Spouses, my husband... [In reply to] Can't Post

Husband: That was brilliant, better than LOTR.

Me: why?

Husband: It had proper blokes in it, dwarves that is, you know, proper blokes you'd enjoy taking on a pub crawl or lads night out. Not those self-sacrificing pure types whom go on a quest to save the world, dwarves are fun and the misbehave the way blokes misbehave. Oh and it had Ken Stott, and that Armitage guy that was Lucas North and Guy of Gisborne, cool.

Me: (wondering if Husband of 26 years, has any concept of hot dwarves, probably not) Anything else...

Husband: yeah it was funny, proper character based humour, and great acting, for a change, loved it. I was expecting to hate it actually and fall asleep half way through. I assume we are getting the blu-ray.

My husband, a man that loves; The Sopranos, Tarantino, Guy Ritchie and movies with Bob Hoskins, Ray Winstone and Jason Statham in them.


Súlimë
Rivendell


Feb 6 2013, 2:49am

Post #9 of 37 (495 views)
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My thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

With the trolls, I didn't think the dwarves were actually winning, so it felt okay for me. I just felt the dwarves were giving the trolls paper cuts, and the best they were hoping for was not to kill the trolls, but just to get Bilbo out of there. (Except for someone knocking out a troll's teeth, which I thought was a bit too violent.) And being turned into stone didn't seem as bad for some reason.

For the goblins, however, it felt a bit like slaughter. I don't know why, but I had always felt that the Goblin King's death was quite violent, and his body falling on top of the dwarves at the end seemed a bit much -- since it was played for laughs. In the EE I hope they would extend the Goblin King's scene and actually have him do something horrible to the dwarves to sort of 'justify' his death.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Feb 6 2013, 4:01am

Post #10 of 37 (466 views)
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All right. I think that is a fair read. [In reply to] Can't Post

The Galadriel business hardly surprises me, and it is something the film directors need to do a better job of clearing up. She is awesome, and I love her, yet they have her coming across like the Head of both The Council and The Order of The Istari. . . and that is a problem.

That does pretty much sum up the dwarves. Funny, but obviously far less effective than a Wizard, which is as it should be. They are even more like that in the book. lol

Glad he thought the Wargs were wolves! Clearly giant, monster, evil wolves, but wovles just the same. We couldn't figure out what the Wargs in Two Towers were. . . mutant Hyena at best. I understand his sympathy for them though. I think the films could have done a better job of making clear how independant the Wargs are. They seem totally at the beck and call of Azog, not as much like the seperate but cooperating agency of evil beings that they are.

In Reply To
I finally managed to convince my boyfriend to go see AUJ. He is not really a fan of fantasy, and only has a very vague impression of the Lord of the Rings movies. He used to get Gandalf mixed up with Dumbledore.

Anyway, after much hype from me, he agreed to see AUJ -- a bit reluctantly of course. I think he was just wondering why I liked it so much.

Here are some of his comments after the movie:

- The Erebor flashback was AWESOME

- He liked all the wizards (yep, all three -- Saruman included). He asked with interest about the blue wizards and whether they were going to appear in the next movie. He was not quite sure if Galadriel was also a wizard. His favorite wizard was Radagast, who he thought was very entertaining.

- Liked the bunny sled and the hedgehog.

- Felt that The Company was totally useless and kept getting themselves into trouble and always had to wait for Gandalf to save the day.

- Gollum was great.

- There was too much killing (!) He was wondering why they had to kill everything they came across: trolls, goblins, wargs (which he thought were wolves; he did not like it when he thought they were killing animals)

- Overall, the movie was entertaining to watch, but the main problem was that he felt that nothing happened, and it was just a series of the same thing (company gets into trouble with some enemy, Gandalf saves them, repeat).

- He looks forward to seeing more of the dragon in the next film.

That's it. Just sharing :)


"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."


Gelir
Bree

Feb 6 2013, 4:28am

Post #11 of 37 (445 views)
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But wait... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
For the goblins, however, it felt a bit like slaughter. I don't know why, but I had always felt that the Goblin King's death was quite violent, and his body falling on top of the dwarves at the end seemed a bit much -- since it was played for laughs. In the EE I hope they would extend the Goblin King's scene and actually have him do something horrible to the dwarves to sort of 'justify' his death.


I think the goblins are very evil, even if there are humorous moments. It was like slaughter, but not unjustified. What else could the dwarves do? If the goblins had nicely stepped aside, they would have run out of there without any killing. The goblins were attacking them as they were trying to flee, so they did what they had to do.

The goblin king was indeed about to do horrible things (or get his underlings to do them). "Bones will be shattered, necks will be wrung. You'll be beaten and battered, from racks you'll be hung. You will die down here and never be found, down in the deep of goblin town." I think that pretty much says it all right there.

Just for good measure though - what about "kill them, kill them all! Cut off his head!" :)

With the wargs - I understand what everyone is saying about animals, and in life I feel the same way. I'd certainly never go on a wolf killing spree. However... if I was in a situation where it was either kill a wolf or be killed by one, with escape being impossible, I'd opt for trying to kill the wolf. And in the movies, I think it's pretty clear that the wargs are not wolves, and they are evil.

As for the trolls... I do prefer them getting turned to stone vs. killed by swords, but I think they also got what was coming to them. They'd just eaten a farmer and his family, after all.

None of this is to say that I'm in favor of all the killing or battle scenes. I generally prefer for action scenes to be shorter - in this movie, LotR, or pretty much any other movie with long action scenes, fantasy or not. I do enjoy the battle scenes in the Hobbit, but had they opted to shorten them up in favor of something else (maybe more dialogue from some of the dwarves we didn't hear from as much), I'd have been perfectly happy with that.

I just think that given the scenes as presented, the dwarves, Bilbo, and Gandalf did the right thing when facing danger.


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Feb 6 2013, 4:51am

Post #12 of 37 (453 views)
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There were moments when it was too graphic. Thror really stands out. [In reply to] Can't Post

His story is important, but I think, having so clearly not forgotten that children would be a major part of their audience (all the child geared humour and the bunnies made that plain enough), that they could have been a little less graphic in showing what happened, rather than lingering for a good 30 seconds on a truly grisly and horrifying moment.

In Reply To

Quote
There was too much killing (!) He was wondering why they had to kill everything they came across: trolls, goblins, wargs (which he thought were wolves; he did not like it when he thought they were killing animals)


I actually had the same feeling, at times. Not because I have issues with movie violence as such (I guess I play too much evil videogames), but because it felt we were leaving the cartoon violence territory and crossing into the real violence territory in scenes that still had too much of a fairy-tale feel, and the fairy-tale elements and realistic elements didn't mix well in those moments where more realistic violence had to be shown in order for us to believe the dwarves were fighting for their lives.

For me, this was very apparent in the the trolls scene. Their appearance, the snot joke, the funny voices, smacking each other with saucepans, dwarves in their undies (later), all this indicated a light, fairy-tale tone. Then suddenly the dwarves run in and start this fierce, brutal fight. Even though there was no blood shown, I found myself wondering if this was necessary, and I felt sorry for the trolls because after all, they were just hungry.

Goblintown suffered a little bit from similar discrepancy in my opinion, but at least we know the goblins are essentially evil. It wasn't a huge problem for me.

Granted, I think the Trolls scene might have been the most difficult in this respect and from now on the more realistic violence should't be causing too many issues. We crossed the Misty Mountains, we're now past the funny Trolls and cartoony Goblins, and we'll be dealing with dark and evil spiders, orcs, dragons and... um, zombies.

As for killing the Wargs - I understand why would anyone feel there's too much killing here. I'm kind of sensitive to the whole wolves/hyenas = evil prejudice, even if they are magical half-wolves.




Quote
Felt that The Company was totally useless and kept getting themselves into trouble and always had to wait for Gandalf to save the day.


Hehe, too true :)


"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."


Súlimë
Rivendell


Feb 6 2013, 5:06am

Post #13 of 37 (425 views)
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Heh [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I think the goblins are very evil, even if there are humorous moments. It was like slaughter, but not unjustified. What else could the dwarves do? If the goblins had nicely stepped aside, they would have run out of there without any killing. The goblins were attacking them as they were trying to flee, so they did what they had to do.

The goblin king was indeed about to do horrible things (or get his underlings to do them). "Bones will be shattered, necks will be wrung. You'll be beaten and battered, from racks you'll be hung. You will die down here and never be found, down in the deep of goblin town." I think that pretty much says it all right there.

Just for good measure though - what about "kill them, kill them all! Cut off his head!" :)

That is why it is interesting. I know that the goblins are evil. The Goblin King was about to torture them (and seems to take pleasure in doing so), so I don't know why I felt that way. I guess it's the fact that they all were 'easy kills' made it feel like they could have gotten out of the way without killing that many.

If I remember the book correctly, they were only trying to escape and at the end 'took a stand' when needed. The actual fight scene was quite short (with the goblins running away from Beater and Biter)

I also did not like all the unnecessary beheading. Maybe it's just me. I don't mind 'serious' violence, but violence for comedic effects simply does not sit very well with me.


In Reply To
None of this is to say that I'm in favor of all the killing or battle scenes. I generally prefer for action scenes to be shorter - in this movie, LotR, or pretty much any other movie with long action scenes, fantasy or not. I do enjoy the battle scenes in the Hobbit, but had they opted to shorten them up in favor of something else (maybe more dialogue from some of the dwarves we didn't hear from as much), I'd have been perfectly happy with that.

My thoughts exactly! I could have done with more dialogue and humor and less action.


Oh, and the trolls -- I totally agree. I felt sorry for the troll in FotR and thought Legolas was mean.


(This post was edited by Súlimë on Feb 6 2013, 5:07am)


Súlimë
Rivendell


Feb 6 2013, 5:10am

Post #14 of 37 (416 views)
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Yep [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Glad he thought the Wargs were wolves! Clearly giant, monster, evil wolves, but wovles just the same. We couldn't figure out what the Wargs in Two Towers were. . . mutant Hyena at best. I understand his sympathy for them though. I think the films could have done a better job of making clear how independant the Wargs are. They seem totally at the beck and call of Azog, not as much like the seperate but cooperating agency of evil beings that they are.

Exactly! It's pretty clear in the book that they are there of their own free will.


Elizabeth
Valinor


Feb 6 2013, 5:11am

Post #15 of 37 (431 views)
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The Goblin Town sequence was too long. [In reply to] Can't Post

Mostly, it was too repetitive. Too many goblins, too many falling catwalks (that meme is so overdone!). The swarm of goblins was so great that it was completely cartoonish. Fewer goblins, who were better fighters (not subject to being swept away by the dozens with a single sword thrust) would have made a more exciting contest.

The Great Goblin was really almost endearingly repulsive. I understand that guy thinking it was unfortunate that he had to be killed.








Súlimë
Rivendell


Feb 6 2013, 5:14am

Post #16 of 37 (454 views)
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I laughed out loud at 'proper blokes' [In reply to] Can't Post

:D

I agree though. I like the more down-to-earth feel of The Hobbit.


Arannir
Valinor

Feb 6 2013, 8:37am

Post #17 of 37 (408 views)
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Yap [In reply to] Can't Post

Many of my friends who liked LotR and Tolkien but as one-time viewers and one-time readers (no purists or even "fans"), also said they liked that it did not take itself so extremely seriously as LotR did.

I can understand what they mean... some weeks ago FotR was on TV. I zapped in in the middle of it and was only watching while doing other stuff. When you are not really immersed (same goes with the audio book of LotR) you sometimes - even as a semi-purist like me - think: "Oh boy are you all full of fate and doom!" :D


sador
Half-elven


Feb 6 2013, 9:29am

Post #18 of 37 (384 views)
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Nice to read! [In reply to] Can't Post

And thank you for posting!

The Erebor flashback was AWESOME

It shifts the emphasis of the story from Bilbo to Thorin though. Just like the inclusion of the battle of Azanulbizar did.
I'm not sure if it is for better or worse - but the title seems a bit wrong.

He liked all the wizards (yep, all three -- Saruman included).

Okay, I believe you he doesn't remember LotR.
Saruman is a very nice guy in An Unexpected Journey. The only reason not to like him is because we know he's going to turn traitor soon.
(And those who have read The Tale of Years and Unfinished Tales know he is already one, but that is a weakness of Tolkien's story)

He asked with interest about the blue wizards and whether they were going to appear in the next movie.
Don't give Jackson et.al. any more ideas!

He was not quite sure if Galadriel was also a wizard.
This movie is from the dwarves perspective, isn't it? Remember movie-Gimli's line about "an elvish witch wielding great powers"?

On the other hand, Gandalf's reverence to her is a bit odd.

His favorite wizard was Radagast, who he thought was very entertaining.
I think so too, although Saruman's insinuation regarding mushrooms sounded too BotR to me. Also, what does that make LotR-Pippin?
On the other hand, the same Saruman will later trash Gandalf for smoking - and turn traitor himself. That's as counter-culture as can be, don't you think?

Liked the bunny sled and the hedgehog.

I loved the hedgehog myself.
Regarding the bunny sled - well, I dropped off this board a few days before the premier; but what I've read here before this already prepared me for, and prejudiced me against it. My reaction to it was "I quite expected something far worst".

Felt that The Company was totally useless and kept getting themselves into trouble and always had to wait for Gandalf to save the day.

The actually did fight, unlike the book-Company who were dumb enough not to bring any weapons.
Now these folks were totally useless! Are you sure your boyfriend wasn't reading the book?

Gollum was great.

He still has the Ring. Remember The Passing of the Marshes?

Quote
No, sweet one. See, my precious: if we has it, then we can escape, even for Him, eh? Perhaps we grows very strong, stronger than Wraiths. Lord Smeagol? Gollum the Great? The Gollum? Eat fish every day, three times a day, fresh from the sea, Most Precious Gollum! Must have it. We wants it, we wants it, we wants it!



There was too much killing (!) He was wondering why they had to kill everything they came across: trolls, goblins, wargs (which he thought were wolves; he did not like it when he thought they were killing animals)
That's fantasy stuff. Personally, I don't like it myself - although when I was younger I guess I did.

And wargs are wolves.

Overall, the movie was entertaining to watch, but the main problem was that he felt that nothing happened, and it was just a series of the same thing (company gets into trouble with some enemy, Gandalf saves them, repeat).
That's a fair criticism - of the book, too.
The best explanation I have heard was that in the first chapters Tolkien was establishing middle-earth for the reader. As long as viewers see The Hobbit after The Lord of the Rings, it will feel as if nothing is properly happening.

He looks forward to seeing more of the dragon in the next film.
Yeah, I think that was a good one - the movie both began and ended with Smaug, but still we don't really know what he looks like. Excellent!


Thank you for posting this!




glor
Rohan

Feb 6 2013, 12:23pm

Post #19 of 37 (382 views)
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well My husband is a 'proper bloke', born in the East End of London.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I do think my 55 year old Husband's opinion of AUJ, places a different perspective on the characterization and even the look of the dwarves. My 24 year old son has some friends whom are not fantasy fans but, enjoyed AUJ because of the dwarves.


stoutfiles
Rohan


Feb 6 2013, 1:31pm

Post #20 of 37 (363 views)
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Blue wizards will never appear because of film rights [In reply to] Can't Post

Had Gandalf even said their names they could have gotten in legal trouble; hence, he "forgot".


Ardamírë
Valinor


Feb 6 2013, 1:51pm

Post #21 of 37 (383 views)
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Even the fact that they are "blue" [In reply to] Can't Post

is not legal. That information is not in The Hobbit or LOTR anywhere. It's in Unfinished Tales...which they don't have the rights to.

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).


FrogmortonJustice65
Rivendell


Feb 6 2013, 3:56pm

Post #22 of 37 (318 views)
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interesting insight [In reply to] Can't Post

The only part of the movie that struck me as "too much violence" was the Trolls scene. I understand not including the talking diary for the purpose of maintaining an adult tone, but turning the scene into an impromptu battle scene was a little strange. I didn't necessarily mind it, but it's typical PJ I suppose.


arithmancer
Grey Havens

Feb 6 2013, 4:46pm

Post #23 of 37 (307 views)
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Troll "battle"/book version [In reply to] Can't Post

There was fighting in the book. The Dwarves came up one by one and wound up in sacks, but "Bifur and Bombur had given a lot of trouble, and fought like mad, as Dwarves will when cornered", and Thorin (the last Dwarf to come) stuck a branch from the fire in one of the Trolls' eyes, and knocked out another's tooth before being bagged by the third.

Personally, I don't think suggesting 13 Dwarves all came up one by one and got nabbed in order could be done while maintaining an "adult tone". Surely at some point it should have occured to them to work together... The movie has them doing so in fairly short order; only Kili tries to deal with them alone (he may or may not know help is on the way).


Loresilme
Valinor


Feb 6 2013, 5:10pm

Post #24 of 37 (302 views)
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ROFL [In reply to] Can't Post

this:

Me: (wondering if Husband of 26 years, has any concept of hot dwarves, probably not) Anything else...


totally spewed out on the monitor on that one, lol


Originally I had wanted my husband to accompany me to see TH, but he's not into fantasy stuff, and at this point, after he's been wondering why I've now gone to see it so many times, if he does finally see it with me, he's going to take one look at RA/Thorin and say, 'Ohhhhh, right, ok, that explains that....'Sly








(This post was edited by Loresilme on Feb 6 2013, 5:13pm)


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Feb 6 2013, 8:11pm

Post #25 of 37 (278 views)
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Too funny! [In reply to] Can't Post

At least you both have managed to keep your husbands in the dark about the hot dwarves. Mine's just as big a Tolkien geek as I am -- actually, no, he's bigger and much more scholarly about it -- and he's gone with me four times now to AUJ, including on opening day. He has no illusions about why I've gone 9 times without him! Fortunately, he's pretty indulgent.

And, I should add: If he had any illusions whatsoever, they're gone now: he's read my Thorin-limerick on Main.


(This post was edited by Roheryn on Feb 6 2013, 8:17pm)

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