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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Small but Bemusing Matter of Bloodless Swords
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The Grey Elf
Gondor


Mar 10 2013, 4:10pm

Post #1 of 37 (1508 views)
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The Small but Bemusing Matter of Bloodless Swords Can't Post

Unless orcs, goblins and their ilk have invisible blood or elven-made weaponry happens to also be magically self-cleaning, I don't understand why the swords weilded by our heroes -- and even the baddies? -- remain spotless despite savagely cutting down so many lives. I'm not a gore-lover but for the sake of reality, it does seem to be an uncharacteristic oversight on PJ's part. Unless LOTR was like that too and I just don't remember.


Glorfindela
Valinor

Mar 10 2013, 4:29pm

Post #2 of 37 (738 views)
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Blood and gore [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe any blood – apart from a small amount when Azog's hand was amputated – was omitted from the film because it needed to be relatively child friendly. I think the same was the case in the LOTR films.

I was OK with that – I don't like films with spattered blood all over the place, and fountains of blood being spilled…


(This post was edited by Glorfindela on Mar 10 2013, 4:30pm)


Tintallė
Gondor


Mar 10 2013, 4:39pm

Post #3 of 37 (698 views)
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Bloodless - and also GLOWless [In reply to] Can't Post

I find it a tad disappointing that Glamdring and Orcrist do not glow blue around the orcs in AUJ. For me, at least, this is a major error.

Considering Azog's amputation scene replete with blood spurting from the stump I'm surprised there wasn't black orc blood all over the swords during the fights. About the only blood to be seen was on Thorin's face after he was whacked by Azog and munched by the white warg. Oh, and the little bit on Bilbo's scraped knuckles after he fell to Gollum's lair.

I guess in fantasy land it's okay to have bloodless battles. And the flashing swords look so much better when they're bright and shiny!


painjoiker
Grey Havens


Mar 10 2013, 4:40pm

Post #4 of 37 (650 views)
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I can remember times in LotR when there was blood on the swords, [In reply to] Can't Post

but I don't think it was most of the time though Crazy

Vocalist in the progressive metal band Renamed.


CathrineB
Rohan


Mar 10 2013, 4:45pm

Post #5 of 37 (604 views)
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I didn't notice this [In reply to] Can't Post

... in the Hobbit actually.
But in films like Narnia it was laughable to watch a supposed war with no blood at all. I don't need blood or gore, but that's one of the reasons Narnia doesn't work for me. Obvious lack of blood.


Glorfindela
Valinor

Mar 10 2013, 4:46pm

Post #6 of 37 (646 views)
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Blue swords [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I find it a tad disappointing that Glamdring and Orcrist do not glow blue around the orcs in AUJ. For me, at least, this is a major error.


I also thought this was an error, but someone (on here, I believe) corrected me on that. I think they said that not all of the Elven swords glow blue when Orcs are in the vicinity?


DanielLB
Immortal


Mar 10 2013, 4:47pm

Post #7 of 37 (589 views)
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It's never really bothered me [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'm not a gore-lover but for the sake of reality, it does seem to be an uncharacteristic oversight on PJ's part.


There's a lot of things in the films that down follow the laws of reality. Wink


Tintallė
Gondor


Mar 10 2013, 5:04pm

Post #8 of 37 (665 views)
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The books describe it well - [In reply to] Can't Post

From The Hobbit, about Gandalf and Glamdring:
"He took out his sword again, and again it flashed in the dark by itself. It burned with a rage that made it gleam if goblins were about; now it was bright as blue flame for delight in the killing of the great lord of the cave."

There's a later reference to Goblin-cleaver and Foe-hammer "shining cold and bright right in their [the goblins'] astonished eyes" in the dark of the caverns.

There are also references to Glamdring glowing in Moria in The Fellowship of the Ring.


Glorfindela
Valinor

Mar 10 2013, 5:27pm

Post #9 of 37 (604 views)
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Swords [In reply to] Can't Post

The swords do flash a bit when they are in use (I was particularly looking out for this in my last viewing of the film), so I suppose that can be taken to mean that they are 'shining cold and bright', as per your reference to the two Elven swords.


Arannir
Valinor

Mar 10 2013, 6:11pm

Post #10 of 37 (574 views)
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Yes... [In reply to] Can't Post

... Orcrist glows and "sings" for a moment when Thorin pulls it out before they enter the secret tunnel to Rivendell and he tries to face the warg riders.

Actually, I guess they took it out because it can look rather Jedi-like and can get a bit much, especially during night fights. One of the things that work much better in your mind than on screen, I think.

Sting is a bit different since it has the purpose of telling us about foes close to the heroes on several occasions (and about the death of the one who ends up as Gollum's lunch).

So, I am fine with the glowing swords on a small dosis, but can see reasons for Glamdring and Orcrist not glowing. I was actually surprised they even showed the Orcs' reaction to the swords.

The whole sword episode was something that felt very EE-like to me (the talk in Rivendell, the reactions of the Orcs)... though I was pleased they did not leave it out :)


Old Toby
Gondor


Mar 10 2013, 6:32pm

Post #11 of 37 (526 views)
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Yes, I took brief notice [In reply to] Can't Post

of the general bloodlessness of the swords, but you know, I just don't care. In fact, I prefer it this way myself. I would imagine that it was purposely done that way in order to keep it more child-friendly. And IMO we have way too much graphic blood and guts on the screen nowdays, so much so that we've gotten used to seeing it. And, I suppose, some people actually miss the gore! Yuk!

(Dwalin, looking at his sword: "Where's the blood?")

"Age is always advancing and I'm fairly sure it's up to no good." Harry Dresden (Jim Butcher)

(This post was edited by Old Toby on Mar 10 2013, 6:40pm)


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Mar 10 2013, 7:03pm

Post #12 of 37 (491 views)
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It did not bother me either [In reply to] Can't Post

I personally am not a fan of overly graphic stuff. Just not my gig. I was fine with this.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


glor
Rohan

Mar 10 2013, 7:14pm

Post #13 of 37 (499 views)
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PG-13 [In reply to] Can't Post

Not just child friendly, cinema classification friendly.

Bloody battle scenes tend to up the classification to an R, 15 depending on your nations classification system. Most historical epics think Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven are R rated becaue of the realistic necessity of portraying blood in the battle scenes. LOTR had equally epic and violent battle scenes but minus the blood and that sneaks under the R rating giving the films the contractual pg-13 classification.


Arandir
Gondor


Mar 10 2013, 7:19pm

Post #14 of 37 (496 views)
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Azanulbizar should have a bit bloody! [In reply to] Can't Post

As with the others, I didn't particularly mind the bloodless-ness of the film considering it's supposed to be more light in nature.

However ...

When it came to the flashback at Azanulbizar, I would have expected it to be slightly more grittier and with some blood. I mean, that battle is supposed to be one of the harshest and worst engagements ever in Middle-Earth, however, even during fighting - the ground is visibly "clean".

Unfortunately to me, that takes a bit of the atmosphere away. Of course, I wouldn't expect (nor want) a blood-thirsty portrayal but that slight "messy-ness" would have (in my opinion) added something even more to the seriousness of the scene ...

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Review


MouthofSauron
Tol Eressea


Mar 10 2013, 7:30pm

Post #15 of 37 (479 views)
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disagree [In reply to] Can't Post

if you watch Azanulbizar again, at the end of the battle you scene hundreds of dead orcs lying on the ground.


take me down to the woodland realm where the trees are green and the elf women are pretty....Oh will you please take me home!!


lindorian
The Shire

Mar 10 2013, 7:30pm

Post #16 of 37 (478 views)
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Children's book [In reply to] Can't Post

Bearing in mind that this is actually a kids book it would have been out-of-place for it to look like Game of Thrones in the blood department. My kid could handle the violence but with blood spurting in the battle scenes, I would have had my hand over her eyes the whole time.


Arandir
Gondor


Mar 10 2013, 7:38pm

Post #17 of 37 (465 views)
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fair enough, however [In reply to] Can't Post

the "feel" is still too "clean" ... although the sweat and filth on the character's faces certainly helps, there still seems to be something missing.

Even when Thorin leads the charge at the end, there are far too many shining armour ...

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Review


Kimtc
Rohan


Mar 10 2013, 8:45pm

Post #18 of 37 (461 views)
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I thought Azanulbizar was a much grittier battle than any in LOTR. [In reply to] Can't Post

Heck, Legolas and Gimli never even got a paper cut. And only Aragorn seemed to sweat. But by gritty, I mean it looked like they were really whaling on each other, and the dwarves looked like they felt it.

As for blood, I remember one particular moment in Moria in FOTR when Aragorn cut the head off an Orc, and black blood spurted up like something out of "Kill Bill." It stuck out because there was so little blood otherwise. And I think I saw Aragorn wipe blood off his sword once right at the end of FOTR. Given how little blood there was in those movies, I guess I didn't expect it here, either.


In Reply To
As with the others, I didn't particularly mind the bloodless-ness of the film considering it's supposed to be more light in nature.

However ...

When it came to the flashback at Azanulbizar, I would have expected it to be slightly more grittier and with some blood. I mean, that battle is supposed to be one of the harshest and worst engagements ever in Middle-Earth, however, even during fighting - the ground is visibly "clean".

Unfortunately to me, that takes a bit of the atmosphere away. Of course, I wouldn't expect (nor want) a blood-thirsty portrayal but that slight "messy-ness" would have (in my opinion) added something even more to the seriousness of the scene ...



Maciliel
Tol Eressea

Mar 10 2013, 10:32pm

Post #19 of 37 (418 views)
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blue swords [In reply to] Can't Post

 
it's not consistent, but i thought i saw at least a couple of times that i thought either orcrist or glamdring was glowing blue.

once was on the warg plains (orcrist).

another was just as they were running down the hill, right after they exited the goblin cave. it's a far away shot, looking down at the company, but it looks like one of the swords is glowing blue. at least for a short bit.

.


Carne
Tol Eressea

Mar 10 2013, 10:59pm

Post #20 of 37 (431 views)
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Found it annoying at some times [In reply to] Can't Post

Especially as LOTR had blood and guts flying, blood stained swords and other types of violence. Fitting of course as they were indeed impaling and decapitating living creatures with blood flowing through their veins

The Hobbit went for a different approach, most likely to keep it more kid-friendly, despite also being PG-13, so the same rules should apply. I'm thinking this was more the studio intervening as opposed to a decision by Jackson.

As I said, some moments annoyed me. Most notably those when a shiny sword is lodged into an orc or warg, only to be pulled out just as shiny and completely spotless. I know with PG-13 movies you're not allowed to show blood poor out of a wound (unless the blood is colored, because it's no longer "human"!), but they could at least have dirtied the weapons up a bit throughout the movie, with blood and dirt.

As for the people saying "I don't like much blood anyways". Fair enough, but when you stab a living creature there will be blood, whether you like it or not. I myself don't see how everything being completely bloodless makes it better.

I hope the BOFA won't be as clean.


(This post was edited by Carne on Mar 10 2013, 11:03pm)


Tintallė
Gondor


Mar 11 2013, 12:59am

Post #21 of 37 (395 views)
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Yes, I LOVE that moment! [In reply to] Can't Post

It took me a few viewings to realize that Orcrist was already unsheathed, and that it sang when Thorin brought it up at the ready against the orc pack. Wonderful moment - wonderful observation!

This is one of the many tiny details that makes me feel as though Jackson loves the source material as much as I. It is but one of the many examples of his attention to the tiniest, tiniest details that make the film simply extraordinary.


Loresilme
Valinor


Mar 11 2013, 1:19am

Post #22 of 37 (382 views)
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I loved that moment! [In reply to] Can't Post

I had forgotten about that! It made that ringing or vibrating type of sound. What a cool nod that was. Thanks for mentioning it. arrrrgh .... I am going through such withdrawal, I saw it so many times in the theater and I still wish I could go watch it again :-(.


Lio
Lorien


Mar 11 2013, 1:28am

Post #23 of 37 (357 views)
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Same here [In reply to] Can't Post

I definitely don't think the films should have horror-movie level violence, but the bloodless swords take away from the realism a bit too much. Actually, at first I thought that showing clean swords after they had clearly been used to stab something was an oversight! But apparently it's intentional? Crazy

Want to chat? AIM me at Yami Liokaiser!


Tintallė
Gondor


Mar 11 2013, 1:34am

Post #24 of 37 (374 views)
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I, too, am going through withdrawal [In reply to] Can't Post

I saw it Thursday in 3D but not HFR and the motion blur was rather nauseating. It's still playing in theaters about 40 to 60 minutes from me this coming week, but in 24 fps and no 3D. I am so nuts to see it again that I can't help but go, but after seeing the first gazillion go-rounds in 3D HFR it may prove to be quite a different experience. I don't care, though. Have to go. Have to!

That same Thursday the weather (in San Diego, no less!) and traffic were horrible so I was late. As I entered the theater and walked up the ramp to the seating area the first thing I heard was Thorin's "Gandalf." I think my heart jumped.


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Mar 11 2013, 1:41am

Post #25 of 37 (365 views)
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I think it was done for movie rating reasons. [In reply to] Can't Post

Peter wanted to keep the movie PG-13 (US system) and too much blood would risk an R rating, which would hurt the box office. I remember someone during LOTR said the dividing line between PG-13 and R was "spurting blood". I would surmise that keeping the swords clean is one way to stay on the right side of the ratings poilce.

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