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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Mirkwood Spiders
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The Shire

Mar 22 2013, 10:56pm

Post #1 of 40 (1378 views)
Mirkwood Spiders Can't Post

So I'm not sure if any reason is given for this, but in the scene at Rhogobel, why exactly do the spiders stop attacking when Radagast heals Sebastian? I mean they have no reason to stop, did I miss something?


Mar 22 2013, 11:02pm

Post #2 of 40 (799 views)
Radagast's magic drove them away? [In reply to] Can't Post

Or maybe they thought there was nothing worthwhile in his home. But I think it's because of Raddy drawing the dark magic out of Sebastian that drives them away. Maybe in that spell was something to disorient the spiders?

Lover of Medieval Fantasy
"I know what I must do. It's just... I'm afraid to do it."


Mar 22 2013, 11:11pm

Post #3 of 40 (761 views)
I wondered about that, too [In reply to] Can't Post

A toddler with a toy hammer could have broken into his house. It had to be the magic, but I think it was just that the story wasn't ripe for them, yet. I actually wish PJ had kept them off screen until they encounter Bilbo and the dwarves. It kind of killed the "surprise."


Mar 22 2013, 11:39pm

Post #4 of 40 (714 views)
I think it was Radaghast's power that drove them off. [In reply to] Can't Post

Either that the spiders didn't know he was a wizard and when he started chanting they just thought "He's a wizard? Screw this!" :P

I'm looking forward to Thorin's company encountering the spiders. I hope Jackson taps into both Shelob's scenes from Return of the King and this scene from King Kong:

The Dwarves could start of fighting but slowly get overwhelmed and cocooned... then Bilbo gets his moment to shine.

Yes, my username is terrible.

Tol Eressea

Mar 22 2013, 11:52pm

Post #5 of 40 (757 views)
I though the shot of the spiders skulking off through the woods [In reply to] Can't Post

looked cool, and they did help signal that the forest was "cursed" by a dark magic. It also served to forshadow them for the second movie. But that scene did not make much sense, and was kind of confusing the first time i saw the film. But it wasn't a bad scene, and i liked Radagast's use of magic here-- dark and mysterious. Makes me want to see more of him in the next films, and definitely more spiders.

Superuser / Moderator

Mar 23 2013, 12:13am

Post #6 of 40 (720 views)
I go with theory number two. [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Either that the spiders didn't know he was a wizard and when he started chanting they just thought "He's a wizard? Screw this!" :P

It appeared to me that the spiders realised Radaghast wouldn't be an easy kill, so they skedaddled while they still had all their legs attached to their bodies.

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

Tol Eressea

Mar 23 2013, 1:42am

Post #7 of 40 (668 views)
Bilbo and the spiders [In reply to] Can't Post

I, for one, am hoping PJ forgoes the "attercop, attercop" business LOL. It's one of the parts of the book that always sucked me right out of the story (the other being the talking troll purse) .

Sorry, just had to add that. Carry on.

(This post was edited by Salmacis81 on Mar 23 2013, 1:43am)


Mar 23 2013, 2:24am

Post #8 of 40 (647 views)
They were after Sebastian! [In reply to] Can't Post

"She jabs them with her stinger and they go as limp as a boned fish. Then she has her way with them"

They'd previously stung Sebastian and he'd gone limp. They came back to feed, but Radagast saved him. Smile

(This post was edited by QuackingTroll on Mar 23 2013, 2:24am)

Tol Eressea

Mar 23 2013, 4:45am

Post #9 of 40 (586 views)
I think it depends [In reply to] Can't Post

That could be dicey I agree depending on how it's handled. I want to see it, and I think if Freeman does it right it will work.

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

Forum Admin / Moderator

Mar 23 2013, 7:30am

Post #10 of 40 (602 views)
I always saw it [In reply to] Can't Post

as that they were attracted to the evil that was overtaking Sebastian (and thus killing him).

Radagast took the evil with Sebastian into his home and with the evil drawing the spiders to his home.

But when Radagast removed the evil/death from Sebastian the spiders didn't have anything to draw them in.

And probably with the evil gone they note the power Radagast has. Which sees them rushing off.


Mar 23 2013, 9:07am

Post #11 of 40 (546 views)
I wonder .... [In reply to] Can't Post

Could it have been the Necromancer's plan? Get the spiders to attack Rhosgobel, but also get Radagast to follow the spiders back to Dol Guldur. It looked to me like the Witch King wanted him dead.

Perhaps that was the Necromancer's plan?


Mar 23 2013, 9:24am

Post #12 of 40 (557 views)
More spiders? [In reply to] Can't Post

Urgh! I'm still hoping they might have replaced them with enchanted hamsters....... Tongue


Mar 23 2013, 12:21pm

Post #13 of 40 (522 views)
That was a really cool bit of magic [In reply to] Can't Post

I loved everything about Radagast. The spiders are the Necromancer's servants, and are meant to spread his will (death to all living things) through their webs and other mechanisations. It's not a stretch to think they are sensitive to his dark magics, and somehow picked up on the fact that Radagast was trying to undo one of his spells. When Radagast realized what was at work and spoke Words of Power, denying the Necromancer his victim, the spiders retreated out of fear and uncertainty. They probably aren't used to seeing their master baulked in such a fashion.

I have fairly good idea of what the Necromancer is doing in the Greenwood. I think he's drawing on Greenwood's life force and feeding himself with that energy somehow. It's really creepy when I think about that way. But I suppose Sauron is the head creep in Middle-earth, so I guess that's fine. Cool

There's no party like a Dwaven party. Believe it.


Mar 23 2013, 3:43pm

Post #14 of 40 (470 views)
I do too [In reply to] Can't Post

He was an utter delight for me. I was thrilled to see how powerful he is magically too. Watching Raddy drive away those spiders was wonderful.

It would not surprise me if Sauron ( necromancer) demands Saruman's proof of servitude in killing Radagast because he is such a threat. I would be crushed by this, but it would make sense.

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere." - Albert Einstein.


Mar 23 2013, 5:46pm

Post #15 of 40 (450 views)
Hmmm [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think they'll deviate that much from what's in the books. And I don't think it is stated outright what happens to Radagast after the War of the Ring. I like to think he survived the whole business and remained in Eryn Lasgelen, watching over her ever after. Cool It may be in Unfinished Tales or one of those other supplementary works. No idea.

We might not see Saruman turn in these films. Keep that in mind going forward.

There's no party like a Dwaven party. Believe it.

Tol Eressea

Mar 23 2013, 6:11pm

Post #16 of 40 (433 views)
Isn't Radagast at least mentioned in the LotR books somewhere? [In reply to] Can't Post

Honestly, i can't remember, and i don't have my books with me.


Mar 23 2013, 6:20pm

Post #17 of 40 (441 views)
He is [In reply to] Can't Post

by Gandalf during his account to the Council of Elrond. But I don't remember anything in the appendices detailing Radagast's ultimate fate in Middle-earth.

There's no party like a Dwaven party. Believe it.

Tol Eressea

Mar 23 2013, 6:47pm

Post #18 of 40 (429 views)
I was just wondering because [In reply to] Can't Post

if Radagast does die sometime in the next two films, whether that would be going against Tolkien canon since he's alive in LotR.


Mar 23 2013, 6:53pm

Post #19 of 40 (432 views)
In the book, he just disappears [In reply to] Can't Post

Scouts were sent out over to Mirkwood, and they stopped of at Rhosgobel. Radagast wasn't there, and there was no sign of him.

That's it.


Mar 23 2013, 7:19pm

Post #20 of 40 (426 views)
Tolkien evolved in how he dealt with Radagast [In reply to] Can't Post

Initially it seems he felt that all but Gandalf failed, and only he returned to Valinor (he writes about five leaving, only one ever returning). Later he seems to soften towards Radagast, and seems to imply that even if he did not return he simply switched gears and stayed about to do Yavanna's work, so not a failure just a change of focus. Tolkien Gateway site has a nice article:


Tried to link the article but it didn't work right (I have little luck making links!). Just search Radagast on the site page.

Not sure how SPJ will handle it. It's rather an open story, really.

Hell hath no fury like a Dragon who is missing a cup.

The Shire

Mar 23 2013, 7:21pm

Post #21 of 40 (423 views)
Radagast's fate in canon [In reply to] Can't Post

In "Unfinished Tales", it is mentioned that:

For Radagast, the forth, became enamoured of the many beasts and birds that dwelt in Middle-earth, and forsook Elves and Men, and spent his days among the wild creatures.


Mar 23 2013, 7:32pm

Post #22 of 40 (411 views)
This is Tolkien's Gentle Humor [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
I, for one, am hoping PJ forgoes the "attercop, attercop" business LOL. It's one of the parts of the book that always sucked me right out of the story (the other being the talking troll purse) .

Sorry, just had to add that. Carry on.

Remember that Tolkien also writes here "no spider likes being called attercop. And of course tomnoddy is insulting to anybody." This is charming but how do you use these lines and keep that charm in a movie?


Mar 23 2013, 7:35pm

Post #23 of 40 (413 views)
That's debatable ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Radagast's fate in canon


But in this instance, since the information on the Istari largely agrees with everything that is truly "canon", I'd count it as "canon".

If I'm honest ... I wouldn't mind Radagast dieing/being killed in TABA. I don't have much interest in Thorin, Fili or Kili. It would be more heartbreaking (for me) to see Radagast get the chop, than non-Dwarf Kili. Tongue


Mar 23 2013, 7:47pm

Post #24 of 40 (416 views)
He failed in his misssion [In reply to] Can't Post

the Istari were created and sent to Middle Earth as foes of Sauron to raise the people of Middle Earth against him. Rad got distracted and became too interested in beasts and birds and became somewhat inneffective in this cause. Whether he stayed on or not has nothing to do with his originally assigned reason for being sent to Middle Earth.

No where is it stated that the spiders are the servants of the Necromancer, much in the same way that Shelob later on was not Sauron's. They are evil beings with separate purpose, it is simply that the spiders and in fact many evil things get attracted to the evil power of the Necromancer/Sauron, but are not neccessarily under his command.

(This post was edited by ElendilTheShort on Mar 23 2013, 7:48pm)

Tol Eressea

Mar 23 2013, 8:10pm

Post #25 of 40 (389 views)
Exactly [In reply to] Can't Post

Having Bilbo call the spiders "attercop" and "tomnoddy" (HAHA forgot about that one), and then having the spiders being filled with rage because of it, would be a ridiculous thing to watch unfold on camera. That's my opinon of it anyway.

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