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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What does a “sequel” mean?
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maegwen
Sr. Staff


Dec 19 2007, 5:16am

Post #1 of 70 (10090 views)
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What does a “sequel” mean? Can't Post

When the staff here at TheOneRing.net first heard the rumors that the Hobbit film deal would most likely be for two movies, it fueled a lot of speculation. Most of the speculation centers on the idea that the second movie will be a bridge between The Hobbit and Fellowship of the Ring.

Events that could be included in such a bridge movie:

* The White Council meets to discuss The Necromancer (aka Sauron)
* The White Council (including Saruman and Gandalf) attack The Necromancer’s stronghold at Dol Guldur. This is to prevent Sauron from searching the river for the Ring. Sauron abandons Dol Guldur and takes up residence in Mordor.
* Gollum leaves the mountain, searching for the “thief” Baggins.
* Sauron declared himself openly, starting to gather power to Mordor.
* Aragorn searches the wilds for Gollum.
* Aragorn’s engagement to Arwen.
* Frodo’s birth.

These are but a few things mentioned in Appendix B of Return of the King. These can be added to and expanded to make the story flow.


(This post was edited by Altaira on Dec 19 2007, 6:15am)


Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 5:37am

Post #2 of 70 (4511 views)
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It depends on who the movie follows [In reply to] Can't Post

There are far too many story possibilites for all of them to be included. The trick, it seems, will be to concentrate on a few big ones or to find a main character/characters who can logically include as many stories as possible (Gandalf and/or Aragorn I'd assume). It will be interesting to see which path they go with and what the filmmakers think is most important.

But it is unfortunate that the second movie will almost certainly have to be non-hobbit-centric. There just isn't enough going on in The Shire to make a complete movie that doesn't feel like an anti-climax after the first four.



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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 5:46am

Post #3 of 70 (4290 views)
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A two or three-hour film adapted from a couple thousand words? [In reply to] Can't Post

Is probably best thought of as fanfiction.
Not that fanfiction can't be good. And maybe their great success has earned Jackson and co. the right to produce some big-budget fanfiction. But though Appendices A and B combined total more than 30,000 words, a great deal of that text does not bridge The Hobbit and LotR. The incidents you mention, for example, apart from the romance of Arwen and Aragorn, are treated in at most a few paragraphs.

It could work. It's a Wonderful Life was adapted from a Christmas card.

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squire
Valinor


Dec 19 2007, 5:52am

Post #4 of 70 (3930 views)
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Good question [In reply to] Can't Post

One characteristic of many a bad Hollywood sequel is that the writer has an established character set and a filmic genre, but no story. So he or she whips up a story whose only requirement is that it be "like" the first movie, so that those fans will go to the sequel.

Nine times out of ten, the resulting story, and film, is weak, derivative, and mechanical.

In the case of The Hobbit, the problem is even worse: the sequel is expected to "bridge" from one scripted story to another already existing filmed story, with the added burden of a bunch of "events" that everyone expects to see portrayed because J. R. R. Tolkien described them in a "bridge" chronology that he wrote. Yet those events do not belong to any one character's story, but to many: Aragorn, Bilbo, Gandalf, Frodo, Arwen, Gollum. The essence of Tolkien's chronology is what is revealed at the beginning of FotR: nothing important happened between The Hobbit and LotR, because LotR is Tolkien's "sequel" to The Hobbit.

The challenge the writer faces is to come up with one central story that is the "Hobbit sequel" film's own story. One would expect a beginning, a middle, and an end within the film itself, that is not entirely dependent on a knowledge of the other surrounding films.

I don't think this story really exists in Tolkien's works. Probably Aragorn or Gandalf offer the best opportunity for invention here. A very large part of it - almost everything we see and all the dialogue we hear - will have to be made up.



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AbsintheFaerie
The Shire


Dec 19 2007, 5:52am

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anyone think that [In reply to] Can't Post

Anyone think that Tom Bombadill will get his due credit in the sequel?

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MrCere
Sr. Staff


Dec 19 2007, 5:54am

Post #6 of 70 (3876 views)
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What is Tom due exactly? [In reply to] Can't Post

Please please please no! The most Tom should ever be is a clip filmed for funny sections of the DVD extras!

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maegwen
Sr. Staff


Dec 19 2007, 5:58am

Post #7 of 70 (3851 views)
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One possible scenario [In reply to] Can't Post

Tom left behind at a bus stop during a Characters bus trip to the set and no one misses him?

Can you think of another skit premise?


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 6:12am

Post #8 of 70 (3905 views)
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"Over the course of three nights and two days Bombadil initiates the hobbits..." [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
...prepares them for their adventures in Faerie. They bathe the first evening in his home. The next day ("Goldberry's washing day") they eat breakfast and supper, but, listening to Bombadil, miss their usual four meals in between – very unusual for hobbits! They rest that night, then the next day they eat breakfast and lunch but miss tea and dinner and breakfast the next morning (going without food for over 20 hours, from lunch in the Barrow-downs until rescued by Bombadil the next morning). Frodo awakens after he and his companions spend the night in a tomb (his companions in ceremonial garb), and calls on Bombadil, who brings them back to the world of the living and presents them with new clothes, appropriate weapons (particularly appropriate against Black Riders), and newly-named steeds. Before giving them their weapons, Bombadil says a few words over the weapons and other treasures in order to break the spell of the mound.



Read the rest of Curious's excellent comments on how Bombadil confers a sort of knighthood on the hobbits --he even dubs them!-- here. Just a reminder of the ongoing discussion of The Lord of the Rings underway in the Reading Room -- where farewells have just been said to Bombadil, in fact, as the tale moves on to Nob, Bob, Bill Ferny and Barliman Butterbur in Bree. Entmaiden does the honors this week, leading the discussion of "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony", then there is a two week hiatus for the holidays, after which Elizabeth carries on with "Strider".

But no, I see no part for Bombadil in The Hobbit or any bogus bridging movie. And though I think the three Bombadil chapters are beautiful, I understand why they were cut from Jackson's film of LotR.

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Curious
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 6:18am

Post #9 of 70 (4169 views)
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Aragorn/Thorongil would have to be the focal point, I judge. [In reply to] Can't Post

I could see expanding on the story of Aragorn and Arwen in Appendix A, plus the adventures Aragorn had in Rohan and Gondor and Umbar under the assumed name of Thorongil. There's even a hint that Aragorn and Gandalf infiltrated Minas Morgul together. And at some point Aragorn visited Moria and Harad. The story could culminate with Aragorn and Arwen meeting once again in Lothlorien, and plighting their troth. We could also meet Aragorn's mother somewhere along the way. I don't see hobbits coming into that part of the story at all, though, without a significant departure from the appendices.


SandWitch King
Rohan


Dec 19 2007, 6:20am

Post #10 of 70 (3733 views)
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Excellent but . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

That has no place in "The Hobbit" and for my money Tom has no place at the cinema either.

I wish my name was "Barrow Wong". Maybe I should change it. And now for my quote:

"Please note, we have added a consequence for failure. Any contact with the chamber floor will result in an unsatisfactory mark on your official testing record, followed by death. Good luck."


SandWitch King
Rohan


Dec 19 2007, 6:23am

Post #11 of 70 (3984 views)
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My money is on Gandalf [In reply to] Can't Post

And I bet New Line's is too, and Jackson's for that matter.

Gandalf is busy looking for Gollum, watching hobbits, chasing the necromancer out of forests and preparing Middle-earth for a conflict with the newly risen dark lord.

I wish my name was "Barrow Wong". Maybe I should change it. And now for my quote:

"Please note, we have added a consequence for failure. Any contact with the chamber floor will result in an unsatisfactory mark on your official testing record, followed by death. Good luck."


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 6:29am

Post #12 of 70 (3638 views)
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Why do you think so? [In reply to] Can't Post

That Tom could not be part of The Hobbit I understand (he belongs to the more adult world of LotR), but apart from the serious time constraints that the filmmakers were under, why do you feel that he has "no place at the cinema"? What about his is uncinematic? Have there been no successful film characters who suggest the anarchic nonsense that (seemingly) is Tom Bombadil?

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Curious
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 6:31am

Post #13 of 70 (3912 views)
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No romance. And Gandalf did most of that [In reply to] Can't Post

either before or during The Hobbit (visiting Dol Guldur, driving out the Necromancer) or during LotR (looking for Gollum). Frankly, its hard to tell what he did in between, but I think he could figure heavily in Thorongil's tale.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 6:36am

Post #14 of 70 (3811 views)
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Except for the affair with Arwen, of course. [In reply to] Can't Post

Shortly after his arrival, when she was only about 750 years old.

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Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 6:44am

Post #15 of 70 (3863 views)
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Would that influence the Hobbit? [In reply to] Can't Post

If they want Aragorn as the focal point of the sequel, will there then be a push to include him into The Hobbit somehow? Or maybe to include just Arwen? Gandalf is the only character in both The Hobbit and LotR who could act as a bridge for all 5 films. I lean toward Aragorn as the focal character, but I worry about the fact that he's not in The Hobbit.



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SandWitch King
Rohan


Dec 19 2007, 6:48am

Post #16 of 70 (3645 views)
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Yes but . . . [In reply to] Can't Post

He did most of that in "The Hobbit" but mostly off the page. I suppose they could beef up the Hobbit movie proper with a lot of things like that but our list of Tolkien-written possibilities grows thin.

So you favor Thorongil? Interesting.

I wish my name was "Barrow Wong". Maybe I should change it. And now for my quote:

"Please note, we have added a consequence for failure. Any contact with the chamber floor will result in an unsatisfactory mark on your official testing record, followed by death. Good luck."


AbsintheFaerie
The Shire


Dec 19 2007, 6:58am

Post #17 of 70 (3657 views)
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i agree about bombadil [In reply to] Can't Post

I feel that in all the heavy and dark material in the trilogy, Tolkien included Bombadil for a bit of a light time. Just a glimpse of light, but enough for us.

Honestly I feel if Tolkien felt him important enough to put in the books, then he's important enough to put in the movies. It shouldn't be up to us to pick and choose the professor's characters for him

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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 7:18am

Post #18 of 70 (3589 views)
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A filmmaker has to pick and choose... [In reply to] Can't Post

when adapting a novel to conventional feature length (or anything less than a long TV mini-series). And Tolkien, reviewing an early film treatment of LotR, said it was better to cut than to compress.

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Nazger
The Shire


Dec 19 2007, 7:19am

Post #19 of 70 (3906 views)
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Split The Hobbit into two parts? [In reply to] Can't Post

My first feeling was that they were going to split The Hobbit into two movies. Are we so sure they aren't going to do that? Why else would they shoot them simaltaneously?

"The Hobbit: There" - 2010
"The Hobbit: Back Again" - 2011


AbsintheFaerie
The Shire


Dec 19 2007, 7:26am

Post #20 of 70 (3580 views)
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another idea... [In reply to] Can't Post

How about Frodo growing up and getting into trouble with Farmer Maggot? He says he's been in terror of him and his dogs for years Wink

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Nazger
The Shire


Dec 19 2007, 7:29am

Post #21 of 70 (3791 views)
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Contradictions! [In reply to] Can't Post

They keep changing their minds about this! Some parts of the articles I'm reading talk about the first movie being The Hobbit, and the second movie being a sequel. Other parts of the same articles talk about simply splitting The Hobbit into two parts.

What is going on??!!

"The Hobbit: There" - 2010
"The Hobbit: Back Again" - 2011

(This post was edited by Nazger on Dec 19 2007, 7:31am)


Curious
Half-elven


Dec 19 2007, 8:11am

Post #22 of 70 (3811 views)
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It needn't. [In reply to] Can't Post

Even ignoring the age discrepancy -- Aragorn was just a kid during the action of The Hobbit -- if they are doing two movies why not focus on Bilbo in one and Aragorn in the other? Gandalf can figure heavily in both.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 19 2007, 8:25am

Post #23 of 70 (3755 views)
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Ew ew ew ew ew. [In reply to] Can't Post

*tries to scrub image from mind*

I'll get you for that one NEB.

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

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s 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 b*****d with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


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Arathorn
The Shire

Dec 19 2007, 9:13am

Post #24 of 70 (3770 views)
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Sequel? [In reply to] Can't Post

Considering that most of the story between Hobbit and LOTR are stuff from Silm and Unfinished Tales, for which no one has the rights to make a movie, NE Brigand nailed it. There's just one word to describe a Hobbit sequel:
fanfiction
This won't be Tolkien. I really hope someone out there will come to its senses and see it as the very bad idea it is. First because there won't be much Tolkien in the whole story - and as I said eons ago, if you think you can out-Tolkien Tolkien, why not create your own world and your own saga in it? Second, because, well, you will end the whole saga with the less climactic part of all, which makes no sense (I mean, with Star Wars at least you had the rise of the Empire and the creation of Vader and the twins' birth, but with Tolkien you have nothing; ending with Arwen-Aragorn, or with Sauron booted out of Dol Guldur can't compare with this, can't compare with the "end of all things")

So, on one hand I am particularly glad that there's a Hobbit movie going on - glad that the obious choices of Serkis, McKellen, WETA, New Zealand will be back onscreen, and that PJ will have quite a major hand on it -, even though I'm anxious about the director's choice (even if I wouldn't expect a rollercoaster and a box-office as insanely huge as ROTK's). On the other hand, I am seriously pondering the wisdom of a "Hobbit sequel"; at the end of the day, LOTR was meant to be the Hobbit sequel Tolkien's published wanted him to write.

"Gods don't like people not doing much work. People who aren't busy all the time may start to think."
- Terry Pratchett, Small Gods



squire
Valinor


Dec 19 2007, 12:31pm

Post #25 of 70 (4151 views)
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"Black Arrow!" cried Aragorn. "I had you from my exiled royal father, and he from..." [In reply to] Can't Post

There is an obvious way to get Aragorn into The Hobbit, though it violates everything that book purists think makes The Hobbit distinctive.

The real thing to remember about a Hobbit "sequel" film to "tie the two films together" is that everything that we learn in FotR about Middle-earth and the heroes of that story will have to come from this Hobbit-sequel movie.

In other words: all that stuff about Aragorn "choosing his path" to remain an exile rather than claim the crown of Gondor? If Aragorn appears in the sequel-prequel at all, we will have to get some explanation of what and when that choice was. Ditto for the Arwen thing. And Elrond's words about "men are weak". Gandalf's words to Frodo about the Ring, and about Gollum, in the FotR film will still have to make sense both in the context of FotR as an independent story, and in the context of what we will have learned in the sequel-prequel.

Boyens, Walsh, and Jackson put a lot of time into their FotR introductions of characters that assumed that first-time film viewers did not know who these people were or what their backgrounds were. All that acting and talking and stuff has to be kept in mind while creating this new back-story for the "preceding" film, if FotR is still to make sense after 2011.

They may have to go the George Lucas route:

"Wipe that wizard's memory", Elrond bade the healer.




squire online:
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squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

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