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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Has AUJ increased your appreciation of the books? (Or, the "I can name all thirteen Dwarves now!" thread)
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Lio
Lorien


Apr 20 2013, 12:00am

Post #1 of 35 (1119 views)
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Has AUJ increased your appreciation of the books? (Or, the "I can name all thirteen Dwarves now!" thread) Can't Post

Surprisingly, despite all the changes that were made to the story, I found this to be the case.

For example, even though the movie makes some pretty drastic departures from Middle-earth history as it was written, I've found that it made me appreciate that history more. Before, I never really made the connection between the events of The Hobbit and the accounts given in Durin's Folk of Appendix A in LotR. But with AUJ including both in the story (even if not completely accurate Crazy) I now look at these events in a new light. It's kind of an "Of course, so that's how it all ties together!" moment for me.

I also have a greater liking of the Dwarves as a race. Their culture and history are illustrated well in the books but it's a bit harder to appreciate because most of the focus is on Elves and Men. But seeing so much of the Dwarves and their culture onscreen made me care a lot more about their side of the story. As well, rounding out the characterization of the Company made me love every one of these Dwarves! And yes, I can now remember the names of all thirteen of them. Laugh

Orcs are mammals!

Want to chat? AIM me at Yami Liokaiser!


MouthofSauron
Tol Eressea


Apr 20 2013, 12:54am

Post #2 of 35 (626 views)
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well i still can't name all 13 dwarves lol but i would say.. [In reply to] Can't Post

AUJ has not so much increased my appreciation for the books but more increased my appreciation for the appendices and Tolkien's "expanded middle-earth universe" that he created after the success of his first book. I really like the Dol-Guldur, Necromancer, Azog and white council material which was not in the first book.


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!!

(This post was edited by MouthofSauron on Apr 20 2013, 12:56am)


Aragorn the Elfstone
Grey Havens


Apr 20 2013, 5:28am

Post #3 of 35 (572 views)
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Yes, but probably not the way it intended. LOL [In reply to] Can't Post

Tongue

I've found myself developing a more loving appreciation for Tolkien's rich history, in light of the extraordinary liberties PJ & Co. took when adapting the film. I've also come to more fully appreciate Tolkien's plotting in The Hobbit, which works so much better than the expanded story of the film (at least the first one, that is). Tolkien was also a master at balancing the levity of the story (with his prose and songs and character humor) with the darker, scary elements (Goblin Town, Riddles in the Dark, Mirkwood, etc.) He has you shaking your head and laughing one minute and incredibly tense with fear the next.

PJ made a pretty good movie, but Tolkien crafted a masterpiece. Smile


"All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that it was vanity; But the dreamers of day are dangerous men. That they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible."
- T.E. Lawrence


(This post was edited by Aragorn the Elfstone on Apr 20 2013, 5:31am)


Old Toby
Gondor


Apr 20 2013, 5:38am

Post #4 of 35 (550 views)
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You know, this is true for me! [In reply to] Can't Post

As much as I love the book, it was never one of my favorites. I always loved the songs in it, but the characters, aside from Bilbo and Gandalf, were just faceless names to me, particularly all the dwarves (who I can also now name - every single one). And I never liked Thorin at all. The elves to me were silly, especially with their singing. I didn't find anything remotely likable about them. I actually found Smaug to be the most interesting character in the book.

This film, which I love, has made me appreciate certain aspects of the book, has given me better understanding (and sympathy for) the dwarves and their quest. Thorin especially has vastly improved from my perception of him in the book (and even so, the book Thorin is nowhere near my adoration level for RA's Thorin Oakenshield...did I mention his majestic hair? LOL!), and now I'm seeing (reading) him with a different perspective. The dwarves especially I can now visualize completely, and I love each and every one of them as individuals at last. So I give thanks to PJ and Weta and the vast crew that made this film for giving me this unlooked for gift.

And now for Smaug....Smile

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


MouthofSauron
Tol Eressea


Apr 20 2013, 6:45am

Post #5 of 35 (546 views)
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Tolkien was going to rewrite The Hobbit after LOTR's [In reply to] Can't Post

you know that right? PJ is simply inserting the missing story elements into the films.


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!!

(This post was edited by MouthofSauron on Apr 20 2013, 6:46am)


Aragorn the Elfstone
Grey Havens


Apr 20 2013, 6:59am

Post #6 of 35 (527 views)
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Of course I know that. [In reply to] Can't Post

But he didn't finish it, now did he? Wink Because he recognized that it wouldn't be 'The Hobbit'.

I don't object to what PJ's doing with the films (and I did enjoy the movie), I just like the way the book is laid out better. 'Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire' just doesn't feel right to me as a big, emotional climax. It's chapter 6. Tongue

Curiously, I was much more positive about the film before I started my current reread of 'The Hobbit'. Maybe after I've finished, I'll go back to cutting PJ some slack. Cool

"All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that it was vanity; But the dreamers of day are dangerous men. That they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible."
- T.E. Lawrence


(This post was edited by Aragorn the Elfstone on Apr 20 2013, 7:08am)


MouthofSauron
Tol Eressea


Apr 20 2013, 8:35am

Post #7 of 35 (535 views)
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if the eagle sequence had been verbatim to the book... [In reply to] Can't Post

than yes, it wouldn't have made a good cliffhanger. There were many other elements "obviously" added to the sequence that in my opinion made it cliffhanger worthy, Azog and company showing up, a little showdown between the dwarves and the orcs, Thorin injured. Also the way it ended with the lonely mountain on the horizon, it was perfect. If it was like the book and it was a bunch of mindless goblins from goblin town trying to kill the dwarves and the eagles showed up to the rescue than yes, it wouldn't have made a good cliffhanger.


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!!

(This post was edited by MouthofSauron on Apr 20 2013, 8:35am)


Roheryn
Grey Havens

Apr 20 2013, 9:37am

Post #8 of 35 (497 views)
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Oh, absolutely! [In reply to] Can't Post

I enjoyed The Hobbit (book) when I first read it, many years ago, and have continued enjoying it through the years. But it never moved me with the same passion that LOTR (book) did and does. Part of the reason for that is that The Hobbit is just a bit silly: with the tra-la-la-lally Elves and the grumpy-garden-gnome Dwarves (whom we never really get to know, beyond knowing Thorin a bit and Balin a bit less). I've re-read the book since the movie came out, and it's like finding Middle-earth in there all over again. I hear the Dwarves speaking in their movie-voices; I hear them singing; I feel like I'm coming back to the book to visit dear friends now -- friends I didn't know I had before the movie.

I *get* the connections between Legolas and Gimli, Thranduil and Gloin; I *understand* why Gimli is so distraught at finding Balin's tomb, and knowing Ori's and Oin's fates now means something to me. My imagination when reading the book has been so wonderfully enriched by the movie, and (as is true for all of us, I think!) I sure can't wait for the next two!


imin
Valinor


Apr 20 2013, 9:37am

Post #9 of 35 (488 views)
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Oh dear [In reply to] Can't Post

Lots of the 'appendices' material PJ keeps going on about is not really in the appendices and he has just made up himself.

As others have said Tolkien was going to rewrite the hobbit to make it more in keeping with the lord of the rings but have you read the partial rewrite? It is not that different to the hobbit in the first place and then he stopped anyway as he realised it just wouldnt be the hobbit anymore if he did completely finish a rewrite.

And Iluvatar spoke to Ulmo, and said: 'Seest thou not how here in this little realm in the Deeps of Time Melkor hath made war upon thy province? He hath bethought him of bitter cold immoderate, and yet hath not destroyed the beauty of thy fountains, nor of my clear pools. Behold the snow, and the cunning work of frost! Melkor hath devised heats and fire without restraint, and hath not dried up thy desire nor utterly quelled the music of the sea. Behold rather the height and glory of the clouds, and the everchanging mists; and listen to the fall of rain upon the Earth! And in these clouds thou art drawn nearer to Manwe, thy friend, whom thou lovest.


imin
Valinor


Apr 20 2013, 9:42am

Post #10 of 35 (508 views)
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It has given me a greater appreciation of PJ's LOTR movies [In reply to] Can't Post

I actually started a thread about it giving me a greater appreciation for the previous three movies as it just shows you how amazing they were.

The film also as others have said given me more appreciation for The Hobbit book as it shows me how awesome that was and i guess i almost took it for granted - i think it's crazy how he started it as just a bed time story for his kids but it turned out better than a $500 million movie with thousands of employees could manage 75 years later and with the source material to work with! So in that way it does give me immense appreciation.

And Iluvatar spoke to Ulmo, and said: 'Seest thou not how here in this little realm in the Deeps of Time Melkor hath made war upon thy province? He hath bethought him of bitter cold immoderate, and yet hath not destroyed the beauty of thy fountains, nor of my clear pools. Behold the snow, and the cunning work of frost! Melkor hath devised heats and fire without restraint, and hath not dried up thy desire nor utterly quelled the music of the sea. Behold rather the height and glory of the clouds, and the everchanging mists; and listen to the fall of rain upon the Earth! And in these clouds thou art drawn nearer to Manwe, thy friend, whom thou lovest.


LordotRings93
Rohan


Apr 20 2013, 1:51pm

Post #11 of 35 (442 views)
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I can name all the dwarves now! [In reply to] Can't Post

PJ did a great job on the dwarves. Before the film I could only remember Thorin and Balin, I believe. Now I can name them all and put the name to the face.

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


Luinnár
Rivendell

Apr 20 2013, 2:01pm

Post #12 of 35 (472 views)
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When the first picteres of them came out, [In reply to] Can't Post

I literally collected them all and started quizzing myself so I could remember them all for the movie. (It worked!)


Elenorflower
Gondor


Apr 20 2013, 5:09pm

Post #13 of 35 (402 views)
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agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

I feel the same way. It makes me realize just how special and rare LOTR is. It could so easily have gone down the hobbit road. and on.


Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 20 2013, 7:13pm

Post #14 of 35 (362 views)
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The rewrite [In reply to] Can't Post

You're right about the partial rewrite. The changes aren't that big of a deal. It's mostly adding references to the "bigger picture" of LOTR and The Silmarillion. Changing the narrative tone (and removing most of the narrator) was the biggest change. It was never about entirely redoing the story to make it a 1000 page epic like LOTR, complete with Sauron in Dol Guldor. I think this is a big misconception (not the least because of PJ's comments on the matter).

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


Eleniel
Grey Havens


Apr 20 2013, 7:17pm

Post #15 of 35 (358 views)
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Quite right... [In reply to] Can't Post

The story in The Hobbit is not a children's tale as such in itself, it is the manner in which the story is related that makes it "suitable for children" - and not least the fact that the Bo5A is recounted briefly in retrospect to Bilbo after he has regained consciousness, and not visualised in all it's gory glory as PJ will do!


"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
¯ Victoria Monfort




Avatar: Elwing by art-nouveau-club on DeviantArt

(This post was edited by Eleniel on Apr 20 2013, 7:18pm)


Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 20 2013, 7:47pm

Post #16 of 35 (343 views)
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Tone [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think the tone is the only thing that makes it suitable for children. It's also just a simple story that children can easily understand.

Now, I know not everyone likes that about the book, but that's what it is - take it or leave it.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Apr 20 2013, 8:52pm

Post #17 of 35 (342 views)
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Tra La La Lally [In reply to] Can't Post

I was wondering how PJ was going to deal with the fact that the elves in TH are VERY different than those in LOTR. He could not possibly have had them singing and hanging out of trees but how was he going to capture the lightness of Bilbo's description of them? Well, by having them play music the dwarves didn't like on instruments they didn't like. Good job PJ.


Lio
Lorien


Apr 21 2013, 12:22am

Post #18 of 35 (301 views)
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Are they really that different? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think there's necessarily a disagreement between the portrayal of Elves in The Hobbit and LotR. I liked seeing their jolly side, otherwise they seem a bit too alien and ethereal (especially in the way the movies portray them). So, nothing wrong with the Elves having a bit of fun! Tra-la-la-lally away! Wink

I did like the scene with the Rivendell Elves and their instruments in AUJ. I never made the connection to the book singing though. Hey, maybe the song they are playing is Tra-la-la-lally! Shocked

Dwalin Balin Kili Fili Dori Nori Ori Oin Gloin Bifur Bofur Bombur Thorin

Orcs are mammals!

Want to chat? AIM me at Yami Liokaiser!


Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 21 2013, 2:04am

Post #19 of 35 (296 views)
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I don't think so [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't understand why people think they're basically two different portrayals. Maybe it's the way they read Tra-la-la-lally in their heads? I could totally imagine PJ's elves singing it.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


ShireHorse
Rohan

Apr 21 2013, 1:09pm

Post #20 of 35 (240 views)
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I sort of agree, Elenial, [In reply to] Can't Post

that TH "is not a children's tale as such in itself, it is the manner in which the story is related that makes it suitable for children." It's important, as you say, that much of the Bot5A is recounted in retrospect which helps to distance children from the horrors of war. On the other hand, Tolkien is not reluctant to tell us of the piles of bodies everywhere and to ensure that his readers are aware that these are the bodies of the good guys.

What I have always found troublesome - even irritating on my first read - is the way that the tone of the book begins to change and the ideas become more complex. It starts off as a delightful children's book but finishes up as an adult one in that it contains plenty of food for thought about good and evil. The shades of grey are amazing and, in this sense, it's not a children's book.

This change of tone and the way that different readers are addressed are the difficulties that PJ and the scriptwriters were faced with when they decided to tackle it as a film. I think that Tolkien found it problematical too because he wanted to tell the truth about war and how wars start and how often the blame can be shared out. This isn't Narnia and TH even has a complexity that LotR lacks. Even Tolkien's language changes and becomes more epic as he reaches the final stages of the book.

As an illustration: one of the things that Tolkien changed about the book was Riddles in the Dark. His new version makes Gollum a lot scarier and more treacherous but also raises questions about Bilbo's behaviour. He introduces a depth and complexity where none existed before.

IMO, Jackson has really risen to the occasion. I think he has seen Tolkien's struggle with himself and has tried to express it in his film, not only through his changes and additions but also through a changing tone which swings from the silly to the serious and which he adopts throughout.


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Apr 21 2013, 2:38pm

Post #21 of 35 (225 views)
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Hmm [In reply to] Can't Post

Now I like the film a lot, but I don't think PJ inserted the missing elements: rather he inserted them to meet his own designs. I'm 100% sure that Tolkien's rewrite did not include Azog or Radagast the Brown as prominent characters. Laugh

"True courage is about knowing not when to take a life, but when to spare one."

(This post was edited by Radagast-Aiwendil on Apr 21 2013, 2:39pm)


Elessar
Valinor


Apr 21 2013, 2:46pm

Post #22 of 35 (232 views)
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Yeah, I suppose so [In reply to] Can't Post

The movies based on Middle-earth make me love the books even more and the books make me love the movies even more.



Elenorflower
Gondor


Apr 21 2013, 3:55pm

Post #23 of 35 (221 views)
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I have been thinking [In reply to] Can't Post

Crazywhy do we think tra-la-la-lally is silly? in our sarcastic ironic days it may be seen as cheesy I suppose, but the Elves could be merry and light hearted, they werent always weighed down by the worries of the world. Thats why the Elves are so wonderful and thats why Sam loved them, they could be light as thistledown and starry nights and they could be as solemn and wise as loremasters or as fierce as warriors..


Ardamírë
Valinor


Apr 21 2013, 5:17pm

Post #24 of 35 (199 views)
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Totally agree, Elenorflower. [In reply to] Can't Post

I really don't find their behavior inconsistent with their actions and behaviors in LOTR, especially after the feast in Rivendell.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall. As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last. For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men, it is bitter to receive." -Arwen


Eleniel
Grey Havens


Apr 21 2013, 6:40pm

Post #25 of 35 (185 views)
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Good point... [In reply to] Can't Post

"Tra-la-la-lally" is no sillier than the "Fa-la-las" found in Elizabethan madrigals... I'm sure that's what Tolkien was thinking of when he wrote those lyrics. I'd love it if Howard Shore could have set them to a madrigal style arrangement!


"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
¯ Victoria Monfort




Avatar: Elwing by art-nouveau-club on DeviantArt

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