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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Azog- is anyone a fan?
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Sharkey
The Shire


May 21 2013, 5:04pm

Post #1 of 102 (1699 views)
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Azog- is anyone a fan? Can't Post

I've been wondering this lately. AUJ has an impressive rewatch value (at least for me), but I usually skip the scenes with Azog other than the prologue and Out of the Frying Pan. In fact, I recently saw someone write about a fan edit wherein they deleted the same scenes I skip as well, which supports Thorin's declaration that the pale orc is dead. This creates a big twist for the audience when he shows up, whose reaction might mirror Thorin's. Great idea IMO.

Most people I've spoken to about this issue aren't die-hard fans and didn't seem to mind Azog as a plot device, only as a CGI abomination. It seems most fans, much like me, are baffled about the insertion of a character who quite clearly died at the hands of Dain long ago. Even more perplexing is the admission by Weta and PJ that the Azog scenes were last-minute decisions (at least they're honest) to replace Bolg or someone else. WHY NOT USE BOLG? Sorry for the all-caps, but I've been wondering this since the moment Azog stumbled away from The Battle of Azanulbizar with only a flesh wound. I've heard from the mo-cap actor that Azog might even be present at the Bo5A! Absurd, methinks. Why not have it this way (assuming Dain never had an outside chance of being the one to slay Azog): Azog beheads Thror, carves his name on it like a badass (still waiting to see this, a knife in Azog's hand does not make him a defiler), Thorin sees this and rallies the dwarf army to focus on Azog and this time succeeds. Bolg sees this but is too preoccupied with Dwalin at the moment. After the battle he finds Azog's body and swears his revenge against the Oakenshield. From there on, Bolg takes the place of Azog in the aforementioned scenes. This would make it a tale of two sons avenging their fathers.
Just my thoughts, although I'm sure everyone else has considered this. Let me know what you think.


The Mitch King
Rohan


May 21 2013, 6:05pm

Post #2 of 102 (870 views)
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Ok well I'll play the devil's advocate. [In reply to] Can't Post

Your gunna get some passionate responses on this topic. Wink First of all, what assumptions are being made when we say that things should have been much different? I think we are assuming the type of character Bolg is. Perhaps he is not a talker and more of just a brute. How much worse then would it be to have another lurtz that can hardly dialogue? We aren't in a position to say any characters we know nothing about should be doing this or that. Another assumption, that Dain was not in the battle and that his involvement will not be expanded upon in the next films. Maybe he is in the battle and they will just do another flashback when he is introduced? Or perhaps the reason he is not in AUJ is because they have big plans for his scene when he is finally introduced. One that would be less special if he was already revealed to us. I think they have big big plans for the dwarves of the Iron Hills and to be honest I would prefer he has a very impressive introduction. Now about Azog. First we have no idea how this will play out in the next films. I for one want him DEAD in DOS! I like his character because Manu Bennet is a great actor and all of us already know what Weta can do with CGI when they have time to perfect it so his look in AUJ is irrelevant to me. I expect a very intimidating Gollum-esqe Azog in DOS and not a "CGI abomination" (which I think is not even the case in AUJ). Maybe the extended editions will have an improved Azog who knows? Deleting all of Azog's scenes until the last scene just opens too many questions for me and I have no problem with them. Remember that the Great Goblin mentions him so the audience in no way would be surprised to see him at the end. What a way to find out he's alive still huh? I'd rather have the Weathertop scene. Azog may have been non canon but he pushes the company forward and only adds more excitement in my opinion. Too early to make large sweeping conclusions about him. Smile


DeadRabbits
Lorien


May 21 2013, 6:06pm

Post #3 of 102 (803 views)
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Well, I'm a "die-hard fan" and I had no problem with Azog as a character... [In reply to] Can't Post

... or the CGI. I actually thought it was refreshing to see an orc with a completely different look compared to those from the LOTR trilogy (whose facial features could be a bit "stiff" from time to time). That said, I wouldn't have had any problem with Bolg as the main villain either, and he's one of the characters I look forward to see the most, and judging from what I've seen so far I think he's going to be the scariest and best orc in all of PJ's Tolkien movies. Smile

Now now Bill, you swore this was a battle between warriors, not a bunch of miss nancies, so warriors is what I brought


Hamfast of Gamwich
Rivendell


May 21 2013, 6:08pm

Post #4 of 102 (789 views)
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I love Azog [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't like him at first but now, when I think about the film he's the main character I think of.

Azog never replaced Bolg, he was always in the film, he just used to look like Yazneg. I much prefer the new design (Yazneg is nowhere near as bad ass), but admit they could have spent longer on getting the CG to to fit right in the environment (something I'm sure will be corrected for the sequels, a la the Wargs in ROTK).

The only thing I'd say about Azog instead of Bolg as the main antagonist is; wait and see what they do with Bolg in the sequels. I'm sure he's going to have a distinctive role seperate from Azog, and that's why they needed to use the two of them.

"Durin's Heir you may be, but even with one eye you should see clearer. If this is victory, then our hands are too small to hold it. We will not enter Khazad-dum. You will not enter Khazad-dum. Beyond the shadow of the gate it waits for you still: Durin’s Bane. The world must change and some other power than ours must come before Durin’s Folk walk again in Moria.”


Elizabeth
Valinor


May 21 2013, 6:10pm

Post #5 of 102 (780 views)
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No. [In reply to] Can't Post

All the plot elements involving Azog are hokey and just don't work. The writing around his character is as bad as the CGI.

Sure, they need some recognizable "hero orcs", but they just didn't do a good job with this one.








Lindele
Gondor


May 21 2013, 6:20pm

Post #6 of 102 (748 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

Plenty of people are fans.
He is by far the most menacing villain we've seen in the Middle-earth film franchise, and as a CGI character he was quite remarkable.
Why should the filmmakers be ashamed to admit that he was a last minute creation? They are proud of him and should be.


The Mitch King
Rohan


May 21 2013, 6:24pm

Post #7 of 102 (808 views)
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Azog's CGI [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
All the plot elements involving Azog are hokey and just don't work. The writing around his character is as bad as the CGI.

Sure, they need some recognizable "hero orcs", but they just didn't do a good job with this one.


His CGI is better than the CGI in tons of other movies and his facial expressions are incredibly realistic and impressive. This is WITH the CGI version added in late. Why should I expect anything less than an equivalent to Gollum from Weta in the next two movies?


Subaruman
Bree


May 21 2013, 6:30pm

Post #8 of 102 (761 views)
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I liked Azong a lot, but there's a couple things I wasn't a big fan of [In reply to] Can't Post

1) The CGI was good, but seemed to be a little "off" at times dependant on the lighting of the particular scene.

2) He gave Thorin a full-armed swing of his mace and only delivered some scratches.

"Here is a book very unsuitable for dramatic or semi-dramatic representation. If that is attempted, it needs more space, a lot of space."

- J.R.R. Tolkien, 1956


FrogmortonJustice65
Rivendell


May 21 2013, 6:31pm

Post #9 of 102 (724 views)
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the most menacing? [In reply to] Can't Post

Gollum, the Mouth of Sauron, the Witch King, and perhaps even Saruman all seem more menacing than Azog.

 photo cbccab4e-f61e-4be5-aaa1-20e302430c7c.jpg


bungobaggins
Lorien

May 21 2013, 6:36pm

Post #10 of 102 (770 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

Azog's dialogue comes across as very "B movie-ish" with a lot of corny one-liners.

One of the big things that has been bothering me about Azog's inclusion is part of Philippa Boyens justification for it. In most interviews I've read she claims that "Azog the defiler" is a "great name" and "we just loved that name."

I know their decision to resurrect this character was a little more thought-out. But if she keeps bringing that up in almost every interview I've read, it must have been a motivating factor in their choice.

Seriously? You like the character's name? So you're going to raise them from the dead to be an antagonist for Thorin? She didn't want to use Bolg because the story would become "too complicated." The story has already become complicated enough! Your main hero, Thorin, already has two antagonists! The dragon, and the elves (not just Thranduil, but all elves (By the way is that even canon? I can't remember.))! And he comes across as a big grump! Why should we be rooting for him?

Okay, now I'm off topic. Feeling that you really like a character's name, should not be partial justification for altering canon, and you're not keeping it "simpler" by not using Bolg. The story has already become convoluted almost beyond recognition!

I fear that, in the next two films, the heart and focus of this story is going to be lost with their "multiple storylines."

What happened to the story of a little guy who goes on an adventure? It's there somewhere, just under a lot of unnecessary stuff.


dormouse
Half-elven


May 21 2013, 6:44pm

Post #11 of 102 (795 views)
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Flesh wound? [In reply to] Can't Post

Azog's hand and wrist were cut off at Azanulbizar in the film, that's a lot more than a flesh wound! Bad enough for Thorin at least to assume it would prove fatal.

As for the rest, no one here can tell you why they didn't use Bolg or where this storyline is going. Once we've seen all three films, we'll be better placed to understand the reasons for the change. Doesn't mean we'll like them and we certainly won't all agree on them, but at least we'll know. You really can't judge an adaptation when you haven't seen it.


Nira
Lorien


May 21 2013, 6:51pm

Post #12 of 102 (700 views)
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Didn't work for me [In reply to] Can't Post

I understand why they did it. It is just too contrived & hokey for me.

"Why, to think of it, we're in the same tale still! It's going on. Don't the great tales never end?" -Samwise


Sharkey
The Shire


May 21 2013, 6:53pm

Post #13 of 102 (726 views)
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Perhaps I am mistaken... [In reply to] Can't Post

but I'm pretty sure Thorin thought the Great Goblin was bluffing or was himself still in denial. Nonetheless you have a point. I would have cut GG's mentioning of Azog (he figured out that the company took the mountain pass by himself anyway), especially because I hate the way Barry Humphries says "astride a white waaaaaahhhhg"
I am also excited for the creative decisions PJ might make regarding Dain and the Iron Hill dwarves, but I just can't imagine a flashback to a battle of which we've already seen the essential parts- which is not to say Dain couldn't have been there. You could ostensibly not mention Dain until TaBA, but we'll see how it turns out. Nothing to fret over.
About Bolg not being a talker....well, personally I thought almost every line spoken by Azog was useless. "Run them down!" "That one is mine, kill the others!" C'mon! The only one I liked was the mention of Thrain reeking of fear. I also could hardly stand the cliché of feeding one of his own to the wargs at Weathertop.


Sharkey
The Shire


May 21 2013, 6:56pm

Post #14 of 102 (699 views)
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Flesh wound [In reply to] Can't Post

That was a Monty Python reference.


Elessar
Valinor


May 21 2013, 6:58pm

Post #15 of 102 (679 views)
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I liked him [In reply to] Can't Post

He's not my favorite character and I would have liked to see his story line be different than it was but I did like the look. So all in all I'm a fan of the character and when Weta makes a statue of him I will buy it for sure.



dormouse
Half-elven


May 21 2013, 7:14pm

Post #16 of 102 (634 views)
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Sorry - missed that! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


jimmyfenn
Rohan


May 21 2013, 7:15pm

Post #17 of 102 (689 views)
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nope [In reply to] Can't Post

Azog represents everything that is bad, cheesy, hollywood,cliched,unimaginative and uncreative about the hobbit movie.

he is the point where the film turned into a throwaway action movie. i deplore how such a good film maker can interpret such a classic story into the cheesefest that is mean old azog chasing dwarves. i wouldnt be surprised if he keeps popping up like a comedy character throughout the trilogy, round every corner, that darn azog, he just wont give up!

"You Tolkien to me?!" - Hobbit de Niro


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


May 21 2013, 7:20pm

Post #18 of 102 (654 views)
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I'm intrigued [In reply to] Can't Post

how people see - literally - different things with Azog. You're not the only one who mentions his bad CGI, whereas I can't see any flaw with the rendering.

I think Azog's dialogue is hokey but I like the character himself.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
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 beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


The Mitch King
Rohan


May 21 2013, 7:22pm

Post #19 of 102 (692 views)
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Couple points [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
but I'm pretty sure Thorin thought the Great Goblin was bluffing or was himself still in denial. Nonetheless you have a point. I would have cut GG's mentioning of Azog (he figured out that the company took the mountain pass by himself anyway), especially because I hate the way Barry Humphries says "astride a white waaaaaahhhhg"
I am also excited for the creative decisions PJ might make regarding Dain and the Iron Hill dwarves, but I just can't imagine a flashback to a battle of which we've already seen the essential parts- which is not to say Dain couldn't have been there. You could ostensibly not mention Dain until TaBA, but we'll see how it turns out. Nothing to fret over.
About Bolg not being a talker....well, personally I thought almost every line spoken by Azog was useless. "Run them down!" "That one is mine, kill the others!" C'mon! The only one I liked was the mention of Thrain reeking of fear. I also could hardly stand the cliché of feeding one of his own to the wargs at Weathertop.


Haha yeah I want to punch someone when I hear the GG say warg! Azog's lines may have been few but we have not seen all of him yet. This goes back to what I was saying about assumptions. In an interview(I can't remember which) someone said that he is a very special and very smart orc able to speak multiple languages including black speech (which will be explained in DOS I'm sure). So his lines so far might not be overwhelming(even though there is more than the simple ones you mentioned) but remember the people that dislike him are basing it off of a late cgi entry into the movie and 1/3 of the WHOLE story we will see. I'm sure some characters in the FOTR were shallow too until TTT and ROTK. Just be patient!


Lindele
Gondor


May 21 2013, 7:30pm

Post #20 of 102 (687 views)
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Arguable [In reply to] Can't Post

However, he is the most menacing Orc.


jimmyfenn
Rohan


May 21 2013, 7:32pm

Post #21 of 102 (636 views)
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to add [In reply to] Can't Post

i think the orcs are a bit of a miss in pj's world of tolkien,, though the designs i think are spot on in lotr and to some extent the hobbit too, i felt that on the whole the orcs have been very cheesy.

when i first read uruk hai chapter in the two towers book i was blown away by how real these creatures became, the politics, the racism, back stabbing etc etc, but in movie world all they do is grunt alot.

"You Tolkien to me?!" - Hobbit de Niro


Ardamírë
Valinor


May 21 2013, 7:35pm

Post #22 of 102 (654 views)
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I like his design a lot [In reply to] Can't Post

but absolutely hate his CGI. It was incredibly fake-looking. Considering how rushed it was, I expect it to look much better in the next two films.

However, I will never like that they resurrected him or his cringe-worthy dialogue.

"...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 Undómiel




Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


May 21 2013, 7:40pm

Post #23 of 102 (620 views)
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I actually thought that [In reply to] Can't Post

His CGI wasn't too bad, particularly in the darker scenes (so in the scene on Weathertop and the trees scene). It was a little lackluster when he first appeared, but for me it never once detracted from his character or from the film itself. I liked the idea that the Orcs were led by a strong villain, although Bolg could have filled the role just fine. But I'm excited to see what avernues PJ's ultimate decision opens up (i.e. what Azog and Bolg will get up to over the next two movies).

I also loved the frequent inclusion of the Black Speech.

"A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities."-J.R.R.Tolkien

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."-Gandalf

(This post was edited by Radagast-Aiwendil on May 21 2013, 7:42pm)


Eleniel
Grey Havens


May 21 2013, 8:45pm

Post #24 of 102 (624 views)
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Totally... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Feeling that you really like a character's name, should not be partial justification for altering canon, and you're not keeping it "simpler" by not using Bolg. The story has already become convoluted almost beyond recognition!


I fear that, in the next two films, the heart and focus of this story is going to be lost with their "multiple storylines."

What happened to the story of a little guy who goes on an adventure? It's there somewhere, just under a lot of unnecessary stuff.







I also couldn't agree more with the OP - having Bolg witness Azog's death at Azanulbizar and swearing revenge on Thorin would have been far superior scripting, and simpler than the convoluted plot and rewriting of Dwarven history we have been handed so far. If PJ still wanted to have fun with a "Big Bad" major Orc antagonist for films 2 & 3, then why not use the created role of the torturer of Dol Guldur instead?


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


RosieLass
Valinor


May 21 2013, 8:53pm

Post #25 of 102 (589 views)
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I didn't mind him. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm just not sure how he's going to fit in with Bolg at the BOFA.

But I thought he was cool looking, and he was definitely more menacing than the smaller goblins (in AUJ as well as in the LOTR films), who were really kind of comedic at times.

"BOTH [political] extremes are dangerous. But more dangerous are team fanboys who think all the extremists are on the OTHER side." (CNN reader comment)

It is always those with the fewest sensible things to say who make the loudest noise in saying them. --Precious Ramotswe (Alexander McCall Smith)

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