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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What about a Prologue?

Lausus
Bree

Dec 21 2007, 4:43pm

Post #1 of 9 (436 views)
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What about a Prologue? Can't Post

Do you think The Hobbit movie will begin with some backstory the way LotR did?

Perhaps the Dwarf and Goblin wars will be a dramatic opening. Certainly the film will include Smaug's arrival in Erebor as well, either at the commencement of the film or in some flashback later on.


Patty
Immortal


Dec 21 2007, 5:07pm

Post #2 of 9 (197 views)
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A prologue would be good... [In reply to] Can't Post

seeing as how most of the identification of what hobbits are was put on the EE and theater-going- only may need to have a little more about hobbits are by nature told to them. Like reminding them how they don't like adventures as a rule.

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N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Dec 21 2007, 7:04pm

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"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." [In reply to] Can't Post

Now I know a film is not a book, and that voiceover narration is often gracelessy used in movies. So I'm not expecting to hear that line. But to open the film with "historical" background information is to completely miss the point of the book. The book is the story of the adventures and growth of one Bilbo Baggins -- starting with dragon-fire at the Lonely Mountain makes the movie about something else.

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Lausus
Bree

Dec 21 2007, 7:12pm

Post #4 of 9 (174 views)
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I see, but [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The book is the story of the adventures and growth of one Bilbo Baggins -- starting with dragon-fire at the Lonely Mountain makes the movie about something else.


The Hobbit was as much the story of Bilbo as LotR was a story seen from the eyes of Hobbits, but how much of those movies were from other perspectives? I don't doubt we'll see plenty that had little to do with Bilbo, such as activities of the White Council and the coming of Smaug.


Arwen's daughter
Half-elven


Dec 21 2007, 7:14pm

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But is that a good thing? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



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RoseMorninStar
Registered User

Dec 22 2007, 7:10am

Post #6 of 9 (120 views)
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Redbook of Westmarch [In reply to] Can't Post

Seeing as Samwise was the keeper of the Red book of Westmarch and finished the book up, it wouldn't be surprising if they had Sean Astin do a prologue or narrate. From what I have read, he would jump at the chance.


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Dec 22 2007, 7:21am

Post #7 of 9 (117 views)
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Welcome to the boards, Lausus! [In reply to] Can't Post

Intead of a prologue, why not follow the story arc of the book and 'flash back' to some of the history of Smaug and the Dwarves during the Unexpected Party when Thorin is explaining to Bilbo why they're going to the Lonely Mountain in the first place. It accomplishes the same thing (which, I agree, is important and should be done at some point) and establishes more of Thorin's character as well.

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Mortimus
Bree

Dec 29 2007, 5:02am

Post #8 of 9 (105 views)
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Dwarven History Flashbacks [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Intead of a prologue, why not follow the story arc of the book and 'flash back' to some of the history of Smaug and the Dwarves during the Unexpected Party when Thorin is explaining to Bilbo why they're going to the Lonely Mountain in the first place. It accomplishes the same thing (which, I agree, is important and should be done at some point) and establishes more of Thorin's character as well.

Enjoy the boards! Smile



I'd love the movie to be as much about the tragedy of Thorin's line as it is about Bilbo's world view changing, and as far as I can see, flashbacks would be the only practical way to do it. A prologue, say, set at Azanulbizar, would mirror the openning of FotR nicely - but somehow I think the movie needs to start quietly at the door to Bag End.

Where Dwarven flashbacks might work could be:

1. The Razing of Dale - as told by Thorin in 'An Unexpected Party'

2. Azanulbizar/The killing of Thror - perhaps in the same scene but done really really quickly (Azog's blow, a reaction shot by Nain, the various Dwarves marching to the gates with Thorin and Thrain among them)

3. Thrain in Dol Guldur - may belong in the same scene as told by Gandalf obviously, but could be moved to At the House of Elrond when the map is read fully.

4. Dain kills Azog - ideally before the Battle as the Dwarves anticipate the Iron Hill army's approach. It would set up Dain's strength and influence nicely, and could be told either by Thorin or Balin, the latter's involvement in the tale's telling providing some sad irony for what follows in Moria.

To me these events lead on from one another - Smaug's reign of terror inspires the various attempts to reclaim Moria.
But that's my personal preference - to me Balin's expedition to Khazad-Dum is the 'real' sequel to The Hobbit.


Gothmog The Mighty
The Shire

May 5 2008, 12:52pm

Post #9 of 9 (121 views)
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The Prologue Problem [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I thought it better to do that than start a new one on the same topic.

Personally, I have always leaned towards the idea of starting the film with a prologue. As someone else said, it may not fit in with the literary version of the Hobbit, but it would have great resonance and create thematically a link with the LOTR trilogy.

However, as with the Fellowship prologue, I can understand how problematic it would be. What would the prologue cover? History of the ring? Already did that in Fellowship. Therefore as mentioned above, the prologue would have to be more specific to the Hobbit, either to the races or to the events about to unfold.

A little racial background, particularly on the Erebor dwarves is probably a good idea, but tonally and content wise, how will this be handled? Will it show the dwarves at their hint and then there fall to the attack of the dragon (who doesn't actually get revealed, just hinted at during the attack)?

Or will it cover the events of Gandalf receiving the key and the map whilst in the dungeon of Dol Guldur?

Or will it cover that fateful meeting in Bree between Thorin and Gandalf where Gandalf makes himself known to Thorin, passed on the map and key and formulates a plan to retake the mountain and get rid of the dragon, who was a threat before, now even moreso on revealing that Sauron was rising again and could use him to devastating effect?

Or all of the above? The problem with these story arcs being covered in the prologue is that they are all rather dark and therefore tonally might be problematic at the start of a movie such as the Hobbit, where the initial tone should be far removed from being dark.

If it is going to happen, it is going to take some figuring out....

 
 

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