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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What design elements delighted you in AUJ?
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Superuser / Moderator

Jun 19 2013, 10:45pm

Post #1 of 61 (1319 views)
What design elements delighted you in AUJ? Can't Post

My favourite design in the entire movie was Bag End's interior. I liked it well enough in FOTR and ROTK, but in AUJ we got to see more of the connecting rooms and to me the smial felt a lot warmer and cosier this time around.

I also really, really like Thorin's overcoat with the fur trim. Not only does it look suitable for a royal, but it looks really warm and comfortable and I badly want to wear it!

What designs stood out for you?

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


Jun 19 2013, 10:57pm

Post #2 of 61 (685 views)
Azog [In reply to] Can't Post

He looks and sounds amazing IMO. I'm the only one around here who thinks this, but he's now one of my favorite (with Bilbo, Thorin, Frodo, Boromir, and Aragorn). So really, the only evil character that makes my list. When I saw him in the DoS trailer I cheered and hollered.

Also liked the design of the troll hoard. Loved seeing all the coins and weapons around the cave.

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

Aragorn the Elfstone
Tol Eressea

Jun 19 2013, 10:57pm

Post #3 of 61 (643 views)
Balin and Gollum's Cave [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't say enough about the character design of Balin. He's just about the perfect realization of what I imagined the dwarves to be when I read The Hobbit some 12-13 years ago. This is, of course, aided by Ken Stott's great performance - but the costume and make-up is just perfection (most notably that beard! Cool). I have alot of issues with many of the dwarves' designs, but the realization of Balin son of Fundin is just perfection.

And, of course, I adore every bit of the design of Gollum's cave. It's the complete embodiment of that claustrophobic fear I felt reading this chapter. The way they had Gollum slinking up through the tunnel with his two pale eyes was just amazing. The only complaint I have is that the lighting of the scene is too bright. It should have been extremely dark - but then we wouldn't be able to soak in as much of the magnificent design work. Wink Everything from the rocky shore to Gollum's "island" in the middle of his lake was perfectly plucked from my imagination. Heart

"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


Jun 19 2013, 11:09pm

Post #4 of 61 (626 views)
We haven't seen much of it yet. [In reply to] Can't Post

But I really liked the look of the Arkenstone.

Plus, all those piles and piles and piles and piles of gold... Crazy

"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)

Grey Havens

Jun 19 2013, 11:16pm

Post #5 of 61 (615 views)
Most of all, [In reply to] Can't Post

Bilbo's fabulous patchwork robe. I badly want one, it look so comfy and the colors of it are deep and beautiful. I would buy a replica if one were available.

I also really liked the look of Erebor, especially the mines, with the Dwarves hanging from the chains with the candle-lanterns on their helmets.


Jun 19 2013, 11:21pm

Post #6 of 61 (584 views)
I liked so much of it really [In reply to] Can't Post

Much of it was innovative and full of things I had never seen before on screen. I particularly liked:

1. Bag End interior with all the wonderful details.

2. The costumes and general appearance of all the characters (except for Radagast's facial make-up).

3. The look of the whole of the Erebor sequence.

4. The Great Goblin and Goblin Town, which reminded me of illustrations I've seen in children's fairy-tale books from the 19th century.

5. The Eagles.

6. The beautiful scenery.


Jun 19 2013, 11:33pm

Post #7 of 61 (612 views)
I agree ! [In reply to] Can't Post

I really liked azog design, very menacing and not just canon folder (more something of an uncanon folder !! get it ??).

I really liker goblin town and its inhabitants a lot, it really felt like a whole underworld inside the misty mountains !

Grey Havens

Jun 19 2013, 11:33pm

Post #8 of 61 (625 views)
Dwarvish hair. [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the creativity, imagination, and thought that went into designing each Dwarf's 'do. Even Nori's starfish look. I was expecting 13 Dwarves that more or less all looked like each other, and instead we got 13 very unique individuals. Of course, Thorin's got the most majestic hair. I'd love to do a closer examination of his hair someday...you know, purely for empirical purposes. And his fur cape -- love that too! Makes him soft about the edges; just perfect for snuggling up with.

Oh, and Erebor's interior. A real "Wow!" moment when we first saw it. I remember thinking "I had NO IDEA that *that's* what it looked like!" in complete amazement. So much more spectacular than the simple tunnels and caverns that I'd imagined from reading the book.

The one class I was closest to flunking as an undergraduate -- harder for me than calculus, organic chemistry, etc. -- was beginning drawing. I was hauled in to the office of our young instructor about half-way through the semester, and she told me that my problem -- I quote -- was that I "have no sense of aesthetics". I've always thought that was a really unpleasant thing to tell a struggling student, even if my feeble attempts at artwork indeed displayed no sense of aesthetics! Regardless, the LOTR movies and AUJ have made me wish I was a lot better at artsy things, because I think it would be such fun to be involved. The people who work on the myriad design teams have, I think, a fantastic job. Wouldn't it be great to get paid to express that kind of creativity?

The Shire

Jun 19 2013, 11:46pm

Post #9 of 61 (586 views)
nice! [In reply to] Can't Post

1. I loved how they kept Smaug a surprise!

2. I love the depiction of Dale, and the lonely mountain. The whole intro scene was PERFECTION to me. I loved the depiction of Erebor. Bilbo narrating was just so-so to me. I thought he looked a little off in his intro scene. Seemed forced by him within his acting.

3. I LOVED THE CASTING!!!! They nailed Balin, Dwalin, Filli, Killi Thorin, just all of them. I think Bilbo is great as well. I'm not into Radagast's humor so much, but his costume design I thought was great. I wish he was a little more wise and scary.


5. Gandalf coming into Goblin town and blowing them out with his staff, LOVED IT!

6. The troll cave was a good scene.

7. Gandalf handing Bilbo sting, LOVED IT!

8. The tension feeling they have put out there on Thorin, he seems like a loose canon and I love how they are having the audeince identify with Biblo and really question Thorin's leadership at this point, and I also love how Thorin and Bilbo have met eye to eye, those scenes toward the end were powerful between the two.


10. Gollum and Biblo, amazinG! Loved the scene were Bilbo saw him drop a tear, great music to back it up. Loved that as well.

Na Vedui

Jun 19 2013, 11:58pm

Post #10 of 61 (582 views)
Some nice design things [In reply to] Can't Post

Like you, I love Bag End, the whole look of it and also the way you can see from one room to another, e.g. in the scene after Bilbo's faint, where he and Gandalf are talking in the foreground and you can see some of the Dwarves sitting in the room behind.

Dwarf hair and beard styles, and their look in general; the variety and individuality of them.

Thror in his robes and crown.

Fili and Kili's hoodies (I could use one of those).

Bilbo's patchwork dressing-gown, and his knapsack. (Ditto)

Radagast's overall design (not too sure about the bird-poo, though it did remind me a bit of the legend of St Kevin and the blackbird!)

Galadriel in her overdress.

The Rivendell council chamber, with the statues, and the plants climbing round the windows.

Gandalf the Grey (again).

Eagles, and the views of them flying.

The Trolls.

Elrond's armour, and his new (or old, as this is pre-LOTR!) shorter robe, very stylish.

The kites over Dale.

Elvish tableware.

Na Vedui

Jun 20 2013, 12:06am

Post #11 of 61 (559 views)
And... [In reply to] Can't Post

The very last bit - Smaug's eye opening from amongst the gold.


Jun 20 2013, 12:16am

Post #12 of 61 (559 views)
Bilbo's backpack and acorn buttons. [In reply to] Can't Post

I bought one of the acorn button pins from The Noble Collection. It is big, bulky, and nice to carry in your pocket when you are not wearing it.

The gray-maned white horses ridden by most of the Rivendell elves are exciting. Elrond and, I think, two others are riding darker horses. Are the two other riders Elrond's sons? In my imagination they are. So perhaps the darker horses are reserved for elvish royalty.

I also love the way the moonbeams cut through the falling water as Elrond studies Thorin's map. The night sky in all PJ's Middle-earth films is always mysterious, beautiful, and a little sinister.

Oh, and isn't it interesting that pre-journey Bilbo is a very tidy housekeeper, while the post-journey Bilbo is much less interested in mundane neatness? His adventure has given him a different perspective on life.

The movie is a beautiful spectacle.


Jun 20 2013, 12:17am

Post #13 of 61 (572 views)
I have grown to love the design for Erebor [In reply to] Can't Post

The front gate especially. It's certainly not how I imagined it in my mind, but it is awesome none the less.

"You're love of the halflings leaf has clearly slowed your mind"


Jun 20 2013, 12:22am

Post #14 of 61 (544 views)
I agree Jtarkey [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
The front gate especially. It's certainly not how I imagined it in my mind, but it is awesome none the less.

The front gate and the whole of Erebor was a very lovely surprise, much more elegant and culturally detailed than I pictured it before.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


Jun 20 2013, 12:28am

Post #15 of 61 (538 views)
Petra, in Jordan comes to mind. [In reply to] Can't Post

Perhaps that's why I like it more than most of the designs in AUJ. Having a visual relation to real, ancient places gives the place a very grounded feeling, even though it is spectacular.

"You're love of the halflings leaf has clearly slowed your mind"

Tol Eressea

Jun 20 2013, 12:46am

Post #16 of 61 (536 views)
For me [In reply to] Can't Post

Both Bag End and erebor. I really liked the exterior of Erebor. I thought it was extremely well done and looked very life like and interesting. I loved the two dwarf statues and the design of the interior as well. The deep blues offset by the gold was really great. Bag end was just incredible. I loved seeing all the rooms and I really liked how "messy" it was for Ian Holme's Bilbo. It's like his life had become so cluttered in later years and I loved the books and all he scrolls and stuff all over. The pantry was terrific too, with the hanging foods and pots. Very much how I pictured it.

I also really liked Goblin Town and in particular the Goblin homes way up on the sides of the walls. The plank bridges, the hovels on the walls I thought were great.

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

Eye's on Guard

Jun 20 2013, 1:10am

Post #17 of 61 (539 views)
13 Dwarves [In reply to] Can't Post

As others have already noted, the individuality in the design of the dwarves really made them an interesting group. My favorites looks are the ones with substantial beards...Balin, Gloin, Oin, Bifur, Bombur. They keep the group grounded as dwarves in appearance (with the possible exception of Kili) and allow me to appreciate the other dwarf designs.

Other than that, if I had to choose one object and one location, they would be Orcrist and Goblintown. Orcrist's unique look is great, and the visualization of Goblintown really worked for me...much more expansive than I had imagined and really looked like the patchwork craft of goblins.

Tol Eressea

Jun 20 2013, 1:13am

Post #18 of 61 (509 views)
Agree [In reply to] Can't Post

I loved the grittiness of Goblin Town, like I said the little hovels up on the sides of the cave walls and just the stuff strewn all over, the plank bridges with the ropes. It was perfect. I have always loved the 3D aspect of goblin town with it's windy tunnels and caves. I thought it was great. I also loved that they made the rock with the crack where we get the Bilbo's Buttons scene. That was just perfect.

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


Jun 20 2013, 1:18am

Post #19 of 61 (526 views)
None of it seems to stand out too much [In reply to] Can't Post

because I liked nearly all of it!

Erebor was awe-inspiring and the way that Smaug was introduced, the exploding towers and glance at a tale was just fantastic!
Bag End was delightful. I loved the shot of the eyes poking through the glass. The details about doilies and antiques were delicious.
Rhosgobel was so cute and enigmatic - very whimsical and curious.
Rivendell was epic and stately while also being so elegantly organic. But I especially was thrilled with the nice surprise of that underground river and the glances through the crack to the sky above - and the way it suddenly opened up to a view over Rivendell from a panoramic perspective. Those statues were cool, too.
The Goblin City looked like it would make an exciting theme park. It was very imaginative and lifelike, though just the right amount of nauseating as well.
Gollum's cave was eery - but in a strangely beautiful way (at least I thought so).

I love how they differentiated the dwarves and gave them so much personality. I especially like Bofur, Balin, Dwalin, and Dori. I thought that the way they were all reacting to things as they happened in surprising and often humorous ways pulled me into the events of the story and made it come to life.
The subtlety of all the white council members through the whole time spent in Rivendell was intriguing and engaging. I thought ist was clever and filled with memorable moments.
The Goblins had so much personality and were almost cute - especially the line goblin!
The eagle feathers and light effects during the eagle flight were breath-taking. I wouldn't have minded if that kept on going for a while - like the Falcor scene in Neverending Story.
I actually liked the Rhosgobel rabbits and the sled in the forest scenes. It was surprisingly neat and imaginative. I also thought Sebastian was very cute and liked the scene where he gets saved by Radagast. I really liked the scene where Radagast held his own against the sprits at Dol Guldur. I thought that was surprisingly cool, too.

I think that covers almost everything!


Jun 20 2013, 1:23am

Post #20 of 61 (529 views)
Dale before the Dragon [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the design of Dale with its markets and bell towers. It seems familiar yet exotic. And the costumes in Dale are so colorful and richly detailed that I really got a feeling of a vibrant, eclectic culture.

Rivendell is another favorite. It was nice to see some new scenes there. The observatory is particularly impressive. Oh, and Elrond's new (old) robes are very chic.

Tol Eressea

Jun 20 2013, 1:36am

Post #21 of 61 (505 views)
Good one! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes Dale was superb. It was like a middle ages trading outpost. The costumes were really vibrant especially in HFR. The kites were a great addition and I loved the towers and ally ways all over. totally cool.

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


Jun 20 2013, 2:39am

Post #22 of 61 (500 views)
Dale as Tibetan-flavored [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Yes Dale was superb. It was like a middle ages trading outpost. The costumes were really vibrant especially in HFR. The kites were a great addition and I loved the towers and ally ways all over. totally cool.

I thought it looked great, and noted the details that reminded me of Tibet in many places - the costumes, the lions...and the connection between those flags flying in front of Erebor which remind me of Tibetan prayer flags. And conversely the association between the deeply symbolic "Mountain" and a Tibetan-looking though not high-elevation Dale; so its a subliminal connection, not an obvious one. Feels so detailed, another facet of Middle Earth brought to light.

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."

Tol Eressea

Jun 20 2013, 2:52am

Post #23 of 61 (482 views)
really good catch [In reply to] Can't Post

I like that Brethil. The whole Tibetan theme. That's exactly what it looks like. The costumes were just terrific. I loved the tower with the alarm horns and how that was done. And the little touches like all the potted plants, carts etc. Perfect.

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

Passagas the Brown
The Shire

Jun 20 2013, 4:29am

Post #24 of 61 (462 views)
Agreed with both [In reply to] Can't Post

Bag End is perfect. And I love the use of fur in the costumes this time around. I was somewhat disappointed that we didn't see much fur in LOTR.

Would have liked to see more of this tangible craftsmanship throughout the film.

Passagas the Brown
The Shire

Jun 20 2013, 4:31am

Post #25 of 61 (488 views)
I also love Azog's design [In reply to] Can't Post

He strikes me as some sort of Orc Deity, practically carved from stone. Has a great silhouette too.

His role in the story, however, is less inspired. Apart from his appearance in the Azanulbizar flashback (which was excellent) he's a stock villain in a film that didn't need him.

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