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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
A question about the Necromancer and the general audience *SPOILERS*
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The Mitch King
Rohan


Jul 6 2013, 5:57am

Post #1 of 44 (1433 views)
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A question about the Necromancer and the general audience *SPOILERS* Can't Post

Do you know anyone or think any of the general movie goers are ignorant as to the identity of the Necromancer? Obviously we know it is Sauron but I wonder if anyone doesn't know it. The Nazgul was a little obvious for a hint to me! I could see the design in AUJ throwing people off though. Do you think they were even trying to make the Necromancer thing a big movie reveal/shocker? It doesn't seem so to me.


Yngwulff
Gondor


Jul 6 2013, 7:41am

Post #2 of 44 (663 views)
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Possibly to casual fans [In reply to] Can't Post

Some may not have put 2 and 2 together.

“I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”



AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jul 6 2013, 7:58am

Post #3 of 44 (633 views)
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Casual fans who are being sequential and have not yet seen the Rings films, especially children [In reply to] Can't Post

for whom An Unexpected has served as the introduction to these movies as aseries, will largely not know and will have it unfold as the story unfolds. Indeed, any fan who is coming to these movies with this series could be unaware until, and there are lots of people who fall into that category.

As to casual fans who have seen the original, I would say two thirds will figure it early on, and the rest, because they do not KNOW the way that we know, and because the setting is so far away and very distinctive from Mordor, may still find it a revelation, even if the Nazgul are something of a tell. However, those who were not paying enough attention to realize just how bound to Sauron The Nine are might still assume that they, or beings very much like them, could be summoned or controlled by some other dark power or necromancer.

In Reply To
Do you know anyone or think any of the general movie goers are ignorant as to the identity of the Necromancer? Obviously we know it is Sauron but I wonder if anyone doesn't know it. The Nazgul was a little obvious for a hint to me! I could see the design in AUJ throwing people off though. Do you think they were even trying to make the Necromancer thing a big movie reveal/shocker? It doesn't seem so to me.


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


Jul 6 2013, 8:03am

Post #4 of 44 (658 views)
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Well, for the more astute casual movie-goers there is a fairly obvious clue that is not a Nazgul [In reply to] Can't Post

Saruman says "What enemy? Gandalf, the enemy is defeated. Sauron is vanquished. He can never regain his full strength."

Those who have seen LotR will know how wrong Saruman is and they will also know that they should trust very little of what he says.

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


Yngwulff
Gondor


Jul 6 2013, 8:08am

Post #5 of 44 (618 views)
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Saruman shoulda known better [In reply to] Can't Post

And perhaps he did and was just rtying to throw everyone at the Council off because of his own Ring metal detecting aspirations .. just sayin'

“I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”



The Mitch King
Rohan


Jul 6 2013, 8:29am

Post #6 of 44 (584 views)
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Totally forgot about this! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Saruman says "What enemy? Gandalf, the enemy is defeated. Sauron is vanquished. He can never regain his full strength."

Those who have seen LotR will know how wrong Saruman is and they will also know that they should trust very little of what he says.


Why would they have such a revealing line?? It feels like they really don't care about the surprise and IMO they are missing a huge opportunity to really shock and interest people!


DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 6 2013, 8:32am

Post #7 of 44 (630 views)
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Absolutely ... many, many, many people (general movie-goers, have read the book once, seen the LOTR films 10 years ago) have asked me who the Necromancer is. [In reply to] Can't Post

Including my partner, my siblings and other family and friends. I don't know the reason why they haven't all put two and two together. Is it because the White Council don't put two and two together either - if they don't think it's Sauron, why would the general audience? Also, it's been 10 years since the LOTR trilogy came out. Sauron just isn't in their radar anymore. There's also the fact that the general audience will think Sauron looks like a floating eye, or prologue Sauron. The shadowy figure is unlike the Sauron we've seen previously. They may (or may not) think the Necromancer is simply a Ringwraith (or other minion of Sauron, perhaps the Mouth of Sauron?)

I think it will come as a surprise in DOS when we find out the Necromancer is Sauron reincarnate. People won't see it coming, I don't think. And that's the way it *should* be. Had The Hobbit been filmed and released first, no-one would know his true identity.

Coming soon! The first TORn Amateur Symposium, starts Sunday 21st July in the Reading Room. Closing date for essay submission Sunday 14th July, but even if you don't submit, join us for some interesting discussion on some different and personal ways of looking at Tolkien's work.




AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jul 6 2013, 8:32am

Post #8 of 44 (577 views)
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True enough. Though, I would caution against driving ourselves to distraction [In reply to] Can't Post

over the reveal of identity. There is more to a good story than big reveals and Shocked moments. George R.R. Martin may find this out the hard way if he pulls many more of them. lol


The movie Titanic couldn't put all its plot value on people not knowing *spoiler* that at the end the ship sinks. Also, Anakin becomes villanous and takes on the title Darth Vader. Voldemort will be making some manner of come back at some point in the Harry Potter movie, and will be the main villain again before all is said and done.

Surprises can be good, but a story that becomes all about aha moments can turn into a mess.

One major such thread for me deals with The Balrog. In all the dealings with and focus on Durin, his heirs, folk and kin, and on Moria, it would be a glaring oversight to have no mention at all of the Demon that killed Durin, emptied his halls of his folk, turned the kingdom into a place of dread and made it accesible to lesser evils like the orcs. There are a few who rather think the Demon should be "a big surprise". . . but when there has been this much refference to its lair, that would come across more as a continuity error and a big gimmick (see random baddie pulled out of a hat for tension).

I don't know that there is a way around some people figuring out that the Necromancer is Sauron. That is all right, as long as it still feels like a big reveal to many of the inhabitants of this version of Middle Earth.

"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."


The Mitch King
Rohan


Jul 6 2013, 8:47am

Post #9 of 44 (559 views)
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My opinion [In reply to] Can't Post

Is that the Hobbit doesn't have enough reveals! There aren't a lot of moments that can really catch folk off guard. I think Laketown getting destroyed could throw people off and I thought the Necromancer would be more of a mystery/detective storyline(It still could be). I see the point you make but a big moment of surprise could be great for a film!


AinurOlorin
Half-elven


Jul 6 2013, 9:58am

Post #10 of 44 (558 views)
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A certain Dwarf and two of his next of kin are going to fall ere all is done. [In reply to] Can't Post

That will be quite a surprise for many who don't already know.

Exactly what went on with Thrain is going to be another big reveal. That his abduction had to do with a Great Ring (we see it clearly in An Unexpected on Thror's hand, but no commentary is made regarding it there, yet we know that footage of Saruman commenting on The Seven was filmed) is another.

I still very much hope some Balrog allusion is handled, as to not do so makes the Fellowship moment more gimmick than revelation. A relevelation that no clues pointed to and with no backhistory is cheap.

As to the Necromancer. . . I agree to an extent, but then I am left to ask, how clandestine can they be without leaving out things that need to be revealed. They could have had wights and werewolves (orcs get stale after a time, and a Wizard deserves a more rare and special challenge) attack Radaghast in Dol Guldur and left The Nazgul for Gandalf to first encounter in film two, and left out all this business of shatterd tomb cell etc., but that just isn't the route they are going.

Of course, Saruman makes a semi-plausible case, if not for the fact that lots of people are going to deem him wrong or unforthcoming. especially if they have seen the other movies.

In Reply To
Is that the Hobbit doesn't have enough reveals! There aren't a lot of moments that can really catch folk off guard. I think Laketown getting destroyed could throw people off and I thought the Necromancer would be more of a mystery/detective storyline(It still could be). I see the point you make but a big moment of surprise could be great for a film!


"Hear me, hounds of Sauron, Gandalf is here! Fly if you value your foul skins, I will shrivel you from tail to snout if you step within this circle!"

"Do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

(This post was edited by AinurOlorin on Jul 6 2013, 10:00am)


Michelle Johnston
Rohan


Jul 6 2013, 10:38am

Post #11 of 44 (531 views)
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Providing Backstory to the LOTR films [In reply to] Can't Post

If I was writing the screen play for the Hobbit having already co written the LOTR screen play one element I would feel most comfortable about is turning over some of the nuances of the LOTR and investing them with depth and meaning. I give you four examples including the point raised here.

1) We know in LOTR Gandalf has been through Moria before and it holds fears for him. It would be good to see the reason for that line played out in the Hobbit.

2) We know Legolas takes upon himself the call to to Imladris and joins the fellowship. However we also know from the book Hobbit that his father is less inclined to a world view (in 1932 he did not know what one was) . We know from the trailer dialogue and AUJ that Swiss neutrality attitude will be played out. It would be good to see why Legolas disconnects from his fathers insularity and I think there is a very natural and organic way to achieve that.

3) Sauron will be on the table by the end of the first act of Gandalf's sub plot in DOS. I think it would be good to echo the appendices and give the audience the initial impression that he is defeated by the White Council to which film only goers will feel leaves tantalising loose ends . The drama, possibly in TABA, is we will see a glimpse of how wrong that is with Sauron gathering the nine and beginning the rebuilding of B D. It doesn't have to take long cinematically but it would be a nice twist for those at that level of interest and would give us some interesting visualisation.

4) Saruman is portrayed as a self important complacent do not rock the boat kind of character at the WC. As discussed elsewhere we expect him to be involved using CGI enhancements in the battle of DG but some enigmatic lines and nuanced playing from Chris Lee could show the first seeds of him being to interested in the arts of the enemy again without overplaying the matter.

My Dear Bilbo something is the matter with you! you are not the same hobbit that you were.


Danielos
Rohan

Jul 6 2013, 10:48am

Post #12 of 44 (569 views)
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What a wasted opportunity! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the Necromancer storyline was poorly done in AUJ. I would have prefered a much longer scene of Radagast slowly investigating a creepy Dol Guldur and finding clues about an ominous presence inhabiting it. Instead we get Witchking attacking, the Necromancer as a shadow ghost and a swarm of bats chasing the wizard. Terrible!!

More mystery and subtle hints here would have been much better. We shouldn“t see any of the major inhabitants there in the first movie at all!


GiantMushroomBear
Bree

Jul 6 2013, 2:04pm

Post #13 of 44 (462 views)
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In my opinion [In reply to] Can't Post

The Necromancer reveal should not be made such a huge deal out of. At this point, the audience doesn't know who this "Sauron" dude is, only those who have watched the OT. So if they revealed him to be Sauron, it would be terrible because none of the audience would care. In my opinion, it should be a quiet, mysterious reveal. Gandalf's in DG, doing whatever. The Necromancer appears, and Gandalf sees that he has only four fingers. He freaks out and goes to tell the White Council. But they make no mention of Sauron and the rings or the last alliance, that's why we have the FOTR prologue. They just talk about their concerns while the audience gets curious/scared. Then, maybe in TABA Bilbo reveals to Gandalf his ring, which will lead Gandalf on his brief investigation at the beginning of FOTR, nicely linking TH to LOTR.
I also agree with the other poster who said that Radagast's encounter at DG was poorly done. I didn't mind the necromancer or the bats. But when he started to fight with the Witch King, that, IMO, totally broke the creepy tension and was just...not good. Plus, it was never mentioned throughout the film ever again. SERIOUSLY WHITE COUNCIL? YOU CAN KEEP TALKING ABOUT THE FREAKING MORGUL BLADE AS IF IT'S NOTHING, BUT YOU MAKE NO MENTION OF THE FACT THAT THERE WAS A RINGWRAITH...RIGHT THERE...WITH RADAGAST!? It would make sense if Radagast didn't fight it, and it was just there creeping around, that would feed more into the atmosphere.


Aitieuriskon
Lorien


Jul 6 2013, 2:08pm

Post #14 of 44 (458 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

They should have spent more time on that scene. In addition, since CGI has become so prevalent as a device in the production of these films, I think they could have spent more time creating a genuinely terrifying encounter for Radagast rather than the Nazgul ambush, which just felt underwhelming. I'm also not a fan of the necromancer as a shadow, or at least not how he appears in AUJ. Hopefully when we see him next his appearance will be more physically/psychologically imposing. Craft better CGI for the villains who deserve it, PJ!

"After all, I believe that legends and myths are largely made of 'truth', and indeed present aspects of it that can only be received in this mode; and long ago certain truths and modes of this kind were discovered and must always reappear." Professor Tolkien, 1951


micha84
Rivendell

Jul 6 2013, 4:08pm

Post #15 of 44 (407 views)
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Casual fans... [In reply to] Can't Post

Casual fans who are being introduced to Tolkien through this series will be quite puzzled by a lot of things. If AUJ is your entry point, how does the Frodo bit at the beginning make any sense? It doesn't. Those scenes, and in a way half the movie, are pure nostalgia moments for LOTR fans. I think it's a shame that they didn't approach the Hobbit as if LOTR didn't exist. A lot of it is plain copying of LOTR moments, and that's not Tolkien's fault at all. I know the storylines have parallels. I mean the stuff they added in. I could give a long list of examples...

My opinion is, that because the Hobbit movies are what they are, you are supposed to watch LOTR first. And that's a bit annoying. Watching The Hobbit first creates too many awkward moments. And worst of all: it makes many LOTR scenes weaker because they would feel like "oh that's copied from the Hobbit".. err, no?


The Mitch King
Rohan


Jul 6 2013, 5:13pm

Post #16 of 44 (374 views)
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Very true [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
That will be quite a surprise for many who don't already know.

Exactly what went on with Thrain is going to be another big reveal. That his abduction had to do with a Great Ring (we see it clearly in An Unexpected on Thror's hand, but no commentary is made regarding it there, yet we know that footage of Saruman commenting on The Seven was filmed) is another.

I still very much hope some Balrog allusion is handled, as to not do so makes the Fellowship moment more gimmick than revelation. A relevelation that no clues pointed to and with no backhistory is cheap.

As to the Necromancer. . . I agree to an extent, but then I am left to ask, how clandestine can they be without leaving out things that need to be revealed. They could have had wights and werewolves (orcs get stale after a time, and a Wizard deserves a more rare and special challenge) attack Radaghast in Dol Guldur and left The Nazgul for Gandalf to first encounter in film two, and left out all this business of shatterd tomb cell etc., but that just isn't the route they are going.

Of course, Saruman makes a semi-plausible case, if not for the fact that lots of people are going to deem him wrong or unforthcoming. especially if they have seen the other movies.

In Reply To
Is that the Hobbit doesn't have enough reveals! There aren't a lot of moments that can really catch folk off guard. I think Laketown getting destroyed could throw people off and I thought the Necromancer would be more of a mystery/detective storyline(It still could be). I see the point you make but a big moment of surprise could be great for a film!



About those deaths at the end of TABA! That will really shock people.


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jul 6 2013, 6:10pm

Post #17 of 44 (364 views)
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Agreed... [In reply to] Can't Post

IMO, the Dol Guldur story should have been handled initially with little hints which Gandy and Co. have to connect...I'd have preferred that our heroes already were aware that the Necromaner and his minions were inhabiting the place before AUJ began, but the investigation into the Necro's identity could have included Gandalf's encounter with Thrain, Elves and perhaps others disappearing in Mirkwood, the reappearance of Azog...I had hoped Gandy would be in Raymond Chandler detective mode in TH.

Hopefully we might still get some of that in DoS, at any rate.

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


Lieutenant of Dol Guldur
Gondor


Jul 6 2013, 6:12pm

Post #18 of 44 (366 views)
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Does the movie-White Council already knows about the Ringwraiths? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not talking about the book. I know that they know it but in the movie canon things are different. The whole Nazgūl history is different.

Isn't it correct that the bodies of the Nine were buried after they were defeated? Isn't that what Galadriel talks about? Their bodies are looked-in these High Falls aren't they? The Northmen put mighty spells on the entrance which can't be broken because nobody has this power (except for Sauron obviously). The White Council can't imagine how the Morgul Blade could leave these tombs. So I think they have no idea that Sauron turned the Nine into Ringwraiths at this point haven't they?

So Radagast fought a wraith at Dol Guldur and he mentiones it to Gandalf when he tells him about a Necromancer who can "summon the spirits of the dead". And the Council talks about it but Saruman is certain that Radagast isn't telling the truth because he believes that there is no such power in Middle-earth.

In the end I think Gandalf and Radagast will discover that the Nine turned into wraiths after their visit of the tombs and they notice that they were broken from the inside not the outside. Our problem is that we A) know that he was fighting a Ringwraith (because we've seen it in FOTR) and B) we know the books were it is known that the Nine became wraiths sometime after they put on the nine rings.


"There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power."

(This post was edited by Lieutenant of Dol Guldur on Jul 6 2013, 6:21pm)


The Mitch King
Rohan


Jul 6 2013, 6:40pm

Post #19 of 44 (341 views)
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I think... [In reply to] Can't Post

Radagast, Gandalf, Galadriel and Elrond all know it. Saruman probably does too though he won't admit Gandalf or Radagast just might be right.

Radagast saw the wraith AND the Necromancer. Somehow he knew it was an "ancient horror" which speaks to something other than a man conjuring dark magic. Plus he saw the morgul blade.

Gandalf probably knows because he actually talked to Radagast and had the blade for a good while. He knows well where morgul blades come from.

Galadriel backs Gandalf and shares his concerns. She actually said "Angmar" and obviously knows about the rings of power.

Saruman is very wise and no doubt knows what is going on.

Elrond stated stuff about the magical spells and probably knows darn well who is all buried there, the rings they have, the reason they were put there and who they are connected to.

The Wise wouldn't really be the Wise if they couldn't put it all together right? Obviously these characters needed magical tombs! Seems like it's a big deal!


Lieutenant of Dol Guldur
Gondor


Jul 6 2013, 7:07pm

Post #20 of 44 (330 views)
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That doesn't answer my question. Here's my theory [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes they know that the Nine served Sauron. But only as their human form right? How can you bury a wraith? Perhaps all FEAR it but nobody knows it yet. I understand it this way (movie canon/underline means fact):

Sauron gave the nine rings of power to the nine King of Men (FOTR Prologue)
They served him as his commanders
The rings gave them unnatural long life (like the One did with Bilbo and especially with Smeagol)
Sauron was defeated at the Battle of the Last Alliance (FOTR Prologue)
The Nine escaped somehow (at least the Witch King)
Their leader built his own kingdom in the far north calling it "Angmar"
He became known as the Witch King of Angmar (still a human)
Sometime before the events of AUJ he fought against the Men of the North and was finally defeated
"When Angmar fell the Men of the North took HIS BODY and all he possessed and sealed it in the High Fells of Rhudaur" (Galadriel in AUJ)
Now his blade appears and no one knows how this is possible that it left the tombs
Galadriel sends Gandalf to investigate what happens to the bodies of the Nine
Gandalf and Radagast discover the empty and broken (from inside) tombs which tells them that the Nine were resurrected in some way and broke out
Gandalf fears even more that Sauron is behind all this
"Gandalf if you're right the world is in grrrreat danger!" (Radagast in DOS)
In Dol Guldur Gandalf learns that Sauron is indeed back and that the Nine returned as wraiths to serve him

All this tells me that the White Council has no idea what happens to the Nine King of Men after they died in battle. They know about the rings of power for sure but I don't think that they yet understand the whole power these rings have on a human body.


"There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power."

(This post was edited by Lieutenant of Dol Guldur on Jul 6 2013, 7:10pm)


The Mitch King
Rohan


Jul 6 2013, 7:19pm

Post #21 of 44 (316 views)
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OK [In reply to] Can't Post

So here's what I'm thinking. If Radagast said that he saw a spirit of the dead, that spirit happened to have the Witch King's sword, he saw the Necromancer then how would they not know about the wraiths? They know they had magic rings and they know at least one is raised from the dead. Wouldn't your initial though be "Hey, one evil king is raised from the dead, weren't there 8 others too? Aren't they connected to Sauron, the only person that would have been able to do this?" Perhaps they aren't calling them wraiths but they know there was a spirit raised that had Angmar's sword which carries tons of implications to say the least!


LordGawain
Rivendell

Jul 6 2013, 7:46pm

Post #22 of 44 (311 views)
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appearance [In reply to] Can't Post

How do you think the nine will look in the next two films? I personally hope they will be cloaked. I thought the CG Witch King looked pretty fake in AUJ, and for the general audience, they would be much more recognizable. I would also prefer themto be played by actors in future fight scenes, and not be CGI.


Captain Salt
Tol Eressea


Jul 6 2013, 8:09pm

Post #23 of 44 (308 views)
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Well, someone on here called "nameless thing" [In reply to] Can't Post

claimed that he/she played the Witch-King in AUJ...if true, seems they went the mo-cap route with this.

To be honest, I'd have preferred that the Nazgul not appear in TH in favor of Sauron having vampire and werewolf lieutenants in Dol Guldur along with Wights, and well...other nameless things. However, when the White Council invades Sauron's domain in either DoS or TABA, PJ probably won't be able to resist putting some cool, new creatures in there.

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


Lieutenant of Dol Guldur
Gondor


Jul 6 2013, 8:30pm

Post #24 of 44 (284 views)
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I'd like to see the living statues in action [In reply to] Can't Post

The moving Nazgūl-statue in AUJ reminded me a little bit of the three-headed watcher statues from Cirith Ungol. The ones Sam could only pass because of the Phial of Galadriel.

I'm not sure if the Nazgūl-statue from AUJ was moving because it was a Nazgūl inside of it or if it's a magical thing like the Mordor watchers in the book. Perhaps we see some stone Nazgūl fighting the White Council? Like the stone soldiers from the last Harry Potter movie but much deadlier! After all we've got mountains that began moving and attacking each other why not a small statue? ;)


"There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power."


The Mitch King
Rohan


Jul 6 2013, 8:47pm

Post #25 of 44 (284 views)
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I think... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
How do you think the nine will look in the next two films? I personally hope they will be cloaked. I thought the CG Witch King looked pretty fake in AUJ, and for the general audience, they would be much more recognizable. I would also prefer themto be played by actors in future fight scenes, and not be CGI.


When Sauron is revealed he will show himself and probably the Nazgul in armor for the conflict. Mocap for the Necromancer is confirmed and the black rider look could work but isn't it only for an identity for the Nazgul when searching for the One?

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