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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Should/will we get an explanation of who Sauron is? SPOILERS

Scourge of the Stoors

Jul 7 2013, 8:15am

Post #1 of 18 (1033 views)
Should/will we get an explanation of who Sauron is? SPOILERS Can't Post

Sauron. We got a good explanation of who he was in LotR, and it made sense there. With the Hobbit, it's more complicated because:
1. He isn't the main villain, which means exposition would run into a brick wall and never have payoff within TH movies
2. Many audience members already know, and it would be redundant for them
3. For home viewing, ie a ME marathon, we would have two explanations for a single character and it would feel especially redundant.
4. There are many youngsters now who have never seen LotR, and are now holding out on doing so because they want chronology from TH. Imagine I there was no explanation. "the necromancer is Sauron." "the necromancer is who?"
5. All of those on the White Council know full well who Sauron is, so it would take an ignorant character to justify an in-movie explanation.

Bottom line is, I really think they need to explain who Sauron is somehow, but not oversell it. I would be bothered if they just assumed that we watched LotR first, that would seem like cheating.

Lieutenant of Dol Guldur

Jul 7 2013, 10:59am

Post #2 of 18 (487 views)
I think there will be a few hints [In reply to] Can't Post

First of all I think we'll see/hear a little in the EE scene from AUJ where Bilbo discovers Narsil and perhaps the painting with Isildur fighting Sauron behind it. There are hints on the soundtrack that there will be a little bit of Sauron talk during that scene because the Necromancers theme is featured (even before the meeting of the White Council) between the themes of Bilbo and Rivendell. I think Elrond will tell Bilbo a little about Narsils past and that there was once a dark Lord called Sauron who is now defeated

In the White Council scene Sauron is referenced as "the enemy" (by Gandalf) and as "defeated" (by Saruman)

Perhaps later they discover who the Necromancer is and that he is very dangerous for the whole world and must be stopped

After the Battle of Dol Guldur they will talk about him and that he needs the One Ring to regain his full strenght. Without him he won't be able to take physical form

I think that's all the audience has to know about him yet. His important background (although is only a very, very small part of his past) is mentioned in LOTR. Perhaps there are more scenes in the EEs of DOS and TABA which feature more about his past but I don't any more in the theatrical versions because it is not his story (yet). There will be hints but nothing more.

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

Tol Eressea

Jul 7 2013, 7:08pm

Post #3 of 18 (351 views)
I'm fine with a few subtle hints [In reply to] Can't Post

But anything more than that just seems, as you put it, redundant. Personally I feel Sauron had his time in the LOTR films and really has no place in the Hobbit films as anything more than a secondary character with little or no development. I despise the fact that the writers felt all evil in middle earth needs to be tied in a nice neat bow to him in the Hobbit films to this point already. And am not really happy about Bolg being the "torturer of DolGuldur", another unnecessary tie in to LOTR, I feel its a waste of time and effort to link the two. Maybe if Tolkien had written it that way I wouldn't care so much but it just seems like Jackson at this point is just happy to make things up as he sees fit instead of following the guidelines Tolkien gave him to work within. (which by the way when he does, the films are brilliant IMO) But Jackson IMO(again) lacks subtlety, which I find sad and lacking.

I think subtle hints like maybe showing a hooded robed figure, hunched over in dirty tattered robes that are falling apart(as if he were buried in them for hundreds of years), possibly revealing pieces of Sauron's old armor underneath, all rusted and tarnished. Maybe even showing the gauntlet of one hand missing fingers as its wrapped around some sort of twisted gnarled black wooden staff. Something like that no real dialogue for him, no shots of his face, leave him mysterious. With any shots we do see of him making the interior have that same orangeish glow reminiscent of the flaming eyeball or the look inside the palantir.

But should we get an explanation who he is?.... My simple answer is NO, not in these films. He gets all the explanation he needs in LOTR which is where it should be left IMO

Tol Eressea

Jul 7 2013, 8:10pm

Post #4 of 18 (325 views)
i nagree that saurons [In reply to] Can't Post

identity is a matter for lotr. not TH.

But having already established the dark ghost figure, i suspect we will get his reveal.

By the way sinister, have you seen the trailer for DOS and the news that malickfan brought form the empire article?

Vous commencez m'ennuyer avec le port!!!

Tol Eressea

Jul 7 2013, 8:33pm

Post #5 of 18 (315 views)
Ive been on vacation and have only seen the new vlog and trailer on my cell phone [In reply to] Can't Post

so I haven't had a chance to dissect them. even though I'm sure I wont care for what I see based on the comments I have read about Jackson being happy to deviate from what Tolkien wrote.Unsure


Jul 7 2013, 9:26pm

Post #6 of 18 (304 views)
Oh that it explains it... [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought you'd died of shock after seeing the Crystal Skull, I mean Desolation of Smaug Trailer Wink

The Empire article is availbel to read here as page scans (its very interesting, and rather worrying in equal measure):


This is not a very interesting signature is it?

Tol Eressea

Jul 7 2013, 9:38pm

Post #7 of 18 (290 views)
Ahhh [In reply to] Can't Post

as with malick here, i assumed you had received a blast or something from reading the article...

Yes i believe he said hes enjoying deviating from tolkien...

Eager to hear what you think. Wink

Vous commencez m'ennuyer avec le port!!!


Jul 7 2013, 9:52pm

Post #8 of 18 (290 views)
Well at least he's being honest [In reply to] Can't Post

By admitting he's deviating, its better than claiming its in the spirit of the book, several of my non book reader friends seemed generally surprised to find out Radagast, Tauriel and Legolas weren't featured heavily in the appendices their Idol PJ was so fond of talking about.

This is not a very interesting signature is it?

Tol Eressea

Jul 7 2013, 10:43pm

Post #9 of 18 (299 views)
What I think would probably get me a lifetime ban... [In reply to] Can't Post

But i'll be polite so as not to go that far Wink

If that is the way Jackson truly feels maybe he should have left the source material alone and let someone who does care about what Tolkien wrote direct the films Honestly I find it sad how much care he claims to have put into LOTR (even though there were changes) and how much (what it seems like to me after reading his comments) lip service about caring about the source material. Which now I believe to be nothing more than public relations to appease the Tolkien fans and nothing more. Maybe there is more to it than meets the eye and Christopher Tolkien has been right all along. Personally I find Jackson's changes in the Hobbit to make no sense and be illogical compared to what Tolkien wrote. Take trollshaws for instance

Tolkien wrote the dwarfs sent Bilbo in to investigate what the fire in the distance was. They were cold, wet, tired trying to maybe see if he could get them some food or see if the dwarfs could warm themselves by whomever's fire. Bilbo then himself discovers the occupants of the camp to be the trolls, and chooses to try and prove his worth by pinching a talking purse. Where he fails miserably. I don't mind leaving the purse out but they could of had Bilbo trying to get some food and getting caught instead ... Perfectly logical reasoning IMO. I admit I agree with Jackson's change to have all the dwarfs come running in to Bilbo's rescue was a bit more logical than having them come in one by one and get sacks over their heads. Something that would have made sense on film and fit well with the book.

But instead we get Bilbo carrying soup to Kili and Fili, who have lost a few ponies. They then look upon a path of destruction (strange none of the other dwarfs seen or heard anything right under their own noses) with trees uprooted and pushed over, not to mention I'm sure the ponies weren't quiet and just stood still while being abducted by the troll who was obviously not sneaking.. So here we have physical damage to the area near the dwarfs, and ponies making noise while being taken. Then the 2 younger dwarfs and Bilbo follow a path of destruction to send Bilbo, a small hobbit, in against 3 trolls. To do what? Get the ponies back because Thorin will be mad? Makes sense right? Tongue Maybe he should be mad because Kili and Fili are deaf and can't hear a herd of mumakills trampling thru the forest to take their ponies in the first place. Heck I'd be ticked off too. Then we get Bilbo talking about cooking dwarfs and parasites stepping up to save the day, when it should have been Gandalf. Bilbo was pretty useless up until the spiders and that was part of his charm in Tolkien's book. But that is NOT the logic Jackson follows when making his changes to what Tolkien wrote. Like I said I agree with them rushing in together to save Bilbo, but the rest IMO sucks compared to Tolkien

Then we get goblin town where the dwarfs are falling and falling and guess what? MORE FALLING. I loved the character moments of Goblin Town but the constant falling was a bit much and ludicrous to me anyways. For those who liked it I'm happy for them but I hated it. Maybe Jackson should have focused on the acting of the actors, making us love the characters even more and not so much on the obvious computer doubles running and falling and then running and falling some more, then falling maybe running, then swinging across some deep hole, running some more, then falling, and falling , and falling, just to have the dead corpse of the great Goblin fall on top of them. And that scene wasn't awarded an Oscar? Crazy I wonder why...

Then we have all the Azog made up stuff which was about the weakest stuff I've seen in any fantasy film in over a decade. Especially since Bolg who was a character Tolkien wrote into the story of the Hobbit would have worked just as well as Azog IF they had to have someone chasing Thorin and company around middle earth. At least Bolg wouldn't have been completely rewriting what Tolkien wrote. But Jackson is all proud of that now isn't he?

OK NOW we get to the new trailer.

With the matrix elves jumping over 30 feet high, dwarfs fighting their way out of Thranduil's halls. I thought the dwarfs were using stealth to get out... Ohhhh thats right that was Tolkien who wrote that. Jackson's version is bound to be much more entertaining. Plus we get more made up content with Tauriel, Legolas, and Azog OH MY! Unsure.... Dwarfs swinging axes while floating in open barrels down rapids. Must be the barrels were never meant to be reused, they must just rebuild them with all the pieces that wash ashore. Sheesh Angelic I thought part of the adventure with Bilbo rescuing the dwarfs was Bilbo packing them in the barrels and the reader (in this case the viewer) doesn't know what happens to the dwarfs. Bilbo believes he has drown them, hence one of his riddles to Smaug, "he who drowns his friends and brings them back to life" (not exact I know but same concept) Might be a bit boring but it doesn't need to be some 20 minute sequence with elves and orcs and fighting. IMO the book has never steered me wrong and I have faith in what Tolkien wrote. That it would work on film heaven forbid there's 10 minutes on screen without someone fighting or running or falling. Crazy

Then we get wonderful Tolkien dialogue "this is not our fight" "It is our fight" from Legolas and Tauriel only to be followed by almost the same exact dialogue "what if It's a trap?" "It's undoubtedly a trap" by Gandalf and Radagast. I am simply stunned. Such Oscar worthy dialogue. Oh wait again that's not Tolkien, more made up content... Surprise surprise Mad

Plus we have "Fluffy" the 3 headed dog from the Harry Potter films trying to eat the dwarfs thru a door but you only see one head... Ohh wait my bad that's Beorn. Why is Beorn attacking the dwarfs? Why isn't Gandalf reintroducing us to the dwarfs while introducing them to Beorn. Or at least in some way or another. Personally I think the CGI for Beorn in bear form looks horrible. Very Cartoonish IMO. At least the real types of creatures looked or were real in LOTR. They could at least make a bear look realistic it's not like they can't scan a real bear Why cartoonish?

And please I pray Smaug is simply unfinished and just in the development stages because what we saw in the trailer looks nothing like a creature worthy of gracing LOTR. At least in LOTR the creatures looked real. they might not have been real but in the films they looked like living breathing creatures. Smaug so far looks like a rejected design from the last Jurassic Park film to me. Maybe Peter Jackson spent too much time with Spielberg since there is way too much look of Jurassic Park, and Indiana Jones. Just a personal theory thoughWink

So pretty much the trailer leaves me about as thrilled to see DOS as I was after seeing AUJ. Not very. I'll probably watch it at the matinee for 5 bucks at least once and then probably never see it again until my wife buys me the blueray/DVD (I'll probably have her only waste her money once and wait for the EE) I could be wrong and the film might be good. IMO they can't get any worse at this point. I thought we were going into middle earth but I kept waiting for Indiana Jones to make an appearance in the trailer, swinging his whip while Aliens took off in the background. Which who knows that might still happen. Now we all the know the truth that Jackson simply doesn't care about Tolkien's story or anything that Tolkien wrote.

(This post was edited by sinister71 on Jul 7 2013, 10:52pm)


Jul 7 2013, 11:40pm

Post #10 of 18 (252 views)
Gandalf and the White Council need to come to an understanding as to who is the Necromancer [In reply to] Can't Post

It is difficult to prevent giving away the reveal to the audience when the Council needs to act on this information. The only solution that I can see is to avoid actually using Sauron's name, but only referring to him by his titles: The Enemy, the Dark Lord, the Shadow, the Lord of Barad-dur, etc.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

Tol Eressea

Jul 7 2013, 11:55pm

Post #11 of 18 (239 views)
I am perfectly fine with that [In reply to] Can't Post

or simply referring to him as the Necromancer as well with only subtle visual hints Wink

Tol Eressea

Jul 8 2013, 12:50am

Post #12 of 18 (221 views)
Well said sinister [In reply to] Can't Post

you certainy adress many of the complaints many have with TH.

One thing jackson fails miserably at, is his constant turning of very charming and uniquely iconic moments form the books, into over blown, average, stale, action blockbuster scenes.

Those moments : 15 Birds, Trolls, Barrels, Beorn? are very dear moments form the books to me and many others. They are witty and funny, and charming and magical in a way that only Tolkien can do.

This trailer certainly only confirms this indulgency of jacksons.

On radagasts line about the trap , gandalf responds by stating its UNDOUBTEDLY a trap...i take this as a sign of Radagast's stupidity, which is understandable, considering hes a drug addict. Tongue

I believe Azogs role even if ot had been replaced with Bolg would still be a dumbed attempt at Lotrizing TH. Its basically the work of very lazy, very disrespectfull of tolkiens work, and very vulgar, hollywoodian popcorn writers with their 101 screenwrtiting ideas replacing Tolkiens , and a lazy director of course.

What was described in the book before rivendell is wonderfull and simple. Too much for jackson, i guess.

Theres too much here for me to answer right now. ill get back to you later.

Great post. Wink

Vous commencez m'ennuyer avec le port!!!

(This post was edited by Lusitano on Jul 8 2013, 12:58am)

Tol Eressea

Jul 8 2013, 1:36am

Post #13 of 18 (211 views)
Personally [In reply to] Can't Post

i like the title the Necromancer better than sauron, Necromancer just sounds creepy & evil. Since they are merging LOTR's into TH i bet they will discover his identity and call him sauron by the end of TABA.

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!!


Jul 8 2013, 3:36am

Post #14 of 18 (204 views)
The Necromacer in 'The Hobbit' [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
i like the title the Necromancer better than sauron, Necromancer just sounds creepy & evil. Since they are merging LOTR's into TH i bet they will discover his identity and call him sauron by the end of TABA.

Even in The Hobbit, it seems fairly clear to me that when Gandalf and Elrond speak of the Necromancer, they have an understanding of his true identity (even if Tolkien, himself, had not fully developed the idea yet).


"Ere long now," Gandalf was saying, "the Forest will grow somewhat more wholesome. The North will be freed from that horror for many long years, I hope. Yet I wish he were banished from the world!"

"It would be well indeed," said Elrond: "but I fear that will not come about in this age of the world, or for many after."

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

The Mitch King

Jul 8 2013, 7:30am

Post #15 of 18 (169 views)
Sauron [In reply to] Can't Post

Should he be explained?

Absolutely! It will be impossible not to! Looking at your 5 points....

1) We actually don't know that he isn't the main villain in the movies. There has been *POSSIBLE SPOILERS* rumors of him being at or involved in the Battle of Five Armies! That would put him in the story later and more centralized(due to this AND Dol Guldur) than Smaug IMO. I also reject the premise that it won't have a payoff in the Hobbit. The Nazgul awakening and the rise of Sauron are pretty darn crucial to the big picture! The payoff comes when the White Council does there dirty work and shows how he ended up in Mordor for LOTR. Plus it is an explanation of the spiders and maybe even Azog and Bolg's involvement.

2) I know who he is and I prefer to see it still actually. I don't care for having the WC dealing with some unknown jerk in Mirkwood without explanation. Why do the wizards and powerful elves need to get involved for just some average dude ya know? Really gives us the stakes they are facing!

3) We would have two explanations but they would be totally different angles on the character! One deals with the rise of him, the Nazgul, the corruption of Mirkwood and his arrival in Mordor. The real problem would be if they had two explanations that were IDENTICAL. I don't even know if I like the term explanation. If anything he is simply getting his story told just like Gandalf, Saruman, Bilbo, Elrond, Galadriel or any other recurring character in both trilogies.

4) You raise a good point. It would be ridiculous to not explain why Sauron is such a big deal which required all the most powerful allies' attention and might. Plus it is almost necessary just because of new viewers.

5)I disagree. They don't have to be ignorant of Sauron but they DO need to be ignorant of his current identity, which they are! So when they reveal it an explanation will inevitably follow since they need to react with such a show of force to counter this stranger and his minions. If we don't understand who he his is then how can we understand bringing out the White Council to battle one enemy?

Don't worry, Sauron will be explained. Saruman has already used his name for goodness sake! The High Fells scene will have some large implications prodded by Gandalf and Radagast amongst themselves. Everything I have heard about the next movie suggest Sauron will not only talk but also interact with his environment and supposedly his enemies as well. How can we understand any of the DG stuff without Sauron's backstory?

I can actually see his origins getting a more in depth explanation in TH than what LOTR gave us which wasn't much.

Don't even get me started with the One Ring which has been emphasized already! Let's just say he needs to be introduced and explained!


(This post was edited by The Mitch King on Jul 8 2013, 7:37am)


Jul 8 2013, 8:32am

Post #16 of 18 (154 views)
It makes sense not to use his name [In reply to] Can't Post

1 - similar to old Northern european folklore/superstition naming something evil could bring evil upon you or allow that entity via sorcery to spy on you ... tolkien knew this well from his studies

2 even in the lotr they refrain as much as possible from using saurons actual name for the above stated reasons and usually referred to him as the eye or the enemy or the dark lord

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.


Jul 8 2013, 5:22pm

Post #17 of 18 (100 views)
Good thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

However, most of that would be a distraction from the story. Other have been more eloquent in their ideas on this, so I'll leave it at that.


Jul 10 2013, 8:03am

Post #18 of 18 (60 views)
... [In reply to] Can't Post

Well according to the appendices, when Galdalf entered Dol Guldur and encountered a mad Thrain and was given the key and the map, he also figured out the Necromancer was Sauron. He then talked to the White Council and urged an attack on Dol Guldur, but Saruman shot that down as he himself had begun searching for the One ring. This was roughly 90 years before Bilbo's adventure. It is only at the time of Bilbo's adventure that Saruman relents and the White Council attacks Dol Guldur and forces Sauron to flee back to Mordor.

Now obviously things have changed in the film adaptation. We are unsure where or when Gandalf met Thrain to get the map and the key. We do know that at the time of Bilbo's adventure Gandalf does not know the Necromancer's true identity, but suspects great evil in Dol Guldur, based on what he says in the White Council meeting. We know Galadriel charges Gandalf with "solving the riddle of the Morgul blade."

So the assumption can be made that at some point Gandalf will go to Dol Guldur, and though it is 90 years later than in the book he will discover the identity of the Necromancer. Which will in turn lead to the White Council's assault on Dol Guldur and Sauron's spirit fleeing. Somewhere in all of that, they will give you your explanation of who Sauron is. Probably in a scene where Gandalf says "I just got back from Dol Guldur and Sauron is living there!"


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