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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The Black Arrow


Aug 30 2013, 7:42pm

Post #1 of 7 (746 views)
The Black Arrow Can't Post

This might seem silly to some, but since I read The Hobbit as a young boy I have often wondered about the “Black Arrow” used by Bard to kill Smaug. From what little Tolkien wrote of it in the book it is clearly an heirloom of the line of Girion, passed down to Bard. Bard mentioned that he had used it in the past, always retrieving it afterwards. Bard also said it had been handed down by his forefathers, so I suppose we could reasonably assume some of Bard’s forefathers carried, used and recovered the Black Arrow in the same fashion.

I think an argument could also be made that while it was not specifically mentioned, the Black Arrow benefits from some sort of enchantment or magical properties.

At times I’ve thought that the Black Arrow would make a really cool centerpiece in a short series of graphic novels or comics, with each issue detailing a minor adventure or lifetime of adventures by one of Bard’s ancestors. Sort of a window into the history of Dale and the House of Girion as seen from the perspective of the Black Arrow.

But for the purpose of this post; what, if any, backstory on the Black Arrow will be covered in the movies? Will PJ stick close to the book and Bard’s passing comment suggesting that the Black Arrow is special, but no more? Or do you think they will actually spend a little screen time and give the Black Arrow something of a history?

* Note- This is sort of a rehash of a post I made a year or two ago, but I wanted to bring it up again because there are so many new people on the boards, and because as I recall last time I made the mistake of posting around Comic Con time and it flew off the first page so fast. I would be very interested in reading what people think will happen, based on what we've seen so far in AUJ.

"Alas for Boromir! It was too sore a trial!"


Tol Eressea

Aug 30 2013, 7:46pm

Post #2 of 7 (467 views)
there have been rumors [In reply to] Can't Post

might have been in the post you previously did) that the arrow was something made by the dwarfs.

whether they need to show any back story for it I really don't think they do. But if its done in a scene covering something else in the past I'm not apposed to it. is it necessary No I don't think it is, would it be cool to see Sure. I just don;t know if it warrants it own back story flashback


Aug 30 2013, 8:27pm

Post #3 of 7 (335 views)
Yeah [In reply to] Can't Post

Apparently we will see it used in AUJ EE in the prologue.


Aug 30 2013, 8:28pm

Post #4 of 7 (377 views)
The rumours have been around for quite some time ... it's in the book ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I had you from my father and he from old. If ever you came from the forges of the True King under the Mountain, go now and speed well

I'd be inclined to say that the Black Arrow was forged by the Dwarves of Erebor, especially since it successfully did the deed Bard asked it to.

Tol Eressea

Aug 30 2013, 8:47pm

Post #5 of 7 (320 views)
i meant as far as being shown in the film... [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope we get that iconic dialogue but I wouldn't count on itCrazy

Tol Eressea

Aug 30 2013, 9:15pm

Post #6 of 7 (303 views)
I should have said rumored [In reply to] Can't Post

to be shown to be made by the dwarfs in the film.... I misspoke Blush


Aug 30 2013, 10:36pm

Post #7 of 7 (304 views)
History of The Hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

According to John D. Rateliff in volume 2 of HoH, "The motif of the Black Arrow harkens back to the alliterative poem of the 1920s and ahead to the Numenorean blades in The Lord of the Rings. In 'The Lay of the Children of Hurin,' Beleg the Bowman carries a special arrow named Dailir," and we find that unlike Beleg who faces a tragic demise, Bard comes out not only as a dragon-slayer but also as the rightful heir to the throne of Dale.

As such, it is also rather implied that the black arrow perhaps contains a magical quality that allows it to always find its target, and always become retrievable. This, however, has all been in preparation for the arrow's final, ultimate moment and ultimate destiny - just as Bard becomes tha dragon-slayer and goes on to accept his destiny, the vehicle by which he slays the dragon also comes to its final destiny and final demise.

In saying all of this, I suppose my point is this: I find it highly relevant to briefly mention the history of the Black Arrow, or at least perhaps establish that magical quality of the object that is so relevant to both The Hobbit and Tolkien's legendarium as a whole. We already know that Girion will make a brief appearance in the prolouge for the extended edition of An Unexpected Journey, which will of course provide the audience of that film to be more familiar with the Black Arrow when it makes its appearance at the end of DOS or start of TABA.

(This post was edited by vexx801 on Aug 30 2013, 10:37pm)


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