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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Chapter of the Week: My Dear Frodo
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arithmancer
Grey Havens


Sep 22 2013, 4:56am

Post #1 of 44 (1349 views)
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Chapter of the Week: My Dear Frodo Can't Post

Welcome to the very first chapter-by-chapter discussion thread for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey! This is the second regular discussion of our newest Middle-earth movie.

For our discussion, I intersperse my observations about the scene with related questions. Feel free to answer as many or as few as you wish (this is a longish post..) Also feel free to raise any points of interest to you that I may have neglected.

Along with the Prologue about Dale, Erebor, and Thorin, this chapter is not in the book. It serves as a second/continuing introduction to the movie before we reach the book start, with the meeting of young Bilbo and Gandalf.

1) Did you like this introduction, why or why not?
2) How did you feel about the inclusion of Frodo in this scene?
3) What purpose do you feel it serves, why do you think the filmmakers chose to include this scene?
4) Do you feel it is a problem for audience members not familiar with Middle Earth to be shown Bilbo survived?

The Prologue gave us an introduction to what Dwarves are like, and in what sorts of places and how they live. This scene does not do so for Hobbits to nearly the extent FotR (even the TE) did.

5) Did you feel a bit more on Hobbits was needed? Why or why not?

Both this scene and the prologue are clearly scenes of Old Bilbo working on his book about his adventures. He starts writing the prologue at night. (Candle, night outside). The scene we are discussing is set during daytime.

6) Do you think Bilbo has been up all night writing? Or do you think these scenes are further apart?

The prologue ended with Thorin hammering at an anvil and a fade to black. This scene opens on an exterior scene of the Shire in daylight, with a view of the Hill and the Water. All we hear are birds chirping. There is no music

7) Is this an effective way to open the scene? Why or why not?

In this scene we see Hobbiton and of Bag End, familiar sights for LotR film fans.

8) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about how Hobbiton and Bag End appeared.

In this scene we see two characters very familiar to LotR film fans, Bilbo and Frodo.

9) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about seeing these characters, their interactions, and their appearance.

We see Frodo rummaging through Bilbo's things, finding the old sketch of Young Bilbo, a helmet, some sort of curved pointy thing (a claw? A horn?).

10) Did you find any of these intriguing? Which? What do you think they are? Did I miss any interesting items?

The dialogue includes references to one small treasure chest that still smells of Troll, and to Lobelia making off with silverware. Readers of the book can guess from these references that certain book scenes will be in the films.

11) Are there any other references I missed? And, did you like these hints of things to come?

The dialogue makes clear that we are seeing a scene from earlier in the day of the Long Expected Party in FotR.

12) Why do you think the filmmakers chose this day for this scene?
13) Do you like this choice?
14) Putting yourself into the shoes of a viewer new to the books and films, what do you think such a viewer might make of this conversation? (The party? A veiled suggestion there is something Bilbo is hiding from his Frodo? That Bilbo is becoming odd and unsociable?)

The scene ends after Frodo leaves, with Bilbo sitting outside on the bench and smoking his pipe. He is describing himself in the days before his adventure - always on time, entirely respectable, nothing unexpected ever happened. The title “An Unexpected Journey” appears over Bilbo's smoke ring.

15) What did you think of this way of ending the scene?


jf300
The Shire

Sep 22 2013, 8:16am

Post #2 of 44 (685 views)
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Great questions! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Along with the Prologue about Dale, Erebor, and Thorin, this chapter is not in the book. It serves as a second/continuing introduction to the movie before we reach the book start, with the meeting of young Bilbo and Gandalf.

1) Did you like this introduction, why or why not?
I loved the introduction, especially the scenes of Erebor seguing calmly back into a shot of The Shire.

2) How did you feel about the inclusion of Frodo in this scene?
The idea was great, the execution was terrible. My main problem is that Elijah's voice and appearance are so much older now. It just didn't work. The acting also felt quite forced and stunted.

3) What purpose do you feel it serves, why do you think the filmmakers chose to include this scene?
To link with LOTR really. To put this film in a context for those people who haven't read any of the books.

4) Do you feel it is a problem for audience members not familiar with Middle Earth to be shown Bilbo survived?
Not particularly, although my 13 year old self did genuinely believe that Frodo was going to let go of Sam's hand so I suppose it takes that suspense away a little.

The Prologue gave us an introduction to what Dwarves are like, and in what sorts of places and how they live. This scene does not do so for Hobbits to nearly the extent FotR (even the TE) did.

5) Did you feel a bit more on Hobbits was needed? Why or why not?
No, we got a lengthy introduction to Hobbits in FOTR, it would have been basically the same. Had this film come first, of course we would have needed more. However, this film did the right thing by introducing the new main characters of Thorin and Smaug.

Both this scene and the prologue are clearly scenes of Old Bilbo working on his book about his adventures. He starts writing the prologue at night. (Candle, night outside). The scene we are discussing is set during daytime.

6) Do you think Bilbo has been up all night writing? Or do you think these scenes are further apart?

The prologue ended with Thorin hammering at an anvil and a fade to black. This scene opens on an exterior scene of the Shire in daylight, with a view of the Hill and the Water. All we hear are birds chirping. There is no music

7) Is this an effective way to open the scene? Why or why not?
I loved this transition. It really shows the effect that this will have on Bilbo's life. The harsh sound of the anvil next to the calm of The Shire, brilliant.

In this scene we see Hobbiton and of Bag End, familiar sights for LotR film fans.

8) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about how Hobbiton and Bag End appeared.
Hobbiton, to me, seemed a little too glossy and that little bit less real than in LOTR. I would have liked to see more of the other residents as well, to make it seem like a living and breathing town. FOTR did this very well by having scenes of the Hobbits in the Green Dragon, the man and wife with Gandalf's fireworks etc.

In this scene we see two characters very familiar to LotR film fans, Bilbo and Frodo.

9) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about seeing these characters, their interactions, and their appearance.

We see Frodo rummaging through Bilbo's things, finding the old sketch of Young Bilbo, a helmet, some sort of curved pointy thing (a claw? A horn?).

10) Did you find any of these intriguing? Which? What do you think they are? Did I miss any interesting items?

The dialogue includes references to one small treasure chest that still smells of Troll, and to Lobelia making off with silverware. Readers of the book can guess from these references that certain book scenes will be in the films.

11) Are there any other references I missed? And, did you like these hints of things to come?

The dialogue makes clear that we are seeing a scene from earlier in the day of the Long Expected Party in FotR.

12) Why do you think the filmmakers chose this day for this scene?
13) Do you like this choice?
14) Putting yourself into the shoes of a viewer new to the books and films, what do you think such a viewer might make of this conversation? (The party? A veiled suggestion there is something Bilbo is hiding from his Frodo? That Bilbo is becoming odd and unsociable?)

The scene ends after Frodo leaves, with Bilbo sitting outside on the bench and smoking his pipe. He is describing himself in the days before his adventure - always on time, entirely respectable, nothing unexpected ever happened. The title “An Unexpected Journey” appears over Bilbo's smoke ring.

15) What did you think of this way of ending the scene?



DanielLB
Immortal


Sep 22 2013, 9:41am

Post #3 of 44 (662 views)
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Another great discussion! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks arithmancer!

1) Did you like this introduction, why or why not?

Absolutely. I can't help but smile throughout the scene. Which then leads me nicely on to questions 2 and 3. I love that both Bilbo and Frodo are included. It has absolutely very little purpose in the grand scheme of things. But it is such a lovely little additional scene. To see Holm and Wood together is a joy, and as a second-mini-prologue, I think it really works.

4) Do you feel it is a problem for audience members not familiar with Middle Earth to be shown Bilbo survived?

Not at all. I'd guess that the majority of people seeing the film either:
A) Have read the book, and know Bilbo survives.
B) Read LOTR, and know Bilbo survives.
C) Watched the LOTR films, and know Bilbo survives.
D) Been told elsewhere that Bilbo survives.

I don't think it needs to be a kept a secret at all. Had this trilogy come before the LOTR films, then I think it would be different. Adding suspense would've worked that way round, but it's just not necessary for this "prequel".

I do wonder whether this scene would have worked better in the extended edition. We couldn't cut from the prologue, straight to Freeman in the Shire. That might have been more pleasing for the general movie-goer.

5) Did you feel a bit more on Hobbits was needed? Why or why not?

A Samwise cameo? Yes please!

We know that there is an additional scene with younger Bilbo in the market place. We will get plenty of Hobbits then.

6) Do you think Bilbo has been up all night writing? Or do you think these scenes are further apart?

Who knows what length of time Bilbo has been sat their writing. I like to think he's been there for more than a night. This is the day that Bilbo leaves the Shire for Rivendell, so I suspect it involved a lot of preparation. No wonder he's a scatter-brain.

7) Is this an effective way to open the scene? Why or why not?

For me personally, yes. But as I said above, I think the scene could have been easily cut and re-inserted back into the extended edition. At the end of the day, it is just a filler scene. (But a wonderful filler scene!)

8) How did they look to you?

There's not much point beating around the bush. Both actors are older, and it's fairly obvious they are. But that cannot be helped. They still look great - Frodo is almost identical to 10 years ago, and I think they did a fantastic job on Bilbo (even if they added too much make-up). Are the FOTR and TH scenes distracting because they now look older? I don't think so. I would rather they had included this scene, than not at all. Holm still encapsulates his role, and he *is* Bilbo Baggins.

They also did a fantastic job at recreating Bag End and Hobbiton. Which is probably my favourite part of this scene. Seeing Bag End, with the voiceover "In a hole in the ground, there lived a Hobbit..." made my day when I first saw the film.

10) Did you find any of these intriguing? Which? What do you think they are? Did I miss any interesting items?

There looks like there is a bear shaped figurine (a chess piece? some sort of bed knob?) I guess Bilbo acquires that from Beorn's house. Oh, and going back to the portrait of younger Bilbo - I hope we get to see Ori pass that on to Bilbo. It would make a nice parting scene.

12) Why do you think the filmmakers chose this day for this scene?

I speculate that it will have something to do with the very last scene of There and Back Again. The scene has always been described as a "bookend scene" - and bookends come in two. Perhaps we finally find out who was knocking at the door in FOTR - one of the Dwarves? Or perhaps Balin and Gandalf visit Holm's Bilbo, raher than Freeman's Bilbo? Come back to me in 2 years time. Tongue

15) What did you think of this way of ending the scene?

I thought the CGI smoke was a little too fake, and I thought Holm on the bench was also too fake. But the rest of the scene makes up for it.

(Another gushing review from me.....)Blush



Noria
Rohan

Sep 22 2013, 12:25pm

Post #4 of 44 (613 views)
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Thanks arithmancer [In reply to] Can't Post

1) Did you like this introduction, why or why not?
-I liked it. I loved seeing familiar faces, Bag End and the Shire again.

2) How did you feel about the inclusion of Frodo in this scene?
-I could have done without it myself but have no objection and think it was fine. I understand why they did it.

3) What purpose do you feel it serves, why do you think the filmmakers chose to include this scene?
-IMO it was necessary to bring the casual LotR movie audience back into PJ’s Middle Earth and to make them understand clearly when this story took place and who it’s about. It showed us that AUJ is not a sequel but takes place long before LotR to a young Bilbo. It does its job just fine. Also, I’m sure they were hoping to attract the interest a few Elijah fans.

4) Do you feel it is a problem for audience members not familiar with Middle Earth to be shown Bilbo survived?
-No. Anyone who has seen LotR knows Bilbo survives. It’s probably better to acknowledge it up front.

The Prologue gave us an introduction to what Dwarves are like, and in what sorts of places and how they live. This scene does not do so for Hobbits to nearly the extent FotR (even the TE) did.

5) Did you feel a bit more on Hobbits was needed? Why or why not?
-No, I think it was sufficient. The whole beginning sequence is long enough and there is a risk of being too similar to FotR. That being said, my personal perspective is that you can never have enough of Hobbits and the Shire. I hope there will be additional scenes in the EE.

The prologue ended with Thorin hammering at an anvil and a fade to black. This scene opens on an exterior scene of the Shire in daylight, with a view of the Hill and the Water. All we hear are birds chirping. There is no music

7) Is this an effective way to open the scene? Why or why not?
-It’s a beautiful shot and the peace and beauty of the Shire contrast sharply with that angst of Thorin and his people. We have left the Dwarves and returned to the Hobbits.

In this scene we see Hobbiton and of Bag End, familiar sights for LotR film fans.

8) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about how Hobbiton and Bag End appeared.
-They both looked great to me.

In this scene we see two characters very familiar to LotR film fans, Bilbo and Frodo.

9) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about seeing these characters, their interactions, and their appearance.
- The fact that Bilbo and Frodo looked a little different didn't bother me a bit. You can only do so much with makeup. Actually, I think they went too far with the de-aging.

-Bilbo seemed a little different in character. In FotR he was assured, strong, irascible. AUJ’s old Bilbo seemed noticeably frailer, which is unavoidable, but also rather scatterbrained. I can’t imagine FotR’s Bilbo forgetting it was the day of his party. That is down to the writers.

The dialogue includes references to one small treasure chest that still smells of Troll, and to Lobelia making off with silverware. Readers of the book can guess from these references that certain book scenes will be in the films.

11) Are there any other references I missed? And, did you like these hints of things to come?
-I enjoy the references to the book and things to come.

The dialogue makes clear that we are seeing a scene from earlier in the day of the Long Expected Party in FotR.

12) Why do you think the filmmakers chose this day for this scene?
-To reinforce the idea that the events of the movie happen just before FotR even starts, to bring us back to Middle Earth on a day with which we’re familiar, a day of peace before the events of LotR begin, but not just any old day.

13) Do you like this choice?
-Sure. I think it works as intended.

14) Putting yourself into the shoes of a viewer new to the books and films, what do you think such a viewer might make of this conversation? (The party? A veiled suggestion there is something Bilbo is hiding from his Frodo? That Bilbo is becoming odd and unsociable?)
-IMO the prologue and Bag End sequences were written so that returning LotR fans could be reoriented and pick up, or not, on all the details that link this movie to LotR. New watchers received an introduction to the Shire and Bilbo which contrasts with his words about being “always on time, entirely respectable” etc. and show us that Bilbo has changed.

-A side note that jumps ahead a bit: I like how Bilbo’s Bag end is a mess, with papers and books and stuff all over the place, while young Bilbo’s home is very organized and neat. It’s a nice way of showing the change in him, from anal to relaxed.


The scene ends after Frodo leaves, with Bilbo sitting outside on the bench and smoking his pipe. He is describing himself in the days before his adventure - always on time, entirely respectable, nothing unexpected ever happened. The title “An Unexpected Journey” appears over Bilbo's smoke ring.

15) What did you think of this way of ending the scene?
-I like it fine. It makes it clear that this new person is young Bilbo, living a life very similar to his life sixty years later. The smoke rings are a tie to FotR, when Bilbo and Gandalf are smoking outside Bad End.


Bombadil
Half-elven


Sep 22 2013, 2:50pm

Post #5 of 44 (578 views)
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Bomby could NOT be more pleased... [In reply to] Can't Post

Rather than address individual things,I would like to
Think in "The Long Term" .

Once we have ALL six movies,
This Bookend scene at least for me,
Ties the whole ARCH of Tolkien's storytelling
about as perfectly as I couldn't possibly... imagine.

In many ways it is like Tolkien himself.
A Survivor of a World War,
Lost most of his closest friends, and feels "Duty Bound"
to pass on an Adventure like no one else would believe?

In praise of PJ&CO, they know that this IS..
the Story of their lives, TOO!

Bomby, like many of you, are finding that
this Dream is Real?
On screen? With people like John Howe & Alan Lee
to guide THE Finest Fantasy ever conceived?

When it was first announced over 15 years ago,
Bomby felt a Chill that
..."These films were Supposed to happen?",
that yes, some Dreams do come true...

Then, to find out that hundreds of thousand of people
worldwide?.... Also have had this same Dream?

It is like Sam said "There is some good in this world worth fighting for"

and PJ is the perfect
care-taker of this Dream.

Bomby
(just..Being a sentimental
ol' POOP, once again)


Avnar
Rohan


Sep 22 2013, 3:13pm

Post #6 of 44 (577 views)
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To be honest.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I hated everything about this scene.

Neither character was needed here. The dialogue was bad and the acting was awkward. And Bilbo looked terrible... (What is with that wig???) Having said that, I thought the voice over by Ian Holm was perfect!

Sorry to be negative - but this scene just doesn't work.


Unsure


LordotRings93
Rohan


Sep 22 2013, 4:49pm

Post #7 of 44 (550 views)
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My Dear Frodo [In reply to] Can't Post

1) Did you like this introduction, why or why not?

Really enjoyed seeing Elijah Wood as Frodo again, same with Ian Holm as Bilbo. I like how it connects to the opening of the FotR, although there is that minor quibble of Bilbo forgetting where Frodo went. But still, such a small matter that really is no big deal. I liked the little look inside Bilbo's chest, with what appears to be a dragon claw and a dwarf helm and also one of Fili's swords. And Bilbo's mentioning of the Sackville-Bagginses taking his spoons was a nice touch.

2) How did you feel about the inclusion of Frodo in this scene?

As stated above, I really enjoyed seeing Frodo again, as he is my favorite character. After 10+ years, it was awesome seeing Elijah Wood in his hobbit feet again, and it just brought back such nostalgic feelings for me.

3) What purpose do you feel it serves, why do you think the filmmakers chose to include this scene?

PJ probably chose to incorporate this scene just to better connect the two trilogies, really. And it also just gives us a chance to see some familiar faces before we're swept off to a totally new cast of characters (Bilbo and Gandalf aside).

4) Do you feel it is a problem for audience members not familiar with Middle Earth to be shown Bilbo survived?

Hm.... good question, but really I highly doubt any of the audience members thought for one second Bilbo would die at the end. And most of the audience probably saw LOTR as well, so they know the fate of Bilbo, of course. And the book itself has been out for a good 70+ years, so really it's no major spoiler unless you live under a rock.

5) Did you feel a bit more on Hobbits was needed? Why or why not?

Not really, no. Bilbo's adventure has to start, so we really didn't have time to have another history lesson on hobbits. The "Concerning Hobbits" scene in FotR gives us our background on hobbits, so that was already covered.

6) Do you think Bilbo has been up all night writing? Or do you think these scenes are further apart?

Knowing Bilbo, he was probably up all night writing. He is in the same clothes, and knowing how "odd" Bilbo's been acting, I wouldn't put it past him to forget what time it is.

7) Is this an effective way to open the scene? Why or why not?

It was a nice transition, to be sure. To go from a dragon attack to the peaceful Shire just shows how much of a rollercoaster ride the journey will be, and it's the opposite, really. Bilbo will be going from the peaceful Shire to hostile territory.

8) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about how Hobbiton and Bag End appeared.

Bag End and Hobbiton looked gorgeous, of course. The scenery is just so blissful, and I really wish I could just sit in front of Bag End with Bilbo and pull out pipe with some Longbottom Leaf. Although I gotta say that it looks too dead off in the distance, in that I mean there seems to be no other hobbit holes or farms or anything. After playing LOTRO, the Shire should seem busy, yet quiet, of course. But maybe that's just Hobbiton's surroundings, and PJ and crew didn't want to just make useless sets that would only serve for a distance shot.

9) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about seeing these characters, their interactions, and their appearance.

As stated above, it was tremendous seeing them again. Although I did notice Frodo's shirt isn't the same one he's wearing in the beginning of FotR. The one he's wearing here has a line pattern going on, yet in FotR it's just a plain wool shirt. Bilbo's wig looked a little off, but you can't expect them to recreate something that happened 10 years ago, even with CGI and what have you.

10) Did you find any of these intriguing? Which? What do you think they are? Did I miss any interesting items?

Ah, I did mention these earlier. It was great seeing these little items Bilbo kept from his journey. The sketch of himself (done by Ori, I believe), really shows how much alike Martin Freeman and Ian Holm look, and couldn't picture nay other actor to portray younger Bilbo.

11) Are there any other references I missed? And, did you like these hints of things to come?

I'm really looking forward to these little scenes that'll most likely be put in.

12) Why do you think the filmmakers chose this day for this scene?

Again, to just better connect the two trilogies, I think.

13) Do you like this choice?

I wasn't expecting it to open on this day, but I'm glad I did. That way when one day I have a Middle-earth marathon it'll feel like one continuous story, in a way.

14) Putting yourself into the shoes of a viewer new to the books and films, what do you think such a viewer might make of this conversation? (The party? A veiled suggestion there is something Bilbo is hiding from his Frodo? That Bilbo is becoming odd and unsociable?)

I'd be pretty interested in what was up Bilbo's sleeve, that's for sure. But it's hard for me to imagine this, since I know the story so well.

15) What did you think of this way of ending the scene?

The music, the title appearing in the smoke ring, all done wonderfully, and a great point to transition to Bilbo and Bag End 60 years earlier.


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


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 22 2013, 5:05pm

Post #8 of 44 (534 views)
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Thanks for hosting Arithmancer! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Along with the Prologue about Dale, Erebor, and Thorin, this chapter is not in the book. It serves as a second/continuing introduction to the movie before we reach the book start, with the meeting of young Bilbo and Gandalf.

I do like it, as it may not be lifted from pages but it is a bit of a window into Bilbo's life. I have said before (and here I go again) how much I loved seeing Frodo and Bilbo in everyday setting, just being together. I don't feel it is awkward or poorly played - it made me smile when I first saw it (and my BFF sort of grabbed my hand in excitement to see Frodo again).
Like other people have theorized, I think this might be a lynchpin scene, and we may see it again at the end (of all things LOTR? Oh dear...) to unite the trilogies in that single day.

Good question on showing Bilbo old - yes, it does take away any of Bilbo's jeopardy, true; but I think the feeling and the service it pays to the fans who know the stories is worth more than the tension about Bilbo's fate for viewers new to the story. So I feel like here the crew made a choice, based on the fan base versus modernizing the 'threat' factor and potential suspense for new viewers.
The Prologue gave us an introduction to what Dwarves are like, and in what sorts of places and how they live. This scene does not do so for Hobbits to nearly the extent FotR (even the TE) did.

5) Did you feel a bit more on Hobbits was needed? Why or why not?
I think we have so much information on Hobbits with the first trilogy...granted, that speaks again to the fan base. But I think for new viewers there is still enough 'Hobbityness' to get a sense of who these people are. I love the fact that the red-headed stepchildren of ME finally get their day, and we get to see more of Dwarves than our lone hero Gimli could show us - he was always on the road, and we never got any glimpses of his home or his past.

Both this scene and the prologue are clearly scenes of Old Bilbo working on his book about his adventures. He starts writing the prologue at night. (Candle, night outside). The scene we are discussing is set during daytime.

6) Do you think Bilbo has been up all night writing? Or do you think these scenes are further apart?
I do think that - I think he has been increasingly restless, and distracted, and probably unable to sleep until he 'gets it all out'. So both the all nighter of writing and the forgetfulness I think are essential to showing the changes he is going through by the day of the Party.

The prologue ended with Thorin hammering at an anvil and a fade to black. This scene opens on an exterior scene of the Shire in daylight, with a view of the Hill and the Water. All we hear are birds chirping. There is no music

7) Is this an effective way to open the scene? Why or why not?
Yes its like a return from the darkness, with Thorin left behind: still angry, matching the heat of the forge. I think its a great timeline device as well...the sense of the black screen is like closing a chapter for us, and the daylight opens a new one: in stark contrast too.

In this scene we see Hobbiton and of Bag End, familiar sights for LotR film fans.

8) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about how Hobbiton and Bag End appeared.
Not sure I have enough room to say how much I loved Bag End and Hobbiton! They look spectacular; and on a purely Geek level knowing that they are now built to last out of stone versus polystyrene is strangely comforting. I love the happy disorder of Bag End in Bilbo's time, and I keep seeing all those pinecones all about (reminders of walks?) because we do the same thing.

In this scene we see two characters very familiar to LotR film fans, Bilbo and Frodo.

9) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about seeing these characters, their interactions, and their appearance.
Well a decade has gone by - that's inescapable. But all things considered any small differences in appearance just didn't bug me that much: it was so clearly still Bilbo and Frodo. I loved the grumpy affection of Bilbo for Frodo and their interaction felt very genuine to me.

We see Frodo rummaging through Bilbo's things, finding the old sketch of Young Bilbo, a helmet, some sort of curved pointy thing (a claw? A horn?).

10) Did you find any of these intriguing? Which? What do you think they are? Did I miss any interesting items?
Love when Frodo blinks in curiosity...so endearing. I find it all intriguing and was so happy to get the DVD to look at it all. The sketch is wonderful.

The dialogue includes references to one small treasure chest that still smells of Troll, and to Lobelia making off with silverware. Readers of the book can guess from these references that certain book scenes will be in the films.

11) Are there any other references I missed? And, did you like these hints of things to come?
Yes, I do like the foreshadowing: for new viewers it isn't enough to 'give anything away' and for the fan base it is like an old sweater, full of comfort. I really think that the bulk of this part of the film is geared towards us, the fans 'in the know' about the stories...so I have a great affection for it.

The dialogue makes clear that we are seeing a scene from earlier in the day of the Long Expected Party in FotR. I think it will be a nexus for all the films: and a good choice. Its a huge day in the life of Bilbo, Frodo and Gandalf, and it has been decades in the making. Hmm, new viewer...yes it would suggest some sort of mystery I guess, some change on part of Bilbo that Frodo does not understand. So a great lead-in for FOTR later on. AND:I absolutely love Frodo nailing up the sign.

The scene ends after Frodo leaves, with Bilbo sitting outside on the bench and smoking his pipe. He is describing himself in the days before his adventure - always on time, entirely respectable, nothing unexpected ever happened. The title “An Unexpected Journey” appears over Bilbo's smoke ring.

15) What did you think of this way of ending the scene?
Great contrast. I think particularly for new viewers the intrigue is: what's unexpected? For us, its a salute to the text, and JRRT's descriptions of Hobbits and of Bilbo. So to sum it up, I do love the scene - it does work for me personally, and I don't simply value it in context (so that might be slanting my view a bit.) I take it as part of the whole of the LOTR cycle. And the other part of why I like it is for the thought and effort that I think went into it for the fans, somewhat perhaps at the expense of not making a more 'trendy' film opening for newer fans that would involve more suspense, and maybe just jump into the story without background. Thanks for a great analysis Arith!!!!


Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!








Kim
Valinor


Sep 22 2013, 5:43pm

Post #9 of 44 (523 views)
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We're back! [In reply to] Can't Post

1) Did you like this introduction, why or why not?
Yes. It felt like a homecoming, back to a place cozy and familiar to those of us who have seen the first trilogy.

2) How did you feel about the inclusion of Frodo in this scene?
I liked it. It was a nice call back to the first trilogy, and just fun to see them both puttering around Bag End.

3) What purpose do you feel it serves, why do you think the filmmakers chose to include this scene?
It brings us back into the familiar part of Middle Earth, giving us a link to the previous movies.

4) Do you feel it is a problem for audience members not familiar with Middle Earth to be shown Bilbo survived?
No, I think it’s ok. That’s how the book goes, with Bilbo narrating, and if they’re familiar with the first trilogy, they already know.

5) Did you feel a bit more on Hobbits was needed? Why or why not?
Yes, it would have been nice to see more hobbits and more of Hobbiton. I expect we’ll be getting these scenes in the EE, with Bilbo going to the market to buy his fish, as well as the flashback to Old Took’s party. I would have liked to see more, just to revel in being in Middle Earth again, but also for people who aren’t familiar with the movies, I would imagine it would be a bit strange not to see more to set the scene.

6) Do you think Bilbo has been up all night writing? Or do you think these scenes are further apart?
I got the impression that he got up early, when it was still start, though not necessarily up all night.

7) Is this an effective way to open the scene? Why or why not?
It was a nice contrast to the grandeur of Erebor and the subsequent devastation. Exploring a cozy hobbit hole was like curling up with a warm blanket.

8) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about how Hobbiton and Bag End appeared.
It was great to see more of Bag End; as mentioned above, I would have like to see more of Hobbiton—it felt very quiet.

9) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about seeing these characters, their interactions, and their appearance.
It was great to see Bilbo and Frodo again, taking us back to the beginning of FOTR.

10) Did you find any of these intriguing? Which? What do you think they are? Did I miss any interesting items?
I’ll admit I could barely take in the contents of the chest on the first couple of viewings, other than Sting. It wasn’t until I discovered gramma’s geeky obs list that I started to see more. I liked the sketch of young Bilbo, although the more I see that, the more poignant it becomes as I imagine Ori drawing it and giving it to Bilbo at the end of their adventure. It was fun to catch glimpses of other things and imagine where those might come into the story.

11) Are there any other references I missed? And, did you like these hints of things to come?
I liked the hints of things to come—it was fun for readers of the book to hear.

12) Why do you think the filmmakers chose this day for this scene?
To link with the first movie trilogy.

13) Do you like this choice?
Yes! I loved how it immediately took us back to the familiar world of Middle Earth. It was a good grounding and reminder of who Bilbo was before we go back and meet him as a younger hobbit.

14) Putting yourself into the shoes of a viewer new to the books and films, what do you think such a viewer might make of this conversation? (The party? A veiled suggestion there is something Bilbo is hiding from his Frodo? That Bilbo is becoming odd and unsociable?)
Well, it’s hard to say, but I would imagine it might be a little confusing, but I’d probably view it as setting up something that I would find out more about later.

15) What did you think of this way of ending the scene?
I loved it! Loved the music, loved the view of the green grass, blue sky and white smoke. The grin on my face widened as I saw the title and thought, “here we go again!”

Thanks for the detailed post arithmancer!


dormouse
Half-elven


Sep 22 2013, 5:54pm

Post #10 of 44 (520 views)
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Thanks for some good questions! [In reply to] Can't Post

1) Did you like this introduction, why or why not?
Yes. I thought it was a very effective way of coming back from Erebor, Dale and the misadventures of the dwarves - all unfamiliar territory - into the familiar and much loved. Have to admit that 'In a hole in the ground...' and the first sight of Frodo had me grinning like an idiot (but it was dark, so no one knew). For the same reason I enjoyed all those little references to the party. My only problem is that when they do use direct quotes from the book - as in the opening lines - I can't help completing them in my head from the book!

3) What purpose do you feel it serves, why do you think the filmmakers chose to include this scene?

As above. Start with Bilbo, zoom back into the history of the dwarves, re-orientate into something comfortable and familiar. Neat piece of storytelling, I thought.

4) Do you feel it is a problem for audience members not familiar with Middle Earth to be shown Bilbo survived?
I think only someone who isn't familiar with Middle Earth can really answer that.

5) Did you feel a bit more on Hobbits was needed? Why or why not?
Needed? No, not really. I think Bilbo sums up the essential nature of hobbits and they had a lot of story to fit in. That said, I hope we do get to see the scenes of the market and the old Took's party in the extended edition, not because they're needed but because I would enjoy seeing them.

11) Are there any other references I missed? And, did you like these hints of things to come?

I really appreciate all the detail. The items in the chest; the little references to things in the books. All of that adds a richness which can never quite match the richness and layers of story in the books, but are probably as close as you can get on film.

12) Why do you think the filmmakers chose this day for this scene?

Presumably because it would be familiar to a good chunk of the audience, and would enable them to put a lot of references in - and yes, it works for me.

15) What did you think of this way of ending the scene?

Clever, because it melts seamlessly into the next scene and rids them of any need to explain the transition from old to young Bilbo (whose portrait they had already slipped in earlier.)



DanielLB
Immortal


Sep 22 2013, 6:45pm

Post #11 of 44 (508 views)
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I think this is exactly what they were aiming for ... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I loved it! Loved the music, loved the view of the green grass, blue sky and white smoke. The grin on my face widened as I saw the title and thought, “here we go again!”


I don't think cutting straight to Freeman's Bilbo would have had the same effect. The scene isn't necessary, but the familiarity is.



Cirashala
Grey Havens


Sep 22 2013, 9:22pm

Post #12 of 44 (474 views)
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My thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

1) Did you like this introduction, why or why not?

I think it was a good way to bring people back into the Middle-earth we were introduced to with LOTR.

2) How did you feel about the inclusion of Frodo in this scene?

It wasn't bad, though Wood's pronunciation of Gandalf drove me nuts. But then again, it drove me nuts in FOTR too. I may be an American, but when in a world everyone pronounces Gandalf as Gand-olf and he is the only one who pronounces it as Gand-alf (I believe the linguistic term is soft 'a' in the first one like a British pronunciation, whereas the harder 'a' is definitely too much of an American accent), with the emphasis on the second syllable as opposed to the first one, it can bring one out of the story. The worst part is that he speaks in a fairly British sounding accent with every other word. In fact, though I am American, I pronounce it Gand-olf like everyone else, because linguistically that is how the word should be read.

But that might be a nitpick on my part. Still drives me crazy Crazy

3) What purpose do you feel it serves, why do you think the filmmakers chose to include this scene?

Like I mentioned above, I believe it is a way to help bring us back into Middle-earth, and to connect the two trilogies after such a long gap between the making of the two. Many of us (me included) weren't old enough to see it the first time when it came out (or, in my case, had parents who hated Tolkien thinking his works were evil because of magic, and since I was only 13, it's not like I could go see it for myself, even if I had known about it)

I thought it wasn't a bad idea, though at the same time I think that the very first part to introduce us with Old Bilbo writing could have been sufficient enough. However, it did do well at showing us in more depth just how MUCH the journey changed Bilbo- more scatterbrained instead of mentally organized, more messy instead of neat and tidy, less sociable than before.

4) Do you feel it is a problem for audience members not familiar with Middle Earth to be shown Bilbo survived?

No, because later on in AUJ though Gandalf does not say that he WILL come back, he will indicate that he won't be the same. Most people with a shred of intelligence can pick up that he will come back, but be different. I suppose some people might think that he will die, but I don't think it was a huge detraction. I believe there is plenty of suspense already without adding to it. They are facing a dragon, for heaven's sake! Shocked

5) Did you feel a bit more on Hobbits was needed? Why or why not?

No, I think FOTR summed that up nicely. It would have been redundant. If rumors are true, the EE will feature the marketplace and the old Took's birthday, and I think between the 3 we will be able to sufficiently determine that dwarves and hobbits are vastly different (and if one cannot, then they are either very unintelligent or blind/deaf, which would beg the question as to why they are watching a movie in the first place Crazy).

6) Do you think Bilbo has been up all night writing? Or do you think these scenes are further apart?

I agree with a previous poster on here- the darkness in the window looked ever so slightly blue, as though it wasn't complete darkness. I have woken up incredibly early in the morning before (usually when we would leave at 4 am on road trips as a kid to maximize drive time when the sky was just beginning to lighten), and that looked like the early hours just before dawn. I don't think he was up all night per se, but perhaps he had trouble sleeping with his urge to get it written down, and simply gave up on sleep and got up. Having a sleep disorder myself, the temptation to just get up at 4 am hits me often (though I usually just put on a sleep mask and keep trying anyway Crazy because, ya know, I am stubborn like that...)

7) Is this an effective way to open the scene? Why or why not?

Absolutely. I loved how they did the transition from the first scene to this one! It really emphasized the quietness and peacefulness of the Shire, and was a strong indicator of what exactly Bilbo would be risking should he choose to run out his door. Smile

8) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about how Hobbiton and Bag End appeared.

I absolutely LOVED seeing Hobbiton again! If there was anything that indicated to me that I was back in Middle-earth, it was both the opening music and seeing the Hill at the beginning of this scene. I had returned to Middle-earth, and I felt as giddy as a kid on the day of the first snowfall, or Christmas morning Laugh

9) How did they look to you?

Well, it was impossible to NOT notice that they were older than they were before. I think I could see far more of Elijah's five o'clock shadow through the makeup, and Holm's blue lips made me want to call an ambulance thinking he was having a heart attack or something Crazy I didn't mind Holm's wig-I can justify it by saying that he got up and didn't bother to shower or brush his hair before he began to write- a nice touch, actually, since young Bilbo's feet were specifically described by Tolkien as being neatly brushed, and Old Bilbo is most definitely not as concerned with his appearance as before. I don't think they did the best job of de-aging and makeup in this scene, to be honest.

10) Did you find any of these intriguing? Which? What do you think they are? Did I miss any interesting items?

*SPOILERS for TABA*

I liked that they showed sting in its sheath, and how Frodo rummaged through it curiously. It shows non-verbally that Frodo is interested in adventure-something that is rather important in FOTR when Bilbo comments on why he adopted Frodo. It was nice for LOTR firsters to be able to "see" that same trait Bilbo saw. I think the horn/pointy thing was probably one of Smaug's claws, the helm was likely a dwarf helm (judging by it's head size as opposed to Frodo's head), or possibly an orc helm-one Bilbo slew perhaps? As for the sword, I know a lot of people believe it to be one of Fili's, but if I recall correctly their weapons were buried with them. Also, it isn't quite the same shape. To me it looks like the Troll's knife (William? Tom? Can't remember). Another nice momento to his first "battle".


11) Are there any other references I missed? And, did you like these hints of things to come?

I do like them, because it shows Bilbo as being slightly more "dwarf" minded than he was at first. Later on, we see him annoyed about pottery being thrown-very hobbity. But, now we see him upset that SILVER spoons were stolen-very dwarf-like Laugh

12) Why do you think the filmmakers chose this day for this scene?

It makes more sense than any other day I think. It is also a good way to basically "end" this trilogy on the heels of the other, and shows Bilbo reflecting on his past as he begins to plan for retirement.

13) Do you like this choice?

Yes, I do.

14) Putting yourself into the shoes of a viewer new to the books and films, what do you think such a viewer might make of this conversation?

I love that it really shows just how much Bilbo has changed. It is a large difference from him commenting that he didn't mind visitors (as long as he knew them first lol Wink) to specifically saying he refused to have visitors. Another big change from being hobbity.

15) What did you think of this way of ending the scene?

I LOVED IT!!! It was a great way to transition from old Bilbo to young Bilbo. I also loved the way he is talking about how he was so and so, and then the title An Unexpected Journey comes up-telling you that something is about to change, and it is going to be a BIG change. It also shows that Old Bilbo has no regrets about his past, indicating that, though he was opposed to it at first, he wouldn't go back and change it for the world.

*SPOILER TABA AGAIN*

(Though I have a feeling there are 3 certain friends he wouldn't mind still being alive, and probably would have liked to have changed that Frown)


Race is meaningless. We all bleed red-no matter who or what we are. What matters is the heart. For each race has those with good hearts and those with bad hearts. You have a good heart. You do not deserve to die.

(This post was edited by Cirashala on Sep 22 2013, 9:26pm)


Riven Delve
Grey Havens


Sep 22 2013, 10:55pm

Post #13 of 44 (460 views)
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Settling into Middle-earth [In reply to] Can't Post

1) Did you like this introduction, why or why not?
2) How did you feel about the inclusion of Frodo in this scene?
3) What purpose do you feel it serves, why do you think the filmmakers chose to include this scene?

....
The Prologue gave us an introduction to what Dwarves are like, and in what sorts of places and how they live. This scene does not do so for Hobbits to nearly the extent FotR (even the TE) did.
5) Did you feel a bit more on Hobbits was needed? Why or why not?


I do like the introduction. Just hearing old Bilbo's voice in the prologue, and then seeing him at home in his cozy mess, gave me such a feeling of home and belonging. That is nice both after being "gone" for so long after LOTR and also a counterpoint to the "foreign" story of the Dwarves of Erebor. And the segue from Thorin's rage to the peace of Bag End was perfect!

At first I wasn't sure I liked Frodo being there. It was glaringly obvious to me that he had mysteriously grown both a jaw and five o'clock shadow. However, after some time and thought, I think Frodo's presence fills several purposes:

1. A link to the LOTR movies
2. A thank-you to the fans
3. Their banter gives us insight into old Bilbo's character that is needed to contrast with his fussy young self. New viewers need this scene to get a picture of his personality.
4. Supplies foreshadowing (chest, Sackville-Baggins mentions)
5. Emphasizes Hobbit nature!

I should explain that last one. I wondered why the classic line "It was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort" from the book was changed to "That means good food, a warm hearth, and all the comforts of home." I think it's because PJ & Co. want new viewers to know what Hobbits value, and why it's such a big deal for young Bilbo to ditch it all for an adventure.

Also, it's about all the info new viewers are going to get on who and what Hobbits are!

And the last line, "all the comforts of home," coincides with Frodo coming out of the pantry. This serves the purpose of letting new readers know what Bag End is Frodo's home too--but most of all, it tells us that Frodo is one of Bilbo's comforts (no matter how annoyingly inquisitive). Aww. Evil

4) Do you feel it is a problem for audience members not familiar with Middle Earth to be shown Bilbo survived? Probably not. There's plenty of suspense in all the other characters' adventures.


Both this scene and the prologue are clearly scenes of Old Bilbo working on his book about his adventures. He starts writing the prologue at night. (Candle, night outside). The scene we are discussing is set during daytime.
6) Do you think Bilbo has been up all night writing? Or do you think these scenes are further apart?


I think either Bilbo was having trouble sleeping (conscience, perhaps?) and decided to get up and write, or he finally got around to doing it the night before he left. In any case, it appears to be the same night because Bilbo is wearing the same clothes. That's a lot of writing, Bilbo!

The prologue ended with Thorin hammering at an anvil and a fade to black. This scene opens on an exterior scene of the Shire in daylight, with a view of the Hill and the Water. All we hear are birds chirping. There is no music
7) Is this an effective way to open the scene? Why or why not?

I loved it. Stark contrast, and a beautiful buildup to why young Bilbo was not interested in adventure.

In this scene we see Hobbiton and of Bag End, familiar sights for LotR film fans.
8) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about how Hobbiton and Bag End appeared.

Bag End looked fabulous. I loved seeing both Bag End at its spic-and-spanest under the regime of young Bilbo, and also the marvelous clutter of Old Bilbo's reign. Hobbiton seemed awfully empty, but I did enjoy the later (temporally 60 years earlier) picture of Hobbiton with Hobbits hanging laundry, milking cows, etc., in the next scene.

In this scene we see two characters very familiar to LotR film fans, Bilbo and Frodo.
9) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about seeing these characters, their interactions, and their appearance.

Well, as I mentioned Frodo looked older, and I found Bilbo's different wig disconcerting. He looked much older despite everyone's efforts, but this wouldn't have bothered me at all if he'd had the same wig! I thought the interaction was a little stilted--not in terms of acting, but in terms of its inclusion--but I liked the fond exasperation they feel for each other.

We see Frodo rummaging through Bilbo's things, finding the old sketch of Young Bilbo, a helmet, some sort of curved pointy thing (a claw? A horn?).
10) Did you find any of these intriguing? Which? What do you think they are? Did I miss any interesting items?

Yes, I found everything intriguing! I want to know where all these things are going to be found in the three movies!! I think the curved thing is a tooth or claw from Smaug, and I thought the sword was one of Fili's at first, but it's too chunky, not at all as elegant as Fili's are.

The dialogue makes clear that we are seeing a scene from earlier in the day of the Long Expected Party in FotR.
12) Why do you think the filmmakers chose this day for this scene?
13) Do you like this choice?
14) Putting yourself into the shoes of a viewer new to the books and films, what do you think such a viewer might make of this conversation? (The party? A veiled suggestion there is something Bilbo is hiding from his Frodo? That Bilbo is becoming odd and unsociable?)

I think this rushes things a bit--it really doesn't make a lot of sense that Bilbo would have forgotten the party, as excited as he was about it, or that he'd forget he was leaving just in recounting his adventures. Nor does it make sense that if he's made up his mind to tell Frodo "all" about his adventures, he'd start at the last minute. But I understand why it was done this way, to link this to LOTR's opening.

However, I asked my daughter if she got this scene (although she had seen the LOTR series, she was pretty young and it hadn't all clicked for her yet), and she said it didn't make sense until she'd seen both this movie and LOTR again a few times. She said it didn't worry her, though--she just went with it.


I personally found it kind of funny that Frodo took a hammer out to put up the sign on the gate and ended up with a book in his hand instead. Heh. I've used books for a few unorthodox things, like killing spiders, but never for pounding nails into a gate. Evil

The scene ends after Frodo leaves, with Bilbo sitting outside on the bench and smoking his pipe. He is describing himself in the days before his adventure - always on time, entirely respectable, nothing unexpected ever happened. The title “An Unexpected Journey” appears over Bilbo's smoke ring.
15) What did you think of this way of ending the scene
?

I have no complaints. Smile

"It was just a sword, beautiful in the way of a weapon, with the jewels in the hilt set in gold scrollwork, and the blade glimmering and eager, as if it would fight of itself. Weapons are named for this; some are eager fighters, some dogged, some unwilling; but all are alive."--The Hollow Hills



Faleel
Rohan

Sep 23 2013, 12:12am

Post #14 of 44 (437 views)
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Huh? [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
1) Did you like this introduction, why or why not?

I may be an American, but when in a world everyone pronounces Gandalf as Gand-olf and he is the only one who pronounces it as Gand-alf



Everyone? do you mean in the films? or in the real world, because I certainly remember, Gimli, Aragorn etc. using the same pronunciation, only in the Cartoon was he referred to as "Gand-dolf"...


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 23 2013, 12:19am

Post #15 of 44 (422 views)
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I feel that sort of 'thank you' to the fans in this too R-D // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!








Cirashala
Grey Havens


Sep 23 2013, 12:25am

Post #16 of 44 (433 views)
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It's hard to explain [In reply to] Can't Post

Since I do not know which lingusitical sign to use to emphasize the difference between the sounds.

Do you know how someone would say the name Al? Like something short for Alfred or how the genie in Aladdin pronounces Al?

Versus how someone would say ah, for instance?

There is a slight inflection on the A in al or the name alf that doesn't appear in words like ah where the a is softer and more muted.

When Wood says it, it sounds like two words- Gand Alf, but when the other actors say it, it sounds like one flowing word- Gandalf, with just slightly more emphasis on the first syllable in the word.

I have no real way to explain it beyond that. If there are any linguists on here who can help illustrate what I am trying to explain, I would appreciate your help.... Frown

Suffice to say, they say it differently if you listen closely. It's like moving an accent in a word and changing the inflection of said word- Like Kili (where the accent is over the first I) vs Kili (the accent over the second I). It would change the pronunciation by making the emphasis on the second half of the word not the first.The syllable with the accent is drawn out just a tiny bit longer and with more emphasis than the syllable with out.

So Wood says Gandálf, not Gándalf...I know there isn't an accent for emphasis in the name, but every word has the emphatic syllable and the flat syllable regardless of accent presence, at least in the English language that I speak....

I hope you understand what I am trying to say.....


Race is meaningless. We all bleed red-no matter who or what we are. What matters is the heart. For each race has those with good hearts and those with bad hearts. You have a good heart. You do not deserve to die.

(This post was edited by Cirashala on Sep 23 2013, 12:28am)


Faleel
Rohan

Sep 23 2013, 12:28am

Post #17 of 44 (426 views)
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So.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Elf vs Alf?


Cirashala
Grey Havens


Sep 23 2013, 12:31am

Post #18 of 44 (425 views)
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kinda [In reply to] Can't Post

yeah...in a way....

I have sharp ears, and can sense tones, tunes, etc (played the violin/fiddle for 17 years and counting and can quickly figure out if I am out of tune/fingers in wrong place/pick out songs without sheet music if not too complex, etc) and also have an ear for accents, so it might not be as obvious to others but it was very obvious to me.

Race is meaningless. We all bleed red-no matter who or what we are. What matters is the heart. For each race has those with good hearts and those with bad hearts. You have a good heart. You do not deserve to die.


elostirion74
Rohan

Sep 23 2013, 6:00am

Post #19 of 44 (416 views)
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a few good things, but mostly awkward and indulgent [In reply to] Can't Post

So many good questions, arithmancer! I´ve chosen only a few that cover what I feel is most important about the scene.

1) Did you like this introduction, why or why not?

For the most part I didn´t like this scene. The main reason is because I found much of it awkward and like the film-makers indulged themselves.

I think the film-makers´ job when going through the film as a whole is to look at the different things they have filmed and then make some decisions about what they can justify including and what has to be cut, whether it´s something they´re fond of or not. It´s called artistic discipline and for me that´s a vital element of all artistic work which I find that this scene is painfully short of.

When you look at the start of AUJ, you´ve already got a prologue. In this context adding a framing device is enough in itself. The film cannot also afford to indulge in references to LoTR and a conversation which is little less than pandering to fans.

What did I like about it? The inclusion of "In the hole in the ground there lived a hobbit" felt good - it´s relevant to the story at hand. The parts which showed the film as being about Bilbo´s recollections felt fine as well..

2) How did you feel about the inclusion of Frodo in this scene?

Altogether redundant and not particularly well-written. Makes the film feel like it switches from recollection to the start of FoTR and back to recollection again.

Frodo´s inclusion in the scene is the kind of material which at best belongs to an extended edition.

All I can do is ask myself: Does Frodo play a role in the rest of AUJ? Obviously not. Will he play a part in DoS? Certainly not. Will he play a part in TaBa? Perhaps, and that´s the only place where he could be naturally included IMO.

3) What purpose do you feel it serves, why do you think the filmmakers chose to include this scene?

I think the film-makers wanted to underline the difference between Bilbo after the journey and Bilbo before the journey and use this as a framing device/introduction.

I also think they wanted to both pander to the Tolkien fans and make references to LoTR that would provide a sense of familiarity for many viewers.

My opinion:
Trying to accomplish so many intentions with one scene just makes you bite off more than you can chew.


14) Putting yourself into the shoes of a viewer new to the books and films, what do you think such a viewer might make of this conversation?

It´s difficult to say what such a viewer might think. My guess would be that such a viewer mostly would feel confused. Why am I seeing this conversation now? Why is this party important?

15) What did you think of this way of ending the scene?

The ending of the scene feels fine. It has a natural connection to the next scenes, the start of the scene and the title of the film.


Silwen_Peredhil
Rivendell


Sep 23 2013, 3:50pm

Post #20 of 44 (386 views)
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Great Scene! Great questions! Thank you arithmancer. [In reply to] Can't Post

Along with the Prologue about Dale, Erebor, and Thorin, this chapter is not in the book. It serves as a second/continuing introduction to the movie before we reach the book start, with the meeting of young Bilbo and Gandalf.

1) Did you like this introduction, why or why not?
Yes I loved this introduction. It was great to watch more interaction between Bilbo and Frodo. Such a fun little scene! Wink


2) How did you feel about the inclusion of Frodo in this scene?
I had no problems with that. I think it’s a nice idea and, as I said above, we get to see a little of what it was like for Frodo living in Bag End.


3) What purpose do you feel it serves, why do you think the filmmakers chose to include this scene?
I think the main thing this scene does is help LOTR fans step back into the Middle Earth they are familiar with. I certainly feel like that watching it and especially when I saw it for the first time.


4) Do you feel it is a problem for audience members not familiar with Middle Earth to be shown Bilbo survived?
Not at all. Those who have encountered LOTR will know he survives. Those who have read the Hobbit will know he survives. Even reading for the first time we are told as the narrator himself steps in every now and then to say that Bilbo manages and so in a way the idea of the story being told from Bilbo’s memory is in keeping with the book. Those who are seeing Middle Earth for the first time might think it fun to have it told as a type of flashback. I mean, if someone tells us that they witnessed an event most of the time our reaction is asking them to tell us all about it and we sit and listen to their account. The idea of telling the audience that Bilbo has been on this fascinating journey is giving the audience a longing to know what happened and how he did it.


The Prologue gave us an introduction to what Dwarves are like, and in what sorts of places and how they live. This scene does not do so for Hobbits to nearly the extent FotR (even the TE) did.

5) Did you feel a bit more on Hobbits was needed? Why or why not?
I don’t think it was necessary for the telling of the story. Bilbo describes what the lifestyle of an individual hobbit is like with the ‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit...all the comforts of home’ quote. This is a moment where we are getting to know the character of Bilbo as he is when he is older. This scene is more for Bilbo’s character than anything else I think and we will get to see what life was like for a younger Bilbo in the EE with visits to the market place etc.


Both this scene and the prologue are clearly scenes of Old Bilbo working on his book about his adventures. He starts writing the prologue at night. (Candle, night outside). The scene we are discussing is set during daytime.

6) Do you think Bilbo has been up all night writing? Or do you think these scenes are further apart?
Perhaps not up all night, but certainly he’s up before the crack of dawn. I think this is all one scene, but this is something he does frequently if we are to judge by Frodo’s knowing smile when he realises Bilbo is in his study.


The prologue ended with Thorin hammering at an anvil and a fade to black. This scene opens on an exterior scene of the Shire in daylight, with a view of the Hill and the Water. All we hear are birds chirping. There is no music.

7) Is this an effective way to open the scene? Why or why not?
This is very effective. I love how Thorin hammers at the anvil while Bilbo narrates ‘He never forgave and he never forgot’. His hammer strokes a sign of his anger and a sign that he is biding his time, but someday he will strike and seek his revenge. We have all this build up and then the scene changes to the water, as though quenching Thorin’s fire. The Shire is untouched by that kind of anger and the water and fresh green grass under a morning sun with birds singing is a perfect way to symbolise this.

I like the idea of the main prologue being told in the dark hours before the dawn, and this second prologue being shown after sunrise when everyone is starting to wake up. The events Bilbo told are well in the past, but a new adventure begins that day as LOTR viewers will know. Note how both days that we see the sunrise are the days when Bilbo leaves the Shire on another adventure.


In this scene we see Hobbiton and of Bag End, familiar sights for LotR film fans.

8) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about how Hobbiton and Bag End appeared.
Anything of Hobbiton and Bag End are welcome sights, I think for LOTR viewers. It’s your equivalent to a ‘safe harbour’. I liked how it looked little changed from when we saw it 10 years ago. Stepping through the rooms at Bag End was a delight since it looked so unaltered.


In this scene we see two characters very familiar to LotR film fans, Bilbo and Frodo.

9) How did they look to you? Feel free to comment on what you liked or disliked about seeing these characters, their interactions, and their appearance.
I think they made the characters up very well. Frodo looked the Frodo from 10 years ago. Bilbo was still Bilbo. They had the same outfits that they wore when we saw them in FOTR for the first time which was a nice continuity.

We see Frodo rummaging through Bilbo's things, finding the old sketch of Young Bilbo, a helmet, some sort of curved pointy thing (a claw? A horn?)

10) Did you find any of these intriguing? Which? What do you think they are? Did I miss any interesting items?

It’s like when we go rummaging through a relatives collection of souvenirs they have gathered over the years. It helps to add depth to the scene by giving the viewers a glimpse of what he did on his travels. I love the sketch of a young Bilbo and it gives the audience some idea of what Bilbo used to be like as a person by the way the artist captured the facial expression. I hope we get to see Ori drawing it and giving it to Bilbo. I also wonder about the sword Frodo looks at. Whose sword was it originally?


The dialogue includes references to one small treasure chest that still smells of Troll, and to Lobelia making off with silverware. Readers of the book can guess from these references that certain book scenes will be in the films.

11) Are there any other references I missed? And, did you like these hints of things to come?
I like these little hints. It suggests though that Bilbo takes the chest the dwarves buried in the Troll Hoard rather than taking the two chests, one of silver and one of gold as he does in the book. Perhaps because he feels he already took his share, which we will probably see in DOS so I won’t say more.


The dialogue makes clear that we are seeing a scene from earlier in the day of the Long Expected Party in FotR.

12) Why do you think the filmmakers chose this day for this scene?
Continuity with LOTR I believe was a priority here. Also this party is a Long Expected party and I think it is to contrast with the Unexpected Party he will have with the dwarves. As I have said previously it is after a party in FOTR and in AUJ that Bilbo sets off on an adventure.


13) Do you like this choice?
Yes. I think it works very well.


14) Putting yourself into the shoes of a viewer new to the books and films, what do you think such a viewer might make of this conversation? (The party? A veiled suggestion there is something Bilbo is hiding from his Frodo? That Bilbo is becoming odd and unsociable?)
I think they would realise that life is not all perfect at Bag End and that something is amiss. But I think they will probably forget about it because they are taken to events in the past and sit back to enjoy that instead. Someone will probably tell them that these hints of things become clearer in LOTR if they ask.


The scene ends after Frodo leaves, with Bilbo sitting outside on the bench and smoking his pipe. He is describing himself in the days before his adventure - always on time, entirely respectable, nothing unexpected ever happened. The title “An Unexpected Journey” appears over Bilbo's smoke ring.

15) What did you think of this way of ending the scene?
Well I love the way Bilbo says “nothing unexpected ever happened” and then the title appears. A little irony there I think, and a hint of what’s to come. Having enjoyed the whole first section when the title appears, I always feel like applauding. Smile

What's this? A Ranger caught off his guard?


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 23 2013, 4:15pm

Post #21 of 44 (366 views)
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I like how you summarized the contrasts here Silwen! // [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To


This is very effective. I love how Thorin hammers at the anvil while Bilbo narrates ‘He never forgave and he never forgot’. His hammer strokes a sign of his anger and a sign that he is biding his time, but someday he will strike and seek his revenge. We have all this build up and then the scene changes to the water, as though quenching Thorin’s fire. The Shire is untouched by that kind of anger and the water and fresh green grass under a morning sun with birds singing is a perfect way to symbolise this.

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!








Silwen_Peredhil
Rivendell


Sep 23 2013, 4:41pm

Post #22 of 44 (355 views)
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Thank you!// [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile

What's this? A Ranger caught off his guard?


arithmancer
Grey Havens


Sep 23 2013, 4:46pm

Post #23 of 44 (359 views)
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Thank you!// [In reply to] Can't Post

 


arithmancer
Grey Havens


Sep 23 2013, 4:57pm

Post #24 of 44 (377 views)
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Shorter version, perhaps? [In reply to] Can't Post

I do wonder whether this scene would have worked better in the extended edition. We couldn't cut from the prologue, straight to Freeman in the Shire. That might have been more pleasing for the general movie-goer.

While I liked the movie a lot overall, I was not a big fan of this scene as it felt to me like it slowed things down too much. But I agree we could not cut from Thorin straight to Young Bilbo. I guess what I thought would have been better was to include a but more old Bilbo. Start this (shorter) scene just as it now starts, with "and that is where I come in". Include the picture of Young Bilbo (helps clarify who Martin Freeman is!) and end with exactly the ending we got with the smoke ring and title. But make it a lot shorter, and without Frodo.

I guess if they had done this yes, the longer scene would be cool for the EE!

Who knows what length of time Bilbo has been sat their writing. I like to think he's been there for more than a night.

Me too. I think of writing the book as something Bilbo spent some time on before deciding to travel to Rivendell.

Perhaps we finally find out who was knocking at the door in FOTR - one of the Dwarves?

Now I am intrigued - what mysterious knock n the door do you mean? I don't remember this in FotR!


arithmancer
Grey Havens


Sep 23 2013, 5:56pm

Post #25 of 44 (362 views)
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Aha! (Frodo in the film) [In reply to] Can't Post


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-IMO it was necessary to bring the casual LotR movie audience back into PJ’s Middle Earth and to make them understand clearly when this story took place and who it’s about. It showed us that AUJ is not a sequel but takes place long before LotR to a young Bilbo.


Now that is a good reason for putting Frodo in. And it never occured to me (because I am far from a casual LotR film only fan, I guess! Cool I could see fanservice and appealing to Elijah's fans as reasons for doing it, but they did not seem to me to be adequate reasons to take up valuable space early in the TE of the movie. But yes, a casual LotR fan might not even remember clearly who Bilbo is. Whereas showing us Bag End with Bilbo and Frodo in it together and placed in time right around events at the start of FotR should clue in even someone who has seen the movie ages ago, once or twice. Because they would remember Frodo of course. And to me it feels right that viewers should understand where this story fits in to the timeline. (As you note later, this is helped by setting the AUJ scene on the same day as the FotR party).

You have singlehandedly changed my mind about this scene! Thanks.

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