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Chapter of the Week: Old Friends
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Silwen_Peredhil
Rivendell


Sep 27 2013, 1:05pm

Post #1 of 59 (764 views)
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Chapter of the Week: Old Friends Can't Post

This week on CHOW discussion is the Good Morning scene between Gandalf and Bilbo which is a favourite scene of mine.



I’ll start off the discussion with a question about the very start of this scene. The scene shifts smoothly from present day to 60 years earlier. In FOTR 60 years came on the screen accept it was 60 years later. I thought it was a nice tie in with the LOTR trilogy.
1) Do you like this similarity with LOTR?


The Hobbit has many memorable moments when you read the book and for me this opening scene between Bilbo and Gandalf is one of them. I really enjoyed seeing a younger Bilbo for the first time and seeing him as a person very set in his ways brought out of his comfort zone by the intrusion of the wandering wizard, Gandalf.
2) Was this how you had imagined this scene? Did you enjoy how it was played out?


We have just seen an older Bilbo played by Ian Holm and to some degree Martin Freeman’s performance had to merge with Ian’s so that the audience could believe that this is a younger Bilbo without restricting Martin from putting his own spin on the character. I thought Martin’s performance as Bilbo was excellent and I can see little traces of Ian’s Bilbo in Martin’s in the way he walks and especially when he speaks and even the moment when he runs back into his house and shuts the door, somehow I am reminded of the Bilbo I saw in FOTR.
3) How well do you think Martin portrayed a younger Bilbo?
4) Are there any characteristics you saw in Ian’s Bilbo that Martin adapted or used to help portray his version of Bilbo that you thought worked really well?


Bilbo’s character is established in this scene as being more fussy than the older Bilbo. What about his place in society when he is younger?
5) Is there anything that helps convey that Bilbo is more from upper-class society, especially for those who are being introduced to this character for the first time?
6) Are there any props in this scene that you like?


Let us focus now on the wizard. We are not shown Gandalf’s face immediately in AUJ, just as we weren’t in FOTR. In FOTR Gandalf is humming as he journeys in his cart and when Frodo meets him his face is hidden by his hat. In AUJ we see the grey clothes walk past Bilbo and we are not shown his face until after Gandalf asks ‘What do you mean?’ I find it immediately gives us a sense of mystery about this character. I even note that in both films Gandalf is more to the left hand side of the hobbits. Perhaps it is a sign again of magic and mystery that is sometimes associated with the left hand side?
7) Do you like the way we are introduced to Gandalf with this sense of mysteriousness?
8) Do you enjoy watching Ian McKellen’s performance as Gandalf?


This scene I think is important in establishing the difference in size of hobbits and men, or in this case wizard.

This particular image above I think was an important moment for defining this to those seeing Middle Earth for the first time and to refresh the memories of those who have. Watching the characters the first time I saw this, I started to forget that Martin isn’t Hobbit sized.

9) How well do you think the scaling of the characters is carried out in this scene?


A difference I noted straight away from the book was the fact that in the book a flustered Bilbo invites Gandalf to tea, whereas in the film Bilbo just retreats back into the house refusing to have anything to do with the wizard.
10) Do you like/dislike this deviation from the book, or do you not mind either way?
I think this works well for the film since it adds to the humour when the dwarves all start arriving and Bilbo literally has no warning since he thought the business with Gandalf was finished with. In the book he had warning that someone was coming to tea, but the humour came from the fact that every time he answered the door it wasn’t who he expected.


There are so many great moments, in this scene, I think. I enjoy every moment and I’ll just mention a few:
“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure,” I love how Bilbo’s jaw drops in shock at the idea.
“Not Gandalf, the wandering wizard who made such excellent fireworks. Old Took used to have them on Midsummer’s Eve.” I love how interested Bilbo becomes and how he is adjusts his tone again when he realises he’s sounding a little too enthusiastic to remark, “I had no idea you were still in business,” almost insulting the wizard. The way Gandalf’s smile vanishes at this remark, I think, is priceless.
“It’ll be very good for you and most amusing for me.”
I just love the way Ian delivered that line.
11) What is your favourite quote/moment(s) from this scene and why?


Gandalf makes the mark on the door with his staff and then leaves. In the book it is just a mark on the door, but in the film it has a blue glow.
12) Do you like the way the mark has a magical quality about it?
13) Do you like how Bilbo is aware the wizard is outside his door?
14) Did anyone notice that Gandalf is humming as he leaves? Why do you think the film makers chose to end the scene this way?
15) How did the ending of this scene prepare you for the next scene?


The music for this scene, I think helps add to the awkward atmosphere for Bilbo and the mysterious, even mischievous character of Gandalf. I even like how the music includes a version of the firework theme we heard in FOTR when Bilbo mentions them to Gandalf.
16) What do you think about the music in this scene?



Have fun! Wink

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


burgahobbit
Rohan


Sep 27 2013, 1:47pm

Post #2 of 59 (427 views)
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Nice questions Silwen.
1) Do you like this similarity with LOTR?
I have never seen the theatrical editions, only the ees, so I didn't realize this connection wit hthe 60 years earlier/later. It's cool though, to tie in the first theatrical editions of the two trilogies. As Hutt has pointed out, for the ee they may remove this, and I'm hoping that's the case.

2) Was this how you had imagined this scene? Did you enjoy how it was played out?
I imagined the acting a bit differently. Gandalf was less playful; much more grim I would say, never cracking a smile. Bilbo was, ironically, less serious and more cheerful. I think this is how Tolkien described it, "'Good morning!' said Bilbo, and he meant it." I think he also says that Bilbo was in a very good mood this morning.
However I see why they did what they did. Martin Freeman is a different actor then Ian Holm (who could pull off this cheerfulness quite well both in "concerning hobbits" and in my imagination). And it made sense to make Gandalf a bit more light-hearted since many already know this character, I think.

We have just seen an older Bilbo played by Ian Holm and to some degree Martin Freeman’s performance had to merge with Ian’s so that the audience could believe that this is a younger Bilbo without restricting Martin from putting his own spin on the character. I thought Martin’s performance as Bilbo was excellent and I can see little traces of Ian’s Bilbo in Martin’s in the way he walks and especially when he speaks and even the moment when he runs back into his house and shuts the door, somehow I am reminded of the Bilbo I saw in FOTR.
3) How well do you think Martin portrayed a younger Bilbo? It was great! Of course he made Bilbo his own, and I think they changed Ian's Bilbo a bit to make him more like Martin's. He's less witty and a little more private in his mannerisms. I personally like Ian Holm's acting better in LOTR, but again, I understand the slight changes made here.
4) Are there any characteristics you saw in Ian’s Bilbo that Martin adapted or used to help portray his version of Bilbo that you thought worked really well? I can't name specifics. I really think that Martin just looks a lot like Ian. His facial expressions, his smile, etc. The transitions of the two Bilbo's works really well for me, I just like to think that after Old Bilbo goes back inside he's caught up with the morning and is now his normal witty lighthearted self that we see in LOTR. Wink


Bilbo’s character is established in this scene as being more fussy than the older Bilbo. What about his place in society when he is younger?
5) Is there anything that helps convey that Bilbo is more from upper-class society, especially for those who are being introduced to this character for the first time? I suppose the fact that he lives on the top of Hobbiton is one clue. I also think that his being a "very respectable hobbit" will be better realized when he goes to the market in the EE.

6) Are there any props in this scene that you like?
The mailbox. I think its great how they included the part about Bilbo reading his mail and ignoring the wizard. Martin was excellent here!

Let us focus now on the wizard. We are not shown Gandalf’s face immediately in AUJ, just as we weren’t in FOTR. In FOTR Gandalf is humming as he journeys in his cart and when Frodo meets him his face is hidden by his hat. In AUJ we see the grey clothes walk past Bilbo and we are not shown his face until after Gandalf asks ‘What do you mean?’ I find it immediately gives us a sense of mystery about this character. I even note that in both films Gandalf is more to the left hand side of the hobbits. Perhaps it is a sign again of magic and mystery that is sometimes associated with the left hand side?
7) Do you like the way we are introduced to Gandalf with this sense of mysteriousness? I hadn't noticed these things. That's pretty cool! Yes I think it was pretty well done, though if he was more serious it would have felt even more mysterious. Tongue
8) Do you enjoy watching Ian McKellen’s performance as Gandalf? Yes, but in the hobbit I found that there were a few times where it felt a bit odd. For instance, when he bumps the stone troll on the nose with his staff, that just seemed weird. I don't know, maybe its just me. But yes I like watching him play Gandalf because he is Gandalf.


9) How well do you think the scaling of the characters is carried out in this scene? I'm usually not one to notice these things. People complain about the actors being on their knees in some scenes, and I never noticed. I think it was great, as always!


A difference I noted straight away from the book was the fact that in the book a flustered Bilbo invites Gandalf to tea, whereas in the film Bilbo just retreats back into the house refusing to have anything to do with the wizard.
10) Do you like/dislike this deviation from the book, or do you not mind either way?
What you said makes sense. However, I wish that they had stuck to the book. It's just a classic part of the scene for me, "What on earth did I invite him to tea for?" Laugh I don't think that it would have really ruined the surprise when the dwarves started showing up. The audience knew that Gandalf wasn't done with the hobbit anyway, or it would have been one boring film.

11) What is your favourite quote/moment(s) from this scene and why?
I liked it when, as I said before, Bilbo picks up the mail and mutters to himself going, "Mmmmm, immmhmmmm. Mmm." As he glances up at the wizard to see if he's left yet or not. Much to his annoyance, Gandalf hasn't flinched a muscle.

12) Do you like the way the mark has a magical quality about it? It could either way for me. It doesn't add or detract anything from the scene, but its kind of cool to show that this is a wizard after all, not just some old guy.
13) Do you like how Bilbo is aware the wizard is outside his door? Yes, and I can't wait to see how they handle him being chased around in the market by the wizard. The looks some of the other hobbits give him should be priceless. It would be nice if eventually he sees Gandalf wandering off into the wild, and he sighs in relief before heading for his dinner.
14) Did anyone notice that Gandalf is humming as he leaves? Why do you think the film makers chose to end the scene this way? A nice tie in to LOTR, there's lots of humming/singing/mumbling songs as Characters arrive and leave. It also shows that he's up to some mischief. Sly
15) How did the ending of this scene prepare you for the next scene?
I thought it was great. Something mysterious is going on, the day has passed and we see Bad-end in the dark, then Bilbo seems to have forgotten all about it as he sits to his dinner and makes it quite elaborate (never dreaming that he wouldn't get a bite of it). Fantastic! Cool

The music for this scene, I think helps add to the awkward atmosphere for Bilbo and the mysterious, even mischievous character of Gandalf. I even like how the music includes a version of the firework theme we heard in FOTR when Bilbo mentions them to Gandalf.
16) What do you think about the music in this scene?
Oh yes, the music is great! Gandalf's new theme is one of my favorite new bits of music. Super cool! And all of Bilbo's themes are great fun.



"I've found it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk, that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I’m afraid, and he gives me courage.” - Gandalf the Grey.

"Do not be afraid Mithrandir, if ever you should need my help, I will come." - Lady Galadriel.


LordotRings93
Rohan


Sep 27 2013, 2:22pm

Post #3 of 59 (400 views)
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I’ll start off the discussion with a question about the very start of this scene. The scene shifts smoothly from present day to 60 years earlier. In FOTR 60 years came on the screen accept it was 60 years later. I thought it was a nice tie in with the LOTR trilogy.
1) Do you like this similarity with LOTR?

Hm, you know I never noticed that, to be honest. And now that I know that, yes, it is a very nice touch.

The Hobbit has many memorable moments when you read the book and for me this opening scene between Bilbo and Gandalf is one of them. I really enjoyed seeing a younger Bilbo for the first time and seeing him as a person very set in his ways brought out of his comfort zone by the intrusion of the wandering wizard, Gandalf.
2) Was this how you had imagined this scene? Did you enjoy how it was played out?

This scene just blew me out of the water, from the performances, the writing, the beautiful scenery in the back. Loved that they included the "I am Gandalf!" line, although I would've preferred it if he said it more dominantly, instead of pausing to think of what to say after "And Gandalf means...." But still, the scene played out pretty much like the book.

We have just seen an older Bilbo played by Ian Holm and to some degree Martin Freeman’s performance had to merge with Ian’s so that the audience could believe that this is a younger Bilbo without restricting Martin from putting his own spin on the character. I thought Martin’s performance as Bilbo was excellent and I can see little traces of Ian’s Bilbo in Martin’s in the way he walks and especially when he speaks and even the moment when he runs back into his house and shuts the door, somehow I am reminded of the Bilbo I saw in FOTR.
3) How well do you think Martin portrayed a younger Bilbo?

I can't praise him enough for his portrayal. He's so natural as Bilbo, like he's been the character his whole life. His delivery is spot-on, and just wonderful to watch. I knew in the theater when I saw him in that scene that Martin WAS Bilbo.

4) Are there any characteristics you saw in Ian’s Bilbo that Martin adapted or used to help portray his version of Bilbo that you thought worked really well?

Well I guess you could say Bilbo's "quirkiness", especially during his birthday party in the FotR EE. I think them looking very similar to one another is all that really matters/mattered to me.

Bilbo’s character is established in this scene as being more fussy than the older Bilbo. What about his place in society when he is younger?
5) Is there anything that helps convey that Bilbo is more from upper-class society, especially for those who are being introduced to this character for the first time?

Just from his demeanor do we realize he is upper-class, from smoking his pipe, sitting outside his luxurious hobbit hole, and how prissy he got when Gandalf wanted him to invest in his adventure. That pretty much gives away he had a noble upbringing.

6) Are there any props in this scene that you like?


Hm... I guess Bilbo's pipe and Gandalf's staff? Not many props were shown in this scene, really.

Let us focus now on the wizard. We are not shown Gandalf’s face immediately in AUJ, just as we weren’t in FOTR. In FOTR Gandalf is humming as he journeys in his cart and when Frodo meets him his face is hidden by his hat. In AUJ we see the grey clothes walk past Bilbo and we are not shown his face until after Gandalf asks ‘What do you mean?’ I find it immediately gives us a sense of mystery about this character. I even note that in both films Gandalf is more to the left hand side of the hobbits. Perhaps it is a sign again of magic and mystery that is sometimes associated with the left hand side?
7) Do you like the way we are introduced to Gandalf with this sense of mysteriousness?

Indeed I do, as it should be. Gandalf is a very mysterious character, just like in the book, so him being introduced as a wandering wizard is the right thing to do.

8) Do you enjoy watching Ian McKellen’s performance as Gandalf?

Always. I can't picture anyone else as Gandalf, to be honest. I remember Christopher Lee saying he wanted to be Gandalf, or something like that, but I just couldn't see it. McKellen IS Gandalf, just as Martin IS Bilbo and Richard IS Thorin in my eyes.

This scene I think is important in establishing the difference in size of hobbits and men, or in this case wizard.

This particular image above I think was an important moment for defining this to those seeing Middle Earth for the first time and to refresh the memories of those who have. Watching the characters the first time I saw this, I started to forget that Martin isn’t Hobbit sized.

9) How well do you think the scaling of the characters is carried out in this scene?

Very well, actually. And I notice it every time I watch. I especially love how hobbit-sized Freeman looks when he's walking up his steps then turns around. The scaling is done amazingly for this scene, and throughout the whole film, even, the scaling was done much better all around.

A difference I noted straight away from the book was the fact that in the book a flustered Bilbo invites Gandalf to tea, whereas in the film Bilbo just retreats back into the house refusing to have anything to do with the wizard.
10) Do you like/dislike this deviation from the book, or do you not mind either way?

I actually like it. It leads to better character development for Bilbo, going from an uptight hobbit who wants nothing to do with any of this to his transformation as an adventurous, clever hobbit.

I think this works well for the film since it adds to the humour when the dwarves all start arriving and Bilbo literally has no warning since he thought the business with Gandalf was finished with. In the book he had warning that someone was coming to tea, but the humour came from the fact that every time he answered the door it wasn’t who he expected.


There are so many great moments, in this scene, I think. I enjoy every moment and I’ll just mention a few:
“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure,” I love how Bilbo’s jaw drops in shock at the idea.
“Not Gandalf, the wandering wizard who made such excellent fireworks. Old Took used to have them on Midsummer’s Eve.” I love how interested Bilbo becomes and how he is adjusts his tone again when he realises he’s sounding a little too enthusiastic to remark, “I had no idea you were still in business,” almost insulting the wizard. The way Gandalf’s smile vanishes at this remark, I think, is priceless.
“It’ll be very good for you and most amusing for me.”
I just love the way Ian delivered that line.
11) What is your favourite quote/moment(s) from this scene and why?

Bilbo when he gives that little laugh, smokes his pipe a little then says "Good morning", turns, and walks up his steps. Such great delivery and always gets me.

Gandalf makes the mark on the door with his staff and then leaves. In the book it is just a mark on the door, but in the film it has a blue glow.
12) Do you like the way the mark has a magical quality about it?

Indeed I do. Gandalf is a wizard, so it only goes his mark should have a magical quality to it. And I guess the mark sticks out more for the dwarves to see.

13) Do you like how Bilbo is aware the wizard is outside his door?

Bilbo's reactions to Gandalf outside his hole are priceless. Just how scared he gets and how tries to hide from him.... And then that little nose twitch he does. It's the little things like that that sold Freeman as Bilbo, IMO.

14) Did anyone notice that Gandalf is humming as he leaves? Why do you think the film makers chose to end the scene this way?

I guess just to show Gandalf really IS mysterious. Just his behavior, from basically trying to pull a hobbit away from his home, then to walk away humming. And I guess Gandalf likes to hum?

15) How did the ending of this scene prepare you for the next scene?

It prepared me for the entire movie, really. I knew that after this point Bilbo's life will be turned upside down and that the story is only just beginning.

The music for this scene, I think helps add to the awkward atmosphere for Bilbo and the mysterious, even mischievous character of Gandalf. I even like how the music includes a version of the firework theme we heard in FOTR when Bilbo mentions them to Gandalf.
16) What do you think about the music in this scene?

Really love the dramatic music when Gandalf peers into Bilbo's window. Such a great cue for the music to pick up.


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


Werde Spinner
Rohan


Sep 27 2013, 3:23pm

Post #4 of 59 (384 views)
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(1) Do you like this similarity with LOTR?
It's a nice mirror. In LOTR we saw a brief glimpse of Bilbo's story, and then plunged into Frodo's tale. Here, we get a brief glimpse of Frodo, and then plunge into Bilbo's story. It ties them together nicely, I think.

(2) Was this how you imagined the scene? Did you like how it played out?
I'm not sure how I imagined the scene. I didn't really have mental pictures of much of anything from The Hobbit, since I barely cared about it (the heresy!) until rereading it just before the movie came out and realizing how awesome Bilbo actually was and how much more there was to the book than I had thought. Still, though, I had no mental pictures of this or of many of the other scenes. So I really liked how it played out. Also, my less geeky sister, who had not read the book at that point (and still hasn't finished), also loved the whole 'Good Morning' scene. It stuck very close to the book and yet audiences loved it, I think.

(3) How well do you think Martin portrayed a younger Bilbo?
I think he did a flawless job. He *was* Bilbo. Everything he did just screamed 'hobbit dragged on an adventure'. I had no problem with him and Ian Holm; their performances had no seam between 'old' and 'young', as I saw it.

(4) Are there any characteristics you saw in Ian's Bilbo that Martin adapted or used to help portray his version of Bilbo that you thought worked really well?
Okay, apparently I have been way too distracted by certain Dwarves Angelic when I watch AUJ because I really can't name any. Except maybe Bilbo's walk - it reminds me of Old Bilbo a bit more. The nose twitch also reminds me of Old Bilbo's ears twitching when the Sackville-Bagginses approach.

(5) Is there anything that helps convey that Bilbo is more from upper-class society, especially for those who are being introduced to this character for the first time?
Bilbo's clothes - their fine material, the pattern on his waistcoat - they all suggest he has a bit of money and status behind him. He also has a very fine hobbit-hole at the top of the hill, and the other hobbits address him as 'Mister Bilbo', not just 'Bilbo' or some other variant. That implies more respect towards him on their part, implying higher status.

(6) Are there any props in this scene that you really like?
The mailbox. Wink I like the mailbox. I want one like that. On a different note, I like Bag End's door a lot, even though I *still* haven't figured out how the doorknob works. Is the mechanism all inside the door? Because from what I'm seeing on the back I can't see how the knob in the middle of the door controls the latch on the edge of the door. The lock, yes, I understand that (and was a bit surprised to see that Bilbo has one, given the general trustiness of hobbits and their society, but perhaps Bilbo's just fussy and paranoid that way), but not the knob.

Oh, and the windows. I like Bag End's windows. I especially like the way they distort Gandalf's face when he peers in at Bilbo. Laugh

(7) Do you like the way we are introduced to Gandalf with this sense of mysteriousness?
Yes! Any mysteriousness that suggests there is more to Gandalf than we can see is great - after all, he is a Maia and all we will ever be able to see is 'just a page or two' in his book, as Pippin puts it. It also helps imply that Bilbo also has no idea who this is at first, and so makes the audience curious and a bit apprehensive right along with him.

(8) Do you enjoy watching Ian McKellen's performance as Gandalf?
Honestly, I love Gandalf in AUJ more than I ever did in LOTR. Don't know why. He just seems so much more... Gandalf. He's less stressed over the fate of Middle-earth, he's not leading armies... he's just leading a bunch of Dwarves and a hobbit on a road trip and bailing them out of their problems. I absolutely *love* the way he does the whole 'Good morning' bit, and his delivery of, "I am Gandalf, and Gandalf means... me," sold me on that line. I never liked that line in the book - I know Gandalf can be a bit 'cantankerous' so to speak, but it just seemed a bit much. How it played out in AUJ seemed much more like Gandalf wondering, "How do I explain who I am to this hobbit?" It takes on a lot more meaning when you stop and consider what and who 'Gandalf' is. "Many are my names in many countries..." after all. Argh, I'm just rambling now. Safe to say, I loved Sir Ian's performance throughout the movie.

(9) How well do you think the scaling of the characters was carried out throughout this scene?
I always love the scaling, and I think it was quite clever here, especially when they have stairs and landscapes to work around. I rarely notice it when the actors are 'on their knees', and even then it's just because I'm jarred into thinking again, "Oh, yeah! They're hobbit-sized!" Crazy Laugh I'm so used to thinking the hobbits are about my size and that everyone else is just ginormous that I forget that I'm actually only few inches taller than Thorin and Dwalin. But, hey, I'll take relating to Hobbits and Dwarves any day...

(10) Do you like/dislike this deviation from the book, or do you not mind either way?
I really don't mind either way. In the book, he's flustered but still trying to be utmost polite; in the movie, he's flustered but doesn't give politeness as much of a try. He practically flees. It does make the situation funnier when the Dwarves start showing up, and I can't wait for the EE to show Bilbo running around the market evading Gandalf. Tongue

(11) What is your favorite quote/moment(s) from this scene and why?
The whole, "Good morning," part, and also: "Well, then, that's decided. It will be very good for you, and most amusing for me. I shall inform the others." Laugh Gandalf is such a troll here, and I love every bit of it! The humming he also does as he walks away... priceless. He's successfully gotten another hobbit to go on an adventure.

(12) Do you like the way the mark has a magical quality about it?
Oh, yes! It helps audiences ignorant of the books know that Gandalf is a real wizard, and I think it helps explain why Bilbo didn't notice it earlier - my explanation is that it glows only when the moon is out, a bit like ithildin. So Bilbo goes out to the market and comes back, all during the day - and it isn't glowing, so he notices nothing. When Dwalin shows up, it glows. Make sense to me.

(13) Do you like how Bilbo is aware the wizard is outside his door?
The look on Bilbo's face as he hears the odd, almost musical noise as the rune gets carved in his nice door is pretty good. You can practically hear Bilbo thinking, "WHAT is that wizard DOING out there?" So he goes to the window to check - and Gandalf stares right back at him! Laugh

(14) Did anyone notice that Gandalf is humming as he leaves? Why do you think the filmmakers chose to end the scene this way?
It reminds me of Gandalf singing as he enters the Shire in FOTR, and also of Bilbo humming as he leaves the Shire. Hey, any excuse to work more music into these movies is appreciated by me.

(15) How did the ending of this scene prepare you for the next scene?
Um...? Not sure I was prepared. I was just along for the ride - and having the ride of my life.

(16) What do you think about the music in this scene?
It's the Shire music again!!!! Smile Heart Smile That's what I think! Though, of course, 'Old Friends' is in the key of C rather than the key of D, as 'Concerning Hobbits' was, so there are some minor differences. And Bilbo's theme starts showing as Young Bilbo appears on the screen. I also really *really* like the fact that Gandalf has a theme of his own now - I will miss it when I rewatch LOTR - and I like how it sounds, as well. Somewhere in the booklet in the special soundtrack it compares his theme to wisps of smoke curling into the air, like the smoke from his pipe - I really like that comparison and agree with it.

Also, minor epiphany: the soundtrack here is called 'Old Friends' not because Gandalf and Bilbo are old friends, although they will have reached that state in FOTR. No, it's called that because we're seeing our old friends, Bilbo and Frodo, again. Smile And Gandalf, too. It may not be the right interpretation of the soundtrack's name, but I like to think it is an equally valid and nice side-interpretation.

"I had forgotten that. It is hard to be sure of anything among so many marvels. The world is all grown strange. Elf and Dwarf in company walk in our daily fields; and folk speak with the Lady of the Wood and yet live; and the Sword comes back to war that was broken in the long ages ere the fathers of our fathers rode into the Mark! How shall a man judge what to do in such times?"

"As he ever has judged. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house."


Faleel
Rohan

Sep 27 2013, 3:28pm

Post #5 of 59 (372 views)
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Actually [In reply to] Can't Post

Its just a reference to the FOTR CR track "Very Old Friends"


Werde Spinner
Rohan


Sep 27 2013, 3:33pm

Post #6 of 59 (365 views)
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Yes, but they're not 'old friends' yet. [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess you could say 'Old Friends' was given as a name on a micro-eschatological scale, as a reference to the fact that Gandalf and Bilbo *will* be very old friends after this adventure. I recognize that. It's probably the real reason. But I still like my idea. Wink

"I had forgotten that. It is hard to be sure of anything among so many marvels. The world is all grown strange. Elf and Dwarf in company walk in our daily fields; and folk speak with the Lady of the Wood and yet live; and the Sword comes back to war that was broken in the long ages ere the fathers of our fathers rode into the Mark! How shall a man judge what to do in such times?"

"As he ever has judged. Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house."


Faleel
Rohan

Sep 27 2013, 4:18pm

Post #7 of 59 (341 views)
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Also [In reply to] Can't Post

Remember that Gandalf knew Belladonna Took, AND Bilbo when he was young (cf. The Quest of Erebor - The Annotated Hobbit)


DanielLB
Immortal


Sep 27 2013, 4:32pm

Post #8 of 59 (349 views)
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Brilliant questions! :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

1) Do you like this similarity with LOTR?

Absolutely - but does that mean it won't be in the extended edition? I guess there isn't too long to find out.

2) Was this how you had imagined this scene? Did you enjoy how it was played out?

Yes, I did. It's a good interpretation of the book. And to think we were all worried about the "Good Morning" scene being left out. And that's my favourite part of the scene. It would be interesting to see what the general public thought of this scene - seeing Gandalf again and all that.

3) How well do you think Martin portrayed a younger Bilbo?

Freeman would never have been my first choice as Bilbo, and it was odd seeing him the very first time. Holm will always be *the* Bilbo. I think a prosthetic nose would have made be a little happier ... Angelic

4) Are there any characteristics you saw in Ian’s Bilbo that Martin adapted or used to help portray his version of Bilbo that you thought worked really well?

Not particularly. Do you see any? Although ... going back to last week's discussion, Freeman walks identical to Old Bilbo (when he's dressed up as him when he waves off Frodo). Yes ... I'll go with the that. They have the same gait.

5) Is there anything that helps convey that Bilbo is more from upper-class society, especially for those who are being introduced to this character for the first time?

Good question - I'm not sure they would, since there's absolutely nothing to compare Bilbo/Bag End with any other Hobbit/hole. It's probably not that important - Bilbo's wealth is made clear on his return to the Shore.

6) Are there any props in this scene that you like?

Though not technically a prop ... I'd love the front door of Bag End.

7) Do you like the way we are introduced to Gandalf with this sense of mysteriousness?
8) Do you enjoy watching Ian McKellen’s performance as Gandalf?

Yes, and yes! Like Blanchett, Lee and Holm; McKellen was genious casting. He is Gandalf the Grey, and does a most splendid job.

10) Do you like/dislike this deviation from the book, or do you not mind either way?

I vaguely remember a report suggesting that Bilbo goes into the Market to buy food for Gandalf later on. I'm probably remembering the report wrong ... but maybe this will change in the extended edition?

11) What is your favourite quote/moment(s) from this scene and why?

As I said above, my favourite quote is:


Quote
What do you mean? Do you wish me a good morning or do you mean that it is a good morning wheter I want it or not? Or perhaps you mean to say that you feel good on this particular morning? Or are you simply stating that this is a morning to be a good on?


13) Do you like how Bilbo is aware the wizard is outside his door?

Yes, but I don't think the audience did. People always jumped at that part in the cinema!

15) How did the ending of this scene prepare you for the next scene?

It's quite a short scene, isn't it. I wonder if they could've made it longer? It's short in the book I suppose, and their meeting is supposed to be unexpected and brief. Dragging it out may have ruined it. I wonder how the extended edition will handle it. Perhaps Gandalf will be watching Bilbo from afar during the market scene? A Dwarf in the background asking for directions might be quite fun.



burgahobbit
Rohan


Sep 27 2013, 6:38pm

Post #9 of 59 (321 views)
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Market scene [In reply to] Can't Post

Quint from AICn said that Gandalf is looking for him in the market, and Bilbo is hiding behind other hobbits to get away. It should be a fun scene, I like your idea about a dwarf asking for directions, as long as Bilbo doesn't see him.

Also, I didn't remember that he was ordering the food for gandalf exclusively, but I could be wrong. Hopefully your right!

"I've found it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk, that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I’m afraid, and he gives me courage.” - Gandalf the Grey.

"Do not be afraid Mithrandir, if ever you should need my help, I will come." - Lady Galadriel.


DanielLB
Immortal


Sep 27 2013, 6:45pm

Post #10 of 59 (319 views)
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Ahh, I remember now. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks burgahobbit -


Quote
Quint from AICn said that Gandalf is looking for him in the market, and Bilbo is hiding behind other hobbits to get away.


That's the one!

I think I made up the bit about Bilbo getting food for Gandalf, after re-reading Quint's report. Say ... whatever happened to his reports? Evil



Riven Delve
Grey Havens


Sep 27 2013, 7:56pm

Post #11 of 59 (309 views)
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Good morning, good start! [In reply to] Can't Post

I’ll start off the discussion with a question about the very start of this scene. The scene shifts smoothly from present day to 60 years earlier. In FOTR 60 years came on the screen accept it was 60 years later. I thought it was a nice tie in with the LOTR trilogy.
1) Do you like this similarity with LOTR?


Actually, I forgot that there was anything about 60 years in FOTR. Blush

2) Was this how you had imagined this scene? Did you enjoy how it was played out?

I imagined Bilbo being more flustered, less firm, and more polite. But I still enjoyed the Freeman-McKellan interaction very much.

A difference I noted straight away from the book was the fact that in the book a flustered Bilbo invites Gandalf to tea, whereas in the film Bilbo just retreats back into the house refusing to have anything to do with the wizard.
10) Do you like/dislike this deviation from the book, or do you not mind either way?


I didn't mind the deviation--I liked the complete surprise Bilbo has that he's going to be hosting a party!

3) How well do you think Martin portrayed a younger Bilbo?
4) Are there any characteristics you saw in Ian’s Bilbo that Martin adapted or used to help portray his version of Bilbo that you thought worked really well?


To be honest, I have a hard time reconciling the childlike qualities of old Bilbo (thinking of his hugging Gandalf in FOTR) with the somewhat urbane young Bilbo. I wish I could see a transitional phase! Smile Maybe by the end of TABA...

I agree his walk is quite similar. Freeman also has a sidelong look that is similar to Holm's--and of course, hiding from the window in the same way as he does 60 years later is very nice.

5) Is there anything that helps convey that Bilbo is more from upper-class society, especially for those who are being introduced to this character for the first time?
6) Are there any props in this scene that you like?


Bilbo's natty neckcloth and hilltop house are a couple clues...and then later we get to see inside Bag End and see how nice and roomy it is. Plus the fact that he's got the leisure to sit around smoking in the middle of the morning!Smile

The mailbox and letters are a nice touch, and Bilbo's pipe is a fantastic tool. And I like Gandalf's sparkly silver scarf, even if it's not technically a prop.

7) Do you like the way we are introduced to Gandalf with this sense of mysteriousness?
8) Do you enjoy watching Ian McKellen’s performance as Gandalf?


I have a hard time seeing Gandalf as someone new, having known him so long. Laugh But I did like how very little about him is explained. I like the references to Old Took, etc., which imply that he's been around influencing and interacting with Hobbits for a very long time. I LOVE watching McKellen. In fact, my first impression was that he was enjoying this scene tremendously, which increases my enjoyment too.

This scene I think is important in establishing the difference in size of hobbits and men, or in this case wizard.


This particular image above I think was an important moment for defining this to those seeing Middle Earth for the first time and to refresh the memories of those who have. Watching the characters the first time I saw this, I started to forget that Martin isn’t Hobbit sized.
9) How well do you think the scaling of the characters is carried out in this scene?

I thought AUJ as a whole did a fantastic job of establishing Hobbit- and Dwarf-size as "normal," and Gandalf and Elves as freakishly tall. Wink I really often forgot how small Hobbits and Dwarves were supposed to be. I never once wondered about their relative sizes in this scene.

I did think, however, that the trees in the right background came from a Dr. Seuss book. Sly

11) What is your favourite quote/moment(s) from this scene and why?

I like Bilbo's taking refuge in Bag End and locking the door! Then Gandalf's eye at the door and his retreat as Bilbo hides...

Really, I think the whole "Good Morning" conversation sets a great tone for the whole movie. It's kind of a microcosm of what's going to happen to Bilbo in the next few scenes and in his adventure itself--everything conventional about his life, like the conventional greeting, is going to be turned on its head, and he's going to have to reexamine the meaning of things, looking past the surface and reevaluating how he relates to the world.

12) Do you like the way the mark has a magical quality about it?
14) Did anyone notice that Gandalf is humming as he leaves? Why do you think the film makers chose to end the scene this way?

I like the magical mark (especially how it fades as Dwalin's shadow falls over it). I did kind of miss the burglar advertisement idea from the book, but this was fine.

I didn't notice that Gandalf was humming until I saw it in the subtitles. I do like that he does it--it doesn't bode well for poor prissy Bilbo, does it? Laugh


Some more thoughts: I really enjoy how we look up into Gandalf's face during the conversation, under the brim of his hat, just as Bilbo has to do. (How did they do the lighting for that!) My favorite part of this scene, however, is how the colors pop in this scene. I was really just enchanted by that, probably because I was so weary of the grays and dirt of ROTK.



"Our perennial spiritual and psychological task is to look at things familiar until they become unfamiliar again." --G. K. Chesterton



cats16
Valinor


Sep 27 2013, 8:28pm

Post #12 of 59 (297 views)
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NOMs...I mean, CHOW [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I’ll start off the discussion with a question about the very start of this scene. The scene shifts smoothly from present day to 60 years earlier. In FOTR 60 years came on the screen accept it was 60 years later. I thought it was a nice tie in with the LOTR trilogy.
1) Do you like this similarity with LOTR?
Yes, I really like it. I love the continuity we're getting between the films. Hope it keeps coming--and, of course, it will.


The Hobbit has many memorable moments when you read the book and for me this opening scene between Bilbo and Gandalf is one of them. I really enjoyed seeing a younger Bilbo for the first time and seeing him as a person very set in his ways brought out of his comfort zone by the intrusion of the wandering wizard, Gandalf.
2) Was this how you had imagined this scene? Did you enjoy how it was played out?
It's pretty darn close to how I imagined it. It was really fun to watch, as I think the actors both did incredible jobs in the film. It's a treat to watch it again and again.

3) How well do you think Martin portrayed a younger Bilbo?
Very well. I love the idea of having Freeman walk around dressed as older Bilbo during the Bilbo/Frodo scene. Sort of eases us in--unconsciously--that MF is Bilbo just as Holm is. MF brought wonderful facial expressions to the role, and used 'pauses' to tell us a lot about Bilbo. Can't get enough of him.
4) Are there any characteristics you saw in Ian’s Bilbo that Martin adapted or used to help portray his version of Bilbo that you thought worked really well? The facial expressions, the 'hiding against the wall' in Bag End, and the eye movements. I could tell that MF did his homework and studied Holm's work in the trilogy. But he still was able to make the role his own. Holm portrayed a very different Bilbo than the one we see in LOTR. And I find it very interesting to see MF at the beginning of AUJ, and compare him to Holm's Bilbo in LOTR.


Bilbo’s character is established in this scene as being more fussy than the older Bilbo. What about his place in society when he is younger?
5) Is there anything that helps convey that Bilbo is more from upper-class society, especially for those who are being introduced to this character for the first time? I think the outfit says a lot. Just looks 'uppity', I suppose. Also, it's noticeable that Bilbo doesn't actually work. I mean, he may read/write, but he never seems to do a job that brings in a wage. I'm sure he's inherited quite a bit of money over the years--the Old Took probably took care of his family monetarily in his will.


Let us focus now on the wizard.
7) Do you like the way we are introduced to Gandalf with this sense of mysteriousness?
Of course. We're seeing Gandalf from Bilbo's POV here. To Bilbo, he's some old guy wanting to disrupt his smoke in the beautiful morning.
8) Do you enjoy watching Ian McKellen’s performance as Gandalf?
I never tire of it. I'll admit that his voice sounded a little strange in AUJ--almost like he was doing an impression of his Gandalf voice, if that makes sense. (The dinner conversation with Elrond in Rivendell comes to mind.) But overall, yes, I love the performance. It would be fantastic to see McKellen be recognized by the Academy for his work on these films. We'll see.


This scene I think is important in establishing the difference in size of hobbits and men, or in this case wizard.
9) How well do you think the scaling of the characters is carried out in this scene?
Very good scaling here. In LOTR there are some beautiful shots with the landscape behind the characters sloping in a slant the the left/right. Here, the HIll is helping our eyes see the difference in height. It's an incredible shot, with such gorgeous color and plant life.

A difference I noted straight away from the book was the fact that in the book a flustered Bilbo invites Gandalf to tea, whereas in the film Bilbo just retreats back into the house refusing to have anything to do with the wizard.
10) Do you like/dislike this deviation from the book, or do you not mind either way?
It doesn't bother me. It works well enough, and still shows that Bilbo is flustered and doesn't expect company later. So therefore, we still arrive at the same place when the dwarves arrive. No harm done.

I think this works well for the film since it adds to the humour when the dwarves all start arriving and Bilbo literally has no warning since he thought the business with Gandalf was finished with. In the book he had warning that someone was coming to tea, but the humour came from the fact that every time he answered the door it wasn’t who he expected.



11) What is your favourite quote/moment(s) from this scene and why?
"And where else should I be?" Silence. I love that moment. It speaks a lot about Gandalf, and what Bilbo really thinks about him. The silence works wonders for the scene's comedy.

Gandalf makes the mark on the door with his staff and then leaves. In the book it is just a mark on the door, but in the film it has a blue glow.
12) Do you like the way the mark has a magical quality about it?
Sure. He's one of the Istari, Harry.Wink
13) Do you like how Bilbo is aware the wizard is outside his door?
It's a very real moment. I've had something like this happen--though without the adventure afterwards. It's great.
14) Did anyone notice that Gandalf is humming as he leaves? Why do you think the film makers chose to end the scene this way?
Sort of foreshadowing that Gandalf, in fact, means well.
15) How did the ending of this scene prepare you for the next scene?
We know something is up. We just saw the words "An Unexpected Journey". Now we're thrown into the journey.

The music for this scene, I think helps add to the awkward atmosphere for Bilbo and the mysterious, even mischievous character of Gandalf. I even like how the music includes a version of the firework theme we heard in FOTR when Bilbo mentions them to Gandalf.
16) What do you think about the music in this scene?
It works well with the pauses in action, and gives the scene a great overall tone. I'm a fan.Tongue


Thanks Silwen! Great questions for a great scene.Smile



Bombadil
Half-elven


Sep 27 2013, 9:09pm

Post #13 of 59 (299 views)
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Bomby's reply [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
This week on CHOW discussion is the Good Morning scene between Gandalf and Bilbo which is a favourite scene of mine.


I’ll start off the discussion with a question about the very start of this scene. The scene shifts smoothly from present day to 60 years earlier. In FOTR 60 years came on the screen accept it was 60 years later. I thought it was a nice tie in with the LOTR trilogy.
1) Do you like this similarity with LOTR?

Sixty years Before
Sixty years After..
Perfect BookEnds


The Hobbit has many memorable moments when you read the book and for me this opening scene between Bilbo and Gandalf is one of them. I really enjoyed seeing a younger Bilbo for the first time and seeing him as a person very set in his ways brought out of his comfort zone by the intrusion of the wandering wizard, Gandalf.
2) Was this how you had imagined this scene? Did you enjoy how it was played out?

Soo close to Book, sooo yes..Perfection.


We have just seen an older Bilbo played by Ian Holm and to some degree Martin Freeman’s performance had to merge with Ian’s so that the audience could believe that this is a younger Bilbo without restricting Martin from putting his own spin on the character. I thought Martin’s performance as Bilbo was excellent and I can see little traces of Ian’s Bilbo in Martin’s in the way he walks and especially when he speaks and even the moment when he runs back into his house and shuts the door, somehow I am reminded of the Bilbo I saw in FOTR.
3) How well do you think Martin portrayed a younger Bilbo?

It's NO WONDER Now
why PJ&Fran wanted MF

4) Are there any characteristics you saw in Ian’s Bilbo that Martin adapted or used to help portray his version of Bilbo that you thought worked really well?

MF studied SirIH, so
as any fine actor would
Mimiked him somewhat
a w/a MF Twist

Bilbo’s character is established in this scene as being more fussy than the older Bilbo. What about his place in society when he is younger?

BagEnd looked like he could employ
a HOLEKeeper

5) Is there anything that helps convey that Bilbo is more from upper-class society, especially for those who are being introduced to this character for the first time?

The Almost Golden WaistCoat
looked EXPENSIVE!


6) Are there any props in this scene that you like?

Bilbo's
LONG Longbottom LEAF?
pipe!


Let us focus now on the wizard. We are not shown Gandalf’s face immediately in AUJ, just as we weren’t in FOTR. In FOTR Gandalf is humming as he journeys in his cart and when Frodo meets him his face is hidden by his hat. In AUJ we see the grey clothes walk past Bilbo and we are not shown his face until after Gandalf asks ‘What do you mean?’ I find it immediately gives us a sense of mystery about this character. I even note that in both films Gandalf is more to the left hand side of the hobbits. Perhaps it is a sign again of magic and mystery that is sometimes associated with the left hand side?
7) Do you like the way we are introduced to Gandalf with this sense of mysteriousness?

Bomby feels Gandalf was
murmmering & remembering
Ancient Incantations.

8) Do you enjoy watching Ian McKellen’s performance as Gandalf?

We ALL.l will have a Day (A WEEK)
of
International Mourning
when this Great MAN
passes into the West..


This scene I think is important in establishing the difference in size of hobbits and men, or in this case wizard.

This particular image above I think was an important moment for defining this to those seeing Middle Earth for the first time and to refresh the memories of those who have. Watching the characters the first time I saw this, I started to forget that Martin isn’t Hobbit sized.

9) How well do you think the scaling of the characters is carried out in this scene?

Andrew Lesnie and crew
pushed it sooo. supurbly
Cineamtagraphers around the World
are Scamblin' to Catch up!

A difference I noted straight away from the book was the fact that in the book a flustered Bilbo invites Gandalf to tea, whereas in the film Bilbo just retreats back into the house refusing to have anything to do with the wizard.
10) Do you like/dislike this deviation from the book, or do you not mind either way?

Bilbo feels he has Brushed off any Adventure.
I think this works well for the film since it adds to the humour when the dwarves all start arriving and Bilbo literally has no warning since he thought the business with Gandalf was finished with. In the book he had warning that someone was coming to tea, but the humour came from the fact that every time he answered the door it wasn’t who he expected.


There are so many great moments, in this scene, I think. I enjoy every moment and I’ll just mention a few:
“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure,” I love how Bilbo’s jaw drops in shock at the idea.
“Not Gandalf, the wandering wizard who made such excellent fireworks. Old Took used to have them on Midsummer’s Eve.” I love how interested Bilbo becomes and how he is adjusts his tone again when he realises he’s sounding a little too enthusiastic to remark, “I had no idea you were still in business,” almost insulting the wizard. The way Gandalf’s smile vanishes at this remark, I think, is priceless.
“It’ll be very good for you and most amusing for me.”
I just love the way Ian delivered that line.
11) What is your favourite quote/moment(s) from this scene and why?

"that I should be brushed off from Belladonna Took's son?
as if I was selling BUTTONS at the Door?"


Gandalf makes the mark on the door with his staff and then leaves. In the book it is just a mark on the door, but in the film it has a blue glow.
12) Do you like the way the mark has a magical quality about it?

First Glimsps for Newbies that Gandalf IS Magical!

13) Do you like how Bilbo is aware the wizard is outside his door?

Bilbo needs to BE AFRAID, Very AFRAID

14) Did anyone notice that Gandalf is humming as he leaves? Why do you think the film makers chose to end the scene this way?

Again, convinced, that getting the Dwarves to come there is a good plan.
15) How did the ending of this scene prepare you for the next scene?
Bilbo is NOT the Brightest Bulb on the Christmas Tree,
so he is just Back there Agian
stuck in his same ol' HABITS
in a Hole in the Ground.


The music for this scene, I think helps add to the awkward atmosphere for Bilbo and the mysterious, even mischievous character of Gandalf. I even like how the music includes a version of the firework theme we heard in FOTR when Bilbo mentions them to Gandalf.
16) What do you think about the music in this scene?

Howar Shore's Score
will be played by Orchestras
the World over for many years
to Come, Jus' you wait.

Bomby



Have fun! Wink


Quote


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 27 2013, 10:52pm

Post #14 of 59 (279 views)
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Great questions on a great scene! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
’ll start off the discussion with a question about the very start of this scene. The scene shifts smoothly from present day to 60 years earlier. In FOTR 60 years came on the screen accept it was 60 years later. I thought it was a nice tie in with the LOTR trilogy.
1) Do you like this similarity with LOTR?
I do like it. I think as an overall piece it will hold things together quite nicely: I feel like SPJ is looking towards the bigger picture of how the trilogies will nestle together. I think here too is another example of maybe a bit of fan homage.

The Hobbit has many memorable moments when you read the book and for me this opening scene between Bilbo and Gandalf is one of them. I really enjoyed seeing a younger Bilbo for the first time and seeing him as a person very set in his ways brought out of his comfort zone by the intrusion of the wandering wizard, Gandalf.
2) Was this how you had imagined this scene? Did you enjoy how it was played out?
I thought it was played perfectly.

We have just seen an older Bilbo played by Ian Holm and to some degree Martin Freeman’s performance had to merge with Ian’s so that the audience could believe that this is a younger Bilbo without restricting Martin from putting his own spin on the character. I thought Martin’s performance as Bilbo was excellent and I can see little traces of Ian’s Bilbo in Martin’s in the way he walks and especially when he speaks and even the moment when he runs back into his house and shuts the door, somehow I am reminded of the Bilbo I saw in FOTR.
3) How well do you think Martin portrayed a younger Bilbo?
4) Are there any characteristics you saw in Ian’s Bilbo that Martin adapted or used to help portray his version of Bilbo that you thought worked really well?
I thought the thing martin did with his nose, sort of a puzzled/relieved sniff at the window, for some reason is a very "Bilbo" mannerism!


Bilbo’s character is established in this scene as being more fussy than the older Bilbo. What about his place in society when he is younger?
5) Is there anything that helps convey that Bilbo is more from upper-class society, especially for those who are being introduced to this character for the first time?
Yes I think his well tailored clothes, his general air of not having to work or hurry to "do" anything marks him a affluent in Hobbit-terms.
6) Are there any props in this scene that you like? The little hand-made stick fence. That is so neat.

Let us focus now on the wizard. We are not shown Gandalf’s face immediately in AUJ, just as we weren’t in FOTR. In FOTR Gandalf is humming as he journeys in his cart and when Frodo meets him his face is hidden by his hat. In AUJ we see the grey clothes walk past Bilbo and we are not shown his face until after Gandalf asks ‘What do you mean?’ I find it immediately gives us a sense of mystery about this character. I even note that in both films Gandalf is more to the left hand side of the hobbits. Perhaps it is a sign again of magic and mystery that is sometimes associated with the left hand side?
7) Do you like the way we are introduced to Gandalf with this sense of mysteriousness? 8) Do you enjoy watching Ian McKellen’s performance as Gandalf?
The idea of the left side as sinister? Possibly! As Darkstone has pointed out quite rightly before none of SPJ's arrangements are accidental. I think he always has a meaning to what he does. I thoroughly enjoyed Sir Ian's Gandalf again. I feel, and always have, that we are a blessed fandom to have someone like Sir Ian in the position of one of the key elements in LOTR and TH. Honestly the idea of spinoff Gandalf movies ("The Wanderings of Mithrandir'?) would sell me many tickets.

This scene I think is important in establishing the difference in size of hobbits and men, or in this case wizard.

This particular image above I think was an important moment for defining this to those seeing Middle Earth for the first time and to refresh the memories of those who have. Watching the characters the first time I saw this, I started to forget that Martin isn’t Hobbit sized.
9) How well do you think the scaling of the characters is carried out in this scene? Perfectly done. And Gandalf's grey robes, wrapped around him and draped over his arm like that, give him such an air of mystery? antiquity? I love it.


A difference I noted straight away from the book was the fact that in the book a flustered Bilbo invites Gandalf to tea, whereas in the film Bilbo just retreats back into the house refusing to have anything to do with the wizard.
10) Do you like/dislike this deviation from the book, or do you not mind either way?
I think this works well for the film since it adds to the humour when the dwarves all start arriving and Bilbo literally has no warning since he thought the business with Gandalf was finished with. In the book he had warning that someone was coming to tea, but the humour came from the fact that every time he answered the door it wasn’t who he expected.
The invite to tea may have been a bit too complicated - and it might also have telegraphed the arrival of Someone at the door. Whereas with the scene crafted so we share Bilbo's surprise at that knock on the door.


There are so many great moments, in this scene, I think. I enjoy every moment and I’ll just mention a few:
“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure,” I love how Bilbo’s jaw drops in shock at the idea.
“Not Gandalf, the wandering wizard who made such excellent fireworks. Old Took used to have them on Midsummer’s Eve.” I love how interested Bilbo becomes and how he is adjusts his tone again when he realises he’s sounding a little too enthusiastic to remark, “I had no idea you were still in business,” almost insulting the wizard. The way Gandalf’s smile vanishes at this remark, I think, is priceless.
“It’ll be very good for you and most amusing for me.”
I just love the way Ian delivered that line.
11) What is your favourite quote/moment(s) from this scene and why?
"Most amusing for me..." Have to love Gandalf's sense of humor here. And having such a 'little' thing be important to him.

Gandalf makes the mark on the door with his staff and then leaves. In the book it is just a mark on the door, but in the film it has a blue glow.
12) Do you like the way the mark has a magical quality about it? 13) Do you like how Bilbo is aware the wizard is outside his door?
14) Did anyone notice that Gandalf is humming as he leaves? Why do you think the film makers chose to end the scene this way?
15) How did the ending of this scene prepare you for the next scene?
I love the magical touch to The Mark. And in blue. Perfect. The humming is a perfect setup for the moment when Bilbo sees Gandalf leaning in the door, after his puzzling evening of welcoming Dwarves in, and says "Gandalf" with such exasperation (and dawned realization!).

The music for this scene, I think helps add to the awkward atmosphere for Bilbo and the mysterious, even mischievous character of Gandalf. I even like how the music includes a version of the firework theme we heard in FOTR when Bilbo mentions them to Gandalf.
16) What do you think about the music in this scene?
Yes I like that it recalls Gandalf to mind, and focuses us on him maybe (even subconsciously). More homage to us as LOTR fans I think.

Have fun! Wink It was Silwen! Thank you for posting these!


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!








cats16
Valinor


Sep 27 2013, 11:41pm

Post #15 of 59 (259 views)
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That would be an awesome spinoff! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I feel, and always have, that we are a blessed fandom to have someone like Sir Ian in the position of one of the key elements in LOTR and TH. Honestly the idea of spinoff Gandalf movies ("The Wanderings of Mithrandir'?) would sell me many tickets.




Love that title, too. It's so fitting.


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 28 2013, 12:00am

Post #16 of 59 (263 views)
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(*chuckling*) Love this bit [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To

15) How did the ending of this scene prepare you for the next scene?
Bilbo is NOT the Brightest Bulb on the Christmas Tree,
so he is just Back there Agian
stuck in his same ol' HABITS
in a Hole in the Ground.

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!








Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 28 2013, 12:01am

Post #17 of 59 (246 views)
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Would be great wouldn't it? // [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!








Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 28 2013, 12:03am

Post #18 of 59 (248 views)
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Great point on his character arc R-D [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To


To be honest, I have a hard time reconciling the childlike qualities of old Bilbo (thinking of his hugging Gandalf in FOTR) with the somewhat urbane young Bilbo. I wish I could see a transitional phase! Smile Maybe by the end of TABA...


I think we will see those changes...learning to love by loss. Unsure



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!








Noria
Rohan

Sep 28 2013, 12:08am

Post #19 of 59 (251 views)
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Thanks Silwen. [In reply to] Can't Post

This week on CHOW discussion is the Good Morning scene between Gandalf and Bilbo which is a favourite scene of mine.

-This is one of my favourite scenes too and I have no complaints about it.

I’ll start off the discussion with a question about the very start of this scene. The scene shifts smoothly from present day to 60 years earlier. In FOTR 60 years came on the screen accept it was 60 years later. I thought it was a nice tie in with the LOTR trilogy.
1) Do you like this similarity with LOTR?
-Sure, it’s a nice call back and works very well.

The Hobbit has many memorable moments when you read the book and for me this opening scene between Bilbo and Gandalf is one of them. I really enjoyed seeing a younger Bilbo for the first time and seeing him as a person very set in his ways brought out of his comfort zone by the intrusion of the wandering wizard, Gandalf.
2) Was this how you had imagined this scene? Did you enjoy how it was played out?
-I thought it was great, well played by both actors. They (director, writers, actors) did a great job conveying Bilbo’s personality and the whimsical, mysterious aspects of Gandalf’s.

We have just seen an older Bilbo played by Ian Holm and to some degree Martin Freeman’s performance had to merge with Ian’s so that the audience could believe that this is a younger Bilbo without restricting Martin from putting his own spin on the character. I thought Martin’s performance as Bilbo was excellent and I can see little traces of Ian’s Bilbo in Martin’s in the way he walks and especially when he speaks and even the moment when he runs back into his house and shuts the door, somehow I am reminded of the Bilbo I saw in FOTR.
3) How well do you think Martin portrayed a younger Bilbo?
-Very well indeed. But from the first time I heard Freeman’s name mentioned as one of the possibilities to play Bilbo, I was convinced he was the best choice. Now I think he was born to play Bilbo.

4) Are there any characteristics you saw in Ian’s Bilbo that Martin adapted or used to help portray his version of Bilbo that you thought worked really well?
-His response to Gandalf looking in the window is quite similar to that of Old Bilbo peeping out to see the Sackville-Bagginses, the way he jumps back, peers out the window himself and so on. It’s easy to see that this is the same guy, thanks to MF. I think there are lots of small things too that MF does that I don’t consciously pick up on but make me believe that this is Bilbo Baggins.

Bilbo’s character is established in this scene as being more fussy than the older Bilbo. What about his place in society when he is younger?
5) Is there anything that helps convey that Bilbo is more from upper-class society, especially for those who are being introduced to this character for the first time?
-That’s hard to answer because I already knew Bilbo’s circumstances when we meet him in the movie. He is dressed rather like Old Bilbo and Frodo were in LotR and those aren't working clothes. He obviously has plenty of leisure time unless it’s whatever passes for Sunday in the Shire. Bag End looks a bit upscale; it’s beautiful, with wood paneling and floors, glass windows, lots of nice stuff around.

6) Are there any props in this scene that you like?
-My favourite things are Bilbo’s pipe and the changes in the garden so that it was not at all the same as it was sixty years later, including the seat cushion, but was recognizably the same place.

Let us focus now on the wizard. We are not shown Gandalf’s face immediately in AUJ, just as we weren’t in FOTR. In FOTR Gandalf is humming as he journeys in his cart and when Frodo meets him his face is hidden by his hat. In AUJ we see the grey clothes walk past Bilbo and we are not shown his face until after Gandalf asks ‘What do you mean?’ I find it immediately gives us a sense of mystery about this character. I even note that in both films Gandalf is more to the left hand side of the hobbits. Perhaps it is a sign again of magic and mystery that is sometimes associated with the left hand side?
7) Do you like the way we are introduced to Gandalf with this sense of mysteriousness?
-Yes, it’s perfect. It’s not just the direction – Ian McKellen plays it beautifully.

8) Do you enjoy watching Ian McKellen’s performance as Gandalf?
-To my mind, Ian McKellen’s performances in LotR and AUJ are among the best things about both movies.

This scene I think is important in establishing the difference in size of hobbits and men, or in this case wizard.
This particular image above I think was an important moment for defining this to those seeing Middle Earth for the first time and to refresh the memories of those who have. Watching the characters the first time I saw this, I started to forget that Martin isn’t Hobbit sized.

9) How well do you think the scaling of the characters is carried out in this scene?
-The scaling works fine for me here (though I have issues with it elsewhere) and I see a Hobbit and a Wizard. I agree that it’s easy to forget that MF is not actually a Hobbit.

A difference I noted straight away from the book was the fact that in the book a flustered Bilbo invites Gandalf to tea, whereas in the film Bilbo just retreats back into the house refusing to have anything to do with the wizard.
10) Do you like/dislike this deviation from the book, or do you not mind either way?
I think this works well for the film since it adds to the humour when the dwarves all start arriving and Bilbo literally has no warning since he thought the business with Gandalf was finished with. In the book he had warning that someone was coming to tea, but the humour came from the fact that every time he answered the door it wasn’t who he expected.

-I agree about the slight change in the nature of the humour. I would have been fine with the way it was done in the book but I love how it works in the movie when the Dwarves start arriving, so it’s all good.


There are so many great moments, in this scene, I think. I enjoy every moment and I’ll just mention a few:
“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure,” I love how Bilbo’s jaw drops in shock at the idea.
“Not Gandalf, the wandering wizard who made such excellent fireworks. Old Took used to have them on Midsummer’s Eve.” I love how interested Bilbo becomes and how he is adjusts his tone again when he realises he’s sounding a little too enthusiastic to remark, “I had no idea you were still in business,” almost insulting the wizard. The way Gandalf’s smile vanishes at this remark, I think, is priceless.
“It’ll be very good for you and most amusing for me.” I just love the way Ian delivered that line.
11) What is your favourite quote/moment(s) from this scene and why?
-Hard to pick one but I love seeing Bilbo sitting in self-satisfied peace on the bench for a few seconds just before Gandalf arrives. He has no idea of what is about to hit him.

Gandalf makes the mark on the door with his staff and then leaves. In the book it is just a mark on the door, but in the film it has a blue glow.
12) Do you like the way the mark has a magical quality about it?
-Yes, it tells the viewer that this guy is a magician and the humming tone mystifies Bilbo.

13) Do you like how Bilbo is aware the wizard is outside his door?
-Yes, it’s funny, more so than having Gandalf make the mark and then wander off with Bilbo all unknowing.

14) Did anyone notice that Gandalf is humming as he leaves? Why do you think the film makers chose to end the scene this way?
-Another nod to LotR I imagine, and perhaps a reminder that Gandalf the Grey is a lot looser and more fun than Gandalf the White.

15) How did the ending of this scene prepare you for the next scene?
-It sets up that there is more going on that we and especially Bilbo realize, so we at least know that something will soon happen that Bilbo isn’t expecting.

The music for this scene, I think helps add to the awkward atmosphere for Bilbo and the mysterious, even mischievous character of Gandalf. I even like how the music includes a version of the firework theme we heard in FOTR when Bilbo mentions them to Gandalf.
16) What do you think about the music in this scene?
-Loved it, especially the little bit of Gandalf’s and Bilbo’s themes and this version of the Shire stuff. I’ll have to listen for the fireworks theme.


Kim
Valinor


Sep 28 2013, 5:48am

Post #20 of 59 (235 views)
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"It will be very good for you, and most amusing for me" [In reply to] Can't Post

Still on vacation, but just had to pop in for a quick comment on this line. Does it seem weird to anyone else that Gandalf thinks it will be amusing to drag the unwilling, untrained hobbit on a dangerous journey to face a dragon where he could possibly be injured or killed? The more times I watch this scene, the more it bothers me. Was this also in the book?

Will come back later to comment on the rest, but will say that I really enjoyed this scene overall.


elostirion74
Rohan

Sep 28 2013, 11:17am

Post #21 of 59 (238 views)
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Freeman and Holm [In reply to] Can't Post

I really enjoyed seeing a younger Bilbo for the first time and seeing him as a person very set in his ways brought out of his comfort zone by the intrusion of the wandering wizard, Gandalf.

2) Was this how you had imagined this scene? Did you enjoy how it was played out?

I liked the scene, but on the whole I imagined Bilbo as more polite and flustered, not so openly dismissive as he seemed to be.

There were many small nuances I found delightful and some mannerisms (like the patting of the pipe, the forceful hand movement) that felt exaggerated. All the same I like to think of this scene as a transition where Freeman is getting used to the character and isn´t quite into his stride yet. In the next scene he´s settled perfectly into the role.

3) How well do you think Martin portrayed a younger Bilbo?

On the whole his performance as a younger Bilbo was simply excellent IMO. I readily confess, though, that I´m not so concerned about the similarity between young Bilbo and old Bilbo: I´m more interested in how well Freeman´s performance fits the Bilbo we see in the original story.

When we see Ian Holm as Bilbo in FoTR he´s a very different character in a wholly other part of his life: he´s both tired, more forgetful and at first plainly more distressed/annoyed, even if he tries to put up a brave face. Playing young Bilbo and old Bilbo require actors with very different acting characteristics and it´s not very difficult to see that Freeman and Holm differ distinctively in their acting style. Playing a younger Bilbo requires an actor who is flexible and has a great range and IMO someone who seems milder and more comfortable with his life than Ian Holm in FoTR. All of these requirements are tailor-made for Freeman.

4) Are there any characteristics you saw in Ian’s Bilbo that Martin adapted or used to help portray his version of Bilbo that you thought worked really well?

If I look closely, I can see that Freeman picked up on some of Ian´s mannerisms, like the way he walks up to the door, the way he hides beside the door or looks out the window. Apart from these things I didn´t think much about the similarities between them when I watched the scene.

8) Do you enjoy watching Ian McKellen’s performance as Gandalf?

Definitely! I love how Gandalf seems like he´s appraising Bilbo, making mental notes. There´s also something about his oblique looks at Bilbo and his humming that suggests he really enjoys pulling Bilbo out of his comfort zone and disrupting his orderly life. And that´s just spot on for the character!

13) Do you like how Bilbo is aware the wizard is outside his door?

Oh, yes! It´s good fun and it makes for a great transition to the next scene.


Silwen_Peredhil
Rivendell


Sep 28 2013, 1:02pm

Post #22 of 59 (216 views)
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It certainly does [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree what you said about how it made sense to have Gandalf being more light-hearted. It also helps set the mood for the rest of the film since AUJ is very light-hearted throughout. It's in keeping with the fact that this is a story written primarily for children I think and works very well.


Quote
The mailbox. I think its great how they included the part about Bilbo reading his mail and ignoring the wizard. Martin was excellent here


Yes, I love that moment too. The acting there is priceless. When you watch it your just like "Whose going to tell Bilbo he can't get rid of a wizard that easily?"

As for the music. Gandalf's theme is a new favourite of mine too. Smile

Great answers burgahobbit!

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


Silwen_Peredhil
Rivendell


Sep 28 2013, 1:12pm

Post #23 of 59 (213 views)
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The scenery never fails to add beauty to a scene [In reply to] Can't Post

especially somewhere as beautiful as New Zealand. I've always liked the Shire landscape and how they use an outdoor location as opposed to a studio with a screen behind them and the scenery added in later. I always feel it helps the actors get into character because they are not having to imagine a setting.



In Reply To
This scene just blew me out of the water, from the performances, the writing, the beautiful scenery in the back


Nice answers LordotRings93 Smile

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


Silwen_Peredhil
Rivendell


Sep 28 2013, 1:17pm

Post #24 of 59 (213 views)
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I really like the way you phrased that [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
leading a bunch of Dwarves and a hobbit on a road trip


Someone should tell Bilbo it's going to be a wild ride!

The track Old Friends might be called that for irony since Bilbo doesn't remember him although they have met once before. I think the title plays with this idea. Smile

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


Silwen_Peredhil
Rivendell


Sep 28 2013, 1:28pm

Post #25 of 59 (203 views)
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Thank you [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Holm will always be *the* Bilbo


Yes I think nearly everyone who has seen LOTR will agree with you there. Wink

I'm glad this scene was put into the film, but then I feel it's one of those scenes that people remember from the book and therefore could hardly not be in the film.

You said about people jumping in the cinema when Gandalf appears at the window. I admit I don't think I did though now you mention it I'm sure others around me did. Perhaps I didn't cause I'd seen it in the trailer so I was in a way waiting for that moment. Smile

nice answers Daniel!

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

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