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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
I have a bad feeling about something...

Intergalactic Lawman

Sep 28 2013, 6:08am

Post #1 of 15 (1536 views)
I have a bad feeling about something... Can't Post

So... This whole tacked on confrontation between the dwarves and Smaug...

I have this horrible feeling that it has been created as an "action ending" to the film and that the Smaug vs Laketown will be moved until film 3

That way they actually get some mileage out of the Dragon and taba isn't just the bofa's + filler.

Why else would they need to tack this confrontation on??



Forum Admin / Moderator

Sep 28 2013, 6:53am

Post #2 of 15 (841 views)
Well...(lots of spoilery plot speculation) [In reply to] Can't Post

It could be that way, but it may just be to break up the slow section of the second half of the movie. We'll start with action: Beorn, Mirkwood, the Barrel Escape/Orc chase and arrival at Laketown. Then....they will travel to the Mountain, search the mountainside for the secret door, and sit on the doorstep waiting for the thrush to knock. All pretty low on the action scale. Then we'll have Bilbo sneaking down the tunnel and conversing with Smaug, which will be tense but not a big action scene (at least until Bilbo steals the cup).

In the book, Smaug does come out and smash the side of the mountain and destroy the secret door, but the dwarves are already inside before he comes. Now we'll get the dwarves fighting back in some way but eventually taking refuge in the Mountain and Smaug then heading off to Laketown. We may get a sort of scenario like in Moria in FOTR, when the orcs all run off and Gimli is all "Ha!" until the Balrog shows up; the dwarves may think they've scared Smaug off until he comes and drives them inside and smashes the door. And that'll be all the action the dwarves ever get with Smaug, since the movie would end with them not knowing what happened to him. This may allay the wails of some non-readers who would be upset that the dwarves went all that way to confront the dragon, but...they never really do. Bilbo meets him, runs away, then they get trapped and then they sit around and wait for days for news which comes by...bird. It subverts the audience's expectations, which is great, but maybe they can use their invented confrontation to enforce how completely "outgunned" the dwarves are, before Smaug goes off to be slain by someone else.

I still think that having Smaug's attack on Laketown and the Bof5A in one movie is too much, and DOS needs an epic action setpiece to go out on. I don't think Dol Guldur would be satisfactory, given that that's the B-plotline, and not related to the title of the movie. I think Dol Guldur will carry over into TABA, being more related to the political machinations of the third movie and the most direct segue into LOTR. In fact, I think we may get a sort of cliffhanger at Dol Guldur, with DOS ending with Gandalf wounded and maybe even the battle's the outcome uncertain (unless finished off by Galadriel after Gandalf's "fall"). They may even play it so that Gandalf's arrival at the Lonely Mountain can come as a surprise to the audience (as it does in the book) and not just Bilbo. Not quite a Gandalf the White reveal hopefully (I could really do without another fake "death" in these movies), but at least the audience not knowing exactly where he is.

Or maybe they'll just use Gandalf to instigate the "Oh noes!" factor that will get people to come back for TABA: if Gandalf figures out that all the armies are converging on Erebor, there may be a "can he get there in time?" feeling to it. And Ian McKellen can give us a speech about how the dragon is destroyed but now there is another danger....

The more I think about it, the more ways I think of that they could play this and I can't wait to find out what they chose. *checks front page countdown clock*


"Dark is the water of Kheled-zâram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nâla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dűm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."


Sep 28 2013, 8:18am

Post #3 of 15 (709 views)
And you know it's 'tacked on' - how? [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems a bit early to write the whole thing off, when none of us has any idea of what's really going to happen, or how it will play in to the whole story.

My betting is that they feel that having built up this whole picture of the history of Smaug and the dwarves - his taking of Erebor, their long exile and determination to be revenged - and having built up Thorin's character in particular, but also each member of his company as determined fighters - Peter Jackson and co. feel that they have to give the dwarves a chance to confront their enemy.

I know it doesn't happen in the book, but really, wouldn't it seem as if there were something missing if they all scuttle into the doorway and hide, having come so far? The dwarves in the book are a pretty feeble lot. Think how they let themselves be captured by the trolls, one after another. In the film they put up a fight, and no one seems to object to that as part of the film story, or feel it was 'tacked on'. Seems to me that resisting Smaug, however it happens, will be a logical continuation of that, and much more in keeping with the way the dwarf characters have been developed for the film.

So, for what it's worth - a halfpenny and a bent hairgrip, probably, but you did ask Wink - I'd say let go of the horrible feeling. Don't look for things to worry about in a film you haven't even seen. However it plays out, it'll be in a way you're not expecting and there's every chance that you might like it!

(And I still reckon that Smaug and Laketown has to be the climax to this DOS. It's far too big a scene to throw away at the beginning of the next film. But that's another story!)


Sep 28 2013, 8:28am

Post #4 of 15 (671 views)
I for one welcome the change. [In reply to] Can't Post

It always felt a little odd that the dwarves never got a real confrontation with the big bad of the story. So I think it's a good move on the part of PJ and Co, and something I can't wait to see put to screen.

But I am open to changes to the book. I'm in no way a purist and have never connected with the Hobbit book as much as I did with Lord Of The Rings. The pacing, structure and climax are all a little off to me. Don't get me wrong though I still love it. But I'm not against changes that could potentially tighten up the narrative a little.

(This post was edited by Joe20 on Sep 28 2013, 8:30am)

Grey Havens

Sep 28 2013, 11:29am

Post #5 of 15 (585 views)
Well don't just stand there -- try and brace it with something! [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry, couldn't resist. Those always seem like good words of wisdom to me. Tongue

Kangi Ska

Sep 28 2013, 12:34pm

Post #6 of 15 (571 views)
What you call filler [In reply to] Can't Post

is the heart of the story.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.


Sep 28 2013, 12:46pm

Post #7 of 15 (569 views)
This Dwarf versus Dragon battle could be great or it could be awful, IMO. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that the Dwarves fighting some desperate rear guard action to protect their comrades as they flee into the Mountain or escape from Smaug inside would be fine. If they come close to destroying the dragon or even in driving him off too easily, it would not be so great.

I don't see such a scene as tacked on but as a natural development given that PJ's Dwarves are fighters. The Dwarves in the book are pretty useless until the BoFA. They are pretty well helpless and how Gandalf expected them to get to Erebor on their own and achieve anything is beyond me. It works in the book but IMO would be silly in these movies. PJ's Dwarves are different.

I never really missed a confrontation between Thorin and Smaug but I did notice that they never even saw each other.

As it was, a young man of my acquaintance told me he didn't like AUJ because the Dwarves were so useless. I told him to never read the book.Sly


Sep 28 2013, 12:55pm

Post #8 of 15 (552 views)
The question I have [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't have a problem per se with the dwarves having some kind of confrontation with Smaug, so long as it leads naturally to the beasts demise at Laketown (which I think it will). The question that I have is, if Smaug does die at the end of DoS, how will they create anticipation for the final chapter. There is no natural "the battle for Helm's Deep is over; the battle for Middle-earth is about to begin" moments in this story. It seems to me that if they do have Smaug be killed in DoS, they would need to take some time to show the building tension that leads to the BoFA. Which seems like a lot to cover in one film. So I am not sure.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Sep 28 2013, 1:13pm

Post #9 of 15 (554 views)
Well, I'm probably a hundred percent wrong, and then some.... [In reply to] Can't Post

...but I think it could follow quite naturally. Here's how:

What happens at Laketown is the action climax of the film. We see it happen and its immediate aftermath, then go back to the Mountain where Bilbo and the dwarves are realising that Smaug hasn't come back. Just as in the book, they make their way further in, discover the treasure unguarded and so on.... Result, the mountain's theirs again... cue celebrations.

And then, just when you think it might be all over, we see the messages go out to Thranduil and his elves, the Lakemen, the Gundabad orcs. We see the armies forming to move on the mountain..... The dwarves think they've won - but we know it isn't over yet and there's worse to come.

Seems to me that would work, and would be very much in keeping with Peter Jackson's way of ending these films with climax, resolution, hint of what's to come. He doesn't do cliff-hangers, or at least, he hasn't yet. Everything builds to a huge action climax, from which we emerge drained and exhausted but glad to have come through, then just as we're all smiling and the titles are about to come up the pile of gold shifts and the dragon opens one very large, very alive eye. In DOS I reckon the dragon's eye will be the armies on the march.


Sep 28 2013, 2:02pm

Post #10 of 15 (525 views)
Bomby thinks this Thread is BEYOND... [In reply to] Can't Post

Great read

To All of the Above!!


The Mitch King

Sep 28 2013, 5:15pm

Post #11 of 15 (453 views)
I'm not convinced [In reply to] Can't Post

...that PJ literally meant that the dwarves would shoot stuff at Smaug and actually "battle" him. I thought he meant there would be lots of fire and explosion effects from Smaug flying around the mountain just like in the book.

Tol Eressea

Sep 28 2013, 10:46pm

Post #12 of 15 (356 views)
This is my view as well [In reply to] Can't Post

Killing Smaug at Laketown in DoS will leave the third film in a potentially bad spot without some kind of action building scenario at the end. It's a natural ending point for the story between the Dwarves and their home. Some kind of anticipation would need to be built and I'm not sure how they do that and also at the same time have Smaug's demise satisfying and the denoument of the 2nd movie. I think it's problematic.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13

Old Pilgrim

Sep 29 2013, 9:38am

Post #13 of 15 (288 views)
It is hard to imagine [In reply to] Can't Post

this fight and it is very unbelievable in my opinion. We saw in the prologue of AUJ how easy Smaug killed all those dwarves guarding the gate, so dwarven company doesn't represent any threat to him. However we may see them inside Erebor, watching Smaug from great distance while Bilbo is on his own and they can be also very disturbed at that time. It will be interesting to see.

Intergalactic Lawman

Oct 5 2013, 2:17am

Post #14 of 15 (151 views)
Knew it... [In reply to] Can't Post

Now that the trailer is out - guess what I was right!



Oct 5 2013, 2:42am

Post #15 of 15 (172 views)
How do you figure? [In reply to] Can't Post



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