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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Chapter of the Week discussion-Dinnertime

Cirashala
Grey Havens


Oct 12 2013, 5:54am

Post #1 of 9 (463 views)
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Chapter of the Week discussion-Dinnertime Can't Post

   

This CHOW discussion will focus on Dinnertime.

This is the part of the movie that begins with the dwarves pillaging Bilbo's pantry, and ends with Thorin's ominous knock on the door.

Did you like how the scene opened, with poor Bilbo scurrying around, all politeness gone, as he tries in vain to "save" his belongings?

I liked it. The transition from polite Bilbo when Dwalin knocked to the freaking out Bilbo here, with all politeness gone, was great. He was clearly uncomfortable with the intrusion, a great testament to his wishing for a comfortable life.

Bilbo tries to save his prize tomatoes, his wine, his jam, his Grandpa Mungo's chairs, a book (which was apparently being used as a coaster), and sternly tells someone to "Put that map down!"

Does anyone see whether or not Old Bilbo uses these particular items in a similar way that the dwarves did (like trying to use the book as a coaster) in either the beginning of An Unexpected Journey, or in Fellowship of the Ring? If so, how does this illustrate the change in character from "Fussy" Bilbo before the quest to "I don't care" Bilbo of Fellowship?

I asked this out of curiosity, because it has been a while since I watched FOTR (having been on a bit of a "hobbit" kick Tongue) I do remember from FOTR that Thorin's map of the Lonely Mountain was just sitting in his study, as though placed there carelessly.

Do you feel that this illustrated Bilbo's hobbity nature very clearly?

Yes. I think that Bilbo is clearly someone who doesn't like dwarves and their very unhobbitlike habits. He is complaining about how the dwarves clearly don't value the things that (at this time) are clearly important to him.

During this "raiding" part of the scene, we clearly see the dwarves ignoring Bilbo for the most part (although Ori does relinquish his hold on Bilbo's prize tomatoes, but not after much insistence by the hobbit) as they move to set the table.

A lot of characterization comes into play as we simply observe the dwarves and how they go about their tasks and interact with both each other, with Gandalf, and with Bilbo. (subtitles help with this, if anyone is confused about the points I bring up and how I got there Wink)

We get to see what a reunion of those who clearly know each other, but haven't seen each other for a while. And we learn quite a bit about the dwarves during this scene.

In this scene, Dwalin is shown carrying platters of meat-maybe an indication of his preference for that particular food group?

I think that Dwalin is primarily a meat and potatoes guy, and this was a nice indication of that.

We see Bifur take a bite out of a string of sausages hanging up just as Bombur strides out of the pantry carrying three whole cheese wheels (with apparently no need for a cheese knife, as Bofur so eloquently puts it), and later on we see Bofur take a bite out of what appears to be a biscuit, then places the rest of it back on the platter- perhaps this is a good indication that all 3 of the related trio Bifur/Bofur/Bombur thoroughly enjoy their food, though only Bombur seems cursed with it showing?

All three seem to enjoy food very much, though Bombur must have gotten the short stick as far as genetics are concerned in the weight department....

Bofur is also the one that answers for Bombur, as though he knows him quite well. Could this be a subtle indication of familial relation?

I think so. He doesn't ask Bombur if he could answer, and his response "he eats it by the block" indicates he has actually SEEN Bombur eat quite often before. His answer was very nonchalant, indicating that this didn't surprise him in the least, and having two sisters myself, I can see the family relationship here. Either that, or it could be prior knowledge coming out Wink

Could it also be an indication that the dwarves are so hungry that they cannot wait for everyone else, indicating the hard times that have befallen them since Smaug stole Erebor?

They most certainly seem to be quite hungry. Either they are truly not doing all that well, or they just love to eat and have good appetites at the end of the day.

In the background, we see Kili and Fili messing with a barrel of ale, and it appears that Fili takes a drink straight from the tap. Later on, we see the two of them working together to move the barrel of ale closer to the dining room.

Could this be an indication of their brotherly bond? We do hear Kili answer Fili with "Over here, brother." when Fili asks the group, "Who wants another ale?"...as he is walking across the table, so that bond is confirmed in the first film, as is Dwalin and Balin's brotherly relation.

They never seem to be separated, and clearly work well together (and seemingly conspire together). Even if I hadn't heard the Brother word from Kili, and even if I hadn't known before that they were brothers, it is made quite clear, at least to me.

Could his walking on the table be a prank, or was it simply because he couldn't fit around the others, proving what Balin had said before about it being a tight squeeze for all the dwarves? We also see most of them ducking through the doorways as they pass through.

I think that dining room could not possibly be more packed than it already is....I don't think Fili could have managed to squeeze behind the chairs even if he wanted to. Though I did find his muddy boots to be rather humorous, because he obviously got drafted to move furniture before he had a crack at the glory box Tongue

Is this an effective way of showing the difference in both height and build of hobbits and dwarves?

Absolutely. There was some scaling issues between Bilbo and the dwarves at various points in the movie, but the dwarves are clearly ducking while Bilbo has clearance, so I felt that it was a good indication that they are taller, but Gandalf is still quite a bit taller than they are. And they are obviously broader and deeper chested, because before they cleared the dining room out, there were four chairs set in place with the hutches behind them, so unless Bilbo moved furniture every time he entertained guests, hobbits clearly can fit between table and hutch no problem.

Dwalin calls Fili a "great galumphing git" as he strides across the table. Does this possibly indicate that Dwalin knows him quite well, and doesn't care about his Prince status? Or has possibly earned the right to speak to him that way? Could it also indicate a respect for the older dwarf by Fili not reacting to it at all?

I remember reading that Dwalin is the most loyal to Thorin, aside from Fili and Kili. I would like to entertain the idea that he had a hand in their upbringing, or at least in their weapons training, but I don't have proof of that. But Fili clearly respects him, and Dwalin clearly has earned the right to "scold" the lads, even if it was a good-natured scold Smile

We see Gandalf and Ori setting the table, meticulously placing silverware for each place, but as dinner progresses NO ONE uses the silverware, not even Gandalf. Ori is also the only one who actually listens to Bilbo and lets go of his tomatoes, and after dinner Ori politely asks Bilbo what he should do with his plate.

Is this a good indication of Ori being more well mannered and polite?

I think that Ori is clearly a scholar and mannered, not a warrior or fighter, and this move illustrates that.

Khuzdul (and the Dwarven sign language Igleshmek) is a very secretive language amongst dwarves, and yet Bifur speaks to Gandalf completely in Khuzdul, holding up his shield arm and tapping it as he does so (so possibly using a combination of Khuzdul and Igleshmek).

Do you think this is too far of a deviance from Tolkien, or do you think the film team's justification of brain injury resulting from the axe in his head causing the sole ability to speak Khuzdul/Igleshmek only is sound? What do you think about this aspect of Bifur's character?

I wasn't keen on the axe bit at first, but I think the actor portrays it well, and am curious to see where it leads.

It has been suggested that Bifur's sign of hitting his forearm might be construed as his sign for "Thorin Oakenshield". At this point, Gandalf has not mentioned Thorin by name, and neither does Dwalin, though he seems to know exactly where Thorin went.

Could this also be an indication of Dwalin and Thorin's friendship? And Dwalin's loyalty to Thorin?

I liked the idea of the Igleshmek sign to represent Thorin Oakenshield. I also think that Dwalin, like Balin, is pretty close in counsel to Thorin, and obviously trusted by him. I think that their friendship goes back quite a ways.

We see Dori first offer Gandalf Chamomile tea, and there are two cups on the platter. When Gandalf refuses, asking for red wine instead, Dori returns with a little (emphasis on the "little") glass of red wine, also sporting one for himself.

Could this be an indication that Dori admires and looks up to Gandalf? Sort of an instance of "imitation is the best form of flattery" perhaps?

It could be a bit of "hero" worship, or flattery (or a desire to not piss off the wizard lol Tongue)

We also see Dori's fussiness with this. Could it be an indication that Dori and Ori are brothers, since they both seem to be unusually polite (compared to the rest of the dwarves)?

I have a feeling that Dori is quite fussy, and that he had a hand in bringing up Ori as well. They are obviously brothers by how similarly they act and carry themselves.

Gandalf takes a drink of the red wine and looks forlornly at the cup, realizing just how "little" it is. This is an interesting opposite with Fellowship, in which Gandalf foregoes wine and asks for tea specifically. Could this be an indication of Gandalf not being the same either 60 years later?

I think Gandalf was not the same 60 years later either. He has seen a lot in that 60 years (SPOILER), including three people he led on a quest he instigated perish, and two of them just as they were entering the prime of their lives, and innocent and untouched by the gold sickness. Between that, and his experiences in Dol Guldur, I can safely say that he is most definitely changed during this quest, just like Bilbo.

Now dinner has actually started.

As the camera pans over the completely filled table, we see fruits and meats and breads and cheeses, but it appears that the only "greens" on the table are there for purely decoration (between the bowls, not in them). Could this also be an indication of the dwarves not being fond of greens?

I have a feeling their mothers had an absolutely TERRIBLE time getting them to eat their vegetables lol Tongue

Bofur throws a hard boiled egg to Bombur, who catches it in his mouth, causing cheers.

Could they have played this game before?

It is a good possibility, as they seem to have quite a bit of practice Wink

Bilbo paces back and forth, unsure of what to do at this point. There is clearly no room for him at the table, nor is there a place even set for him.

Could this indicate that the company has not accepted him as being part of their quest, and not accepted him as belonging amongst them yet?

I definitely think so. I think this whole dinnertime scene reminded me of a group of guys getting together for a reunion. And Bilbo was obviously left out.

Poor Bilbo goes back into the pantry, where the only remaining food is pieces of fruit that have somehow escaped the dwarves' pillaging.

What do you think about the 13 dwarves and 1 wizard being able to eat his entire pantry?

I think that all their whining later about Bilbo's desire for several meals a day might be a projection of their own wishful thinking of many meals a day... Wink

I think having them stay with me in my own home would result in them eating me out of house and home.....

On a more serious note, I think that they were enjoying the feast while they could, because they knew that there would be meager rations for many months.

We see the dwarves' playful side when Dwalin pours ale into Oin's hearing trumpet and laughs heartily. What do you think about the dwarves' cheerfulness despite it being the eve of a dangerous quest?

I think that's why they were so cheerful. They aren't stupid-they know this could very well be a suicide quest. I think that this "unexpected party" was allowing them to blow off steam and release their tension before the seriousness would have to begin.

Also with the ale, Kili uses both hands instead of just one-a very child-like habit. Could this be an indication of him being the youngest?

Being the mother of two small children, I definitely see the childish tendency to hold the cup with two hands on a daily basis, so yes I think this was a nice indication of that.

We see Nori burp, much to the amusement of the company. In turn, we see Ori let out a massive belch. Could this indicate the relationship between the two, in that Ori looks up to Nori as well? What do you think about the dynamic within that family (they are brothers). Could Dori be the stuffy elder brother, while Nori is the antagonizing middle brother, and Ori being the naive youngest?

I think Dori is fussy, Nori just enjoys annoying the h*** out of Dori, and Ori is torn between being polite like Dori and going along with Nori, both of whom he looks up to.

What does this tell you about Nori's nature?

I think Nori is a prankster who enjoys annoying Dori, and likes to get Ori to do so as well. He is the initiator, and it shows his sharp wit (even though he later protests against Balin's brightest comment, saying who're you calling dim?) and his cunning nature. Fits right in with what we as the audience knows about his less than respectable "occupation".

Bilbo is quite annoyed at the belching. Again, a reference to his respectable nature?

I think belching is considered a compliment among dwarves, and rude amongst hobbits-much like how it is perceived differently amongst the different cultures in our own world.

Now they are cleaning up.

Nori is using a doily as a dishcloth. Could it be that he has never seen a doily before?

I highly doubt it, but then again...maybe he was just messing with Bilbo. I can see dwarf fingers be able to perform intricate works of jewelry. Intricate works of thin string to make something that's (to be honest, though I do like them) rather pointless? Not so much.

Bofur makes a joke about Bilbo's reaction to the doily. He is clearly messing with Bilbo, and finds it highly amusing that the hobbit is so clearly annoyed and frustrated. Could this be an indication of his cheerful nature? Do you think that it is appropriate, or against the general nature of dwarves?

I think that Bofur has a good sense of humor, is a prankster, and an optimist. I think dwarves, like humans, have a group of traits that is common, but at the same time they, like humans, also vary from dwarf to dwarf, so no, I do not think its against Tolkien's dwarf nature.

Bilbo is clearly frustrated that he knows absolutely nothing about why the dwarves are there. Yet Gandalf seems perfectly relaxed and content.

Is the wizard that confident in his choice of the hobbit, or is he simply amused that he is clearly pushing Bilbo out of his comfort zone-maybe an attempt to draw the "Tookish" side of him out that he had caught a glimpse of earlier during the firework discussion? Or is the wizard bothered by seeing the potential in hobbits who clearly aren't interested in exploring that potential?

I think Gandalf is used to dealing with many different kinds of people, and is amused that Bilbo is so disconcerted. I think he is confident in his choice, even though he hesitates later on when Bilbo faints. I think Gandalf knows that Bilbo has that Tookish streak buried deep within him, and that he needs to have a little "nudge" to get it to come out, and is hoping that the dwarves' presence will help. Unfortunately for Gandalf, it seems to be doing the opposite.... Unimpressed

Next we see the dwarves sing as they "do the dishes" in a rather creative manner, starting with Fili throwing Ori's plate to Kili.

Did Fili truly instigate this prank against the hobbit, or was it a collective prank?

I think Fili instigates it, but Kili's convenient positioning tells me that he may have had something to do with it as well....again, partners in crime, as it were Wink

Kili starts pranks later on (when Thorin is around) but Fili clearly starts this one. Could this be an indication that, around Thorin, Fili takes his responsibility as heir seriously, but is more relaxed when he is just around his brother with Thorin absent and is more willing to let out his childish nature?

I think Thorin's presence definitely dampens Fili's mischievous side, reminding him of his responsibilities and burden of being Thorin's heir, and knowing that, should something happen to Thorin, it will be his responsibility to finish the quest.

Does this effectively show that Fili is in that transition point between childhood and adulthood, and thus still inexperienced and naive?

Yes, I think it does quite nicely. You can tell that Fili is trying to be mature in his role, but is not quite ready to leave childish things behind.

Poor Bilbo about has a heart attack when his dishes start flying. What did you think of the dwarves' prank?

Loved loved loved it! Laugh

We see how the dwarves seem to have very quick reflexes (Kili turns just as the plate is about to hit him in the face, catches it, and in the same motion throws it to Bifur, who is already at the sink) and are also very coordinated in that they do so many different things with the dishes, and yet never even CHIP one, let alone drop it. We also see that, when they work as a team, they operate much like a well oiled machine. Could this be a way of overcoming the height disadvantage while fighting?

I believe it is a very effective way to overcome the height disadvantage, and can see that dwarves are very group oriented. I also think that their reflexes and coordination are very admirable, and could point to their range as dwarves with the variety of weapons within the company.

We hear a very different style of music during this song. It is more upbeat, less surreal, and uses a very Celtic style of fiddling and fluting, as opposed to Lord of the Rings, which has very surreal music and more emphasis on slow, long drawn out notes and harps, or more flowing and slower violin music.

Could this be the difference between dwarven music and the music styles of the other free peoples, indicating this to be a dwarven tale, not an elf/men tale?

I liked the Rohirrim music theme, but I can honestly say that the dwarf music is thus far my favorite racial style of music in Middle-earth Sly In fact, I have played the violin/fiddle for 17 years now, and have at least two or three Celtic fiddle books that have songs I am attempting to learn-Celtic fiddling is HARD! But so worth it Smile

Bilbo has quite the astonished look on his face when he finds his dishes quite whole and unharmed and clean, and the dwarves are quite cheerful and find it highly amusing. Gandalf is chuckling too. What do you think of the dwarf style of doing dishes?

I think it would be a blast, but I am afraid that it truly would end up being a "BLAST", meaning I would end up destroying my kitchen with broken dishes...I am coordinated, but not THAT coordinated....I thought it was great though Smile definitely got them done far more quickly than I would have Wink

The scene ends with a loud knock on the door, and the environment instantly switches from raucous laughter to incredibly serious. Could it be that they didn't hear the doorbell amidst the singing and laughter? Is this an indication that the fun is over, and the quest is truly beginning?

I have a feeling they didn't hear it, and wonder what was going through Thorin's mind when no one answered and the singing was heard through the door... lol Tongue

Probably something like, "Boy am I glad I got lost....twice...so I didn't have to hear this caterwauling of drunk dwarves!" lol...

On a more serious note, I thought the sudden shift in attitude at the realization that Thorin had arrived was absolutely astounding, and gave a lot of gravity and weight to the importance and danger of the quest. Very well done, in my opinion Cool

*****************************************************

Let's talk cinematically.

What did you think of the lighting in this scene? Was it well done in terms of supposedly reflecting the light of the many candles in Bag End? Or do you feel that it could have been different/brighter/darker/etc?

I thought the use of toned down light to emulate the candles was well done, especially since I could see the dwarves' shadows on the wall-I think that if it had been any darker, we couldn't see what was going on, but if it had been brighter, it wouldn't have made any sense.

The actors never stop acting, even if the camera wasn't on them. Did you find that this helped you believe that it was really happening and immerse yourself in the story?

Absolutely. The acting in the movie as a whole, and especially during this scene, made me feel as though I was actually there, and that they were actually their dwarf characters, and not actors. Very, very well done Laugh

When Gandalf (Ian McKellen) is listing off the dwarves' names (which the actor admitted to struggling to remember all of them) he was in a different, scaled set than the dwarves, and using tennis balls for reference to eyes. Yet, with each name he listed off, those particular dwarves happened to be crossing the room right as he said it.

Do you think that was a clever move on PJ&co's part to reaffirm dwarves' identities to the audience?

I thought it was very, very clever. It was as though Gandalf remembered the various family groups as he saw members of them, and said them in turn. Plus I giggled when he had to use his fingers to make sure he got everyone...reminded me of a mother or teacher counting off to make sure they didn't miss a kid Wink And I am quite sure the wizard felt like their parent several times during the quest too Tongue

What did you think about the choreography of Blunt the Knives? We saw in the vlogs that not all of it was cgi-they were actually bouncing the plates toward "Balin" to find the correct trajectory for them.

I was impressed. Truly.

What did you think of the setup of Bag End? Was the set just as good as it was in FOTR? Or was it better with being cleaned and clear, as opposed to the messy Bag End we see in FOTR?

I liked how neat and clean Bag End was, as opposed to FOTR where it was so messy. And I knew I was there, and didn't notice any differences besides the cleanliness.

Did the actors sufficiently establish their characters for you in this scene? Were you able to distinguish their names/personalities/relationships with others (not limited to just family, but friendships and so forth)?

Yup. I got all the actor's names correct with their characters, and I thought the various relationships were well indicated amongst the groups. Most of them definitely knew each other, and as more than just merely acquaintances. Like I mentioned above-a reunion among friends.

What did you think of the costuming/makeup/hair styles? Did they reflect the character's personalities well? Was there enough similarities between the clothing styles in the "family" groups to indicate their relations? Did those who were of noble birth stand out from the others with regards to finer clothing?

I thought the costuming/makeup was amazing. I think the hairstyles/beard styles reflected the characters well. I did see some similarities among family members-primarily Fili and Kili, as their back of head clips were the same, their hair (with exception to Fili's braids) were pulled back in a similar manner, they both wore identical except for color tunics, and both wore leather jerkins over them. I saw that Dori's braids reminded me somewhat of Ori's knitted items and Nori's hair-all intricate work. I saw similarities between the way Oin and Gloin's beards were fancy on the upper layer, but had a lower layer hanging underneath, and that both Dwalin and Balin didn't have any adornments in their hair or beards. I saw how Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur's clothing was much more simple and worn, whereas Fili and Kili's clothing looked to be brand new, and there were more intricate patterns on their clothing, with a repeated crest/sigil imprinted or embroidered throughout. Definitely an indication of their noble status as Princes of the line of Durin Smile

Do you think this scene was well executed overall?

I thought it was brilliant work, hence why it was one of my favorites Smile

Finally, are there any other thoughts on this scene?

Not for me, since I wrote this lol Wink


The CHOW team asked me to include a link at the bottom to the original CHOW setup post to refamiliarize everyone with how this is structured:

http://newboards.theonering.net/...;;page=unread#unread


Thanks, and I look forward to discussing what is one of my favorite scenes with you all! Namarie! Cool



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

(This post was edited by Silverlode on Oct 12 2013, 6:34am)


Macfeast
Rohan


Oct 12 2013, 11:19am

Post #2 of 9 (225 views)
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A lot of good questions and thoughts. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not sure I can answer all that in one go. I might return for a more in-depth answer, but for now, I will say that I find the dwarves' arrival, from Dwalin in the lonesome, to Óin, Glóin, Dori, Nori, Ori, Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur in a pile, to be perhaps this franchise's best example of how adaptional changes, if there be need for them, should be made. The sequence as per the book, with the dwarves arriving in six distinct groups, might very well have felt dragged out and tedious on-screen. In spite of it, however, the sequence wasn't dropped altogether for the film. No, it was condensed, trimmed down, yet allowed to play out long enough to capture the spirit of the very same sequence in the book. That is, IMO, how adaptional changes should be made; Condensation, trimming down, whatever, as long as the spirit of the sequence, character, or what have you, is there. Dropping something altogether - "it can't be done" rather than "how can it be done" - I think is an uncreative and destructive way of approaching adaptions.

So yeah, kudos to the writers on that one. The whole sequence, in fact, not only the dwarves' arrival, but everything from there and up until (and including) the cleaning up, was an utter delight; I merely mention the dwarves' arrival for how well I thought that sequence in particular was handled.


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Oct 12 2013, 2:46pm

Post #3 of 9 (205 views)
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Thanks for This [In reply to] Can't Post

Well done! Loved the analysis here. Will only say that I thought this was one of the top scenes in all 4 of the movies so far. Captured the spirit of the book. Gave us a look at the Dwarves and introduced their differences in subtle and interesting ways. Showed Bilbo at his fussiest. I especially liked the change from Bilbo "shrieking like a steam engine" to just fainting. Had the same effect but was more dignified for our Hobbit. It appears that Bifur's gesture to his shield arm was a direct reference to Thorin as Gandalf replies something like "You are right Bifur. We are one dwarf short." Dwalin obvious knows to whom Bifur is referring and that's good too.

I am a costume person and look closely at these things. One of the delights for me in this opening is Bilbo's shirt. Now I know this is a little thing and readily overlooked, but when we see Bilbo asleep in the morning we get a close up of the should seam of his shirt. The stripes in the fabric are perfectly aligned across the should seam. It is beautiful and shows the care and precision lavished on the costumes for these movies.


Kim
Valinor


Oct 12 2013, 9:21pm

Post #4 of 9 (188 views)
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Yay - dinnertime! [In reply to] Can't Post

Wow Cirashala, that’s quite a lot of questions that need answering! Thanks for the detailed post, let’s jump right in!

This CHOW discussion will focus on Dinnertime.

This is the part of the movie that begins with the dwarves pillaging Bilbo's pantry, and ends with Thorin's ominous knock on the door.

Did you like how the scene opened, with poor Bilbo scurrying around, all politeness gone, as he tries in vain to "save" his belongings?

This is one of my favorite scenes in the movie. I love the chaos as the dwarves take over Bilbo’s house and make themselves at home. At the same time, I feel sorry for Bilbo since no one will tell him what’s going on!

Bilbo tries to save his prize tomatoes, his wine, his jam, his Grandpa Mungo's chairs, a book (which was apparently being used as a coaster), and sternly tells someone to "Put that map down!"

Does anyone see whether or not Old Bilbo uses these particular items in a similar way that the dwarves did (like trying to use the book as a coaster) in either the beginning of An Unexpected Journey, or in Fellowship of the Ring? If so, how does this illustrate the change in character from "Fussy" Bilbo before the quest to "I don't care" Bilbo of Fellowship?

Hmmm, fun question, but I don’t remember off-hand about these specific things, except the map. I seem to remember thinking in FOTR that he’d pulled out the map from wherever he’d been keeping it (on a wall presumably) to study it while writing his book.

Do you feel that this illustrated Bilbo's hobbity nature very clearly?

I suppose so, he’s really focused on his “things” and making sure they’re being treated properly. His home is his castle, and it’s being invaded!

During this "raiding" part of the scene, we clearly see the dwarves ignoring Bilbo for the most part (although Ori does relinquish his hold on Bilbo's prize tomatoes, but not after much insistence by the hobbit) as they move to set the table.

A lot of characterization comes into play as we simply observe the dwarves and how they go about their tasks and interact with both each other, with Gandalf, and with Bilbo. (subtitles help with this, if anyone is confused about the points I bring up and how I got there
)

We get to see what a reunion of those who clearly know each other, but haven't seen each other for a while. And we learn quite a bit about the dwarves during this scene.

In this scene, Dwalin is shown carrying platters of meat-maybe an indication of his preference for that particular food group?

I didn’t notice that, but makes sense.

We see Bifur take a bite out of a string of sausages hanging up just as Bombur strides out of the pantry carrying three whole cheese wheels (with apparently no need for a cheese knife, as Bofur so eloquently puts it), and later on we see Bofur take a bite out of what appears to be a biscuit, then places the rest of it back on the platter- perhaps this is a good indication that all 3 of the related trio Bifur/Bofur/Bombur thoroughly enjoy their food, though only Bombur seems cursed with it showing?

Nice catch, I noticed these things separately, but didn’t necessarily put them together based on family group.

Bofur is also the one that answers for Bombur, as though he knows him quite well. Could this be a subtle indication of familial relation?

Yeah, I could see that, sounds very brotherly.

Could it also be an indication that the dwarves are so hungry that they cannot wait for everyone else, indicating the hard times that have befallen them since Smaug stole Erebor?

Hmmm, interesting. I guess I thought they were doing ok in the Blue Mountains, and this was more of their natural reaction to Gandalf’s (off screen) invitation to come meet at the hobbit’s house. After all, Dwalin was told there’d be “food, and lots of it”. They’re just taking what they were told to expect.

In the background, we see Kili and Fili messing with a barrel of ale, and it appears that Fili takes a drink straight from the tap. Later on, we see the two of them working together to move the barrel of ale closer to the dining room.

Could this be an indication of their brotherly bond? We do hear Kili answer Fili with "Over here, brother." when Fili asks the group, "Who wants another ale?"...as he is walking across the table, so that bond is confirmed in the first film, as is Dwalin and Balin's brotherly relation.

Well, they arrived together in the previous scene, so we could assume some sort of family relationship from that, as well as that they were working together. I also like that Kili wacks Fili on the leg as he’s walking down the table.

Could his walking on the table be a prank, or was it simply because he couldn't fit around the others, proving what Balin had said before about it being a tight squeeze for all the dwarves? We also see most of them ducking through the doorways as they pass through.

I suppose it was due to the lack of space, but I must admit that I was a little grossed out about him walking all over the food in his muddy boots! Seriously, does his mother let him do that at home? Tongue

Is this an effective way of showing the difference in both height and build of hobbits and dwarves?

Yep, definitely felt that the dwarves were squeezed in, although we should probably take into account that there were a dozen of them. I have a hard time fitting that many people in my relatively small house!

Dwalin calls Fili a "great galumphing git" as he strides across the table. Does this possibly indicate that Dwalin knows him quite well, and doesn't care about his Prince status? Or has possibly earned the right to speak to him that way? Could it also indicate a respect for the older dwarf by Fili not reacting to it at all?

Yes, I’d say so. Kind of like an uncle or other relation who knows you well enough to speak freely and familiarly. And probably knows his mother wouldn’t approve, so it’s a half-hearted attempt to call out his inappropriate behavior.

We see Gandalf and Ori setting the table, meticulously placing silverware for each place, but as dinner progresses NO ONE uses the silverware, not even Gandalf. Ori is also the only one who actually listens to Bilbo and lets go of his tomatoes, and after dinner Ori politely asks Bilbo what he should do with his plate.

Is this a good indication of Ori being more well mannered and polite?

I really like how Ori is setting the table so carefully. I think more than the others, he’s aware that he’s in someone else’s home and should be a polite guest. It’s pretty funny that no one actually used the silverware (until Thorin got there).

Khuzdul (and the Dwarven sign language Igleshmek) is a very secretive language amongst dwarves, and yet Bifur speaks to Gandalf completely in Khuzdul, holding up his shield arm and tapping it as he does so (so possibly using a combination of Khuzdul and Igleshmek).

Do you think this is too far of a deviance from Tolkien, or do you think the film team's justification of brain injury resulting from the axe in his head causing the sole ability to speak Khuzdul/Igleshmek only is sound? What do you think about this aspect of Bifur's character?

I thought it was a creative way to differentiate Bifur, both in looks and ability to communicate. I assume because of his injury, he’s not necessarily aware that he shouldn’t be speaking Khuzdul in front of non-dwarves.

It has been suggested that Bifur's sign of hitting his forearm might be construed as his sign for "Thorin Oakenshield". At this point, Gandalf has not mentioned Thorin by name, and neither does Dwalin, though he seems to know exactly where Thorin went.

Could this also be an indication of Dwalin and Thorin's friendship? And Dwalin's loyalty to Thorin?

William Kircher did state in an interview that he came up with that gesture to indicate the oakenshield, so that combined with his Khuzdul would indicate that Bifur knew exactly who Gandalf was referring to. Definitely Dwalin would be aware of Thorin’s plans, and what he was doing before he was to meet up with them.

We see Dori first offer Gandalf Chamomile tea, and there are two cups on the platter. When Gandalf refuses, asking for red wine instead, Dori returns with a little (emphasis on the "little") glass of red wine, also sporting one for himself.

Could this be an indication that Dori admires and looks up to Gandalf? Sort of an instance of "imitation is the best form of flattery" perhaps?

Yeah, always a good idea to get on a wizard’s good side. I love the crushed look on Dori’s face when Gandalf first responds with the “no, thank you”, kind of like he’s trying to impress the teacher and hasn’t figured out how yet.
On a side note, I like how right after this, when Gandalf steps out into the middle of the hall, he hits his head on the chandelier – a fun call back to FOTR. Smile

We also see Dori's fussiness with this. Could it be an indication that Dori and Ori are brothers, since they both seem to be unusually polite (compared to the rest of the dwarves)?

I’d say that’s a fair assumption.

Gandalf takes a drink of the red wine and looks forlornly at the cup, realizing just how "little" it is. This is an interesting opposite with Fellowship, in which Gandalf foregoes wine and asks for tea specifically. Could this be an indication of Gandalf not being the same either 60 years later?

I just assumed it was because they were there for dinner, whereas in FOTR, he was visiting in the afternoon, where tea would be more appropriate.

Now dinner has actually started.

As the camera pans over the completely filled table, we see fruits and meats and breads and cheeses, but it appears that the only "greens" on the table are there for purely decoration (between the bowls, not in them). Could this also be an indication of the dwarves not being fond of greens?

Yeah, definitely the main food groups for dwarves—good hearty food.

Bofur throws a hard boiled egg to Bombur, who catches it in his mouth, causing cheers.

Could they have played this game before?

After watching with the subtitles, it’s easier to notice Dwalin saying “not from that distance” just before Bofur says “Bombur, catch”, so it does seem like something they’ve attempted before, just not so far from each other. Certainly shows an easy comraderie.

Bilbo paces back and forth, unsure of what to do at this point. There is clearly no room for him at the table, nor is there a place even set for him.

Could this indicate that the company has not accepted him as being part of their quest, and not accepted him as belonging amongst them yet?

Yeah, the dwarves seem pretty focused on each other and the food, and their host doesn’t really register with them.

Poor Bilbo goes back into the pantry, where the only remaining food is pieces of fruit that have somehow escaped the dwarves' pillaging.

What do you think about the 13 dwarves and 1 wizard being able to eat his entire pantry?

Well, it sounds like Gandalf promised them plenty of food, so they were just taking advantage of what was in front of them. And yes, perhaps they had an idea that they wouldn’t get such a feast for a while.

We see the dwarves' playful side when Dwalin pours ale into Oin's hearing trumpet and laughs heartily. What do you think about the dwarves' cheerfulness despite it being the eve of a dangerous quest?

It almost felt like they were trying not to think about a quest just yet, they were just getting together to chat and see what the plan was, but perhaps not thinking too far ahead. Enjoying themselves in the moment.

Also with the ale, Kili uses both hands instead of just one-a very child-like habit. Could this be an indication of him being the youngest?

I did notice Ori doing this earlier in the scene (right after Gandalf turns down the chamomile tea), so it does seem to indicate youth.

We see Nori burp, much to the amusement of the company. In turn, we see Ori let out a massive belch. Could this indicate the relationship between the two, in that Ori looks up to Nori as well? What do you think about the dynamic within that family (they are brothers). Could Dori be the stuffy elder brother, while Nori is the antagonizing middle brother, and Ori being the naive youngest?

It seems like Nori’s burp sort of gave Ori permission to do the same. Like Ori would never have just done it on his own, but since someone else started, it was ok for him to do it too. At this point, we really hadn’t been introduced to these 3 specifically, so not sure if others would get the family connection. I also liked Bofur’s comment to Ori, “I knew you had it in you!” to provide Ori even more encouragement. And unlike a lot of other posters here, I didn’t mind the burping in this scene – just the lads having fun, right? Wink

What does this tell you about Nori's nature?

Certainly not a polite, fussy dwarf, seems quite at home.

Bilbo is quite annoyed at the belching. Again, a reference to his respectable nature?

Yes, certainly seems like the epitome of rudeness from Bilbo’s perspective (besides the fact that they’re eating everything in sight!)

Now they are cleaning up.

Nori is using a doily as a dishcloth. Could it be that he has never seen a doily before?

I think it’s more of a case that Nori just picked up the first cloth he could find handy, or maybe he couldn’t see a dishcloth anywhere. Not to be rude, just doesn’t notice.

Bofur makes a joke about Bilbo's reaction to the doily. He is clearly messing with Bilbo, and finds it highly amusing that the hobbit is so clearly annoyed and frustrated. Could this be an indication of his cheerful nature? Do you think that it is appropriate, or against the general nature of dwarves?

It seems that Bofur is the kind who is always joking around, so it’s just more of the same, regardless of who he’s speaking to.

Bilbo is clearly frustrated that he knows absolutely nothing about why the dwarves are there. Yet Gandalf seems perfectly relaxed and content.

Is the wizard that confident in his choice of the hobbit, or is he simply amused that he is clearly pushing Bilbo out of his comfort zone-maybe an attempt to draw the "Tookish" side of him out that he had caught a glimpse of earlier during the firework discussion? Or is the wizard bothered by seeing the potential in hobbits who clearly aren't interested in exploring that potential?

This was actually one of the things that frustrated me about this scene. Why won’t Gandalf just tell him what’s going on? It’s clearly making Bilbo more agitated the longer they’re there. I guess it could be Gandalf’s way of trying to bring out the “Tookish” side of Bilbo.

Next we see the dwarves sing as they "do the dishes" in a rather creative manner, starting with Fili throwing Ori's plate to Kili.

Did Fili truly instigate this prank against the hobbit, or was it a collective prank?

You can actually hear the drum beats start up when Ori comes out to ask Bilbo what he should do with his plate, so I get the impression this is something all the dwarves tend to do after a lot of meals (seems likely given how well they do it!).

Kili starts pranks later on (when Thorin is around) but Fili clearly starts this one. Could this be an indication that, around Thorin, Fili takes his responsibility as heir seriously, but is more relaxed when he is just around his brother with Thorin absent and is more willing to let out his childish nature?

Yeah, it does seem like without Thorin there, Fili can get away with more things (like walking on the table) and tossing the plates around.

Does this effectively show that Fili is in that transition point between childhood and adulthood, and thus still inexperienced and naive?

Yes, plus upcoming scenes seem to indicate this.

Poor Bilbo about has a heart attack when his dishes start flying. What did you think of the dwarves' prank?

It was pretty amazing how the dishes started flying fast and furious. I loved the look on Balin’s face like he was resigned to this happening and would do his part to make sure the dishes moved along, but he wasn’t too happy with it.

We see how the dwarves seem to have very quick reflexes (Kili turns just as the plate is about to hit him in the face, catches it, and in the same motion throws it to Bifur, who is already at the sink) and are also very coordinated in that they do so many different things with the dishes, and yet never even CHIP one, let alone drop it. We also see that, when they work as a team, they operate much like a well oiled machine. Could this be a way of overcoming the height disadvantage while fighting?

Not sure about a way of overcoming a height disadvantage, but certainly shows how well they work together and how coordinated they can be. We do see later how this comes into play when they are fighting the trolls—very coordinated with their movements.

We hear a very different style of music during this song. It is more upbeat, less surreal, and uses a very Celtic style of fiddling and fluting, as opposed to Lord of the Rings, which has very surreal music and more emphasis on slow, long drawn out notes and harps, or more flowing and slower violin music.

Could this be the difference between dwarven music and the music styles of the other free peoples, indicating this to be a dwarven tale, not an elf/men tale?

It was certainly light-hearted, fun and upbeat. Actually, it kind of reminds me of some of the Hobbit drinking songs that Merry and Pippin would sing.

Bilbo has quite the astonished look on his face when he finds his dishes quite whole and unharmed and clean, and the dwarves are quite cheerful and find it highly amusing. Gandalf is chuckling too. What do you think of the dwarf style of doing dishes?

It was certainly a much more fun way of doing dishes than I’ve ever done! Would certainly require split second timing and good hand-eye coordination.

The scene ends with a loud knock on the door, and the environment instantly switches from raucous laughter to incredibly serious. Could it be that they didn't hear the doorbell amidst the singing and laughter? Is this an indication that the fun is over, and the quest is truly beginning?

It was definitely a good way to indicate that the fun was over. I like the idea of the doorbell ringing, but no one could hear it over the song, hence the loud pounding.

*****************************************************

Let's talk cinematically.

What did you think of the lighting in this scene? Was it well done in terms of supposedly reflecting the light of the many candles in Bag End? Or do you feel that it could have been different/brighter/darker/etc?

I thought the lighting made Bag End seem very warm and cozy. Seemed very natural to me.

The actors never stop acting, even if the camera wasn't on them. Did you find that this helped you believe that it was really happening and immerse yourself in the story?

Yes, I thought that was one of the great things about this scene, especially when re-watching it. There’s just so much going on in the background to keep us entertained.

When Gandalf (Ian McKellen) is listing off the dwarves' names (which the actor admitted to struggling to remember all of them) he was in a different, scaled set than the dwarves, and using tennis balls for reference to eyes. Yet, with each name he listed off, those particular dwarves happened to be crossing the room right as he said it.

Do you think that was a clever move on PJ&co's part to reaffirm dwarves' identities to the audience?

I thought it was fun, although it does seem rather subtle for the average moviegoer, not sure that they would actually have put names to faces since it went by so fast. I certainly didn’t on my first viewing!

What did you think about the choreography of Blunt the Knives? We saw in the vlogs that not all of it was cgi-they were actually bouncing the plates toward "Balin" to find the correct trajectory for them.

Part of me was waiting for something to drop, but it never did—well done!

What did you think of the setup of Bag End? Was the set just as good as it was in FOTR? Or was it better with being cleaned and clear, as opposed to the messy Bag End we see in FOTR?

It was great to see more of Bag End and it was fun to see how quickly it went from neat and clean to messy, with food crumbs everywhere! Reminds me of having the family over for the holidays! Laugh

Did the actors sufficiently establish their characters for you in this scene? Were you able to distinguish their names/personalities/relationships with others (not limited to just family, but friendships and so forth)?

I’d say with Dwalin/Balin and Kili/Fili, it was easier since we were introduced to them individually. With the dwarves that just fell through the door in a pile in the previous scene, I don’t feel like we got to see too much of their characters get established. There was just too much going on, too many new faces. Of course, the more I watch this scene, the clearer it gets.

What did you think of the costuming/makeup/hair styles? Did they reflect the character's personalities well? Was there enough similarities between the clothing styles in the "family" groups to indicate their relations? Did those who were of noble birth stand out from the others with regards to finer clothing?

Again, there was so much going on in this scene, I felt it was a little hard to take in too much detail on first viewing. I think the only family grouping I may have noticed were Oin and Gloin since their hair was kind of the same (fuzzy and not too elaborate), and therefore felt similar in looks. I like Bifur’s gray and black braids, and noticed that Ori’s knitted gear seemed simpler than the other dwarves garments. And of course, love Bofur’s hat!

Do you think this scene was well executed overall?

Definitely well executed. It’s just such a fun scene with so much going on, and so much fun to watch over and over.

Finally, are there any other thoughts on this scene?

I really like how the scaling was done in this scene. Specifically, the shot when Bilbo and Gandalf started in the kitchen, then walked through the door into the hall. The camera was angled up, so it was looking at Gandalf from Bilbo’s perspective, which I thought was a nice touch. I know Ian McKellan had a hard time filming this scene on a different set against green screen, but I thought the final result was really seamless.





Brethil
Half-elven


Oct 13 2013, 2:23am

Post #5 of 9 (177 views)
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Dinnertime! [In reply to] Can't Post

Great post Cirashala!

Some points:

Yes, that fussy scurrying Bilbo does ties in with his nature - and his life experiences to date. Its still hanging around when he is following Fili and Kili with their soup bowls when learning they face Trolls. The change hasn't come yet!

Like many of the shots of Bag End, it is in a bit of happy disarray. What strikes me most forcibly about it is the contrast of bag End in Bilbo's day with the Bag End of Frodo returned from the War. It seems so bare and empty there compared to the fussy sort of overabundance that Bilbo lived in even after his Adventure. A statement I guess about the damge done to each of them in their relationship with the Ring.

The Dwarves I think show connections and relationships in everything they do. I am sure much of it is scripted but I am sure a good amount of it comes from the cast recognizing their bonds within the larger unit. In that sense, though Thorin has nephews and sort of a blood-brother in Dwalin, he is unique and alone.

The scale issue I find flawless after all the views. So well done. it helps, like it helped SPJ in LOTR, that the scale of the Hobbit actors to the Dwarf actors was really almost spot on. Gandalf seems to 'loom' and Sir Ian played the sloping of his shoulders and the unconscious slouching (which accentuates his height) perfectly.

Very neat about Dwalin - I had not noted that part. But he strikes me as one to whom mere royalty means little; he does not bow to Thorin and I think there is affection in his gentle name-calling. But those boys will have to earn respect of that's what they want.

Ori in general: the most sheltered perhaps of all the Dwarves. Literate, artistic and probably very imaginative. The question of why? come in this journey might be answered later on. I hope we get more glimpses of his internal life. And his ultra-polite brother Dori: politesse being the currency to date in his life?

Ah, Bifur's axe. I am professionally thrilled with how well they portray a left frontal injury with a Broca's impairment. Together these things cause flat affect, and impaired verbal response - aphasia - but a purely expressive aphasia. The intellect and processing remains intact but the ability to express is impaired, as is the syntax (even in sign language users.) The flat and unexpressive countenance is so well done. I can tell a lot of research and care went into the development of this character's story.

Gandalf needing wine: I wonder if it is because he knows this night the uphill journey he will have in selling Bilbo and Thorin on each other!

Thse Dwarves working in unison is I think a very deep cultural need. They stand alone in ME and thus must stay together and I think they are always aware of this. The fun of Blunt the Knives sets us up beautifully for the Trollshaws and Goblintown.

Cinema talk: I liked the lighting, and the soft and warm glow it gave. Useful for two things: creating shadows and underscoring the fire at the end of the journey (and what they experienced when Smaug came) with the small (and fleeting) comfort of hearth and home. Thematically both shadow and fire are so a part of their history I love how SPJ used them here.

I love the scene. Thanks Cirashala!

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





Silwen_Peredhil
Rivendell


Oct 13 2013, 2:35pm

Post #6 of 9 (175 views)
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This is really well thought out. You put a lot of effort into this, Cirashala. [In reply to] Can't Post

This whole scene is what I would call ‘organised chaos’ and it is so much fun to watch.

I think this is a great scene on so many levels. First it gives a chance to know better the fussy nature of Bilbo and how he is trying to take control of the situation and failing. It is perhaps a hint that Bilbo being so decent and respectable is perhaps still lacking in strength of character and is the sort of person that people at first glance can feel they can push around. This scene does reflect the hobbit nature in Bilbo. Hobbits tend to lead very habitual lives and Bilbo seems to have grown very set in his ways. Everything about the Shire and Bag End represents comfort. The dwarves all coming in without permission and treating the place like it’s theirs is really setting Bilbo well out of his comfort zone. It is not necessarily just hobbit nature, it could just be the fact that Bilbo himself has been living on his own and therefore used to having his own way which gives him his fussy nature.

You asked whether Old Bilbo used these things later and therefore it being a character change from ‘fussy’ Bilbo to ‘I don’t care Bilbo’. Interesting question. I wouldn’t have said Bilbo fully takes on an ‘I don’t care attitude’ in FOTR. He is still finely dressed in designs that are obviously expensive, so there is still an air of vanity about him that is part of the ‘fussy’ Bilbo. However, I will note that his house is less tidy in FOTR than when the dwarves come to dinner. This is even seen in the prologue scene with Frodo and old Bilbo. There are lots of papers and books just placed on the floors and scattered over the tables in contrast to the dinner scene where the dwarves start moving things about as they please and make his house look untidy.

This scene is a good opportunity to show the nature of the dwarves that they are not ones to be dictated to. Besides whatever Gandalf has told them has left these dwarves under the impression that they are able to more or less do as they please in Bag End since Bilbo is potentially going to be another member of the company and I can only assume that Gandalf has said something on the lines that Bilbo has offered to give them a place to stay for the night (possibly as a way to convince the dwarves to accept Bilbo into the company).

It is a great way for the audience to learn little characteristics about each dwarf like that Oin can’t hear well, Bifur uses sign language and speaks in Dwarvish rather than English, Bombur likes his food, Ori is good mannered and so is Dori although, I think his manners to Gandalf are to ingratiate himself with the wizard on the idea that if he is nice to Gandalf and not offend him then Gandalf will be nice back and use his magic to help them. I even think Dori is under the impression that magic can be used to solve all their problems. Bofur is also shown as being really cheerful and full of fun which I do not think is out of character. Gimli in LOTR was often saying comments to make people smile and look on the bright side of a situation. I think this scene is really good at conveying all these things in the space of a few moments and showing all these different personalities. It is a reminder that there are people with similar character traits around us all the time and the audience can look at these characters and say that that is like someone they know. The costumes are telling as well. They help suggest personalities and are a great way to help actors find their character and allow the audience to read into the characters. Ori has knitted clothing, Fili and Kili have what looks like more expensive clothing that looks almost new, which is a hint of their royal status. Balin looks quite comfortable in his outfit not overdressed, nor is it poorly made which shows he has done alright for himself since the attack on Erebor.

Gandalf is interesting in this scene since he doesn’t try to stand up to Bilbo and even seems to enjoy bringing Bilbo out of his comfort zone. I think he’s trying to find the Bilbo he once knew rather than the fussy Bilbo who is more concerned about his possessions rather than anything else. Gandalf, I think, is probably finding this Bilbo a little ridiculous and doesn’t mind giving Bilbo a hard time to perhaps help Bilbo understand this given the fact that later on Bilbo is going to realise that there is so much of the world out there that he doesn’t know about. A part of him is probably trying to judge how well Bilbo stands up to the situation, although I think Gandalf is still reasonably confident in his choice and that he can convince Bilbo to join the quest.

The song ‘blunt the knives’ is so much fun to watch. I think Fili perhaps started and the others decided to join in. It does raise the question of whether Fili or Kili got Ori to ask Bilbo so that the prank could start off, although I think it was just that Ori asked and Fili seized the opportunity to have some fun and Kili was just well placed. I enjoy how they really wind Bilbo up making him think that they are going to wreak his house and plates when they don’t actually. I enjoy Bilbo’s expression when he comes in and finds all the plates neatly piled on the table. Although I really think somewhere they should have a warning to the audience to not try that at home. I immediately could tell on the first viewing it would be something the young children in the audience would love to try. It is so tempting to try out, but I know it would only result in a lot of broken china, so I haven’t ventured to try it yet. Wink

I really liked how the dwarves were more laid back when Thorin is not there. I think it is the same in most situations that without a leader people will start to full about and once the leader arrives into the room the others will settle down.


Other comments:
The lighting in this scene is warm and friendly reflecting how comfortable Bag End is and what the Shire represents. This is going to be the last time for a while that the dwarves will be able to have fun like that.
I loved the way Gandalf had to use his fingers to help count the dwarves.

I enjoyed the fact that Gandalf wanted wine rather than tea possibly he knew he was going to need something stronger than tea to help him with the trials ahead. Besides wine is usually a preference to tea at a party like that, especially if it’s for free. The chandelier is a nice reference to LOTR too and I like all those little reminders of what happened in the LOTR trilogy.

The reference to the sausages and tomatoes could perhaps be a subtle reference to Pippin in FOTR when he offers these things to Frodo on Weathertop. Perhaps Hobbits have these things often.

Fili walking over the table because he can’t fit around them is fun to watch and adds to the organised chaos. Balin calling him names as he goes past is a sign the two of them are friends because the insult is clearly in jest and probably come from the wine loosening his tongue a bit. I would like to think that because Thorin is really good friends with Dwalin and Balin that their relationship with Fili and Kili would be close as well. I think both Fili and Kili have respect for Dwalin and Balin which was hinted in the previous scene after Fili and Kili first arrived and Kili acknowledges him as ‘Mister Dwalin’ which seemed to hold both a note of respect and friendship. I think this is followed through here.

This scene is great. It gives the dwarves a chance to reunite with friends and family and enjoy themselves for one night before embarking on a dangerous quest. They will obviously be tensed up about it and this is a way to let out that tension, fool around and then focus on the task ahead. It gives the audience a chance to learn who the dwarves are. In the previous scene we were introduced to Dwalin, Balin, Fili and Kili. In the next scene I think the audience recognises Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori and Ori.

This is a really great discussion for a fantastic scene! Thanks for posting this! Smile

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


cats16
Valinor


Oct 14 2013, 9:16pm

Post #7 of 9 (110 views)
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Planning on responding to this week's CHOW soon! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll try to come back later with some thoughts. Smile


Riven Delve
Grey Havens


Oct 15 2013, 3:04am

Post #8 of 9 (117 views)
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I have never been so hungry in all my life [In reply to] Can't Post

Did you like how the scene opened, with poor Bilbo scurrying around, all politeness gone, as he tries in vain to "save" his belongings?

Yes, that was great. We not only get a picture of Bilbo's fussiness, but little glimpses into each Dwarf's personality too. Plus it was pretty funny watching Bilbo get so worked up. Wink

Bilbo tries to save his prize tomatoes, his wine, his jam, his Grandpa Mungo's chairs, a book (which was apparently being used as a coaster), and sternly tells someone to "Put that map down!"
Does anyone see whether or not Old Bilbo uses these particular items in a similar way that the dwarves did (like trying to use the book as a coaster) in either the beginning of An Unexpected Journey, or in Fellowship of the Ring? If so, how does this illustrate the change in character from "Fussy" Bilbo before the quest to "I don't care" Bilbo of Fellowship?


I didn't notice particularly...but *spoilers* perhaps some of those things were lost when Bilbo's belongs are sold while he's on his adventure?

During this "raiding" part of the scene, we clearly see the dwarves ignoring Bilbo for the most part (although Ori does relinquish his hold on Bilbo's prize tomatoes, but not after much insistence by the hobbit) as they move to set the table.

I noticed that the prize tomatoes ended up on the table eventually anyway. Laugh

A lot of characterization comes into play as we simply observe the dwarves and how they go about their tasks and interact with both each other, with Gandalf, and with Bilbo. (subtitles help with this, if anyone is confused about the points I bring up and how I got there Wink)
We get to see what a reunion of those who clearly know each other, but haven't seen each other for a while. And we learn quite a bit about the dwarves during this scene.
In this scene, Dwalin is shown carrying platters of meat-maybe an indication of his preference for that particular food group?

We see Bifur take a bite out of a string of sausages hanging up just as Bombur strides out of the pantry carrying three whole cheese wheels (with apparently no need for a cheese knife, as Bofur so eloquently puts it), and later on we see Bofur take a bite out of what appears to be a biscuit, then places the rest of it back on the platter- perhaps this is a good indication that all 3 of the related trio Bifur/Bofur/Bombur thoroughly enjoy their food, though only Bombur seems cursed with it showing?

Well, I think the difference is that Bifur and Bofur put their bits back after taking a bite. Apparently Bombur dispenses with this step!

Bofur is also the one that answers for Bombur, as though he knows him quite well. Could this be a subtle indication of familial relation?

I answer for my siblings quite often, especially when I'm going to give them a hard time. Evil

Could it also be an indication that the dwarves are so hungry that they cannot wait for everyone else, indicating the hard times that have befallen them since Smaug stole Erebor?

Possibly, but Balin says the life Thorin has built in the Blue Mountains has been "a life of peace and plenty." Assuming that all the Dwarves are from the Blue Mountains, I'd say no one has gone hungry in the long term. But maybe the poor things didn't have lunch. Wink


In the background, we see Kili and Fili messing with a barrel of ale, and it appears that Fili takes a drink straight from the tap. Later on, we see the two of them working together to move the barrel of ale closer to the dining room.
Could this be an indication of their brotherly bond? We do hear Kili answer Fili with "Over here, brother." when Fili asks the group, "Who wants another ale?"...as he is walking across the table, so that bond is confirmed in the first film, as is Dwalin and Balin's brotherly relation.


Yes, the boys seem to do almost everything as a team--obviously they're close. I think another clue that they're brothers is that their names rhyme, as do Balin and Dwalin's, who we know are brothers.

Could his walking on the table be a prank, or was it simply because he couldn't fit around the others, proving what Balin had said before about it being a tight squeeze for all the dwarves? We also see most of them ducking through the doorways as they pass through.

Probably a bit of both!

Dwalin calls Fili a "great galumphing git" as he strides across the table. Does this possibly indicate that Dwalin knows him quite well, and doesn't care about his Prince status? Or has possibly earned the right to speak to him that way? Could it also indicate a respect for the older dwarf by Fili not reacting to it at all?

Yes, it certainly indicates a close relationship to me, but I thought that was already established by the way Dwalin welcomed the boys as they came in. (Plus Kili gives Balin a little greeting pat. Evil) I like to think Dwalin helped with their weapons training, and as Thorin's "Number One," has a familial relationship with them.

We see Gandalf and Ori setting the table, meticulously placing silverware for each place, but as dinner progresses NO ONE uses the silverware, not even Gandalf. Ori is also the only one who actually listens to Bilbo and lets go of his tomatoes, and after dinner Ori politely asks Bilbo what he should do with his plate.
Is this a good indication of Ori being more well mannered and polite?

We also see Dori's fussiness with this. Could it be an indication that Dori and Ori are brothers, since they both seem to be unusually polite (compared to the rest of the dwarves)?
We see Nori burp, much to the amusement of the company. In turn, we see Ori let out a massive belch. Could this indicate the relationship between the two, in that Ori looks up to Nori as well? What do you think about the dynamic within that family (they are brothers). Could Dori be the stuffy elder brother, while Nori is the antagonizing middle brother, and Ori being the naive youngest?

Honestly, I love that Gandalf is right in the midst of the Dwarves, apparently quite comfortable among such crude manners, not phased one bit. Heart That gives me a great picture of Gandalf's character too, not just the Dwarves'.

Yes, I think Ori is the best mannered of the lot, probably because it has been drilled into him by Dori. Not to worry, however: Nori is on it, encouraging any signs of naughtiness!

Khuzdul (and the Dwarven sign language Igleshmek) is a very secretive language amongst dwarves, and yet Bifur speaks to Gandalf completely in Khuzdul, holding up his shield arm and tapping it as he does so (so possibly using a combination of Khuzdul and Igleshmek).
Do you think this is too far of a deviance from Tolkien, or do you think the film team's justification of brain injury resulting from the axe in his head causing the sole ability to speak Khuzdul/Igleshmek only is sound?


Perhaps it's another indicator of Gandalf's trustworthiness/knowledge of Middle-earth's peoples by integration among them?

Bofur throws a hard boiled egg to Bombur, who catches it in his mouth, causing cheers.
Could they have played this game before?


I think it's pretty clear these two have done this before. Maybe even cashed in on some bets in a tavern or two!

Bilbo paces back and forth, unsure of what to do at this point. There is clearly no room for him at the table, nor is there a place even set for him.
Could this indicate that the company has not accepted him as being part of their quest, and not accepted him as belonging amongst them yet?


That is an excellent point! There's "no place amongst us" for a good part of AUJ. I wonder how long he will have a place amongst them in DOS. Unsure

Poor Bilbo goes back into the pantry, where the only remaining food is pieces of fruit that have somehow escaped the dwarves' pillaging.
What do you think about the 13 dwarves and 1 wizard being able to eat his entire pantry


Well, what was Bilbo going to do with all that food if he was going on an adventure anyway? It would just go bad. Might as well put it to good use. Angelic

We see the dwarves' playful side when Dwalin pours ale into Oin's hearing trumpet and laughs heartily. What do you think about the dwarves' cheerfulness despite it being the eve of a dangerous quest?

For the older Dwarves, it's just a matter of seizing the day. I don't think the three youngest have much of an idea of how dangerous the quest is actually going to be.

Bilbo is clearly frustrated that he knows absolutely nothing about why the dwarves are there. Yet Gandalf seems perfectly relaxed and content.
Is the wizard that confident in his choice of the hobbit, or is he simply amused that he is clearly pushing Bilbo out of his comfort zone-maybe an attempt to draw the "Tookish" side of him out that he had caught a glimpse of earlier during the firework discussion? Or is the wizard bothered by seeing the potential in hobbits who clearly aren't interested in exploring that potential?


Yes, I don't think Gandalf is quite as compassionate toward Bilbo as I'd like him to be. On the other hand, I do think Gandalf is allowing Bilbo to be tested by pushing him out of his comfort zone. If after all the Dwarves put him through, he still chooses to go adventuring, then Gandalf knows he hasn't misread his Hobbit.

Next we see the dwarves sing as they "do the dishes" in a rather creative manner, starting with Fili throwing Ori's plate to Kili.
Did Fili truly instigate this prank against the hobbit, or was it a collective prank?
Kili starts pranks later on (when Thorin is around) but Fili clearly starts this one. Could this be an indication that, around Thorin, Fili takes his responsibility as heir seriously, but is more relaxed when he is just around his brother with Thorin absent and is more willing to let out his childish nature?
Does this effectively show that Fili is in that transition point between childhood and adulthood, and thus still inexperienced and naive?

That's another good point...Fili is less ornery when Thorin's around, isn't he? He does seem to be on his best behavior, acting more mature in Thorin's presence. I do think he instigates this prank, although Kili is reading him very clearly, as he is in perfect position. Their choreography is too perfect for them not to have practiced this at some point...and Balin has clearly been down this road before.

We see how the dwarves seem to have very quick reflexes (Kili turns just as the plate is about to hit him in the face, catches it, and in the same motion throws it to Bifur, who is already at the sink) and are also very coordinated in that they do so many different things with the dishes, and yet never even CHIP one, let alone drop it. We also see that, when they work as a team, they operate much like a well oiled machine. Could this be a way of overcoming the height disadvantage while fighting?

See above note, but also this indicates to some degree their ability to survive as an exiled people: cooperation. Perhaps that's why Thorin, and the rest of the Dwarves, seem so disappointed when Dain and the other Dwarves refuse to go on the quest with them.

The scene ends with a loud knock on the door, and the environment instantly switches from raucous laughter to incredibly serious. Could it be that they didn't hear the doorbell amidst the singing and laughter? Is this an indication that the fun is over, and the quest is truly beginning?

Gandalf I think is anxious because he's got to convince him to take the burglar, and convince the burglar to be taken. And persuading a stubborn Dwarf and a fainting Hobbit will be no easy task. As for the rest of the company, I think this is the reason for their sudden silence. Wink

The actors never stop acting, even if the camera wasn't on them. Did you find that this helped you believe that it was really happening and immerse yourself in the story?

That is one of my favorite things about AUJ: There was always something going on in the background to watch--the characters are always revealing more of their personalities.

When Gandalf (Ian McKellen) is listing off the dwarves' names (which the actor admitted to struggling to remember all of them) he was in a different, scaled set than the dwarves, and using tennis balls for reference to eyes. Yet, with each name he listed off, those particular dwarves happened to be crossing the room right as he said it.
Do you think that was a clever move on PJ&co's part to reaffirm dwarves' identities to the audience?

Did the actors sufficiently establish their characters for you in this scene? Were you able to distinguish their names/personalities/relationships with others (not limited to just family, but friendships and so forth)?

You betcha it was clever. I didn't even get all their identities on my first viewing, so every little bit helps--like their different profiles/outlines.

What did you think of the costuming/makeup/hair styles? Did they reflect the character's personalities well? Was there enough similarities between the clothing styles in the "family" groups to indicate their relations? Did those who were of noble birth stand out from the others with regards to finer clothing?

I thought Dori, Dwalin, and Ori (besides Thorin) had the best costumes, etc., to indicate their personalities. (I'm still not sure what I think about Nori's.) Thorin, Fili, Kili, and Balin had the most "rich"-looking clothing, with deep colors and extensive designs. The Dwarves with the knitted garments seemed the most "ordinary."

Do you think this scene was well executed overall?

I thought this brought out the spirit of the book really, really well. I enjoyed this part SO much! Heart


Thanks, Cirashala, for this in-depth look! Smile


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



Kim
Valinor


Oct 15 2013, 5:07am

Post #9 of 9 (107 views)
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Poor Thorin, [In reply to] Can't Post


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As for the rest of the company, I think this is the reason for their sudden silence. Wink







he never gets to play with the rest of the kids Unsure

 
 

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