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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Explanation of the Azog/Bolg/Yanzeg Fiasco


Oct 15 2013, 3:18pm

Post #1 of 13 (1377 views)
Explanation of the Azog/Bolg/Yanzeg Fiasco Can't Post

I, for one, am hoping that the AUJ:EE documentaries give us an in-depth look at the whole Azog/Bolg/Yanzeg situation. The documentaries and commentaries on the LOTR:EEs were very honest and forthcoming about the film-making process (e.g. Arwen at Helm's Deep, Sauron at the Black Gate) so I'm hoping it's the same with The Hobbit.

I'm not an Azog hater. I'll save final judgement once I've seen the third film. However, I am very curious about all the story, design, role changes that took place during the transition from two to three films and the decision to keep Azog around.


Oct 15 2013, 3:44pm

Post #2 of 13 (708 views)
Hopefully we'll get an explanation [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree completely. I'm far more curious to learn the full story of that progression much more than the decision to make 3 films. See the original Azog (the smaller, craggy old orc Yazneg), I can understand why they'd want to beef him up a bit into the giant Azog we got in the films.

It's a real shame it wasn't prosthetics, but it's hard to complain too much when the CGI work is impressive as it is. Having said that, I think their Bolg design is one of the most creative orc designs they've done in the entire series and one of the most impressive prosthetics in any film I've seen. It'd be a real shame if that was compromised, as someone in another thread suggested. Fingers crossed they keep him in. I remember reading or hearing somewhere that Bolg was Richard Taylor's favorite design.


Oct 15 2013, 6:22pm

Post #3 of 13 (620 views)
There's been a fiasco? Did I miss something? [In reply to] Can't Post

It appears that they have changed their ideas about the lead orcs. That doesn't seem unreasonable to me, given that Peter Jackson took over a film which had had a lot of work done on it already, and then had the three-film split agreed at a late stage. I'm sure all this will be explained in the EEs at some point, though AUJ may be too soon if the explanation involves spoilers for the next two films.

But I haven't seen anything you could describe as a fiasco. The point of the films is to tell the story of The Hobbit - enlarged, as we know, with background material - and so far as I can see, that's what they're doing. Providing they preserve the heart of the story and tell it well, I can't see that it actually matters which orc turns up to do extraneous things. I'd prefer to see Bolg leading the army in TABA, since that's what he's supposed to do, but if they've thought up a reason to change that OK, I'll wait and see what the reason is. So far all I know is that they've brought Azog more to the fore because they like the character, and presumably they've come up with some storyline for him. No clues yet about Bolg, but Peter Jackson has spoken about looking at father/son relationships in the second film, and he did mention Azog and Bolg in that context. As for Yazneg, I haven't a clue which of them he is and since he's only made up I can't see that it matters whether he's in the film or not!

(You may have guessed I don't like orcs much!)


Oct 15 2013, 6:52pm

Post #4 of 13 (553 views)
Fiasco probably wasn't the right word... [In reply to] Can't Post

...but what I meant was the internal complications that it must have entailed. I remember in one of the earlier vlogs (about the break between shooting blocks) that Conan Stevens had "Azog" under his name. Then another actor (can't recall the name) was credited as Azog soon after on IMDB. And finally we ended up with Manu as the new CGI Azog. I really want to hear the whole story behind it all. I find it all fascinating.


Oct 15 2013, 7:02pm

Post #5 of 13 (522 views)
A bottle of Italian wine? [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah, an explanation is definitely due!

I met a Balrog on the stair,
He had some wings that weren't there.
They weren't there again today,
I wish he would just fly away.


Oct 15 2013, 7:12pm

Post #6 of 13 (553 views)
Yazneg [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
As for Yazneg, I haven't a clue which of them he is and since he's only made up I can't see that it matters whether he's in the film or not!

Yazneg was the lead Orc for the whole first half of AUJ, the one who spied the Company at the night camp, led the Warg chase and then was thrown to the Wargs by Azog.

The reason it 'matters' with regards to this subject is that that was the original design of Azog and was what was filmed fighting Thorin in the Azanulbizar scenes (and potentially/presumably Out Of The Frying-Pan Into The Fire - he appeared in the LEGO set for that)

Agree with the there is no 'fiasco'


Oct 16 2013, 12:38am

Post #7 of 13 (362 views)
I'm sure we'll get some background on this. 100%! [In reply to] Can't Post

We're already gotten some info about it from one of those "making of" clips that came out shortly after the movie, so they're certainly not trying to hide anything. Wink

Actually, I rather dislike the original design (for Azog; it's perfectly fine if used for a lesser Orc like Yazneg). So what I would like to know is, not why they changed the original design, but what made them think such a design would work for Azog in the first place! Tongue

Dwalin Balin Kili Fili Dori Nori Ori Oin Gloin Bifur Bofur Bombur Thorin

Orcs are mammals!

"Don't laugh at the Dwarves because they will mess you up." Dean O'Gorman (Fili)

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Oct 16 2013, 1:39am

Post #8 of 13 (376 views)
Tolkien did a much better job establishing credible character motivations on three occasions... [In reply to] Can't Post

1.) In the manner in which Azog is first introduced - ambushing Thror within the dwarves' ancient homeland, and adding insult to injury by writing his name on Thror's head and then mocking Nar.

2.) Thrain being hounded and pursued by agents of the Necromancer for the purpose of regaining the ring.

3.) Bolg seeking revenge for Azog's death.

In the movie, no back-story or context is given for Moria before abruptly introducing the battle at Azanulbizar, which completely misses the historical significance of that battle.

Then the movie doesn't really provide a good rationale for why Azog is suddenly and urgently pursuing Thorin when presumably Azog would've had plenty of other opportunities to track Thorin during all of Thorin's time wandering in exile).

I think these issues were a product of the late changes made to the screenplay.

(This post was edited by Bladerunner on Oct 16 2013, 1:44am)


Oct 16 2013, 2:06am

Post #9 of 13 (356 views)
The original intention [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the original intention for the Azog / Bolg relationship in the 2-film version was that Azog was the craggier, smaller, older father orc that would dominate most of the movie and then in the original third act we'd be introduced to his bulkier, much nastier son Bolg in Dol Guldur.

When they switched to three films the Dol Guldur/Mirkwood stuff got moved so they needed a much more menacing orc that the original design, since they weren't any scenes now with Bolg in film one.


Oct 16 2013, 1:55pm

Post #10 of 13 (245 views)
I still wonder if Bolg was originally introduced in the Out of the Frying Pan scene [In reply to] Can't Post

While we know Thorin's showdown with Azog was something added in the reshoot before AUJ was released, much of that scene was obviously kept as shot, and Thorin was always going to be injured in some way. I wonder if he originally had a fight with Bolg, who revealed himself here as Azog's son, out for revenge.

Captain Salt
Tol Eressea

Oct 16 2013, 7:02pm

Post #11 of 13 (182 views)
This seems plausible... [In reply to] Can't Post

Azog seems like he was going to be more of a decrepit, slinky, assassin while Bolg was his hulking, brutish powerhouse of a son.

Though, the Azog design with which they went truly seems to connected to Bolg than the original, more mannish Yazneg design.

My Top 5 Wish List for "The Hobbit"
5. Legolas will surf down Smaug's neck
4. Bilbo will be revealed to a Robot
3. Naked PJ cameo as Ghan-Buri-Ghan
2. Use of not only 3D, but smell-o-vision, plus the inclusion of axes coming out of the seats and poking the audience when appropriate
1. Not only keep the claim that Thorin & Co. ran amok in Mirkwood "molesting people", but depict said incident in vivid detail!!!!!


Oct 17 2013, 5:09am

Post #12 of 13 (143 views)
My "Theory" [In reply to] Can't Post

If you go back and watch Production Vlog #2 that Peter Jackson originally posted on Facebook/YouTube, you'll notice that Conan Stevens is credited as "Azog." BUT, if you watch that same vlog on the blu-ray, Conan's credit under his name is changed to "Bolg."

My guess? The current Bolg design was originally going to be Azog, but they were so enamored with the design that they didn't want it to only be used for one short scene--the flashback to Azanulbizar in which I think Azog would have died before the expansion to three films and of Azog's role in the films.

Tol Eressea

Oct 17 2013, 11:19pm

Post #13 of 13 (89 views)
Too bad it didn't happen this way... [In reply to] Can't Post

the flashback to Azanulbizar in which I think Azog would have died


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