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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Chapter Of The Week (CHOW): The Trollshaws

Nunilo
Bree


Nov 24 2013, 3:15am

Post #1 of 13 (514 views)
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Chapter Of The Week (CHOW): The Trollshaws Can't Post

Hello all! This week's CHOW is on the Trollshaws, when the company arrives at the ruined farmhouse.

There is a sharp transition from the menacing introduction of Dol Guldur to the relatively peaceful arrival of the dwarves, accompanied by sounds of chirping birds and plodding hooves. What does this say about the quest?

At this point, I don't think the dwarves fully realise the gravity of what they have embarked on. So far their travel has been peaceful and they have met no opposition, and they are all still feeling very optimistic. Only the audience has a hint of dark things stirring.



The shot opens with Thorin in front of the line of ponies. What do you think of the location of this scene? Has the audience's views on Thorin changed now that we know a significant part of his backstory, as retold by Balin?

The setting here is lush and idyllic. I like that the destruction and filth of the nearby trolls is not immediately evident. Even when the camera pans to the ruined farmhouse, it is not until Gandalf mentions the farmer and his family that anything seems amiss. It could just as easily have been an old or abandoned dwelling. Thorin can't really be blamed for wanting to camp there.

I think that Thorin is definitely better established as a leader now, since we understand why he has truly earned the deep respect of all the dwarves. He is brisk and efficient in this scene as he sets up camp. I particularly like this shot (below) where he has turned his pony to face all the others, as well as being higher due to the slope of the land. It is almost foreshadowing what they all hope will come be, when they regain Erebor and Thorin is once more king.



There is a little nod to the book here, with Oin and Gloin being asked to light the fires.
I love little references like this to the book characters. We also find out at the end of the scene that Bombur seems to be the designated chef. Not major character moments, but a nice touch.

Thorin and Gandalf converse in the farmhouse. What do you think of the placement of the two characters in this scene?



One thing that has always struck me in this scene is the physical size difference between Gandalf and Thorin. Even though Gandalf interacted with the dwarves in Bag End, Thorin seems very small here (possibly due to the human-sized room they are standing in). Despite his size, Thorin holds his own in the argument with stout dwarvish pride. I like how he doesn't tip his head upwards to look at Gandalf, simply moving his eyes to look him in the eye. Both clearly respect each other. It is implied that Gandalf has spoken about Rivendell before, so it seems to be an ongoing disagreement, and Thorin sounds frustrated. Even though he holds Gandalf in high esteem, he is determined not to compromise the quest in any way and seems to have the last say with regards to how they will proceed.

Thorin is determined to avoid Rivendell, despite Gandalf's urging. What is your opinion on the deviation from the book with regards to Rivendell?
Thorin doesn't just have a grudge against Thranduil, but against all elves. He calls their 'lack' of action a "betrayal", a strong word implying the elves had a 'duty' of sorts to provide some sort of assistance, not just against Smaug but afterwards as well. Gandalf tells Thorin that he is "neither of them [father or grandfather]", as if he hopes that as king Thorin will be able to rekindle the dwarves' relationship with elves and put the past behind them, unlike Thorin who feels the loyal need to defend his father/grandfather's honour. These words are later relevant in Rivendell in the EE when Elrond speaks of the madness that runs in Thorin's family. Gandalf hopes that Thorin will break the pattern, whereas Thorin fears that he will succumb to the same. In this way, Gandalf's conversation is not just about elves but also about how Thorin will develop as a ruler. The youthfulness and openness of Fili and Kili implies that they may have had the ability to achieve what Thorin could not in this regard.

What is Thorin's plan then? Where will they stop to get supplies?
I have no idea how Thorin hopes to read the map. I think he hopes that when they get to Erebor they will be able to find some more clues or the secret door without the help of whatever the hidden message is.



We see here the start of the friendly bond between Bilbo and Balin (Bilbo also seems more comfortable with the ponies now!) What does Balin think of Thorin and Gandalf's annoyance? Does he (or the other dwarves) know about Gandalf's opinions about Rivendell or what Thorin is planning?
I love that we already see a closeness between Bilbo and Balin. Balin seems like such a kind-hearted and gentle dwarf Smile Bilbo's concern at Gandalf leaving shows that he is still quite out of his depth with regards to the whole quest. He's probably a little nervous at being left with all the dwarves! I think that Balin can probably guess what Gandalf and Thorin have been arguing about. Being Thorin's confidante, it is likely they have discussed the issue before, probably with Dwalin as well. Whether or not the other dwarves are aware of it, I think they would follow Thorin's lead regardless.

Any other thoughts/opinions/likes/dislikes about this scene? Looking forward to seeing what you think. Have a nice weekend!


(This post was edited by Nunilo on Nov 24 2013, 3:16am)


Kim
Valinor


Nov 25 2013, 12:35am

Post #2 of 13 (259 views)
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Trollshaws [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for the thoughtful post Nunilo!

There is a sharp transition from the menacing introduction of Dol Guldur to the relatively peaceful arrival of the dwarves, accompanied by sounds of chirping birds and plodding hooves. What does this say about the quest?
It feels like they’ve settled into their traveling routine, and are about to go about their regular business of finding a place to stop for the night, and no one but Gandalf can sense that something might be amiss.

The shot opens with Thorin in front of the line of ponies. What do you think of the location of this scene? Has the audience's views on Thorin changed now that we know a significant part of his backstory, as retold by Balin?
I really like this location, the cliffs in the background are really cool. I also really like the little touches like the bird house in front of the ruined farmhouse. Thorin has been established as the leader, and at first, there’s nothing to indicate that this night is any different from previous ones.

There is a little nod to the book here, with Oin and Gloin being asked to light the fires.
Yes, I like these little nods to the book.

Thorin and Gandalf converse in the farmhouse. What do you think of the placement of the two characters in this scene?
As you say, the size difference is really evident in this scene. I really like how this conversation progresses, as Gandalf is trying to make Thorin see reason, but Thorin just can’t get past his views. He’s so focused on the past, dwelling on what happened to his father and grandfather, and at the same time, reminding the audience of what happened in the prologue and the battle of Moria. And how those histories are constantly weighing him down, to the point where he’s not really fully thinking through the situation they are in.

Thorin is determined to avoid Rivendell, despite Gandalf's urging. What is your opinion on the deviation from the book with regards to Rivendell?
Well, it certainly introduces more tension and drama in the movie.

What is Thorin's plan then? Where will they stop to get supplies?
I don’t think Thorin really has a plan, other than they’ll figure it out on their own, he just can’t think past his feelings of enmity with the elves.

We see here the start of the friendly bond between Bilbo and Balin (Bilbo also seems more comfortable with the ponies now!) What does Balin think of Thorin and Gandalf's annoyance? Does he (or the other dwarves) know about Gandalf's opinions about Rivendell or what Thorin is planning?
Yes, it does seem like Bilbo is more comfortable with Balin, but as he watches Gandalf leave, you can see he’s a bit anxious, probably wondering, “wait, what just happened?”. And Balin can probably guess what they’re discussing, but it happens so fast, there’s not much time for him to join in the conversation.


Oakenshield watch: can’t really see it in this scene, presumably it’s still on the back of the pony.
Thorin’s hair: well, it just looks magnificent in this scene, dark yet gray streaked, sun-dappled and gently waving in the breeze. Smile




FaramirAndEowynMorningStar
Rohan


Nov 25 2013, 4:09pm

Post #3 of 13 (209 views)
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[After glancing at the "Thorin's Hair" caption at the bottom] Boy, have you got it bad, Kim!// [In reply to] Can't Post

Sly

..The Lord of Silver Fountains
.....The King of Carven Stone
..The King Under the Mountain
.......Shall come into his own

..And the bells will ring in gladness
......At the Mountain King's return
..But all shall fail in sadness
....And the lake will shine and burn


FaramirAndEowynMorningStar
Rohan


Nov 25 2013, 4:45pm

Post #4 of 13 (215 views)
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Great discussion here, Nunilo! [In reply to] Can't Post

There is a sharp transition from the menacing introduction of Dol Guldur to the relatively peaceful arrival of the dwarves, accompanied by sounds of chirping birds and plodding hooves. What does this say about the quest?
It shows the innocence of the land: the darkness has not reached it yet, the sky is blue, the birds are singing, sun is shining almost seeming to be a good omen and sparking some hope within Thorin... what could be more better than a day like that? Smile

The shot opens with Thorin in front of the line of ponies. What do you think of the location of this scene? Has the audience's views on Thorin changed now that we know a significant part of his backstory, as retold by Balin?
Well, I do confess my views on him was positive from the very start (not to mention how majestic he looked when he walked through Bag-End, hence the reason why I did that CHOW discussion Sly). I understood that bad things had happened to him in his life, and had hardened his complete personality. We know nothing, though, of what exact pain he has suffered, but you can tell that his happy side is hiding somewhere deep down that rarely comes out until something unexpected happens.
But because we see a little insight of what has happened to him has made me love sympathise with him more - and that he had a good reason to get angry with Fili and Kili when they joked about Orcs when they did not know of the true horror behind a night raid.

There is a little nod to the book here, with Oin and Gloin being asked to light the fires.
I always remembered that bit from the book [I don't know why, it was just one of those things that stuck in my head] - that they were trying to make a fire but even though Oin and Gloin were very good at making fires (wind or no wind, rain or no rain) they were unable to make it in the rain. Smile

Thorin and Gandalf converse in the farmhouse. What do you think of the placement of the two characters in this scene?
Clearly, Gandalf is taller than Thorin, but his #Majesty is just as "powerful" as Gandalf here. I really like how Gandalf [being a wizard] is on the left, being symbolic for magic and Thorin is on the right, holding his ground.
I think he really should have listened to Gandalf though (but when did anyone ever listen to anything Gandalf said? Laugh)

Thorin is determined to avoid Rivendell, despite Gandalf's urging. What is your opinion on the deviation from the book with regards to Rivendell?
I like the way the filmmakers decided to have Thorin hate the elves (and hate anything or anyone belonging to its name) and want to "go around" Rivendell instead of staying there.
If I were in Thorin's position myself, when the elves "betrayed" him, I would certainly hate the elves - but I would remind myself that not all the elves are like that, and maybe his grandfather did not make matters better by refusing to give the elves any gold/jewellery.

What is Thorin's plan then? Where will they stop to get supplies?
Actually, I think he would make it up as he would go along (I know that sounds cheesy, and a lot like Captain Jack Sparrow, but I think that's what he was thinking of doing). Smile

We see here the start of the friendly bond between Bilbo and Balin (Bilbo also seems more comfortable with the ponies now!) What does Balin think of Thorin and Gandalf's annoyance? Does he (or the other dwarves) know about Gandalf's opinions about Rivendell or what Thorin is planning?
I really like Balin and Bilbo's friendship, which I am sure we are all going to see in the Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again, and the way that they become friends since the very beginning.
I don't think any of the dwarves knew what was going on, except that the wizard was storming out from the company to his horse saying he had enough of dwarves for one day... but I think Balin maybe has an idea of what went on between them and that the discussion had clearly not turned out well.


Another amazing CHOW thread here with very thoughtful questions. Thanks, Nunilo. Wink

..The Lord of Silver Fountains
.....The King of Carven Stone
..The King Under the Mountain
.......Shall come into his own

..And the bells will ring in gladness
......At the Mountain King's return
..But all shall fail in sadness
....And the lake will shine and burn

(This post was edited by FaramirAndEowynMorningStar on Nov 25 2013, 4:46pm)


Kim
Valinor


Nov 25 2013, 6:24pm

Post #5 of 13 (198 views)
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Hee hee, actually that reminds me [In reply to] Can't Post

I forgot something: I just finished reading the AUJ Official Movie Guide as I didn't get it last year, and there's a passage in there describing Thorin's hair as a "lion's mane". I would say it certainly lives up to it's title in this scene! Tongue


FaramirAndEowynMorningStar
Rohan


Nov 25 2013, 6:34pm

Post #6 of 13 (200 views)
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True. He's gonna be the "mane" event like the good King was before... [In reply to] Can't Post

And (everybody now!) he just can't wait to be King!

Sorry, I know that was random... Evil The Lion King was ever my favourite Disney film.

..The Lord of Silver Fountains
.....The King of Carven Stone
..The King Under the Mountain
.......Shall come into his own

..And the bells will ring in gladness
......At the Mountain King's return
..But all shall fail in sadness
....And the lake will shine and burn


Kim
Valinor


Nov 25 2013, 6:45pm

Post #7 of 13 (194 views)
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well, I'd be "lion" if I said [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't want to see him become King! Tongue


Nunilo
Bree


Nov 25 2013, 9:36pm

Post #8 of 13 (175 views)
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Thanks for the response! [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I also really like the little touches like the bird house in front of the ruined farmhouse.


I NEVER noticed this bird house before. I'll have to go back and look at the scene again even more closely. Laugh


Nunilo
Bree


Nov 25 2013, 9:47pm

Post #9 of 13 (178 views)
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Thorin's Majesty [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Clearly, Gandalf is taller than Thorin, but his #Majesty is just as "powerful" as Gandalf here. I really like how Gandalf [being a wizard] is on the left, being symbolic for magic and Thorin is on the right, holding his ground.


I really like the way you described Thorin there compared to Gandalf. It's exactly what I meant but I couldn't really find the words to express it. #Majesty is perfect.


Quote
Actually, I think he would make it up as he would go along (I know that sounds cheesy, and a lot like Captain Jack Sparrow, but I think that's what he was thinking of doing)

I agree with this. I think the dwarves' first hurdle was to get the quest up and actually going. All the other stuff (finding a way in, killing a dragon....) can just come later Laugh


(This post was edited by Nunilo on Nov 25 2013, 9:54pm)


Nunilo
Bree


Nov 25 2013, 9:49pm

Post #10 of 13 (177 views)
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I've seen Fili... [In reply to] Can't Post

... described by someone as a "golden lion". Good hair must run in the family.Smile


cats16
Valinor


Nov 25 2013, 10:52pm

Post #11 of 13 (173 views)
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Trolls-be-trollin' [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
There is a sharp transition from the menacing introduction of Dol Guldur to the relatively peaceful arrival of the dwarves, accompanied by sounds of chirping birds and plodding hooves. What does this say about the quest?

I agree with you, Nunilo. They're still in the safe part of their journey (not for long!). I think it's neat how the audience receives this hint at danger from Dol Guldur, but then is forced to forget it momentarily with the trolls. Sort of like real life--we're looking ahead at a problem, when another, more immediate, one comes up.

The shot opens with Thorin in front of the line of ponies. What do you think of the location of this scene? Has the audience's views on Thorin changed now that we know a significant part of his backstory, as retold by Balin?

It's a very beautifully staged shot. PJ uses several shots like this--with the landscape cutting across the frame--for different effects.

Thorin is the unquestionable leader, fearlessly taking them onward. I think that now, after hearing some of his backstory, Thorin becomes even more sympathetic than from the prologue alone. His father and grandfather are gone, and it's up to him to make things right.

There is a little nod to the book here, with Oin and Gloin being asked to light the fires.

I love these little things, too. Just goes to show the detail put into the movie, whether the audience picks up on it or not.

Thorin and Gandalf converse in the farmhouse. What do you think of the placement of the two characters in this scene?

Like you, my eyes are drawn to the differences in height. To me, Gandalf looks Elf-like here. I think it's a great thing, as many in ME did believe he was of the Eldar.

Thorin really does stand his ground during this conversation. He faces Gandalf with his chest pointed toward the Wizard, asserting himself. The performances in this scene are wonderful.

What is Thorin's plan then? Where will they stop to get supplies?

It reminds me of that passage from the book, where the narrator or one of the dwarves (can't remember off the top of my head) make a comment to the effect of: they didn't think they would get that far to read the map, and weren't going to worry about it until they got there.

Any other thoughts/opinions/likes/dislikes about this scene? Looking forward to seeing what you think. Have a nice weekend!


Great screencaps and questions, Nunilo! This is a really nice scene to look at. Many thanks for leading the discussion. Smile



FaramirAndEowynMorningStar
Rohan


Nov 26 2013, 7:05pm

Post #12 of 13 (155 views)
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Haha, brilliant joke there Kim! [In reply to] Can't Post

Laugh
I do agree with you there though.

..The Lord of Silver Fountains
.....The King of Carven Stone
..The King Under the Mountain
.......Shall come into his own

..And the bells will ring in gladness
......At the Mountain King's return
..But all shall fail in sadness
....And the lake will shine and burn

(This post was edited by FaramirAndEowynMorningStar on Nov 26 2013, 7:06pm)


FaramirAndEowynMorningStar
Rohan


Nov 26 2013, 7:13pm

Post #13 of 13 (153 views)
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Thanks, it's nice to see people agreeing with me. [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile
Majestic was the actual word that sprung into my mind the moment the door of Bag-End opened. Ever since then - and since I saw others calling him thus - I have referred to him as his #Majesty. I am good friends with PekishOwl on DeviantArt so it was nice to see how she interpreted what the Hashtag (#) means - the dungeon bars! Laugh

I think 99% of the time Thorin is improvising and 1% knowing what he's doing/where he's going. Sly

..The Lord of Silver Fountains
.....The King of Carven Stone
..The King Under the Mountain
.......Shall come into his own

..And the bells will ring in gladness
......At the Mountain King's return
..But all shall fail in sadness
....And the lake will shine and burn

 
 

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