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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
In the Dwarfs "vs" Smaug sequence, was Smaug actually trying to kill them?


Dec 23 2013, 1:44am

Post #1 of 25 (1220 views)
In the Dwarfs "vs" Smaug sequence, was Smaug actually trying to kill them? Can't Post

In this scene, Smaug always seems to be missing opportunities to kill them and boasting about his amazing qualities. Sometimes it appears he is genuinely trying to kill them and is just failing and other times it appears he is just being lazy and toying with them like a cat with mice.
I'm wondering whether this constant contradiction of Smaug's ability/intentions was just inconsistency on PJ and the crew's part of whether it was intentional to show Smaug being not-so-amazing and constantly try to big himself up.

I really do want Smaug to come off as toying with them but he keeps failing after seeming to try hard. Having Smaug unable to kill a few Dwarfs when trying to kill them undermines his power and makes him less scary. Smaug is egotistical to a fault but this ego was developed because of his great power. The dragon should not come across as insecure and not so dangerous.

Do you guys think Smaug is toying with the Dwarfs in this scene or do you think he is genuinely trying and failing?


Dec 23 2013, 1:54am

Post #2 of 25 (666 views)
Playing with his food [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe he was trying to torment them first then kill them? To me it seemed like he was playing a game but in the end didn't think their deaths were worth the time. Notice how he said to Bilbo "so you care about them? (the Lake Towners)" and went off to burn the town? He's cruel. I think he enjoyed hunting them too much to kill them outright. That or he was between a rock and a hard place, literally. The dwarves were able maneuver much more easily around the horde than he was.


Aragorn the Elfstone
Tol Eressea

Dec 23 2013, 1:59am

Post #3 of 25 (619 views)
It's the equivalent of trying to swat a group of reallly annoying flies... [In reply to] Can't Post

...not to mention Smaug has been sitting on his bum for a really long time, growing lazy.

"All men dream; but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds awake to find that it was vanity; But the dreamers of day are dangerous men. That they may act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible."
- T.E. Lawrence

(This post was edited by Aragorn the Elfstone on Dec 23 2013, 2:00am)


Dec 23 2013, 2:03am

Post #4 of 25 (662 views)
One thing I hated was [In reply to] Can't Post

Smaug claimed he could smell them miles away or at least outside of the mountain. But he couldn't smell them when they were hiding under a bridge! They were only 20 feet under him!


Dec 23 2013, 2:15am

Post #5 of 25 (636 views)
Cartoon. [In reply to] Can't Post

I sensed that this particular film stressed the physicality of the dragon. Perhaps, Smaug conveys more of a physical
presence rather than a more cerebral/cafty presence. The former aspect might accentuate the circus nature
of the dwarf chase.
I have to say, I also enjoy the cartoon Smaug as he can carry a conversation and is a frank dragon
regarding his prowess. He just sits on the pile of gold and converses with his invisible foe. He wants the identity
of the intruder and goes along with the riddles until his greatness discovers the answers. His taunt is frank and
awesome. That cartoon scene between Smaug and Bilbo is part of the magic and charm of story, I think. Thoughts?


Dec 23 2013, 2:23am

Post #6 of 25 (566 views)
I also think [In reply to] Can't Post

Smaug had the " Godzilla effect" going on. In some scenes he seemed gigantic but in the next scene he seemed fairly small. The Thorin on his snout scene comes to mind.

Tol Eressea

Dec 23 2013, 4:03am

Post #7 of 25 (515 views)
I think at first [In reply to] Can't Post

it was because of arrogance and Smaug's desire to toy with them and scare them, like a cat playing with his food- he knows there's no other way out (I am not certain but I don't think he knew of the secret door).

But after a bit I think they royally pissed him off, and he decided that roasting isn't a suitably horrific death for them- basically a lazy way to kill them and also instantaneous with little suffering- and wishes to kill them more brutally and make them suffer.

Plus he was likely hungry, and wanted to eat them rather than incinerate them. And maneuverability may have been a challenge in the tighter quarters.

Gaubdûkhimâ gagin yâkùlib Mahal

May we meet again with the grace of Mahal

"Mizimel. Her name is Mizimel, because children are and always will be the jewel of all jewels. They are the greatest treasure one could ever have."


Dec 23 2013, 5:01am

Post #8 of 25 (528 views)
Jackson playing with his audience.// [In reply to] Can't Post



Dec 23 2013, 5:47am

Post #9 of 25 (497 views)
This, and [In reply to] Can't Post

Smaug probably knew that he could reach Laketown and do his damage well before the dwarves + Bilbo could even get out of Erebor to even warn anyone, let alone stop him from destroying Laketown.

Tol Eressea

Dec 23 2013, 6:32am

Post #10 of 25 (445 views)
Ditto [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
It's the equivalent of trying to swat a group of reallly annoying flies...not to mention Smaug has been sitting on his bum for a really long time, growing lazy.

I am fire.. I am death. -Smaug the magnificent

(This post was edited by MouthofSauron on Dec 23 2013, 6:33am)


Dec 23 2013, 7:59am

Post #11 of 25 (424 views)
I don't think his intensions stayed the same... [In reply to] Can't Post

I think Jackson was aiming for Smaug becoming progressively more annoyed as the scenes progressed, he was clearly playing with Bilbo and to some degree the Dwarves afterwards but as Thorin taughted him he became more "serious" in trying to kill them. Early on his just moving fairly sedately around Erebor, towards the end he's smashing it to bits.


Dec 23 2013, 9:46am

Post #12 of 25 (404 views)
I did really enjoy watching Smaug [In reply to] Can't Post

Worming his way around the great pillars and halls, but it was a mistake to change his intend from toasting and eating them, to just letting them go . What would have been better, if they had escaped back up the tunnel to the door in the side of the montain, just as Mr Tolkien had written it, where Smaug flys out, and in his rage, smashes the stone door and then flys on to the Lake town...


Dec 23 2013, 2:34pm

Post #13 of 25 (341 views)
The fact that you have to ask highlights how badly executed the Smaug confrontation was [In reply to] Can't Post



Dec 23 2013, 3:49pm

Post #14 of 25 (310 views)
dwarf scent [In reply to] Can't Post

Wasnt he smelling the scent of dwarf on bilbo?

The path of the Warrior is paved in blood, sweat, tears and ultimately death. He weeps for the fallen, bleeds for the cause, and sweats till he dies.
In memory of operation FALLEN ANGEL and the mighty Heroes of SEAL team 6, the PJ's, SOCOM aviation, and all those who fell in the Tangi Valley.
- Task force Warrior will not forget you


Dec 23 2013, 5:05pm

Post #15 of 25 (279 views)
Cat and mouse.... [In reply to] Can't Post

He doesn't doubt his ability to kill them so he plays with them first. He wants them to be impressed before they die - and perhaps also, he wants to know more about them - who they are and how many, and what they're up to. I don't think he senses any insecurity at all - not in his nature.


Dec 23 2013, 5:29pm

Post #16 of 25 (287 views)
Amazing how different it would have been if he had gotten one of them. [In reply to] Can't Post

The movie would have ended with Smaug triumphant and the Dwarves grieving. Not faithful to the book, of course, but neither was the what was presented to us. Could even be an obscure death of a character that manages to live. But the Dwarves coming out without a scratch was just crazy. Who would be scared of this lizard?

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


Dec 23 2013, 6:05pm

Post #17 of 25 (271 views)
Agreed, you have to roll your eyes when he says "I am death" [In reply to] Can't Post

I should say that Smaug was the part of the movie I was most looking forward to.


Dec 23 2013, 6:35pm

Post #18 of 25 (242 views)
Probably true of most people. [In reply to] Can't Post

His name was in the movie title after all!

I liked the parts of DoS I expected not to like and didn't like the parts I expected to like. Very strange movie.

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...


Dec 23 2013, 7:55pm

Post #19 of 25 (221 views)
Who would be scared? [In reply to] Can't Post

I would. I'm betting you would too if you could see that dragon for real!


Dec 23 2013, 9:03pm

Post #20 of 25 (207 views)
Maybe once Thorin and Co worked up a good sweat... [In reply to] Can't Post

...their scent was too pervasive and no longer a directional asset for Smaug. Wink

Bombur was probably scent-marking the whole place as they ran around.

NAArP: Not An Ardent purist since Arda was dented


Dec 23 2013, 11:37pm

Post #21 of 25 (162 views)
That and Erebor is designed by dwarves for dwarves [In reply to] Can't Post

..not huge dragons.

there are probably thousands of nooks, crannies and passageways that can easily accomodate a dwarf but not an enormous psychopathic Dragon.

Smaug is more Hannibal Lecter than Godzilla, he enjoys the mental exercise of teasing and playing with his prey, the power to put fear in others, the hunt being more exciting than the kill.


Dec 23 2013, 11:39pm

Post #22 of 25 (169 views)
The [In reply to] Can't Post

fight scene was pointless and only makes Smaug seem a bit useless. It's not believable that he couldn't kill at least one of the dwarves.


Dec 23 2013, 11:42pm

Post #23 of 25 (165 views)
We need to write a letter to PJ [In reply to] Can't Post

Let's tell him that there wasn't enough violence in one of his movies. That'll shock him.

Perhaps he can knock off one of the dwarves in the EE. Laugh

all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us...

Dlanor da Great

Dec 24 2013, 4:47am

Post #24 of 25 (111 views)
I remember during the scene that Smaug hints at the fact that he was playing with Bilbo... [In reply to] Can't Post

...he doesnt kill him even though he could see him and he says something along the lines of " I ve grown bored of this game". Or something like that.


Dec 24 2013, 6:06am

Post #25 of 25 (113 views)
No. He tought he had already killed them by means of the Arkenstone.// [In reply to] Can't Post



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