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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Smaug's fate...
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moreorless
Rohan

Dec 23 2013, 9:38am

Post #1 of 26 (1046 views)
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Smaug's fate... Can't Post

I'm guessing this topic is going to create a few heated exchanges but does anything think we might see the films deviate from the books in this reguard? way back when then films were first announced when Smaug might be killed off was an often debated point and I'd argue the spilt into three films makes this point even hotter.

As things are setup in DOS we see that Smaug is on his way to laketown and presumabley will arrive there early in TABA. The issue this creates for me is that your potentially having the most iconic action scene of the book including the death of the main villain and the "peak" of one of the hero's pretty early into the film. Obviously DOS has built up these events but theres a different IMHO between events making logical sense and building towards them in a self contained film.

Whats the alternative? the most obvious change to me would be to have the hinted at alliance between Smaug and Sauron actually happen and then for Bard to kill Smaug during the BOT5A, so Smaug destroys laketown and is then somehow diverted. In terms of the existing story I think you could actually make this change without changing its flow THAT much, Bard could still be heroic saving laketowners, the master could still be incompetent and corrupt and the Dwarves barricading themselves in was originally done to protect against Smaug anyway.

The tougher challenge would IMHO actually be to work Smaug into the Sauron story, how does he relate to his allies? how does he play into any confrontation in Dol Guldor?

The alternative to shifting Smaug's death to me seems like it could be to delay it, perhaps have him attack some kind of outpost town early in TABA rather than Laketown itself? maybe have the master send troops out to attack him on the lake? that would give the film the chance to hold back Bards killing of him until latter in the film allowing both for a buildup of tension and for its significance to the Sauron story to be played up.


(This post was edited by moreorless on Dec 23 2013, 9:38am)


poochies
Rivendell

Dec 23 2013, 11:35am

Post #2 of 26 (535 views)
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I would think they'd kill himm off in Laketown , as the black arrow and wind lance was shown for this... [In reply to] Can't Post

And I would think ( and hope) this would happen as Smaug is attacking Laketown at the beginning


Ardamírë
Valinor


Dec 23 2013, 1:53pm

Post #3 of 26 (492 views)
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How can he not... [In reply to] Can't Post

die? His death is the catalyst that leads to so many groups trying to claim the treasure. Simply put, if there's no Smaug death, there's no BOFA. It just does not work.

"Yet fairest of all are the willows of Nan-tathren, pale green, or silver in the wind, and the rustle of their innumerable leaves is a spell of music: day and night would flicker by uncounted, while still I stood knee-deep in grass and listened. There I was enchanted, and forgot the Sea in my heart." - Unfinished Tales


Estel78
Tol Eressea

Dec 23 2013, 1:57pm

Post #4 of 26 (459 views)
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Pacing [In reply to] Can't Post

Pacing, the flow or building towards something is very important in movies, so i agree with you that killing off the main baddie at the beginning of TABA doesn't make sense and i'm sure he won't be killed off that soon into the movie.

But that changes the circumstances that led to the BOT5A since in the book if i remember correctly it was them squabbling over the treasure, now that they have got access to it.

It'll be interesting to see how they do it...


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Dec 23 2013, 2:24pm

Post #5 of 26 (451 views)
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The issue though is [In reply to] Can't Post

The Arkenstone. The Arkenstone scene between Thorin, Thranduil, Bard and Bilbo we know was shot as Richard talked about it in a presser for AUJ so they have to have his demise and the confrontation I think before the BoT5A starts. It's the catalyst for the eventual redemption of Thorin's and Bilbo's relaltionship later on.

I think Smaug will die at Laketown, we'll have the confrontation and the BoT5A will proceed as in the book.

The more problematic issue is what happens to the dwarves in laketown. Do they rejoin the company at the confrontation scene? (to me the most likely). I don't see time for Thorin to go running to Laketown to assist, then back to the mountain. I just don't see that happening but who knows given the fact that PJ had Gandalf high tail it to Rhudaur then Dol Guldur in the blink of an eye.

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


painjoiker
Grey Havens


Dec 23 2013, 2:25pm

Post #6 of 26 (429 views)
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Smaug will die, [In reply to] Can't Post

Smaug will die during the first 40 minutes of the film Smile
They won't keep him alive for long as the attack on Lake-Town can last forever Shocked
There will be a prologue and then shortly afterwards there will be Smaugs attack on Lake-Town which may be intercut between some other scenes (Gandalf in Dol Guldur or the company at Erebor) and then he will be killed by Bard with the black arrow before the first 40 minutes have passed Wink

Mark my words!

Vocalist in the progressive metal band 5 Minutes Late
and the progressive doom rock band Mater Thallium


chris10112
Bree

Dec 23 2013, 2:51pm

Post #7 of 26 (434 views)
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I've considered this [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The Arkenstone. The Arkenstone scene between Thorin, Thranduil, Bard and Bilbo we know was shot as Richard talked about it in a presser for AUJ so they have to have his demise and the confrontation I think before the BoT5A starts. It's the catalyst for the eventual redemption of Thorin's and Bilbo's relaltionship later on.

I think Smaug will die at Laketown, we'll have the confrontation and the BoT5A will proceed as in the book.

The more problematic issue is what happens to the dwarves in laketown. Do they rejoin the company at the confrontation scene? (to me the most likely). I don't see time for Thorin to go running to Laketown to assist, then back to the mountain. I just don't see that happening but who knows given the fact that PJ had Gandalf high tail it to Rhudaur then Dol Guldur in the blink of an eye.


What I think might happen is that Thranduil and Bard will use them as hostages for negotiation during the Siege of Erebor, and then Bilbo will deliver them the Arkenstone in exchange for them being allowed to go back into Erebor. It adds a bit better motivation to Bilbo handing over the Arkenstone to Thranduil, in trying to reunite the company and keep Bofur/Oin/Kili/Fili safe.


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Dec 23 2013, 3:00pm

Post #8 of 26 (398 views)
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That is an excellent idea! [In reply to] Can't Post

I really like that. Indeed it does change the whole thing with Bilbo quite a bit, and it will further define Thorin's madness when he's furious at the exchange.

I hope this is the case. It's a change I can totally get behind.

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


moreorless
Rohan

Dec 23 2013, 3:09pm

Post #9 of 26 (401 views)
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Was his demise actually talked about? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
The Arkenstone. The Arkenstone scene between Thorin, Thranduil, Bard and Bilbo we know was shot as Richard talked about it in a presser for AUJ so they have to have his demise and the confrontation I think before the BoT5A starts. It's the catalyst for the eventual redemption of Thorin's and Bilbo's relaltionship later on.

I think Smaug will die at Laketown, we'll have the confrontation and the BoT5A will proceed as in the book.



Was Smaug being dead actually mentioned?

I wouldn't say that necessarily needs to be the case for this scene or the confrontation to make sense. If say Smaug has attacked Laketown but then somehow been diverted into an alliance with Sauron then Thorin is still going to be trying to stake his claim and the laketowners are still going to want recompense. I could see Thorin pridefully believing that his liquid gold stunt had scared Smaug off in that situation.

Again to me the real problem is that TABA is going to need to work as a self contained film. That means that whilst Smaug dying early in it would make sense it would arguably not have the drama it deserved due to a lack of buildup.

As I said to be the alternative seems to be to have the actual laketown attack delayed for awhile, let some suspence and expectation build up to it and perhaps Smaug's actual death doesn't happen for say an hour or so into the film concurrent with the Dol Guldor confrontation.


Quote
The more problematic issue is what happens to the dwarves in laketown. Do they rejoin the company at the confrontation scene? (to me the most likely). I don't see time for Thorin to go running to Laketown to assist, then back to the mountain. I just don't see that happening but who knows given the fact that PJ had Gandalf high tail it to Rhudaur then Dol Guldur in the blink of an eye.


I'd guess this is less of a problem and more of a deliberate choice, the Dwarves being with the laketowners obviously offers the potential for drama on both sides.


Arannir
Valinor


Dec 23 2013, 3:44pm

Post #10 of 26 (374 views)
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Exactly. [In reply to] Can't Post

And PB has metioned several times how she loves the fact that the story really only reaches its climax after the big baddie is gone.

I am sure they will go for that unusual structure. And they should.


“All good stories deserve embellishment."

Praise is subjective. And so is criticism.

"I am afraid it is only too likely to be true what you say about the critics and the public. I am dreading the publication for it will be impossible not to mind what is said. I have exposed my heart to be shot at."


DavidDevant
Lorien

Dec 23 2013, 3:51pm

Post #11 of 26 (371 views)
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I'm not sure I see the issue, in principle. [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't see it as being overly different to the question of the battle of Pelennor in ROTK.

Certainly there needs to be a sense of forward motion but I think that will be helped by the Orc army that we have already seen setting out from Dol Guldur. I suspect that Thorin's madness will also have started to flare up before Smaug is finished off (one can certainly picture scenes of other dwarves/ Bilbo wanting to return to Laketown to seek Fili,Kili etc and Thorin refusing to leave his treasure).

So I don't envisage anything other than Smaug being killed around a third of the way through TABA. Phillippa Boyens quote in EW on the matter rather supports this too (that the death of dragon comes before the battle)


DavidDevant
Lorien

Dec 23 2013, 4:15pm

Post #12 of 26 (348 views)
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In fact, now that I think of it, maybe Bilbo will go back to Laketown [In reply to] Can't Post

With the information about Smaug's missing scale and the Arkenstone in his pocket.

It would certainly fit with Jackson's approach to characters.


Eruvandi
Tol Eressea


Dec 23 2013, 6:45pm

Post #13 of 26 (273 views)
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You mean in the book? [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To

Was Smaug being dead actually mentioned?

I wouldn't say that necessarily needs to be the case for this scene or the confrontation to make sense. If say Smaug has attacked Laketown but then somehow been diverted into an alliance with Sauron then Thorin is still going to be trying to stake his claim and the laketowners are still going to want recompense. I could see Thorin pridefully believing that his liquid gold stunt had scared Smaug off in that situation.

Again to me the real problem is that TABA is going to need to work as a self contained film. That means that whilst Smaug dying early in it would make sense it would arguably not have the drama it deserved due to a lack of buildup.

As I said to be the alternative seems to be to have the actual laketown attack delayed for awhile, let some suspence and expectation build up to it and perhaps Smaug's actual death doesn't happen for say an hour or so into the film concurrent with the Dol Guldor confrontation.





If you are asking if Smaug being dead was actually mentioned in the book then: Yes, yes it was. Rather explicitly actually. Bard shoots him and he falls dying into the flaming ruins of Lake-town. http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Smaug As I recall, it is also mentioned that his body sank to the bottom of the lake and rotted and you could see his giant bones down there for quite some time afterwards.

I think it is highly necessary for Smaug to die right at the beginning because if he didn't die, he'd chase down the people of Lake-Town and kill them all, then return to the mountain and finish off the dwarves and Bilbo. Then we'd have no story. Even if Smaug has an alliance with Sauron that's not going to stop him from destroying Lake-town because he is a psychopath and is angry that they assisted the dwarves in the quest to reclaim the mountain. Either Smaug dies or everyone else does.


moreorless
Rohan

Dec 23 2013, 7:45pm

Post #14 of 26 (260 views)
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No by Jackson or someone involved in the film... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
If you are asking if Smaug being dead was actually mentioned in the book then: Yes, yes it was. Rather explicitly actually. Bard shoots him and he falls dying into the flaming ruins of Lake-town. http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Smaug As I recall, it is also mentioned that his body sank to the bottom of the lake and rotted and you could see his giant bones down there for quite some time afterwards.

I think it is highly necessary for Smaug to die right at the beginning because if he didn't die, he'd chase down the people of Lake-Town and kill them all, then return to the mountain and finish off the dwarves and Bilbo. Then we'd have no story. Even if Smaug has an alliance with Sauron that's not going to stop him from destroying Lake-town because he is a psychopath and is angry that they assisted the dwarves in the quest to reclaim the mountain. Either Smaug dies or everyone else does.


No I mean was Smaug's death mentioned in the production diary.

Smaug would need to be kept from destroying laketown, I think not to have that happen would be a cheat after the end of DOS. What I'm suggesting is that his death may somehow be delayed.


dormouse
Half-elven


Dec 23 2013, 7:53pm

Post #15 of 26 (263 views)
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Agreed.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't see how you could have any of that happening if Smaug was still alive. If he's alive then he's out there somewhere and no one is going to feel secure enough to argue over treasure. If he's alive then the treasure is still his.


moreorless
Rohan

Dec 23 2013, 7:57pm

Post #16 of 26 (266 views)
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The difference to me is the timing... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I can't see it as being overly different to the question of the battle of Pelennor in ROTK.

Certainly there needs to be a sense of forward motion but I think that will be helped by the Orc army that we have already seen setting out from Dol Guldur. I suspect that Thorin's madness will also have started to flare up before Smaug is finished off (one can certainly picture scenes of other dwarves/ Bilbo wanting to return to Laketown to seek Fili,Kili etc and Thorin refusing to leave his treasure).

So I don't envisage anything other than Smaug being killed around a third of the way through TABA. Phillippa Boyens quote in EW on the matter rather supports this too (that the death of dragon comes before the battle)


Pelennor in ROTK concludes over 2 hours into the film, plus of course we get to see the entire setup of it from Sauron's forces leaving Minas Morgul.

I wouldn't say that Smaug needs to be kept alive until the BOT5A for the film to work but I do think the attack and espeically his death needs a good deal of buildup. Not only is it the death of a major villain but also the defining point of Bard's character.


Eruvandi
Tol Eressea


Dec 23 2013, 8:22pm

Post #17 of 26 (248 views)
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Oh. Hmmm... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm thinking and thinking and I can't remember Smaug's death specifically being mentioned in any of the production diaries. However, I am basing this statement completely on memory so I may be wrong. In fact, I don't remember the vlogs saying much at all about film 3 other than a brief mention here and there and those are usually about Bo5a. It seems they are staying pretty hush-hush about Smaug's storyline in general.

I know Luke Evans mentioned in an interview somewhere (not the vlogs) that he had a bow bigger that the one we see in DOS. It was taller than him and he had to draw it with his hand turned backwards in order to pull it back behind his ear. Given the size of the black arrow, one could assume that this is the bow with which he will shoot the arrow at Smaug. Despite the presence of the wind-lance in Lake-town, my theory is that the wind-lance plan will fail for whatever reason and therefore Bard will have to use the huge bow.

I'm having trouble thinking of how Smaug's death would be delayed. I feel like a delay in his death would take too much time away from the rest of the story and there is apparently plenty of story already being crammed into TABA. It's still an interesting theory though. If Smaug's death is delayed from Lake-town, where/when would you suggest it happen instead?


Orc Berserker
Bree


Dec 23 2013, 11:31pm

Post #18 of 26 (204 views)
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That could work! [In reply to] Can't Post

I like the idea that the Windlace is destroyed during Smaug's attack... The audience will think "oh crap how will they kill him now?"

Then Bard gets out his long bow, equips the black arrow, waits until Smaug gets a bit too close (the arrogant worm!) and then WHOOSH! An epic money shot that only Peter Jackson can deliver.

The way they have left DOS, they could start TABA in a number of different ways. We could start at Dol Guldur, with Gandalf/Sauron/Azog storyline. Or we could catch up with Legolas chasing Bolg (I really hope he doesn't kill him before BO5A)

I too think that we will see Smaug's attack and demise in the first 30-45 minutes of the film. Non-book readers in the audience will be wondering what could possibly happen next. Thorin's storyline is going to blow us all away. Then the 'gathering of the clouds' will be amazing. Can't wait to see the Dwarves from the Iron Hills!

We'll probably get to see Radagast telling the White Council about Dol Guldur as well at some point.


DavidDevant
Lorien

Dec 23 2013, 11:32pm

Post #19 of 26 (198 views)
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Well I certainly agree [In reply to] Can't Post

That Smaug won't be killed in the first five minutes. I would think about a third of the way through.


Yva
Rivendell


Dec 23 2013, 11:42pm

Post #20 of 26 (194 views)
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It's just that [In reply to] Can't Post

when you suggest that Smaug be "diverted" to Dol Guldur, what immediately comes up is the image of the Nazgul being called back to Mount Doom. It's a bit of an unfortunate association for me.

I don't agree with what you suggest but I understand why you're suggesting it.

I do think Smaug needs to be killed shortly after he set off for Laketown just like in the book, but that doesn't mean it needs to happen 10 minutes into the movie. I wouldn't be surprised if TABA didn't start with Laketown at all, just to tease the audience, who are bursting with anticipation after the massive cliffhanger, a bit more. The movie could be kicked off with Radagast and the Dol Guldur line, then we can rather easily switch to Bolg being chased by Legolas etc., and only then we go back to Laketown in turmoil. That way, the audience have enough time to get familiar with the world again, and tension is built up nevertheless.

Bard doesn't need any more introducing I think, thanks to the enhanced and well done backstory that he got in DOS.

Edit - Orc Berserker beat me to it with the TABA beginning! :)


(This post was edited by Yva on Dec 23 2013, 11:44pm)


Yva
Rivendell


Dec 23 2013, 11:54pm

Post #21 of 26 (182 views)
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I thought about it [In reply to] Can't Post

but do they need the information? Bard seems to believe the story about the one scale that came off. Or was it just Bain? I can't remember now.

True, why would PJ specifically show us the moment with Bilbo noticing the missing scale?


Orc Berserker
Bree


Dec 24 2013, 12:16am

Post #22 of 26 (177 views)
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Great minds... [In reply to] Can't Post

:)

10 mins on a surprising prologue
Another 5-10 mins on Dol Guldur
5 minutes on Legolas

That's at least 20-25 mins of movie before we get to Lake-Town / Smaug!

I wonder if he will speak during the attack? I imagine it could last anything between 15 to 30 mins, once we've followed Bard, Tauriel and the Dwarves...

Sadly, we won't know for another year...


tsmith675
Gondor


Dec 24 2013, 12:50am

Post #23 of 26 (149 views)
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I just assumed... [In reply to] Can't Post

Bilbo seeing the missing scale was just to show the audiences that Bard was correct about it.

"This day we FIGHT!"


Yva
Rivendell


Dec 24 2013, 1:37am

Post #24 of 26 (143 views)
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Surprising prologue :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I like that.

Also, I just realized Bard was still in jail (I forgot!). That's even more potential for some pre-kill action there.

I'd imagine Smaug won't be in a talking mood but he also won't pass up the chance to say a word or two (who would, with that voice? Smile).


MouthofSauron
Tol Eressea


Dec 24 2013, 2:29am

Post #25 of 26 (132 views)
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i don't know about this.. [In reply to] Can't Post

i don't think its a matter of changing things, it's a matter of they really can't, let's say smaug lives....so what would spark the BOT5A?? The men want a piece of the treasure because laketown is destroyed, elves, dwarves ect...Plus why have Bard in the films? If he doesn't kill smaug than what is the point of his character? Have you considered this...Smaug dies...the necromancer/smaug possesses his body and now smaug is sauron reincarnated?? Than they can tie barad-dur and the flaming eye to sauron breathing fire onto the top of the tower and literally shooting his soul out of "possessed smaug".

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

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