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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Chapter of the Week: The Defiler


Feb 14, 12:24pm

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Chapter of the Week: The Defiler Can't Post

AUJ Chapter of the Week: The Defiler

This week we are breaking down AUJ Chapter 18: The Defiler, which features Yazneg and his pack (or what’s left of it) returning to Weathertop to inform their leader Azog of their failure to kill the dwarves. Azog, as one might expect, is not pleased and makes an example of Yazneg, throwing him to the wargs, before ordering his minions to send out a word that there is a prize on the dwarves’ heads.

Allow me to begin by saying that I like Azog (both in AUJ and DOS, much more so than Bolg in DOS, for that matter). And although the aforementioned scene is a rather short one, I find it no less interesting than others in this film. Hoping that I’m not alone on this, I invite you to join me on a short walk through these 98 seconds (that must be a record!).

Here are a few questions for you to consider as well as my opinions and observations on the matter. Smile


1. I assume most of you have seen AUJ more than once (and LOTR too, of course). Did you recognize Weathertop at your first viewing of the film?
I didn’t, to be honest. Frown
2. What do you make of the filmmakers’ decision to let Azog and his band of orcs and wargs camp on the summit of Weathertop?
I myself like it. AUJ and DOS are full of references to LOTR films, some, in my opinion, excessive, a bit too one-to-one and/or contrived, but not this. This, I feel, is a much more subtle connection, one that I really enjoy.
3. Does this scene change the way you view this location in FOTR (assuming you’ve watched it after seeing AUJ)?
Having re-watched FOTR more than once after seeing AUJ, I can say it has changed the experience for me, even if only a little. It adds to Weathertop’s history, increasing its inauspiciousness, sense that “this place has seen evil before”.
4. Do you think Weathertop makes a good/logical place for Azog and his wargriding hunters to camp at?
I think it does. Not only is it an excellent spot for a lookout, but it also evokes, I believe, some “fond” memories for Sauron’s servants – it is a scene of victory for them (the destruction of the Tower of Amon Sûl by the Witch-king of Angmar and his forces in TA 1409; http://tolkiengateway.net/...athertop#Destruction). What do you think?

The meeting takes place at night. Makes sense – it is orcs we’re talking about. Add the cloudy sky glowing in cold ominous moonlight, plus the ruins, and it is quite a gothic scenery you get. Sounds like a cliché? Sure. Do I mind that? No at all.
5. How about you?
6. How do you feel about “The Defiler” sequence having been placed between “Moon Runes” and “The White Council”? Does it fit there?
In my opinion it does. It reminds the viewer that although Thorin and Company are safely in Rivendell for the time being, danger continues to lurk behind its borders and strongly suggests that their ordeals have only begun (which we know to be most true by now).

Now let’s get down to the most important thing in this scene – Azog, of course! He, as feared, is still very much alive and hungry for revenge.

6. What do make of his looks (skin color, those tattoo-like slashes/scars, loincloth, metal claw etc.)? [I imagine that this (as well as some other questions here) has been discussed on these boards before, but as I am new here, I'd really appreciate if you wouldn't mind doing it again.]
I’m a huge fan of Azog’s looks. I like how his bone-white skin sets him apart from rest of the orcs, making him stand out (the fact that he’s also very tall doesn’t hurt either). And those evil blue eyes to match his pale skin! Combine this with those awesome gashes, loincloth apparently made of his enemies’ skinned-off faces and a crudely implanted creepy “prosthetic limb” and you get a really menacing-looking appearance. I, as you can probably tell, don’t mind him being a character portrayed via CGI – I think Azog is one bit of CGI done very well.
7. What about his voice?
Could it possibly be any grimmer?
8. Azog and his orcs speak in Black Speech rather than in English/Common Speech. What is your opinion on that?
I’ve been hearing quite a lot of complaining regarding this and I must say I cannot disagree more. I can’t remember where I read that from but some time ago I stumbled upon a notion that this shows they’re more proud, an idea I really like.
9. Azog’s got a cool ride – a large white warg. Or what?

They make a nice match, don’t they? The White Warg even has the same tattoo-like slashes as Azog! But the thing I probably like the most is how Azog likes to stroke his warg. It’s such an awesome (and at the same time eerie) little detail.


I very much like the entire exchange between Yazneg and Azog, especially the Defiler’s comebacks.

Yazneg: The Dwarves, Master... we lost them. Ambushed by Elvish filth, we were

Azog: I don't want excuses. I want the head of the Dwarf King!

Yazneg: We were outnumbered... there was nothing we could do. I barely escaped with my life.

Azog: Far better you... have paid with it.

10. What thoughts went through your head during this tense conversation?

Yazneg ends up being thrown to the wargs. Although not the most original turn of events, it is a very “orc” thing for Azog to do, don’t you think? And did you notice how Azog strokes Yazneg’s head with his right hand before lifting him up by the throat with his left, metal hand?
11. Did you see that coming? What do you make of this scene?
In my opinion this scene is all about demonstrating just how ruthless and malicious Azog is. He shows mercy to no one. If you fail him, you’re dead – as simple as that.
12. With Yazneg gone, the warg riders need a new captain. Did you know Yazneg’s successor’s got a name – Fimbul?

I only learned this when researching for this CHOW. Source: http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Fimbul_the_hunter.
13. The scene ends with Azog shouting out a command to his minions: “Send out word… there is prize on their [the dwarves’] heads!” How do you view this after seeing DOS?
Key scenes: Gandalf showing Thorin the contract on his head in the Prancing Pony, Azog reminding the Necromancer/Sauron that he had promised him Thorin’s head.

14. Any thoughts on the soundtrack? Do you think Azog’s theme “suits” him?
I simply love Howard Shore’s music and this tune is no exception. Dark, heavy and unnerving – it’s perfect for the Defiler, at least in my opinion.

15. Is there anything else you’d like to say about this chapter?

Fire away!

P.S. If you enjoyed this scene, I highly recommend you to watch this nice little vid:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqwy1G3P7K0 Smile

"Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere." - Albert Einstein

Subject User Time
Chapter of the Week: The Defiler BlackFox Send a private message to BlackFox Feb 14, 12:24pm
    Welcome! arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Feb 14, 1:27pm
        :) BlackFox Send a private message to BlackFox Feb 14, 4:41pm
    A classical Darth Vader scene Lieutenant of Dol Guldur Send a private message to Lieutenant of Dol Guldur Feb 14, 1:46pm
        Vader in TESB. arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Feb 14, 1:54pm
        Star Wars... BlackFox Send a private message to BlackFox Feb 14, 4:45pm
    In response pettytyrant101 Send a private message to pettytyrant101 Feb 14, 2:27pm
        OK BlackFox Send a private message to BlackFox Feb 14, 5:04pm
        --> Personal comments removed from this subthread Altaira Send a private message to Altaira Feb 14, 11:43pm
    The LEGO vid BlackFox Send a private message to BlackFox Feb 14, 5:12pm
    I love these Orc reunions! Riven Delve Send a private message to Riven Delve Feb 14, 5:48pm
        Hahaha BlackFox Send a private message to BlackFox Feb 14, 7:30pm
    My thoughts of this ;) Calithilel Send a private message to Calithilel Feb 14, 8:04pm
        Hi! BlackFox Send a private message to BlackFox Feb 14, 8:17pm
        I agree. arithmancer Send a private message to arithmancer Feb 15, 2:54pm
            Couldn't have said it better myself BlackFox Send a private message to BlackFox Feb 15, 5:42pm
    Short Ann Swers Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Feb 14, 11:51pm
    Azog Kim Send a private message to Kim Feb 15, 8:07pm
        Thanks for answering BlackFox Send a private message to BlackFox Feb 15, 8:18pm
        Some people say the main theme of the Hobbit is greed Riven Delve Send a private message to Riven Delve Feb 16, 2:07pm
    Quite sinister! cats16 Send a private message to cats16 Feb 22, 7:48am
        Thanks, cats16! BlackFox Send a private message to BlackFox Feb 22, 10:31am
    I've gathered up many items for our Geeky Observations List1 THANKS // grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Mar 18, 4:20pm
        I'm glad to hear that. ;) // BlackFox Send a private message to BlackFox Mar 19, 6:18pm


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