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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
What I would have done (AUJ)

Beorn's Bees

Feb 16 2014, 1:03am

Post #1 of 15 (570 views)
What I would have done (AUJ) Can't Post

Hi all, I am going to present my ideas about AUJ, and how I would have done it differently. Before anyone sighs and says, "Another thread to bash AUJ", I would like to say that this thread is NOT meant to bash AUJ. I think it’s a great film, there are just a lot of things I would have done differently. Ok, here we go!

Starting with the Prologue - I would not have included anything with old Bilbo. This is a completely unnecessary addition, in my opinion. Instead, we start off with a prologue featuring the fall of Erebor, though we do not completely understand what is going on, but the audience will get the basics - there was a dwarven kingdom within a great mountain, and it was desecrated by a dragon. This would be completely visual however, and there would be no narrator - having a more mysterious prologue may catch peoples attention, and be more curious about what happened to that dwarven city. After the mysterious prologue, we arrive at Hobbition. We see a beautiful shot of the village, and as peaceful hobbits garden and eat, a man with a blue, pointy hat and long grey robes walks onto the screen. It is, of course, Gandalf the Grey. Gandalf traverses Hobbition, making his way towards Bag End. As he walks, he watches the hobbits around him, and looks rather amused. Some of them return the glance, and look rather disturbed by the wizard’s presence. Gandalf continues his walk, and makes his way up the hill of Bag End. Upon the hill, he finds a hobbit sitting on a bench and smoking a pipe, blowing great big smoke rings. This hobbit is Bilbo Baggins. The good morning sequence then commences, much as it happens in the book. After Gandalf etches the mark on Bilbo’s door, we cut to within Bag End, and Bilbo looks rather confused. He goes to his calendar and marks for Wednesday, Gandalf tea. We then see him wander away, out of the room.

We then cut to Bilbo waking up, and he looks very tired. He goes into the kitchen, passing his calendar. After a moment, Bilbo turns around, and peers at the calendar. His eyes get wide, as he realizes that Gandalf will be arriving soon! He rushes about the house, preparing for his guest, when the door bell rings. Thinking it is Gandalf; he opens the door, but instead finds Dwalin. One by one, the rest of the dwarves arrive, until Gandalf appears at last, along with the great Thorin Oakenshield. Bilbo serves food for his guests, and the dwarves talk of distant places, and of the fabled Lonely Mountain. At this, Bilbo is intrigued, and asks about it. Thorin and Balin exchange looks, and begin humming a tune. Thorin then begins to sing of the Lonely Mountain, and the other dwarves slowly chime in. Bilbo is deeply moved by this, and a love to see distant places grows in his heart. This feeling slowly fades away as the song shifts to the tale of the destruction of Erebor. The dwarf singing ends and a tear is rolling down Thorin’s eye. Bilbo asks what happened, but Thorin replies saying something like, “Have you heard nothing of what we just sang!” Balin tells Thorin to calm down, as Balin tells Bilbo the story of the wealth and splendor of Erebor. It is here that we get a flashback to Erebor, and we finally hear the full tale of the mountain. Balin speaks of prosperity, but also of the demise by the dragon Smaug.

There is a grave silence after that, but Gandalf breaks it by saying, “That is why we are here.” Gandalf talks of the quest ahead (and also draws out the map of Thror), and implies that Bilbo is coming. Bilbo hates the idea, and clearly states that he has no interest in adventures. We cut to later in the night, and Bilbo is eavesdropping on Gloin. The conversation is much like in the book, as Gloin explains that Bilbo is not adventuring material. Bilbo gets angry and tells the dwarves that even though he is a hobbit, he could hold his own on an adventure. It is here that we first notice Bilbo’s interest in going to reclaim Erebor. He is given the contract by Bofur, and reads it. He signs it, and is officially a part of Thorin’s company. We cut to Bilbo in his bed, about to sleep, and he can hear Thorin in the room outside of his, singing the Misty Mountain song lightly to himself. We cut to morning, and Bilbo is now waking up, and wanders the house looking for the dwarves. Just when he thinks it was all a dream, the meets Gandalf in the living room, smoking. Gandalf pushes him out the door, like in the book, and tells Bilbo to meet the rest of the dwarves at the Green Dragon Inn, and that he was already late. He bursts out the door, and rushes to the inn through Hobbition. He arrives to find Balin waiting for him outside. Balin is overjoyed to see him, saying that he had never doubted Bilbo would show up. It is here that the adventure really begins, and a montage of beautiful scenery commences. The dwarves are on their ponies, and Gandalf is upon his horse, traversing the hills of the Shire, before getting into more unknown country. The montage ends, and we see the dwarves riding in an intense storm.

That is the first part of it. Let me know what you think and if you would like to hear more. I am thinking of writing a script of what I would have done. Give me any suggestions please if you have any. Sorry it is so long! Crazy


Feb 16 2014, 1:20am

Post #2 of 15 (278 views)
There's a million ways to do it [In reply to] Can't Post

But the correct way to do it is to stick to the story…



Feb 16 2014, 3:52am

Post #3 of 15 (233 views)
Broadly agree. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's better to start off with a blank slate, with the audience gradually getting to learn what is going on. There is much too much hand-holding of the audience in modern films.

"Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear."


Feb 16 2014, 8:47am

Post #4 of 15 (210 views)
Isn't that pretty much exactly how the book goes? [In reply to] Can't Post

I wouldn't have had a prologue at all. I would've had the movie open with Bilbo's green door and a voice over by Old Bilbo or Gandalf saying "in a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit" followed by other descriptions from the start of the book about life in Bag End and Bilbo's character. I think the prologue lessened the impact of dwarves unexpectedly showing up at Bag End.
The flashback to Erebor would be told by Thorin at the table after Bilbo demands to know what the quest is all about. Kili would say something like "Come on uncle, you're the best at telling stories" and another dwarf would say "and start from the very beginning since some of us here don't even know the full details" then when the flashback is done Kili would say "good story uncle" looking at Thorin with deep admiration... ahahaha writing the hobbit script be would so fun.


Feb 16 2014, 10:13am

Post #5 of 15 (200 views)
I don't think [In reply to] Can't Post

they'd be saying "great story, uncle" about their kingdom being taken from them and thousands of their kin dying? Tongue

I simply walked into Mordor.


Feb 16 2014, 4:37pm

Post #6 of 15 (156 views)
I would prefer to cut the fall entirely [In reply to] Can't Post

but your solution is a good compromise. I agree with your reasoning.

Tol Eressea

Feb 16 2014, 10:07pm

Post #7 of 15 (124 views)
Like the idea of including the Green Dragon and cutting out the superfluous Old Bilbo/Frodo intro... [In reply to] Can't Post

...but other than that I thought the prologue was fine as it was.

If I could have changed anything in AUJ, I would have kept Azog relegated to the Moria flashback (in order to build up Bolg's motive), I would have toned down the stone giants and the Goblin-town escape, and the toilet humor would have been dropped.


Feb 17 2014, 3:04am

Post #8 of 15 (102 views)
For Sentimental Reasons, Both Chris Lee & Ian Holm [In reply to] Can't Post

were Perfect.

Chris Knows more than PJ about the Books.

Ian played Frodo in a BBC production
in the 1970's..
(Before many of us were even Alive?)

So Bomby likes to think PJ
flew Half Way around the World
so he could include these two.

Old Bilbo would have killed

THEY are,
as people
....."The Bookends"...
of these


Feb 18 2014, 3:50am

Post #9 of 15 (72 views)
Right on [In reply to] Can't Post

The old Bilbo prologue was largely intended one last tribute to all the fans of the LOTR films.

Grey Havens

Feb 18 2014, 1:27pm

Post #10 of 15 (64 views)
It also established for movie fans... [In reply to] Can't Post

...that the film they are watching, is a prequel.


Feb 18 2014, 1:40pm

Post #11 of 15 (62 views)
Arithmancer, I agree. [In reply to] Can't Post

The Bilbo/Frodo prologue was not intended for Hobbit book fans but for casual fans of the LotR trilogy who would be expecting the prequel to be the earlier adventures of Frodo and the gang.

LOL, I remember that back decades ago I was rather disappointed when I read The Hobbit (after having read the LoTR) that it was about that minor character Bilbo, rather than Frodo. I got over it.

Grey Havens

Feb 18 2014, 1:48pm

Post #12 of 15 (59 views)
Funny! [In reply to] Can't Post

I read TH first, and was very disappointed that LotR was not about Bilbo, but some adopted distant relation of his. I sometimes wonder whether my failure to warm to Frodo originated with this initial disappointment.


Feb 18 2014, 1:49pm

Post #13 of 15 (58 views)
Although... [In reply to] Can't Post

... when I'm finally able to introduce these movies to my nieces and nephews when they're old enough, it will be irrelevant since I'll be starting them off with the Hobbit trilogy first. Tongue

Grey Havens

Feb 18 2014, 8:14pm

Post #14 of 15 (53 views)
Well, in reverse... [In reply to] Can't Post

When your young nieces and nephews finally watch the FotR EE, they will immediately recognize the old Hobbit as Bilbo Baggins, even though he is not played by Martin Freeman.


Feb 19 2014, 10:37pm

Post #15 of 15 (51 views)
Or How About... [In reply to] Can't Post

...starting with one of the most famous opening lines in English literature, and certainly in children's literature?

Wide establishing shot of the Shire, hobbits are seen going about their business as our POV closes on Bag End, where a hobbit
is seen walking out the front door.

SAM (V.O.)
In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit...


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