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CHOW Party Thread #7: **The Missing AUJ CHOW**: Azog Attacks

cats16
Valinor


Sep 12 2014, 12:04pm

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CHOW Party Thread #7: **The Missing AUJ CHOW**: Azog Attacks Can't Post

DanielLB has prepared to lead us in a special discussion of the CHOW chapter missed in the rotation due to RL matters.

Keep an eye out, and look for Daniel’s post in this thread to discuss the infamous conclusion to An Unexpected Journey!


Azog Attacks, very soon!

footer_bilbo photo footer_bilbo_zps5f194312.jpg

Come party right now in the Hobbit movie forum, as we celebrate one year's worth of CHOW discussion of the films. Hope to see you there!



DanielLB
Immortal


Sep 12 2014, 7:37pm

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Chapter of the Week (CHOW) Rewind: Azog Attacks [In reply to] Can't Post

As part of anniversary celebrations, I thought I'd rewind my DVD player (2:22:59 - 2:33:58) and go back to the movie chapter "Azog Attacks" from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. For those with eagle-eyes, this chapter was never discussed in the original run. So here we go! Feel free to answer as many or as few of the questions below. I will read/respond when I can. I'm a little busy at the moment ...

Out of the Frying Pan ...



"All of a sudden they heard a howl away down hill, a long shuddering howl. It was answered by another away to the right and a good deal nearer to them; then by another not far away to the left. It was wolves howling at the moon, wolves gathering together!



1. Who did you expect to pursuit the Dwarves - Azog or the goblins of Goblin-town?

2. Regardless of Azog's canon-breaking abilities, how do you rate Azog's overall appearance in this movie? We know that Azog's design was very last minute - does it show? And what about the Wargs? How do they compare to the Wargs in The Two Towers? With hindsight, is there any noticeable difference in his appearance between An Unexcpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug?

3. In this scene, Bilbo kills a Warg (and later, an Orc). In the book, the first thing Bilbo kills with Sting is a spider, and it is that killing that gives Bilbo a little more backbone. Is this an instance of action taking priority over the story? Does it dilute this part of Bilbo's story? Why doesn't Bilbo name is sword now?

4. What do you think of the location of this scene? In the book it is in a forest clearing, rather than on a cliff edge. Does the cliff add more or less drama to the scene?

"Azog! It can't be."



"Sometimes they rode on wolves like men do on horses. Now it seemed that a great goblin-raid had been planned for that very night. The Wargs had come to meet the goblins and the goblins were late."



1. In no more than 200 words (since this is worthy of an entire thread on it's own), how do you feel about Azog's inclusion in the movies? Is the subplot involving Azog seeking revenge on Thorin an unnecessary detail to add to what is supposed to be a children's story? Should Azog have been replaced with Bolg (or Yazneg)?

2. Why was the decision made not to have some of the Goblin-town goblins also in pursuit? Do you think they will march to the Mountain in the last movie?

3. What do you think of the trees collapsing and the Dwarves all jumping into the end Pine? Is it rather convenient that all the Dwarves managed to get into the one tree, and out of jumping height from the Wargs?

4. What exactly does Gandalf say to the moth?

... And Into Fire



"He gathered the huge pinecones from the branches of his tree. Then he set one alight with bright blue fire, and threw it whizzing down among the circle of the wolves. It struck one on the back, and immediately his shaggy coat caught fire, and he was leaping to and fro yelping horribly.



1. Can you really hold a flaming pine cone without suffering from burns (or setting your own gloves/mittens alight)? And what about the CGI fire in general? Believable or beyond belief?

2. If the last Pine tree hadn't collapsed, what would Azog have done? Would he have risked going into the fire to finish of the Heirs of Durin?

3. Dori and Ori nearly fall to their death - though they don't die in the book, what did you think would happen in this scene? Has there ever been a scene where you thought the production team might have broken canon and killed off an extra Dwarf (perhaps here, the Forest River or Lake-town)?

4. I guess the filmmakers felt that since they had gone to the extent of adding Azog back into the story, Azog should have a personal confrontation between Thorin and Azog at this point. Why didn't Thorin just stay in the tree?

Bilbo's Courage



"Even magic rings are not much use against wolves especially against the evil packs that lived under the shadow of the goblin infested mountains, over the Edge of the Wild on the borders of the unknown."



1. Why didn't Bilbo use the Ring to kill Azog?

2. All the Dwarves come to Thorin's rescue! Does this part of the scene work for you? More unnecessary action or an evocative scene of the Dwarves defending their King?

The Eagles!



"Over them swooped the eagles; the dark rush of their beating wings smote them to the floor or drove them far away; their talons tore at goblin faces. Other birds flew to the tree-tops and seized the dwarves, who were scrambling up now as far as ever they dared to go."



1. I think the arrival of the Eagles is so fantastic and perfectly timed for the end of this movie. What do you think? I would have liked to have seen giant talons grabbing Gandalf from the tree first - the audience could have been left guessing whether they are friend or foe to begin with, followed by their attack on the Orcs.

2. Why did none of the Eagles attempt to kill Azog? Should Gandalf have included that in his Moth-message?

3. The Eagles arrived rather promptly. Were they in the vicinity and watching as they were in the book? In the book, we are introduced to the Eagles before they save the Dwarves. Which works better, and why?

General Questions



1. What did you think of Thorin's hair in this scene?

2. This scene is the climax of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This scene provides the movie with two resolutions - (1) Thorin finally comes to respect Bilbo for the Hobbit's bravery, (2) Azog and Thorin finally meet. Is this a good resolution/climax? What might have worked better?

3. What about the score and choreography of this scene? Any thoughts or general comments?

4. What are your favourite and least favourite changes from the book in this scene?

6. Is part of the stories charm lost without the songs ("Fifteen birds in five fir trees"), the chief wolf, the Eagle's eerie etc.?

7. What changes would you make to the book, if you had been part of the film making team?

8. Do you have a favourite screencap and/or quote from this scene?

9. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being very recognizable), how recognizable is the movie scene to the book scene? And why?





Riven Delve
Tol Eressea


Sep 13 2014, 2:02am

Post #3 of 10 (1032 views)
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"Into the Fire" indeed [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Who did you expect to pursuit the Dwarves - Azog or the goblins of Goblin-town?
I was probably influenced a bit by the FOTR scene in which the Fellowship escapes from Moria, and Aragorn says, “By nightfall these hills will be swarming with Orcs.” This is sort of a parallel scene, so I suppose I was expecting the Goblins to come out after the company since the sun seems to be setting. But the Great Goblin did send a message to Azog, and he was tracking them, so it makes sense that he finds them once they exit the mountain caves.

I am glad it was Azog, because I really love his evil laugh. It’s got resonance!


2. Regardless of Azog's canon-breaking abilities, how do you rate Azog's overall appearance in this movie? We know that Azog's design was very last minute - does it show? And what about the Wargs? How do they compare to the Wargs in The Two Towers? With hindsight, is there any noticeable difference in his appearance between An Unexcpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug?
I don’t know—Azog has always looked fine to me, but then I’m not that picky about CGI. He does look more “defined” in DOS, and his scarring looks deeper or something.

The Wargs look waaaaay better than they did in TTT, when they looked like pudgy hyenas. I think the Wargs here look better even than they did in their first appearance in AUJ, when they looked, as someone else suggested, like Rodents Of Unusual Size.


3. In this scene, Bilbo kills a Warg (and later, an Orc). In the book, the first thing Bilbo kills with Sting is a spider, and it is that killing that gives Bilbo a little more backbone. Is this an instance of action taking priority over the story? Does it dilute this part of Bilbo's story? Why doesn't Bilbo name is sword now?

Never let it be said that PJ doesn’t keep iconic moments—we have to save the naming for the spiders scene, of course!Angelic And also, at least part of this chapter was apparently a last-minute scene, shot in pickups if I’m not mistaken, as a result of changing the two movies into three.

Now about Bilbo the Killer—well, again, if this was shot later than the spiders scene, I think MF played it very well. What I mean is that Bilbo, while still afraid, seems remarkably steady when he stabs that spider. (Compare Frodo and Sam when confronted with Shelob.) To me that says that while giant Hobbit-eating spiders aren’t everyday fare for him, he still seems confident in his ability to prevail. I think he might get such confidence only from having slayed a few monsters before. Which would also explain why Bilbo doesn’t seem to be thinking all that clearly when he confronts Azog, but he has the presence of mind in Mirkwood to take a leisurely moment to name his sword.

Still, all that said, even now I still feel a bit of a shock when Bilbo stabs that Orc. It feels unnatural for a Hobbit to be doing any such thing. (Bullroarer Took notwithstanding.)


4. What do you think of the location of this scene? In the book it is in a forest clearing, rather than on a cliff edge. Does the cliff add more or less drama to the scene?
PJ loves cliffs. He also likes people not only to dangle over the cliffs, but to kick their feet a little while doing so. Adds to the fun for those trying to hold on to them. Yep, more drama.



1. In no more than 200 words (since this is worthy of an entire thread on it's own), how do you feel about Azog's inclusion in the movies? Is the subplot involving Azog seeking revenge on Thorin an unnecessary detail to add to what is supposed to be a children's story? Should Azog have been replaced with Bolg (or Yazneg)?
No, Azog isn’t necessary to add to a children’s story, as the dear professor knew. However, this is a movie adaption, and there has to be a bad guy to power the conflict in the way this is made. I think Bolg would have been fine, really, maybe trying to get revenge for his daddy’s death or something, but I guess that wasn’t the tale PJ is telling. I’m fine with it as is. I'm just not sure how poor Dain is going to fit in, now that his big kill has been taken away from him.


2. Why was the decision made not to have some of the Goblin-town goblins also in pursuit? Do you think they will march to the Mountain in the last movie?
Hmm. My guess would be so that we can have Azog instead, in a scene in which he confronts Thorin and we get a big hero moment for Bilbo. Wink I think it would make sense to have some Goblins arrive at BofFA, sure. The more the merrier, I say.



What do you think of the trees collapsing and the Dwarves all jumping into the end Pine? Is it rather convenient that all the Dwarves managed to get into the one tree, and out of jumping height from the Wargs?
I think that if the trees had been in a clearing in the forest, the trees would still have managed to fall over a cliff. PJ cannot resist this kind of stuff, I tell you.

I saw this once and cannot unsee it now… (read no further, sensitive souls!)…but really the Dwarves on the bottom of the first tree that fell could not possibly have jumped three more times and ended up so high on the last tree. Poetic (pinetic?) license, I suppose.Crazy


4. What exactly does Gandalf say to the moth?
“How much did they offer you to come back for this round of movies? Really? For just a cameo? I see... Fly along now, I must speak to the director.”



1. Can you really hold a flaming pine cone without suffering from burns (or setting your own gloves/mittens alight)? And what about the CGI fire in general? Believable or beyond belief?
Of course, if you’re a Dwarf! Weren’t you paying attention in the AUJ prologue during the craftsmen scenes? Or every time the Dwarves hide behind a pillar while Smaug breathes million-degrees fire around them? Tongue Actually I liked the way the fire clings to the Wargs whose coats catch on fire.



3. Dori and Ori nearly fall to their death - though they don't die in the book, what did you think would happen in this scene? Has there ever been a scene where you thought the production team might have broken canon and killed off an extra Dwarf (perhaps here, the Forest River or Lake-town)?
I never thought anyone would die, because I felt PJ wouldn’t do that. If any “extra” Dwarves die, it will be in BotFA…but I don’t think so even then.



4. I guess the filmmakers felt that since they had gone to the extent of adding Azog back into the story, Azog should have a personal confrontation between Thorin and Azog at this point. Why didn't Thorin just stay in the tree?
Stay in the tree and fall to his death? No, I subscribe to the Norse Warrior theory, that Thorin believed it was better to die fighting with no hope than to die shamefully cowering. Plus, then Bilbo gets his hero moment to finish off the movie, see. Wink




1. Why didn't Bilbo use the Ring to kill Azog?
As I mentioned above, Bilbo was too scared to think. The Ring was also still pretty new to him and probably didn’t spring to mind under duress. Plus, imagine all the explaining he’d have to do to Gandalf afterwards! Laugh


2. All the Dwarves come to Thorin's rescue! Does this part of the scene work for you? More unnecessary action or an evocative scene of the Dwarves defending their King?
They don’t, actually. Only Fili, Kili, and Dwalin come out of the tree at first. Fili and Kili defending their uncle’s body? Foreshadowing, I believe…



1. I think the arrival of the Eagles is so fantastic and perfectly timed for the end of this movie. What do you think? I would have liked to have seen giant talons grabbing Gandalf from the tree first - the audience could have been left guessing whether they are friend or foe to begin with, followed by their attack on the Orcs.
I think to a certain degree Bilbo at least is left guessing. All he sees is Eagles tossing things left and right, and he has no way of knowing they’ve come at Gandalf’s behest. That’s partly why he seems so terrified not only of being picked up, but tossed into space, IMO.


2. Why did none of the Eagles attempt to kill Azog? Should Gandalf have included that in his Moth-message?
Why, because Azog is needed for the other movies, of course. Angelic


3. The Eagles arrived rather promptly. Were they in the vicinity and watching as they were in the book? In the book, we are introduced to the Eagles before they save the Dwarves. Which works better, and why?
Sure, we’ll go with they were in the vicinity. In the movies, we are introduced to the Eagles in LOTR. Wink


1. What did you think of Thorin's hair in this scene?
You, sir, are a gentleman.

In fact, Thorin’s hair looks fantastic! The no-doubt-spontaneously-arising hair breeze, the rosy aura of the fire lending a warm hue to his flowing locks, the playful bounce of his hair as he’s mauled…well, not even a gallon of Warg slobber can cast a pall over this wondrous mane. Heart

Only one more thing is needed to complete Thorin’s perfection…

a matching talking purse.


2. This scene is the climax of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This scene provides the movie with two resolutions - (1) Thorin finally comes to respect Bilbo for the Hobbit's bravery, (2) Azog and Thorin finally meet. Is this a good resolution/climax? What might have worked better?
Yes, they both work for me--temporarily. There really isn’t a resolution to either conflict. Thorin will again disrespect the Hobbit, and Thorin and Azog have each bested the other, but neither is dead. Yet. Pirate



3. What about the score and choreography of this scene? Any thoughts or general comments?
Still not sure how I feel about the Kings/Nazgul music that plays when Thorin comes out of the tree…

I also love Fili’s two-handed sword fighting when he comes out to defend Thorin and Bilbo. That is so interesting, and we barely get to see it! Mad


4. What are your favourite and least favourite changes from the book in this scene?
I like Thorin coming down out of the tree in slo-mo. Did I mention that, and the hair? Not in the book.




6. Is part of the stories charm lost without the songs ("Fifteen birds in five fir trees"), the chief wolf, the Eagle's eerie etc.?
Yes, it’s lost, but it’s pretty easy to find again if you open the book. Charm is usually context-specific!



8. Do you have a favourite screencap and/or quote from this scene?
Two favorites: “Drink their blood!” Chilling! “Bring me the Dwarf’s head.” A clear case of hair envy gone a bit too far, I’d say.

Favorite screencap:





*sigh* Evil


9. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being very recognizable), how recognizable is the movie scene to the book scene? And why?
I’d give it a 7. All the essential elements are there—Wargs, Goblins/Orgs vs. Dwarves and Wizards up a tree, with some fire and Eagles thrown in. Not as much singing, though.

Thanks for picking up the slack on this CHOW, Daniel! Smile


“Tollers,” Lewis said to Tolkien, “there is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to try and write some ourselves.”





Noria
Gondor

Sep 13 2014, 9:31pm

Post #4 of 10 (981 views)
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Interesting to look back from where we are now. [In reply to] Can't Post

Out of the Frying Pan...

1. Who did you expect to pursuit the Dwarves - Azog or the goblins of Goblin-town?

--My mind usually reverts to the book answer, which is the Goblins of course, but they are a pretty feeble lot. The Great Goblin did send a message to Azog so IIRC I thought it would be him.


2. Regardless of Azog's canon-breaking abilities, how do you rate Azog's overall appearance in this movie? We know that Azog's design was very last minute - does it show? And what about the Wargs? How do they compare to the Wargs in The Two Towers? With hindsight, is there any noticeable difference in his appearance between An Unexcpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug?

--I think Azog looks pretty good here and better in DoS but I am certainly no connoisseur of special effects. These Wargs look better to me than the TTT ones, because they look more like wolves and less like hyenas. They also look more real somehow.


3. In this scene, Bilbo kills a Warg (and later, an Orc). In the book, the first thing Bilbo kills with Sting is a spider, and it is that killing that gives Bilbo a little more backbone. Is this an instance of action taking priority over the story? Does it dilute this part of Bilbo's story? Why doesn't Bilbo name is sword now?

--I am OK with this. I think that AUJ needs a step like this for Bilbo, both for his own development and to bring to a resolution his issues with Thorin, so as to have some kind of conclusion to the movie rather than have it just stop. This brings forward in time Bilbo’s first moment of courage but it also prevents him from being mere baggage in this part of the story. After that, from the beginning of DoS on, he is more confident and proactive and his attack on the spiders reflects that. As for naming his sword, it is when Bilbo goes up against the spiders and their stingers that the name Sting works.


4. What do you think of the location of this scene? In the book it is in a forest clearing, rather than on a cliff edge. Does the cliff add more or less drama to the scene?

--Yes this location adds more drama to the scene, corny or not, because the party is well and truly cornered. Plus it looks really good.


Azog! It can't be!

1. In no more than 200 words (since this is worthy of an entire thread on it's own), how do you feel about Azog's inclusion in the movies? Is the subplot involving Azog seeking revenge on Thorin an unnecessary detail to add to what is supposed to be a children's story? Should Azog have been replaced with Bolg (or Yazneg)?

--This is the movieverse and I don’t mind the changes to Azog’s arc because although his appearance in the book has significant ramifications, he himself is a minor player and only appears in the Appendices anyway. But then I don’t care much about Orcs. To my mind Azog is much the same as Lurtz, a visible, tangible villain, the grasping hand, so to speak, of the noncorporeal Necromancer. Azog has to have a motivation for pursuing Thorin so religiously and revenge works. They could have given him a different name but they didn’t, probably because they wanted both Azog and Bolg. I have assumed that the writers felt that they had a need for two super Orcs, and that is why we have both, but we’ll see in TBOTFA.

--These Hobbit movies are much more than the children’s story that Tolkien wrote, for better or for worse depending on how you feel about the book and the movies. I am happy about that, since I find these movies much more interesting than a more literal and restricted adaptation of the book would have been. The book is fun and sweet and so on, but the movies are more complex and intense. I’m not saying that the book is simple but the world of the movies is more complex.


2. Why was the decision made not to have some of the Goblin-town goblins also in pursuit? Do you think they will march to the Mountain in the last movie?

--I suppose that Azog and his minions are more formidable than anything we see in Goblintown except the Great Goblin. But more importantly, in the movie the story of Azog and the Necromancer is an ongoing one while the Goblintown is an episode like the Troll encounter. The book fan in me would like to see the Goblins come to the BOFA though.


3. What do you think of the trees collapsing and the Dwarves all jumping into the end Pine? Is it rather convenient that all the Dwarves managed to get into the one tree, and out of jumping height from the Wargs?

--Of course it is convenient, just like it was convenient in the book that the Dwarves happened upon the meeting place of the Goblins and wolves. It’s just some fun, some Peter Jackson antics designed to ratchet up the tension. I enjoy watching them jump from tree to tree.


4. What exactly does Gandalf say to the moth?

--We’ll never know for sure but the inference is obvious, something like “Gandalf the Grey has need of your help”. I would like to see the moth communicating the message to the eagle though!


... And Into the Fire

1. Can you really hold a flaming pine cone without suffering from burns (or setting your own gloves/mittens alight)? And what about the CGI fire in general? Believable or beyond belief?

--Since the pine cone fire was created by a wizard, I didn’t mind that it looks and handles differently from real fire. Otherwise, I can’t really tell the difference between the CGI fire and the practical fire on the set.


2. If the last Pine tree hadn't collapsed, what would Azog have done? Would he have risked going into the fire to finish of the Heirs of Durin?

-- Thorin is able to run down the tree trunk and through the fires to Azog, so I figure that the Orcs could have reached the Dwarves. Maybe they are too afraid of fire. Azog would have sent his minions anyway.


3. Dori and Ori nearly fall to their death - though they don't die in the book, what did you think would happen in this scene? Has there ever been a scene where you thought the production team might have broken canon and killed off an extra Dwarf (perhaps here, the Forest River or Lake-town)?

--I never thought that Dori and Ori or any of the other Dwarves would die prematurely, but that is the book fan in me. PJ usually sticks pretty closely to canon on that stuff. I’m happy with that because for me it’s more interesting to see how a protagonist gets out of a predicament than it is to wonder if they’ll be killed or not.


4. I guess the filmmakers felt that since they had gone to the extent of adding Azog back into the story, Azog should have a personal confrontation between Thorin and Azog at this point. Why didn't Thorin just stay in the tree?

--I don’t know if Thorin understood Azog’s taunts but he is a Dwarf and would still want revenge for his grandfather’s beheading. There is no way that an impetuous, fearless, emotional guy like Thorin could stay still in a tree, stupid as it was to engage a giant Orc mounted on a giant Warg by himself. He never had a chance.


Bilbo's Courage

1. Why didn't Bilbo use the Ring to kill Azog?

--Maybe he doesn’t think of it, the Ring being so new to him. Anyway, would the Orcs and Wargs not see Sting? Plus heroic moments are much less satisfying when the hero is invisible.


2. All the Dwarves come to Thorin's rescue! Does this part of the scene work for you? More unnecessary action or an evocative scene of the Dwarves defending their King?

--As far as I can see it is just Dwalin, Kili and Fili who come to the rescue, the others still being trapped on the tree. I did notice that the Dwarves end up encircled and are being pushed back when the Eagles arrive. It would have gone badly for the Dwarves otherwise.

--I’m OK with the Dwarves attacking, especially Dwalin, Fili and Kili who are so connected to Thorin. I’m always happy to see a badass Dwarf moment.
The Eagles!

1. I think the arrival of the Eagles is so fantastic and perfectly timed for the end of this movie. What do you think? I would have liked to have seen giant talons grabbing Gandalf from the tree first - the audience could have been left guessing whether they are friend or foe to begin with, followed by their attack on the Orcs.

--I love the attack of the Eagles. The book way would have worked but the sudden onslaught on the Orcs and Wargs by the Eagles is fine as well, especially because Bilbo is so unnerved and unwilling to be picked up. Gandalf and the moth already hinted about the Eagles so it seems to me that most LotR movie fans would have expected them to arrive, so the surprise thing would not have worked that well. I was reminded of the flying Fell Beasts in RotK grabbing soldiers of Gondor from the battlements and such and dropping them on to the city far below. It is an interesting contrast because that was horrifying and the Eagles dropping the Orcs is satisfying.


2. Why did none of the Eagles attempt to kill Azog? Should Gandalf have included that in his Moth-message?

--Because he’s the hero Orc of course! Seriously, though this is not exactly a plot hole, it’s more than a bit silly. Shall we say that Azog is too big, and so is his Warg?


3. The Eagles arrived rather promptly. Were they in the vicinity and watching as they were in the book? In the book, we are introduced to the Eagles before they save the Dwarves. Which works better, and why?

--Those wings can surely cover a lot of ground fast but how long would it have taken the little moth to find them? Or does Gandalf’s spell also endow super moth speed?

--The book’s deus ex machina would not have worked as well in this movie; there are too many happy coincidences as it is (like the map and Durin’s Day). To cut away from the intense Azog versus the Dwarves to some Eagles randomly flying around would have been too jarring.


General Questions

1. What did you think of Thorin's hair in this scene?
LOL. Really Daniel? Thorin’s hair always looks great, especially blowing in the wind.

2. This scene is the climax of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This scene provides the movie with two resolutions - (1) Thorin finally comes to respect Bilbo for the Hobbit's bravery, (2) Azog and Thorin finally meet. Is this a good resolution/climax? What might have worked better?

--The climax of AUJ has evolved from a book episode which is simply another narrow escape for the party as a whole to a big character moment for Bilbo and a big step in the relationship between Thorin and Bilbo. For me that’s the important part, though Azog and Thorin finally meeting and Thorin realizing who is pursuing him is significant. It’s a good place to end the movie.


3. What about the score and choreography of this scene? Any thoughts or general comments?

--The first time I saw AUJ and heard the controversial theme from LotR , I figured that it was a not so subtle hint that Azog was allied with the Necromancer/Sauron. But I like the version of the soundtrack recording just as much.

4. What are your favourite and least favourite changes from the book in this scene?

--There is really not much about this scene that I don’t like, more or less, so I have no quarrel with the changes from the book. I think it works well as a climax to the first movie: we are over the Misty Mountains; Bilbo has acquired the Ring, his sword, and his courage; Thorin and Bilbo are reconciled, and Thorin and Azog meet.


6. Is part of the stories charm lost without the songs ("Fifteen birds in five fir trees"), the chief wolf, the Eagle's eerie etc.?

--All of that works beautifully in the book but this movie is a just little farther along the road towards realism (forget physics!) than that and most of it wouldn’t work in this movie. Azog’s guys singing or the Eagles talking wouldn’t fit. Not having read the book as a child, I don’t have the same attachment to those elements that many others do so I am happier without them.


7. What changes would you make to the book, if you had been part of the film making team?

--Don’t know. Since I am pretty happy with the movie, I don’t know what else I might have done.


8. Do you have a favourite screencap and/or quote from this scene?

--There is not much dialog and a lot of what there is is a bit cheesy.

--I don’t have any screen caps at hand but one image I love is the eagle’s giant talon curving gently around an unconscious Thorin as he picks the Dwarf up. Another is Bilbo trying to remove his sword from the dead Warg. And then there is Bilbo ineptly waving his sword around as he stands over Thorin and tries to face down Azog and the rest.


9. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being very recognizable), how recognizable is the movie scene to the book scene? And why?

--I would say 7. The basic elements happen: the dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf are treed by Orcs/Goblins and Wargs/Wolves, Gandalf uses magic to resist them, all seems lost but then they are rescued by giant Eagles. These events are of course embellished and made more intricate and exciting. But an episode that does little more in the book than be cool and inspire the Goblins to come to the BOFA becomes the first climax of Bilbo’s character arc, a resolution of the Bilbo/Thorin relationship and a revelation in Thorin’s story. And it’s cool too. The downside is that Gandalf, who in the book is pretty impressive as he gathers himself to leap down from his burning tree upon the enemy below, has to be pushed a bit into the background so that Thorin and Bilbo can shine.


cats16
Valinor


Sep 14 2014, 1:15pm

Post #5 of 10 (958 views)
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Coming back to this one--that's a promise. [In reply to] Can't Post

BlackFox, stop rolling your eyes. Cool

footer_thorin photo footer_thorin_zps067fe8d9.jpg

Come party right now in the Hobbit movie forum, as we celebrate one year's worth of CHOW discussion of the films. Hope to see you there!



BlackFox
Half-elven


Sep 14 2014, 1:22pm

Post #6 of 10 (956 views)
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Rolling my eyes? Me? Never! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



Spriggan
Tol Eressea

Sep 14 2014, 10:07pm

Post #7 of 10 (939 views)
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Well a few answers.... [In reply to] Can't Post

 
1. Who did you expect to pursuit the Dwarves - Azog or the goblins of Goblin-town?

As I recall, by the time I saw AUJ, I think spoilers had already confirmed it would be Orcs rather than Goblins and I think any sense of narrative flow would have suggested Azog would be with them. I certainly don't remember being surprised in any way.


2. Regardless of Azog's canon-breaking abilities, how do you rate Azog's overall appearance in this movie? We know that Azog's design was very last minute - does it show? And what about the Wargs? How do they compare to the Wargs in The Two Towers? With hindsight, is there any noticeable difference in his appearance between An Unexcpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug?

It is probably my oddity but I generally don't think much about effects, except those that happen to be particularly beautiful or moving, so I'm in a win win position, personally. Whether it's a chap in prosthetics or CGI I'm not going to be convinced that an Orc is real (or alien or robot or whatever) so unless something is in the former category (which Azog isn't), it really just serves as a symbol to me.


3. In this scene, Bilbo kills a Warg (and later, an Orc). In the book, the first thing Bilbo kills with Sting is a spider, and it is that killing that gives Bilbo a little more backbone. Is this an instance of action taking priority over the story? Does it dilute this part of Bilbo's story? Why doesn't Bilbo name is sword now?

More the film story taking priority than action, I would say. This, to me, was part of the only partially successful attempt to give AUJ some sense of a story of its own, as opposed to simply being a sequence of things which happen and then happen to stop.

That said I can't see that it causes any issues. It's after Bilbo gets the ring, and only shortly before the spider anyway. Dilution seems an odd criticism - if anything I would have thought tautology would be a stronger charge (though the film structure would offer a clear explanation).


4. What do you think of the location of this scene? In the book it is in a forest clearing, rather than on a cliff edge. Does the cliff add more or less drama to the scene?

Well, if those are the options, I suppose anyone would be hard pressed to argue it was less visually dramatic at least!



1. In no more than 200 words (since this is worthy of an entire thread on it's own), how do you feel about Azog's inclusion in the movies? Is the subplot involving Azog seeking revenge on Thorin an unnecessary detail to add to what is supposed to be a children's story? Should Azog have been replaced with Bolg (or Yazneg)?

Well, given that Tolkien added Azog to children's story it has some form as a decision. I think that choosing to adapt in any more than a single film prompts very strongly the need for some sort of adversary in order to give some sense narrative progress - I can't see what difference the name of the Orc would make.


2. Why was the decision made not to have some of the Goblin-town goblins also in pursuit? Do you think they will march to the Mountain in the last movie?

Having thought about it, I don't think it makes any difference either way, for me.


What do you think of the trees collapsing and the Dwarves all jumping into the end Pine? Is it rather convenient that all the Dwarves managed to get into the one tree, and out of jumping height from the Wargs?

Certainly visually striking, if in the vein of the collapsing staircase of FOTR. I'm not sure "convenient" is the word which springs to mind - more of a narrow escape.


4. What exactly does Gandalf say to the moth?

“I'll have the usual please?"


1. Can you really hold a flaming pine cone without suffering from burns (or setting your own gloves/mittens alight)? And what about the CGI fire in general? Believable or beyond belief?


Well, we all know Tolkien's dwarves were highly fire resistant, don't we?


3. Dori and Ori nearly fall to their death - though they don't die in the book, what did you think would happen in this scene? Has there ever been a scene where you thought the production team might have broken canon and killed off an extra Dwarf (perhaps here, the Forest River or Lake-town)?

Not by falling here - too tricky to set up any emotion around the moment of death or the bodies or to tie it into any story strands.



4. I guess the filmmakers felt that since they had gone to the extent of adding Azog back into the story, Azog should have a personal confrontation between Thorin and Azog at this point. Why didn't Thorin just stay in the tree?

Well again I would argue more by the need to give AUJ some sort of meaning and ending. That said, I don't find it particularly out of character for Thorin to confront Azog (he did kill his Grandfather after all).



1. Why didn't Bilbo use the Ring to kill Azog?

Either it didn't come to mind or Bilbo (with greater or lesser influence of the Ring itself) was dissuaded from making public use of it.


2. All the Dwarves come to Thorin's rescue! Does this part of the scene work for you? More unnecessary action or an evocative scene of the Dwarves defending their King?

Is it all of them? Seems reasonable enough to me I think - especially with their backs to the wall.

1. I think the arrival of the Eagles is so fantastic and perfectly timed for the end of this movie. What do you think? I would have liked to have seen giant talons grabbing Gandalf from the tree first - the audience could have been left guessing whether they are friend or foe to begin with, followed by their attack on the Orcs.

I would guess that the non-reader audience would have been somewhat unsure whether the eagles were friendly or not as it stands.


2. Why did none of the Eagles attempt to kill Azog? Should Gandalf have included that in his Moth-message?

Why would they? I assume it was risky enough for them without trying to attack an unknown Orc in the midst of the fire.


3. The Eagles arrived rather promptly. Were they in the vicinity and watching as they were in the book? In the book, we are introduced to the Eagles before they save the Dwarves. Which works better, and why?

Presumably in the area, yes. I think the book version of cutting away to the Eagles having a chat might have been less effective in a film (especially as they wouldn't have spoken audibly, presumably).


1. What did you think of Thorin's hair in this scene?
I don't think I had any thoughts on the subject.


2. This scene is the climax of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This scene provides the movie with two resolutions - (1) Thorin finally comes to respect Bilbo for the Hobbit's bravery, (2) Azog and Thorin finally meet. Is this a good resolution/climax? What might have worked better?

For me, I think the issues are less about the climax and more about the lack of a truly convincing narrative shape to AUJ. Without this scene that would undoubtedly have been worse, I would argue, but overall I don't think the filmmakers were anywhere near as successful in shaping the story up to an ending in AUJ as they were in DOS.


3. What about the score and choreography of this scene? Any thoughts or general comments?

I'm never awfully good at picking up on musical refrains, unfortunately.

4. What are your favourite and least favourite changes from the book in this scene?

I like the fact they went with more pictures and less text and didn't keep it in portrait format. I disliked being unable to move my bookmark on for a year.

6. Is part of the stories charm lost without the songs ("Fifteen birds in five fir trees"), the chief wolf, the Eagle's eerie etc.?

It's a lot harder to do this on film, I suspect, without risking being twee or silly. I don't think the general audience were awfully endeared by the crockery aria and anything other than mournfully emotive dirges probably risk the same.


8. Do you have a favourite screencap and/or quote from this scene?

No particular quotes from this one I don't think.


9. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being very recognizable), how recognizable is the movie scene to the book scene? And why?

How recognisable? Well, 10, I suppose. I cannot imagine myself watching this scene of dwarves, a hobbit and a grey wizard, being rescued from burning trees surrounded by wolf-like and goblin-like creatures by giant eagles, and not recognise it as a representation of a scene from The Hobbit. I'm not sure if that's what you meant though.


Kim
Valinor


Sep 15 2014, 3:01am

Post #8 of 10 (933 views)
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The confrontation [In reply to] Can't Post

Out of the Frying Pan ...
1. Who did you expect to pursuit the Dwarves - Azog or the goblins of Goblin-town?
I assumed at first that it would be the goblins of Goblin-town like the book.


2. Regardless of Azog's canon-breaking abilities, how do you rate Azog's overall appearance in this movie? We know that Azog's design was very last minute - does it show? And what about the Wargs? How do they compare to the Wargs in The Two Towers? With hindsight, is there any noticeable difference in his appearance between An Unexcpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug?
I never really liked Azog’s appearance in AUJ, I’m not sure if it was the last minute design factor (which I wasn’t aware of at the time I first saw the movie). I did think his appearance was greatly improved in DOS. I thought the design of the Wargs was a major improvement over TTT.


3. In this scene, Bilbo kills a Warg (and later, an Orc). In the book, the first thing Bilbo kills with Sting is a spider, and it is that killing that gives Bilbo a little more backbone. Is this an instance of action taking priority over the story? Does it dilute this part of Bilbo's story? Why doesn't Bilbo name is sword now?
Well, I saw it more as needing a climax for the first of 3 movies, so it didn’t bother me too much. That is a good question though, of why he didn’t name the sword. Maybe he didn’t really feel he’d earned it yet.


4. What do you think of the location of this scene? In the book it is in a forest clearing, rather than on a cliff edge. Does the cliff add more or less drama to the scene?
I supposed it adds more drama visually, but for me, it went a little too far. I had just re-read TH the month before AUJ came out, so this was a rare scene where I was actually saying to myself “it didn’t happen this way in the book!”

"Azog! It can't be."
1. In no more than 200 words (since this is worthy of an entire thread on it's own), how do you feel about Azog's inclusion in the movies? Is the subplot involving Azog seeking revenge on Thorin an unnecessary detail to add to what is supposed to be a children's story? Should Azog have been replaced with Bolg (or Yazneg)?
At the time the movie came out, I didn’t like it since I knew he wasn’t supposed to be there, didn’t particularly like his design, and I never really saw the need to have a main orc antagonist in any of the LOTR/TH movies. So I would have been happier if he hadn’t been in it, but eventually accepted his presence and moved on.

2. Why was the decision made not to have some of the Goblin-town goblins also in pursuit? Do you think they will march to the Mountain in the last movie?
Maybe because we already had a pretty big chase since in Goblin-town itself? As for marching on the mountain, I always thought that was an unexpected surprise in the book, so in a way it would be weird since it was so far in the past, but it would make sense that they could be a part of the larger orc army.

3. What do you think of the trees collapsing and the Dwarves all jumping into the end Pine? Is it rather convenient that all the Dwarves managed to get into the one tree, and out of jumping height from the Wargs?
That was another thing that annoyed me about the scene in addition to the location on the side of the cliff. Pretty sure trees wouldn’t fall like dominoes.

4. What exactly does Gandalf say to the moth?
“I’ll have a burger, fries and a chocolate shake. Oh, and ask the eagles to swing by, would you?”

... And Into Fire
1. Can you really hold a flaming pine cone without suffering from burns (or setting your own gloves/mittens alight)? And what about the CGI fire in general? Believable or beyond belief?
I was kind of wondering that myself, but you know those dwarves, they’re tough! I thought the fire was fine, I didn’t really have any expectations about blue flames. One other little observation: when Gandalf lights the first pinecone and throws it, Thorin is already looking up at him and follows the flight of the pinecone. Makes me wonder if he was looking up at Gandalf thinking “now how are we going to get out of this one?”

2. If the last Pine tree hadn't collapsed, what would Azog have done? Would he have risked going into the fire to finish of the Heirs of Durin?
Hmmm, not sure, I would think the fire would be a pretty big deterrent. He might have just watched them all burn to death.

3. Dori and Ori nearly fall to their death - though they don't die in the book, what did you think would happen in this scene? Has there ever been a scene where you thought the production team might have broken canon and killed off an extra Dwarf (perhaps here, the Forest River or Lake-town)?
I didn’t think they would kill off any of the dwarves this early, but it was certainly tense.


4. I guess the filmmakers felt that since they had gone to the extent of adding Azog back into the story, Azog should have a personal confrontation between Thorin and Azog at this point. Why didn't Thorin just stay in the tree?
Someone else here made a good observation a while back that you can see Thorin thinking as he looks down at the drop from the cliff, then back at Azog, and you can practically hear him say, “I’d rather die fighting than cowering”.

Bilbo's Courage
1. Why didn't Bilbo use the Ring to kill Azog?
Probably didn’t think of it in the heat of the moment. And I kind of think he was trying to follow Thorin’s lead in terms of direct confrontation with the enemy.

2. All the Dwarves come to Thorin's rescue! Does this part of the scene work for you? More unnecessary action or an evocative scene of the Dwarves defending their King?
I’ll go with dwarves defending their King.

The Eagles!
1. I think the arrival of the Eagles is so fantastic and perfectly timed for the end of this movie. What do you think? I would have liked to have seen giant talons grabbing Gandalf from the tree first - the audience could have been left guessing whether they are friend or foe to begin with, followed by their attack on the Orcs.
I also think it was great, and a relief after all of the non-stop action in the final scenes.

2. Why did none of the Eagles attempt to kill Azog? Should Gandalf have included that in his Moth-message?
Good question as they certainly didn’t have a problem killing some of the other orcs. I was actually hoping he would be killed at the end of the movie a la Lurtz.


3. The Eagles arrived rather promptly. Were they in the vicinity and watching as they were in the book? In the book, we are introduced to the Eagles before they save the Dwarves. Which works better, and why?
In my head, I do think they were nearby and could see the fire, and were perhaps already on their way to investigate. But I don’t think we necessarily had to meet them first. It was a good surprise.

General Questions
1. What did you think of Thorin's hair in this scene?
Well it took you long enough to get to this most important of questions! The epitome of fantastic hair in action, just enough breeze as they were in the trees to get it flowing, followed by the charge down the tree (miraculously not catching fire). It even looks fabulous spread out on a rock. Now honestly, who else can say that about their hair?

2. This scene is the climax of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. This scene provides the movie with two resolutions - (1) Thorin finally comes to respect Bilbo for the Hobbit's bravery, (2) Azog and Thorin finally meet. Is this a good resolution/climax? What might have worked better?
I was ok with it once I got over the “it wasn’t like this in the book” bits, and I thought this combined with the final scene was a very satisfying resolution for Bilbo and Thorin’s evolving relationship. And yes, if they were intent on having Azog be part of the story, this was a pretty dramatic way for Thorin to find out Azog was still alive.

3. What about the score and choreography of this scene? Any thoughts or general comments?
Very dramatic, and I thought the music playing as Thorin strode down the tree was very intense. I’m not as familiar with some with the musical themes, so it didn’t bother me that it was a Nazgul theme.

4. What are your favourite and least favourite changes from the book in this scene?
Well, if we’re gonna get Thorin striding down the tree, that was pretty impressive. And for some reason, I do like the looks on Azog’s face, like “come and get me dwarf and let’s see what you can do now.” However, I really hate the part where the white Warg bites Thorin. Owww.

(wait, what happened to question #5?)

6. Is part of the stories charm lost without the songs ("Fifteen birds in five fir trees"), the chief wolf, the Eagle's eerie etc.?
That doesn’t seem like the song would really fit in with the tone of the story at this point. I would have liked to have seen the eerie, but it didn’t seem absolutely necessary to the story.

7. What changes would you make to the book, if you had been part of the film making team?
Honestly, I’m not very creative, so I couldn’t really say.

8. Do you have a favourite screencap and/or quote from this scene?
Well duh.


(think I just heard a THUD. Sorry RD)




9. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being very recognizable), how recognizable is the movie scene to the book scene? And why?
I’ll say 7. The main elements are there, plus there are added ones that amped it up, but it’s still recognizable.



Oakenshield watch: it finally makes a major reappearance in the big run down the tree. And then when we see it fall off as the eagle picks up Thorin was pretty sad. He’d lost the object that gave him his name. Not a good sign of things to come.

Thorin’s hair: see question #1 under General Questions. And #8.

Thanks Daniel! I’m glad we finally got a chance to wrap this one up.





Riven Delve
Tol Eressea


Sep 15 2014, 11:42am

Post #9 of 10 (938 views)
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Dangnabbit, Kim! [In reply to] Can't Post

*dusts self off* I keep telling you--warning labels, please! Wink







In Reply To



Someone else here made a good observation a
while back that you can see Thorin thinking as he looks down at the drop from
the cliff, then back at Azog, and you can practically hear him say, “I’d rather
die fighting than cowering”.





It brings to my mind Thorin in the western guard room in DOS: "No. I will not die like this. Cowering, clawing for breath."



“Tollers,” Lewis said to Tolkien, “there is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to try and write some ourselves.”





Kim
Valinor


Sep 16 2014, 3:21am

Post #10 of 10 (929 views)
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I've been thinking RD [In reply to] Can't Post

Maybe you should just assume the disclaimer is on all of my posts, and click on them with that assumption in mind. That way, you're always prepared. Angelic


I'm sensing a theme for the end of each movie - "I will not die here cowering, I will face my enemy head on." Only problem is... Unsure



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