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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Is Mirkwood scary?
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DainPig
Gondor


Sep 11 2016, 4:04pm

Post #1 of 65 (3114 views)
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Is Mirkwood scary? Can't Post

I always thought Mirkwood was not dark enough, but I understand we need to see what is going on. The soundtrack at least is very very frightful. What you think? And do you think the extended scenes imrpove it?

"Se mais pessoas valorizassem o lar acima do ouro, o mundo seria muito mais feliz."

dainpigblog.blogspot.com

historiasderafaelrodriguesdarocha.blogspot.com

(This post was edited by DainPig on Sep 11 2016, 4:06pm)


2ndBreffest
The Shire


Sep 11 2016, 4:39pm

Post #2 of 65 (2974 views)
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yes, quite scary [In reply to] Can't Post

i guess it could have been a little darker maybe tho


StingingFly
Lorien


Sep 11 2016, 5:30pm

Post #3 of 65 (2954 views)
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...not enough Mirkwood [In reply to] Can't Post

Mirkwood was the great lost opportunity of DOS. What is sad is that the extended edition scenes did a great job of capturing the spirit of the books. That is Mirkwood as enchanted, haunting, mysterious.

What is mostly lost in this trilogy is Nature itself as a formidable opponent.

You see this in the LOTR series as natural obstacles such the pass at Caradhras, Fanghorn forest, the Dead Marshes, Mount Doom etc,..all had a menacing presence. You could feel the struggle of man vs. Nature.

The Hobbit trilogy kind of rushes along on the journey as we go from chase scene to battle to chase scene.


2ndBreffest
The Shire


Sep 11 2016, 5:36pm

Post #4 of 65 (2948 views)
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i would like more morkwood [In reply to] Can't Post

but all the added chase scenes make it very exciting! i was never had a dull moment the whole time! thats what makes it so good


Ormi
Registered User

Sep 11 2016, 8:10pm

Post #5 of 65 (2897 views)
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Its creepy and uneasy [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know that I would call it scary per se, but its uneasy, creepy, it doesn't feel right. I think it captures Bilbo's statement "this forest feels....sick" very well. Shore's musical composition is very fitting for the entire scene, especially in the extended version. I love how they used them walking backwards, Bilbo seeing himself behind him, all very thoughtful and well planned. I think the unease shown in Mirkwood is better than it being outright scary. I think it helps everyone develop their own unique perspective to it, instead of it being handed to them as...."hey this is supposed to be super scary"


Omnigeek
Lorien


Sep 11 2016, 9:27pm

Post #6 of 65 (2879 views)
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Quite right, creepy and uneasy [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't find it scary (except POSSIBLY during the spider sequence) but sick and uneasy are spot on -- and really how it should be. In theory, the Elves still control Greenwood/Mirkwood, but their control has diminished and creatures like the spiders have been moving in. This was one of the things I thought PJ and WETA got close to right.


dormouse
Half-elven


Sep 12 2016, 8:45am

Post #7 of 65 (2833 views)
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I think they captured the atmosphere very well.... [In reply to] Can't Post

..especially in the EE, where you see the enchantment as well as the darkness and danger. The white stag is one of my favourite scenes.

I would love to have seen the elf fires, but reckon they didn't include them because Mirkwood in the film is so sinister that it really isn't the sort of place where the Elves (or anyone else) would want to be having a picnic!

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood and every spring
there is a different green. . .


Noria
Gondor

Sep 12 2016, 12:12pm

Post #8 of 65 (2817 views)
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I like the Mirkwood of the movies [In reply to] Can't Post

For me the forest isnít particularly frightening but it is eerie, creepy and strange, especially when the spiders are referenced. The music really works well but Shore always scores eerie scenes well, maybe a legacy of his work with Cronenberg?

IMO the EE version with the bridge and the stag is better and more magical. Seeing the Dwarves carrying sleeping Bombur was nice. I was glad the scenes were lit so that we could see everything but a night scene that showed the pitch-darkness and the watching eyes would have been cool.

In the book, I always found it hard to believe that Elves would be picnicking at night in that horrible forest, Elven lights and power notwithstanding. Like why?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Sep 12 2016, 2:07pm

Post #9 of 65 (2798 views)
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The Woodland Realm [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
In the book, I always found it hard to believe that Elves would be picnicking at night in that horrible forest, Elven lights and power notwithstanding. Like why?


The Woodland Realm must have been more pleasant and less oppressive than the rest of Mirkwood thanks to the influence of the Wood-elves and Thranduil. It might not have seemed so to the Dwarves, possibly because the trees themselves didn't like them.

One of the things I don't like about PJ's version of Mirkwood is that there is little if any sense of how long it took the company to travel through the Forest. Even if Mirkwood was a normal wood and the path considered to be a good road it probably should have taken them no more than a week-and-a-half to negotiate it. As it was, they exhausted their supplies before encountering the spiders (or reaching the Wood-elves' clearing in the book). But that is also an issue I have with Jackson's Hobbit trilogy in general.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Sep 12 2016, 2:09pm)


Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Sep 12 2016, 3:06pm

Post #10 of 65 (2778 views)
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Was it supposed to be? [In reply to] Can't Post

I dunno, I don't remember the book that well. In the movie no, but it was disorienting, which can be a frightening experience in itself. I don't know how they would have filmed a pitch-black forest scene anyway, I'm pretty happy with what we got. Never thought about the music, need to give that a listen.

Proud member of the BOFA Denial Association


LSF
Gondor

Sep 12 2016, 4:16pm

Post #11 of 65 (2767 views)
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unsettling.... [In reply to] Can't Post

Unsettling is a better word. Something in the air (nature and magic) messing with your head, influencing you to make bad decisions, hearing voices and sounds that you're not sure are really there... Which, to me, is more scary than blatant pitch black with eyes staring at you.

The soundtrack definitely adds to it.


TheOnlyOneAroundWithAnySense
Rohan


Sep 12 2016, 4:26pm

Post #12 of 65 (2761 views)
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Yes, exactly [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Goldeneye
Lorien


Sep 12 2016, 6:09pm

Post #13 of 65 (2746 views)
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Agree completely [In reply to] Can't Post

I definitely agree that Mirkwood was one of the great lost opportunities of DOS, and the Hobbit films in general. The way the book describes it, the forest is near pitch dark, with only small patches and shafts of light being able to poke through the trees above. I've always been entranced by this image of Mirkwood, as it appears in the Tolkien Bestiary:

http://www.councilofelrond.com/...rations/synkmets.jpg

The film version came off as a cross between Fangorn and Lothlorien; eg it just didn't feel unique enough. I also didn't care for the "trippy" scenes, especially in the EE. The exaggerated heartbeat sounds, echoing voices and stuttered motion blur just came off as cheap editing tricks, without any air of menace. The book description of eyes watching them from the dark is still terribly creepy.


Avandel
Half-elven


Sep 13 2016, 8:46pm

Post #14 of 65 (2663 views)
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Well, disagree with: [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
The film version came off as a cross between Fangorn and Lothlorien; eg it just didn't feel unique enough. I also didn't care for the "trippy" scenes, especially in the EE. The exaggerated heartbeat sounds, echoing voices and stuttered motion blur just came off as cheap editing tricks, without any air of menace. The book description of eyes watching them from the dark is still terribly creepy.



Maybe because I've spent some time in the U.S. south, and enough time by rivers and streams - one think I appreciated about PJ's Mirkwood - or related to, anyway - was the sense of dank, dripping, humidity. Plenty of rotting wood sprouting fungi. Spores and whatnot hazing the air. Plenty of critters. How many times have I walked face first into a spiderweb? (this weekend, actuallyCool) and been pulling spider silk off my face?

The oily water and duckweed Bilbo gets close to. Everyone tired, hot, irritable, and the air feels heavy. It's harder to breathe. Personally didn't need Mirkwood itself to be horrifically scary - and it gets IMO scary enough when Bilbo looks around and sees his friends strung up like smokehouse sausage. I still have to fight not to jump when that spider opens its jaws to Bilbo (great shot!)Laugh. And, of course, the spectacularly rendered spiders - even that horrible spider graveyard Bilbo ends up in and it looks like translucent insect parts all piled around and just icky rotting STUFF...plus, just the terrain being so difficult, piles of logs, ravines, the path hardly visible.

And I think Bilbo looking back and seeing himself was genius. Nope, I love Mirkwood and what PJ did. It may well be that a circle of glowing eyes in the night for me might not be as interesting, because it's been done so often. I might have thought I was looking at Halloween art.

Nope, I love the whole Mirkwood sequenceHeart. Of course it's not long enough - but IMO that's true for all of the Hobbit films.Cool IMO the dwarves definitely didn't get enough spider-fighting time.Cool


And the spider voices IMO are definitely creepy.Heart

PS. And I love Legolas' entrance...


LSF
Gondor

Sep 13 2016, 10:09pm

Post #15 of 65 (2647 views)
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nice real-life experience. And... [In reply to] Can't Post

"It may well be that a circle of glowing eyes in the night for me might not be as interesting, because it's been done so often. I might have thought I was looking at Halloween art."

That's a thing for me, as well. It's a bit of a cliche. Also, how would that look in a live-action film? It worked in Disney's animated Snow White, but that was animated, which tends to exaggerate things for effect more than live-action. I've seen footage of real animal eyes glowing in pitch black jungles (I watch a lot of nature/science shows), and even then it's not scary to me to see that. I think you could only exaggerate it so much before the effect comes off as forced.

Though I don't find the spiders scary, because making creepy-crawlies giant sized doesn't seem to work on me Tongue



Omnigeek
Lorien


Sep 14 2016, 6:40am

Post #16 of 65 (2618 views)
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... and I'll disagree with your disagreement [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
IMO the dwarves definitely didn't get enough spider-fighting time.Cool


The dwarves weren't SUPPOSED to have much spider-fighting time. Bilbo fought the spiders solo as he freed the dwarves. When they WERE finally all freed ...


Quote
Then the battle began. Some of the dwarves had knives, and some had sticks, and all of them could get at stones; and Bilbo had his elvish dagger. Again and again the spiders were beaten off, and many of them were killed. But it could not go on for long. Bilbo was nearly tired out; only four of the dwarves were able to stand firmly, and soon they would all be overpowered like weary flies.


This was yet another example of where the movies pulled focus away from Bilbo to empower the dwarves. Sorry, PJ's depiction of the journey through Mirkwood was pathetic.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Sep 14 2016, 1:32pm

Post #17 of 65 (2591 views)
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Empowerment [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Quote
Then the battle began. Some of the dwarves had knives, and some had sticks, and all of them could get at stones; and Bilbo had his elvish dagger. Again and again the spiders were beaten off, and many of them were killed. But it could not go on for long. Bilbo was nearly tired out; only four of the dwarves were able to stand firmly, and soon they would all be overpowered like weary flies.


This was yet another example of where the movies pulled focus away from Bilbo to empower the dwarves. Sorry, PJ's depiction of the journey through Mirkwood was pathetic.


The role of the Dwarves here remains pretty much the same. It was the arrival of the Wood-elf patrol that takes the focus away from both Bilbo and the rest of the company.

The trippy vibe of the company in Mirkwood did add to the feeling of unreality, but it took me out of the movie a bit as that element seemed too modern to me. And, as I previously stated, my other issue is also one that I have with the company within Thranduil's caves: I don't get any sense that they were there for a great length of time (as in weeks). In the Forest that could have been clarified with dialogue, with showing that the company has exhausted its food supplies and by showing their general weariness, but we don't get much of that. I also much peferred Tolkien's handling of the crossing of the Enchanted Stream versus how Jackson approached it.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes


Ringtir
Rivendell


Sep 14 2016, 3:50pm

Post #18 of 65 (2567 views)
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Is sick. [In reply to] Can't Post

At least that's what the movie say to us. The Mirkwood from the book is very scary, the obscura mood, the eyes and creepy contact, all in black, and then the lights... The Mirkwood from the movie is pure sickness, all twisted in a Del Toro way, I see lot of his pen in that section. Even since AUJ we have the chance to see Greenwood, or some spot of it. Sadly we're missing lot of screen from the place because the continuous rescript and edition. There is plenty of scenes and writing about Thranduil that didn't get into the movie, and were connected to the Green to Mirk story.

About what the dwarves should have done and what shouldn't, it should be, do I like only the movies? Do I like only the book? Or do I like both?
The dwarves should do what the creator want to them do. Then we can state if we like more one or the other, or both. JRR is the main creator. But why can't we take his work and change it to our own criteria. Even Christopher do some of that by structuring the Silma, and we do it all the time by reading the story and using our own imagination for visualizing the characters, the places, the actions.

Once again , sorry for the bad english. I hope this can be readable and understandable.


NoelGallagher
Rohan


Sep 14 2016, 6:43pm

Post #19 of 65 (2546 views)
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Dont forget about Dol Guldur [In reply to] Can't Post

It is in Mirkwood as well, and reflects all that creepy and eerie feeling too.


DainPig
Gondor


Sep 15 2016, 12:15am

Post #20 of 65 (2503 views)
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Yeah [In reply to] Can't Post

In the film I couldn't say if days or weeks had passed, it looked like they crossed the forest in one day. But I liked the extended scenes if you ask me, more dialogue like "what the hell is happening to me?" and darker moments (the sound effects during the river scene are fribing scary). One thing I deslike about the new added stuff is that they removed Nori's line "the path, it disapperead." Yeah there's a new one in Beorn's house but come on. Also, that white deer (deer?) is out of place.

I wonder if the whole extended sequence would've been so long in the An Unexpected Journey as the first of two films. I mean, the film would've been already like three hours long. And Bilbo leaving the company because of Thorin's word would have happened in Mirkwood?

Mirkwood is scary, anyway.

"Se mais pessoas valorizassem o lar acima do ouro, o mundo seria muito mais feliz."

dainpigblog.blogspot.com

historiasderafaelrodriguesdarocha.blogspot.com

(This post was edited by DainPig on Sep 15 2016, 12:18am)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Sep 15 2016, 2:58am

Post #21 of 65 (2487 views)
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Bilbo Leaving the Company [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I wonder if the whole extended sequence would've been so long in the An Unexpected Journey as the first of two films. I mean, the film would've been already like three hours long. And Bilbo leaving the company because of Thorin's word would have happened in Mirkwood?


No. How could that possibly work? Thorin hasn't broken his word yet. The company hasn't even reached Lake-town, much less the Mountain. And Bilbo doesn't have the Arkenstone.

You really ought to break down and give the book a read.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Sep 15 2016, 3:02am)


ange1e4e5
Rohan

Sep 15 2016, 3:44am

Post #22 of 65 (2464 views)
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It was surreal. [In reply to] Can't Post

Mostly with the twists and turns and the fact that Bilbo's feet seem to be walking backward as he walks forward, just to name a couple.

I always follow my job through.


StingingFly
Lorien


Sep 15 2016, 3:48am

Post #23 of 65 (2470 views)
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The passage of time in Mirkwood... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I agree that the Company just doesn't seem to be in Mirkwood for very long. The departure from Beorn's, the crossing of Mirkwood, the imprisonment, the escape, and arrival in Lake Town all appear to happen in the same day!
I have spent extended time hiking in the wilderness. Being in the woods, exhausted, in the dark, is very unsettling. Professor Tolkien conveys this brilliantly, I am guessing he speaks from experience.
Imagine the scenes of the Company sharing their thoughts, hopes, and fears as they trek through Mirkwood. We could have learned so much more about them, seen acts of friendship and fortitude. Seen desperation and despair slowly overtake them, before the arrival of the spiders and what appears to be their end. Then bring on the heroics (and singing) of Mr. Baggins!


MyWeeLadGimli
Lorien

Sep 15 2016, 4:04am

Post #24 of 65 (2459 views)
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Some time seems to have passed [In reply to] Can't Post

Doesn't Dwalin say something like "I don't even know what day it is?" That seems to suggest that they've been wandering for more than a day. And it is subtle, but the leaves being brown and red when Bilbo reaches the top indicates that it is now autumn, which it didn't yet seem to be before entering Mirkwood. But they certainly aren't nearing the brink of starvation as in the book.

I agree that the time in Thranduil's halls seems to have been a day or two at most.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Sep 15 2016, 7:06am

Post #25 of 65 (2450 views)
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The Passage of Time in the Films [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
...I agree that the Company just doesn't seem to be in Mirkwood for very long. The departure from Beorn's, the crossing of Mirkwood, the imprisonment, the escape, and arrival in Lake Town all appear to happen in the same day!


That seems to be an issue in all three films, but in Desolation and Battle of Five Armies especially. Here we see it mostly in Mirkwood and Thranduil's realm, but also in the disappearing day in Lake-town and the company's rapid journey from Esgaroth to the Mountain. In the final movie the instance that might stand out the most is the scouting expedition that Legolas and Tauriel make to Gundabad--a mission that should have taken them weeks at even the most ridiculously fast rate of speed. I know that we don't want to see every mile they traverse, but I do want some indication that some time has passed.

"He who lies artistically, treads closer to the truth than ever he knows." -- Favorite proverb of the wizard Ningauble of the Seven Eyes

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