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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Did you ever notice that Gandalf's advice to Bilbo about sparing a life directly leads to the LOTR plot?

The Shire

Apr 29 2018, 4:33am

Post #1 of 5 (2728 views)
Did you ever notice that Gandalf's advice to Bilbo about sparing a life directly leads to the LOTR plot? Can't Post

This is one of my favorite parts of the movie, it gives me chills when the breaking of the fellowship plays as he lowers his sword from Gollum's throat. Sparing Gollum's life leaves a loose end that directly leads to the events in LOTR. Gollum then informs his captors "shire, Baggins" 60 years later who come after Frodo and the Fellowship. Jackson and Boyans really are masterful storytellers. I can't imagine anyone would have done a better job on these movies, despite their flaws.


Apr 29 2018, 5:12am

Post #2 of 5 (2717 views)
Back to the Source. [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf's line at the Troll lair does work to help tie the two movie trilogies together. Gandalf doesn't give Bilbo similar advice in the book, though Bilbo still shows mercy towards Gollum. Originally, Bilbo never had such a confrontation with Gollum; the riddle game and its aftermath played out differently. The increased importance of the Ring in The Lord of the Rings caused Tolkien go go back and revise the encounter.

"I may be on the side of the angels, but do not think for one second that I am one of them." - Sherlock

Chen G.

May 11 2018, 9:33pm

Post #3 of 5 (2427 views)
Actually... [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
it gives me chills when the breaking of the fellowship plays as he lowers his sword from Gollum's throat.

That's actually not what was originally going to play there. Jackson just re-used the piece of music that plays when Gandalf gives Bilbo the advice.

It works much better than the original composition, though!

The Shire

May 14 2018, 5:19pm

Post #4 of 5 (2392 views)
More forced than clever [In reply to] Can't Post

I noticed right away when I saw An Unexpected Journey, but it pulled me out of the film. Having Gandalf give that advise to Bilbo felt like a forced bit of "wisdom of Gandalf" writing that for me took away from Bilbo's choice later in the film. At the time I preferred that Bilbo's pity came from his own personality and Hobbit-nature, not because of being under the influence of Gandalf.

I have less issue with it all now though, as I see that for the medium of film the writers have to make the themes more obvious and state them outright. They wanted the viewer to understand the importance of the moment as it happened in Unexpected Journey, not just in context of LOTR, so they added the lines by Gandalf as for-shadowing.

Chen G.

May 14 2018, 7:19pm

Post #5 of 5 (2376 views)
Its just a piece of setup and payoff [In reply to] Can't Post

In films, you don't just introduce things: you set them up, and than pay them off. Bilbo's previous encounters with Trolls, Orcs, Wargs and Goblins didn't allow him to show this merciful side, so the way to plant it was through Gandalf's advice.

As for making things more obvious - that's also right. Very often, the writer will have to underline and embold the author's intentions. This is part of why I like the trilogy treatment: by crafting a third film that opens with the death of the dragon, you are stressing out what Tolkien intended for when he wrote the episodes that followed Smaug's demise: to turn the adventure story tropes on their head.


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