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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
A few questions for you seasoned Hobbit scholars

OhioDude72
The Shire

Jun 25, 4:33pm

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A few questions for you seasoned Hobbit scholars Can't Post

I have recently revisited the Hobbit films and have found a new love for them. Rather than continue to make individual threads for every question or topic I have I figured this would be more efficient.

1. How did Bilbo know so much about the history of Erebor that he was able to deliver such a detailed prologue? Did he learn more over the years since the events in The Hobbit or did he gather that info throughout his journey?

2. Anyone else think the opening prologue telling the history of Erebor was one of the best parts of the trilogy? Was any of the dialogue from the opening prologue in the novel? If not, who of the 3-4 writers penned this part of the screenplay? Brilliant writing. I love the camera work and introduction to Thranduil.

2. How did Smaug know such specific details about Thorin, such as his name and obsession with the Arkenstone, as well as that Thror had been slain and details of the Dwarves' plight, as well as the people of lake town?

3. Why did Bilbo suddenly completely change his mind about going in the quest, what came over him? I love how he looks at the contract and his reaction but did you find it a bit over the top or unrealistic that he would have such a drastic change of heart?

4. Did anyone find James Nesbitt annoying at all? I don't like how much dialogue and screen time they gave him, didn't care for him one bit. I'm not sure why.

5. Anyone think Thranduil was awesome? Was he the greatest Elvin king at the time or in the history of middle earth? I had always thought Lord Elrond was.

6. Balin says the gate of Erebor is sealed and that there is no way in, how did it get sealed? It didn't seem to be sealed when the Dwarves were all leaving after Smaug's attack.

7. Is Bilbo supposed to be a bit fatter or was that just the Rankin Bass vision?

8. Is Gandalf really that powerful/threatening? Why did the two men at the prancing pony hold back when he sat down with Thorin?


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

Jun 26, 9:41am

Post #2 of 24 (2318 views)
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I can answer some of these [In reply to] Can't Post

1 This was obviously a later Bilbo talking to the audience after his adventures where over.
2 Hmmm not so sure. I actually prefer quieter slower starts than big ones that build up the tension. A bit like the start of DOS!
4 Not really, I quite liked him. I thought his character made him, more well, Dwarvish!
7 PJ's Hobbits are all slimmer than the book versions. Possibly it's just difficult to get decent tubby actors!
8 Maybe the two following Thorin just weren't that tough. I think Gandalf and Thorin would handle a couple of Bree vagabonds and they where at least wise enough to know this. Plus there might well have been other Dwarves about.


Chen G.
Rivendell

Jun 26, 10:14am

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Answers [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Its not a kind of thing that bothers me in watching the movie. He had more than enough time to learn it, either during his time with the Dwarves or afterwards. Besides, the older Bilbo is clearly something of a scholar.

2. I like the prologue. Its what's called a "James Bond opening" - an opening sequence full of action and spectacle that wets the audience's apetite for what's to come. Its par for the course, having been imployed in Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. Here, there's also the throughline of Thorin. Its all the more important given that this is now the first film of the series, narrativelly, so you need a strong, promising opening.

3. Again, not a thing that usually bothers me. Smaug was clearly going in and out of the mountain for quite some time (he's only not been seen for sixty years - the sack of Erebor happening a further 140-somethign years prior) and he's been in contact with Sauron.

4. That's the magic of cinema. Its a long take (a lot of the photography in The Hobbit is), its quiet until some score bleeds back into the picture and Bilbo is framed from behind within the round passageway, with the door out of his house clearly in focus. The suggestion being that his is kind of a lonely existence and than he does have a longing to leave his house. I understand that originally there was more to it, but Jackson (justifiably) prefer the very humorous juxtaposition from Bilbo staring out his window in silence to his bursting out of the door. It also makes Bilbo more active as opposed to being compelled by Gandalf as he is in the novel.

5. Interesting. James Nesbitt as Bofur is one of my favorites of the Dwarves. Yeah, he's the comic relief which can be annoying to some, but he's also the heart of the company.

6. Thranduil was awesome in how much I loathed him. Because Tolkien's early writing were almost entirely about Elves (at one point, Beren was an Elf, as well) he had to have all sorts of Elves: good and bad. But over time he became so enamored with them that he could not bear himself to portrary any Elf as too unsympathetic - to the point that his portrayal even of Eol feels apologetic. The Elvenking clearly suffered from this, having been concieved of and initially written as very antagonistic to the Dwarves plight, but than changed to a much more sympathetic character in following episodes. The film version is more meat-on-the-bone, and more consistent with Tolkien's earleir depiction of Elves. As for him being the greatest of the Elvish rulers - I think that title still goes to Elrond. He is the heir appearant to the position of High King of the Noldor - he just doesn't go by that title.

7. The gates are sealed until Smaug bursts through them at the end of The Desolation of Smaug.

8. Jackson made his Hobbits generally thinner and younger than their book conterparts.

9. Meh. It just became too much a fuss to deal with two individuals in a crowded environment. Not to mention that Gandalf is a tall man, unlike the shorter (if much more stout) Thorin.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jun 26, 10:17am)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 26, 11:13am

Post #4 of 24 (2303 views)
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Smaug's invasion of Erebor [In reply to] Can't Post


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3. Again, not a thing that usually bothers me. Smaug was clearly going in and out of the mountain for quite some time (he's only not been seen for sixty years - the sack of Erebor happening a further 140-somethign years prior) and he's been in contact with Sauron.


With Thorin seeming younger in the films, my assumption is that Smaug attacks Dale and Erebor and inhabits the Lonely Mountain approximately 120 years before the Quest of Erebor--about 50 years later than in the book. This also means that the War of Moria takes place at a later date. And it changes the birth-years of Thorin and his siblings (despite the evidence of the tapestry that Bard finds in Lake-town; I dismiss that as an artifact from Tolkien's appendices).

"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.
Rivendell

Jun 26, 11:17am

Post #5 of 24 (2297 views)
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I would think so [In reply to] Can't Post

But I didn't see any evidence to it in the extensive behind-the-scenes material. The films themselves certainly suggest that its been more than just sixty years: Girion is said to have been Bard's ancestor, where if the gap was only that big, he'd probably only be his grandfather or something. The production diaries cite the Battle of Moria at the correct time, as well.

So whatever the time gap, Smaug wasn't caved-in the mountain immediatelly following its capture. He would have been around, and since he communicates with Sauron he will have learned things from his messengers.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jun 26, 11:19am)


OhioDude72
The Shire

Jun 26, 11:18am

Post #6 of 24 (2297 views)
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Hmm [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
1. Its not a kind of thing that bothers me in watching the movie. He had more than enough time to learn it, either during his time with the Dwarves or afterwards. Besides, the older Bilbo is clearly something of a scholar.

2. I like the prologue. Its what's called a "James Bond opening" - an opening sequence full of action and spectacle that wets the audience's apetite for what's to come. Its par for the course, having been imployed in Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. Here, there's also the throughline of Thorin. Its all the more important given that this is now the first film of the series, narrativelly, so you need a strong, promising opening.

3. Again, not a thing that usually bothers me. Smaug was clearly going in and out of the mountain for quite some time (he's only not been seen for sixty years - the sack of Erebor happening a further 140-somethign years prior) and he's been in contact with Sauron.

4. That's the magic of cinema. Its a long take (a lot of the photography in The Hobbit is), its quiet until some score bleeds back into the picture and Bilbo is framed from behind within the round passageway, with the door out of his house clearly in focus. The suggestion being that his is kind of a lonely existence and than he does have a longing to leave his house. I understand that originally there was more to it, but Jackson (justifiably) prefer the very humorous juxtaposition from Bilbo staring out his window in silence to his bursting out of the door. It also makes Bilbo more active as opposed to being compelled by Gandalf as he is in the novel.

5. Interesting. James Nesbitt as Bofur is one of my favorites of the Dwarves. Yeah, he's the comic relief which can be annoying to some, but he's also the heart of the company.

6. Thranduil was awesome in how much I loathed him. Because Tolkien's early writing were almost entirely about Elves (at one point, Beren was an Elf, as well) he had to have all sorts of Elves: good and bad. But over time he became so enamored with them that he could not bear himself to portrary any Elf as too unsympathetic - to the point that his portrayal even of Eol feels apologetic. The Elvenking clearly suffered from this, having been concieved of and initially written as very antagonistic to the Dwarves plight, but than changed to a much more sympathetic character in following episodes. The film version is more meat-on-the-bone, and more consistent with Tolkien's earleir depiction of Elves. As for him being the greatest of the Elvish rulers - I think that title still goes to Elrond. He is the heir appearant to the position of High King of the Noldor - he just doesn't go by that title.

7. The gates are sealed until Smaug bursts through them at the end of The Desolation of Smaug.

8. Jackson made his Hobbits generally thinner and younger than their book conterparts.

9. Meh. It just became too much a fuss to deal with two individuals in a crowded environment. Not to mention that Gandalf is a tall man, unlike the shorter (if much more stout) Thorin.


Why did you "loathe" Thranduil? And you didn't answer my question about the gate, I asked how/why it was sealed when it wasn't at the time of the attack?


Chen G.
Rivendell

Jun 26, 11:25am

Post #7 of 24 (2296 views)
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I loathe him in a good way [In reply to] Can't Post

He's really antagonistic to Thorin and spends the majority of the story serving his own agenda, willing to let all sorts of misfortune upon others, including the Dwarves of Erebor, the Men of Laketown, Tauriel, etcetra...

The result is that even as Thorin refuses to negotiate with him and Bard, and even as Dain arrives and wages war with them, we remain somewhat sympathetic to the Dwarves' side, because we want to see Thranduil get smacked.

As for the gate - its clear Smaug was going in and out of the mountain after the sack of Erebor. Either he eventually sealed the gate with rubble or someone did it to cover up his hiding place so no one will disturb it and cause the dragon to awake in wrath.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jun 26, 11:28am)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 26, 11:54am

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The Coming of Smaug [In reply to] Can't Post

If I remember correctly, I did originally guess that the coming of Smaug to Erebor took place in the films much closer to Tolkien's original date than my later guess of a 50-year difference. I came up with 120 years before the Quest of Erebor as the absolute latest year in which it could have happened. I dismissed the date for the Battle of Moria provided in the production diaries as something we can't assume is correct, but neither do I completely rule it out. Someone who prefers to keep Thorin closer to his original age could have a timeline for the films that remains closer to Tolkien's "Tale of Years".

I would assume that Smaug himself resealed the entrance to Erebor whenever he left to feed and returns. I can't imagine anyone else coming close enough to the Mountain to do it--at least not unless or until Smaug actually struck a pact with Sauron.

"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.
Rivendell

Jun 26, 12:54pm

Post #9 of 24 (2281 views)
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There are all manner of little hints [In reply to] Can't Post

The films have all sorts of little hints that the sack of Erebor happened quite some time before the events of the films main narrative: again, the fact that Girion is Bard's ancestor rather than, say, his grandfather. In fact, in the production material, Luke Evans says (maybe as a hyperbole) that Girion is Bard's "great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather".

Likewise, the aging on Smaug: they have a yonger model of the dragon, concieved to be the one from the attack on Dale - and its a significant difference. Jackson also speaks of Smaug's motivation saying "He's been there for, you know, two hundred years..."

On the other hand, you could argue that the cut to young Bilbo with "far away, in another corner of the world" suggest that the sack of Erebor is concurrent to the Old Took's birthday.

Its all not clear - there should have been some subtitle cards signifying the time passage - like in the end of the prologue. Because I wrote a fan translation of the films to my native language, I saw fit to add those, mostly using the book's dates, but knowing that some of the them might not fit with the narrative of the film.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jun 26, 12:56pm)


Chen G.
Rivendell

Jun 26, 1:18pm

Post #10 of 24 (2270 views)
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Just to add to that... [In reply to] Can't Post

The overarching story of the sextet is wonderfully none-linear: its a nice thing to see, artistically, in a big franchise such as this.

Its not just that you have flashbacks (and ocassionaly a flash-forward) but that you have scenes told out-of-order which form a certain throughline: the closing scene of The Hobbit where Bilbo is staring intensly at his ring, resonates with a scene which chronologically takes place just prior (but only appears a ways into The Fellowship of the Ring) where he thinks he lost the ring and gets very worked up in finding it.

The same between Fellowship and The Two Towers: Arwen is clearly upset when Aragorn leaves Rivendell ,but we only realize why when we flash-back to the moments directly between the scene at Gilraen's memorial and the Fellowship setting out.

But I digress.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jun 26, 1:20pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 26, 1:19pm

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Yes... [In reply to] Can't Post

...but the year 2820 is still a long time before Bilbo's adventure and Jackson occasionally misspeaks when talking about the films and the books, so I would not take his statement about Smaug, "He's been there for, you know, two hundred years...," (or more like one hundred seventy years) as a given. The original year for Smaug's occupation of Lonely Mountain can certainly work if we just assume that Thorin has good genes and only looks more youthful than he should. However, we are told that for the films Balin, not Thorin, is the oldest member of the company. That also supports a later date, though maybe around 2790 or so instead of 2820. That would let us keep the Battle of Moria in 2799. I like my movie timeline, but I never said that it couldn't be tweaked.

I for one never assumed that the coming of Smaug or the Battle of Moria coincided with Bilbo's youth, but I can see how others might have thought differently. But I also took the ages for Fili and Kili as given by Tolkien into account. knowing that they were born in the Blue Mountains.

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

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jun 26, 1:22pm)


Chen G.
Rivendell

Jun 26, 1:23pm

Post #12 of 24 (2262 views)
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Like I said, its confusing [In reply to] Can't Post

Cue cards of time passage would have been good - throughout the entire sextet, really. Even something like The Two Towers has very confusing shfits in time and place that could have been made smoother with subtitles.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jun 26, 1:30pm)


Noria
Gondor

Jun 26, 2:43pm

Post #13 of 24 (2248 views)
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I’m no Tolkien scholar but I’ll have a go. [In reply to] Can't Post

1. How did Bilbo know so much about the history of Erebor that he was able to deliver such a detailed prologue? Did he learn more over the years since the events in The Hobbit or did he gather that info throughout his journey?
----- I think both of the above, plus as was said, Bilbo became something of a scholar after his adventures.

2. Anyone else think the opening prologue telling the history of Erebor was one of the best parts of the trilogy? Was any of the dialogue from the opening prologue in the novel? If not, who of the 3-4 writers penned this part of the screenplay? Brilliant writing. I love the camera work and introduction to Thranduil.
-----I liked the prologue of AUJ for its depiction of Erebor and Dale in their primes as well as the attack of the dragon. It brilliantly told us all we needed to know to understand the quest in a few minutes.

2. How did Smaug know such specific details about Thorin, such as his name and obsession with the Arkenstone, as well as that Thror had been slain and details of the Dwarves' plight, as well as the people of lake town?
-----It seems clear that Sauron and Smaug were in contact and Sauron was aware of Thorin’s quest. He had human spies and agents who could have sussed out many things. We’ll have to assume that the dragon had also been told something about Thror and his obsessions. In the book Smaug had destroyed Laketown at the same time he attacked Dale and Erebor and was well aware of Esgaroth as a potential danger. It works in the movie as well.

3. Why did Bilbo suddenly completely change his mind about going in the quest, what came over him? I love how he looks at the contract and his reaction but did you find it a bit over the top or unrealistic that he would have such a drastic change of heart?
-----That was one of my favourite scenes in AUJ. IMO, Bilbo awakens to his Dwarf-free house and is initially jubilant, until the solitude after the lively night before brings home the sterility of his existence and seeing the contract releases his pent up longing for adventure.

4. Did anyone find James Nesbitt annoying at all? I don't like how much dialogue and screen time they gave him, didn't care for him one bit. I'm not sure why.
-----Bofur was one of my favourites and I thought Nesbitt was great. He had more dialogue than most of the others because he was hired to be a featured player, along with Ken Stott as Balin. Both those actors were known in Britain, as was Aidan Turner to an extent. Most of the rest were New Zealanders and pretty much unknown outside that country. But PJ and company have a genius for casting that really enhances his movies.

5. Anyone think Thranduil was awesome? Was he the greatest Elvin king at the time or in the history of middle earth? I had always thought Lord Elrond was.
-----I thought that Thranduil was a beautiful jerk, just like Thorin. Both were great well written and well acted characters. I sometime wonder if super-cool Thranduil was designed to appeal to fan boys and Thorin to women, though the Elvenking has plenty of female fans. IMO Thranduil wasn't the greatest king: the Woodland Realm was pretty isolated and obscure, though Thranduil and Legolas were of a higher lineage than the Wood Elves they ruled. But Elrond, heir to the Elven High King and a descendant of Luthien, was definitely greater.

6. Balin says the gate of Erebor is sealed and that there is no way in, how did it get sealed? It didn't seem to be sealed when the Dwarves were all leaving after Smaug's attack.
-----I assumed that Smaug just sealed up the gate with rubble whenever he went down for a decades long nap, like locking the door. Certainly the Dwarves didn't stop to seal it as they fled. At the end of DOS, Smaug broke out through the front gate of Erebor, opening it up.

7. Is Bilbo supposed to be a bit fatter or was that just the Rankin Bass vision?
-----Hobbits are generally somewhat stocky, though individuals of the elite Hobbit sub-group that the Baggins family belonged to (also the Tooks and Brandybucks) were usually taller, slimmer and more adventurous.

8. Is Gandalf really that powerful/threatening? Why did the two men at the prancing pony hold back when he sat down with Thorin?
-----Possibly they knew that the tall man with the staff and sword was a wizard, or maybe they would take on a lone Dwarf but not more than that.


Chen G.
Rivendell

Jun 26, 3:35pm

Post #14 of 24 (2239 views)
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Graham McTavish also features prominently [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Bofur was one of my favourites and I thought Nesbitt was great. He had more dialogue than most of the others because he was hired to be a featured player, along with Ken Stott as Balin. Both those actors were known in Britain, as was Aidan Turner to an extent. Most of the rest were New Zealanders and pretty much unknown outside that country.


Another one to be prominently featured in Graham McTavish as Dwalin. Its a character I've grown to appreciate more ad more on repeated viewings - which is always a treat in ensemble-cast films such as these.

Really, if you were to point out the main cast of Dwarves, it would be: Thorin, Balin, Dwalin, Fili, Kili and Bofur. They have fleshed out personalities, motivations, relationships and even arcs.

This was a great choice because had they given equal attention to all thirteen the films would have choked under the weight. It also means that five of those six main characters are introduced individually, apart from the rest of the group which helps characterize them better.

One of the great things about the company is that, because they're more homogenous than The Fellowship, they exist both as individuals but also as the character of the company.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jun 26, 3:44pm)


OhioDude72
The Shire

Jun 26, 4:05pm

Post #15 of 24 (2230 views)
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Interesting [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
1. How did Bilbo know so much about the history of Erebor that he was able to deliver such a detailed prologue? Did he learn more over the years since the events in The Hobbit or did he gather that info throughout his journey?
----- I think both of the above, plus as was said, Bilbo became something of a scholar after his adventures.

2. Anyone else think the opening prologue telling the history of Erebor was one of the best parts of the trilogy? Was any of the dialogue from the opening prologue in the novel? If not, who of the 3-4 writers penned this part of the screenplay? Brilliant writing. I love the camera work and introduction to Thranduil.
-----I liked the prologue of AUJ for its depiction of Erebor and Dale in their primes as well as the attack of the dragon. It brilliantly told us all we needed to know to understand the quest in a few minutes.

2. How did Smaug know such specific details about Thorin, such as his name and obsession with the Arkenstone, as well as that Thror had been slain and details of the Dwarves' plight, as well as the people of lake town?
-----It seems clear that Sauron and Smaug were in contact and Sauron was aware of Thorin’s quest. He had human spies and agents who could have sussed out many things. We’ll have to assume that the dragon had also been told something about Thror and his obsessions. In the book Smaug had destroyed Laketown at the same time he attacked Dale and Erebor and was well aware of Esgaroth as a potential danger. It works in the movie as well.

3. Why did Bilbo suddenly completely change his mind about going in the quest, what came over him? I love how he looks at the contract and his reaction but did you find it a bit over the top or unrealistic that he would have such a drastic change of heart?
-----That was one of my favourite scenes in AUJ. IMO, Bilbo awakens to his Dwarf-free house and is initially jubilant, until the solitude after the lively night before brings home the sterility of his existence and seeing the contract releases his pent up longing for adventure.

4. Did anyone find James Nesbitt annoying at all? I don't like how much dialogue and screen time they gave him, didn't care for him one bit. I'm not sure why.
-----Bofur was one of my favourites and I thought Nesbitt was great. He had more dialogue than most of the others because he was hired to be a featured player, along with Ken Stott as Balin. Both those actors were known in Britain, as was Aidan Turner to an extent. Most of the rest were New Zealanders and pretty much unknown outside that country. But PJ and company have a genius for casting that really enhances his movies.

5. Anyone think Thranduil was awesome? Was he the greatest Elvin king at the time or in the history of middle earth? I had always thought Lord Elrond was.
-----I thought that Thranduil was a beautiful jerk, just like Thorin. Both were great well written and well acted characters. I sometime wonder if super-cool Thranduil was designed to appeal to fan boys and Thorin to women, though the Elvenking has plenty of female fans. IMO Thranduil wasn't the greatest king: the Woodland Realm was pretty isolated and obscure, though Thranduil and Legolas were of a higher lineage than the Wood Elves they ruled. But Elrond, heir to the Elven High King and a descendant of Luthien, was definitely greater.

6. Balin says the gate of Erebor is sealed and that there is no way in, how did it get sealed? It didn't seem to be sealed when the Dwarves were all leaving after Smaug's attack.
-----I assumed that Smaug just sealed up the gate with rubble whenever he went down for a decades long nap, like locking the door. Certainly the Dwarves didn't stop to seal it as they fled. At the end of DOS, Smaug broke out through the front gate of Erebor, opening it up.

7. Is Bilbo supposed to be a bit fatter or was that just the Rankin Bass vision?
-----Hobbits are generally somewhat stocky, though individuals of the elite Hobbit sub-group that the Baggins family belonged to (also the Tooks and Brandybucks) were usually taller, slimmer and more adventurous.

8. Is Gandalf really that powerful/threatening? Why did the two men at the prancing pony hold back when he sat down with Thorin?
-----Possibly they knew that the tall man with the staff and sword was a wizard, or maybe they would take on a lone Dwarf but not more than that.


Why then was he referred to as "the great Elvin king?" Was he, for his time, a big deal?


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 26, 4:17pm

Post #16 of 24 (2226 views)
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Thranduil [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Why then was he referred to as "the great Elvin king?" Was he, for his time, a big deal?


Well, first, I would say that Thorin was being a bit sarcastic when he called Thranduil by that phrase. But Thranduil was a big deal in that neck of the woods (so to speak). He was a Sinda Elf so he would have been counted among the Wise, though it doesn't seem as though he was ever a part of the White Council. It might be that his father Oropher had been a member of the Councils of the Wise opposing Sauron in the Second Age. Most of the Wood-elves were more like the East-elves who were generally more wild and less wise than the Eldar. Unlike the High Elves and the Sindar, the Wood-elves did not much work metal and so had weapons and armor inferior to the followers of Círdan the Shipwright in the Grey Havens and Elrond.

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


OhioDude72
The Shire

Jun 26, 4:35pm

Post #17 of 24 (2220 views)
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Ah ok [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
Why then was he referred to as "the great Elvin king?" Was he, for his time, a big deal?


Well, first, I would say that Thorin was being a bit sarcastic when he called Thranduil by that phrase. But Thranduil was a big deal in that neck of the woods (so to speak). He was a Sinda Elf so he would have been counted among the Wise, though it doesn't seem as though he was ever a part of the White Council. It might be that his father Oropher had been a member of the Councils of the Wise opposing Sauron in the Second Age. Most of the Wood-elves were more like the East-elves who were generally more wild and less wise than the Eldar. Unlike the High Elves and the Sindar, the Wood-elves did not much work metal and so had weapons and armor inferior to the followers of Círdan the Shipwright in the Grey Havens and Elrond.


I was talking about when Bilbo refers to him as "the great elvinking"


Chen G.
Rivendell

Jun 26, 7:26pm

Post #18 of 24 (2192 views)
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Elvenking [In reply to] Can't Post

Thranduil being a sinda among Woodland Elves made him superior in the eyes of his people in a way that Galadriel or Elrond weren't among theirs, to the point that he could take the mantle of "king" where the other Elf rulers only went by "Lord" (or "Lady").

Ironically, Thranduil is the only Elvish ruler in the third age to go by the title "King" and yet is the lesser of all of them. Although to be fair his is by far the biggest realm, at least in theory.

As for why Bilbo calls him such in the prologue: to my mind more than anything its supposed to feed into the fairytale quality of the prologue: "it began long ago", etc...


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jun 26, 7:30pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jun 26, 11:14pm

Post #19 of 24 (2169 views)
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Galadriel and Celeborn [In reply to] Can't Post


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Thranduil being a sinda among Woodland Elves made him superior in the eyes of his people in a way that Galadriel or Elrond weren't among theirs, to the point that he could take the mantle of "king" where the other Elf rulers only went by "Lord" (or "Lady").


I'm not sure that's entirely true where Celeborn and Galadriel are concerned. The vast majority of the Elves of Lothlórien were Silvan Elves like the Wood-elves of Mirkwood. Galadriel was Noldor (a High Elf) and her husband was, like Thranduil and Legolas, Sinda. They didn't insist on the titles of King and Queen, but they may as well have used them.

Círdan ruled over a population of Sindar and probably also Noldor Elves. Since the death of Gil-galad, Lord Círdan might be the nearest thing to the High King of the Eldar of Middle-earth.

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


Smaug the iron
Gondor


Jun 27, 2:17pm

Post #20 of 24 (2108 views)
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Dialogue [In reply to] Can't Post


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Was any of the dialogue from the opening prologue in the novel?


film

Quote
Bilbo: "The First they heard was a noise like a hurricane coming down from the North. The pines on the mountain creaked and cracked in the hot, dry wind."

Book

Quote
Thorin: "The First we heard was a noise like a hurricane coming from the North, and the pine-trees on the Mountain creaking and cracking in the wind."


Film

Quote
Bilbo: "For a dragon will guard his plunder as long as he lives."

Book

Quote
Thorin: "And they guard their plunder as long as they live."



OhioDude72
The Shire

Jun 27, 4:01pm

Post #21 of 24 (2091 views)
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Interesting [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

In Reply To
Was any of the dialogue from the opening prologue in the novel?


film

Quote
Bilbo: "The First they heard was a noise like a hurricane coming down from the North. The pines on the mountain creaked and cracked in the hot, dry wind."

Book

Quote
Thorin: "The First we heard was a noise like a hurricane coming from the North, and the pine-trees on the Mountain creaking and cracking in the wind."


Film

Quote
Bilbo: "For a dragon will guard his plunder as long as he lives."

Book

Quote
Thorin: "And they guard their plunder as long as they live."



So nothing about "The beauty of this fortress city was legend. Its wealth lay in the earth, in precious gems hewn from rock and in great seams of gold running like rivers through stone?" That is some brilliant writing.


(This post was edited by OhioDude72 on Jun 27, 4:03pm)


Chen G.
Rivendell

Jun 27, 9:10pm

Post #22 of 24 (2076 views)
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Besides, there's parts of the prologue evocative of "Durin's Folk" [In reply to] Can't Post

Not so much dialogue but a visual (and film is a visual medium) where a very brooding Thorin works in a blacksmith.


Quote
"To the anvil!", answered Thorin.[..]The embers in the heart of Thorin grew hot again. As he brooded on the wrongs of his house, and the vengenance upon the dragon, that he had inherited. He thought of weapons and armies and alliances as his great hammer rang in his forge. But the armies were dispersed and the alliances broken, and the axes of his people were few. And a great anger without hope burned him as he smote the red iron on the anvil."


That was the element of The Hobbit that won me over (being initially adamant to not see it). The prologue, in the vein of the opening to The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, is a "James Bond" action opening, but like Fellowship, this one is also there to tell you what this story is about. In Fellowship we learn of this ring and the power it granted Sauron and how it was won from his, but not destroyed, and we understand that the thrust of that trilogy will be about destroying the ring. That can help keep an audience "hooked", even through a long first act.

Here, we learn of this wealthy Dwarven kingdom and how a dragon took it by force, and we understand that the trilogy is going to be about taking it back. But here, the setpiece has nothing to do with Bilbo, the titular character, but it has everything to do with Thorin, who is present in the prologue.

And when that shot came up I understood where this Thorin-centric take on the story was drawn from: it wasn't Peter Jackson's invention, it was from The Lord of the Rings: Appendix A, III: Durin's Folk.

And once the story about Thorin (and, once they show up on Bilbo doorstep, about his company) than it has every reason to be in the same territory (if not in the very same spot) as The Lord of the Rings in terms of tone and scale and as such also lends itself to a trilogy, in a way that the same story - told as Bilbo's story - would not. And most of the people criticising this trilogy have been - disingeniously - analyzing it for something its not - Bilbo's story - rather than for what it is.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jun 27, 9:20pm)


Kilidoescartwheels
Tol Eressea


Jul 9, 8:26pm

Post #23 of 24 (1909 views)
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Not a scholar, but here are my thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

1. How did Bilbo know so much about the history of Erebor that he was able to deliver such a detailed prologue? Did he learn more over the years since the events in The Hobbit or did he gather that info throughout his journey?
Probably a bit of both - he would have learned some on the journey, but then after 60 years he'd have had a chance to read up on it as well.

2. Anyone else think the opening prologue telling the history of Erebor was one of the best parts of the trilogy? Was any of the dialogue from the opening prologue in the novel? If not, who of the 3-4 writers penned this part of the screenplay? Brilliant writing. I love the camera work and introduction to Thranduil.
Don't know who penned it, but yes I thought it was both well-written and some great cinematography. I liked the scene where a dwarf finds the Arkenstone, and you got to see some of the Dwarven culture with their craftsmanship. The EE brings out Thranduil better than the TE.

2. How did Smaug know such specific details about Thorin, such as his name and obsession with the Arkenstone, as well as that Thror had been slain and details of the Dwarves' plight, as well as the people of lake town?
One of those things that I don't think the movie explained very well. Smaug is supposedly in league with the Necromancer, but that part isn't well explained, especially since Smaug hasn't been seen for 60 years.

3. Why did Bilbo suddenly completely change his mind about going in the quest, what came over him? I love how he looks at the contract and his reaction but did you find it a bit over the top or unrealistic that he would have such a drastic change of heart?
Not really. I think the Took side just took over at that moment, remember Gandalf reminded him that he is also a Took, and they are the adventurous ones.

4. Did anyone find James Nesbitt annoying at all? I don't like how much dialogue and screen time they gave him, didn't care for him one bit. I'm not sure why.
No, Nesbitt was fine. Alfrid was annoying, IMO, but the acting was fine. PJ can really cast a movie, I thought all of the actors were great - even if I didn't like their characters so much.

5. Anyone think Thranduil was awesome? Was he the greatest Elvin king at the time or in the history of middle earth? I had always thought Lord Elrond was.
I definitely enjoyed Lee Pace's performance (see comment above), but I couldn't tell you who was the "Greatest Elven King."

6. Balin says the gate of Erebor is sealed and that there is no way in, how did it get sealed? It didn't seem to be sealed when the Dwarves were all leaving after Smaug's attack.
Smaug collapsed the entrance and sealed himself in, after a fair amount of Dwarves got out.

7. Is Bilbo supposed to be a bit fatter or was that just the Rankin Bass vision?
Possibly - most hobbits are a little chunky, but Frodo & Pippen (a Took) were also thin.

8. Is Gandalf really that powerful/threatening? Why did the two men at the prancing pony hold back when he sat down with Thorin?
That scene has always cracked me up! Short guy with a sword, no problem, but old guy with a staff, oh no, better not mess with him, LOL! Then again, he made quite a mess in the Goblin tunnels & Dol Goldur, so yeah, pretty powerful. My favorite scene in the Goblin tunnels is when Gandalf makes the boulder drop & roll over the goblins.

I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies - this is me!

from The Greatest Showman




Chen G.
Rivendell

Jul 10, 8:25am

Post #24 of 24 (1828 views)
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Cinematography [In reply to] Can't Post


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I love the camera work and introduction to Thranduil.

Don't know who penned it, but yes I thought it was both well-written and some great cinematography.


To balance things out a bit, there's a case for not making too much out of cinematography in digitally-fabricated shots.

When you make a shot in a computer, there's no problem in composing the shot however you want or drawing it out as long as you could possibly want. There are no lighting issues, the camera is never out-of-focus, etcetra.

For really good cinematography, look for the long takes in Bag End. Really, throughout this trilogy Jackson made a point out of using longer takes, which is always beneficial in films that take place in a setting different to our contemporary world, because it allows you to appreciate the world and the sets all the more.

Some of these long takes include: Several long takes in Bag End (the longest of which being a minute and twenty seconds long), one in Trollshaws as Bilbo and the Dwarves investigate; a tracking shot behind Thorin in Bree; an establishing shot inside Beorn's halls at night; a long take as Bilbo stands in front of the hidden door; and finaly, when Bard returns to Dale after the battle had begun and rallies his men.


(This post was edited by Chen G. on Jul 10, 8:26am)

 
 

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