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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Why Orlando Bloom should be in 'The Hobbit'
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Jan 29 2010, 1:42pm

Post #151 of 165 (649 views)
There can still be doubt [In reply to] Can't Post

If Legolas and Gloin were indeed using "we" and "you" in more. General ways, we can't be sure if Legolas was present or just heard about it later. It's possible that during The Hobbit he was out on some mission, or hunting, or something else.


Jan 29 2010, 6:45pm

Post #152 of 165 (696 views)
Thranduil not in The Hobbit, correct me if I'm wrong and other things [In reply to] Can't Post

Sure Tolkien equated Thranduil to the Elven-king in other writings, but in the actual book The Hobbit the Elven King is never called Thranduil (correct me if I'm wrong and give me a page number so I can look it up). Other writings are the whole reason why we know that Legolas is Thranduil's son (LOTR), and why people are supposing that he might have been there with his father, and therefore could reasonably be in the TH the movie. But in my last post I was speaking just to the book.

Regarding your question,"I do wonder though, why do you think that Bilbo is sometimes unreliable?"

Perhaps you misunderstand me. A limited and unreliable narrator is a literary term. It doesn't mean that Bilbo himself was an unreliable character in the novel, but that as the narrator of the book he is both limited in his perspective and unreliable in his narration. Allow me to explain:

We know that Bilbo is the 'writer' of the The Hobbit, it's his story There and Back and Again. The story is from his perspective. Obviously, Tolkien wrote the story, but he was writing it as if he were Bilbo.

First let me tackle the limited part. As a little hobbit from a little hole in the ground, and with little knowledge or experience of the world around him, he has a quite limited perspective from which to explain the story. He doesn't understand fully Gandalf's powers or position, he doesn't know much about elves, etc.

Him being a limited narrator helps lead into the unreliable narrator that he also is. B/c he's limited and doesn't understand Gandalf, his characterizations of Gandalf are frequently simplistic when you consider historical (Middle-earth historical) Gandalf. Sorry I'm not citing a passage here, I just reread TH recently and I don't really want to reread it again just for this post.

More importantly, I think it again important to mention Thranduil. It's pretty unrealistic to think that the dwarves and Bilbo could have been locked up in the Elven-King's subterranean fortress without ever being given his name! The fact that Bilbo doesn't share the kings name in the book should give the reader pause, if he doesn't mention that seemingly important information, then what else hasn't he mentioned? And that is what makes him an unreliable narrator. Although his account is surely 'true' in the sense that Bilbo tried to be as accurate as he could, there is room for error.

In addition, in his original telling of the the ring story, Bilbo lies about how he got the ring. In the original version of There And Back Again, regarding his account of his interactions his Gollum, Gollum willingly bets the ring. But Bilbo changes the story later (for the benefit of today's readers, ie you and I) but most people of his day receive the account he originally gave, that Gollum gave him the ring willingly. And while this change in story is accounted for by the evil of the ring, it is also another example of Bilbo being an unreliable narrator

Him being an unreliable narrator is also part of why it makes some sense to update the book (in transition to movie) as a more adult movie. Bilbo wrote it as a younger, less mature, and childish hobbit, and so we have The Hobbit as a children's book. But we know from the vast majority of Tolkien's writings on Middle-earth that Middle-earth is hardly just a child's world, it is a world full of death, difficult decisions, hard realities, etc.



Jan 29 2010, 7:14pm

Post #153 of 165 (656 views)
Thranduil IS in The Hobbit... [In reply to] Can't Post

...and claiming that he isn't because his name isn't mentioned is like saying that Aragorn isn't in Book I of The Lord of the Rings because he's called Strider. Thranduil is not "equated" with the Elven-king, he is the Elven-king.

About narration, Tolkien did not write The Hobbit as if he were Bilbo, he wrote it as if he had found and published Bilbo's account from the Red Book. That's why TH doesn't have a first person narrator. Tolkien continues the pretend-translator act with TLotR; it forms a significant part of the Prologue to that book.

That point aside, I can see your overall argument. However, Bilbo was not a younger hobbit when he set down his tale. He was 51 or so when he got back, and about 130 when finally handing the Red Book off to Frodo. The "childish" nature of The Hobbit is an integral part of it and cannot be dismissed with in- or out-of-universe explanations. A more serious Hobbit would lose a significant part of what makes The Hobbit great and beloved. If PJ and GDT do not like this, they have no business trying to film The Hobbit.

About the Ring, that instance occurred while Bilbo was being influenced by a malevolent magical object, and is irrelevant and not indicative of his behavior in other cases. As for thew Elven-king's name, it isn't really important to the story, and its omission does not rob us of any important information, nor is it an error in any sense of the word.

(This post was edited by Eldorion on Jan 29 2010, 7:17pm)


Jan 29 2010, 7:31pm

Post #154 of 165 (673 views)
not having Thranduil's name [In reply to] Can't Post

Sure it doesn't rob us of anything, but it does indicate that Bilbo's not telling us everything.

Tolkien writing it is kind of like a translation because humans of 20-21st century don't know the languages of middle-earth, but the original Red Book was written by Bilbo, right? So the narrator is still Bilbo, even if Tolkien translated it.

I mentioned in my post that Bilbo lied about getting the ring b/c of evil influence, but nevertheless he still misleads the reader with his original account. And besides I wrote that as an additional aside, not the main reason why I think Bilbo makes an unreliable narrator.



Jan 29 2010, 9:17pm

Post #155 of 165 (639 views)
good point! [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To

In Reply To
in the same way that Elladan and Elrohir were omitted from LOTR, I believe Legolas will be omitted from TH.

A bit of a nit-pick, but it won't be the same as with E&E, since Legolas, if he does not show up, will not have been omitted but rather not added.

Quite a nit-pick indeed, but a very valid one! Smile
I also have to completely agree with your hope for many background Mirkwood elves... I feel Rivendell even lacked extra randomers wondering about making the place look inhabited, and I think Mirkwood, being a slightly less solemn place than Rivendell, should definitely have lots of elves around.

And about Legolas being one of the guards when the dwarves were imprisoned: I would definitely think that him being one of the people who actually stood in the dungeons on guard duty would be completely unlikely, given his station. However, I also think that Mirkwood would not habitually keep prisoners, and therefore someone quite high-up in the running of things would be directly involved, if there were prisoners to guard. Hence: it's likely, IMO, that Legolas was involved in the guarding of the dwarves, but I must say I don't personally believe that's what Gloin meant. I think that was a generic 'you'.


Jan 30 2010, 2:25am

Post #156 of 165 (632 views)
three more things... [In reply to] Can't Post

"Bilbo was not a younger hobbit when he set down his tale"
Sure yes, my mistake. But doesn't change the fact that TH was written from a more child-like perspective, hence it being a children's book.

"A more serious Hobbit would lose a significant part of what makes The Hobbit great and beloved. If PJ and GDT do not like this, they have no business trying to film The Hobbit."

The movie would have to be more serious, what with the White Council and Necromancer business. Even if the material from the book is kept light-hearted for the movie, it's hard to envision how they make white council and necromancer light-hearted. Care to explain?

"..and claiming that he isn't because his name isn't mentioned is like saying that Aragorn isn't in Book I of The Lord of the Rings because he's called Strider. Thranduil is not "equated" with the Elven-king, he is the Elven-king."

No. Aragorn is called Aragorn in FOTR, and we are specifically told in LOTR (all 6 books of which are the same novel) that Strider is Aragorn. So the analogy doesn't really hold up, because no where in TH novel is the elven king referred to Thranduil.

I am absolutely NOT claiming that Thranduil is not the Elven-king; that's not what I wrote in my original post,: What I did write is that in the actual text of the TH novel, he is never called Thranduil. If I'm wrong on that point, please tell me the page number in The Hobbit where I can see it.

Just as we know that Elven king is Thranduil, we also know that Legolas is the Elven king's son. And therefore it is reasonable (but not necessary) to think that Legolas could be in TH movie. Doesn't mean his presence will be a positive for TH, it could very well be a negative. But the idea that he could be there is a reasonable position to take.



Jan 30 2010, 5:10am

Post #157 of 165 (614 views)
White Council/Necromancer [In reply to] Can't Post

should be a great way to inject some of LOTR darkness and foreboding without darkening the charming Hobbit story. I think they can have it both ways, the light adventure that is Hobbit plot and shadows of events to come in White Council/Necromancer.


Jan 30 2010, 5:45am

Post #158 of 165 (619 views)
light and dark [In reply to] Can't Post

If they could pull that off, transitioning back and forth between light and dark moods, would be interesting indeed. The main plot should indeed be lighter than white council/necromancer, I just hope it is not written as simplistically and light-hearted as the book...

in a way, I'm thinking more in line with the Shire parts at the beginning of FOTR: Pretty light and fun, but then darkening after ring is introduced via Bilbo putting it on. But I would expect them to sustain the lightness more so, as the entire TH book is lighter than LOTR.


Jan 30 2010, 4:40pm

Post #159 of 165 (587 views)
Bilbo was writing a story... [In reply to] Can't Post

... not a textbook or an encyclopaedia. Of course he isn't telling us everything; it would be absurd to expect him to do so. That doesn't make him unreliable or in error, though.

Tolkien did not just 'translate' the Red Book, he reorganized the material somewhat as well. On the other hand, this point is minor and irrelevant enough that I'll let it drop.


Jan 30 2010, 4:46pm

Post #160 of 165 (617 views)
TH being a children's book... [In reply to] Can't Post

...gives it many properties that have been known and loved for decades. As I pointed out earlier; if PJ/GDT don't like this, they should make other movies. They're claiming to give us The Hobbit, so I'd like it if they give us a film version of The Hobbit, not a film telling the story they'd rather The Hobbit was.

The movie would have to be more serious, what with the White Council and Necromancer business

This only reinforces my point. By changing The Hobbit to make it more reflective of their preferences than Tolkien's intentions, the filmmakers have made it darker and more serious. If they would just tell a version of the story they're claiming to tell (by way of the title) there would be no "need" to make it more serious.

No. Aragorn is called Aragorn in FOTR

I wasn't referring to FotR, I was referring to Book I of TLotR. As you yourself point out, TLotR has six books. As far as I remember Aragorn's name is not mentioned in Book I (the first half of FotR).

Just as we know that Elven king is Thranduil, we also know that Legolas is the Elven king's son.

The crucial difference is that the Elven-king's son is NOT a character in The Hobbit. Just because Legolas might have been present in Mirkwood does not make him a character in The Hobbit anymore than the vast majority of other Elves there were (thousands of them, probably).


Jan 30 2010, 4:48pm

Post #161 of 165 (594 views)
"I just hope it is not written as simplistically and light-hearted as the book... " [In reply to] Can't Post

Are you saying that you want a movie which claims to be an adaptation of a book to disregard the original book when it could be "improved"? If so, why not just have an original movie instead of exploiting the legacy of an existing story?

Registered User

Feb 1 2010, 2:27pm

Post #162 of 165 (601 views)
LoTR characters back for The Hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

Confused by the comment "...Arwen...and Galadriel...lack the historical probability of being in the right place at the right time to place them squarely on front of The Hobbit cameras..."

Galadriel MUST be in the film - she sits on the White Council with Gandalf, Saruman, Elrond etc.

Arwen's relationship with Aragorn is obviously something that pre-dates the timeline 'seen' in the LoTR films, so just as Aragorn's interaction with Gandalf around the search for Gollum would presumably be a big chunk of the Hobbit films, so should his relationship with Arwen and, maybe even the death of his mother at the hands of Orcs?

There's PLENTY of material in the LoTR appendices and Unfinished Tales to use and therefore justify the reappearance of Arwen and Galadriel.

Arwen's daughter

Feb 1 2010, 5:32pm

Post #163 of 165 (589 views)
They can't touch Unifinished Tales [In reply to] Can't Post

they don't have the rights to use anything but The Hobbit and LOTR (+ its appendices).

Welcome to TORn, deaksey. It's always nice to see new faces around here.

But I have to disagree that Aragorn and Gandalf's hunt for Gollum wil be a large part of the Hobbit films. What would that story add to the tale of The Hobbit or The Battle of 5 Armies? With the bridge film concept being thrown out, I find it less and less likely that Aragorn will make an appearance at all.

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Feb 1 2010, 6:19pm

Post #164 of 165 (596 views)
Aragorn shouldn`t be in The Hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

We know all we need to know about him already. No need for repeat or a cameo just to establish that he is around. We know that but this is not his story.

The thing about Legolas cameo and any other cameo is that The Hobbit isn`t their story. They may have been somewhere around but they don`t appear in the story because they don`t. Their cameos or small roles wouldn`t make the story better. It`s just desire on some fans part to see those characters even if they serve no purpose (hence why silent part for Legolas is suggested).

The Hobbit is different from LOTR in that The Hobbit is exactly what is says it is - a story about the Hobbit. Bilbo is the active character of the piece, de facto lead. By adding Plot B-Z, one would undermine the point of the story and its title. OTOH, LOTR is about a passive character LOTR who we learn about through active characters of the book. It`s exactly like Du Maurier`s Rebecca in that respect. An unseen character is the lead and his/her presence is felt throughout and we learn about the character through active characters who are seen and are our guide into the personality of the passive, unseen title character. Therefore, active character`s stories are connected thought passive character`s story, hence why so many characters in LOTR that are brought together because of LOTR himself. The Hobbit, however, follows Bilbo`s adventure in linear way and Bilbo, being an active character, does not connect Aragorn, etc in any way let alone the way Sauron connected everyone from Shire to Gondor to Rivendell.

Registered User

Mar 21 2010, 6:35am

Post #165 of 165 (594 views)
Orlando Bloom [In reply to] Can't Post

Agree, Legolas would have definitely been involved in both discussions with his father and the Battle of the Five Armies.
As we have already seen him in his future role in LOTR perhaps GDT can introduce the character in The Hobbit movie.Cool

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