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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Why I think the Spiders WILL talk in the movies (possible spoilers)
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The Preciousss

Sep 27 2012, 3:49pm

Post #26 of 44 (690 views)
I just reread the Shelob chapter [In reply to] Can't Post

and PJ's interpretation of her seems preety accurate (anatomy, e.g. horns, neckstalk etc. aside). She is described to have no higher motivatiions than to staisfy her hunger. Maybe long ago, before she settled in Cirith Ungol. she was more than a monster, but during the War of the ring, she was simply a watchdog for Sauron, who was satisfied when he fed her some prisoners...

I still think that Shelob used her prey as mates, as others mentioned, she is no simple giant spider but the descendant of Ungoliath.
The line from the book, just like the movie is:
"When she's hunting, she just gives 'em a dab in the neck and they go limp as boned fish, and then she has her way with them."


Sep 27 2012, 4:01pm

Post #27 of 44 (665 views)
In the Book..page 157... [In reply to] Can't Post

"..he realized the spiders were speaking to each other.
Their voices were sort of thin creaking and hissing but he could make out many of the words that they said. They were talking about the Dwarves..."
This continues ...on to the next page.

When you have questions
why don't you consult
your Book?


(This post was edited by Bombadil on Sep 27 2012, 4:04pm)


Sep 27 2012, 4:03pm

Post #28 of 44 (645 views)
So rather than eating them, [In reply to] Can't Post

she cocoon's her victims alive and strings them up, until spiderlings burst out of their chests.

I think I may have seen that movie...

LotR would be a better prequel than Prometheus, anyway.

A Far Dragon is the best kind...


Sep 27 2012, 5:08pm

Post #29 of 44 (620 views)
I tend to think - [In reply to] Can't Post

- that Ungoliant's original mates were just some of Morgoth's original spider-like 'experiments'. One could also speculate that the Dragons (and possibly Wargs (as opposed to Wolves) and certain other unnatural creatures) were also partly descended from 'fallen' Maiar.


Sep 27 2012, 7:56pm

Post #30 of 44 (573 views)
Where do you get those ideas? [In reply to] Can't Post

Shelob doesn't mate with her victims. She just poisons them, wrap them in webs, and devour them. If the Spiders of Mirkwood were hybrids in the sense you're implying, they would've inherited more traits than just the ability to speak. And by that, I mean they'd look less like Aragog and more like the Predator.


Sep 27 2012, 8:00pm

Post #31 of 44 (545 views)
nah // [In reply to] Can't Post



Sep 27 2012, 8:21pm

Post #32 of 44 (548 views)
Correction: [In reply to] Can't Post

He depicted one large spider as non-verbal. She didn't talk in the movies because she didn't talk in the novel, and it likely would've been controversial to actually make her speak when she didn't speak in the novel. The Spiders of Mirkwood, on the other hand, did talk in the book, and it would be equally controversial if they didn't speak.

In real life, some people are talkative, but others prefer to be silent. Plus, I'm sure there are loads of people that have mute parents, yet speak normally themselves. Shelob probably could talk, but chose not to. What would she say to Sam/Frodo, anyway? "Get in my belly!"? "You dare bring light to my lair?! You must DIE!"? I wouldn't think so. It makes sense for the Spiders of Mirkwood to talk, since they're communicating with each other, and they probably have loads of things to say, since they live in the middle of a massive forest with other people and creatures nearby.

Plus, there are already non-sentient giant spiders in Middle-earth: The spider-creatures of the Ered Gorgoroth. These Spiders are not the same as those Spiders. Though the ones in Mirkwood are descended from the ones in the Ered Gorgoroth, there's still, you know...Ungoliant.


Sep 27 2012, 9:45pm

Post #33 of 44 (591 views)
But sentient is still sentient, and the Spiders of Mirkwood are at least passable for sentient. [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
But the spiders of Mirkwood are supposed to be scary. And Aragog was just an exemple of a talking spider in a fantasy movie to show you that it isn't scary at all. Perhaps for little girls.

My point is that it isn't necessary to give the spiders of Mirkwood the ability to speak. I didn't miss the fact that they're descendants of Ungoliant. Actually I'd love to hear some references about their backstory. I just meant that speaking would make them too human. A demon isn't human or nearly human. A demon is a super natural being and very unhuman.

Tell me, why didn't the Balrog speaks to Gandalf when they met a the Bridge of Khazad-Dm? Something like "Haha you little wizard. You have no chance against me! I'm a Balrog of Morgoth. I'm Durins Bane!" Gandalf speaks to him but the Balrog didn't answer. Why? Tell me, why didn't Shelob speaks to Frodo or Sam? Both are demons. Both didn't talk because it is unnecessary.

And all in all most of the audience will see them just as giant spiders although they're not and although someone will call them grandchildren of the demon Ungoliant. If they speak most of the audience will see them as talking giant spiders. In a childrens book it's allright but in a movie for an older audience? Let them speak in their demonic-giant-spider-language. Let someone mentions their backstory. But speaking English? Please not!

I hope you understand.

But with all the other stuff that's been confirmed so far (Trolls speaking with Cockney accents, literal stone-giants, and so forth), why is it that the idea of Spiders/Eagles/whatever talking in a language we can understand so taboo with people? The Hobbit isn't LOTR, and Peter Jackson already confirmed that the tone of these movies would differ from that of the LOTR films.

(This post was edited by Bauglir100 on Sep 27 2012, 9:51pm)


Sep 28 2012, 12:07am

Post #34 of 44 (567 views)
Did Ungoliant talk? I can't rememeber. If so, I don't like it at all. [In reply to] Can't Post

The only goal of Ungoliant was to devour light, it was even against Melkor, and in the end devoured itself. I don't see it at all as an entity capable of uttering a single word, you can't discuss with Ungoliant, you just meet it and die.
That's why (movie) Shelob didn't speak, that's why the spiders won't speak.
Also (most important), talking spiders would look absolutely ridiculous.


Kangi Ska

Sep 28 2012, 12:26am

Post #35 of 44 (538 views)
The One Ring talks [In reply to] Can't Post

why not spiders.

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.


Sep 28 2012, 12:46am

Post #36 of 44 (535 views)
THIS [In reply to] Can't Post

Just becomes Shelob didn't talk during the course of ROTK, it doesn't follow that a) she couldn't talk, and b) that other spiders can't.

That's like saying you once saw a humpback whale, and because it didn't jump out of the water when you saw it, all humpback whales are incapable of jumping out of the water.

I hope PJ has them talk, either in English or some other foul language.

And this is actually rather likely. PJ mentioned that this time around, they were giving the villains a lot more personality. To heck with the faux-constraint that is "consistency." He should do what he wants, and if it's closer to the book, all the more power to him.


Sep 28 2012, 4:43am

Post #37 of 44 (534 views)
She most certainly DID talk. Here's an excerpt from "The Silmarillion": [In reply to] Can't Post

"'Blackheart!' she said. 'I have done thy bidding. But I hunger still.'

'What wouldst thou have more?' said Morgoth. 'Dost thou desire all the world for thy belly? I did not vow to give thee that. I am its Lord.'

'Not so much,' said Ungoliant. 'But thou hast a great treasure from Formenos; I will have all that. Yea, with both hands thou shalt give it'.

Then perforce Morgoth surrendered to her the gems that he bore with him, one by one and grudgingly; and she devoured them, and their beauty perished from the world. Huger and darker yet grew Ungoliant, but her lust was unsated. 'With one hand thou givest,' she said; 'with the left only. Open thy right hand.'

In his right hand Morgoth held close the Silmarils, and though they were locked in a crystal casket, they had begun to bum him, and his hand was clenched in pain; but he would not open it 'Nay!' he said. 'Thou hast had thy doe. For with my power that I put into thee thy work was accomplished. I need thee no more. These things thou shalt not have, nor see. I name them unto myself for ever. '

But Ungoliant had grown great, and he less by the power that had gone out of him; and she rose against him, and her cloud closed about him, and she enmeshed him in a web of clinging thongs to strangle him. Then Morgoth sent forth a terrible cry, that echoed in the mountains. Therefore that region was called Lammoth; for the echoes of his voice dwelt there ever after, so that any who cried aloud in that land awoke them, and all the waste between the hills and the sea was filled with a clamour as of voices in anguish.


Sep 28 2012, 7:34am

Post #38 of 44 (511 views)
And the purse! / [In reply to] Can't Post


Want Hobbit Movie News? Hobbit Headlines of the Week!


Sep 28 2012, 12:27pm

Post #39 of 44 (492 views)
:shock: [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
[PJ] should do what he wants

Can I quote you on that? Wink

(guess I already did)


Sep 28 2012, 3:59pm

Post #40 of 44 (450 views)
Sure [In reply to] Can't Post

I never said PJ shouldn't do as he wants. They are his films.

I have only maintained that for the most part, when PJ does what he wants, the result is pretty subpar. Smile


Sep 28 2012, 7:45pm

Post #41 of 44 (465 views)
The ones in my house talk. [In reply to] Can't Post

And they're bl**dy annoying.


Sep 28 2012, 9:13pm

Post #42 of 44 (444 views)
I also hope they talk... [In reply to] Can't Post

... but you have to admit, it really doesn't do anything for the overall story. The spiders make their motives clear through their actions and the way they get get PO'd when Bilbo starts to taunt them and kill them off can be shown cinematically in other ways.

I want them to talk because the fact that they can talk always somehow made them a little more scary to me when I read the book. I also think a viewing audience who comes to realize the spiders can talk will also make the connection between the Bilbo's jibes of "Attercop" and the fury with which they react. A neat part of the book in my opinion and important in illustrating Bilbo's growth.

"Alas for Boromir! It was too sore a trial!"



Sep 29 2012, 12:18am

Post #43 of 44 (433 views)
It does a lot for the story [In reply to] Can't Post

If they are elevated from "generic giant CGI spiders (which we already saw in Arachnophobia)" to actual characters.

Tol Eressea

Sep 30 2012, 9:34pm

Post #44 of 44 (516 views)
Honestly I'm hoping they Do NOT speak [In reply to] Can't Post

I think they should maintain what consistency they can and since Shelob never spoke (in the films at least) they should just leave these spiders alone as well. I think they could communicate with each other, but in their own language if anything. I don't need subtitles or english speaking spiders, just let them be scary animals.... I like the idea of the animal type creatures being somewhat based on realistic creatures instead of making them fantastical and Narnia-esque.not that those creatures don't have their place and that Tolkien didn't write them that way, but Peter Jackson's movieverse and Tolkien's book world are sure to be two totally different worlds. I like what PJ did with LOTR in the way that the creatures we saw were based in something real, nit the typical fantasy creations.

That and I have always felt a creature that is more beastly, or animalistic is more scary and creepy than any of the fantasy stereotypical creatures, who talk and walk upright when they werent meant to.. Real animals don't understand english, they don't communicate, there is no rationalizing with them, they just do what they do, use their instincts. You have no clue about what they will do or how they will react.. Same could be said for the Wargs. Large real looking wolves, IMO, would be much more terrifying than one who talk or look like cartoony versions of real wolves. The wolves from the Grey at least looked real and believable in look, maybe not their actions but that's on the director to sell that aspect. The giant black wolf from Red Riding Hood actually looked pretty good as far as make believe wolves goes, or a not quite so exaggerated version of the wolf from 300. Those wolves at least look like animals, and not caricatures of animals like we got a brief glimpse of in the trailer.

as far as delving into Ungoliant they really should just leave all that alone. Not every being in middle earth needs a back story, or explanation of who they are or who their ancestors were. Besides like I said the film versions will certainly be different from the book versions. If Peter Jackson wants to maintain his view of middle earth, keeping it the same as he has said he wants to, he needs to keep middle earth based in realism. Just like he did with LOTR. Hopefully the wargs and spiders do communicate with each other, in their own languages without subtitles. And leave it at that.

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