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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Radagast and eye crossing--


Dec 31 2012, 7:06am

Post #1 of 22 (2334 views)
Radagast and eye crossing-- Can't Post

So, rewatched The Hobbit tonight, and I decided that the scene of Radagast smoking is much less silly than it first seemed. During an earlier scene in which he uses magic to remove the 'dark stuff' from the hedgehog and get rid of the spiders, you see him cross his eyes and go into his 'serious wizard mode.' I think that the eye crossing is his way of transferring away from a very absent minded, somewhat goofy Radagast, to something much more serious, and it just took him a bit of a hit to get there. Wink

The Mitch King

Dec 31 2012, 7:53am

Post #2 of 22 (1484 views)
Great point! [In reply to] Can't Post

I never thought of that scene like that! Smile

N.E. Brigand

Dec 31 2012, 8:13am

Post #3 of 22 (1508 views)
Speaking of Radagast, does he have punctured eardrums? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm trying to understand how smoke came out his ears in that scene.

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Tol Eressea

Dec 31 2012, 8:52am

Post #4 of 22 (1450 views)
That's sorta the way I rationalized it... [In reply to] Can't Post

...that in the Rhosgobel scene he was drawing the evil into himself to sasve the hedgehog so the facial gurning was part of that!

"Choosing Trust over Doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened."
Victoria Monfort


Dec 31 2012, 10:19am

Post #5 of 22 (1381 views)
Middle-earth ears are wired differently ;-) / [In reply to] Can't Post


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Dec 31 2012, 10:20am

Post #6 of 22 (1408 views)
Most people find it funny when they watch it. [In reply to] Can't Post

If it was too silly/ridiculous people wouldn't laugh. I think it's great.

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Dec 31 2012, 12:27pm

Post #7 of 22 (1321 views)
I actually liked the eye crossing [In reply to] Can't Post

I found it funny but admittedly more because it added to Gandalf's line about it "Calming the nerves". The smoke coming out of the nostrils and ears was hilarious as well. As far as I'm concerned it's all part of The Hobbit's lighter tone and I'm embracing that.

And anyhow, this is Sylvester McCoy, and in the performances I've seen him in he likes eye-crossing, so you have to give him a bit of leeway (He is naturally a comedic actor as well as being the Real McCoy, after all).

Reliable Radagast rides his sled of Rhosgobel Rabbits round and round Rhovanion.

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Dec 31 2012, 12:37pm

Post #8 of 22 (1336 views)
Well, he is the most shamanic of the wizards [In reply to] Can't Post

and people in trance states often have unusual facial expressions. The same thing happens to Gandalf and Sauraman but they close thier eyes to hide it least anyone think them un-cool. Raddy don't care.


Dec 31 2012, 12:41pm

Post #9 of 22 (1318 views)
Yap... [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
and people in trance states often have unusual facial expressions. The same thing happens to Gandalf and Sauraman but they close thier eyes to hide it least anyone think them un-cool. Raddy don't care.

... I also think so. Gandalf and Saruman have themselves more or less under control. Radagast., however, he just lets himself go. Without thinking about status, appearance, etc.

Tol Eressea

Dec 31 2012, 2:05pm

Post #10 of 22 (1291 views)
I actually liked Radagast [In reply to] Can't Post

for the most part, though some of his ticks were a bit grating (the eye crossing, the bird sh*t, the stick insect, etc.). I was surprised, actually, as i've never found McCoy funny in the least, and i really, really loathed his time on Doctor Who. And it would seem that most of his aforementioned annoying traits are PJ's doing. So overall i give him a mildly enthusiastic thumbs-uo.

It's quite a relief, really-- i don't know how i would have felt about the movie if i'd hated Radagast.


Dec 31 2012, 3:20pm

Post #11 of 22 (1269 views)
eye-crossing [In reply to] Can't Post

was my least favorite thing about Radagast but it didn't overly bother me. chalk it up to another one of Sylvester McCoy's weird tics that he decided to bring to the character. as someone has pointed out, at least its use was consistent.

overall, though, while Radagast isn't my favorite new character or anything, i liked the way they envisioned the character (and how that sets up how Gandalf can defend him while Saruman dismisses him) and the way he was used in the story, as i do think it makes a lot of sense to have the caretaker of Greenwood be the first to scout out the evil brewing in Dol Guldur, which isn't far from Rhosgobel. i actually liked the bunny sled in the first sequence with it, it's just too bad the FX for the Warg chase were the weakest in the film (and the editing for that bit was the sloppiest).

stick-insect bit was fine. i didn't lol or anything but the shot before that scene shows a POV for Radagast where branches are whipping into his face so the stick-insect thing is kind of just a humorous illustration of what a flurry of mindless speed Radagast was traveling in.

best bit with Radagast, though, (other than the glimpse of the Necromancer) was when he's remembering the huge bats chasing him and one flies at his viewpoint and the flashback abruptly ends with Radagast starting. that was a brilliant bit of filmic wit.

Tol Eressea

Dec 31 2012, 4:38pm

Post #12 of 22 (1268 views)
My concern with Radagast is that his true spirit will be lost [In reply to] Can't Post

and he will come across as a mere conjurer. He is one of the Istari....in human form....not a human wizard dabbling in magic. I don't mind if his human form is quirky as long as his true nature is revealed. A tiny bit was shown in both his fight with the Nazgul where his staff was more than adequate to turn the blade and cast down the ghoul. And, in the scene where he draws out the evil from poor Sebastian and drives the spiders away.
I want to see more of his true Istari nature in the next two films and less of the bumbling old hippie.

You never doubt that Saruman and Gandalf have innate power and Radagast needs to show more of his.

(This post was edited by Eruonen on Dec 31 2012, 4:39pm)


Dec 31 2012, 4:46pm

Post #13 of 22 (1222 views)
i think you will [In reply to] Can't Post

ultimately, he has probably less than 10 minutes total of screentime. yes, he definitely comes off eccentric for most of that time, but in terms of humorous moments versus serious endeavors (examining the state of the forest, trying to save Sebastian, dispelling the spiders, his venturing into Dol Guldur, his warning Gandalf) i'd say it's pretty much a 50/50 split, maybe 40/60 or even 30/70 if you really look at the breakdown of how the minutes for his character are used. as we have moved past the introductory part for the character and he becomes involved with the plans to move against Dol Guldur, i'm sure they will maintain his essentially eccentric nature (which is true to Tolkien and shows why Saruman would choose to call him a fool) but there will be less opportunity for blatant humor and more of a call to look at Radagast's Istari side.

Grey Havens

Dec 31 2012, 4:52pm

Post #14 of 22 (1211 views)
Contrast [In reply to] Can't Post

Wait, so you didn't think the Great Goblin line was funny, but Radagast's Three Stooges act was? I almost forgot about the crossing of the eyes and smoke coming out of ears. Thanks. My thought during this was "Just how juvenile can Peter Jackson get?" I'm not going to try to rationalize it. It's Jackson at his worst. Wasn't funny for me. But I did enjoy the movie.

Tol Eressea

Dec 31 2012, 5:06pm

Post #15 of 22 (1209 views)
He reminds me of Clarence the Angel in "It's A Wonderful Life" [In reply to] Can't Post


Imagining Clarence facing Satan is about the same as the scene with Radagast and Sauron. I was hoping for a little more "Archangel" Michael and Gabriel status but I suppose that falls to Saruman and Gandalf. The trouble is, there is no indication that their "Istari" rank is different other than Saruman as head of the White Council and having different skill sets, based on their Valar alignment.

Nice painting:

A fitting angelic Sauron type image:

(This post was edited by Eruonen on Dec 31 2012, 5:11pm)

Tol Eressea

Dec 31 2012, 5:19pm

Post #16 of 22 (1585 views)
Radagast has been portrayed in art with more "presence" [In reply to] Can't Post



The trouble is that the movie needed a "fool" and he fits the bill. I just want his character to evolve somewhat.
With serious times comes serious attention. For hundreds of years he has been lost in nature just keeping a watchful eye on things but living a loner lifestyle. Now, with his Dol Guldur findings I expect more of him.

Great artwork of the attractive Sauron

Now, take that image, add some burnt crispiness to it and eye fire with loss of beauty and you could have Benedict Cumberpatch's human form hinted at in the shadow.

(This post was edited by Eruonen on Dec 31 2012, 5:25pm)

Grey Havens

Dec 31 2012, 5:27pm

Post #17 of 22 (1186 views)
Radagast Treatment [In reply to] Can't Post

I think I would like to have seen Radagast more in the vein of someone like Jane Goodall, intellectually devoted to an area of interest, but in Radagast's case the interest is nature and is unconcerned with other matters except where they intrude on his small world. Also like Tom Bombadil. Powerful, smart and comfortable with his own small area. Not daft, high and happy to wear excrement. Perhaps less Sylvester McCoy, who enjoys playing the fool, and more Russell Crowe who can bring a single-minded, powerful presence.

(This post was edited by JWPlatt on Dec 31 2012, 5:29pm)

Mad Hatter of Middle-Earth

Dec 31 2012, 5:43pm

Post #18 of 22 (1155 views)
I took a similar approach [In reply to] Can't Post

I felt as though Raddy hardly ever used magic, or rather preferred not, or even never needed to. When Raddy healed the hedgehog, I took his eye-crossing as sort of a manifestation of the strain his rarely used magic put on him. It was almost as if he had to really concentrate to bring out the magic in him.

All you have to decide is what to do with the time that has been given to you...

Mad Hatter of Middle-Earth

Dec 31 2012, 5:46pm

Post #19 of 22 (1154 views)
Nahh [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't think he drew the evil into himself. I think he was merely straining himself to use magic he otherwise rarely used.

All you have to decide is what to do with the time that has been given to you...

Aragalen the Green

Dec 31 2012, 5:47pm

Post #20 of 22 (1235 views)
Wow, Sauron's hot! [In reply to] Can't Post

In more ways than one...Blush

" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"


Jan 1 2013, 12:10am

Post #21 of 22 (1090 views)
Raddy's Staff [In reply to] Can't Post

My wife pointed out to me (when watching the LOR DVD last night) that Gandalf ends up with Raddy's staff in LOR (the one gnarled at the top). Is this a portent of what might happens to Raddy later on. I hope he just retires from wizadry and goes back to nature though rather than being another tear jerker moment in the third film, as I suspect there will be quite a few tear jerker moments there already.

Aragalen the Green

Jan 1 2013, 12:38am

Post #22 of 22 (1124 views)
There was a discussion about this a while back, [In reply to] Can't Post



I thought that maybe Radagast passes his crystal to Gandalf, as someone else mentions that Radagast's staff in AUJ is not the same as Gandalf's in LOTR. Do you have further insights?

" Well well!", said a voice. "Just look! Bilbo the hobbit on a pony, my dear! Isn't it delicious!"
"Most astonishing wonderful!"


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