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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
tweaking the script...

Maciliel
Tol Eressea

Mar 10 2013, 10:28am

Post #1 of 22 (713 views)
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tweaking the script... Can't Post

  
i've loved the hobbit more with each viewing, and the things (legitimate, i think) that bothered me on the first viewing didn't bother me as much or i didn't notice as much the more i came to care about the company.

however, there are still a couple of places i think the script could use some tweaking.

one is the white council scene, when all the players are present. even after many viewings, it still strikes me as a bit stilted.

a missed opportunity (i don't think this scene is stilted) is when bilbo is trying to stall the trolls.

he suggests the best way to cook dwarves is by skinning them first. in the book, gandalf is the one (out of sight) who is mimicing the voices of the trolls and making competing suggestions (skinning, squashing, roasting, etc.), so it seems that each troll is arguing with the rest, which quickly happens, and delays everything until dawn.

i understand why they gave this role to bilbo. no problem there. but i think it would have worked better and been truer to the book if bilbo had made the competing suggestions. he wouldn't have had to mimic the troll voices. it could have gone something like, "skin them first," then, "on the other hand, squashing them makes them really tender" and so on.

any places where you think the script might be tweaked for the better?


Glorfindela
Valinor

Mar 10 2013, 11:09am

Post #2 of 22 (411 views)
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White Council [In reply to] Can't Post

I do think this scene is a bit stilted, partly because Saruman is so still and unmoving. It must have been very tricky integrating him into the scene, given that he was filmed separately in Britain, then added to it.

I think the acting of the other characters is fine, though.


tolktolk
Lorien

Mar 10 2013, 11:27am

Post #3 of 22 (387 views)
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Good thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree, it would have been funnier to add the mincing, squashing etc instead of the silly stuff about parasites.

And I would have chopped down the White Council stuff - that was when my attention wandered and I found myself thinking about what to have for supper ...!

Apologies in advance for returning to infamous hug, but on one of the sneak peaks on the front page, it just shows the hug, Bilbo breaking into a smile and Thorin saying "I am sorry for doubting" you and this seems fine to me. I think this scene would have worked much better without the "angry" words from Thorin - if I was editing it (!) I would have just had him advancing silently on Bilbo. The hug would still have come as a surprise, but the scene wouldn't have been so contrived.

I also would have cut out some of the dialogue in the Bag End party scene, especially the burps and the more OTT food throwing scenes.


DanielLB
Immortal


Mar 10 2013, 12:17pm

Post #4 of 22 (393 views)
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I think the White Council scene was trimmed a lot [In reply to] Can't Post

In one of the vlogs (or in one of the behind the scene videos) C.Lee mentions the 7 Rings. I don't think it seems stilted, but perhaps the scene was edited a lot. Perhaps it will flow better in the EE?


Bombadil
Half-elven


Mar 10 2013, 2:08pm

Post #5 of 22 (336 views)
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Good Point DLB! [In reply to] Can't Post

Many scenes seemed Truncated,
just to keep it under 3 hours..
Bomby expects many to
expand in EE...

Some certainly were shortSHAFTED.

EE will be what Bomby will wait for..
.
The Rest in the meantime is..." Flotsam and Jetsam"?
(ref. TTT, Book Three Chapter IX)


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Mar 10 2013, 3:15pm

Post #6 of 22 (329 views)
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The Trolls [In reply to] Can't Post

I think one of the reasons they handled the troll scene the way it was was because it would have been even lengthier if each dwarf had come running up and then been bagged like was done in the book. This way the scene moves a bit quicker as all of the dwarves come running in (with Bilbo at the center and having been caught first as he was in the book). If you would have had Bilbo doing the voices he would not have had to be caught which would have made the dwarf catching a little bit more convoluted. Well I guess you could have done it but I think they did it to make that scene go a bit more quickly. I actually liked the scene the way it was and I thought it did a good job with putting Bilbo at the front and center stalling the situation. I think this was an effort to elevate Bilbo in the story, which was a good move. Gandalf is going to exit the Company side of the story in film 2 and I think Jackson wanted to make Bilbo and Thorin the story here to develop a base for the rest of the films. It worked for me.

I thought the White Council scene was good but yes, it did appear someone stilted. Something with the pacing there bothered me a tad. Nothing that spoiled the film overall, but it did seem to drag a big. Lee's Saruman did fit well into the scene though and I was amazed at how they did that. You absolutely cannot tell that it was filmed in London and put into the scene digitally. Great job there. I don't know what could have been done there.

I also thought the whole Moon Runes scene with Elrond dragged a little. Balin's telling Thorin not to give Elrond the map seemed contradictory and out of place to me. The whole scene just seemed to be a little too long to me for some reason.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


Maciliel
Tol Eressea

Mar 10 2013, 3:33pm

Post #7 of 22 (313 views)
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agree with all your comments about the troll scene except [In reply to] Can't Post

 
except for the point i was making about bilbo's speech. i recognized right off the bat why they didn't do the dwarf capturing one by one. good call by them. moved the movie forward faster (and left room for them to do the one by one bit with beorn, if they want to, but they might not, for the same reasons of expediency... i'm curious about that. we'll see).

i just think they could have had bilbo instigating the arguement among the trolls by recommending competing dwarf-cooking techniques. it would have been just as funny (or funnier) as the parasite bit (which struck me as highly "modern" upon first viewing, and still does, 'tho i've gotten used to it), and it would have remained true to the book at no real cost.


Maciliel
Tol Eressea

Mar 10 2013, 3:36pm

Post #8 of 22 (335 views)
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i find it very funny that balin [In reply to] Can't Post

.
is the one who advises against thorin giving elrond the map, and right after that spills the beans about the quest during the moon runes scene.
.


Eleniel
Grey Havens


Mar 10 2013, 3:53pm

Post #9 of 22 (281 views)
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Agreed... [In reply to] Can't Post

I hate the "parasites" conversation with a passion. Didn't like the Dwarves being roasted in their long-johns either. Always a step too far with PJ... Minor tweaking, like you have suggested, would have been far better and more in keeping with the original version.. to No need to invent something so completely un-Tolkien.




.


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






Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Mar 10 2013, 3:53pm

Post #10 of 22 (306 views)
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I know right? [In reply to] Can't Post

I thought the same thing. Balin is all like "no don't give him the map" then totally let's out what the quest is about. LOL.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


Maciliel
Tol Eressea

Mar 10 2013, 4:04pm

Post #11 of 22 (301 views)
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"thorin, NO!" [In reply to] Can't Post

 
"thorin, NO!"

10 minutes later, hushing up bilbo with a slice of his hand...

"we have to be standing in the exact spot, at the exact moment. only then can the door be opened!"

balin, NO!

.


totoro
Lorien

Mar 10 2013, 5:47pm

Post #12 of 22 (276 views)
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That bothered me, too [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
"thorin, NO!"

10 minutes later, hushing up bilbo with a slice of his hand...

"we have to be standing in the exact spot, at the exact moment. only then can the door be opened!"

balin, NO!

.


I think the other part I would have changed is Radagast leading the orcs away from the party instead of looping back toward them repeatedly.


Angharad73
Rohan


Mar 10 2013, 7:23pm

Post #13 of 22 (244 views)
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Balin... [In reply to] Can't Post

...got a bit over-excited there, maybe, when Elrond read the moon runes. I thought it was cute, actually.Blush Although, when I saw that the first time, I also thought, 'Way to give away Thorin's plans, dude!"


jtarkey
Rohan


Mar 10 2013, 8:41pm

Post #14 of 22 (232 views)
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To be fair... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin says "This is ill news. Durins day will soon be upon us". and then Balin chimes in. So Thorin basically gave Balin permission to be excited.

I do hate how Balin tells Thorin not to show Elrond the map. It's so out of character for him and just doesn't make sense at all. It seems like the only reason they did it that way, was to show that Thorin wasn't completely arrogant and stubborn.

"You're love of the halflings leaf has clearly slowed your mind"


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Mar 10 2013, 8:44pm

Post #15 of 22 (222 views)
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I agree with this [In reply to] Can't Post

I mean it wasn't a movie breaker moment for me, but it is one of the moments (the Balin thing) that I was scratching my head. I just didn't get it. I mean why would you even bother to go down there to talk to Elrond if you weren't going to show him the darn map. It just sort of was odd and you're right it didn't really fit.

I get what you are saying about Thorin's lead in but it still felt weird that Balin said that after having been to reticent to give the map over in the first place. It just felt wrong.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


marillaraina
Rohan

Mar 10 2013, 11:41pm

Post #16 of 22 (205 views)
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I liked [In reply to] Can't Post

I actually liked that Balin was reticent. Not because then Thorin gave it to Elrond anyway but because I liked that they made Balin distrustful of elves to some degree too.

Balin is a wise, decent, fair dwarf, of that there is no doubt. But he's been through hell as well and I really could see him being reticent to share something that important with an outsider. He's still a dwarf, he also saw Thranduil turn away from helping them, whatever Thranduil's reasons for doing so. He's also spent years as an outsider everywhere he's gone. Just because he might be more reasonable than most doesn't mean it wouldn't affect him.

We also need to see why the guy would want to take back Moria, this gives us a hint of the character who choose to try and do that.

And to be fair none of them really CHOSE to go talk to Elrond. Gandalf kind of trapped them into it. Most of them didn't know they were going there until they got there. Thorin seemed to kind of suspect but by then it was too late to do anything about it because they were surrounded by wargs and orcs.

Everyone wonders about the confusion of the warg scene but I think it's Gandalf's fault it seemed like they were running in circles or kept somehow almost running into the wargs. He's running them every which way so he can get them down that pass and into Imladris. That didn't happen by chance, it was exactly where Gandalf wanted them to end up and he used the orcs and wargs showing up as a way to get them there.


(This post was edited by marillaraina on Mar 10 2013, 11:43pm)


Brethil
Half-elven


Mar 11 2013, 12:27am

Post #17 of 22 (182 views)
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Me too [In reply to] Can't Post

One thing I have noticed is that when that scene opens Balin is pacing tensely up and down next to Thorin. I wonder if we will get anything in EE perhaps as to why he was upset or agitiated. Maybe there was some sort of exchange there...not sure about what. Because it is out of his norm. Something Elrond says? Some rehash of Elf and Dwarf history? Had kind of earmarked it hoping to get more scene later on.

To err is human, to Hoom is Entish.


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Mar 11 2013, 12:58am

Post #18 of 22 (172 views)
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I'll have to look for that [In reply to] Can't Post

Good catch there Brethil. I'll have to look for that! Maybe you're right and there's something in the EE.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


jtarkey
Rohan


Mar 11 2013, 1:42am

Post #19 of 22 (171 views)
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Also, Elrond had to know all along... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thorin, prince of Erebor, is on a quest with a bunch of dwarves with the help of Gandalf. They ask him to read a map of Erebor for them...come on now. At least, it seems obvious to me that their interest wasn't "mainly academic".

"You're love of the halflings leaf has clearly slowed your mind"


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Mar 11 2013, 3:04am

Post #20 of 22 (161 views)
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Good point [In reply to] Can't Post

Elrond isn't a simpleton. Indeed he probably would have either guessed or heard.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


DanielLB
Immortal


Mar 11 2013, 9:21am

Post #21 of 22 (149 views)
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It doesn't really matter ... [In reply to] Can't Post

Gandalf tells the White Council Thorin's plans anyway.


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

Mar 12 2013, 1:05am

Post #22 of 22 (103 views)
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Spot On [In reply to] Can't Post

The Troll scene is not my favorite. And that is a shame because it is one I was really looking forward to. The dialog is too modern. Would Bilbo have known about parasites? It just seemed rushed and not well thought out. Same thing with the White Council. There seemed no point to it. Saruman is going on and on about Radagast and the rest are trying to figure out the Nazul thing. Neither scene worked as well as it could have with a little more thought.

 
 

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