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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
An old discussion re-visited: The End of DoS

Arannir
Valinor

Mar 12 2013, 3:15pm

Post #1 of 22 (925 views)
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An old discussion re-visited: The End of DoS Can't Post

Potentially spoilery



Doing some thought-juggeling in another thread, I had another idea for a possible ending of DoS.

Let's see what you guys think (I only summarized this in a bullet-point kind of way):


Last third of the movie: Bilbo entering Erebor, talking to Smaug and leaving again intercut with the skirmish at Dol Guldur

Last scenes in the WC-scenario: a Galadriel / Gandalf scene: Sauron has left, but they realize what power he seems to be gathering again and that he is by no means defeated but that the dark days are yet to come; Gandalf is probably wounded, if we can believe some sources; fear of Gandalf not to reach the North in time anymore (assuming that through a Azog/Bolg connection he knows by now that there will be an attack on Erebor).

Last scenes in the Erebor-scenario: Smaug leaves the mountain and sets the mountain-side on fire; he also attacks the dwarves, though they can ultimately rescue themselves (giving that storyline a climax and some real threat); Smaug decides to attack Laketown

Last scene: other than in the book, the thrush does not actually speak. Bilbo attaches a short note to the bird and sends it to Laketown in the hope to alarm them. While Smaug still sets the mountainside on fire, the thrush vanishes into the South.


(This post was edited by Arannir on Mar 12 2013, 3:21pm)


Owain
Tol Eressea


Mar 12 2013, 3:58pm

Post #2 of 22 (491 views)
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Definitely, a highly debated topic to be sure. [In reply to] Can't Post

Ever since they announced the change from a 2 act to now 3 act structure, the speculation has gone in many different directions.

I think what you are saying makes for a definite cliffhanger.

I think I'm hoping that Smaug's story line will be fleshed out and completed fully in Act 2 - Desolation of Smaug. Smaug was always the initial antagonist of the story but part of what makes Tolkien such a brilliant story teller was his ability to communicate ideas in the subtext that then come alive and into focus. There is an even greater antagonist to be dealt with as the story arcs toward completion, namely greed. To me, Act 3 - There and Back Again can stand alone, without the Smaug thread.

Many here have stated that they didn't feel all of the dwarves got their due in Act l. I think that was intentional. Our main characters and the main threads of the story were established (namely Bilbo, Gandalf, and Thorin and of course the Quest to reclaim Erebor). Act 2 will greatly advance the story and I believe the secondary characters skeletal constructs will be fleshed out as major plot points begin to unfold. Meanwhile our main characters will continually grow in depth and complexity. In effect, we will know them more intimately as they endure more hardships together; and hopefully we will come to care for them like we do our main characters.

In summary, I believe the crux of the story hinges upon the friendships of our company, the relationship of Bilbo and the Dwarves. The Arkenstone and the "sickness" will be the main thrust of Act 3, crescendoing with the Battle of Five Armies.

Or at least that's my hope.

Smile

Middle Earth is New Zealand!

"Question everything, embrace the bad, and hold on to the good."


Ardamírë
Valinor


Mar 12 2013, 3:58pm

Post #3 of 22 (451 views)
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Very good [In reply to] Can't Post

It's basically what I've wanted ever since the third film was announced. I don't think there enough material after the destruction of Laketown to make up an entire film, so that sequence has to be in film 3.

I'm still not sure where the Dol Guldor battle will be put, but I think your placement makes sense enough. I don't think that whole storyline can conclude in film 2, though. It has to somehow go into film 3. I don't know if that means the battle of Dol Guldor will be in film 3, though, or film 2.

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and the bells in the steeple, too.
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird is popping out to say coo-coo (coo-coo, coo-coo).


Arannir
Valinor

Mar 12 2013, 4:04pm

Post #4 of 22 (439 views)
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I guess... [In reply to] Can't Post

... the skirmish could be in film 2 as a climax, but some of its resolution in film 3 (similar to Flotsam and Jetsam in RotK). For example, a big part of the explanation that Sauron is - despite what happened in DG - rising could be moved to TABA.

A lot will of course depend on how this battle will look like.

I guess it will be rather a skirmish... Galadriel/Gandalf/Elrond/maybe a Saruman double vs. the Ringwraiths or something like this. And Radagast (and maybe also Beorn) and "their animals" against creatures (like bats) of DG.


(This post was edited by Arannir on Mar 12 2013, 4:08pm)


Ardamírë
Valinor


Mar 12 2013, 4:10pm

Post #5 of 22 (437 views)
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I think it's more likely [In reply to] Can't Post

That there will be a battle at Dol Guldor in DoS. I think Sauron is likely to be tied into the battle of five armies, so that'll probably end up being the big conclusion to both stories. I don't want it to be that way, but I think that's what's going to end up happening.

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and the bells in the steeple, too.
And up in the nursery an absurd little bird is popping out to say coo-coo (coo-coo, coo-coo).


DanielLB
Immortal


Mar 12 2013, 4:32pm

Post #6 of 22 (428 views)
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I can see this working [In reply to] Can't Post

And think it's probably most sensible. I always thought the attack on Laketown should be in DOS. Smaug attacking them on the side of the Mountain would certainly be an exciting ending.

And I do like a cliffhanger. Maybe both the Dol Guldur plot and main plot should end on a cliffhanger. Cool We know Galadriel carries Gandalf away, so maybe will see that?


(This post was edited by DanielLB on Mar 12 2013, 4:36pm)


arithmancer
Grey Havens


Mar 12 2013, 4:35pm

Post #7 of 22 (448 views)
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I think this is exactly right! *book spoilers* [In reply to] Can't Post

Though I think it would be cool if the last shot followed the thrush to Laketown and hinted at the destruction to follow - it would be a nice parallel to the end of the first movie.

I had not considered the possibility of a second cliffhanger involving Gandalf and the WC subplot, that we might already know Bolg (and whatever/whoever else) is moving to attack Erebor, and there being a question in the viewers' minds of whether Gandalf will be able to get there in time to warn everyone of the danger. I like this idea!


Kullervo
Rivendell


Mar 12 2013, 4:40pm

Post #8 of 22 (414 views)
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I agree, Owain [In reply to] Can't Post

I completely agree with pretty much everything what you just said. I fear that not resolving the Smaug storyline would leave the movie feeling unfinished, and not a complete movie. And I also agree that it is important that the movies feel distinct, not only in their story arcs, but in their underlying themes. Leaving the resolution of Smaug's fate to film three might make the second film feel less satisfying and the third film feel less coherent, both less like their own individual movies. The way you describe it would mean we'd get two films that are of the same story, but can stand firmly on their own.

Of course, I'm not judging before I see it. What ever they do I hope the ending of DoS will feel like a real ending, and the beginning of TaBa won't feel like the ending of the previous movie put in front of the third one.


(This post was edited by Kullervo on Mar 12 2013, 4:42pm)


Arannir
Valinor

Mar 12 2013, 4:44pm

Post #9 of 22 (401 views)
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yes [In reply to] Can't Post

I always had issues to see the climax of the erebor story with smaug not attacking laketown in dos. It works much better for me now that I can imagine a smaug/dwarves confrontation (without really changing much).


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Mar 13 2013, 1:09am

Post #10 of 22 (266 views)
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The thrush doesn't speak in the book either... [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know that I like the notion that the White Council realizes that it has not succeeded in its goal. The whole idea was that Sauron pulled the wool over their eyes and tricked them into thinking that they had won, rather than just buying them a bit more time.

There is no reason to tinker with the thrush unless you really hate that Bard can understand its bird-speech. It never spoke a human language in the book and it doesn't need to do so here either. The fact that Bard can understand it just adds to the fairy-tale quality of the story. This is a fantasy film, after all.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Arannir
Valinor

Mar 13 2013, 7:09am

Post #11 of 22 (226 views)
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WC [In reply to] Can't Post

I think they do not need to realize everything about his rise... but an inkling that this attacked was provoked by Sauron and that they did what he wanted them to do (to test their strength etc.) would be nice, I think, to foreshadow that his power in LotR does not just come out of nowhere.

As to Bard... I actually do have issues with him understanding the thrush. It worked on film for Radagast for me... since this was also not a very climactic moment. Not sure about the Laketown situation though, unless Bard's relationship to animals is somehow set up already.

Plus, I would really love Bilbo to have a bigger role by sending the message and not merely be overheard.


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Mar 13 2013, 2:58pm

Post #12 of 22 (197 views)
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Fair enough... [In reply to] Can't Post

We disagree, but I don't think that we are that far apart. It seems that Bard will be introduced differently than in the book; his ability to understand bird-speech (shared by other descendents of the city of Dale?) might well be foreshadowed. Now the ravens of Lonely Mountain should flat-out use language understandable to the audience (technically, they should use Westron). I imagine that the Dwarves never taught the ravens Khuzdul because they have always been secretive about their native tongue.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Mar 13 2013, 3:04pm)


Rostron2
Gondor


Mar 13 2013, 9:02pm

Post #13 of 22 (183 views)
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Smaug [In reply to] Can't Post

The dragon is too important to leave out of the third film in some form. I'm not saying a cliffhanger in the attack -- that would be annoying. My guess is still that it will be some kind of split at the point when he leaves the mountain to attack Laketown. You don't spend all that time and effort to build up a character like Smaug to polish him off in film 2. We haven't even met him yet. There's a bunch of action already in DOS, and they can do the whole Necromancer thing in the middle to near end so they can free up Gandalf for TABA. They can do plenty with the focus on him attacking the dwarves before he goes off to Laketown at the end to get the dragon rolling. All of PJ's animal action sequences are long anyway. He'll do it again. Remember the dinosaur chase in King Kong? Hours too long. So I expect we'll see a lot of Mr. Smaug in both 2 and the beginning of 3.

My version:

1. Smaug scares the heck out of the dwarves at Erebor and heads off to Laketown. Maybe then we see Bilbo find the Arkenstone as a capper. thematically, that makes for action, then a transition to the next film.

2. Beginning of TABA, we start with some action, Smaug's initial attacks, then split back to the mountain for the dwarves exploration, and then back to the dragon again for the big finish.

This has problems too. I'd almost rather not split the action in TABA, but maybe it doesn't need the back and forth. However, the general sequence is how I see it.


Arannir
Valinor

Mar 13 2013, 9:08pm

Post #14 of 22 (178 views)
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Completely agree... [In reply to] Can't Post

... I simply cannot see those movies working if Smaug dies in DoS.


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Mar 13 2013, 10:09pm

Post #15 of 22 (169 views)
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Agree [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't see any way at all Smaug dies in DoS. for one thing, there's too much going on to get to that point. The build up of Dol Guldor, the spiders, Thranduil's place, the Barrels, laketown, not to mention getting up to the Lonely Mountain itself, having the whole Thrush thing with the stone, Bilbo making his way down to talk to Smaug. No way can they fit in the whole Laketown being decimated by Smaug business in the 2nd film and Bard killing him. There is just not time to do that and do the film justice.

Instead I think we will see Bilbo's Riddle-o with Smaug and his flying off to decimate Laketown and the film will end there.

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


cats16
Valinor

Mar 13 2013, 10:21pm

Post #16 of 22 (168 views)
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Going off of what you've stated... [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree that Smaug will be present for quite some time in both films. I wonder if the time in between his death and the Bo5A will be cut down drastically, especially because that section has very little action going on. Probably a lot of intercutting between Gandalf (if, as someone else has stated, he will be hurrying back to Erebor from Dol Guldor) and the talks between Thorin and the elves. So much material to cover in a two film span.


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Mar 13 2013, 10:55pm

Post #17 of 22 (159 views)
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Which is exactly why [In reply to] Can't Post

Jackson made the decision to make it into 3 films. It was the right decision in my view. Not so much for others, and I get that. But I think even absent Dol Guldor it would have been hard to do this in 2 films and do it justice.

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


sauget.diblosio
Tol Eressea

Mar 14 2013, 12:05am

Post #18 of 22 (162 views)
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Plus, doesn't *spoilers* [In reply to] Can't Post

 Smaug's death pretty much lead right into why the BoFA even happens (it's been a while since i read the book)? If they save Smaug's death for the third film, that means they won't have to re-hash all that info to get people up to speed for BoFA, and it will all play much more smoothly.


(This post was edited by entmaiden on Mar 14 2013, 4:07am)


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Mar 14 2013, 7:05am

Post #19 of 22 (133 views)
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You raise a point that I had not considered. [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Smaug's death pretty much lead right into why the BoFA even happens (it's been a while since i read the book)? If they save Smaug's death for the third film, that means they won't have to re-hash all that info to get people up to speed for BoFA, and it will all play much more smoothly.



I had wondered if Smaug's death could be reserved for the third film; I had not considered this reason for doing so. If Jackson does go this way then I am more convinced that the Council's assault on Dol Guldur will take place in DoS while Bilbo and the Dwarves might be left waiting in the dark for the dragon to return.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Arannir
Valinor

Mar 14 2013, 9:45am

Post #20 of 22 (130 views)
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Yap. [In reply to] Can't Post

And looking at how Boyens has already mentioned in several interviews how important it is to get this special structure right (with the antagonist dying so early) - the politics that Smaug's death sets in motion - I believe it would really be a major dramaturgic mistake to have him die in DoS and artificially seperate his downfall from the evolving politics.

I really see no structure whatsoever that would work with him dead by the end of DoS. Unless you already foreshadow that his death leads to quite a few issues (which is not really a climactic thing to do after almost 3 hours of storytelling), I can already see the reviews and audience reactions: "What the hell is this third movie for? Cash grap!"

I believe too much in the storytellers of those movies to think they would go down that path.


(This post was edited by Arannir on Mar 14 2013, 9:46am)


Rostron2
Gondor


Mar 14 2013, 3:02pm

Post #21 of 22 (113 views)
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Yes, agreed [In reply to] Can't Post

We also need to see that attack in TABA and the aftermath sets up the whole treasure argument and the beginnings of the 'Madness of King Thorin'


Ham_Sammy
Tol Eressea

Mar 16 2013, 9:11pm

Post #22 of 22 (92 views)
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It does [In reply to] Can't Post

We are in for a ride i think in TABA to be sure. It's going to be wild.

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

 
 

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