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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Have always found this curious


Jun 18 2013, 2:04pm

Post #1 of 17 (1284 views)
Have always found this curious Can't Post

What does Galadriel mean when she says: "This Quest has set in motion forces we do not yet understand?" Three questions:

1. Is Galadriel implying that there is a link between the Quest and the rising of the Necromancer?
2. If that is the direction DOS and TABA is going what do you think the link is?
3. And what do you think are the forces the quest has set in motion?


Jun 18 2013, 2:13pm

Post #2 of 17 (741 views)
I always thought it referred to [In reply to] Can't Post

the eventual discovery of the Ring and the events in 'The Lord of the Rings'.

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Review


Jun 18 2013, 2:24pm

Post #3 of 17 (656 views)
Yes, this [In reply to] Can't Post

Bilbo finding the ring is described in the prologue of FOTR as "something happened then, that the ring did not intend". It is the event that prevented the ring from finding it's way to Sauron. Other single important moment is the pity of Bilbo towards Gollum. This event is what allows for the ring to be finally destroyed. Bilbo finding the ring and also sparing Gollum's life is what eventually leads to Sauron's downfall and saves the whole Middle-earth.

(This post was edited by Kullervo on Jun 18 2013, 2:26pm)

Grey Havens

Jun 18 2013, 2:25pm

Post #4 of 17 (661 views)
"This" [In reply to] Can't Post

The rise of Sauron is not caused by the Quest, but the reverse due to the threat from Sauron's designs on Smaug. The links are Smaug, Bilbo, and Gollum, and by consequence, the One Ring. Thorin and the dwarves are victims of circumstances. Sauron already had his plan, so he was not set in motion. He was already a force. The One Ring was set in motion and all else follows. Sauron and Galadriel are additions to the story that did not exist until later so we are hard put, within the confines of The Hobbit, to really justify anything in motion except in retrospect.

(This post was edited by entmaiden on Jun 18 2013, 2:35pm)

Grey Havens

Jun 18 2013, 6:37pm

Post #5 of 17 (473 views)
My guesses *some book spoilers* [In reply to] Can't Post

1. From the handy fan transcript, the full text of her statement:

"You are right to help Thorin Oakenshield. But I fear this quest has set in motion forces we do not yet understand. The riddle of the Morgul blade must be answered. Something moves in the shadows, unseen, hidden from our sight. It will not show itself, not yet. But every day it grows in strength. You must be careful."

This is after a discussion in which Saruman has summarized the (in his view meager) evidence that there is anything to Gandalf and Radagast's concerns (to wit - Orcs crossing the Bruinen, the Morgul blade, the Necromancer). So I think she is talking about Sauron (only, not knowing it is he, yet).

2. I think in the films, Sauron wants to ensure the North stays weak/wants to further weaken the Free Peoples of the North. A re-establishment of the Dwarf kingdom of Erebor is therefore something he would want to prevent. And thus he is taking action to prevent it.

3. The forces I believe it will prove Sauron is deploying are three. First, Orcs, specifically including Azog and his war party that is chasing Thorin, but also quite possibly Bolg and a large army of Orcs from Gundabad and the Misty Mountains. I think we may eventually learn why/how Azog has chosen this particular time (rather than far earlier) to pursue his claimed goal of wiping out the House of Durin, and that it will be at Sauron's behest. I also think that the armies representing Evil at the Battle of the Five Armies, will be armies that assembled at Sauron's instigation.

Second, not directly provoked by the quest, but with the same overarching motivation of keeping the North weak, the Spiders are another force he is also deploying. They may be aimed at the Elves of Mirkwood, at keeping them isolationist/busy with their own defenses rather than engaged wth and helpful towards, their neighbors. When Tauriel says "it is our fight" I think she is right in this sense, that Sauron is targeting her people just as he is targeting the Dwarves. He may also be expecting the spiders to make travel to Erebor difficult, especially for Dwarves who don't care for Elves.

Third, the Nazgul, this is where I feel I am on the thinnest ice (as I feel the movies/book give us the least to go on in speculating). But if he wants Gandalf's nose out of the North's business (rather than he;ping Thorin's quest) he may be planning to divert his attention or even eliminate him as a threat. ("It undoubtedly is a trap", from the trailer).

(This post was edited by entmaiden on Jun 18 2013, 7:37pm)

Grey Havens

Jun 18 2013, 6:40pm

Post #6 of 17 (433 views)
I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

In that Gandalf as motivated to aid and encourage the quest out of worry about the threat of a Smaug/Sauron alliance. But I think in the movie it may well be the case that Sauron is trying to counter Gandalf's move through actions that could be described as being set in motion by the quest, most notably, the seemingly fortuitous pursuit of Thorin by Azog.

Tol Eressea

Jun 19 2013, 12:30pm

Post #7 of 17 (283 views)
Not sure why Gandalf is aiding Thorin in the movie [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
In that Gandalf as motivated to aid and encourage the quest out of worry about the threat of a Smaug/Sauron alliance.

In the Appendices and UT, it's made clear that Gandalf wants to use Thorin's quest as a tactical move to prevent Sauron from utilizing Smaug to attack the northern realms, but this makes sense as Gandalf has already known for 90 years that Sauron is on the rise again.

In the film, it appears that Gandalf knows nothing of Sauron's reemergence until well after the quest has already started, so his original reason for even caring about Thorin and Smaug has been made moot by the scriptwriters. I don't recall any alternative explanation being given in film-universe, so I have no clue why film Gandalf is helping film Thorin on his suicide mission.


Jun 19 2013, 12:34pm

Post #8 of 17 (280 views)
I think that Galadriel is implying [In reply to] Can't Post

that she detects some other forces at work but doesn't yet understand them enough to go into more detail. She is probably thinking about it, though and may come up with some of those details later.

Grey Havens

Jun 19 2013, 1:22pm

Post #9 of 17 (273 views)
Gandalf's Movie Motivation [In reply to] Can't Post

In the AUJ movie's White Council scene in Rivendell, Gandalf explains in considerable detail why he is involving himself in Thorin's quest. It is because, while he has (in the movie) no concrete reasons to suppose Sauron is the Necromancer, he has generally a sense that "the Enemy" (Sauron, I took him to mean) is not permanently defeated, and could use Smaug to terrible effect.

This fan transcript pretty well matches my recollection of that dialogue:


I mean the conversation that begins at this point, with Saruman wondering why Gandalf is "scheming" with the Dwarves:

[Saruman:] “Tell me, Gandalf, did you think these plans and schemes of yours would go unnoticed?”

[Gandalf:] “Unnoticed? No, I’m simply doing what I feel to be right.”

[Galadriel:] “The dragon has long been on your mind.”

[Gandalf:] “This is true, my lady. Smaug owes allegiance to no one. But if he should side with the enemy, a dragon could be used to terrible effect."

This conversation continues with Gandalf laying out why things just don't feel right to him - he questions whether ME really is at peace, and he points out things that seem wrong (the trolls, the orcs, Mirkwood), finally leading to the point where he shows the Morgul blade to the other.

The Shire

Jun 19 2013, 2:58pm

Post #10 of 17 (244 views)
The Enemy [In reply to] Can't Post

 THe interesting part to me in this conversation is Gandalfs mention of " The Enemy " . Who that person is is never mentioned. Whom could he be referring to but Sauron. If this is so it is an affirmation of Gandalfs involvement in the Dwarves quest as mentioned in the book and is now played out in the movie. These are my perceptions and of course could be completely wrong but it does seem plausible.

Tol Eressea

Jun 19 2013, 4:41pm

Post #11 of 17 (234 views)
Trolls, Orcs, and Mirkwood [In reply to] Can't Post

It is true that Gandalf becomes suspicious of the trolls, orcs, and Radagast's info on Dol Guldur and Mirkwood's decay, but my issue is that Gandalf doesn't learn about any of these things until AFTER the quest is already underway. So if Gandalf doesn't become suspicious until after the quest has already begun, why did he initiate the quest in the first place?

Grey Havens

Jun 19 2013, 5:25pm

Post #12 of 17 (222 views)
I disagree... [In reply to] Can't Post

In the bit I cited above, Galadriel states "The dragon has long been on your mind". I take "long" to be considerably longer than the time it took to get from Bag End to Rivendell. In fact I would guess years is the right timeframe, but that this concern Gandalf had was not so extreme he would actually organize an expedition himself, from scratch, without more evidence that this vague fear was becoming reality.

However, when Gandalf by whatever means heard of Thorin's intentions, it would have been natural for him to involve himself with this potential solution to his worry.

Gandalf goes on to list reasons he is now concerned about the Enemy that are all recent - but this does not preclude his having always had a vague worry about the dragon and Sauron, just that now that he is moving he is seeing more evidence that he is right to.

The Shire

Jun 19 2013, 5:34pm

Post #13 of 17 (218 views)
Saruman ; devious as always. [In reply to] Can't Post

 Professor Tolkien stated ( i believe it was in the appendices at the end of ROTK ) that the reason Saruman tried to make light of Gandalfs decelaration that there was great evil afoot was that he himself had his agents scouring the great river Anduin looking for the One Ring and did not want any outside interference resulting from the White Councils sudden attention to MIrkwood and the areas lying on the river Anduin and only chose to help them when he came to learn that it was indeed Sauron himself who he felt must be searching the river itself for the ring and thus posed a threat to his discovering the ring himself. Saruman was always in it for Saruman and no one else

Passagas the Brown
The Shire

Jun 19 2013, 5:46pm

Post #14 of 17 (231 views)
I think it's just a poor line [In reply to] Can't Post

Doesn't seem to have been too much thinking behind what it means. It's boilerplate" "epic movie talk."

Tol Eressea

Jun 19 2013, 7:18pm

Post #15 of 17 (203 views)
It doesn't preclude it, but it doesn't explain anything either... [In reply to] Can't Post

I get what you're saying - you're saying Gandalf signed on to Thorin's quest to prevent Sauron from utilizing Smaug, because he might have had a vague worry that Sauron might come back someday. What I am saying is this - the film has not presented any evidence whatsoever that Gandalf knew or even suspected that Sauron was on the rise before the quest began. ALL of the evidence he cites in Rivendell - the trolls, the orc attack, and Mirkwood - happens during the quest, not before the quest. So obviously, NONE of the evidence that Gandalf cites in Rivendell can be a reason for agreeing to aid Thorin. My question is, why was Gandalf suspicious before the quest even started, if all of the evidence he cites in Rivendell literally JUST happened? I'm not saying they won't come up with some explanation for it, but as of right now, there is no explanation (and I doubt there will be). An assumption that Gandalf was just vaguely worried for some reason isn't really evidence of anything. In the books, the threat is clear - Sauron has returned, war is inevitable, and Gandalf urgently wants to take Smaug out of the picture, so he agrees to aid in Thorin's ill-conceived plot. In the film Gandalf initiates a quest based on keeping Smaug from joining with Sauron, even though Sauron hasn't reared his head in almost 3000 years. Galadriel's comment doesn't explain WHY Gandalf was worried, just that he was worried for some reason. The way the scriptwriters have done it just seems poorly-conceived to me, and would have worked a million times better, and made more sense, had they just stuck to the text instead of revising timelines and shuffling events around.

(This post was edited by Salmacis81 on Jun 19 2013, 7:26pm)

Grey Havens

Jun 19 2013, 11:10pm

Post #16 of 17 (178 views)
I did not find it so. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't find a specific reason for suspicion is needed. Why must we assume that Gandalf thinks like Thorin, who assumes Azog is long dead? Instead Gandalf may consider that the loss of his finger and the Ring were damaging, but not permanently fatal, to Sauron.


Jun 20 2013, 3:55am

Post #17 of 17 (198 views)
I didn't get that connection [In reply to] Can't Post

Didn't see the Smaug/Sauron link you pointed out.

Keep in mind, that Gandalf's main purpose is to spur the people of ME to do things aided by one of the Three Rings ... the ing of Fire which was designed for just that purpose. Sometimes I think Gandalf did the things he did out of instinct or a gut feeling, like picking Bilbo. He didn't know why, he just felt it was the right choice and did it.

Take this Brother May it Serve you Well
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