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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The opening of TABA- How are they going to build emotion so quickly?


Feb 7 2014, 1:17pm

Post #1 of 12 (688 views)
The opening of TABA- How are they going to build emotion so quickly? Can't Post

The ending of DOS and the beginning of TABA has given the unique opportunity in a trilogy in the fact that it will open with such a powerful and emotional scene if it turns out that way (loved the ending of DOS btw, such a powerful ending and the style of writing I rather missed from the LOTR films and wish they had including more of now). Leaves you on such a tension. Very Game of Thrones.

Anyway, I've been trying to think of how they are going to do this. I know plenty of movies start with an action packed scene but they are usually a prologue or not looking for such emotional involvement, especially for key characters and places. It's such an important scene to me with regards the movies, I mean one of the main points of the film and the majority of the story line- Aren't we hear to see a powerful fire breathing dragon who apparently is Fire and Death?

What makes this an even harder challenge is the fact that all the movies have started with a prologue so once again I'm not sure how they are going to work this in. I feel it too is going to have to be a very powerful scene and something along the lines with what's about to happen, to fit in at all (perhaps a back story for Bard and his family?, Sauron and the Rings).

So here's a couple of ways they could do it-
1. The destruction of Lake Town could possibly be not the first couple of scenes of this movie. We could have the prologue, scenes with the dwarfs and Biblo, the White Council, Lake Town ect. However this would partly destroy the purpose of leaving DOS on a cliff hanger.

2. If I was the director, I would slightly rip off the movie Reign of Fire (if you haven't seen it, watch it now!) and have all the people sleeping in Lake Town and all's quiet and then the sound of Smaugs wings and his voice. Sort of like- Dragons Breath

3. If they really wanted to go for an emotional opening, you could start off with the event taking place and Lake Town already in flames and everyone screaming and Smaug still destroying everything. But then we would miss all the action of Smaug flying to the town and starting to burn it.

My feeling is, with the tone that has now been set at the end of DOS and the tension and cliff hanger feeling they have created, the Hobbit films can no longer rely on the theatrical epic story telling that LOTR focused on (sort of like the prologue of AUJ). For me the scene should be more gritty, powerful, emotional and play on things like sound, suffocation, silence ect. Basically packed with tension and emotion.

What's does everyone think. A. How do you think they will pull this off and B. If you had a choice, how would you do it?

book Gandalf

Feb 7 2014, 1:53pm

Post #2 of 12 (376 views)
moria [In reply to] Can't Post

number 3?? seriously, you be happy with missing ot the best part of the book, the awesome smaug destruction scene. fire and water? never going to happen.

i agree though that becuase we end on a cliff hanger, its going to be very odd to start with a prologue then go from that into smaug vs laketown. which ever way you look at it it seems confusing, badly thought through.

i also think this film cannot be a huge long battle, first smaug, then dol guldor then bo5a. im exhausted already, it cannot match rotk in epicness it has to be more 'local' or something.

oh and the end scene will be azog and thorin outside the front gate, echoing the moria scene.

This is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking-party.


Feb 7 2014, 3:06pm

Post #3 of 12 (312 views)
#2 is close to how the chapter begins in the book [In reply to] Can't Post

I would stay with the opening of "Fire and Water" from the book. It is evening and most are indoors. Lights are seen on the peak of Lonely Mountain. "Then suddenly a great light appear in the low place in the hills and the northern end of the lake turn golden." The more foolish start to shout about the King of the Mountain sending gold down the river. Bard realizes what is happening and sounds the alarm.

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


Feb 7 2014, 4:00pm

Post #4 of 12 (278 views)
Like this [In reply to] Can't Post

Start the movie with the MGM new line, no music, no sound at all to create tension... Then a Smaug POV flying toward Laketown with only the occasional sound of his wings flapping in the air... The beginning has to create tension or the end of dos doesn't work IMO

book Gandalf

Feb 7 2014, 4:23pm

Post #5 of 12 (256 views)
maybe [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Start the movie with the MGM new line, no music, no sound at all to create tension... Then a Smaug POV flying toward Laketown with only the occasional sound of his wings flapping in the air... The beginning has to create tension or the end of dos doesn't work IMO

even better, have smaug in the mgm logo!! rooooarrrr

i can see it starting at laketown, the watchmen doing their rounds, all quiet, harbour bells quietly ringing, everyone asleep, then a hurrican starts a blowing...

This is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking-party.


Feb 7 2014, 4:27pm

Post #6 of 12 (269 views)
Maybe they need to start with Gandalf [In reply to] Can't Post

They could start with Gandalf being taunted by the Necromancer/Sauron who says that he has a dragon and he's not afraid to use him.

So Gandalf would know that his fears about Smaug are all too horribly true; now the free peoples of middle earth are going to be crushed between the orcs on the one hand and the dragon on the other.

Gandalf warned the White Council, but they didn't listen. The Master of Laketown is a greedy, ignorant fool. Thranduil has closed himself off from the rest of middle earth and thinks he's unassailable (which he probably isn't.) Doom is descending upon the unprepared Men and Elves.

And what has happened to the dwarves and Bilbo? Gandalf doesn't know, and he is trapped and can't warn anybody.

So that's how I'd start TABA.


Feb 7 2014, 4:34pm

Post #7 of 12 (258 views)
Another Flashback: Dain [In reply to] Can't Post

I believe TABA should start by introducing us to Dain - thus avoiding any unnecessary exposition half-way through the climax of the film. Perhaps the famous "meeting in Ered Luin: mentioned in AUJ.

I just can't see it starting immediately with the attack on Lake-town - give it some time to build-up.

So, I think giving us the character of Dain will prove a key moment once he appears during the BOFA.

Then again, we could also get a prologue with a Gandalf rescue scene from Dol Guldur (with the battle happening later on in the film) ...

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The Shire

Feb 7 2014, 5:19pm

Post #8 of 12 (242 views)
Two options [In reply to] Can't Post

I can see only two options here.

The first is background flashbacks. I’m guessing these would be about Thorin or an introduction to a new character. As you said, Arandir, Dain is a likely choice. It makes sense to me because the audience needs some kind of introduction to him or else he’ll feel very abrupt.

The other is to start directly in where DOS left off: Smaug flying towards Laketown. Probably show Thorin and the other dwarves and Bilbo panicking as they realize they just sent a raving-mad dragon toward not only a town of innocents, but also Fili, Kili, Bofur, and Oin. These four, seeing said raving-mad dragon, may or may not consider that Thorin and the others are dead. I think we’ll also see Bard trying to get out of jail, or maybe even escaping.

I guess I can see other ways to start, but those are the most likely IMO.

Whichever way it goes, it’s going to be really high tension right off the bat to match the feel of the final moments of DOS.

I hear your still voice calling my heart… I’d rip my world down to follow the sound. –Nine Lashes


Feb 7 2014, 6:07pm

Post #9 of 12 (210 views)
Historically speaking... [In reply to] Can't Post

The BOFA was one of the most decisive battles in Middle-Earth. Not counting the Silmarillion please, those events took place long ago.

Had Sauron won the BOFA, he would have swept Middle-Earth like a Tsunami with such a powerful stronghold in the East. The North would have been his. The Woodland Realm could not have fought both Dol Guldur and Erebor. Nor could have Lothlorien.

With those "free peoples" strongholds gone, Sauron would have rallied all his forces (that were divided) and focused on the Men.

Giving Sauron so much strength 60 years early would have 100% ended badly for the free peoples.

So why shouldn't the BOFA top anything in ROTK? It should be more emotionally powerful anyways since SPOILER three main characters get killed in it (With Tauriel going either way).

"[Annatar598] is an overzealous apologist [for PJ]" - Certain TORn member.

Really? Alright...

Well, proud to be one I guess.


Feb 7 2014, 6:09pm

Post #10 of 12 (230 views)
It would be EXTREMELY awkward [In reply to] Can't Post

To have the lovely Shire theme play over the Hobbit title then cut straight to death, misery and sadness with Smaug flying towards Laketown.

It could be pulled off well but I can't process it in my head without thinking it wouldn't fit.

"[Annatar598] is an overzealous apologist [for PJ]" - Certain TORn member.

Really? Alright...

Well, proud to be one I guess.


Feb 7 2014, 10:35pm

Post #11 of 12 (151 views)
In AUJ [In reply to] Can't Post

We had a transition from hobbit-ness (My dear Frodo) to epicness (Erebor) and finally to Death and Doom.

I like cheese!

Tol Eressea

Feb 8 2014, 3:56am

Post #12 of 12 (135 views)
Definitely a prologue [In reply to] Can't Post

I think there will be a prologue, because that's just the way PJ does things. But something tied to Laketown could be workable - maybe a flashback to Bard's ancestor (Girion?) talking to his children or grandchildren about the black arrows and their purpose. If I remember correctly, he didn't survive the attack, so maybe the discussion could take place right before the dragon attack, maybe even hearing the "sound of a hurricane," then cutting to the current Laketown and the same sound.

Otherwise the meeting with Dain would possibly work, as long as somehow they bring up Dale or Laketown in the process. Perhaps Dain could be critical of the plan, since their chances of killing the Dragon are nil, and Smaug would just finish what he started, or something like that. Then maybe a quick shot of Thorin watching as Smaug flies toward Laketown, while Bilbo says something about the 4 dwarves still there. I don't know, just some speculation here.


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