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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Favorite scene list (of 10) - why do you like one of your "mid favorite" DOS scenes?


Feb 15 2014, 8:07pm

Post #1 of 22 (568 views)
Favorite scene list (of 10) - why do you like one of your "mid favorite" DOS scenes? Can't Post

10 favorite scenes from DOS - we've all got 'em but think maybe it's our top three that get talked about the most. And I've got a real problem because the majority of the movie is a favorite scene. But my top ones would be Thorin/Thranduil, entering Erebor, "end in fire", the barrels (and there's been a lot of comments on these).

Bur right behind that is the forges, which is long enough that I loosely split into 2 parts: 1)Thorin going into the pit, and 2) after the forges get lit. What I call the forges sequence is one of the reasons I want to get my hands on the DVD/BluRay, just to savor it. One thing I like about this long action sequence is that it "opens" with the pit scene, which is a huge favorite of mine because it's just gritty, sweaty, dirty, more or less one-on-one, and just desperation. And it's hugely realistic IMO in that aside from Smaug chasing Thorin as the rope drops, there are loose rocks tumbling down, and the sounds IMO are perfection and perfectly timed - the whine of the cables dropping, the banging of the falling winches, the roar of the flames.

Loved the acting and realism through this - particularly like this part where Thorin is just dropping down and down and the expression on his face. It's like he's dropping into hell. And he's actually hanging - I've seen other movies where a character is supposed to be hanging from something and you can tell they are just standing on a box or whatever, because there is no strain on their arms. And Dwalin looked so desperate in this scene, and Nori jumping in.

More loving details - Smaug's movement and facial expressions through the whole thing - he's just so SMUG. Smaug isn't grinning but he almost is. And one of the most remarkable things about Smaug is the care that was taken with his eyes - he looks, and focuses on characters - and the way he follows Thorin down the pit and twists his neck.

This, w. the flames boiling up, I just love - for me this is just great imagery, w. fire being funnel up like this, and its roar. There's other things I love about this whole sequence - Balin pulling Bilbo into the side tunnel, Bilbo calling after Thorin, Thorin drawing Smaug off. It's hard not to focus more on what follows because the lighting of the forges is on such an enormous scale - there's an immensity about the lit forges, the running gold, the water wheels, Smaug thrashing around. So I love that too - but think this "entry scene" is incredibly well done, so it's on my favorites list in itself.

My only issue would be that think it's paced a little fast, I'd like to have watched Smaug's movement a bit more - but when Smaug slowly opens his mouth to swallow Thorin and he almost looks like he's smiling - IMO amazing attention to detail through all of this. Even Smaug's tongue and the way Thorin crouches when he lands on Smaug and slowly stands when he realizes what he landed on. And the way Smaug snaps his jaws, fast and hard, just like an alligator or crocodile (I think WETA did a LOT of animal studies!) It's also fun for me to speculate what the story line might have been if Thorin had dropped to the bottom, or to a side chamber, and shown up later - as an alternate story line.

So, what are your one or two "middle favorite scenes" and why? (Maybe you wouldn't even think of them as key scenes in the movie, but you wouldn't want to not have them there, either.)


Feb 15 2014, 11:35pm

Post #2 of 22 (273 views)
Agree about Smaug's eyes [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not going to go into favourite scenes here, but just to say that I totally agree with you about Smaug's eyes. It is extraordinary how his whole face has been given fantastic expression, with the eyes playing a major part in this Ė we all know that the eyes are the windows to the soul.

Amazing that they couldn't get a human's CGI eyes right, though (Legolas).

The Shire

Feb 15 2014, 11:46pm

Post #3 of 22 (273 views)
Looking for the keyhole [In reply to] Can't Post

So, to be clear (even though Iím going to post as if this is true) youíre looking not for our first, second, or third favorite scenes, but for our fourth favorite scenes? Lol, itís really hard to think of a scene I like but isnít my favorite. Uhkay, well, I guess Iíll have to go with the scene where they find the keyhole. Not when theyíre actually opening the door (thatís one of the top three weíre not supposed to talk aboutWink), but right before.

I love the frustration of not being able to find the way to the door you know you also wonít be able to find. And then, when they make it to the top, the sheer joy and accomplishment in Thorinís eyes as he holds up the key and says ď[they] will rue this day!Ē is contagious. You can just feel his excitement. And itís there again (in a more calm form) as they begin to pat and tap the wall searching for this keyhole that must be there. And when they slowly begin to realize somethingís wrong, and then as it turns into barely-contained panicÖ my gosh. It was heart-rending to watch them abandon the logical approach and just begin beating the wall in desperation, and you could hear their weapons shattering long before they gave up.

My favorite part of this is when Thorin drops the key in utter devastation. I think I stopped breathing at this point my first time through because it was just so hard to watch him hit that emotional low. I think the same was true for Bilbo because he just watched him, unable to believe he was able to give up so easily. And I love the dedication Bilbo showed here. This isnít his quest. Yeah, it would be a shame to have been dragged out of your hobbit-hole and through fires and spiders and dungeons and orc raids for nothing, but there was much more to it than that. He had made it his quest, and now he was going to make sure the dwarves got what they came for. This speaks to how attached Bilbo has become to the dwarves, particularly to Thoirn. I just love the tension in the air as he tries to figure out the riddle of the keyhole before the dwarves get too far away.

Itís been a while since Iíve seen it, so I canít really go into as much detail as you did, but I think that covers it.

Oh, I guess I also have to mention the moment when Bilbo calls them back and Thorin catches the key with his foot. Because I absolutely adore the expression in Thorinís eyes as he gazes at Bilbo. Heís not angry, first off, that Bilbo nearly launched the key into darkness in their last seconds of hope for actually getting into the mountain. Rather, his eyes are filled with intense gratitude and gentle admiration for Bilboís effort. You can see the light in his eyes. Heís just so darn expressive! And that little gasp Bilbo gave when Thorin showed up, followed by breathlessness of lingering tension always hits me. At the risk of insinuating bromance, I love this little moment between them, a moment of shared realization of what theyíve done together. I also love how it sums up their current relationship: Thorin, at this point, wouldnít dream of trying to do this quest without Bilbo, and Bilbo is meekly soaking in the huge amounts of appreciation Thorin is funneling his way. Actually, the moment is so quick Iím not really even sure itís there, but regardless, itís a large part of why this scene is my fourth favorite.

I hear your still voice calling my heartÖ Iíd rip my world down to follow the sound. ĖNine Lashes

The Shire

Feb 16 2014, 12:02am

Post #4 of 22 (256 views)
In reaction [In reply to] Can't Post

In response to your fourth favorite, I agree with you entirely. Actually, while I liked this scene before, I didnít really see how much was in it until you kept talking about it Cool. Personally, I love this scene for the realistic way they put Thorin on Smaugís snout. A lot of movies try to do this without the realism factor. However, in this case, considering Smaug actually bit the rope below Thorin, it made perfect sense that his mouth would still be there when Thorin dropped down. And I, too, loved the crouch and the slow stand.

The other reason I love this scene is because of the way the other dwarves reacted and how they did absolutely everything they could to save him. I never really noticed their expressions, though, only their actions, so now I have something to watch for. There are a lot of details (especially with expressions) that you mention that Iíve never noticed, and I love having things like that pointed out to me, so thank you! Smile

I hear your still voice calling my heartÖ Iíd rip my world down to follow the sound. ĖNine Lashes


Feb 16 2014, 12:30am

Post #5 of 22 (271 views)
"And it's hugely realistic" [In reply to] Can't Post

Smaug chasing the group around was both good fun and unexpected since it's nothing like the book. But "hugely realistic"? Nothing about that scene was really believable, and I can't say otherwise with a straight face. It was fun and I enjoyed it for what it was, but that scene broke the most laws of physics per second over any other scene in Middle-Earth film history, and that's including both the barrel escape and Legolas at Pelennor Fields.

The Shire

Feb 16 2014, 12:52am

Post #6 of 22 (249 views)
I protest! (ish) [In reply to] Can't Post

Eh... pretty sure Legolas breaks more laws of physics every time he moves. And don't forget all those bone-breaking falls that people keep having (the one that comes to mind is Bilbo's as he falls into Gollum's lair) and coming out of without a scratch. While I'm not sure I'd describe this scene as "hugely" realistic, I don't think any of it was unrealistic enough to detract from the story or take you out of the moment, especially not the scene Avendel is referring to. Other places, yes, but not here (at least not for me). And, the "hugely realistic" (I think) was actually a reference to attention to detail, i.e. the sound of rocks falling, the wood splintering, etc., not whether or not it could happen in real life.

I hear your still voice calling my heartÖ Iíd rip my world down to follow the sound. ĖNine Lashes

Night Wolf

Feb 16 2014, 1:12pm

Post #7 of 22 (191 views)
Facial Expressions [In reply to] Can't Post

I like the way the actors bring the script alive with subtle expressions, mostly.

The special effects can be mind blowing but scenes like the looks exchanged between Martin and Ian over what Bilbo found, or Balin's typical patriarch type replacement of the wisdom that young Thorin lacks, just with appropriate advice at the right time...

It's just plain superb writing on part of the actors, which seems to add so much to the character development of the plot. I wonder how much of that was added by them, y'know? It might have occurred right on set, as they filmed.

Klaatu... Verata... Necktie. Nectar. Nickel, Noodle...Nikto!


Feb 16 2014, 1:46pm

Post #8 of 22 (171 views)
One of my favorites also [In reply to] Can't Post

What a great scene breakdown Avandel! I felt like I was re-living it all over again. The forges sequence is one of my favorites also because I was so interested in this glimpse of dwarven technology, how the forges worked and the immensity of it all. And I also loved watching Thorin take charge of the plan and how well the dwarves worked together. Also that small moment when he gives Bilbo his instructions, after the terrible moment earlier where he holds the sword to him over the Arkenstone, it was like a small glimpse of Thorin getting back to himself, just a small moment but RA is such a powerful actor he makes the most of it.

And I agree, I can't wait to watch this one again (and again and again :-)) on DVD.


Feb 16 2014, 1:53pm

Post #9 of 22 (177 views)
Bilbo's Fall [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't see the problem with it. He falls from a bit of a height and manages to grab a rope to slow his fall. Not to forget he also lands on mushrooms, and they give him makeup for injuries after the fall.


Feb 16 2014, 5:50pm

Post #10 of 22 (131 views)
LOL, as realistic as this kind of movie can get!!! [In reply to] Can't Post

And I don't think it broke the laws of physics at all - dwarves are strong and densely boned, and Thorin's hands must be pretty calloused, so sure, he could throw himself onto a rope and hang on.
Obviously Smaug can climb w. those big claws etc.

IMO it's far more realistic than the tremendous drop in the goblin tunnels, even for dwarves that's a pretty long fall, tho I like to think that Gandalf was chanting protective spells on the way down.


Feb 16 2014, 5:53pm

Post #11 of 22 (133 views)
Agree there - Gollum's eyes look better [In reply to] Can't Post

"Amazing that they couldn't get a human's CGI eyes right, though (Legolas)."

And I figure someone will point out to me that Legolas is wearing contacts, while Gollum and Smaug have CGI eyes, but couldn't they fix Legolas' tiny pupils in certain scenes post-production? Sigh.


Feb 16 2014, 5:56pm

Post #12 of 22 (137 views)
Legolas [In reply to] Can't Post

has human eyes?


Feb 16 2014, 6:02pm

Post #13 of 22 (125 views)
Agree! [In reply to] Can't Post

"Also that small moment when he gives Bilbo his instructions, after the terrible moment earlier where he holds the sword to him over the Arkenstone, it was like a small glimpse of Thorin getting back to himself, just a small moment but RA is such a powerful actor he makes the most of it."

Ooooh - I noticed that too - that tiny moment of reaching out to Bilbo and the trust between them (TABA is going to destroy me, I swear.....)

And when they start the fire, I love the camera work, as Thorin turns completely around and the camera swings around him, and later when Smaug is thrashing around - I saw the movie a lot before it ended its theater run and the more I see the forges scenes the more I appreciate them!


Feb 16 2014, 6:13pm

Post #14 of 22 (126 views)
Exactly! (thanks Elondria) [In reply to] Can't Post

"And, the "hugely realistic" (I think) was actually a reference to attention to detail, i.e. the sound of rocks falling, the wood splintering, etc., not whether or not it could happen in real life."

Guess I could use a different adjective than realistic - but it IS, in the sense that it's physical and organic an believable in that sense, every sound, texture, and movement.


Feb 16 2014, 6:22pm

Post #15 of 22 (143 views)
My updated list [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a vague memory of doing this once already. TORnsibs sure do like their lists!

1. Smaug vs Bilbo (Pretty much all of this, too, especially the cunning of the dragon and the wit of Bilbo)
2. Bard smuggling the dwarves (all of it from Balin's negotiations to Alfrid's interrogation and the fish and the toilet - great stuff!)
3. Thorin vs Thranduil (This showdown was fabulous!)
4. Bilbo breaks dwarves out of prison
5. Bard remembers song about Thorin / lore / poem
6. Bard vs Thorin vs the Master debate

To me all of these are better than anything I remember from LOTR, except for maybe Eowyn vs WK "I am no man" and the intro of Strider. In AUJ the parts that stand up with these scenes are the whole Bag End sequence, "Good morning sequence", and Riddles in the Dark.

7. Spiders (nice interpretation of the ring effect)
8. Gandalf investigating Dol Guldur

To me, these scenes stand up with "Get off the road", "You shall not pass", Pippin's song, and the intro of Frodo in the Shire

9. Getting lost in Mirkwood (this was good and a nice surprise - although very far from the more horror / suspense sort of creepiness that I imagined)
10. Tauriel and Kili chatting (especially Kili's story about promising to come home)


Feb 16 2014, 6:32pm

Post #16 of 22 (123 views)
I forgot this one! [In reply to] Can't Post

I enjoyed it quite a bit too! Drat, I always forget a few of these gems when I make these lists!


Feb 16 2014, 6:33pm

Post #17 of 22 (121 views)
Beautiful post and details! [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, I was curious to see what people would say about their "lesser favorites" as other people see so many details - shamefully, I didn't even realize until recently that Luke Evans way playing his own ancestor. I remember thinking that Girion was an "attractive beefy guy" but later - whoops. Nice makeup job!

I guess another little scene for me that's a lesser favorite would be Beorn's house - not on my top 4 list but I wouldn't give that scene up - love the huge horned cows, the goats, the bees, and of course those ponies - and the dwarves all clustered around this huge table, drinking milk out of huge mugs.

"Because I absolutely adore the expression in Thorinís eyes as he gazes at Bilbo."

Oh, you are so right about that whole scene! One thing that struck me too as the sun begins to go down is Bilbo's increasingly worried expression, and then his face as the sun sinks completely. And Thorin's face when he says "No!" and goes towards the door. And I love the look Bilbo gives Thorin when he last says "you can't give up now" and then stays and puzzles and puzzles things out.

LOL, when Bilbo kicks the key with his foot always got a crowd reaction re the audiences I was with - people gasping out loud and everything. How I love that moment when Thorin's boot comes down and the look between Thorin and Bilbo. And how I wish for the EE they would film a little scene of Thorin and the dwarves around the corner, maybe w. Thorin and the dwarves slumped in exhaustion or Thorin looking back up the trail, and then hearing Bilbo's voice and a desperate hope coming into Thorin's eyes. I can picture it so clearly in my mind but wish PJ would film it!


Feb 16 2014, 8:25pm

Post #18 of 22 (114 views)
But I'm curious too! [In reply to] Can't Post

If you are willing to type a little more - what do you like about your #4 and #5? Something about these must be appealing, tho they are not on the top of your list.


Feb 16 2014, 8:40pm

Post #19 of 22 (110 views)
stellar acting! [In reply to] Can't Post

"I like the way the actors bring the script alive with subtle expressions, mostly."

Love when another poster pointed out that one of remarkable things about Thorin's entry into Erebor is to think about how RA reaches out to touch the stone walls - because he's wearing prosthetics and he can't feel anything, really. But it's such a natural thing to do, so believable.

And the way Martin Freeman uses his hands as always impressed me - in Bag End when he puts his hand to his heart and talks about feeling faint, I feel that too - like I am going to get nauseous. And the way Bilbo uses his hands when talking to Smaug.

I know that PJ jumps in to show actors what he wants, but I think a lot of this is coming from the actors themselves - great question to ask them the next time there is a Q & A session!!!! I know RA said something in the WETA books re Thorin as they all came to understand the character the lines "never had to be learned". What really kills me is how much of the work was "green screen" - unbelievable the stuff that was done w. just plain acting skill.


Feb 16 2014, 8:47pm

Post #20 of 22 (106 views)
Ahh yes, more details - now I see how this thread differs - doh! [In reply to] Can't Post

Bilbo breaks the dwarves out of prison
  • The surprise start of it with Bilbo popping up from a dwarf's eye view with the keys made me smile.
  • The shushed excitement was contagious.
  • The bickering commotion silenced by Thorin's gruff authority only, and Thorin giving Bilbo the benefit of the doubt for a moment. That seemed like a good moment between those two.
  • And of course Bilbo forgets himself in his plan - hilarious and well played.

Bard remembers song about Thorin / lore / poem
  • To start with, I really like the poem.
  • The resonance of Bard's memory, the memories of various townsfolk, and the digging up of ancient artifacts from better days was very cool and had the feeling of old legends coming to life.
  • This scene set me at the edge of my seat as to how that prophecy would surely come down on the people of Laketown.

If all the world's a stage then who's writing the script?


Feb 16 2014, 10:37pm

Post #21 of 22 (94 views)
Thank you - maybe I should have kept list out of my title! [In reply to] Can't Post

I enjoy seeing things through other peoples eyes - they often pick up things I don't!

"The bickering commotion silenced by Thorin's gruff authority only, and Thorin giving Bilbo the benefit of the doubt for a moment. That seemed like a good moment between those two."

I thought that was just such a telling moment that said volumes about the changed relationship between those two (it's totally in my imagination but I picture Thorin and Bilbo talking now and again around a night campfire, maybe Bilbo being hobbity and talking about a life Thorin has never known in the Shire, and Thorin even smiling now and again at the innocence of it all).

And re Bilbo I like the little moment right before that, when he is invisible but crouched down looking at the elf w. the keys - he just looks like such a cute hobbit right then - but determined.


Feb 16 2014, 10:46pm

Post #22 of 22 (107 views)
NO [In reply to] Can't Post

Orlando Bloom has 'human' eyes Ė as he and all the other characters playing Elves had in LotR and The Hobbit. In DoS he is like something out of The Night of the Living Dead (or the like).

In Reply To
Legolas has human eyes?


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