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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Northern Mine Barrage :
Chapter of the Week: The White Council

Silwen_Peredhil
Cabin Boy


Feb 21 2014, 6:35pm

Post #1 of 23 (978 views)
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Chapter of the Week: The White Council Can't Post

Chapter of the Week: The White Council

The scene starts with some more of the dwarves antics including using some of the elves property to make a fire.

What does this tell you about the dwarves attitude towards the elves?

What items do you think they are burning?


The scene shifts to Gandalf and Elrond making their way to the Council Chamber where Gandalf meets the other two members of the White Council

Do you like the way these characters were introduced to the audience?

What does this moment tell you about these characters’ personalities?

What do you think about the setting for the White Council?


The scene shifts to almost dawn and the Council are still debating

What are your thoughts on the positioning of the characters throughout the scene?

Do you like the fact that there are just four rather than more of a gathering?

Is there any dialogue that you really enjoyed or found interesting? Perhaps it told you more about a character’s personality?


Lindir interrupts the meeting to inform Elrond that the dwarves have left Rivendell


Do you like the way the dwarves leave Rivendell

What do you think Bilbo’s last look at Rivendell suggest to the audience?


The scene returns to the Council Chamber where Galadriel and Gandalf remain talking


Do you like the fact that Galadriel takes a moment to speak to Gandalf?

‘Mithrandir, why the Halfling?’
Here is the question that we all want answered.

Do you like the fact that this was asked?

What do you think of Gandalf’s answer?



Have fun answering everyone! Smile

What's this? A Ranger caught off his guard?


Silwen_Peredhil
Cabin Boy


Feb 21 2014, 6:43pm

Post #2 of 23 (749 views)
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Some observations on this scene. [In reply to] Can't Post

Meeting Galadriel and Saruman
This was very well done. I thought the way Galadriel was introduced was so beautiful. The way she has her back to the camera and then gracefully turns around to greet Gandalf made her seem very otherworldly. She is one of the oldest elves in Middle Earth and has seen the light in the west and I think the film makers captured this very well here. The fact that she was looking at the moonlight made me think of when Tolkien mentions that the elves do not sleep the same way mortals do, but absorb the energy of the stars. I also really like the outfit Galadriel wears in this and the way it cascades down the steps. Her element is water and her outfit here really helps to symbolise that. The fact that she is up the stairs gives her height over all the other figures present and suggests she is quite a powerful figure. It also seems to be a subtle link to her entrance in FOTR where she descends down the stairs to become involved in the events taking place in the world.
Of course here, the audience gets to watch how “charming” Gandalf can be. Galadriel’s reaction was very sweet and this little moment between the two of them shows they are good friends.

The fact that we hear Saruman before the camera focuses on him is also very well done. I notice that they tend to do this when they introduce a wizard in a scene. A good example was done in FOTR where the audience hears Gandalf humming and then the camera shows him arriving to the Shire. Then, when Gandalf rides to Isengard, Saruman’s voice is heard and then the audience shows him coming down the steps to greet Gandalf.
I like the inclusion of ‘my friend’ in Saruman’s dialogue. It always had a hint of sarcasm in LOTR which really added depth to his character. In this film he may not be Gandalf’s enemy, but he is not exactly a friend either.

I found the positioning of both characters in relation to Gandalf here interesting. When Gandalf turns to greet Saruman, he turns to the right and Galadriel is on the left. The left often represents the female in art and right for male. The moon behind Galadriel also enhances this and symbolises magic and mystery. Her voice has a very otherworldly quality about it. Saruman’s voice is very down to earth and authoritative which suggests law and order.


The Council Scene itself
I found the layout of this scene very interesting. Firstly the actual architecture the characters are placed in. It is stunningly beautiful, surrounded by the waterfalls and high up and secluded, away from anything else. It is a place where the bearers of the three and their head of the council can meet. The building is round as is the table, which is similar to the council scene in FOTR. It suggests harmony and things being equal. The sculptures of female figures surround them almost appear to look on, watching them as they discuss. Interestingly enough in this scene there are moments where the council members stand in front of these sculptures and at times there are specifically four sculptures in the frame as though each sculpture represents one of the members. In classical art female figures in sculpture can symbolically refer to the four cardinal virtues which are; wisdom, fairness, restraint and courage. The members of the white council could each represent these virtues.


This is partly why I think that the film makers decided to have just four instead of a larger group gather there. The number four makes up a lot of structures in the world. There are also the four elements of Earth, Water, Fire and Air. Three of those in Middle Earth are represented by the three elven rings.
The positioning of the characters in this scene is very interesting. It begins with Saruman at one side of the table and Gandalf at the other. Galadriel and Elrond remain standing and at the start are more at the same side as Saruman as though symbolising the fact that Saruman is more in control at the start. Galadriel is rather calculating in this scene. She slowly moves around to behind Gandalf, shifting the balance. By the time Gandalf reveals the Morgul blade both Elrond and Galadriel are more at his side of the table, visually depicting the change of support and the idea that they believe Gandalf more than Saruman.
Saruman cleverly dismisses the things that have happened in a way that really does make you think that perhaps all these events were ‘not so very much after all’. He then steers them onto a different subject, the dwarves quest, where he feels he can reassert his authority.


Gandalf and Galadriel’s conversation
This scene was really beautiful. It was one of those scenes that really took you back to Middle-Earth after ten years. The purple light of the dawn that added to the mysterious and magical qualities of the council scene is now gone and the chamber is instead bathed in gold. I really like how the plants have been left to entwine themselves around the pillars and they can really be seen here in the sun.

It would seem appropriate for the two of them to discuss matters on their own since in the books such as the Unfinished Tales is made apparent that Galadriel had wanted Gandalf to be head of the White Council rather than Saruman.

I felt the conversation was one between two friends who shared similar views of a situation. Galadriel lets her opinion here be known. She can sense something is wrong and she cautions Gandalf to be wary in what he does, as a friend would.
Then she asks the one question that I think just about everyone would want to ask him; “Why the halfling?” Gandalf’s response here is about as perfect as you can get. You can interpret Gandalf’s answer in a few different ways. The first is his literal statement that it is the small things that make a difference in the world which is ultimately what the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings are about. Another is the fact that he admits that he is afraid and Bilbo gives him courage. Bilbo, perhaps, represents to him the everyday folk that he is trying to protect, that he was sent out of the west to protect. Perhaps having Bilbo with him means that because he is looking out for Bilbo all the time, he has to put aside his own fears in order to look after his friend because he cares.

His answer is beautifully delivered here while the Shire music plays along and the sun shines behind them. This is a truly magical scene right down to the last moment when Galadriel seems to vanish and Gandalf is standing on his own in the chamber. I really like how there seems to be a sound of a breeze blowing as she vanishes.

What's this? A Ranger caught off his guard?


BlackFox
Quartermaster


Feb 21 2014, 8:51pm

Post #3 of 23 (675 views)
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Yet another great scene [In reply to] Can't Post

Here we go!

The scene starts with some more of the dwarves antics including using some of the elves property to make a fire. What does this tell you about the dwarves attitude towards the elves?
That they obviously have very little respect for their hosts. I don’t think it’s hostility they display here, more like plain old dwarvish rudeness.


What items do you think they are burning?
Chairs?


The scene shifts to Gandalf and Elrond making their way to the Council Chamber where Gandalf meets the other two members of the White Council. Do you like the way these characters were introduced to the audience?
I do. I like how the scene “flows”. Gandalf: “I do not believe Thorin Oakenshield feels that he’s answerable to anyone. Nor for that matter am I.” Elrond: “It is not me you must answer to.” And behold, Lady Galadriel! Gandalf: “I had no idea Lord Elrond had sent for you.” Saruman: “He didn’t. I did.” Brilliant!


What does this moment tell you about these characters’ personalities?
Well, Galadriel is grand, she truly is. Saruman’s introduction is, however, much more interesting, come to think of it. It’s his voice we hear first, only after that does he step out from the shadows (a foreshadowing or am I over-interpreting it?). And Gandalf’s reaction to Saruman’s voice – it says a few things about his feelings towards the White Wizard, not too “loudly”, though.


What do you think about the setting for the White Council?
It’s great. Such a gorgeous set! Yet another. Ah…


The scene shifts to almost dawn and the Council are still debating. What are your thoughts on the positioning of the characters throughout the scene?
Well, it’s only natural to have the old men sitting. Smile I like how Galadriel keeps a distance from the rest, observing others and weighing it all in her mind, rather than out loud.


Do you like the fact that there are just four rather than more of a gathering?
I do. It thus differentiates from the Council of Elrond in FOTK, it’s more private, even a bit secretive.


Is there any dialogue that you really enjoyed or found interesting? Perhaps it told you more about a character’s personality?
The whole scene obviously tells quite a lot about Saruman, but my favourite line is probably Galadriel’s “Let him speak.” to Saruman concerning Gandalf. Three little words, yet they (i.e. the person who speaks them) hold so much authority and power.


Lindir interrupts the meeting to inform Elrond that the dwarves have left Rivendell. Do you like the way the dwarves leave Rivendell?
Yes. They got what they needed and now they’re off. Plus, the shot of them leaving the valley rekindles some fond memories (you know of what I speak Smile), don’t you think?


What do you think Bilbo’s last look at Rivendell suggest to the audience?
That he’d rather stay, of course! Sigh.


The scene returns to the Council Chamber where Galadriel and Gandalf remain talking. Do you like the fact that Galadriel takes a moment to speak to Gandalf?
I do. The two were obviously on the same page the entire time, so it totally makes sense for them to have a few words in private afterwards.


‘Mithrandir, why the Halfling?’ Here is the question that we all want answered. Do you like the fact that this was asked?
Yes, why not? Even Galadriel can’t help to be a bit curious sometimes. Smile


What do you think of Gandalf’s answer?
I think it would be almost impossible to come up with a better one. “Saruman believes that it is only great power that can hold evil in check. But that is not what I have found. I’ve found it is the small things, everyday deeds of ordinary folk, that keeps the darkness at bay. Simple acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I am afraid, and he gives me courage.” It’s one of my favourite lines from any Middle-earth films and I'm sure I'm not the only one!


Thank you for these fine questions!

"Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere." - Albert Einstein


pettytyrant101
Able Seaman


Feb 21 2014, 8:59pm

Post #4 of 23 (702 views)
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Strap yourselves in! [In reply to] Can't Post

The scene starts with some more of the dwarves antics including using some of the elves property to make a fire.
What does this tell you about the dwarves attitude towards the elves?

That the writers weren't paying much attention when they read the book.
Dwarves are a very proud folk, and big on gestures, long speeches with proper words in them, the holding of oaths and the value of the sworn word, showing respect where it is due and expecting it in return.
Book Thorin thinks Bilbo is hopeless at Bag End, a liability more likely to scream a dragon awake than steal anything. But he treats Bilbo with respect nevertheless as the host, with courtesy, becuase he is an important dwarf and thats what dwarves do. They respect their hosts. They clean up after themselves. Regardless of if they are elves or not. It would be contrary to their nature to do otherwise.
The film dwarves are from a different PJ invented culture. Because its certainly not from Tolkiens.



What items do you think they are burning?

It appears to be smashed up elven furniture. I'll just let that sink in, in light of my previous response above.


The scene shifts to Gandalf and Elrond making their way to the Council Chamber where Gandalf meets the other two members of the White Council

Do you like the way these characters were introduced to the audience?


Galadriel on a turntable talking slowly and given far too much import over the other members and Saruman may has well have had a long pointy black moustache to twirl and a top hat. So no.

What does this moment tell you about these characters’ personalities?

That they are paper thin. Galadriels personality comes down to talking as if she is in a dream, being graceful and the ability to spin on the spot without moving her feet.
Saruman twirls his moustache and talks nonsense about Rhadagast's unreliability due to his tripping on mushrooms (in The Hobbit, not Bored of the Hobbit with a Tim Benzedrine parody but an actual supposedly serious adaptation of the book) and Gandalf is played by an actor who used to play Gandalf but is now just playing it as if he is only doing it as a favour to someone.

What do you think about the setting for the White Council?

Its in the style of Rivendell in the previous films and fits in fine as such, but its a bit knowingly showy like everyone is trying too hard. And I assume they have a nice indoor conference room for when the weathers crap. Oh and the colouring is appalling, whats with the pink sky over saturation? It just looked unreal, and when all your actors are performing in a big green room of unreality you dont really want to be drawing the audiences attention to the fact.

What are your thoughts on the positioning of the characters throughout the scene?

They move? I may have nodded off during the fan fiction bit about the Nazgul. I thought Galadriel just spun a bit on her turn table?

Do you like the fact that there are just four rather than more of a gathering?

No. They should have had Cirdan there, and probably Celeborn and Glorfindel.
However thanks to the way PJ choose to handle the large amount of dwarves in the film by trying to individualise them all, I can see why he, and the audience would not want another scene with a load of people all in it.
Had PJ done what Tolkien did and just featured a few of the dwarves and made the rest an interchangeable mass then used that as a running joke over whose who, with the audience in on the joke, then he might have got away with a fan pleasing set of legitmate cameos here.

Is there any dialogue that you really enjoyed or found interesting? Perhaps it told you more about a character’s personality?

The least said about the dialogue in this scene the better for everyone I think!
All I will say is that I dearly hope this is not the last film Sir Christopher Lee makes, as I would hate a man of his standing, his pedigree in film and with his love of Tolkien to have that utter tripe, that sheer unpleasant nonsense about 'yellowing teeth and mushroom addled brains' to be among the last utterances he makes on film. That would be a terrible shame, he deserves so much better.

Do you like the way the dwarves leave Rivendell

Well at least they didn't smash the bridge up and set it on fire after they crossed it I suppose.

What do you think Bilbo’s last look at Rivendell suggest to the audience?

That depends who is watching.
If they have read the book they are probably thinking 'ah that's meant to convey how much Bilbo was struck by Rivendell, by the beauty and the grace of the elves, and their joy in every thing from stream to drooping beards, from high to low. And how one day he might like to retire there. What a shame none of that was in this film though.
Not even a nice little scene where say he wanders into the Hall of Fire and is struck dumb by the elvish singing, then cut to one of the other scenes, and when the viewer comes back its evening and Bilbo is still sitting there by the fires, rapt in the music and poetry.
Or you could just have him pull a variety of Martin Freeman looks happy and yet unimpressed faces when he walks in at the start then leave it at that.'
I've no idea what a non-book reader might be thinking.
'Has he left something behind?'

Do you like the fact that Galadriel takes a moment to speak to Gandalf?

A moment? She takes an eternity to get from one end of a sentence to the other!
I like that she is still on her turn table becuase by this point my only recourse to sustaining viewing is to laugh at it. And the way she spins round in every scene is laughable, it parodies itself.

‘Mithrandir, why the Halfling?’
Here is the question that we all want answered.

Do you like the fact that this was asked?

I didn't want it answered. Because the closest thing to an outright answer is in Unfinished Tales, which they didnt have rights to, which meant inevitably we would be off for a holiday in PJ fan fiction country.
My expectations were therefore met. Plus beard stroking, in the Hobbit!

What do you think of Gandalf’s answer?

That its pretty selfish. He dragged Bilbo on a dangerous quest with high probability of death before you even get to the dragon bit, just to make himself feel better? What about seeing something in Bilbo, a potential that was just waiting on a chance to get out? Why not a gut feeling? An Istari intuition, acting on more than one level, he is a wizard/holy being after all.

Have fun answering everyone!

I did thank you. That was quite therapeutic, and I hope not without a touch of fun.



BlackFox
Quartermaster


Feb 21 2014, 9:02pm

Post #5 of 23 (665 views)
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Excellent analysis! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll definitely look differently at quite a few things in this scene during my next viewing.

"Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere." - Albert Einstein


BlackFox
Quartermaster


Feb 21 2014, 9:10pm

Post #6 of 23 (670 views)
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:) [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
That was quite therapeutic, and I hope not without a touch of fun.

Quite the opposite!

"Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere." - Albert Einstein


Meneldor
Sailing Master


Feb 21 2014, 10:04pm

Post #7 of 23 (664 views)
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My favorite G&G moment: [In reply to] Can't Post

"You knew!"
Then Gandalf tries to look innocent, totally failing, and nearly breaks out laughing, while Galadriel gets sparkles in her eyes as she barely suppresses her own mirth. Comic gold.


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.


Bombadil
First Mate


Feb 21 2014, 10:36pm

Post #8 of 23 (675 views)
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Short Answer to All of the ABOVE! [In reply to] Can't Post

"Maxfield Parrish"

much of "Arwen&Eldrond" in LOTR...

Jus' Screemed
"Parrish"

Google Him & get Back Here & Agian
bomby


Ardamírë
Quartermaster


Feb 22 2014, 4:02am

Post #9 of 23 (625 views)
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I love that part, too! [In reply to] Can't Post

I really enjoy the sense of friendship between these two in this film. It really is excellent and makes Galadriel's reaction to his death in FOTR that much more sorrowful.

"But until the end of Beleriand women of Brethil would come with flowers in spring and berries in autumn and sing there a while of the Grey Lady who sought in vain for her son." -The Wanderings of Hurin



BlackFox
Quartermaster


Feb 22 2014, 10:14am

Post #10 of 23 (595 views)
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Indeed! [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere." - Albert Einstein


Girdle of Melian
Able Seaman

Feb 22 2014, 11:05am

Post #11 of 23 (607 views)
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Great Scenes [In reply to] Can't Post

1. I am actually curious as to why Saruman cannot hear the telepahtic conversation between Gandalf and Galadriel - is it because they are both ring bearers? And if indeed Galadriel and Gandalf can shield their thoughts from Saruman, can Elrond hear them too? It seems that it is clear at this stage that Galadriel did not trust Saruman as much as Gandalf. As a fellow Istari though, shouldn't he sense this already? It seems that he did, as he seems rather "bothered" that Saruman was there to greet him with Galadriel.

2. I do not like how the Dwarves were portrayed as rude guests. Even in the extended edition, the rudeness continues that is is unbearable to watch. I am glad they were edited out.


dormouse
First Mate


Feb 22 2014, 11:42am

Post #12 of 23 (605 views)
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Isn't it in the nature of telepathy that it's private... [In reply to] Can't Post

.. between two people? I' don't think it's meant to be like a radio broadcast that anyone can tune into.

As for trusting Saruman (or not) I don't think there's a question of that at this stage. He takes a different view of what is happening and it's apparent that Gandalf and Galadriel think he is wrong. And as he is head of the Council, his refusal to accept the danger of the situation as they see it is a hindrance - but I don't think they are questioning his loyalty, nor should they be. They still trust him - he's on their side. Galadriel likes Gandalf better than Saruman

Tolkien never gave the Istari extra-sensory powers. I don't think there's any reason why Gandalf would sense anything that a wise man wouldn't sense, going into that situation. Sixty years on, he will still trust Saruman enough to go to him with news that he has found and identified the Ring.


FaramirAndEowynMorningStar
Rigger


Feb 22 2014, 6:53pm

Post #13 of 23 (585 views)
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Oh, Silwen, your posts *never* cease to amaze me - including your observations (never thought of the statues before) [In reply to] Can't Post

The scene starts with some more of the dwarves antics including using some of the elves property to make a fire.
What does this tell you about the dwarves attitude towards the elves?

Well, they clearly are not keen on the Elves, and this proves just how ill-mannered they are towards them by destroying things behind their back.

What items do you think they are burning?
I am pretty positive (judging from what I've seen and also by this screencap) Bifur breaks up a harp and puts it on the fire. But then again, looking at another screencap, it looks like a chair.


The scene shifts to Gandalf and Elrond making their way to the Council Chamber where Gandalf meets the other two members of the White Council
Do you like the way these characters were introduced to the audience?

Yes, I did indeed. Galadriel's entrance was gorgeous the way her dress flowed down the steps like her element, water , and hearing Saruman's deep down-to-Middle~Earth [see what I did there!? Sly] voice before seeing him (as you stated in your Observation post). Oh, how the memories of FOTR came flooding back to me for a good moment there. I found it difficult to adjust and realise it was actually The Hobbit I was watching the first time I viewed it.

What does this moment tell you about these characters’ personalities?
Galadriel is very sweet and accepts Gandalf's flattering words, and you know that she is important (Gandalf's "Lady Galadriel" and the way he bows).
Saruman obviously is not a friend of Gandalf's, judging by the way Gandalf closes his eyes in dread and then turns and fakes a smile, and the way Saruman says sarcastically "My friend".

What do you think about the setting for the White Council?
Breathtaking. Enough said.
Otherworldly, far away from anything else, untouched by the gathering evil. True paradise.


The scene shifts to almost dawn and the Council are still debating
What are your thoughts on the positioning of the characters throughout the scene?

As you stated, and from what I noticed to star off with, Galadriel and Elrond are standing at Saruman's side at the start of the debate, and as it gradually goes on, Galadriel cleverly makes her way around the table to behind where Gandalf is sitting when he produces the sword - and Elrond has also edged over to the Grey Wizard's side.
I really like the way Saruman sits upright for the whole scene, unmoved by any evidence or suggestions from Gandalf, who is sitting uncomfortable, leaning forwards and twiddling thumbs somewhat intimidated by his "friend" at the other end of the table.
I felt very intrigued when Saruman dismisses all the ideas that do not have proof and, as you stated, lists them afterwords and twists the words to make you really think that this "Necromancer" is nothing and the sword could be anything as there is no proof it belongs to Angmar.

Do you like the fact that there are just four rather than more of a gathering?
Yes. You know that saying "Two's company, three's a crowd, four is too many, and five's not allowed" ? I strangely get reminded of that. As more than four would perhaps confuse people or remind others of FOTR with the Council of Elrond.

Is there any dialogue that you really enjoyed or found interesting? Perhaps it told you more about a character’s personality?
I really enjoyed Saruman throughout this scene. Especially when he talks about Radagast "It’s his excessive consumption of mushrooms. They’ve addled his brain and yellowed his teeth. I warned him, it is unbefitting of the Istari to be wandering the woods..." and then it fades out when Galadriel and Gandalf are privately speaking to each other so you do not hear all he says, and then you hear, "…or I’d think I was talking to myself…"

I laughed so hard, because he had been speaking to himself there - I think perhaps even Elrond got lost in his own thoughts and came out of them when Gandalf places the swords on the table.

And then afterwards, when Saruman gets onto Gandalf about Thorin's company. "I do not feel I can condone such a quest. If they’d come to me, I might have spared them this disappointment. I do not pretend to understand your reasons for raising their hopes…" and then Galadriel and Gandalf talk again, and when they come out of their discussion, he is interrupted by Lindir. "…I am afraid there is nothing else..."-pauses as he notices Lindir-"for it."


Lindir interrupts the meeting to inform Elrond that the dwarves have left Rivendell
Do you like the way the dwarves leave Rivendell

Yes. I really liked it as you get to see them leaving, and seeing just how much Thorin wants to get out of there. Laugh

What do you think Bilbo’s last look at Rivendell suggest to the audience?
Perhaps he is thinking he may not ever see it again so he might as well look at it one last time. Maybe he was thinking of Gandalf, and feels a little bit lost without him. Or maybe he is thinking about their "hospitality" towards Elrond - and what he would say when he finds out they had wrecked some of his stuff.

The scene returns to the Council Chamber where Galadriel and Gandalf remain talking
Do you like the fact that Galadriel takes a moment to speak to Gandalf?

Yes. It was a beautiful moment, that took you back to FOTR.

‘Mithrandir, why the Halfling?’
Here is the question that we all want answered.
Do you like the fact that this was asked?

Indeed. Oh you just summed it up there. I was just thinking of Bilbo saying, "Gandalf, why me? Why not someone else?", or even Thorin or a member of the company asking him, or even what someone would have asked Tolkein himself if they had had the change.

What do you think of Gandalf’s answer?
"Aww." (quoting the very same words I let out at the cinema). The Shire theme and the way he smiles brought tears to my eyes, once again bringing me back to the Middle-Earth I knew as a very small child.
The most perfect question answered with an equally-perfect answer. Totally spot on!


Thank you for hosting this, Silwen. Great questions. It has been a pleasure replying. Wink
BTW, I still can't stop thinking about those statues. Especially the ones from the screencaps you chose. It really is as if they are repeating the situations by copying the poses by accident. I can't believe I missed that! Thank you for saying that - I'm looking out for them next time, and will even pause the film if I have to!
Smile

..The Lord of Silver Fountains
.....The King of Carven Stone
..The King Under the Mountain
.......Shall come into his own

..And the bells will ring in gladness
......At the Mountain King's return
..But all shall fail in sadness
....And the lake will shine and burn


arithmancer
Boatswain


Feb 22 2014, 7:23pm

Post #14 of 23 (576 views)
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Gandalf's quote [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
What do you think of Gandalf’s answer?

That its pretty selfish. He dragged Bilbo on a dangerous quest with high probability of death before you even get to the dragon bit, just to make himself feel better? What about seeing something in Bilbo, a potential that was just waiting on a chance to get out? Why not a gut feeling? An Istari intuition, acting on more than one level, he is a wizard/holy being after all.


We evidently understand these lines of the film differently. When Gandalf states he is afraid, and Bilbo gives him courage - I don't think Gandalf is indicating personal fear of the dangers of the quest. For one thing, he's shown none to date (nor does he, for the rest of the film. Trolls, Goblins, Azog, Wargs - he has an answer for them all). And I also don;t think he is likening Bilbo to a comfort object that due to his emotional attachmnt, or what have you, assuages those fears. Bilbo's involvement assuages the fears that Gandalf does have, because Gandalf sees in him precisely what he thinks is needed,

In context, it seemed evident to me that the fear Gandalf expresses, is fear of "the Enemy", fear for their world. It's a reference back to what he has just been saying in the Council meeting. So his motivation for bringing Bilbo is not selfish - he has hopes that Bilbo's presence can cause things to turn out better for the world than Gandalf fears. And not because he is powerful - because he is an "ordinary person" in whom Gandalf senses that thing he values, the inclination to perform "simple act of kindness and love".



BlackFox
Quartermaster


Feb 22 2014, 9:33pm

Post #15 of 23 (553 views)
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Great observation! [In reply to] Can't Post


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I really like the way Saruman sits upright for the whole scene, unmoved by any evidence or suggestions from Gandalf, who is sitting uncomfortable, leaning forwards and twiddling thumbs somewhat intimidated by his "friend" at the other end of the table.

Saruman seems to have made up his mind beforehand.

"Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere." - Albert Einstein


Noria
Rigger

Feb 22 2014, 9:37pm

Post #16 of 23 (562 views)
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The council scene [In reply to] Can't Post

The scene starts with some more of the dwarves antics including using some of the elves property to make a fire.

What does this tell you about the dwarves attitude towards the elves?

-PJ’s dwarves have little respect for the elves and seem to enjoy giving them a hard time. Also, it seems that the elves hospitality leaves something to be desired from the POV if the dwarves, who like to have their own kind of fun.


What items do you think they are burning?

-Isn't it furniture?


The scene shifts to Gandalf and Elrond making their way to the Council Chamber where Gandalf meets the other two members of the White Council

Do you like the way these characters were introduced to the audience?

-Yes, I enjoyed the little trick PJ played on us by implying at first that Gandalf was answerable to Galadriel and then revealing that Elrond means Saruman.

-I love the way that first Galadriel appears, turning to look at them so gracefully. If I hadn't seen Cate Blanchett spontaneously do the same thing in a costume fitting on a video log, I would almost have not believed it.


What does this moment tell you about these characters’ personalities?

-That Gandalf admires Galadriel and isn't above a bit of flattery, in fact he really does have considerable charm. Galadriel knows that and is amused. Gandalf is not thrilled to hear Saruman’s voice and doesn't mind Elrond seeing his reaction, suggesting that he trusts Elrond a great deal. For Saruman he puts on a pleased, amiable face though he knows that Saruman will likely want to stick his oar in.


What do you think about the setting for the White Council?

-Absolutely beautiful. The set is gorgeous and the water running everywhere adds a mystical, elven quality to it. The sky starting to lighten towards dawn adds to the beauty and atmosphere. I love how sunrise and sunset are used in the movie and this sunrise is particularly lovely, all the more because it is just there in the background, unremarked.


The scene shifts to almost dawn and the Council are still debating

What are your thoughts on the positioning of the characters throughout the scene?

-Gandalf and Saruman are seated as they would be if they were playing a game against each other. Elrond stands between them, seemingly preferring not to side against Gandalf but not agreeing with him either. Galadriel circles around them in her mysterious manner, listening, not making her views known.


Do you like the fact that there are just four rather than more of a gathering?

-I’m fine with that. There is no point in introducing any more characters that will not appear again in AUJ. The four are able to get across the major points of the debate well enough.


Is there any dialogue that you really enjoyed or found interesting? Perhaps it told you more about a character’s personality?

-I liked the telepathic conversation between Galadriel and Gandalf. As Saruman orates, the two of them get to the point. I also enjoyed Gandalf’s pretend innocence about the departure of the dwarves.


Lindir interrupts the meeting to inform Elrond that the dwarves have left Rivendell

Do you like the way the dwarves leave Rivendell

-If you mean that the dwarves just get up and go when they want to, it seems in character for them.

What do you think Bilbo’s last look at Rivendell suggest to the audience?

I think it suggests that he doesn't really want to leave.


The scene returns to the Council Chamber where Galadriel and Gandalf remain talking

Do you like the fact that Galadriel takes a moment to speak to Gandalf?

-This is one of my favourite scenes in the movie. We see that these two are allies and friends, in agreement about what is happening and what needs to be done. They can be honest with each other without the careful maneuvering that Gandalf was doing at the council table. I loved the performances here, the way these two master actors conveyed the love and trust between their characters.


‘Mithrandir, why the Halfling?’
Here is the question that we all want answered.

Do you like the fact that this was asked?

-Yes, I’m sure every reader of the books has wondered “Why Bilbo, why a hobbit” at least once. The burglar excuse is not that satisfying. Not that I lost any sleep over it.


What do you think of Gandalf’s answer?

-I like it. In Tolkien it often is the small people, the ones who act out of love and kindness who are the real heroes. Here Gandalf articulates that by saying that it is those small deeds and the people that perform them that give him courage in the dark places. I thought it was a lovely moment.


Kim
Quartermaster


Feb 23 2014, 12:52am

Post #17 of 23 (544 views)
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White Council [In reply to] Can't Post

The scene starts with some more of the dwarves antics including using some of the elves property to make a fire.

What does this tell you about the dwarves attitude towards the elves?

Looks pretty disrespectful to me! But not necessarily malicious, just making themselves comfortable with what they can find. Although I did wonder if they could have just asked for some firewood. Tongue

What items do you think they are burning?
Looks like the furniture. And Bifur with his leafy greens.

The scene shifts to Gandalf and Elrond making their way to the Council Chamber where Gandalf meets the other two members of the White Council

Do you like the way these characters were introduced to the audience?

Sure. Makes them seem a bit mysterious, especially Galadriel, although she and Gandalf certainly seem glad to see each other.

What does this moment tell you about these characters’ personalities?

Well, Elrond comes across as a bit mischievous as he doesn’t tell Gandalf that the others will be there. Galadriel seems very calm and serene.

What do you think about the setting for the White Council?

Love it! I think that when we see it in the dawn light, it’s the most beautiful scene in the whole movie. Love the colors, the water surrounding it, the stone structure with the elf carvings. Evil


The scene shifts to almost dawn and the Council are still debating

What are your thoughts on the positioning of the characters throughout the scene?

I like how Galadriel is circling in her beautiful white gown while Gandalf and Saruman debate. It is kind of funny how there are only two chairs set out.

Do you like the fact that there are just four rather than more of a gathering?
I didn’t really have any expectations since I’m not that familiar with the appendices, might have been nice to see a few more of the elves, but overall, it works for me.


Is there any dialogue that you really enjoyed or found interesting? Perhaps it told you more about a character’s personality?
Well, Saruman comes across as rather dismissive of Gandalf and what he is saying, while Galadriel is much more open to hearing what he has to say. Elrond is skeptical, but listens. I like Galadriel and Gandalf’s telepathic communication, especially when she realizes that the dwarves are leaving – the look on his face and her answering smile are priceless.


Lindir interrupts the meeting to inform Elrond that the dwarves have left Rivendell

Do you like the way the dwarves leave Rivendell
Seems a bit abrupt, although they don’t really have any further reason to stay.

What do you think Bilbo’s last look at Rivendell suggest to the audience?

I think he’d really like to stay in such a beautiful place, but he honors the obligation he made to go with the dwarves.
The scene returns to the Council Chamber where Galadriel and Gandalf remain talking

Do you like the fact that Galadriel takes a moment to speak to Gandalf?
Yes, this is a nice moment between the two.


‘Mithrandir, why the Halfling?’
Here is the question that we all want answered.

Do you like the fact that this was asked?

Sure.

What do you think of Gandalf’s answer?

It was an interesting insight into something we’ve been wondering since he first showed up on Bilbo’s doorstep.

Overall, I found this scene mesmerizing. It’s my favorite from a visual standpoint, and interesting to consider the discussion.

Oakenshield watch: once again, Thorin has his trusty oakenshield hanging by his left side, visible as the dwarves are leaving and hiking up the trail as Bilbo looks back at Rivendell.
Thorin’s hair: presumably, it’s had a nice shampoo and rinse while resting in Rivendell, and is now ready to resume its adventure! Catches a nice breeze as they head out on the trail.

Thanks for the post Silwen!



Felagund
Able Seaman


Feb 23 2014, 10:25am

Post #18 of 23 (544 views)
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Durin's Folk are not clowns (except in these films)! [In reply to] Can't Post

Completely with you on the 'invented culture' portrayal of the dwarves in AUJ and DOS. PJ's depiction of Gimli in the LotR films got pretty stuck in light entertainment, but at least that was just one character. However, the type-casting is laid bare in The Hobbit films (literally in the extended edition of AUJ!). Sometimes the Thorin & Co. of AUJ and DOS come across as a travelling circus of buffoons, congenital idiots and barbarians! Most of the Company are Durin's Folk, an ancient and proud people, like the Elves and the Dunedain. We don't see the latter two peoples burning furniture (there's no firewood in Rivendell, seriously?), skinny-dipping in fountains, overcome by kleptomania, or traumatised by vegetables.

The comic stuff in the films makes me laugh but the dissonance is a bit grating on a second and third viewing.

Yes, I feel better now.

Welcome to the Mordorfone network, where we put the 'hai' back into Uruk


Otaku-sempai
First Mate


Feb 23 2014, 5:35pm

Post #19 of 23 (517 views)
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Did Tolkien treat Thorin and his companions any better? [In reply to] Can't Post

At least Jackson started Thorin's company off with better armor and weapons and gave them more chances to use them. In the book, most of the Dwarves were caught by the three Trolls completely unawares; the Dwarves were congenitally unable to keep possession of any weapons that they managed to acquire (except for Thorin, who managed to hold on to Orcrist until the Wood-elves caught him). They also seemed to be constantly running low of supplies to the verge of starvation. Even having several experienced travelers and fighters among them didn't seem to help much. Tolkien also singled Bombur out several times for his excessive weight. Even after reaching Erebor, Thorin and his companion Dwarves dared not enter the Mountain (except for Balin, who accompanied Bilbo part-way on his first exploration of the tunnel) until they were forced to flee from Smaug's attack.

'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 Feb 23 2014, 5:38pm)


Kirly
Able Seaman


Feb 23 2014, 6:14pm

Post #20 of 23 (508 views)
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In the book, [In reply to] Can't Post

All the dwarves, including regal Thorin, fell tthrough Bilbo's door into a pile. That seemed quite silly to me. The descriptions of things like the excessively long knoses seemed very silly as well.

My avatar photo is Lake Tekapo in New Zealand's South Island. Taken by me in 2004 on a Red Carpet Tours LOTR Movie Location Tour. 'Twas the Vacation of a Lifetime!

pictures taken while on the tour are here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/Kirly7/LOTRNewZealandTour#


cats16
Sailing Master


Feb 23 2014, 11:14pm

Post #21 of 23 (499 views)
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The White Council... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

Chapter of the Week: The White Council

The scene starts with some more of the dwarves antics including using some of the elves property to make a fire.

What does this tell you about the dwarves attitude towards the elves?
They're not fond of them. It's an insult to the elves--a sign of disrespect, despite the fact that the elves are sheltering them.

What items do you think they are burning?
If I remember correctly, they looked to be the legs of tables and chairs. Perhaps they were stolen from the library that we never got to see on screen?

The scene shifts to Gandalf and Elrond making their way to the Council Chamber where Gandalf meets the other two members of the White Council

Do you like the way these characters were introduced to the audience?
I did. Galadriel is as mystical as ever; Saruman, as condescending as ever. Their musical cues were great, too.

What do you think about the setting for the White Council?
Beautiful. That's the only way I can describe it. Even at night, the set is gorgeous. This entire scene is quite painterly. I don't mind if the lighting is a little over the top. Nothing seems wholly unnatural about any of it, so I'm quite pleased with how it looks.


The scene shifts to almost dawn and the Council are still debating

What are your thoughts on the positioning of the characters throughout the scene?
Very stragetic, methinks. Gandalf seems exasperated, as if he's been arguing his case all night. Saruman is a wall of stubbornness, and hasn't moved his stance on the Quest an inch. Elrond seems still up in the air about the affair. He stands near the table, wanting to hear as much as he can to make a decision. And Galadriel roams around the table--shark-like, as a poster put it once--prowling around the conversation. Even when standing still, it looks as if she is walking in place (her dress flutters, as if her legs are still moving).

I love watching this scene, with one character in mind each time. This really helps breakdown the individual motives and how each character reacts as the action unfolds.


Do you like the fact that there are just four rather than more of a gathering?
I'm ok with how it is. Sure, I would have loved to see the likes of Círdan and Glorfindel. But I'm not strictly opposed to this, either.

Is there any dialogue that you really enjoyed or found interesting? Perhaps it told you more about a character’s personality?
Hmm...I know that there is a lot of dialogue I enjoy here, but I can't remember many specifics. Good question, though!


Lindir interrupts the meeting to inform Elrond that the dwarves have left Rivendell

Do you like the way the dwarves leave Rivendell?
I like the idea of it. Maybe it could've been executed a little more smoothly, but I still enjoy it. It just goes to show that Gandalf always has a plan. In a way, he threw himself into a trap in this scene--much akin to how he knowingly enters one in DOS!

What do you think Bilbo’s last look at Rivendell suggest to the audience?
I feel that it suggests a lot of his feelings towards Rivendell (he loved it!) that some were upset to see omitted from the film. It encapsulates a lot of sadness. Bilbo in FOTR, while in Rivendell, is very reflective about his journey. It's pretty clear to me how much he loves Rivendell.

The scene returns to the Council Chamber where Galadriel and Gandalf remain talking

Do you like the fact that Galadriel takes a moment to speak to Gandalf?
Definitely! It reminds me a lot of a business meeting--you hear from a co-worker, and you decide to take their side on an issue. You stay after the meeting and express your support of whatever they want to do. (A poor analogy, but that's all I have at the moment. Cool Anyway, I really like it.

‘Mithrandir, why the Halfling?’
Here is the question that we all want answered.

Do you like the fact that this was asked?
This really gets to the point. I'm sure that non-book readers have wondered about this question thus far through the movie. Why Bilbo? Why not a warrior? She is as curious as us--in a way, she is giving the audience a voice. I think it's very interesting that she faces the screen here. In a way, she is breaking the fourth wall, acknowledging to the audience that this question should be asked.

What do you think of Gandalf’s answer?
One of my favorite lines of dialogue from all five films. It's so endearing. The delivery of the line by Sir Ian was fantastic. In that moment, I don't see any doubt in his eyes that he is Gandalf.

The camera movement here is phenomenal, as well. It's a slow dolly move (going forward, of course). It really feels as if we're slowing leaving our viewing area, and entering the chamber with G&G. I'd say more, but I'll keep it short by saying: it's wonderfully executed.


Have fun answering everyone! Smile

Thank you so much, Silwen! You picked some great screencaps to accompany a very 'talkie' scene. Many thanks for the wonderful questions!
Smile



cats16
Sailing Master


Feb 23 2014, 11:17pm

Post #22 of 23 (493 views)
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Lovely, Bomby! [In reply to] Can't Post

The name sounded vaguely familiar. These are wonderful! I definitely see what you're saying about the connection to LOTR.

I really like the way he uses oranges and blues to convey a great deal of emotion--at least in the works I saw via Google Images.

Thanks for mentioning him!


grammaboodawg
Captain


Mar 18 2014, 4:21pm

Post #23 of 23 (451 views)
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I've gathered up many items for our Geeky Observations List1 THANKS // [In reply to] Can't Post

 



6th draft of TH:AUJ Geeky Observation List - November 28, 2013
3rd draft of TH:DOS Geeky Observation List - January 2, 2014



sample

"There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West."

I'm SO HAPPY these new films take me back to that magical world!!



TIME Google Calendar
TORn's Geeky Observations Lists (updated soon)

 
 

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