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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Movie Style! Chapter VII: Queer Lodgings

Tol Eressea

May 16 2008, 3:56am

Post #1 of 7 (373 views)
Movie Style! Chapter VII: Queer Lodgings Can't Post

I had this idea of the Movie Style! discussion for each chapter of the book. The purpose if the series would be to discuss how a particular chapter could be translated into film, what are its problems, what are its trengths, what should be cut, and what should be lengthened. Great, and I know... why am I starting with Chapter VII?

Well, actually, I had this idea while reading that chapter. It just struck me as too long, and not quite helpful to move the story along.

In this chapter, we meet Beorn, a man that could be helpful to introduce us to the spooky idea of Mirkwood, and then as one of the (many and potentially confusing) support warriors that arrive to the Battle of the Five Armies.

He is expendable, though. I am not saying I want him to be, and Guillermo seems to want to keep him, but how could this long chapter be treated.

In Chapter 7, Bilbo wakes in the eagles' nests, everyone is flown to the Carrock, they look for Beorn, walk through his flower plain (huge bumblebees included), take a long time to get introduced, they make a recount of everything that had happened so far in the story, they stay several days in Beorn's house without anything really interesting happening, and they travel to the gates of Mirkwood. (In a nutshell)

What I suggest, or what I think will happen. Thee scene will be shortened. They will not take so long to introduce themselves, perhaps getting everyone in one single group, rather than by pairs. They should not sleep at Beorn's longer than a night. Perhaps they arrive, eat something, sleep and leave at sunrise of the following day. We eliminate the need of Beorn going to check if Gandalf's story was true, for example.

Oh! And the waiting animals! Most of you know my stance towards the anthropomorphization of animals in The Hobbit. The image of ponies serving breakfast to the dwarves is not a great one. What could be done in this case?

If the scene is short as I suggest we could only see one short meal on screen, served by Beorn himself, thus eliminating the need for his animals to do so.

In short, I believe this chapter is too long and could be cut altogether, however, in the best interest of Beorn, it should be considerably shortened.

I would still want to see the flower fields kept for the production of honey, though.

Here's to Del Toro becoming the Irvin Kershner of Middle Earth!

Essay winner of the Show us your Hobbit Pride Giveway!


May 16 2008, 4:19am

Post #2 of 7 (225 views)
A post from a while back ... [In reply to] Can't Post

I made this post a while back when there was discussion as to whether Beorn would/should be in the films .. but it relates to the way I saw Beorn and the inclusion of the Eagles and the way that most of Beorns story and the doings there could be included in the film ...
I dont have the time to reword it today, but I'll post it to add to the thread ...
Thanks compa!

Cheers Elven x


Sitting still as stone on the carrock ... under the moonlight, the silloutte of great man can be seen. His eyes are watching a fiery orange glow which comes from somewhere within the huge pine forests way across the river ... he smells the smoke.
The man looks upwards to a great pinnacle of rock, an Eagle can been seen perched at its summit.

"What is this uproar in the Forest tonight" ... (howling of wolves can be heard)
... this is almost a question/command to the Great Eagle in his eyrie - which would be the next connecting shot ...

The Great Eagle can be seen peering over the forest - he looks down toward the carrock ... then (reacting to the unspoken/spoen words of Beorn) ...taking flight.
Circling in from behind are several (15) smaller (but not less majestic) Eagles follow him ...
Beorn stands up ... and watches intently as they fly towards the glow in the Forest.

(The words above come from the Great Eagle - in the book - though they could be Beorns - who is sitting at the Carrock)
Beorn could say them outloud - though it would be easy enough to make a connection between the 2 - either telepathically, or just to give the impression that there is a relationship between them - it doesnt have to be 'friends' as such, but almost as protectors of their realms - one for the sky - one for the air. Theses Eagles are an ancient race and are noble birds - Beorn is not just a woodman - he is Beorn.

This introduces both the Eagles and the Beorn in 20 seconds - and connects them in a way ...

Back to the fray in the forest .... and the wargs are setting the forest alight - there is maddness - then the goblins from the mountains arrive ... Thorin and Company are ringed in a fiery trap ... they are climbing higher into the trees ... Gandalf prepares to leap from the tree and fight ....

Suddenly great talons are seen plucking the Dwarves from the tree tops ... one dwarve in each talon .... The Great Eagle has Gandalf ... they start to move off ...
Bilbo who has seeming been left behind watch them depart ...
In a fluster, he thinks he has been left behind until suddenly ... and just in time .... Bilbo is rescued and is seen being lifted and carried away over the tree top in the moonlight ...

A shot to the Carrock, where Beorn see's the Eagles, and their cargo silloutted in the moonlight ...
He turns swiftly and is seen moving away and down from his rock ... and he leaves and starts to move off (towards the Pine Forest - not back to his home) - he is morphing for the journey - his back is in bear form ...

Back now to the Eagles in flight with the moonlight, yet the sky is breaking ever so slightly as dawn approaches ... - the glow of the pine forest receeding in the distance ... Gandalf rides on the kneck of the Great Eagle ... and they talk in flight ...

we hear ...
Gandalf: "We are famished with hunger ...
Lord of The Eagles: "that can be mended"
Take us as where and as far as you will - we are deeply obliged my friend - thankyou " ...
Bilbo is seen hanging by a thread .. surveying the view below ... then his eyes shut tightly ... as he opens them ..

The sun starts to rise, the eagles start spiralling down to the carrock ... drop off Thorin and company ...
The Company decend the steps of the carrock
Water bottles are filled and faces cleaned in the stream ... (brief conversation)
"Hurry now - I know where we are - follow me - you will have to be on your best behaviour (sternly)... somebody is expecting us"

It is now light ... and the company (a little tired and worse for wear) are standing at the Gate of the Beorn Fields ...

It is here I think there can be some major adaption ...
Gandalf, Thorin and Bilbo could go to greet Beorn ... who is expecting them .... (cautiously) ...

If the scene was worded right - there would be no need for explaination about the Goblins and Wargs ... Beorn already knew about it, and was intrumental in them being saved, and he saw the Eagles carry the company out of the Forest ... he would be aware of their previous nights danger ... and with his association with the Eagles, offered to shelter them ... and find out what was afoot with the company ...

As Thorin Gandalf and Bilbo walk into the field -
The huge beehives are seen, and the bees are now numerous ...
There are animals and a huge barn ... we see the expanse of Beorns property ...
Bilbo spots fresh warg pelt strung amongst the trees ... there is a suit of Goblin armour and spears pegged into the ground.
(This may give the impression that Beorn has already verified their story - and has no need to 'know' who they are - maybe his part could be to offer help at this point)

Beorn strides into the picture ... (and recognized as the face at the Carrock) ...
Gandalf: 'I am the Wizard Gandalf" ...
"you remind me of the Wizard Radagast"
Gandalf: "yes, I know of him" (relief at the connection)
"Where are your friends?" ... Beorn questions
and the rest of the Dwarves appear ...

In conversation Beorn may mention
His association with the Eagles ... and why they only come to the Carrock and not into the woods where the woodmen are ..
He may also show his ability with his animals (if this is not already obvious) ...
He growls alot under his breath ...

If the Company is expected by Beorn - then food will already be laid out and prepared in the Hall ...

In conversation in the hall - we may see some of the animals ... (but not serving food, washing up or playing poker) ...
Beorn may outline his offer of help ... to Thorin and Co ... this would also be a good place to hint of the upcoming danger and of Mirkwood ... and advice to the company NOT to leave the path for any reason ...
Gandalf secretly may also share his plans with Beorn (or hint that) he will not be going into Mirkwood, and has some other errand ... this could easily extend Beorns place and role ...
He could also tell or hint to Gandalf a little more about the goblins and the wargs - his suspicions and be seen to be planning himself, his own strategies ..

Night falls and in the morning preparations are seen being made ... ponies, food, water ...
Briefly see an unheard conversation with Beorn and Gandalf ...
The Companys journey continues ...

Beorn is seen by Bilbo (in bear form) following and keeping an eye on the company and his horse ... as they approach Mirkwood, and just before Gandalf departs from the company ...

OK - so this is but one way to cover the story in short form and bring several aspects together - the rescue - the Eagles and their roles (and where they come from) - Beorn the Shapeshifter - help unexpected - movement of the company - and the ability for the company to survive and to get the story into Mirkwood ...

without it, there is little chance of the Company being able to cover such a distance and still be alive ... and to continue on ... Beorns is a necessary part of setting up the rest of the story - which could fork off here - the company splits after Beorns ... otherwise we see the company go from the Goblins to the Pine Forest and straight into Mirkwood ... another forest with Spiders ...
it leaves Gandalf without an excuse to 'return' to Beorns with his Horse ... how he travels to his other errands ... a host of things ...

The meeting with Beorn also sets up the Eagles and Beorn in the Battle of the 5 Armies ... they are not random helpers ... they are part of the tale ...

Also, it is mentioned in the book - (about Beorn on the first meeting)
".... he was clothed in a tunic of wool down to his knees, and was leaning on a large axe. The Horses were standing by him with their nose at his shoulder"
Unless these horses were huge ... Beorn may be a huge man, but he is no Giant of utterly immense size - not in man-form ...
I think I have been given the impression from illustrations done from some of the books and pictures, that he is 18 foot tall - which he cannot be by Tolkiens equations ... He may be larger and fiercer in Bear-form ... but he is not Cave Troll size Wink

Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!

Fatty Lumpkin
Registered User

May 16 2008, 3:00pm

Post #3 of 7 (198 views)
I think you are onto something… What if… [In reply to] Can't Post

You first introduce him very quickly when the eagles are saving the company… maybe show the goblins trying to chase after the birds in the sky on the ground (a skyward shot of worgs running through the forest). Focus in on one goblin riding a worg that is perhaps a little further away from the chase. All of a sudden his head flys off his shoulders and Beorn is there in man form holding his blood soaked axe. The worg turns to face the big man. This could be played with you could see Beorn stretching preparing himself and maybe a smile comes across his face as the worg is growling… he drops his axe to the ground… the worg charges and he transforms into his bear form and you hear a yelp and the scene cutes away.

Flash to the eagles and pretty much go verbatim as you were saying until they first meet Beorn.

Then you make it more difficult for the company to gain Beorns trust. The audience would know that he new what happened that night because we see him there. So maybe he quizzes them on the events… then once he is satisfied they walk to Beorns house and then you see the worg pelt like you said and he tells his story.

They go through the events of their adventure over a large feast and stay the night. Beorn praises them and is very grateful for them killing the great goblin and maybe explains his history with the goblins.


May 16 2008, 3:26pm

Post #4 of 7 (223 views)
Heretic [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm going to be heretic here, so please don't kill me. I've always seen the eagles as a sort of deus ex machina that allowed the professor to solve situations that were basically complicated from a story-telling point of view. I also believe that to use the eagles twice in the Hobbit for saving the day is just too much in one movie and can lead to moviegoers to go "oh come on!! the eagles again". Sooo, cue for bashing...I wouldn't mind if the eagles are replaced by Beorn, meaning, that maybe instead of having eagles to the rescue, we can have a huge angry man-bear charging at the wargs and the company of orcs and saving Gandalf, Bilbo and the dwarves from being roasted at the top of the trees. In that way, you avoid the eagles, allowing them to appear at the end of the movie without tiring the audience, you present Beorn in full-action mode, which should be great.

Please, give us back Glorfindel!!!


May 16 2008, 4:52pm

Post #5 of 7 (199 views)
I understand what you mean .. [In reply to] Can't Post

about the Eagles, so I promise I wont kill you Cool Wink

That could be mended, yet there would be a slight change in the script - though it could work with out diverting from it too much ...
and that would be to have the ponies escape out of the cave where Thorin and company are sheltering (weather by being scared of the thunder and lightning - or just being scared by the goblins), and instead of being led into the back of the cave, they bolt away down the mountain path.
Once they disappear from that scene, their disappearance is noted, but there is so much more going on with the story, and so much more about to happen, their leaving is credible, but its just another disaster to start this part of the films decline for Thorins Company.
Tolkien leads the reader to assume that the ponies are captured and eaten - its an assumption which could be used to an advantage ...

When Thorin and Company are stuck in the trees, Gandalf maybe could hear or see the ponies from the tree tops - not too close, but not far away either ... if the Dwarves and Hobbit were somehow helped by a plan by Gandalf to get out of the trees and get to the ponies - it would make for a wild chase - and also still be able to introduce Beorn ... its just that they arrive to the Carrock by pony, and also to Beorns ... they would still need food and rest and help, as the ponies would be possibly be quite dishelved as well - with their ordeal in the mountains ... it would also give Beorn a good excuse to have been in the area - keeping an eye on the ponies (sparking his interest of who they belonged to) and keeping a watch on the border of his lands ...

The ponies may well be looked after at Beorns - Beorn could claim them for helping the Hobbits - or arrangements are made for them to come back to Beorns before Thorin and company go into Mirkwood - and possibly Beorn will not allow them into the forest, and they would return to Beorns as Thorins Company go into Mirkwood.
It would not stop Beorn following them to keep an eye on on them all, and his 'new' family of four leggeds.

It maybe a better idea than introducing Eagles again at this point, and its a legitimate escape if scripted correctly - it could be more exciting than another Eagle rescue to introduce a chase! ... as it is, the goblins and wolves are all burning - and we can still pick up Beorn at the Carrock ... and maybe we can see a bird of some magnitude flying against the moon in the night sky - but not in the rescue ... maybe even Beorn can be instrumental in telling the ponies to go near and wait for Thorins company and bring them to the carrock to continue the story ...

The only thing out of place is the ponies are back in the story from the time of the rescue to turning up at Beorns - otherwise theres really not much change in the story ...

Were off to Hobbiton finally!

Tolkien was a Capricorn!!
Russell Crowe for Beorn!!

N.E. Brigand

May 19 2008, 3:54am

Post #6 of 7 (141 views)
Not bad for a start. Now make it funny. [In reply to] Can't Post

Lots of comedy in this chapter (as in the book as a whole).

We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us May 12-18 for "The King of the Golden Hall".

N.E. Brigand

May 19 2008, 3:55am

Post #7 of 7 (215 views)
Why does Tolkien write the introductions this way? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's very like another scene in the book, don't you think?
Should the film try to capture that parallelism?

We're discussing The Lord of the Rings in the Reading Room, Oct. 15, 2007 - Mar. 22, 2009!

Join us May 12-18 for "The King of the Golden Hall".


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