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Worst Scene in The Hobbit?


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Desolation of Smaug EE now, which starts with a flashback (Bree) and has a flashback within it. And contains loads and loads of exposition about things they didn't put in the first film. Thorin's father, the Dwarves Oath to the Arkenstone, the bounty on Thorin's head. This is a mess!

 

Yet somehow this feels not unlike Tolkien, who was never shy of having characters sit together for a chapter and discuss the adventures we just read them having a few chapters ago.

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I understand the greater emphasis on the Arkenstone in film two, given it will become important. Still, I'm not sure why they brought that seven 'armies' business into it, given that this particular aspect was never going to become relevant. This was done better in the first film at Bag End, where it was mentioned that the meeting of the Ered Luin involved 'envoys from all seven kingdoms'. Dain and the Iron Hills get a specific mention, which is all we needed, since Iron Hills Dwarves are the only ones relevant to this particular tale. To ramp up the significance of this, I'd have started the third film with a flashback to this Ered Luin meeting, setting up the relationship between Thorin and Dain and placing greater emphasis on Dain, since he's to succeed Thorin after all.

 

As for Thrain, again I get why they brought him in here, and I'm happy they did, but it isn't without problems (aside from having a different actor and a different aesthetic, which was very odd - did Sher object to having one eye or something?). I have no issue with the opening scene, but the flashback in Dol Guldur does not explain how Thrain ends up in Dol Guldur. Okay he has his finger removed by Azog, but what happens thereafter? Why couldn't Thorin find him after the battle? Did he simply miss him? And if he did, where did Thrain go? Did he charge into Moria after Azog, where the tables were turned (Balrog sighting paralyzed him with fear?) and he was captured? Did Azog emerge from Moria long after the battle, find the wounded Thrain (when Thorin couldn't) and take him prisoner? Or did Thrain wander off before Thorin could find him, and then follow Azog to Dol Guldur, where he was captured? The film just draws a line from point A to point C - there needs to be something in between. Now this aspect is a mess I'll grant you, albeit not being essential in the grand scheme of things. One issue from Tolkien that the film does solve is how Thrain was able to hide the map and key in the Dol Guldur dungeons - I was bothered by the idea that these wouldn't be taken from him. So again, I'm happy they included Thrain, but it needed to be done with more thought and clarity. And for another thing, there's no pay-off to the Thrain arc whatsoever. It seemed obvious to me that there should have been (or indeed perhaps was) a moment when Gandalf arrives at the walls of Erebor in BotFA just as Thorin is about to chuck Bilbo to oblivion, and reveals that he met Thrain and also relates what Thrain wanted him to tell Thorin (it all relates to that line about Thorin not acting like a king). Thorin seems particularly shocked and fucked off after Gandalf's arrival, and I can imagine something like that messing with his head. Oh and I'll never know why Jackson never restored the Palantir scene to DoS, not only would it have provided a great visual moment but would have helped explain Thrain's ramblings. All we have is some rather terrific music, which makes it all the more painful.

 

As for the bounty on Thorin's head, it's a very strange addition, and contradicts that 'whom did you tell of your quest?' bit in AUJ when the wargs attack.

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Entertaining and engaging enough because it has a lot of that "build up to battle" stuff Jackson is so good in. To the plot is still convoluted as hell.

 

Jackson has a great cinematic eye, and there's some great action set ups in this.

 

The White Council Attack upon Dol Guldur feels contrived and separate from the rest. But I guess its an interesting interpretation of an event only ever briefly mentioned. Though there is no reason to believe the Attack wasn't done with the armies and forces of Rivendell and Lothlorien, and Saruman had troops then too.

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I like that the first half of The Battle of the Five Armies is Thorin being consumed by dragon sickness and lashing out against Bard and Thranduil. That's one of the interesting things about The Hobbit: those last few chapters set to undermine the formulaic adventure story that the book has been until that point.

 

The dragon is slain, the homeland reclaimed,  but there's no "happily ever after". Instead, it only opens a nest of political interests in the treasure hoard, and sends Thorin into a deranged state of mind, and the ensuing battle ends up costing the lives of three of the most prominently featured Dwarves (and, in the film, the death of the protagonist). By dwelling on this, the film really makes a point out of it.

 

Its the antithesis of something like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 which delves into the action very quickly with little setup.

 

On 7/28/2018 at 2:10 PM, Stefancos said:

And contains loads and loads of exposition about things they didn't put in the first film. Thorin's father, the Dwarves Oath to the Arkenstone, the bounty on Thorin's head. This is a mess

 

Well, a second film can't just be a bridge from film one to three. It needs to have its own stuff, and the piece at Bree gives it a sense of beginning, and introduces some bits of plot that are unique to this film (the need to destroy Smaug, Thrain's fate). Its also not entirely without setup: "Thrain, Thorin's Father, was driven mad by grief" - cut to Thorin, the lines clearly weighing on him, "he went missing - taken prisoner or killed - we did not know."

 

I generally like the lack of linearity in this series. Think about The Fellowship of the Ring: we return to the prologue three or four times and every time we learn a new bit of information about what happened there, and how it affects the plot currently.  The first act is so short anyway (under 30 minutes out of a three-hour movie) that I don't mind. Its not an action opening but its got a lot of atmosphere to it: it opens with rumbling sound effects over black, and continues with a couple of long takes following Thorin, etc..

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29 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

Its the antithesis of something like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 which delves into the action very quickly with little setup.

 

 

DHP1, or the first half of the last book does something very similar though: Instead of capturing Horcruxes left and right, the group just wanders and camps around aimlessly for a while, investigating false leads, and not knowing what to do with the one they do have, while the Heart of the group (Ron) leaves.

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5 hours ago, Not Mr. Big said:

I don't know who thought it would be a good idea to give Bilbo a love interest but they completely missed the entire point of the book (Bilbo is celibate) 

 

If you weren't somehow talking about this, I have no clue what you mean.

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On 7/29/2018 at 8:57 PM, Chen G. said:

I like that the first half of The Battle of the Five Armies is Thorin being consumed by dragon sickness and lashing out against Bard and Thranduil. That's one of the interesting things about The Hobbit: those last few chapters set to undermine the formulaic adventure story that the book has been until that point.

 

Perhaps, but it is again a deviation of the source material. Dragon sickness, surely plays a role in Thorin's refusals, but they arent the chief reason. The innate greed and lust for gold of the Dwarves, as well as a deep possessiveness when it comes to their rights and property is what keeps Thorin locked with his hoard. For me Dragon Sickness just comes off as a simple plot device.

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