The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby Lady Galadriel » Dec 24, 2014 2:12 pm

Well, now that I managed to see TBotFA last night, I came to read everyone's comments. :) I was trying to stay as spoiler free as possible -- and was also very busy with the school semester -- so I tried to stay away from a lot of marketing for The Hobbit.

I think it's safe to say that as 'The Epic Prequel to The Lord of the Rings' (just a title I somewhat sarcastically coined), it did a good job. For example, I was really intrigued by what they did with Saruman.
He's largely a good guy. But the last we see of him is cliffhanger-like. As he leaves the screen after having fought the Nazgul, he says so menacingly, "Leave Sauron to me."
It's an excellent piece of foreshadowing -- not too blatant, not too subtle. However, the movie isn't always so subtle with its foreshadowing.
For instance, the Nazgul are made blatantly obvious -- the members of the White Council know exactly who they are. As Galadriel quoted, "Nine for mortal men doomed to die," and Elrond: "You should have stayed dead!" I feel that the entire Dol Goldur sequence doesn't do justice to the Nazgul's first appearance in FotR. In FotR, they have such an element of horror and suspense, and I just feel that that is ruined by their blatant battle with the White Council. Remember Gandalf's reaction in FotR when Saruman tells him, "The Nine are abroad." To me, Gandalf's expression is one of horror and complete surprise. He shouldn't have been taken so off his guard if he had had a near fatal encounter with the Nazgul merely fifty years earlier (which is no time at all for a 3,000-year-old wizard.)
Keeping these changes, I may have to watch FotR again...

A second of the many problems I have with the Dol Goldur scene was
Galadriel's portrayal. I guess I've never completely approved of the way Galadriel has been portrayed in these films. In my opinion, she should never have been portrayed as dark and creepy in this scene! According to the FotR movie, she would have turned this way if she had Frodo's Ring of Power -- which she didn't have it in this scene.

I should also mention something I liked about this film. ;) I thought Richard Armitage was amazing as Thorin. He excellently portrayed
Thorin's changes in mood as he swung between the dragon sickness and sanity. Sometimes his mood switched in a single facial expression.
I thought it was superb acting on Armitage's part.

As for the very ending...
Thorin, Fili, and Kili's deaths...that was painful to watch! I can't comment! :((
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Dec 26, 2014 5:07 pm

I've paid scant attention to this thread - in fact Christmas has kept me rather busy, especially as I haven't been all that well, having had really painful difficulties with losing some use of my left arm.

But yesterday, being Boxing Day, I attended the release of the last episode of The Hobbit - the Battle of the Five Armies. Actually, I thought it was an improvement on the first two episodes. Some things I liked and disliked:

SHOW SPOILER PARTICULAR LIKES
1. The beginning. It made up for the rather abrupt ending of The Hobbit, Part 2, Desolation of Smaug. The whole story arc of the fall of Smaug was well done, though I wondered why it was only the prelude and not really part of the main film.
2. The sequence with Gandalf escaping from Dol Guldur. I liked Saruman's performance, and especially Galadriel, who looked really menacing, more so than she did for a moment in FotR. I really liked that throughout the movies the role of Radagast was beefed up so much. Even in the books he appears a good character, but his role was never explained very much either.
3. The battle of the 5 armies was awesome, and Thorin's performance, especially the moment when he finally came to his senses was one of the best parts of the movie, I thought.
4. They included Bilbo's return to Hobbiton, in the middle of the auction, mentioned at the end of the book. Also that I can't really complain about the film departing too much from the book.


SHOW SPOILER PARTICULAR DISLIKES
1. Prelude too drawn out, I thought. That creepy Master of the Lake toady was another personal dislike, almost until the end, when he turned out to be unexpectedly comical, especially his fake "bust" and Bard's comment about his womanly attire.
2. Gandalf not doing much when being rescued from Dol Guldur. He seems much older, much more battered around, a good deal less able and much frailer than he seemed to be in the LOTR trilogy.
3. Battle also a bit too drawn out and gory. It makes the rather drawn out Prince Caspian Battle of Beruna look like a country pub brawl by comparison. I also got a little tired of Legolas' almost impossibly gymnastic feats of warfare. Why do battles always have to occur in impossible terrain, with crumbling stairs, bridges and collapsing mountain peaks etc? Oh yes, that takes the place of bombing, I suppose.
4. In the book, Thorin was interred at the heart of Erebor, with the Arkenstone on his chest and Fili and Kili on either side. I would have preferred that this bit of the book had been kept in the film. Also, I would have liked to have seen Bilbo get back some of the things carted away from the auction.


I liked the use of the same actors and actresses throughout both The Hobbit and LOTR, though the new cast members and characters, like Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Smaug, Thorin & Bard were good. Cate Blanchette, who is an internationally famous actress, apart from her role as Galadriel in this film, lives a busy lifestyle in Sydney, as a normal mother, who does routine things, like daily taking her three sons to their school etc. Recently in a newspaper interview, she complained about some mothers at her sons' school who sound uncommonly like the sorts you might get in the Harper Valley PTA song. According to them, it seems, Cate Blanchette doesn't dress tidily enough, or help enough with the school. Whilst looking at Galadriel's depiction in this movie, I couldn't help thinking - Go Cate. Those criticizing mothers can "suck it up" for want of a better expression.
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Dec 28, 2014 7:41 pm

I saw Hobbit 3 with my family today. I liked it better than DoS but not as well as the first one.

Likes:
Bard! He was amazing. He was very true to the book.
Bilbo was mostly good.
The discussion between Bard and Thorin at the gate.
Thorin and Bilbo's last conversation together.
The scene where Bilbo confesses, Thorin threatens him, and Gandalf defends him
The ending credits
that they included the auction


Dislikes:
Thorin was just a bit overdone. He was too crazy. The goblins/orcs didn't snap him out of it.
Kili and Tauriel
Bilbo's active involvement in the fighting
Thranduil - words fail me
Gandalf at Dol Gulder (sp?) Gandalf is NOT a weakling. The book said he just barely escaped - I took that to mean on his own accord not on a bunny sled. After Galadriel saves him. I got the idea that Gandalf helped drive the necromancer out...
Legolas's acrobatics
I really want to see Kili and Fili die protecting Thorin and see Beorn get him out
Bilbo lying to Gandalf about still having the ring. (While I'm at it that he never volunteered that he had it)
The way the Master of Laketown died. I wanted to see the dynamic between him and Bard. The power plays and Bard's cleverness in handling him.
Why in the world did Bard and Gandalf trust Alfrid to guard???

Confusion:
What was with all the different animal mounts? What was Thranduil on? Was that a pig that Dain was riding?

I could say a lot more but that is enough for now. ;))
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby starkat » Dec 29, 2014 5:47 am

Finally got to see it myself as well.

Jackson slipped with a couple of things in my opinion.

1) He fell prey to the current trend of making battle scenes long and drawn out. I know he's prone to it anyways, but when you get ten minutes into a particular battle and you've got a part of the audience going "come on already! Push the plot along!" You've overdone it. It's become a trend pretty much since Man of Steel to make battle scenes a good 10 minutes longer than they should.

2) Predictability. Ok I'm sorry. Who didn't see it coming that Azog would do something from under the ice??? It's been done. And done. And done. That wasn't the only spot, but that's the one that stuck in my mind the most. When you can sit down and watch a movie and the setup for more than one moment is predictable enough you can see it coming (Alfrid in a dress hiding among the women anyone? Smaug falling on the Master? Azog's ambush at the signaling tower?) a few minutes in advance... yeah. Waaaay too predictable.

Not a fan of Kili and Tauriel. However, I liked Tauriel as an add in character. I just didn't like the relationship added in.

However...

I liked Thranduil actually appearing to learn a lesson in how he handled things at the end.

Liked Bilbo. Liked Gandalf.

Didn't quite get the glowing Galadriel bit, but I guess that was Jackson's way of linking her back to the LotR scene. Why make her the same color though if she wasn't under the influence of the one ring?

Liked Elrond. Thought Sarumon's descent was a bit obvious.

Bard and his kids were fantastic.

LOVED the ending!

If it wasn't for how predictable the film got and the drawn out battle scenes, I would say, as a movie, it was good. However, those two items kind of got on my nerves. I'll likely buy it on DVD to complete my set and I am making plans to go see it again. I just think they could have tightened it up quite a bit.
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby Meltintalle » Jan 18, 2015 1:16 pm

So, my initial reaction is to BoFA is "I want to go read the book now."

The Good
The background and corner of the eye stuff is stunning. Like, I'd pay money for Middle-Earth the Travelogue. :D

Pretty horses! Pretty elves! You can send me Thranduil's wardrobe ASAP.

Dialogue lifted from the book!

The Bad
Who is this movie about again??? Is there a hobbit in here somewhere? Oooh, elves! Men! ...were we supposed to mention dwarves? ...and a hobbit? Nah, elves! (Alas, poor Bilbo. Did you even get a fourteenth share in the movie?)

The Ugly
The battle: Did the dwarves win? Did Thorin's epic battle in a corner destroy all Azog's minions who had been raised by his lifebreath and blood so that when Azog finally died they all keeled over?

Did Dain become King Under the Mountain? Did Thranduil put Orcrist and the Arkenstone on Thorin's grave?

Did the elves draw back? Did Thranduil change his mind after Legolas and Tauriel chased off after Kili? Or did he just head up to Ravenhill to see if his son survived? (Granted, Thranduil's wordless empathy with Tauriel was about the best thing to come out of that entire bizarre woodelf backstory stuff, but the father/son interaction not so much.)

How many Hulks did Azog have anyway? Why didn't he use his tunnel-eaters to pull a movie!Prince Caspian 'dig a pit and have the enemy fall in trick'?


Without prior knowledge of the story would this have made as much sense as it did? It wasn't an utter reject but it was not a good fan-fic version...
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jan 19, 2015 2:03 pm

Now that The Hobbit trilogy of films has been completed, I plan to watch the whole six films from beginning to end, when Bo5A comes out on DVD, besides re-reading the books. One other thing I would love to do is to visit New Zealand, itself, again, shown in all the films so beautifully in its alter ego as Middle Earth. There should be Oscars for best supporting countries.
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby stargazer » Jan 19, 2015 10:29 pm

I finally got around to viewing the newest installment this weekend so I can read this thread. I'm in agreement with much of what has been said.

So, my initial reaction is to BoFA is "I want to go read the book now."


Exactly!

I liked it better than the second movie. We joked that we expected extensive fight scenes given the title of the movie. A few things that stuck out to me:

Bard: Generally liked this character, and well-cast. The interaction between him and his kids was great. But I wanted to slap him when he entrusted his children to Alfrid. He's already failed once ("no one gets by me...") and while I can understand Bard wanting to give him a second chance, don't do it with the thing that is most precious to you!

Trying too hard to tie it into the LOTR story/movies. For example, The early scene at Dol Guldur with the Nazgul and Galadriel channeling her dark side (so to speak). Lady Galadriel has described this very well in her post above.
The reference to Strider. He was what, 10 or 20 at this time, and already famous? Maybe so, but it seemed a stretch, though those better-versed in Middle-earth lore may be able to clarify this for me.


I didn't mind Tauriel too much as an additional character but was occasionally distracted when the way she said or did something reminded me of her Kate character in LOST. ;))

There was a lot to like, such as the auction of Bilbo's stuff and the pictures over the end credits (as well as Billy Boyd's solo there).
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby starkat » Jan 21, 2015 6:46 am

I got the special edition of the soundtrack for BotFA about two weeks ago. Listened to it yesterday for the first time. I love it! It's not quite as heavy as RotK, but it still has that drama and adventure feel. You can hear shades and hints of various themes from LotR, but it isn't blatantly obvious as say Prince Caspian. It's woven in with a very subtle touch.
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby johobbit » Jan 21, 2015 6:56 pm

Varna, thanks for that very interesting and enlightening link (last post on previous page). :)

And, kat, overall I have not been impressed with the first 2 Hobbit movie soundtracks, but I am going to pay more attention to this last one, and I may even purchase it down the road. The music of TBotFA did strike me more in the theatre than did the others, especially with a number of The LotR themes integrated. I appreciate your thoughts on that. :)

So, my thoughts on TBotFA, many of which were very similar to what has already been stated:

Likes:

*Bard! He was so faithful to the book (except Evans looks too much like Bloom :p). But I sorely missed his line "Black Arrow ... you have never failed me ... go now and speed well".

*Bilbo, although it seems, considering the book is called The Hobbit, that the poor little guy wasn't nearly the focus he should have been. His scenes with Thorin, in particular, were great!

*Balin! I have really liked his portrayal since movie 1, which makes his discovered death in The FotR that much more moving

*the sets and scenery and costumes were amazing

*the auction (and the silver spoons!)

*how the ending led right into The FotR

*love, love those sketches during the credits, as well as Billy Boyd's poignant closing song



Dislikes:

*the long, drawn-out battle scene. 8-| I also didn't care that Thorin was taken away from the main battle to go fight Azog, who has always bugged me

*the lack of Beorn (in this movie and the second one). Sure, he isn't in this part of the book much, yet he still plays a very crucial role in the battle, and they just didn't do him justice at all in these films :(

*Alfrid: what a dumb, silly character. And why would they have used him almost in place the Master of Laketown, anyway? And it's been said before, but why, oh why, would Bard have let Alfrid care for his children?!! /:) I totally missed seeing the interaction between the foolish Master and wise Bard

*creepy Galadriel: I wholly agree with you, Lady Galadriel. She should have been shown as powerful, indeed, but not dark, even evil-looking. That would have only happened if she had taken the Ring!

*Tauriel and Kili 8-|

*Gandalf came across weak, both in this movie, as well as in The RotK, for the most part, blech!

*even though I liked Fili and Kili in the book, they did not resonate with me in any way in the movie, so their deaths were like "meh". :p Pity, because I wanted to care for them, but PJ kind of spoiled that for me

*Radagast: again, he was a beloved wizard in Tolkien's writings (even though he was rarely mentioned), but to me he was just silly and high in the films, as were his rabbits too, most likely :p


Inbetween:

*I didn't care for the death of Smaug (a slightly major event ;) ) as only in the intro to the movie, as if it wasn't of much import

*the reference to Strider was sweet, but totally unrealistic, as he was still a lad growing up in Rivendell then

*Thranduil didn't do much for me. Really, overall, PJ did not make me care for any character except Bilbo and Balin. What a difference from The LotR! (This probably should have been in the Dislike column. :p)


That's all I can think of now, although I know there is lots more which I can't remember. :ymblushing: I need to bring a pad and pen with me in the theatre, but then I'd probably be writing constantly. ;))

In summary, I enjoyed this movie more than #2, but probably not as much as #1. Whatever the case, my strong feeling is that PJ should have stopped when the going was good ... after The LotR films. I think fame went to his head and he thought he could then deviate from the book in whatever way he so chose. Grrrrrrrr and hrrrrrrumph. ;))
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby waggawerewolf27 » Jan 23, 2015 12:21 am

johobbit wrote:*creepy Galadriel: I wholly agree with you, Lady Galadriel. She should have been shown as powerful, indeed, but not dark, even evil-looking. That would have only happened if she had taken the Ring!


I'd agree with you, but only if both "Galadriel" and myself didn't just happen to both live in Sydney. Neither in its founding, nor in its development, and certainly not in its current form for the last six weeks or so, Sydney is not for the faint-hearted it would seem. "Evil Galadriel", even without "the one ring" might just about sort a few problems. Was Peter Jackson also hinting at the significance of Bilbo's find & the awakening of the One Ring? BTW, how long do we really need to keep spoilers?
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby The Old Maid » Jan 24, 2015 2:36 pm

Off all the Wrong in the Jackson series, I'll add only one nitpick here:

At the time of the Battle of Five Armies (Third Age 2941):

Strider = 9 years old.
Denethor = 9 years old.
Because math.

If I had control of the films, I would introduce Denethor's cameo like this:

Originally posted nowhere, by nobody, because imaginary

Chorus of redshirts: "Smaug is dead. Smaug is dead."

In Mirkwood, Thranduil reacts.

In the Carrock country, Beorn reacts.

In Gondor, Ecthelion and little Denethor react.


Note: Ecthelion is played for all of 6.2 seconds by Richard Gere, because he looks like Faramir's grand-dad. A lot. Check out First Knight photos; you don't have to endure the film. Dark-eyed, scowling Denethor is played by some 9-year-old who looks like Skandar Keynes at his mean-to-Lucy best.


How I would handle Strider/Aragorn's cameo:

Originally posted nowhere, by nobody, because imaginary

Chorus of Dwarves: "The food is green. Why is it green? We can't eat Elf-food that is green."

(Bilbo enters with both mutton and chicken. The man-cub is a growing boy, after all.)

Chorus of Dwarves: "Where did you get real food? You are our hero!"

Bilbo: "There's actually a baby man around here. He needs protein. Otherwise they wouldn't keep stuff like that around here."

Pick-a-Dwarf: "Where is it? I've never seen a baby man."

Bilbo: "You didn't miss much. Just some pimples. (sotto voce) Also picks his nose."

Note: because a homeless atheling isn't much of a catch. He had to work for Arwen; she wasn't owed to him, and some fans forget that.


That is all.

##########

EDIT:

My deluxe timeline appendixes state that Denethor was born in 2930, Aragorn in 2931. So I must correct myself that

Denethor = 11
Aragorn = 10

Because math.

Nevertheless I have to stand by the general age category. Denethor would be sulking about having to grow up to be a bureaucrat, and Aragorn looking for gold in all the wrong places because they are little children. Aragorn isn't even called Aragorn, for goodness' sake! He's still Estel, the poor relation who isn't even told that he is a relation, however poor, because little children tattle. He even tattled the first day he was told the truth, if it comes to that.

If Tolkien wanted them to be pint-sized generals like John Connor, son of Sarah "Terminator" Connor, that's how he would have written them.
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby Varnafinde » Jan 31, 2015 1:00 pm

The Old Maid wrote:Denethor would be sulking about having to grow up to be a bureaucrat, and Aragorn looking for gold in all the wrong places because they are little children. Aragorn isn't even called Aragorn, for goodness' sake! He's still Estel, the poor relation who isn't even told that he is a relation, however poor, because little children tattle. He even tattled the first day he was told the truth, if it comes to that.


You are so right. And at the age of 10, if I remember rightly, he hasn't even met Arwen, certainly not fallen for her - he only does that when he's about 20.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I read all spoilers I can find. I'm getting curious now as to what they are doing with this timeline mix-up - whether there are any cameos, or whether people are just talking about a famous 10 year old general (or not mentioning his age :p ).
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby shastastwin » Jan 31, 2015 3:59 pm

But do remember that in TTT:EE, Aragorn says he's 87. If the story of The Hobbit is still 50-60 years before that, he'd be in his late twenties or thirties at the end, which fits perfectly with the line that Thranduil delivers. ;)
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby Varnafinde » Jan 31, 2015 4:26 pm

There's also the timeline-twist within Jackson's LotR movie, where the 17 years from Bilbo's disappearing until Frodo's journey only takes about 17 days (or even less) in the movie. Add those 17 years to bookAragorn's 10, and he's suddenly 27 and desperately trying to make himself worthy of an Elven Princess. Perhaps it does make sense after all - within the movie timeline. :p
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby coracle » Jan 31, 2015 8:20 pm

shastastwin wrote:But do remember that in TTT:EE, Aragorn says he's 87. If the story of The Hobbit is still 50-60 years before that, he'd be in his late twenties or thirties at the end, which fits perfectly with the line that Thranduil delivers. ;)

I consulted the timeline and found that Aragorn was having his 88th birthday that day.
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Re: The Road Goes Ever On and On: Everything Tolkien - Book 2

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Feb 01, 2015 10:22 am

Warning: There are some LotR and Hobbit movie spoilers in this post.

I just watched TTT EE and Aragorn does say that he is 87. The movie timeline works because it messed up the book timeline. I of course first think of the book timeline so I think of him first as ten and then have to adjust for movie timeline. Nevertheless it is still rather ridiculous that Thranduil says that because it seems like it serves no other purpose than to tie The Hobbit to LotR. I suppose it kind of makes sense because they did have Legolas and Aragorn seem to have a history in LotR. (Legolas was quick to defend him to Boromir).

It seems to me they worked too hard to connect LotR and the Hobbit in some ways and not enough in others. We saw a lot of Legolas, we had Morgal (sp?) arrows, kingsfoil, the ring being powerful, the Strider name drop. All it made Bilbo do in the Hobbit was make him lie about how he got it. I think the scene where Bilbo finds the Ring and Gollum realizes it is gone is different - the LotR version is closer to the book (he comes across it already on the ground) In the Hobbit version I believe he sees it fall. In FotR Bilbo describes the trolls arguing about how to cook them (like in the book ex. squishing) until dawn comes. This was replaced by parasites. :P Gandalf clearly knows that Bilbo still has the ring in FotR and Bilbo shows no surprise that Gandalf knows so that doesn't work with the ending of the Hobbit.

Mel, you raise some good and sadly unanswerable questions in your post. I guess we finally see Bilbo's prospective at the end. He was after all unconscious during the "victory" part of the battle in the book. :P

Did anyone else think that Galadriel had the phial of Galadriel in her hand while fighting Sauron?
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