Previously on An Adventure in Tolkien: I don’t even want to talk about the fact that the Tolkien fandom made me ship NAZGÛL.
IT’S TIME, Y’ALL! I’m so excited to finally be returning to the main material, and I can’t wait to see how my experience will be changing with all the new information The Silmarillion and The Unfinished Tales have gifted me with. In case you’re curious, reviews for those two have been linked.
We’re also currently in the midst of my Tolkien-themed month in honor of the man, the myth, the legend’s birthday, and I feel like this couldn’t come at a more perfect time. Particularly because there’s so much packed into this post! Not only will I be doing my sort of live-read blog/reviews that have become a staple for the An Adventure in Tolkien project, but I found this nifty guide that broke down which chapters were in which movies, so this will have natural sections. I’ve only got one copy of The Hobbit (it’s a tragedy, I know), and it’s just one of the mass market paperbacks, so it looks like I’ll be reading about 100 pages per movie.
As usual, this is going to be messy and a bit wild, full of profanity (I really don’t know why, it just seems to come hand in hand at this point), riddled with memes, and, at some point, despite Morgoth being dead, I am going to find a way to force fanart of him on you. I guess you’ve been warned?
oh god ahahahaha this is so rude BUT WHERE IS THE LIE
(Also, pfffft, no one has time to tell me that LOTR is on TV, I hear the music and I’m like
okay here we go)
An Unexpected Journey
UGH I’ve just realized that I own none of these movies, what in the hell. I’m also not sure I’ve ever watched them a second time? This should be really interesting.
This starts with a “what is a hobbit?” question, and it’s adorable:
Hobbits are little people, smaller than dwarfs. They love peace and quiet and good tilled earth. They dislike machines, but they are handy with tools. They are nimble but don’t like to hurry. They have sharp ears and eyes. They are inclined to be fat. They wear bright colors but seldom wear shoes. They like to laugh and eat (six meals a day) and drink. They like parties and they like to give and receive presents. They inhabit a land they call The Shire, a place between the River Brandywine and the Far Downs.
This is the most adorable description of a hobbit ever, and it makes me want to run away to New Zealand and hide in a hole under the hill for the rest of my life.
I haven’t even gotten to the text yet, but I’m quoting something else:
In this reprint several minor inaccuracies, most of them noted by readers, have been corrected. For example, the text on pages 19 and 53 now corresponds exactly with the runes on Thror’s Map.
LOVE THE LOTR FANDOM
This is adorable. I forgot that he writes like he’s telling a story to his grandkids at the beginning. He addresses the audience, says that he’s got to describe hobbits because they’re usually “shy of the Big People,” and it’s just the cutest thing ever. Like, I wonder what people must have thought going from LOTR to this. Actually, it’s probably the way most of y’all think now when your favorite YA authors write middle grade–they’re judged for a “lesser” writing style that doesn’t captivate as much and doesn’t tackle the subjects you’re used to. Hm.
Well, this got salty very fast.
He does not waste a single second! Only seven pages in, and the first dwarf has arrived. I am dying, what the heck, hobbits are the best. Bilbo is just trying to have his tea, but Gandalf’s decided to mess with him, but he’s a hobbit, so when the dwarves just keep showing up, Bilbo just keeps asking them if they’d like tea and cake, as well, and though he’s a bit stiff, he’s certain not to sound impolite, and he makes sure to show them the fullest of his hospitality. Like, no wonder he got fed up when they started raiding his pantry. He was so adorably nice, and they just mess up his house! I’d be angry, too!
“bewildered and bewuthered”
THAT IS THE BEST PHRASE EVER
Oh, they’re all here!
Look, I know we have a lot of issues with the movies, and I completely agree, but I also think that Peter Jackson did some things right. Two movies would have been much better than three–get rid of all that unnecessary love triangle nonsense, and there you go, a whole half a movie is gone. But it’s not even page 40, and they’ve already reached the trolls. Being able to see the scene with the dwarves in the Shire and Bilbo beginning to travel with them stretched out like it is in the first movie is just delightful. Peter Jackson knows how to tell a good story. If he’d just stuck to the facts and not stretched it into a trilogy with embellishments, we probably would have loved the hell out of these movies.
Ahhh, my music just matched up perfectly with my chapter! And they’re both called Roast Mutton!
Oh, it’s done it again, they just got to Rivendell, and my music switched over to that, as well. Also, I love how the dwarves are all “no we’re eating supper and then we’ve got to go,” but they end up staying for two weeks. And it’s little things like this:
“This, Gandalf, was Glamdring, Foehammer that the king of Gondolin once wore.”pg 52, A Short Rest
that make me happy I have all this new knowledge now. Previously, I would have just been like oh a cool sword, but now, I actually know the history of Glamdring and Gondolin, and reading those aren’t just references to things unknown, but actually evoke feeling for me. It’s really cool.
I’m halfway to my reading for the first movie, and if I can get the second half done in the next 45 minutes, I get to watch the movie tonight, which I could really use right about now since I’ve literally been dreaming about it for nights on end.
But they had a special grudge against Thorin’s people, because of the war which you have heard mentioned, but which does not come into this tale;pg 62, Over Hill and Under Hill
The really sad thing is that, considering all the work put into The Silmarillion & The Unfinished Tales, it’s highly believable that Tolkien would have continued writing Middle-earth material literally forever. He probably slipped in these little lines, “which does not come into this tale,” fully intending to tell that tale at a later time. And we would have read every single piece of it.
Gandalf literally just did a headcount, I cannot.
Bilbo’s about to meet Gollum for the first time, but because I’m movie!Thorin trash, I’m trying to remember if he fights Azog in the forest in the first or second one. I’m pretty sure it’s in the first one? All I know is that I really want to watch Thorin walk down a fallen burning tree tonight.
There is literally nothing that I love more than Jackson’s depiction of Thorin in the movies. For all its faults, the movies gave us incredible representations of the dwarves, a very believable Bilbo, and Thranduil. Because what Tolkien doesn’t do in the books is give Bilbo a moment to go oh shit and realize he’d follow Thorin into the battlefield until way later in the story. But this moment, in the movie, speaks so much to Thorin’s character and gives the audience instant gratification. When he stands up on that tree and starts to walk through a burning forest to face off against Azog after already being beaten down by him, we all have this moment of yeah, I’d totally bow to you as my king, and that’s SO IMPORTANT.
I know I haven’t gotten to the movie section of this part yet, BUT I’M ALMOST THERE TIME FOR GOLLUM
cue frantic searching to see if Gollum fanart exists
IT DOES, but it’s either super fucking creepy or so goddamn sad, you immediately start to sympathize. Here, suffer with me:
I’m just having a quick think about the ring. So Bilbo has the ring for years and years and years, but he doesn’t wear it often, and he certainly doesn’t carry it around. After his adventure, he mostly leaves it on the mantle and occasionally lets it hang out in his pocket. Even being in the general vicinity of the ring twists Boromir, and Aragorn, who is supposed to be the greatest of all men, has a moment of hesitation when Frodo tries to offer it to him. Sam, despite being my favorite character in all of literature and arguably also the purest ever, is immediately swept up by it when he tries to throw the ring into the fire. Granted, he’s literally inside Mount Doom, where the ring’s power is strongest, but all of these people fall to the ring except for the Baggins’. All I’m saying is that Bilbo & Frodo are made of some sturdy goddamn stuff.
So ended the adventures of the Misty Mountains.pg 111, Out of the Frying-Pan Into the Fire
Reading done, but it’s too late to start watching a three-hour movie, so I’m off to bed, and I’ll try to squeeze it in tomorrow before I read the next 100! I’ve got to say, this has a really natural end, too, so I can see why Jackson decided to take this as his first part. But before that, one last bit of fanart–look at this cutie!
Okay, movie thoughts! I’m going to bullet point most of them so this isn’t excessively long, but there are a few bits that I’ll talk about in more detail.
- I like that the beginning starts similarly to Fellowship of the Ring. Obviously, it’s not Cate Blanchett telling the story of the first fall of Sauron, it’s just Bilbo talking about how Smaug came to Dale, but it’s still a really fun callback to the original trilogy.
- I LOVE that we never get to see Smaug in full in the entire movie. The next one is specifically about him, so it’s really neat that all we get are shadowy glimpses.
- When Bilbo’s grunting while gathering his mail and trying to ignore Gandalf, that just feels like a representation of all of us.
- The way everyone responds to Thorin is one of the reasons why these movies actually work. We get so little of Thorin in the first third (or at all, if I’m remembering correctly), and he’s pretty much just an ass the whole time, but seeing the other dwarves respond to him when he shouts “ENOUGH” and stands up is such a quick way to show that we should respect and love this leader.
- UM HI QUICK SILMARILLION MOMENT FOR ME, when Gandalf does his whole covering everything in shadow & getting huge or when he explodes light at the goblins, is that kind of a hint at his true Olórin form? Even if it’s not, that’s what I’m headcanoning it as, and it makes me weep.
- This is such a good way to kick off these adventures. This song is so important in the book because it’s what Bilbo falls asleep to, and he dreams about it all night. It’s so haunting and sad in the movie, too, and I just love that they kept including actual lyrical songs in this trilogy.
- I like that Bilbo chooses to go in the movie! He’s kind of coerced by Gandalf in the book, but in this, he wakes up and realizes he wants to join them.
- My brother noted that Radagast is like the people trying to stop global warming, but no one thinks they’re cool or worthwhile, much like Saruman (industrialist) turning his nose up at Radagast.
- Also, is Radagast in the book? Not so far, and I can’t remember.
- The fight choreography is just phenomenal. They put so much work into making sure we see the chaos of thirteen dwarves all fighting at the same time, and it’s so damn well done.
- Oh, the return of the horns! The LOTR soundtracks are some of the best in the world, and while The Hobbit soundtracks are still great, they don’t quite live up to their predecessor, but the return of the brass section is wonderful.
- This speech breaks my goddamn heart. “Look, I know you doubt me. I know–I know you always have. And you’re right, I often think of Bag End. I miss my books, and my arm chair, and my garden. See, that’s where I belong. That’s home. And that’s why I came back, because you don’t have one. A home. It was taken from you, but I will help you take it back if I can.”
- One more clip, and then we’re done, but seriously, you knew this was coming.
- GODDAMN THIS IS WHY I LOVE THORIN OAKENSHIELD
The Desolation of Smaug
This is going to be the movie that annoys me the most.
The horses were standing by him with their noses at his shoulders.pg 118, Queer Lodgings
Damn. Like, I knew that Beorn was big, but that’s such a great way to immediately explain just how big he is.
Oh, I’ve just got to Mirkwood. My memory of Thranduil is 100% Lee Pace, so I’m really curious to see what he’s really like.
Okay, this is also the section of the book that not only annoys me the most, but is the least interesting. Nothing happens. They wander aimlessly through Mirkwood, talk about nearly starving to death so many times and in such a dramatic degree that reminds me of my mother, eventually fight some spiders and get kidnapped by the elves, Thranduil is never actually named, but he wears a holly berry crown, they escape via the barrels, and now I’m at Lake-town, and legit so many pages are devoted to this that it’s taken me three days to get through it.
They’re inside the mountain!
You are familiar with Thorin’s style on important occasions, so I will not give you any more of it, though he went on a good deal longer than this.pg 212, Inside Information
Also, check Tolkien casually agreeing with his editors “okay I recognize sometimes I ramble on about things,” but in the most Tolkien way because instead of cutting down the full chapter of traveling through the barrels along the river, he cut down Thorin’s speech to Bilbo. His editors are like, “Okay, so this bit in the trees is really long, and it’s making the book way longer than it needs to be, can you trim it a little?” And Tolkien’s all, “Yes! Sure! Right away! There are definitely things I can scale back on to make it a little shorter!” Hacks away at an important speech before Bilbo literally goes off to face a dragon.
WAIT A MINUTE
I just turned on my music because I’m finally, after days of being sick, back to reading and finishing off this section real quick–is Bard not in the book? Is that another addition to the movie? Because, if so, it’s probably the only addition I actually appreciate.
Look at that man!
I was looking for something else, and I stumbled across this:
I recognize this section is so much shorter than the first one, but I really can’t give two shits about the middle of this book. Smaug is literally about to have his first moment of page time, though, so we’ll be back to normal in a second.
You know, there is an ENTIRE book about why fighting over jewels is a bad idea.
It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.pg 217, Inside Information
Wise words to live by, JRR. But also, he just cheated twice. First: “To say that Bilbo’s breath was taken away is no description at all. There are no words left to express his staggerment…” and second: “His rage passes description–“, which I can kind of let him get away with because he does also then go: “–the sort of rage that is only seen when rich folk that have more than they can enjoy suddenly lose something that they have long had but never before used or wanted.” BUT STILL. You can’t just “it surpasses description,” Tolkien, that’s 100% cheating, just like staggerment is 100% not a word.
“O Smaug the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities,” sometimes I forget that these lines are actually in the book and it’s not just fandom being absurd. It’s Tolkien instead.
Okay, we’re taking a small YouTube break because I stumbled across something else while I was looking for that Silmarillion meme, and Stephen Colbert is just a delight.
Annnnnnd, one more because it’s been a whole half a book since I last cried about Gandalf when he was still Olórin.
sidenote: I have completely devolved and fallen into an Elijah Wood hole THIS IS ALWAYS HAPPENS
Alright, Smaug’s just left the mountain to go torch Lake-town, so I’m done for the night and hopefully watching the second movie tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Okay, movie thoughts! I feel like I should probably warn that this is about to go downhill. I’m, uh, already not the hugest fan of The Hobbit, just in general, and the second two movies are about 85% total crap, so brace yourselves.
- Um, okay, so I finished reading The Hobbit in December, and I literally stalled watching the second two movies as long as possible until I had no choice but to watch them both in one day in January, so.
- The opening title card is so 80s, and I love it.
- Again, Bilbo is super relatable, and not only that, but despite my original dislike of Martin Freeman, he really carries this movie. His facial expressions are incredible, and that alone would have kept me going, but he actually makes me care about Bilbo, which I don’t generally, so I’m very impressed this time around. (Confession: I think this is only my second time ever watching this?)
- Don’t even get me started on all the dwarf running in this, it just makes me think of Gimli, and I just start wheezing, and I am not going to link a clip from LOTR, BUT I WANT TO.
- I love that they kept Beorn’s introduction to all of the dwarves. It’s a little different from the book, but not by much, and it’s a good laugh.
- Look. I’m going to say this probably twelve times because I know I wrote it down a bunch in my notes, but every single scene in Dol Guldur looks like it came straight out of the PS2 version of the LOTR video game. Oh my god, I’m not going to give this it’s own space, but just like click somewhere at random on this video, and that’s it, now you don’t have to watch the Dol Guldur scenes.
- The special effects are SO BAD. Sauron is stupid. Some of the barrel clips look like they’re on a goddamn GoPro. I don’t want to talk about Legolas’ contacts at all. Beorn & Smaug are the only two pieces of well done CGI, and I’m angry.
- Also on that note, I hate Benedict as the voice of Sauron. Who was it originally? Alan Howard did it in LOTR, and I know there were a bunch of other voice actors for other ones, but that’s who I’m focusing on because that’s my Sauron, and look, he’s got this really excellent voice for it, gravelly and awful and not really comprehensible. Benedict makes him sound like just a guy. Yeah, he’s got a deep voice and he kind of does the Batman thing, but he sounds so normal compared to Howard’s version of it, and I just despise it.
- ANGMAR!!! Is the scene where Gandalf & Beorn talk about Angmar being buried and you actually see them throwing a body into the grave in the theatrical version? Because if not, I’m so happy to be seeing it now.
- Wow, holy shit, they get to Mirkwood way too fucking fast. It’s like three seconds of travel. However, one thing I do like is how the dwarves walk through it, loud and kicking things. It reminds me of Gimli in Fangorn, which gave me a giggle.
- You literally only have to watch 18 seconds of this:
- MOTHERFUCKING LEGOLAS SURFING IN ON A SPIDER WHAT A CLASSIC ENTRANCE
- Aside: I hatehatehate that Legolas is in this. He doesn’t belong. They wanted to make money. We all collectively agreed it was a terrible decision, and we’re all mad at Peter Jackson about it. (Among other things, thank all that is holy that Christopher refused him the Silmarillion rights.) But am I unhappy for more Legolas? No.
- Literally, though? The best part of this whole movie is Thranduil.
- Fuck, Lee Pace is a gift.
- Another aside: the love triangle is STUPID. Legolas does not wear his heart on his sleeve like that. That’s just not how he works. Not to mention they were shitty to Evangeline Lilly, and that pisses me off. However, am I mad about Tauriel/Kili? No, not at all, it’s adorable.
- Oh, oh, oh! Two notes. One, the keeper of the keys guard is named Elros in the film, which is a dumbass nod to Middle-earth history, Peter, because Elros is Elrond’s brother, but he chose a mortal life, so ya boy is def dead by now, and it just confused me, it wasn’t exciting. Also, Thranduil flippantly tells Bard at one point (it’s in the next movie, whoops) to sell the Arkenstone to “Echthelion of Gondor,” and while an Ecthelion of Gondor does exist, it makes zero sense for Thranduil to have any dealings with him, and so this is likely another nod to the original Ecthelion, and again, I’m not excited, I’m angry because Thranduil & Ecthelion of Gondolin were probably friends.
- The barrel scene is as stupid as it is in the books, and I really appreciate that.
- Also, watching the elves fight is like watching ballet, it’s beautiful.
- Just kidding, the other only best thing about this movie is Bard.
- Okay, we all know that I have a type, so I definitely got chills during Thorin’s speech, but this is also the last time that I’m kind of okay with Thorin. Well, up until the end of this movie. I don’t much like him for the rest of the story after this. We’re not meant to, either, but I’m glad we got this kingly moment with him.
- OH MY GOD FUCKING DOL GULDUR
- Also, is Thrain in the theatrical version? Because I very much do not remember him, and I definitely would have since he makes me cry.
- “It never ceases to amaze me, the courage of hobbits.” SAME BALIN
- I loooooooove everything about Smaug.
- The slow unveiling of his size (which is actually quite small compared to other Middle-earth dragons), the way he talks and moves around like a cat, the absolutely gorgeous CGI. Hey, maybe the rest of the movie is such shit because Smaug is so good.
- But seriously, the Nazgûl were FINE on Weathertop with their wind-like white shapes, why did they have to be weird spectral video game things in Dol Guldur? UGH
- The ingenuity of dwarven craft is just fantastic. When they’re fighting Smaug at the end, just everything around them is so damn cool, and how they eventually defeat him (at least, for them) is genius.
- Speaking of, WHAT A DRAMA QUEEN
The Battle of Five Armies
A lot of the upcoming conflict could have just been solved if Bilbo gave Thorin the Arkenstone from the start, but nooooo, he has to take it for himself.
Okay, never mind, I’m a fool, Bard just showed up. He barely has any actual page time, just a parenthesis where he’s named. But I’m distracted by the fact that Smaug can’t get to Lake-town because they destroy the bridge.
A bridge that they’re able to destroy very quickly is supposed to be able to hold the weight of Smaug.
Granted, Smaug is literally the smallest of all dragons on Middle-earth (which is a truly terrifying thought when you think about it), but the fact that he can’t get to Lake-town because a small bridge is destroyed just makes me cackle.
Okay. Either I forgot that Smaug dies almost immediately after introduction, or I blocked it out because it’s stupid. Despite literally living for thousands of years, maintaining his rule of the mountain forever and a half, one quick trip to Lake-town and a single arrow is his downfall. Dumb. You know who wouldn’t have died that quickly?
Morgoth’s most badass, Ancalagon the black.
wait wait wait
I KNEW I COULD FIND A WAY TO INCLUDE MORGOTH IN THIS SOMEHOW
I love that the dwarves can speak to birds, but specifically, ravens. It’s just such a little, but neat, piece to put in there.
“And little food to use!” cried Bilbo, always practical on such points. In any case he felt that the adventure was, properly speaking, over with the death of the dragon–in which he was much mistaken–and he would have given most of his share of the profits for the peaceful winding up of these affairs.pg 260, The Gathering of the Clouds
I just feel like we all relate so well with Bilbo? Like yeah, I’m with ya, buddy.
ahahahahaha when the goblins come, but they can only truly travel at night, so they bring a massive cloud of bats to block out the sun with them
I FEEL THAT
Seriously, this whole thing could have been avoided if:
a) Bilbo didn’t steal the Arkenstone
b) Thorin wasn’t gold-hungry
c) everyone learned from their past mistakes and just shared
Okay, I’ve arrived at the Battle of Five Armies (which, realistically, couldn’t have been avoided by all of the above because the goblins were coming no matter what, but it’s possible Thorin, Fili, and Kili might have survived if they hadn’t been assholes and had instead worked with everyone), and it’s reminding me of that Tolkien meme about the taters because the whole thing is less than 20 pages long.
Why does Thorin die away from the battle in the movie? I can’t remember. It’s for a stupid reason, so I blocked it out. Is it because of Azog? If so, I’m pissed.
Okay, so, Gandalf knows that the Necromancer is Sauron. He finds that out for sure when he goes to Dol Guldur and finds Thráin II in the Necromancer‘s prison. But he confirms that it’s actually Sauron, so? The Necromancer isn’t “defeated” until just after the events in The Hobbit, but Gandalf finds out from Thorin’s dad that the Necromancer is Sauron. This is just me being mad because it took the White Council 91 goddamn years to listen to Gandalf!
Just a few more pages, but I’ve got to quote this:
Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
Roads go ever ever onpg 302, The Last Stage
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And threes and hills they long have known.
I just love that Tolkien is so thorough and geeky with his world that he includes songs and poems each.
Well, that’s it. I’m tired, this has been a long journey, and I’m really hyped, so onto movie thoughts!
Last time for movie thoughts! Wait, my initial movie thought is this: dear lord I can’t wait to get through this so I can finally get to LOTR.
- I do really appreciate that the Middle-earth dragons have no rules. So often, they have a certain amount of fire that they can breathe, or their bellies are their exposed bits, or what have you, but Tolkien was just like “naw they’re fucking awesome” and made them invincible. It’s wonderful.
- I know I talked about it above, but I’m angry again about it, so hi, Smaug shouldn’t have died that early. This is not a Peter Jackson flaw, it’s 100% Tolkien’s fault, and though he does a lot of incredible things, he also does things like Tom Bombadil and killing Smaug right after he’s been introduced. The whole book is about taking back Erebor and how that’s gonna be hella difficult because there’s a dragon sleeping in it. And then he dies. Via one arrow. Mind you, a very well-placed arrow by one-half of my battle husbands, Bard the bowman, who gets less than one page in the book, but whatever, but that’s it. We’re scared of Smaug the entire book, and then he’s just gone.
- Anyway, BARD THE DRAGONSLAYER
- Do I cry literally every time I think about Bard balancing the black arrow on Bain and telling him to just look at him? Yes, of course.
- Also, in case you forgot, or thought otherwise, I think Tauriel is awesome. I love her. 10/10 would follow her into battle. Every time she’s onscreen, I want to get up and scream. Heck, sometimes I do. I also rewatch a lot of her fight scenes because her choreography is stunning.
- YO FUCK IT UP ELROND’S HERE
- #sorrynotsorry but I absolutely refuse to drop any clips from Dol Guldur, so you get exactly what I want from this scene, and that’s a gif of Elrond looking epic
- IT’S LITERALLY THE WORST WHY IS THE CGI SO BAD WHY IS SAURON STUPID WHY DOES IT LOOK LIKE A VIDEO GAME FROM 2003
- UM HI
- BATTLE HUSBANDS TIME
- Thranduil & Bard carry this entire movie, fight me.
- That’s not the scene I want, but it’s late, so it’ll have to do. I was thinking about when they’re just chatting by themselves, you know, talking about where they want to honeymoon.
- I really like how they made Thorin’s sick voice sound like Smaug. I see what you did there.
- The absolutely unnecessary flair of the elves is my number one favorite thing about this stupid battle.
- Again, not entirely what I wanted, but whatever. This shows some of it, but how they move, oh my god, I’m giggling, when Thranduil is walking through them to the mountain (before Dain gets there), his stag is really big and Bard’s on a horse next to him (battle husbands), so the elves need to be farther apart than normal, and they do this adorable spinny thing to get back into line, I can’t. But also, this above scene is amazing because a) did you know Dain is played by Merida’s dad in Brave? b) THE DWARF TORNADO ARROW THINGS HAD ME REWINDING LIKE SIX TIMES c) I fucking love Dain, and I also fucking love Thranduil, so I really fucking love when:
- WHEN THE ELVES JUMP OVER THE DWARVES AND THEY ALL WORK TOGETHER
- Let’s just take the Mirkwood elves & the Ironfoot dwarves and pit them against Sauron, and the whole thing would be done in a jiffy. They’re both so goddamn efficient.
- LEE PACE
- It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone at this point that I just die over battle choreography. I’m not going to WAIT YES I AM
- Okay, that’s it. The only things that I have left to add, because the rest of the movie makes me mad, are that: (1) the Thorin/Kili/Fili death scene was just so wrong, it made no sense to take it away from everyone else, even with the added Azog storyline; it was just bad thematically (2) there was this really great post about the different hand motions of elves when they’re saying goodbye and how sad Thranduil & Legolas’ last one is, and someday I’m going to find it when it’s not midnight and I have to work in the morning because it made me cry (3) BATTLE HUSBANDS.
- Things I appreciate: Peter Jackson gave Smaug more screen time, gave Thranduil an actual name and more of a story, actually gave Bard space to be a badass.
- Things I don’t appreciate: Tolkien hated war. He suffered from it, and he lost loved ones during it. His stories are not about war. The Battle of the Five Armies is literally, like, one chapter of the entire book. It’s nowhere near what The Hobbit is about. And yes, we also made Helm’s Deep a huge portion of Two Towers, but we didn’t make it the entire movie, and I feel like it’s not only dishonorable to Tolkien, but a huge disservice to what this story is actually about. It was never meant to glorify war, and though I obviously enjoy watching the battle choreography, I also understand what Tolkien was trying to say. It’s a good idea to step outside of your comfort zone because you never know what friends you might make along the way. The Hobbit isn’t about Smaug or the Arkenstone or even Erebor, really. It’s not about Sauron returning or Thranduil being a total dick. It’s about the bond these characters form with each other, and it makes me so sad that all Peter Jackson understood was that he could make a lot of money if he focused entirely on the very small portion about war.
All that said, I think it’s only appropriate to close out everything with one of my faves, who also did not want to be part of a war.
Previously: The Unfinished Tales: Third Age | Next: J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography
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