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MigueldaRican 12-15-2012 05:25 AM

The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey
 
Some questions.

It's been about 2 decades since I've read the book, so there are some things I am not sure about.

1.) I don't remember there being some head (one armed) Orc with a score to settle between him and Thorin. Was this legit? Or did they do to the Orcs, what First Contact did to the Borg: have some main boss bad guy that the audience can identify with, and heighten the drama by adding in some personal vendetta between two principal leads.

2.) More about the second movie, I hear Cumberbatch (spelling) is supposed to voice Smaug. I don't remember Smaug having a speaking part.

Again I may be way, way off. I haven't read the book in a long, long time. I do know that Jackson is known for the changes between book and screen. However, I'm not a Purist. I really don't have a problem with changes in film adaptations as long as they don't detract from the main plot and theme of the book. And thus far, the adaptation is superb.

samwiseb 12-15-2012 09:12 AM

The dragon most definitely had a speaking part. In fact his dialogue with Bilbo is actually quite funny in places.

I don't remember the one armed 'goblin' (Tolkein didn't start calling them orcs until the Rings trilogy) either. He might be in the appendices to Rings, or just one tale in the many songs or family tree references featured throughout the books. I don't think he was technically a Hobbit character though. The warg riders that attacked the party weren't individualized. Mostly they just sang sadistically:

Fifteen birds in five firtrees,
their feathers were fanned in a fiery breeze!
But, funny little birds, they had no wings!
O what shall we do with the funny little things?

MigueldaRican 12-15-2012 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by samwiseb (Post 328088)
The dragon most definitely had a speaking part. In fact his dialogue with Bilbo is actually quite funny in places.

Yeah, I kept wrestling with that. And now I vaguely remember that he did.

I also thought it would be quite odd for Peter Jackson to create a speaking part. Thus far with these movies, he's been actually editing out dialogue. In the books the Ring Wraiths had more to say than just "Baggins..... Shire....."

It's not really a criticism. The movies are more visually stunning, and successfully rely more on the visual aspect to tell the story, but he doesn't ignore the dialogue and acting.

Quote:

Originally Posted by samwiseb (Post 328088)
'goblin' (Tolkein didn't start calling them orcs until the Rings trilogy)

That might have been another change then. I think in the Hobbit movie, they were called Orcs. By looks that's what they seemed as well. I think back and vaguely remember I was confused about the difference between orc and goblin. The movies seemed to have define them differently. The goblins were short, hunched, jumpy creatures that reminds one more of monkeys, and dwelt mostly in the caves. The orcs are the next step, walk upright, originally Elves who were "tortured and mutilated" (as indicated by Saruman) into a new race.

...

I feel supremely geeky for having this conversation.

samwiseb 12-15-2012 11:24 AM

Well certainly the orcs this time were more goblin-like in appearance.

I think Legolas referred to them as goblins when it was discovered they had overtaken Moria (I've always been confused about that too, as it seems the party both did and didn't know what they would find there. And from the new movie, it seems they should have known).

horatio 12-16-2012 03:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MigueldaRican (Post 328090)
That might have been another change then. I think in the Hobbit movie, they were called Orcs. By looks that's what they seemed as well. I think back and vaguely remember I was confused about the difference between orc and goblin. The movies seemed to have define them differently. The goblins were short, hunched, jumpy creatures that reminds one more of monkeys, and dwelt mostly in the caves. The orcs are the next step, walk upright, originally Elves who were "tortured and mutilated" (as indicated by Saruman) into a new race.

Goblin is just another word for orc, it doesn't imply in any way small orc (kinda like goblin < orc < uruk or something like that). Goblin doesn't sound as nasty as orc so that's why Tolkien probably chose it for a novel more suited to children than his second novel.

starwarsrcks 12-16-2012 08:52 AM

I'm going tonight to see The Hobbit, can't wait to see the movie.

MigueldaRican 12-16-2012 09:27 AM

The biggest change of course is the one a lot of people have trouble getting over:

The Hobbit is a book that was meant for kids. A short book.

But let's be real. I know what these movies are. It's not really "The Hobbit". It is, I mean Peter Jackson still does a good job of keeping the main story intact. But the reason why the story has been stretched, why its content is still for the same mature enough audiences as LotR, why it seems like between a third to a half of the films aren't about "The Hobbit" but seem to act more like a setup for the Lord of the Rings movies. They're prequels. Yeah, "The Hobbit" itself is a prequel, it's just the first book. But the movies are prequels in every sense of the word. They're trying to blend into a smooth transition into LotR the way "The Hobbit" book didn't.

I'm not going to flame anyone for not being on board with that. But I am. I'm actually pretty excited about how they're going to do it. I know what I'm expecting from Peter Jackson. I actually liked his changes. I've already come to the conclusion that with regards to the LotR films, they were actually better in many ways than the books.

Are they doing this for max profit? Yeah, probably. But if they want the max profit they're gonna have to give us max quality. With the first film out, seeing it as it is, whether you like it or not, I doubt you can say, "They're just trying to make a quick buck."

So far I like what they've done. I do kind of feel like the one-armed Orc is a little too "bad @$$" for this this story. But everything else seems to outshine it.

martok2112 12-16-2012 04:41 PM

Well, like I may have said before, they might not only be doing this just for big bucks and profit, but as I recall, it's been probably about some 10 years since RotK graced the big screen...and now, with this new movie, this prequel, PJ and company are probably thinking: "The fans have waited ten years for only one movie? That would seem like an injustice to them. Let's give them a substantial reward for their patience."

My roommate, who is a big time fan of the LotR books, and all others associated with them (The Hobbit, The Cimarillion....sp?) seems to think that one way Jackson could stretch out The Hobbit into a fairly decent trilogy is to utilize elements of The Cimarillion as backstory woven into scenes in The Hobbit. The Cimarillion, as I understand it, is not so much a novel to be read, but a source book of history and back story for Middle Earth.

horatio 12-16-2012 05:05 PM

I still wonder how Jackson will actually connect the novel with other Third Age material.

samwiseb 12-16-2012 10:33 PM

Well he seems to be doing a pretty impressive job with it so far.

Re the Silmarillion, I suppose you could think of it as a very distant prequel to the trilogy (unlike The Hobbit, which technically isn't a prequel having come first). However it's painted on such a broad multi-generational canvas that most of the time you can't really deal with it in visual terms. The size of it almost makes the second darkness of Suaron seem like a mere footnote by comparison (in fact the final chapter essentially covers the material that was prologue to the movie trilogy).

It's always interesting to me how fantasy stories allude to an even more magical or dangerous past then whatever is seen in the present story. I mean it's almost like "Well, okay, then why are you telling us this story instead of that one?" In the trilogy, things like the Balrog and Shelob are leftover relics from a time that predates even the War of the Ring. The implication being that Gandalf and his companions wouldn't even stand a chance of victory in a world where such things were actually commonplace. Well The Silmarillion is that larger world. Any one of its chapters could almost make a movie unto itself, if perhaps a made-for-TV movie at that. But I don't even think it's possible to adapt the whole thing. There are way too many characters, and very few speaking parts within the prose. There isn't even really a spectator's point of view; you're mostly dealing with maps and family tree diagrams just to keep yourself oriented. I've read the bloody thing twice and both times I've forgotten most of the characters and details. Maybe it's like reading all the compiled Greek myths as a history text compressed into one book. Turin Turambar is my favorite chapter, I think just because his character appeals to the devil's advocate side of my own personality.


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