Wed
Jul 25 2012 3:00pm

Five Possible Reasons that The Hobbit is Spilling Over into a Third Movie

Five Possible Reasons that The Hobbit is Spilling Over into a Third Movie

Okay, we know that The Lord of the Rings movies were long, especially with the extended versions, but Peter Jackson still managed to keep each single book down to a single corresponding film. So why, then, can he not even fit The Hobbit into two movies, but has to make it three? I have a few theories.

Note: many of these theories have now officially been confirmed by Peter Jackson as elements that he is specifically looking into in the creation of the third Hobbit film. The Necromancer’s rise, the Battle Dol Guldur, and more on Gandalf’s part in the tale were all brought up in the link provided. Speculation time!

 

1) The Necromancer

In the book, we don’t get to see where Gandalf goes off to when he abandons Thorin and Company on the edge of Mirkwood, but we know from the LotR appendices and some of Tolkien’s notes that the wizard left to lead an assault upon the Necromancer in his lair at Dol Guldur, in the heart of Mirkwood. Mirkwood wasn’t always called Mirkwood, after all—it used to be Greenwood the Great, and it was only after the Necromancer’s arrival and the result of his influence there that the elves renamed the forest Mirkwood. That was when it became the dangerous place that the dwarves and Bilbo had to travel through.

We’ve seen clips in the trailer of Gandalf wandering carefully through some creepy gray stone ruins, and one has to assume that there will be a big confrontation between him and the Necromancer. (Possibly in the tradition of that epic Gandalf v. Saruman smackdown in Fellowship? Or something even more terrifying?) The fact that Benedict Cumberbatch is playing Smaug makes it logical to cast him in another voice-acting role within the movie (just as John Rhys-Davies played Gimli and voiced Treebeard) but once you have that voice and that talent, why not use it to its fullest? Will we see only one scene with the Necromancer, or will there be several? Is the scene we’ve glimpsed in the trailer that first time Gandalf snuck into Dol Guldur (no one knew who the Necromancer really was—although the Wise suspected it was one of the Nazgul—until Gandalf snuck in and discovered that it was actually Sauron) and is it possible that we may also see the battle itself, with all the strength of the elves and wizards thrown against the growing shadow of Sauron?

 

2) The White Council

That being said, it seems likely that some aspect of rising of Sauron plot line will be explored. Obviously, Hugo Weaving is reprising his role as Elrond, since the dwarves stay at Rivendell “The Last Homely House,” in The Hobbit, but we also know that we will see Galadriel and Saruman, both members of The White Council, as well as Sylvester McCoy as Radgast the Brown who—as a wizard of Gandalf’s order—was probably also part of the council. Sadly, there is no casting of Círdan to confirm my suspicions, but it still seems pretty likely.

There is so much opportunity for exploring and foreshadowing The Lord of the Rings here that was never included in the actual story of The Hobbit, because Tolkien was adding all his foreshadowing and tie-ins retroactively (i.e. the changes he made to the riddle game once he decided that Bilbo’s magic ring should be the through-line of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings). But Jackson’s movie-going audience has already watched The Lord of the Rings, and now gets to travel back in time, so to speak. We’re ravenous for those details, those ironic hints of the story we know is to come. Remember how the trailer ends, with Gollum hovering over Bilbo in an all too familiar way, and that perfect shot of the ring?

 

3) Lazy Lob and Crazy Cob

While The Lord of the Rings is a war story, The Hobbit is really just a questing story, and it is likely that Peter Jackson will want to give each adventure Bilbo has along his way a good amount of screen time. The incident with the spiders in Mirkwood could, of course, be cut down or even out to save time in the film, but it’s also good enough to be given as much attention as Bilbo’s encounters with Smaug or the final battle in Lake Town. Indeed, I enjoyed most of Bilbo’s adventures more than that battle, which in some ways seemed to be a convenient manner of getting everyone to stop arguing about gold and end the trek with the proper battle these stories usually have. It might be wonderful to spend a full half hour just watching the dwarves try to navigate Mirkwood, and another forty minutes in the Elvenking’s hall watching the dwarves be stubborn and the Elves get drunk... but then again, that will start to make the movies pretty long, pretty quickly. Jackson’s audience is used to long stories, however, and he has shown that he’s not one for leaving out the details.

 

4) Tauriel, Daughter of the Forest

Tolkien’s works are rich in pretty much everything except female characters, but at least The Lord of the Rings had Arwen and Eowyn, whose roles could be—and, in Arwen’s case, were—expanded upon in places to give these ladies more to do. Not so in The Hobbit, so Peter Jackson is adding a whole new character, Tauriel. We don’t know much about her besides the fact that she is from Mirkwood and will be played by Evangeline Lilly, but Peter Jackson wouldn’t add a brand new female character without giving her a full story, so she probably is going to be doing more than arresting dwarves in Mirkwood or following Gandalf to the battle with the Necromancer.

 

5) The Story of Gandalf

It is one thing to have Frodo know Gandalf as an old family friend, which, at that point, he was. But how did Bilbo come to know Gandalf in the first place, and, more importantly, what was it in Bilbo that caught Gandalf’s eye? In the book, the wizard is known in Hobbiton, but hasn’t been seen for a long time—Bilbo does remember the fireworks and Gandalf’s stories, and Gandalf clearly knew Bilbo’s mother. Although I doubt there will be much exploration into that old family history, there is a tie between the two of them that could be explored.

Jackson also seems to be establishing something of a connection between Galadriel and Gandalf. It’s only a flash in the trailer, but the sadness in his face as she lifts her hand to touch him seems very vulnerable, and very personal. In The Unfinished Tales it is suggested that the wizards are basically angels, beings called Maiar sent by the Valar (the gods) to help and protect Middle-Earth. Sauron and Saruman were two of these, both fallen eventually to evil. What is it about Gandalf that sets him apart, and what does Galadriel know about him? Círdan was said to be the only elf who knew who the wizards really were, but given the audience’s previous knowledge of Galadriel and her position in The Lord of the Rings films as the one who sees the farthest and knows the most, it would make sense if she carried this knowledge in film-verse.

 

Of course, there are lots of other options for scenes to fill up the movie. Will we spend an hour following the goblins around their caves in the Misty Mountains? Will Elrond finally lose his temper with his know-it-all mother-in-law, Galadriel? Will we actually get to see a hobbit eat second breakfast? Let me know what you think in the comments below!


Kelsey Ann Barrett is a brooklyn-based reader and writer who prefers her stories epic and her narrative verbose. You can follow her on Twitter and read her first published short story in Lightspeed Magazine.

104 comments
Lee VanDyke
1. Cloric
I thought the third movie rumor had been quashed? Has it now been confirmed that Jackson is expanding from 2 movies to 3 for a fairly short book? If so, I think you're missing a pretty big reason for a third movie: the almighty dollar.
Christopher Hatton
2. Xopher
In The Silmarillion it's pretty explicit that the Istari (Wizards) are Maiar. Sauron is a Maia but was never one of the Istari.
Charles Moore
3. Shadeofpoe
1) The Necromancer

They have previously released that he is going to be leading the Orc army at the Battle of Five Armies, so we finally get to see that Gandalf/Sauron smack down that we kind of got to see with the Witch-King breaking the staff in the extended cut.

But to be honest I really don't see a need to continue into three films. I didn't think that 2 was needed for Bilbo's story. I'm with The Mary Sue on this one, get Bilbo home, then if you want to show the fall of Numenor or, god forbid, Glorfindel kickin Balrog ass, then make another movie. Don't call it The Hobbit.
cheem
4. cheem
6) Slow motion dwarven funeral+homecoming scene encompassing last 50 minutes of the series. If the series was only two movies, the last movie would be 4 hours long because of this, so they'll split it into two palatable chunks.
Christopher Hatton
5. Xopher
May I add that I hate Steve Jackson? His stupid Star Wars and Indiana Jones references, not to mention the orc-surfing and for gods' sakes dwarf-tossing jokes, are enough to make me think he won't treat this material any more respectfully...especially since The Hobbit is by nature a much lighter book.

And the fact that he cut the Scouring of the Shire in favor of long, boring battle sequences and (for example) that long, stupid scene showing all the beacons being lit, shows that Jackson really had no fundamental idea what TLOTR was even about. From this point of view the relative simplicity of The Hobbit in both plot and theme works in its favor, but the fact that he's making it into at least two movies worries me that he's going to turn it into some kind of war epic, which is really not the kind of story it is at all.
cheem
6. SF
The Necromancer and the White Council are, I think, already confirmed to be in the two movies. And I think Cumberbatch is supposed to be voicing the Necromancer. There's a lot of information about this over at TheOneRing.net.

The Dol Guldur footage in the trail is, I think, from when Gandalf finds Thrain in the Necromancer's dungeons, prior to when the main plot of The Hobbit gets going. That's just a guess, though.

@1 Cloric: The third movie idea was quashed a long time ago, but Jackson started talking about it again at Comic-Con, saying he had enough footage that, with some more shooting next year, he could complete a third film. And now Warner Bros. seems very interested in a third film, and are discussing it with Jackson.

Could go either way right now. Too soon to say.
Charles Moore
7. Shadeofpoe
@Xopher

*wipes tear from eye, starts slow clap

You sir, are magnificent.
Christopher Hatton
8. Xopher
SF, are you saying that The Hobbit will be concluded in two movies, but there might be another Tolkien-based movie?
cheem
10. SF
@5 Xopher: Peter Jackson. Steve Jackson makes RPGS.

"And the fact that he cut the Scouring of the Shire in favor of long, boring battle sequences and (for example) that long, stupid scene showing all the beacons being lit, shows that Jackson really had no fundamental idea what TLOTR was even about. "

I think cutting the Scouring of the Shire was a good choice in terms of the film's structure, and how it plays as a film rather than a book. The audience would not have sat still for a whole 'nother section of plot like that, not in a film. He could have cut one or two of the ending sequences, maybe. (Though I think those work when you watch all three films from start to finish in one sitting.) Even then, I don't think that would make room for the Scouring of the Shire. And they did at least nod to it at one point.

Jackson has always made it clear that he considers the films to be his interpretations of the books. So, presumably, there were parts and elements of the book that spoke to him as a long-time fan, and there was a subset of those parts and elements that he felt he could translate into cinema.

I'd say it's less accurate to say he has no fundamental idea what the books are about, and more accurate to say that Jackson , and Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh, who co-wrote the scripts with him, have a different idea than you do. Or have a different notion about how best to express that idea cinematically.

Losing the Scouring changes things somewhat, but not fatally, in my opinion. Then again, I didn't find the battle sequences boring, and thought the beacon lighting sequence was one of the most moving things I've ever seen in a film. So I'm probably looking at this from a different perspective than you.
cheem
11. StrongDreams
I would like to see a 2 movie Hobbit story and a third movie made up of appendix material. Heaven knows there is a lot of material there to work with -- the division of Gondor and the fall of the northern kingdom, the rangers, Azog and Moria, the rangers, etc. But I really don't want Bilbo's journey to be dragged out across 3 movies.

(I think Jackson only has access to LOTR and Hobbit, incuding appendices, but not anything in Silmarillion or Lost Tales or anything else. Still a gold mine.)

@Xopher, I agree that the scouring of the shire was thematically important, almost anything else could have been trimmed to make room for it.
cheem
12. SF
@8 Xopher: Right now, no one knows. Could go either way, if the third movie goes forward. The discussions between Jackson and Warners are happening right now. TORN is probably the best place to go for up to date news on this.
cheem
13. ClintACK
I've never understood the idea of taking a full length novel and trying to cram it into a 2 hour movie. The story length is just *wrong* for that to work. It works with some short YA type novels (like the first Harry Potter, or Hunger Games), but otherwise the best film adaptations are typically from short stories, not novels. (See anything adapted from Phillip K. Dick, for example.)

To do a proper treatment of an epic fantasy novel, something like HBO's Game of Thrones is a much more appropriate length to get everything in there.

I'm glad to see Peter Jackson refusing to cut down the Hobbit to fit a two-hour format. Literally *all* of my complaints about LOTR had to do with things he was forced to omit. (The whole take-home message of the trilogy was lost, in my opinion, when we lost the scouring of the Shire.)

Xopher--- it's Peter Jackson, not Steve Jackson. (Is it fantasy football season already?) But, unfortunately I share your worries. The guy who made Gimli into a joke (a comedic foil for Legolas rather than a heroic one) is now making a movie with thirteen dwarves at the heart of the tale? We'll see. But I'm cautiously optimistic.
Christopher Hatton
14. Xopher
@SF Aaaaarggh!!! You're right of course. I love STEVE Jackson!

Oh for an Edit button... *beats self with stick*
Anthony Pero
15. anthonypero
Heaven forbid that a film should in anyway deviate from a book that inspires it, in spite of the fact that the two mediums are completely different.

At least in the theatre I was sitting in, the lighting of the beacons drew loud applause, because the shot was breathtaking, and it fit the emotion of the scene perfectly.

Movies are not books.
Anthony Pero
16. anthonypero
That being said, I completely agree on the other post: this is about the box office numbers. Nothing else.
cheem
17. Jaybird
OMG they already made three crappy, poorly acted, under-directed movies with no cohesive, compelling narrative... now they are making THREE more?
cheem
18. SF
@11 StrongDreams:

"I think Jackson only has access to LOTR and Hobbit, incuding appendices, but not anything in Silmarillion or Lost Tales or anything else. Still a gold mine."

That's my understanding as well, though I think it's Unfinished Tales rather than Lost Tales they don't have access to. Or maybe both.

Here's some comments on the subject by film scholar Kristin Thompson, who wrote a book on pretty much all aspects of the making of the original film trilogy:
http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?do=post_view_threaded;post=470646;sb=post_time;so=DESC;guest=27733529

http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?do=post_view_threaded;post=470701;sb=post_time;so=DESC;guest=27733529
Christopher Hatton
19. Xopher
But (having now read the rest of your comment), I cannot agree about the Scouring. Helm's Deep was hugely overblown (with frex thousands of Elves instead of...one), and many other scenes were drawn out way too far. Some things didn't need to be done at all. But the Scouring is the central point of the entire book, according to Tolkien; it also shows hobbits for what they really are, instead of what they tend to seem at the beginning of the book.
Christopher Hatton
20. Xopher
anthonypero, I agree, movies are not books. Whenever anyone walking out of a movie says "the book was better," I say "that's because books are better than movies." That's the flip version; what I really mean is that the imagination of an intelligent reader creates a world so richly detailed that even the latest CGI can't possibly match it.
Christopher Hatton
21. Xopher
Oh, and the first beacon or two was great. Then I started to think "OK, Peter, we get it already."
Michael Grosberg
22. Michael_GR
He's most definitely NOT making three movies. Just two. And we don't know how long each one is. The Hobbit is, after all, a tale aimed at a younger audience than LOTR. it could be that each installment is shorter.
cheem
23. Gardner Dozois
The lighting of the beacons scene was one of my favorite scenes in all the LOTR movies. I agree that some of the battles, noteably Helm's Deep, went on too long, and I too missed the Scouring of the Shire, but it's hard to see how they could have worked it in without adding another hour AFTER the ostensible Big Climax of the film had already happened; as it was, the ending scenes went on too long. Works in the books, don't think it would have worked on the screen.

I too am leery about trying to stretch THE HOBBIT, a slender book, into three separate movies, and instinctively feel it would work better as one long movie. We'll just have to see.
cheem
24. SF
@22 Michael_GR: "He's most definitely NOT making three movies. Just two."

The trade press is reporting that Jackson's in discussion with Warner Bros. about the possibility of a third film, and about the logistics (signing the cast, budgeting, etc.). So for the moment, nothing is definite.

@19, 20 Xopher:

Like I said, I'm looking at it from a different perspective from you. That's okay, there are plenty who would agree with you. What do you think of the old BBC radio adaptations?

"... books are better than movies."

Now there, our perspectives are definitely different. Depends on which books, and which movies, but generally, I much prefer film to literature. 
Heidi Breton
25. AnemoneFlynn
While I wished for the Scouring of the Shire scene to be included, overall I was very happy with the LOTR movies - they were fantastically well-made. The beacon section was great, and I still get chills every time the ghost army comes off the boats and engages in battle.

The biggest reason I wouldn't be happy with three Hobbit movies is that all this time I've been looking forward to watching the whole thing at once - and now it's going to be spread out? I hate that. I don't want to wait a year in between each section. >.
cheem
26. Tehanu
@Xopher: agree with you about the Scouring; LOTR is about the hobbits, not about Aragorn becoming king (although he is my favorite character). Therefore the big climax should have been the hobbits taking back the Shire and showing that they had grown enough to be able to defeat Saruman. It could've been done. Disagree about the beacons sequence, it was absolutely gorgeous and visual -- although also open to criticism in that putting them on top of really high mountains was, shall we say, a bit impractical!
j p
27. sps49
I can second Jackson missing the point with three words-

Henneth Annûn/ Osgiliath.
Dave Thompson
28. DKT
If they're going to split the Hobbit into three movies, I'm skeptical, but I'll wait to see what Jackson does with it. LotR was some of the best epic fantasy filmmaking I've ever seen.

I do hope they keep the Hobbit as two movies, and then do something different (based primarily on the appendices- something with Aragorn) for a third movie - well, that sounds way more natural to me.

Either way, I'll give Jackson the benefit of the doubt until I see them.
Sky Thibedeau
29. SkylarkThibedeau
The Hobbit Book III:The Search for More Money. I think Yogurt nails this one.


What Jackson and Pippa should do is write the Story of Beren and Luthien which is just touched on briefly in the Silmarillion. They could expand both characters and have a kick butt trilogy with Balrogs and Morgoth and Dragons in addition to Sauron as a whimpering sycophant werewolf.
cheem
30. Michael S. Schiffer
The rights to any Silmarillion, etc. material isn't going to find its way into Jackson's hands while Christopher Tolkien lives, at least, so that's not really an option. Only rights that JRRT sold while alive need apply. (Which is as far as I know just LotR and The Hobbit.)
Sanctume Spiritstone
31. Sanctume
Maybe they can remake Willow into the 3rd Hobbit movie instead?
Anthony Pero
32. anthonypero
I actually read all of Lucas' books based on the Willow-verse. They were good stories. I wouldn't mind seeing Willow redone as a trilogy based on those books. If nothing else, it would keep Lucas from tinkering with Star Wars for a few years.
Michael Ikeda
33. mikeda
My view on the Scouring is that it's probably the only book sequence that absolutely had to be cut from the LoTR movies.

There simply isn't any reasonable way to include that long a sequence after the main movie climax. Even as it is, the ending is bordering on being too long without having anything substantial that can really be cut.
Anthony Pero
34. anthonypero
Tom Bombadil had to be cut as well. It WOULD have been cut from the books if they were written today. I imagine nearly any editor would insist on it. And I bet the Scouring of the Shire would have been half as long if written today. Maybe even a third as long.

We constantly hold of LOTR as a great novel, and it is, of course. But its a MESS by today's standards. It would never have been published in its current form. Like many things, LOTR is a work of CREATIVE genious, but it is NOT a stellar example of technique and form. Like many other things, works of today surpass works of yesterday in technique, because we learn from both the mistakes AND successes of those before us. Creativity is another matter entirely, of course.
cheem
35. Gardner Dozois
I'm one of those who really liked the Tom Bombadil section of the book--but, for all the heat Peter Jackson has taken for the decision, I think there's little or no doubt that it had to be cut from the film. What works on the page doesn't always work on the screen. Not only would a Bombadil section been much too long, derailing the main line of the action just at the point where it was starting to gain momentum, but there is no way they could have filmed Tom Bombadil without making him look silly. At one point, they were considering Robin Williams for the role--can you imagine Robin Williams, dressed all in green and yellow, capering around, dancing a merry jig while singing, "Hey down, merry down, me hearties!" He would have come across like a bizarre cross between a pirate and the Lucky Charms leprecaun, and the audiences would have dissolved in laughter.
cheem
36. SJD
It has been a while, but if I remember my lore correctly, the Gandalf/Galadrial thing might have something to do along the lines of the council. Elrond, Galadrial, and Gandalf have the 3 Elven Rings, the ones that were never corrupted. Elrond has the Ring of Water, which is why he can summon the water horses to aid Frodo and the others at the river. Galadrial has Wind, which explains her dark and windy outburst when Frodo offers her the ring. Gandalf has the ring of Fire, given to him by the original Elf owner before they left Middle-Earth.
Alan Brown
37. AlanBrown
I myself think that the movies may expand from two to three just because this is a labor of love for Mr. Jackson. And more power to him, as the first three films were exceedingly well crafted and a joy to watch!
Steve Taylor
38. teapot7
Xopher wrote:

> I hate Steve Jackson?

How are you on Peter Jackson?

> And the fact that he cut the Scouring of the Shire in favor of long, boring battle sequences

Completely agreed - for me the scouring of the shire is what LOTR is actually *about* - it's one of the last thing's I'd cut.

> and (for example) that long, stupid scene showing all the beacons being lit,

Though I quite like the bit with the beacons.
cheem
39. I can't think of an alias
Jackson is clearly trying to deal with making a comercially sucessful movie for a modern audience. He is also doing the books in reverse order (LOTR then Hobbit). Given that, the Hobbit must be changed from a light-hearted children's adventure story to the prequel for the very adult end-of-the-world LOTR. As written, the two stories are so different in tone that anybody who hasn't read the books would be shocked by the Hobbit if it came to the screen exactly as written.

I always gave Jackson a B for the LOTR movies. Which is an incredible performance as the story is almost impossible to translate straight to film. I had no problem with cutting Bombadil, and little with the Scouring (something had to give and, as mentioned, the long codas after the Ring's destruction were too much for movie audiences even without the Scouring). However, I didn't love Jackson's elves. I wish the Noldor had truely been as magical as the books, but that may be beyond any film-maker. But the real sin are things like Saruman and Gandalf throwing each other around Orthanc, Saruman sending lightning at the Fellowship and Gandalf healing Theoden with a spell, which all unnecessarily warped the book's subtleties. The Wizards and Sauron worked their magic through influence, temptation, intimidation, deceit and inspiration, not spells. Remember, Saruman's most dangerous weapon was his voice. It is one thing to adjust structure, pacing and language, but it is another to change fundamental elements.

Unfortunately, I'm guessing Jackson's Hobbit will be even farther from Tolkien than LOTR was.
cheem
40. SKM
I, for one, didn't miss the Scouring of the Shire one bit in the films. That chapter was a classic case of "author's reach exceeds his grasp." Yes, I saw what Tolkien was going for, but what he achieved instead was poorly-handled anticlimax. Also, I think the "war changes you/you can't go home again" theme comes through much more powerfully if the change is internal (as in the film), not external (as in the book).

Tolkien was a genius, but he wasn't perfect by any means...and the Scouring was one of the places it really showed.
john mullen
41. johntheirishmongol
Books and movies are two genres which share some relationships but also have some huge differences. Movies are primarily visual, so you need to have visuals that work. You also can't run a lot of different story lines in a single movie. There just isn't the time.

Books are a mental exercise, and you can include some things that just don't make it in movies. The most obvious is that you can see the actual thought of the characters, their reasoning and their inner reactions.

What Peter Jackson did with the books was amazing, since, truthfully, the books were a little bit all over the place. He put together a main story line and kept it moving, even when the characters separated. I didn't miss the scouring, or Bombadil. My only quibble was about who actually throws the ring in the volcano
Doc Tobin
42. thegooddoctor
money is the reason the studio will agree to the extra movie, but the reason why peter jackson wants to do it is because he's a lousy filmmaker. he's already butchered the lord of the rings. i have a secret hope that all the problems in the first trilogy will be fixed in the hobbit. maybe jackson has learned from his mistakes.

my expectation are low.
Lyle Caldwell
43. Tower_of_Ganja
Somewhere in the canon (in I think the Appendices) it said that Galadriel originally wanted Gandalf to lead the White Council. She saw something in Gandalf/Olorin. And Cirdan gave the ring of fire to Gandalf.

Hmm, if he knew, that would have really pissed Saruman off..
cheem
44. peachy
Aragorn's pre-LOTR life would provide enough material for another film - his adventures in Rohan & Gondor as 'Thorongil', his travels in the East, the hunt for Gollum etc - which would not only fill in his background, but illuminate other things, like Denethor's motivations in LOTR. (Which aren't really adequately explained even in the books until you get to the appendices.)
cheem
45. Gardner Dozois
I must admit that it makes me somewhat uneasy that they've invented a "Tauriel, Daughter of the Forest" to put into the movie. I hope they're smart enough not to have her be the love-interest for Bilbo!

(Actually, my guess is that she'll be the love-interest for the leader of the Laketown folk. Brand, was that his name? Which means that we'll need space in the films for their Romantic Arc.)
cheem
46. Catalyst
What about dear old Thom Bombadillo? Surely that would be a scene or two in there?
Constance Sublette
47. Zorra
The lighting of the beacons was so stupid. Above cloud cover. Nobody below could even see them.
cheem
48. Johanna V-U
How about Gloin's love story? Gimli's mother must be somewhere after all. One of the original thirteen dwarves might very well be a dwarf woman in disguise, for example either Ori, Nori or Dori.
cheem
49. Grouchybastid
Gardner Dozois wrote:
"I must admit that it makes me somewhat uneasy that they've invented a "Tauriel, Daughter of the Forest" to put into the movie. I hope they're smart enough not to have her be the love-interest for Bilbo!"

Couldn't agree with you more. My least favorite bit in LotR was the expanded Arwen role. I can't begin to see where a newly-created charater would fit in The Hobbit. We'll have to wait and see, I guess.

(And the hero of Laketown was Bard. Brand was his dad's name)
cheem
50. Daniel R. Robichaud
Sorry, Gardner, but I hope this Tauriel character isn't a love-interest at all. I don't believe it's too much to ask for a fully realized female character whose purpose isn't simply love-interest...
cheem
51. Gardner Dozois
When a character who doesn't exist in a book is injected into the film of the book, and is being played by a pretty young woman, the idea that she's being put in to provide a Love or Romance interest is not an unreasonable one. Particularly when the book in question doesn't HAVE a romance element in the first place.
cheem
52. Felix Lizarraga
@Xopher

I enjoyed the LOTR immensely, both at the cinema and at home. And I think a lot of the changes were necessary --like fleshing out Aragorn and Arwen's story, blowing up the big battles for eye candy and enhanced drama, and so forth. And I think I get what Jackson was doing with sequences like the beacons one --just trying to make us feel the cosmic scope of this war.

That said, I completely agree that somewhere along the line PJ's priorities got askew. Completely eliminating main plot points like Saruman's death from the theatrical cut, for instance --not to mention Eowyn's fate-- in favor of dragging battle scenes was just wrong, no matter how you look at it. I picked those two items off the top of my head --the list can be a loooong one.

In the beginning, I tended to agree that eliminating the Scourging of the Shire was a necessary evil. Now... I don't know. A few seconds less of each fighting scene could have given us at least an extra half hour for that and more.
cheem
53. g127
@51 But there already is a romance element. What about Bilbo and Thorin..
cheem
54. Felix Lizarraga
@g127

Ewwwwwwww!!!!
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55. Gardner Dozois
The problem with filming the Scourging of the Shire was not so much overall running time--for, as you point out, a lot of time could have been saved with a few judicious cuts here and there--but with the fact that AFTER the Big Climax of Sauron being overthrown, you then have to start again with what would amount to a whole new plot, with a new menace to fight. In a film, I don't think it would have gone over well, especially for those who hadn't read the books. As it was, after the fall of Sauron, people were ready for the movie to be over, and were impatiently gathering up their coats while waiting for the final coda scenes (of which there were too many) to play out.
Anthony Pero
56. anthonypero
@Zorra:

Um... The people who needed to see the beacon (the next beacon) were ALSO above cloud cover... not sure what your point was.
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57. Rhysanus
Tauriel will end up being a love interest for Brand. I am good with an added movie and I hope that he goes inven further and decides to do the
Silmarillion in movie forms. There is no such thing as too many movies as far as middle earth and Jackson's involment in bringing it to life are concerned.
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58. Kenny Walters
From many of the comments, I notice the following complaints:

1) Jackson didn't include some part of the LOTR novels that I think necessary to the story.

2) Deviation one iota from what Tolkien wrote is bad.

3) As a novice movie critic, I feel I know more about acting, directing, and cinematography than the actors, Peter Jackson, et al.

Frankly, all these complaints can be summed up due to gross ignorance of cinema and how it works. Pacing is extremely, extremely important in movies. Books can afford to be more leisurely and take a chapter or two "off plot" or even to have the ultimate ending story go in a direction completely different from where it appeared the main body of the story was headed. Certain parts of the books just would not fit into the movies and other parts needed to be expanded upon. Tom Bombadil, while wonderful in the books, did not fit the movie. The Scouring of the Shire, while extremely important to the books, was not necessary in terms of the movie. The climax of RoTK (the movie) is the ring being destroyed, period. People complain about the length of Helm's Deep (which was used to climax The Two Towers and thus needed some fleshing out) and some other stuff, and yet call for a part of the story that would not fit into the film at all and would've needed about an hour to tell in the first place.

This is not to say I agreed with every change, but many of them I could understand why a film director would make the changes due to it being a visual medium as opposed to literature. I never went into the films expecting them to be the source material and maybe that's why some of you were so disappointed. You have Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Jackson's Lord of the Rings. Tolkien is superior, of course, but Jackson's take on the story isn't that bad. Certainly beats being made to watch Harry Potter, Twilight, or any of that other junk that passes for popular cinema these days.

In all honesty, if it bothered you that much, my suggestion to you is to not watch The Hobbit films. You're only going to make yourselves more bitter.
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59. g127
@58I loved the LOTR movies: they are still among the best epic movies ever made. That being said: there are some things I'd didn't like. The Ents looked wrong, somehow and I hated the green smoke-ghosts in the ROTK. I'm not a movie-maker or director: I wouldn't know how to do a better job. But I can appreciate a work of cinema, in spite of it's flaws. Just because people critique a product, doens't mean they don't like it.
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60. Len Goldstein
I've heard the first film is 'The Hobbit' entire the second is the battle against the Neoromacer. The third ought to be an adaptation of 'The Silmarillion' I believe Peter, Fran and Phillippa can do it justice.
Alex L
61. Quercus
Cutting Tom Bombadil and the Scouring were reasonable decisions. Interpolating made-up crap and clunky dialogue that ignored the source material, characters, themes and chronology was not reasonable. I'm not hopeful for the Hobbit adaptation...
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62. Gardner Dozois
@60 Except, as somebody pointed out upstream, the production company doesn't own the rights to THE SILMARILLION, and so can't film anything from it.
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63. Felix Lizarraga
@Gardner Dozois

You have a good point there.

And by the way, are you THE Gardner Dozois, or is that just a moniker? :-)
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64. Felix Lizarraga
@g127

I didn't like the way the Ents looked either, nor the green ghosts or the stupid pointy ears they gave the Elves (sorry, Cate Blanchett). And, in fact, almost nothing looked in the movie the way I saw it in my mind. But, you know what? Nothing ever could have lived up to that impossible standard.

I remember hating when they cast Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn. Now, three movies later, he's the ultimate Aragorn in my mind. I still hate the green ghosts and the Elves' ears, but I also understand why they are there --they had to make the Elves stand out, and they had to make the ghosts very different from Nazgul and Orcs and whatnot.
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65. Gardner Dozois
For better or worse, I'm THE Gardner Dozois, or at least the only one I've ever heard of. I can't imagine why anyone would want to use my name as a moniker.
S Tieh
66. infinitieh
I really hope Tauriel isn't going to be a love interest for anyone. Besides, I don't recall any female Elves with mortal men except for maybe the three (Beren and Lúthien, Idril and Tuor, and Arwen and Aragorn). I don't see how Peter Jackson is going to add another line of half-elven to the stories since these couplings led to major players.

I'm fine with Peter Jackson's take on the LOTR trilogy. I'm just glad he left out most of the songs (which I skipped while reading anyway).
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67. Cthulhu-boy
I know that much was changed from the books to the films. I always felt that the Scouring of the Shire (while important) was anti-climactic. Removing Old Man Willow and Tom Bombadil didn't bother me either.

But I did miss the Barrow Wights. I felt that it was a fine example of what the Hobbits were truly capable of, and as a reward for their bravery they earned their own weapons instead of Aragorn tossing a few blades their way.

I guess my only complaint about PJs LotR trilogy is the insanity of Super-Legolas (he can walk across snow, he can beat a dwarf in a drinking game, he can fire off more arrows in 5 seconds than the opposing forces, etc.)
Michael Ikeda
68. mikeda
infinitieh@66

There were other relationships between Elves and Men aside from the three listed in LoTR. In the chapter "The Last Debate", Legolas recognizes that Imrahil has elven ancestry (presumably from a Silvan elf or elves). What LoTR says (in Appendix A) is that there were "three unions of the Eldar and the Edain". Note that the residents of Esgaroth are NOT of the Edain. At least not of those that crossed into Beleriand.

Cthulhu-boy@67

The walking across snow, at least, is directly from the books: "let a ploughman plow, but choose an otter for swimming, and for running light over grass and leaf, or over snow--an Elf" (from the chapter"The Ring Goes South).
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69. Anthony99
Personally I felt that the Scouring of the Shire could probably make an excellent short fourth film for LoTR. It could comfortably fit into a couple of hours and woudl round it off nicely.

Three for the Hobbit would be too many. And I really have concerns about an additional love-interest. It just doesn't gel.
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70. Felix Lizarraga
@ Gardner Dozois

As for monikers, you never know.

It's a GREAT pleasure to exchange words with you. I am very familiar with your work as a kickass SF editor. Haven't really read your own stuff. Maybe it's time. Keep it up, man! :-)
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71. Gardner Dozois
Well, my latest collection, WHEN THE GREAT DAYS COME, is available as an ebook...
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72. Felix Lizarraga
@ Gardner Dozois

I already bought it yesterday. ;-)
Bill Reamy
73. BillinHI
Having just seen Brave, I hope Jackson gives Beorn some screen time in his bear form! And they showed a preview for The Hobbit. I hope they do the whole Misty Mountain song: the bit they showed was killer!!

As for Turiel, I don't have high hopes. It would be okay, obviously, if Jackson, Boyens and Walsh were writing an original story, but I really don't see the need for an added character, just to have a female presence in the movie.

And for LOTR, really the only way they could have put everything in the movies was to have done them as a (not-so-)mini-series. I would love to have seen that, even Tom Bombadil. But Robin Williams as Bombadil? Eeewwwww!!!
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74. mdf
I don't get horrifically upset at film adaptations from books that I don't like (or, at least, that they are good adaptations--bad movies are a nuther matter). I don't expect movies to be the definitive visual verson of a book. That privilege goes to my own imagination. Movies, imho, are basically filmic fan fiction. To hate them is to imply that the only valid interpretation is our own, which, amusingly, is still a step away from the author's.

I, for one, would love to see what happened at Dol Guldur. As a kid, I held out hope that JRRT had written the story and (like the Silmarillon) had not gotten around to pulling it together for publication. I don't blame Jackson if he's going there---lots of cool stuff happened that is merely mentioned in the books.

As I mulled some of the comments here, I stumbled on a line of thought that might explain some of the frustations people experience. Tolkien wrote in two veins: histories of places and stories of individuals. They have impact on each other, but they are different things. I think what we see in the films is Jackson's choices on which to emphasize.

Frex, I recall reading that JRRT decided that the Hobbit was a strategy to eliminate Smaug. Once the White Council knew Sauron was back, Gandalf didn't want him to have access to a weapon like Smaug. So which story should Jackson tell? Is the printed publication a sacred text of Bilbo's journey and the author's unwritten larger history ignored? Is including a major battle (with major stars reprising roles) a nod to fans or a cynical money-making operation.

Why can't it be both?

Seeing Cate Blanchette as Galadriel throwing down the walls and baring the pits of Dol Guldur has got to be worth the price of admission.
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75. Gardner Dozois
The problem with Robin Williams doing Tom Bombadil is that he probably wouldn't have been able to resist slipping a couple of Jack Nicholson impressions into his dialog...

Along the lines of what mdf is saying, I've tried to read THE SILMARILLON a couple of times, and could never get into it. I finally figured out what the problem was--no hobbits. Although they're obstensibly not humans, the hobbits are the gateway into the trilogy for human readers. They're the ones the most like us, interested in eating and drinking and dancing and leading ordinary, commonsense, practical lives; seeing through their eyes allows us to get into the material. LOTR told without hobbits, all talking-head Lords and Ladies and Kings, would not have worked--and I found the parts of both books and movies that didn't have the hobbits in them to be the dullest. Plus, you need to bring the reader from a place of pastoral everyday life and peace (the Shire) to a place of wildness and danger and life-or-death Court affairs and politics if the contrast is going to work, and the hobbits are going to have a place to long to get back to when things look darkest.
Anthony Pero
76. anthonypero
@Gardner,

Interestingly enough, I'm the opposite. I've reread the Silmarillion far more times than LOTR--and I've never re-read the Hobbit.

It probably comes as no surprise that I suffer from World-builder's disease, eh?
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77. dbnob777
Too bad the rights aren't there - Beren and Luthien would make a great story on screen. That tale was probably dearest to Tolkien himself anyway.

Great Idea from Anthony99 - it would make a good short film for extra content on all it's own... scouring of the shire that is - or rather it would have had they not chosed to end Saruman in the way they did in the movie.

Also, to SJD above who said "Galadrial has Wind, which explains her dark and windy outburst when Frodo offers her the ring"
Wind?? - windy scene at the pool aside - I thought her ring was called the Ring of Adamant? not wind.
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78. Gardner Dozois
Galadrial always has wind, but calling it the Ring of Farting didn't sound exotic enough.
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79. General Vagueness
It already looked like this was going to deviate significantly from the book and having that confirmed and finding out it's going to go farther than that... I'm just having trouble respecting the people making it.
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80. (still) Steve Morrison
@Gardner Dozois:
Tolkien himself anticipated that reaction to the Silmarillion. In a 1956 letter to someone at Houghton Mifflin, he wrote:
I shall certainly now, if I am allowed, publish the parts of the great history that was written first – and rejected. But the (to me v. surprising) success of The Lord of the Rings will probably cause that rejection to be reconsidered. Though I do not think it would have the appeal of the L.R. – no hobbits! Full of mythology, and elvishness, and all that ‘heigh stile’ (as Chaucer might say), which has been so little to the taste of many reviewers.
BTW, it was Galadriel who had the Ring of Water (aka Ring of Adamant) and Elrond who had the Ring of Air (aka Blue Ring). Nén meant water in Quenya and Vilya meant air.
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81. Appreauntis
@(still) Steve Morrison:

You are right about Nénya and Vilya. However to refer to them directly as the 'Ring of Water' and the 'Ring of Air' suggesting that their power over the elements is foremost is their design or nature is not Tolkien's idea of them. Tolkien's 'magic' has always been of a more subtle nature than most of the magic one would read about in modern fantasy. I would not say that Nénya or Vilya are assigned to one element exclusively. Notice that while Elrond summoned the river to overwhelm the Nazgul using the Ring of Air, Galadriel has the Ring of Water. Read this quote from Wikipedia -

There is some speculation that the ring controlled minor elements, considering the event where Elrond had summoned a torrent of water as the Nazgul attempted to capture Frodo and the Ring. -

I'm not saying that they arent called the Rings of of Water and Air, just that to think of them in that light as being only rings of water and air is not in line with Tolkiens vision.

Here are their names:

Nénya: Ring of Adamant, Ring of Water.

Vilya: Ring of Sapphire, Ring of Air, Ring of Firmament, or Blue Ring.

As for a third Hobbit movie... if it's neccesary to keep all of the scenes from the Hobbit book in the Hobbit movies, then I'm all for it. If it's just for extra stuff though like the appendices and Silmarillion related stuff, then no simply because that doesn't belong in the Hobbit. PJ had his chance for all that with TLOTR. PJ should make movies based on the Silmarllion like Beren and Luthien, or the trajedy of the children of Hurin, or Feanor and the exodus of the Elves out of Valinor.

Can't wait!
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82. Gardner Dozois
As has been pointed out several times already here, Peter Jackson can't make movies based on THE SILMARLLION, because his production copy doesn't own the rights to THE SILMARLLION--and considering that there seems to be bad blood between Jackson and Christopher Tolkein, who DOES hold the rights, seems unlikely to ever have them.
Alan Brown
83. AlanBrown
I thought the lighting of the beacons was one of the best moments in the LOTR movies. Maybe having some experience as a military comms guy, it was nice to see the folks who pass the word getting their moment of glory.
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84. Igor Sandman
Another thing to keep in mind is the rythm of a film. You can read at your own pace while the rythm of a film is imposed to the audience.
Sometimes when adapting a book you have to take two story points that are close together in the book and put them further apart in the film for rythm purpose.
That might be the reason why PeeJay wants 3 films.
Then again he has a peculiar sense of rythm >.>;
Katherine Page
85. taconista
I like the idea of exploring the White Council and Necromancer lines and maybe some of the other info from appendices. Though I wonder if cutting out the stuff that doesn't belong might result in just two films. The Tauriel invention is unnecessary. Some stories don't have important roles for ladies. And that's ok. So what if we don't have a single female in the film other than extras? Women just weren't a part of this story. I never felt miffed when I first read The Hobbit as a girl, nor any time thereafter. If I want to read about an awesome female character, I can read other books. It'll be interesting to see how this all works out. Can't wait until December!
Paige Vest
86. paigevest
I'm actually okay with the three Hobbit movies since I'm in the disgruntled camp regarding the massive amounts of material that were cut from the LotR films.

While I completely understand the necessity of cutting chunks of the book material out, I wasn't happy about the ADDITION of so much material. Examples: the expanded Aragorn/Arwen storyline which I felt took up Faramir/Eowyn time; adding the Elven army to the Battle of Helm's Deep instead of the army of trees; making Aragorn a whiny bitch and having Elrond GIVE him Andúril rather than making Aragorn the true king he was who was known by his healing. I could go on and on... *cough*BattleofOsgiliath*/cough*

So yeah, I'm hoping to see every more of Tolkien's The Hobbit and less of Peter Jackson's idea of what The Hobbit should be. *hopehopehope*
Paige Vest
87. paigevest
@taconista (#85) I'm right there with you, I don't feel that there is any need for a female lead in these stories. I also wasn't miffed by the lack when I had the books read to me as a young girl, or when I started reading them myself. Of course, LotR had Eowyn, who was awesome in the books but whose part was downplayed greatly in the films, which bummed me out a lot. =/
Liz J
88. Ellisande
I think anyone who wants less invention than there was in LotR is going to be sorely disappointed, because that's pretty much impossible. Even without any of the Appendices material (which lays out the basics but is hardly a scene breakdown), the Hobbit itself is an incredibly dense book narratively. For example, the dwarves' and Bilbo's visit to Lake-town lasts about two pages of pure abbreviated description, which to get any kind of clarity at all on screen is going to have to last several scenes. Or how Bard basically comes out of nowhere in the book to do his thing; that's pretty weak in the book and it won't work in a movie. So, yes, the book is short, but it's short because the narrator tells you everything, and that's hard to adapt.

Pretty much for the same reason, I don't mind Tauriel. In the Hobbit, only one Mirkwood elf is named - even Thranduil doesn't technically get his in the Hobbit. And there are maybe three elves who get any kind of individuality in the book at all. There are plenty of generic "elves" who do things that could very well include Tauriel. There's also the possibility that a Mirkwood elf goes with the Council to deal with the Necromancer, while Thranduil (and presumably Legolas) are busy in the north. Heck, Tauriel might even be Legolas' mother since her name's not known. I'm not all excited by the idea of her as some kind of love interest either, and she does run the risk of turning into Jackson's own "Tenth Walker" Mary Sue, but adding a character isn't a terrible idea in itself, I don't think, not when the story needs fleshing out.

Speaking of the real point though, which is the third movie just announced officially. If you look into it a bit, the cast list includes Thror and Balin, which means a lot more dwarven history than just reclaiming the Lonely mountain. Perhaps PJ meant it to be a flashback/prologue like the prologue to LoTR, but it didn't work or they had too much, so this could be the part PJ wants to expand, to tell the story of the last dwarven ring. That could also explain why they're willing to announce a third without negotiating with the main cast, because few of them would be involved in a story that's mostly about the war of the dwarves and orcs. It's just my speculation, but it makes sense given what Jackson has said about wanting to expand on something he'd already filmed, and it's based in material from the appendices of LotR. It would also be a bridge to LotR, because we know it ends with Balin's unfortunate decision to reclaim Moria.
Liz J
89. Ellisande
I think anyone who wants less invention than there was in LotR is going to be sorely disappointed, because that's pretty much impossible. Even without any of the Appendices material (which lays out the basics but is hardly a scene breakdown), the Hobbit itself is an incredibly dense book narratively. For example, the dwarves' and Bilbo's visit to Lake-town lasts about two pages of pure abbreviated description, which to get any kind of clarity at all on screen is going to have to last several scenes. Or how Bard basically comes out of nowhere in the book to do his thing; that's pretty weak in the book and it won't work in a movie. So, yes, the book is short, but it's short because the narrator tells you everything, and that's hard to adapt.

Pretty much for the same reason, I don't mind Tauriel. In the Hobbit, only one Mirkwood elf is named - even Thranduil doesn't technically get his in the Hobbit. And there are maybe three elves who get any kind of individuality in the book at all. There are plenty of generic "elves" who do things that could very well include Tauriel. There's also the possibility that a Mirkwood elf goes with the Council to deal with the Necromancer, while Thranduil (and presumably Legolas) are busy in the north. Heck, Tauriel might even be Legolas' mother since her name's not known. I'm not all excited by the idea of her as some kind of love interest either, and she does run the risk of turning into Jackson's own "Tenth Walker" Mary Sue, but adding a character isn't a terrible idea in itself, I don't think, not when the story needs fleshing out.

Speaking of the real point though, which is the third movie just announced officially. If you look into it a bit, the cast list includes Thror and Balin, which means a lot more dwarven history than just reclaiming the Lonely mountain. Perhaps PJ meant it to be a flashback/prologue like the prologue to LoTR, but it didn't work or they had too much, so this could be the part PJ wants to expand, to tell the story of the last dwarven ring. That could also explain why they're willing to announce a third without negotiating with the main cast, because few of them would be involved in a story that's mostly about the war of the dwarves and orcs. It's just my speculation, but it makes sense given what Jackson has said about wanting to expand on something he'd already filmed, and it's based in material from the appendices of LotR. It would also be a bridge to LotR, because we know it ends with Balin's unfortunate decision to reclaim Moria.
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90. Gwendolynkay
Does Peter Jackson think he is George Lucas? Does he want to be reviled like George Lucas? Spare us your ego, quit rewriting a classic, and why do we need to invent characters? STOP him before he kills another one!
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91. Gardner Dozois
In spite of some misgivings, and the awareness of some of the pitfalls that could wait ahead for this, I'm cautiously hopeful that these will at least be enjoyable, well-executed movies, if not necessarily Masterpieces of Modern Cinema. I enjoyed the LOTR movies, and the previews that have been released so far for THE HOBBIT make it look like fun. If the movies are well-made and fun, I'll enjoy watching them, no matter how far astray they roam from the plot of the book. I always thought making an adult epic fantasy movie out of a slender, whimsical children's book was a dubious idea anyway, so they'll have to add something if they're going to do it at all.
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92. Elen
@66: Including the three you mentioned, there was also Aegnor and Andreth, and Mithrellas and Imrazor the Numenorean. These two are definitely mentioned in the History of Middle Earth sequence, so it is up to you if you want to take it as canon or not.

I for one am quite glad that the movie rights to the Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and the History of Middle Earth have not been sold.

I was skeptical when I heard that the Hobbit would be split into two films. That was stretching it in my mind. Now three films is just too much. I understand that there are differences between books and films, but Jackson is going too far in wanting to make his "mark". This is just ridiculous. Sometimes leaving the viewers curious is for the best. Viewers do not need to be told everything. Since Jackson is going for a third movie, he and his writing crew can just say that all credit is due to them. Seriously. This isn't even an adaptation anymore. Now it is just fanfiction that is legalized and in which he will earn a fortune. (Actually, some fanfiction out there will definitely be better than whatever he puts up on the screens. Fanfiction writers are doing it for the sake of creativity and respect for the original texts. Jackson and Hollywood is just plain avaricious with this third movie.)
Chin Bawambi
93. bawambi
I liked the LoTR adaptation and unlike anthonypero I always read The Hobbit followed directly by LoTR. My main problem with LoTR which paigevest talked about was the Aragorn/Arwen love story when the Aragorn/Eowyn/Faramir broken love triangle that JRR actually wrote would have made all three movies better. Here's how: the silly parts of the first movie with Arwen leading the hobbits to Elrond could have been eliminated. Eowyn's mooning over Aragorn in book two could have been expanded and the silliness of Faramir in Osgiliath could have been edited out. Faramir's difference to Boromir could have been upgraded in the third movie and if you really needed the love interest angle the "Eowyn's choice" drama would have made a much better wedding and after battle ending to the third movie.

Edited for wrong women mooning and for my fears about the Hobbit may make me not watch the movies until after all three come out.
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94. Ace Hamilton
Zorra wrote: "
The lighting of the beacons was so stupid. Above cloud cover. Nobody below could even see them."

Nobody below needed to see them. Think about it.
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95. Baramos
From what I understand, the original plan for the two The Hobbit movies was for the second one to essentially be a "bridge" movie between The Hobbit and The Fellowship. I would presume that this new third movie will be this "bridge" movie that takes place after the end of The Hobbit but before the beginning of The Fellowship. BUT, maybe he is seriously expanding the plot to cover all three movies...it just seems awful late in the process for that kind of plot wrangling to be happening, is all.
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97. Learn Your Lore
Gandalf and Radagast don't belong to an order...this is not Harry Potter or some D&D novel where magic is an art learned through years of study. Gandalf, Radagast, and Saruman are Maiar, basically powerful angelic beings, who come to Middle-Earth in mortal form and are called the Istari. Sauron is also a Maia as were the Balrogs. Any magic these beings wield is inherent to their nature.
Bridget McGovern
100. BMcGovern
paigevest (formerly @99): Sorry to unpublish your perfectly reasonable comment, but there's no point feeding the troll at #98. Life's too short :)
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101. I Despise Peter Jackson
Put it this way: if Peter Jackson was on fire, I wouldn't pi$$ on him. TLOTR trilogy was perhaps the worst movies I have seen in my adult life. Knowing how crappy they were and also knowing that this idiot Jackson plans to invent new characters in this flick, why would anyone want to watch another one of this P.O.S.'s horrible movies? I hope Peter Jackson dies. This moron Jackson is nothing but dog $hit beneath my boots.
Paige Vest
102. paigevest
Tell us how you really feel, @101.

While I was unhappy with a lot of omissions from and additions to tLotR movies, it can't be denied that they were altogether spectacular so I'm happy that Jackson did The Hobbit as well. Anyone who's followed his vlogs during filming & postproduction can see how much he cares about the story.

Watching this Friday will be bittersweet for me since my father, who introduced me to and taught me to love Middle Earth, will only be with me in spirit. They finally did it, Dad... & I know you'd have loved The Hobbit trilogy as much as you loved the LotR trilogy.
France Bell
103. francebell
After the Lord of the Rings, another blockbuster movie topped. The Hobbit was a much anticipated prequel movie of LOTR, and glad to know that many viewers loved it despite the controversial lawsuit case between JRR Tokien and Warner Bros.
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104. Guru83
I agree with SF: according to the appendices in the Lord of the Rings Gandalf ventures into Dol Guldur to establish what the power growing within actually is, and he finds that it is indeed Sauron taking shape again. Before that he finds Thrain, near death, and Thrain gives Gandalf one of the seven rings originally given to the dwarves by Sauron. Gandalf barely makes it out of Dol Guldur in one piece during his first entry into the fortress, but when he returns at a later stage, having received the go ahead from the White Council to openly assault Dol Guldur, Sauron anticipates the strike against him and flees back to Mordor openly declaring himself and Orodruin bursts into flame and the Dark Tower is restored.

Another part of the appendices is Gollum's capture by the Sindarin Elves led by Thranduil, but he eventually escapes.

I do hope that Jackson will eventually take on the Silmarillion in film. Imagine how epic that would be!
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105. Guru83
This goes out to #97 Learn Your Lore,

While some of your facts are true learn a little more:

Firstly, the Maiar were angelic beings created before the beginning of the world and decended into Arda during its beginning to aid the Valar in their labours while Arda was still young. They were called the people of the Valar and in their own right were beings of the same order but of lesser degree, and had similar characteristics to the particular Valar that they served eg. Aiwendil aka Radagast the Brown belonged to the people of Yavanna and like her had a love of all flora and fauna.

During the Third Age, when the Valar decided to take action against Sauron, though not on an epic scale as in the First Age and the wars against Morgoth, they sent Maiar in forms as of men to contest Sauron and move the people of Middle Earth to heroic deeds. These were 5 individuals and the name of their order was the Istari.

In conclusion, they belonged to two orders: the Maiar and their incarnate forms the Istari.

So, live up to your name #97 and Learn your Lore thouroughly.
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106. McGann Saphir
It's a bald-faced ripp-off. The Hobbit barely deserves 2 films, much less three. It's all about the Tolkien "money-machine". End of story. ***M.S.
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108. LOTrFan
Based on comment from SJD about the three rings...its wrong. Elrond holds the ring of air, Galadriel ring of water and gandalf ring of fire which he got from Cirdan. As for Galadriel's knowledge of the wizards and maia -- she probably already knows because they both come from Valinor. She was born and raised in Valinor and was taught much by Melian - the most powerful Maia to have existed.

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