The Lonely Moutain
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TantalumCobolt

What better way to start this new forum than with a discussion about the latest Hobbit movie?

What was your favorite scene? What do you think of Tauriel? What about the character development of Thorin? What's going to happen to Gandalf? Will he show up in time to save the day?

Everyone is welcome to share their thoughts on anything and everything to do with The Desolation of Smaug.

-TaCo

12/28/2013 #1
Doc M

On the whole, I enjoyed it. I liked Tauriel – Kíli's crush on her seems to be very much utilising Gimli's on Galadriel, which was underplayed in the films. I have some concern about what's going to be an exaggeration of Thorin's problems: it looks to be as part 3 is going to be very much 'Blame the Dwarf, exonerate the Hobbit', even more so than the book (which angered me even as a child, with Bilbo being let off the hook for his double theft of the Arkenstone – He should have apologised to Thorin, not vice versa).

1/8/2014 #2
TantalumCobolt

Hi!

First off, terribly sorry I'm only posting this now. I have no real excuse, I just didn't get a chance before.

Thank you for you post! I'm hoping to really get this forum up and going and your first reply is not only helpful, but a great encouragment :)

I agree with your thoughts on Tauriel, and I'm really curious to see how it plays out in the third movie, especially if, like the book, Bilbo gives the elves the Arkenstone. Having the relationship between Kili and Tauriel, who seems to have some influence on the other elves as captain of the guard, should make things rather interesting.

I was much the same when reading the book. I couldn't understand why Thorin seemingly let Bilbo off so lightly, when Bilbo was t one who did wrong by taking what is rightfully Thorin's. Sure, Thorin wasn't exactly making the smartest decisions, but I thought that Bilbo taking the Arkenstone only made things worse!

-TaCo

1/28/2014 #3
Doc M

Thanks! I first had the book read to me as a bedtime story when I was 6, so I've known it for – ahem! – 42 years!

I think Tauriel has potential, and I am going to be using her a little bit as a supporting character in my own fic (she's already appeared briefly without being named).

Bilbo certainly does make things worse. Thorin has tried to make the best of a bad situation: he was forced to be on the defensive by Bard making demands with threat of violence. Bard should have been willing to make the Elf army stand aside, so they could talk. There were only 13 Dwarves, after all, and menacing them with an entire Elven army is… out of order. Thorin, as king, cannot lose face in front of his men or his enemies (that's why I can't forgive Gandalf for shaming him, when Bilbo had betrayed him).

2/1/2014 #4
TantalumCobolt

I only read it last year and I don't think I had even heard of The Hobbit when I was six!

I'm curious to see how the relationship between Kili and Tauriel plays out in There And Back Again. I don't think I can wait a year for the release!! My friends and I are hoping that splitting the company of dwarves might change certain aspects of the ending of the book that we... disagreed with :)

It seemed to me that Bard's character in the book wanted part of the gold of Erebor and to rebuild Dale, but in the movie he is very against Thorin and dwarves trying to reclaim the mountain. Personally, I like the slight change because I thought it was a bit odd in the book that more people weren't against defeating the dragon, especially those who knew what damage a dragon could, and would, do if woken and provoked.

-TaCo

2/2/2014 #5
Doc M

On the other hand, it could do that anyway. Sometimes you have to take risks to destroy the threat.

I don't think splitting up the Dwarves is going to make any difference. They've decided to make Thorin 'mad', and I am not happy about it one bit.

2/3/2014 #6
TantalumCobolt

Yeah, I'm not happy about Thorin's madness either. I think that it goes against the character they've developed in the first and second movie. We know that Thorin was young when Smaug took over Erebor, which means that he was probably upset over the loss of his home, but not so much the gold. Whereas Thror (I keep almost typing Thor!) was already mad with the desire for gold and when the dragon took it he went mad. It makes me think of Gollum and ring a bit, actually, when Bilbo takes it and he desperately tries to get it back. We're told that Thrain also goes mad, but I think that has a lot to do with Thror's death, not just the gold of Erebor. Having Thorin go mad just doesn't seem to fit his character because he's introduced to us as very strong minded and the reason for his quest is to reclaim his homeland.

-TaCo

2/3/2014 #7
Doc M

I was never convinced by the dragon-sickness/gold-sickness motif in the book, anyway: cursed treasure may be an ancient motif, but this comes across more as a bit of moralising-for-kiddies that doesn't stand up psychologically. (In my view, the more fantastic your setting, the more vital it is to keep characters 'real' psychologically.) Thrór was just an old man with a bit of an OCD – and then saw his whole world blasted apart by a dragon. Thráin has had to deal with that – and lose his father and his younger son Frerin. Thorin, I can see, being utterly stressed out, but not 'mad'. He's achieved his goal, after about 150 years of loss and responsibility and hardship – and then Bard turns up with an army of Elves, making demands with menaces, Bilbo betrays him, and Gandalf, by publicly shaming him, more or less drives him to suicide-by-Orc to save his honour.

2/3/2014 #8
TantalumCobolt

I agree with what you're saying.

It's not that I believe Thror was driven mad by the dragon-sickness, because I don't really, it's more that when he was King Under the Mountain he strived to get great wealth and build a magnificent dwarven kingdom for his people, but then it is suddenly taken away from him and he's left with nothing. I don't have personal experience with losing something like that, but I can imagine it would have a rather significant effect psychologically. It's like the dwarves called it the dragon-sickness because they didn't actually understand, but in the modern day, when we have so much knowledge of psychology, it doesn't seem very realistic.

Rereading that sentence it sounded a bit odd because the dwarves didn't write The Hobbit, Tolkien did... Do you understand what I'm trying to say though? I could try and explain myself, but that might result in more confusion!

-TaCo

2/4/2014 #9
Doc M

No, I get what you're saying. But Tolkien doesn't just associate it with Dwarves, although he makes them especially susceptible (I could go on about his 'ethnic essentialism' and its echoes of real-world racism… I have arguments with a lot of Tolkien's world-view and values.) It's more about saying "greed is bad", although for Dwarves, it's really because they're craftsmen who love the materials they work with.

The Dwarves of Erebor are refugees. There are plenty of those in the news just now: people wrenched from their homes. I can understand the damage. A couple of my friends have elderly parents who had to escape from the Nazis when young. A very young child can adapt easily, but an older child or an adult, who has more vivid memories of what was lost, of people left behind… It leaves a mark.

2/4/2014 #10
TantalumCobolt

That's pretty much what I was aiming towards saying, but you've done a much better job at putting thoughts into words than I did!

-TaCo

2/4/2014 #11
TantalumCobolt

I just listened to 'I See Fire' (several times - again) and I just need to ask... Did anyone else feel like crying when they heard it? The second time was worse than the first because I actually took not of the lyrics.

-TaCo

2/17/2014 #12
Dragon MoonX

Taking a moment to share my thoughts on the movie I'll begin by saying that my first thought after watching it was that I must be incredibly stupid to keep throwing away my money just to watch my favorite characters die. I went into it with hopes that for once my favorite character (Kili) might live. But no, it didn't work out the way I'd hoped it would. And long about now I'm beginning to feel like a fool thinking it would end well for him, or for Fili or Thorin. But Kili is the one I was most concerned about.

At least I had enough sense to come prepared, i.e. I stuffed my purse with tissues before heading out to the theater. Good thing too because both me and my mother were crying as soon as the dwarves started dying. It didn't help that my mom likes Thorin the most. I'd already warned her since she hasn't read the book that Thorin could very well die, but still, is there any amount of warning or preparation that can truly prepare you to watch your favorite character die? No. I think not.

I walked out of the theater blowing my nose and tossing a dripping wet tissue in the trash can, feeling mad at myself for ever thinking or hoping that Kili could have survived. I'm still a bit angry over it, and unhappy that Kili died, as you can probably tell from the overall attitude of this post.

But I didn't come here just to rant about that. It was a good movie, despite the death of my baby Kili. Though I think it wasn't quite as good as The Desolation of Smaug. That one was the best of the three in my opinion. I love the whole Kili and Tauriel relationship, and in the second movie you could watch them come together and be happy, seeing Kili's life being saved by Tauriel. Perhaps that's one of the things that makes Kili's death so tragic and sad is that he found love and fought to survive the poisoned arrow wound only to still die in the end, leaving behind his newfound love who is now brokenhearted at his death.

All together I think I can sum up my feelings by saying this - everything would have been fine if they'd ended it with the second movie and never made a third.

1/26/2015 #13
Dragon MoonX

Ah yes, and that was mostly about the third movie with not enough on the second movie. My apologizes for that. Just thought I'd take a moment to share my thoughts. You may now continue on your way and past no attention to my last post.

1/26/2015 #14
Doc M

Perhaps we should have a new thread for the final film?

I share some of your feelings, that it was not all it could have been. My main grievances with it were:

  • The overhyping of 'dragon-sickness', essentially to exonerate Bilbo's theft of the Arkenstone, withholding it from Thorin, and ultimately his betrayal. (They omitted, I noticed, the fact that in the book, he also betrays to the Humans and Elves the expected arrival of Dáin's troops – essentially setting them up for an ambush.)
  • Not having the Heirs of Durin fall together in the shield-wall, in the thick of the main battle. I wanted serious Viking mayhem – but tricky given the low certification they were aiming for.
  • The cuts. While I can understand the pressure not to make a festive season release even more depressing than it already is (the funeral would really have rubbed in the fact that the family's been wiped out), it has left the Arkenstone plot-line unresolved until the Extended Edition comes out.

The film could not have not killed them off, given that the book does. But that's why fanfic exists…

1/27/2015 #15
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