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Hobbitcon in Hall H — the details and the spoilers!

July 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm by maegwen  - 

Well, the long wait is over. Peter brought 12 and a half minutes of Hobbit goodness to Comic-Con’s Hall H today, and blew everyone’s minds. Reports are that much of what we saw was similar to what was shown at Cinema-Con earlier this year, with a number of interesting changes and two additional minutes of footage.

For this crowd it was all very, very new.

Read on for our detailed report on what was shown! Unless you’re not into SPOILERS in which case, look away now!

Note: Updated again with a few additional details and some corrections!

Wild applause broke out the moment the hall dimmed, as images only seen before online or in magazine articles filled the screens flanking the audience.

Nothing compares to seeing them up on screen. The front door of Bag End, the dwarves gathered around Bilbo’s table, the barrel scene… all this and more.

Followed by a production diary chock full of heart-felt messages from the cast, the crew and scenes from throughout the shoot. Dwarf after dwarf, Martin, Andy, Orlando, and more in quick succession.

When Peter Jackson stepped on stage, the house leapt to its feet with enough energy to propel themselves into the air.

“Who has been camping out on the street all night” he asked. “ You poor sods. You poor bastards. But thank you very much!”

Bringing Phillipa Boyens out on stage, he introduced her as someone who is “possibly a bigger Tolkien geek than any of you.” I don’t know about the Hall H crowd, but the TORn audience is pretty geeky, so I’m guessing it’s a bit of a toss-up.

What we were about to see had a few not-quite-finished touches Peter said, such as partially-finished effects and temporary music tracks. An update for film score fans: Howard Shore begins recording with the London Philharmonic in the next few weeks.

Also, a Comic-Con extra: never-seen second film footage that made its way into the clips. “But we won’t identify them,” Peter said cheekily.

Then, without any fanfare, the lights dimmed and ‘The Hobbit’ lit up the screen.

The Hobbit showreel:

It opens with a sweeping shot of the green hills of the Shire, with a voiceover from Gandalf intoning “Far to the east lies…” Setting the scene of where they are going -– which is Bag End and the dwarves gathered around Bilbo’s table talking about the quest.

An imposing and grim Thorin Oakenshield heads the table: “Rumors have begun to spread,” he says, “The dragon Smaug has not been seen in many years… Perhaps the vast wealth of our people lies unprotected … perhaps it is time to take back Erebor!”

Gandalf produces the key “It was given to me by your father for safekeeping, it is yours now.”

Fili: “if there’s a key there must be a door!”

This leads in to a discussion of the map and what must be done to go after the long-lost treasure. Gandalf looks to Bilbo… “That is why we need a burglar.”

Martin Freeman is wonderful in this scene, playing a hobbit who is as yet oblivious of what is being designed for him. Even as Gandalf professes the need for a burglar, he agrees but doesn’t quite realize that what Gandalf means is HIM.

“He’s hardly burglar material” the dwarves observe as they regard him skeptically. Which Bilbo happily agrees with. Gandalf then rises to full height and in a deep voice, (much like in Fellowship of the Ring when he says commandingly: “I’m not trying to hurt you, I’m trying to help you”) he warns the dwarves that a burglar he isn’t, but a burglar he will be.

Because, he says, Smaug is well aware of the scent of dwarf. A Hobbit will be wholly unknown to him. Bilbo looks appropriately horrified.

Thorin and the others are extremely skeptical: “Very well, we’ll do it your way.”

As we saw in the trailer last fall, Thorin says: “I cannot guarantee his safety, nor will I be responsible for his fate.”

“Agreed,” replies Gandalf.

The reading of the contract is hilarious, as Bilbo goes over the terms and the various dwarves jump to reassure him that it will be painless once he’s turned ash. James Nesbitt, as Bofur, is superbly funny.

Then Bilbo faints. Thunk.

A series of quick shots of Radagast follow

Radagast is full-bearded, rough-looking, with a big hat… which we later see conceals a number of birds. He’s cuddling his bunnies a hedgehog, and later on we see him racing through the forest on the infamous “bunnysled”.

There’s a quick look at Laketown, which looks amazing. Large boats, almost like pontoons, navigating their way through a warren of canals. We also see the Master of Laketown, played by Stephen Fry.

A brief moment of Gandalf speaking to Radagast: “Turn around and do not come back.”

Radagast responds, “what if it’s a trap?”

Gandalf replies, “It is undoubtedly a trap.”

Radagast does come across as very gentle, as we heard out of Cinema-Con reports.

We follow Gandalf into what could only be Dol Guldur. Looking terrified, he races through narrow passages, as we see glimpses of something ominous racing around either away or following him. Very tight quarters, then suddenly a person we assume to be Thrain leaps out and attacks him.

The riddle game…

Cut away to Bilbo and Gollum meeting in the goblin caves. Bilbo is clumsily waving Sting at Gollum, trying to get him to go away.

“I need to get un-lost a soon as possible.” Bilbo tells Gollum. “I don’t know what your game is.”

“GAMES, WE LOVES GAMES, DON’T WE PRECIOUS!?” Says Gollum, who is quickly slipping between Smeagol and his alter ego.

Bilbo, frightened but up for a small shot at escape, “ Let’s play a game. If I win you show me the way out of here.”

It then segues into the riddle game and after into an expanded look at the scene which caused much speculation when the first trailer was released.

Gandalf and Galadriel come together, with Galadriel saying: “Mithrandir, why the halfling?”

Gandalf responds: “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love. Why Bilbo Baggins? That’s because I am afraid and it gives me courage.”

Chills. Seriously.

Gandalf and Galadriel are holding hands but not in a way that is romantic, but more in the sense of a lifetime of friendship and shared experiences. There is longing, but there is sadness. I cannot say that it is “love” in the way most people think of it.

“Do not be afraid, Mithrandir, you are not alone,” then in Elvish, with English subtitles. “If you ever need aid, I will come.” And after a long look, she draws away from him, leaving him standing alone, and… slightly lost.

Cut to Bilbo picking up the ring

Then we hear Gandalf say, “You’ve changed, Bilbo Baggins…”

Bilbo replies “I found something in the cave”

Gandalf raises his eyebrow and asks, “What did you find?”

Bilbo hesitates and fingers his vest pocket and then drops his hand and says: “My courage”.

Gandalf replies, “Your courage? Good, you’ll need it”.

It’s the first instance of Bilbo’s reluctance to tell the truth about the Ring.

The action shot sequence

And heeeeerrrre we go — a wild ride of action shots.

BOOM. TROLLS GIANTS. Ugly, mean, wild and vicious trolls stone giants.

Have you seen the pics from Comic-Con? Absolutely nothing like seeing them in action. Not the bumbling stupid trolls one kind of expects after reading the Hobbit.

Radagast, racing through the forest on his bunnysled. Yes, a bunnysled. A sled, pulled by surprisingly strong bunnies.

Tauriel, barely shown in these clips, although Philippa speaks highly of her in the Q&A which follows. What we do see is a female, dressed in-brown version of Legolas (description courtesy of Quickbeam), in combat with goblins. Legolas springs out of… leaves? …and joins in the fighting.

Legolas races from the action and comes face-to-face with the party of dwarves, who come to a shocked standstill. “I won’t hesitate to kill you, dwarf,” says everyone’s favorite elf. Warning: We are slightly guessing on the exact quote, due to excessive audience screaming.

More trolls… and then Gandalf is seen standing on a hillside, stabbing his staff into the ground with a blast of morning sunlight.


More to come from the Q&A soon!

Posted in Andy Serkis, ComicCon, Conventions, Events, Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, James Nesbitt, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, Sylvester McCoy on July 14, 2012 by

20 responses to “Hobbitcon in Hall H — the details and the spoilers!”

  1. Lecrazy says:

    I’ve never been so excited for a movie in my life.

  2. Hannon le!! for all of us fans this summary is priceless

  3. pw4 says:

    Sounds even better than anticipated! Can’t wait. Thanks for the “verbal trailer” 🙂

  4. SuperTomcat says:

    PJ would like shot more material…
    The next important event after The Hobbit and then that The Battle of the Five Armies (T.A. 2941) is the Dol Guldur attack against Lothlorien and Mirkwood led by Khamul where the Dol Guldur fortress is finally overthrew by Celeborn, Galadriel and Thranduil.
    I think here is a lot of good material for another movie or an extended edition.

  5. TheRingBearer says:

    OHYEAH THIS SOUNDS TERRIFIC! It sucks that we here in New Zealand dont have anything like this… We have Armageddon but we do not get the treatment of the hobbit 🙁

  6. Mythopoeia says:

    A few more notes of importance: Fili and Kili came across as very eager to go on the quest; Ori came across as naive; we DID see stone giants as well as Bard scrambling and leaping across (and falling from) flaming rooftops; Beorn’s house is BEAUTIFUL; we saw Lee Pace training to fight as well, not in costume, but his movements were some of my favorite parts of the behind-the-scenes stuff, honestly, a fluid but deadly-sharp sort of style, martial-art-ish. Also, Thorin and Bilbo are both superb. Ian is the perfect Gandalf the Grey once more, but I loved how Armitage conveyed so strongly the shifts in Thorin, from rousing and rallying and commanding when he exhorts the dwarves to join him on the quest, to then vulnerable and quiet, almost unexpectedly wounded, when Gandalf produces the key, to how he reacts to Gandalf’s overriding his feelings about Bilbo. And that’s just ONE SCENE. Also, Bilbo’s faint? HILARIOUS. Freeman’s comic timing is impeccable as ever, evidenced in both the Riddles in the Dark scene shown as well as in the Unexpected Party bit. I loved his terrified Bilbo when talking with Gollum; if you’ve seen “The Hounds of Baskerville”, it’s like when Watson’s frightened in the Baskerville lab, but the terror is more pronounced, less controlled; Bilbo has a different sort of courage to soldier John Watson’s. His gulping, breathless, wheezing panic-attack while the whole time using Sting to keep Gollum at bay is just great. He’s also, even in these brief scenes, enormously easy to empathize with and likable, really the perfect Bilbo. The bunny sled made me cheer. And that bit with Bilbo speaking lines from the book to a non-present Smaug while standing on that immense mountain of gold? Chills. Also, Sir Ian McKellan signed my Hobbit shirt!!! This was simply an unforgettable experience.

  7. PPDD says:

    Spoilers? There is a book, you know. It’s all there.

  8. Javito says:

    I just can’t wait!!! This is going to be HUGE again!

  9. Eol says:

    When is the Q&A being added??

  10. Dark says:

    Can l find the footage online?

  11. The part that saddens me is the line “Which Bilbo happily agrees with.” This may seem like a minor deviation from the book, but in terms of character development, it’s a major one. The story of Bilbo’s character arc isn’t his gradual transformation from boring Baggins to adventurous Took (remember, Tolkien said he had something strange in his makeup from his mother, Belladonna Took); both of those elements are present in him from the very beginning, only they’re in conflict and opposition with each other. The fact that Bilbo is offended at the remark that he doesn’t look like a burglar is what finally changes his mind and makes him decide to go on the journey after all in the book. Bilbo’s real character arc is the slow transition from a Hobbit who’s divided in his inclinations to a Hobbit whose divided aspects are no longer in conflict. In the book, he never loses the safe, practical Baggins side. But it seems just from the fact that Bilbo isn’t offended at the dwarves’ doubts that Jackson & Co. have completely misunderstood the character. They should have listened to Corey Olsen, aka the Tolkien Professor.

  12. predictivescript says:

    This is all well and good, and thanks for posting. But what we’d like to know is: what are the goblins like now, as apparently they are paler and more squat, according to some news outlets. Basically, can we get more actual description and comment on the content of the footage, not just a list of what was shown.

  13. Can’t wait to see Richard as Thorin.

  14. bob says:

    thanks. This comment report is better detail than anything has produced, who seem to think saying everything was ‘awesome’ or just listing scenes is what people come here to read.

  15. Troy says:

    Spoilers in regard to its portrayal on film.

  16. thinker says:

    the battle of Dol gundur takes place BEFORE the battle of five armies, It’s gonna be in the movie. Gandalf has a part in it and after that he goes to find Bilbo and company in the lonely mountain. The battle you are writing about is the second attack on dol gundur, after the battle (or at the same time) of pelennor field.

  17. Mellius says:

    Wow– you might consider thinking about how very much the opposite of grateful you sound. :/

  18. Whispy says:

    They were trying to say that Bilbo happily agrees that he’s not burglar material.

  19. margaret says:

    I have only seen most of the LOTR movies, and I haven’t read any of the books. Due to my high stack of books to read, I don’t know when I’ll get around to reading them, but I eventually will sometime in my life. I live in Baton Rouge, LA and there’s no “breathtaking scenery” here, in my opinion anyway, like there is in New Zealand as well as in Great Britain. I love British shows, I KNOW I’ll love this movie, I’m counting the days to several events, this movie tops my list!
    I love Richard Armitage’s acting and his looks. I know they had to make over all of them—boy, was he made over! He looks like a bit of a depressed Moses, hahahah! In real life he’s ever-lovin’ adorably handsome!!! Come on over to Lousiana sweetheart, we’ve got seafood dishes out of this world you won’t find in Great Britain!

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