Imagining Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: Part One
How exactly does An Unexpected Journey End?(While this has little to do with the revision of the Sauron backstory, it is the other major revelation that folks have tried to divine from the available clues.)
We know that the first movie continues as far as the rescue by the Eagles from the treetops, since we see that in the revised scroll. And not only has Beorn been excised from the scroll, there’s no longer any mention of him in the synopsis or cast list. This has led some to conclude that we know that the movie ends there, and others (including myself) to complain that that’s a lousy and uncharacteristic place for an ending.
However, while the original scroll ended with “Barrels Out of Bond,” the revision ends not with the treetop rescue, but with a generic shot of Thorin and Gandalf, standing vaguely in front of Erebor—which they are certainly not getting anywhere near. I can think of two possible reasons for this. First, it might indicate that the treetop rescue is not the last scene in the movie, but is followed by a scene or two that are either new or thoroughly changed, so that any portrayal of them in the scroll would have been incomprehensible or a spoiler. Additionally, it could be a placeholder indicating that there may or may not be significant additional scenes. It’s perfectly credible to think that the revised scroll, synopsis, and cast list were produced at a time when Jackson wasn’t sure where he was ending the movie. If he were unsure where it would end, he would have them include just what he knew would definitely be in the film.We can make sense of this muddle by looking at the way Jackson ended FOTR and TTT. We’ve essentially seen four segment endings already, since each movie featured divided storylines. In three of them (both stories in FOTR, and Frodo and Sam in TTT), the characters were actively moving from one stage of their journey to another more dangerous or difficult one, and we knew at least a little of what the new stage entailed. Jackson is so fond of this structure for story suspension that he had Gandalf in the other half of TTT invoke it: “The battle for Helm’s Deep is over. The battle for Middle-earth is about to begin.” (The difference here is that the increased difficulty is coming to them, rather than their actively choosing it.) None of this is true of being carried away by Eagles. The characters have not decided what they’re doing next, their journey is not entering a distinct new stage, and in the book there’s no hint of increased danger or difficulty.
However, if we continue until Thorin and Co. have been deposited on the Carrock, we do have a classic Jackson stopping point. They’ve successfully gotten themselves over the Mountains, and now they’re in sight of Mirkwood, which promises a new type of danger. And this is especially true if they’ve just learned that the land between them and the forest is teeming with orcs and Wargs, as I speculated above. Meanwhile, in the parallel Radagast storyline, Jackson could both create a sense of stage transition and give us his first cliffhanger. Radagast could see an unexpected opportunity to briefly elude his pursuers, and use it to get his message off — only to find that the effort has put him in impossible peril. I can imagine cutting from the Lord of the Eagles telling Gandalf that he sees orcs and Wargs, to the scene of them surrounding or trapping Radagast, and then back to the Carrock landing, where Gandalf (after hesitating mysteriously and appearing unsure of himself) says cryptic things about where he’s taking them next. And then the credits.Posted in Characters, Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit on November 24, 2012 by newsfrombree