Spoiler analysis: Lake-town Chase Lego set and the Hobbit trailer offer some story deviation clues
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The source of Bard’s about-face?
Yet something — the so-called Robin Hood qualities that he supposedly exhibits, perhaps? — must prompt him to align himself at least temporarily with the Company.
As many others have observed in various comment threads here on TORn, the Elven-king’s line “I offer you my help” might be directed at one of the minions of the Master of Lake-town and not Thorin, nor the other dwarves. It could be that — if this is some pact with the Master of Lake-town that Bard gets wind of (via Tauriel, maybe?), that could provide the impetus for a change of heart.
If that all sounds a bit far-fetched, recall that Peter Jackson earlier this year talked about enjoying the opportunity to film invented material. This involved, I am pretty sure, Bard and Lake-town (I am paraphrasing badly because I cannot find the original quote again). It’s also worth remembering that Jackson’s key characters in Middle-earth tend to have an arc of development.
In his adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, this is probably most prominent with Aragorn, of course. But it also occurs fairly dramatically with Faramir and to some extent, Elrond. Perhaps Bard will prove to be the Faramir of The Hobbit.
Anyway, if I’m correct, some dramatic event will occur to influence the thoughts of Bard.
Other consequences of this scenario? Well, I think it means that the Company won’t be using ponies to get to Lonely Mountain. Well, not apart from good old Shank’s Pony. It’s a minor detail that will irk some, but on the other hand, do the studio suits really want to frighten kiddies seeing Smaug roasting 14 ponies for brunch?
There is one nagging issue, of course, that I can’t entirely work out.
That second boat.
It’s certainly not the same boat. What is it doing there? The easy conclusion is that it must be bearing the Company to the mountain. But is it? Does it actually contain the Company? It’s hard to tell, but a large, reddish figure could be Bombur.
But, looking closely, it does seem to me that the boat is being rowed away from the mountain, not towards it. But don’t just take my word for it, have a look for yourself.