Hobbit’s road comes to an end
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While the tea and dressing gown are very Bilbo, the chain mail peeking out of Freeman’s gown hints at the higher stakes in this film. In An Unexpected journey, the reluctant hobbit was convinced to go on an adventure with the dwarfs.
In The Desolation of Smaug, he found his courage and faced the fearsome dragon. In The Battle of the Five Armies, Bilbo must suit up and go to war.
“This is the Mithril vest that Thorin has given to me,” Freeman says. “It’s pretty indestructible, so they say. I call it my Beyonce outfit — I feel instantly more glamorous!
“It’s not that heavy because they cheated it. I’m ashamed to say that on a physical level, compared to the dwarfs, I get away very easily on everything on this film.”
That may be so, we suggest, but Freeman has to carry the dramatic weight of The Hobbit.
“I do. And that’s very heavy. Carrying the drama. Tell him that,” he says, pointing a thumb in the direction of Jackson.
While Freeman is largely avoiding physical strain, Evangeline Lilly — as feisty elf Tauriel — can’t wait to get back into the rough and tumble.
“I am as close as I’m going to get to my old shape and physical capabilities, so I’m chomping at the bit,” says Lilly, who gave birth not long before finding herself on The Hobbit set back in 2011. I’m having a shitload of fun. I don’t know if I’m supposed to say that, but I don’t care. I’m excited to be here and I’m laughing every day.
“The first time round you’re trying to program everything into your brain — your dialest, your stunt coordination. Now it’s had a couple of years to sink in, much of it has become instinct.”
Given Tauriel doesn’t appear in The Lord of the Rings — which follows The Hobbit in the Middle-earth timeline — her arc will end in The Battle of the Five Armies.
“There is resolution to her story,” Lilly says. “But of course she’s an elf, she lives forever, so you don’t get an ending.
“She is a character that for the rest of my life I’ll be really proud of having played. The idea of being part of cinema history is really exciting.”
The small matter of cinematic history isn’t lost on Jackson either. He’s crafted the film knowing full well where it will sit in the future.
“In 20 years, these movies are going to be a six-movie set. You’re going to say to your grandchildren, ‘Start the first one and look at them in order’. So there’s a build-up, there’s developing tone, there’s character stuff we do that sets you up for The Lord of the Rings.”
That’s not to say The Battle of the Five Armies isn’t its own beast. As the sun sets on Dale, co-writer and Tolkien authority Philippa Boyens says the overriding tone will be “surprise”.
“It’s not redux; it can’t be The return of the King. It’s grittier, it’s grimmer, it’s bigger — if you can imagine — in scale,” she laughs.
“And you receive all of this through Bilbo Baggins, the everyman who finds himself in the midst of war. It is quite a tragic story in the end.”
Should we bring tissues? “I think so.”
Analysis bootnote: I am increasingly convinced that Tauriel will not die in the movie. Instead, Lilly’s statements to me indicate that Tauriel will choose to exile herself in grief after Kili dies in battle. This could involve a short scene at the Grey Havens… or such a scene might end up being relegated to the Extended Edition next year. Course, I’ve been wrong before. We’ll see.Posted in Director news, Evangeline Lilly, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit Movie Rumors, Ian McKellen, Lee Pace, Locations Sets, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Martin Freeman, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Production, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on November 22, 2014 by Demosthenes