- Battle of the Five Armies – 2941 (1341)
Archive for the ‘Hobbit Book’ Category
The BBC’s Jane Ciabattari writes about the ’60s counter-culture influence of J.R.R. Tolkien. It seems a bit of a reach to call Tolkien a figurehead for the movement, but certainly his works struck a chord — and inspired — with people.
A couple of nitpicks and clarifications:
It’s Middle-earth not Middle Earth.
The note (which is from Letter #226) about the influence of the Somme on the Morannon scenes is incomplete. It reads in full: “The Dead Marshes and the approaches to the Morannon owe something to Northern France after the Battle of the Somme. They owe more to William Morris and his Huns and Romans, as in The House of the Wolflings or The Roots of the Mountains.” (more…)Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Two Towers, Tolkien
Over on Wired, Rhett Allain from Southeastern Louisiana University (who has previously analysed the length of the Balrog’s whip) has turned his number-crunching ability to another thorny problem if Middle-earth physics — could the Black Arrow of the movie actually exert enough force to slay Smaug?
(Of course, it does so because it does so … no additional explanation is needed. But I love that Rhett is using it as a starting point to teach folks about maths and physics.) (more…)Posted in Green Books, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
- Thorin learns news of Smaug’s death from the ravens (1341)
- Battle of Bywater, and Passing of Saruman. End of the War of the Ring (1419) (more…)
- An angered Smaug searches the mountain (1341)
- Bilbo returns to Smaug’s chamber in the afternoon (1341)
- Smaug attacks Lake-town (1341)
- Lake-town in the aftermath (1341)
- The hobbits rest in Rivendell as scouts search the lands for news of the enemy (1418)
- They are arrested at Frogmorton (1419)
In a long interview with 92 Y, George R.R. Martin revealed that a reader had asked him that exact question about Daenerys’ dragon, Drogon, versus Smaug. And, refreshingly, Martin conceded that Smaug would win… (more…)Posted in Characters, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Tolkien
In our latest Library piece, TORn feature writer Tedoras delves deep into J.R.R. Tolkien’s Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth to examine what we really know about Thranduil, the Sindarin lord of Mirkwood — a realm largely populated by Silvan elves. How does this make him different? What were the big influences in his political vision for his people? What, in essence, makes him tick?
It’s good stuff, and inadvertently, it’s almost a companion piece to my own musings on Thranduil’s strongest character traits from earlier this year.
Enjoy! (more…)Posted in Christopher Tolkien, Green Books, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Tolkien
Entertainment Weekly posted this fascinating article, giving some insight into Peter Jackson’s plans for what must surely be the epic battle to end all epic battles. Just how do you stage the fight which is the title of your final movie in Middle-earth?
“There’s a lot of logistics that have to be thought through,” says Jackson. “We have dwarves and men and elves and orcs, all with different cultures, with different weapons, and different shields and patterns and tactics.”
The EW article contains a particularly interesting ‘map’, showing the different groups and their positioning in the battle at the gate of Erebor. Exactly what/who those five armies will be in Jackson’s movie has been a subject of speculation – and if you’re avoiding spoilers, now would be a good time to stop reading!
Tolkien wrote, ‘Upon one side were the Goblins and the Wild Wolves, and upon the other were Elves and Men and Dwarves.’ Readers have often wondered, however, why the Eagles don’t count as an army; Douglas A Anderson notes, in The Annotated Hobbit, that ‘in the 1977 Rankin/Bass animated television program of The Hobbit, the Five Armies specifically include the Eagles instead of the Wolves.’
Some TORn staffers have suggested that, having experienced battle in the First World War, when flight was still in its infancy and the idea of an air force was new, Tolkien perhaps didn’t consider battles as taking place in the air. It could, however, be a simple question of semantics: the word ‘army’ actually means ‘the military land forces of a nation’ (according to Collins English Dictionary). The Professor, being a stickler for precise meaning, perhaps dismissed as too clumsy ‘The Battle of Five Armies and Two Air Forces’ (if we include the ‘bat-cloud’) – so his ‘five armies’ would only refer to the land forces involved.
None of this necessarily means anything when it comes to Peter Jackson’s movie! He’s already strayed from Tolkien’s outline of the battle participants; the official synopsis for The Battle of the Five Armies states, ‘Sauron, the Dark Lord, has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain’. In the book it is the goblins from the Misty Mountains who instigate the war, gathering forces with their kin at Gundabad, and coming down from the North led by Bolg (Azog, his father, having been slain at the Battle of Azanulbizar) – Sauron isn’t involved at all.
The map in EW’s article shows six different colour-coded groups – goblins and wargs are one colour, with eagles, elves, men and dwarves each having a different colour. This would seem to confirm what we at TORn have speculated in our panel presentations at various conventions – that Jackson’s five armies will in fact be men, dwarves, elves, orcs and eagles, with the wolves/wargs being a part of the orc army. The sixth colour on the diagram is for Beorn and Thorin – perhaps to highlight the key players of the battle (although Bard, though having his own spot on the schematic, does not share this orange colour – and it’s interesting to note that Dain, surely a key player, is not mentioned by name on this map; nor is Azog).
There’s much food for thought in this simple diagram. It appears that Bard leads men attacking from the East (from Dale, whither Lake-town refugees have fled after Smaug’s attack?). Elves come in from the West – presumably direct from Mirkwood. Beorn is coming up from the South, and the Eagles down from the North. There are also numbers on the chart – and Jackson is quoted as saying, ‘We could then start drawing the arrows on the schematics’, suggesting this is just one of several. Perhaps these numbers indicate a sequence of events? Beorn is the highest number on this image – meaning he arrives late in the battle, as in the book?
Also in the article is a wonderful piece of artwork, showing a mighty battle outside Erebor – if you click on the image (at EW’s site), it links to a bigger version. This picture seems to include cave trolls and other strange, giant creatures – and siege towers? Is this just an artist’s vision of the battle, or does it offer more insight into what we will see on the big screen?
Questions still to be answered include: when/how does Dain arrive from the North? Will Tauriel fight with the dwarves or with her Mirkwood kin? We’ve seen, in the trailer, Legolas in Dale with Bard; will he fight alongside men? The newly released Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition contains dialogue between Thrain and Gandalf, emphasizing an alliance between Smaug and the Necromancer – is it even possible that Smaug’s death will be delayed until the start of the battle, so we see him helping the attacking orcs??
And a final question – is it December yet….?
Posted in Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien
Just the other day, I was pondering the 12 silver pennies that Barliman Butterbur uses to buy Bill the Pony for Our Heroes in Bree. That, and the coins that he gives Merry as recompense for the ponies that fled Prancing Pony stables and eventually made their way back to Tom Bombadil.
It’s interesting because this is one of the very few times a unit of currency is directly mentioned in the main text of The Lord of the Rings. In fact, the further we get from The Shire, the less money (and economics) becomes a factor within the story.
But how do economies work in Middle-earth? We know that, at least in the Third Age, trade of a sort occurs. Tobacco and other goods make their way to Isengard from The Shire. Bilbo purchases goods from Dale and Erebor for his farewell party. And the elves of Mirkwood do business with Lake-town and the mysterious region of Dorwinion. (more…)Posted in Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Hobbit Book, Lord of the Rings, LotR Books, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit
- Bilbo and the Dwarves sit around and begin to think of what to do next at the Hidden Door (1341)
- Escape across the Ford of Bruinen (1418)
- Gandalf and Elrond perceive the Black Riders at the Ford of Bruinen (1418)
- Frodo is brought to Rivendell (1418)
- Return of the King is published (1955)
A new image this morning from Warner Bros., this time first on TORn and featuring the character we sometimes remember the whole story is named after, Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit!
Of note with this new image, old Bilbo is a changed man from promotional material of movies past. He is battle tested and trusty Sting is positively dripping with
oil fluid orc blood. He is gritty and grim and ready to stab the viewer, giving us a glimpse of what death-by-Hobbit looks like. It also flashes back a bit to Frodo from “The Lord of the Rings,” when he is threatening Gollum with the same weapon.
If you aren’t watching the calendar, we are now just over two months from the release of the final Middle-earth movie of the Peter Jackson era with Extended Editions, red carpet premieres and hoped-for trailers also on the horizon. It’s a good time to be a Tolkienite!Posted in Characters, Hobbit Movie, Martin Freeman, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
At the start of the summer, TORn staffer greendragon had the chance to continue her series ‘Inside the Middle-earth actor’s studio’ – discussing the craft of acting (and other things!) with cast members from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movies. This time she sat down with an actor who has been involved since the beginning of Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth films – the fabulous Jed Brophy. To celebrate the release of TORn’s new book Middle-earth Madness, which features this and other interviews, here’s your chance to read what Brophy had to say.
This is Part Two of a long interview; you can find Part One here. Third and final part later this week!Posted in Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, Jed Brophy, Lord of the Rings, LotR Movies, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, The Hobbit