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Archive for the ‘J.R.R. Tolkien’ Category

The Final Film, a Final Review

Hobbit cast posterThere was a lot that I liked in “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” and there were a few things that left me scratching my head. But first, let’s get the niceties out of the way; this review is chock full of spoilers, so turn back now if you just don’t want to know. Also, this review is based on my opinion, other reviews will be popping up shortly from other staffers, so take that for what it’s worth.

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Beware, there be spoilers ahead!

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Really, if you don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading now!

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These spoilers reveal a lot, last chance to come back later!

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Here is a list of all the cool scenes that really made an impact on me.
Empire (1)

  1. I did rather like that instead of a Flashback beginning, like all the previous films, this one jumped right into the action with Smaug attacking Laketown and everyone trying to flee.
  2. On a related note, I love the way Bard faces off against Smaug. He stays so calm and yet watchful and careful as he prepares to defend the city against Smaug’s attack. Once Bain enters the scene, it becomes event better. Everyone who might have been afraid that this sequence would be ruined, or at least lessened by the use of the Wind-lance, fear not, Bard goes real old school in how he launches the fatal shot. The fact that Smaug is taunting him is even more perfect.
  3. Dol Guldur – Perfection in just about every way. From Galadriel’s rather relaxed entrance, to Elrond and Saruman double-teaming the Nine, this is the kind of epic showdown we hoped for from the White Council. And then Galadrield goes nuclear on Sauron and things get really serious. If you ever had any doubt that Galadriel was the most powerful Elf in Middle-earth, this will drop you jaw to the floor. It also shows just how close the bond is between Galadriel and Gandalf, so that in 60 year’s time, when Galadrield learns of Gandalf’s fate in Moria, we will be able to feel her grief just that little bit more.
  4. Bilbo presenting the Arkenstone to Bard and Thranduil in order to broker peace between them and Thorin. Thranduil is universally dismissive of the Dwarves throughout the film, but Bilbo cuts through the politics and states he would not like to see his friends in battle, so he has come up with another solution.
  5. As impressive as it was for Bilbo to make the decision to take the Arkenstone out of Erebor, it is even more impressive that he returns to the Mountain to be with the Company when Bard plays the Arkenstone for peace. Thorin’s fiery reaction is pitch perfect, and Bilbo barely escapes without being thrown over the walls.
  6. Thorin’s decent into madness is expertly played, but my favorite scene is actually when a suspicious Thorin questions Bilbo about what he has in his hands, to discover it is an Acorn. Bilbo picked it up in Beorn’s garden and intends to plant it in his own garden at Bag End. Thorin is so surprised that Bilbo has been able to keep this little thing safe so long, that Bilbo would even make the effort when now he can have a share of the treasure. Bilbo simply reminds that it will grow, and that it will remind him of all his adventures, the good and the bad, all the people he encountered along the way. I believe it is at this moment that Thorin decides Bilbo is the only member of the Company he can truly trust because he just does not covet treasure at all. This whole sequence plays beautifully between these two.
  7. To bookend the relationship between Bilbo and Thorin, at least before the Battle, is the gifting of the Mithril shirt. Bilbo thinks he looks ridiculous, but Thorin knows there will be a fight and that Bilbo needs something to help keep him safe. Of course, it is during this sequence that Thorin confides to Bilbo that he thinks a member of the Company has taken the Arkenstone, that he has been betrayed by one of his own kin.
  8. Thorin, Dwalin, Fili and Kili all jump on the Battle Rams brought by Dain’s army and ride those up Ravenhill. It is now made very clear why Dwarves use Battle Rams as steeds, they are the perfect animal for folk who live in or on mountains because they can climb so well.
  9. Thorin and Azog, the battle royale on the ice. This is a big, bone crushing battle that is exhausting just to watch, and it ends just the way it is supposed to end. We do get to see how Thorin get’s Orcrist back, which is a nice touch.
  10. Bilbo does get to join the battle, much more so than he did in the book. He is on the field of battle when both the Orcs and Dain’s Iron Hill Dwarves show up, and then when the Laketown people are withdrawn to Dale, he makes the decision to go warn Thorin that a second Orc army is bearing down on his position on Ravenhill. This, after Thorin nearly threw him from the Walls, is why it is clear that Bilbo is no longer that same Hobbit that left the Shire.
  11. Bilbo does get knocked out, but not while he is invisible, and he awakens in time to see Thorin’s epic fight with Azog, allowing him to be there at the end. This will be one of the times you need your tissue.
  12. I do so love it when Bilbo invites the surviving Dwarves back to Bag End for tea, whenever they are in the neighborhood. It is so very Hobbity, and emotional at the same time.
  13. The auction at Bag End, in the Shire. We finally see Lobelia Sackville-Baggins trying to get away with Bilbo’s spoons, and many other Hobbits do get away with quite a lot of his furniture. Bilbo has to prove he really is himself by showing some document or other with his name on it. Luckily, he still has his contract with his name on it to do so, but alas his home is nearly empty at this point. It is while he is looking at Thror’s Map that we transition to Old Bilbo just at the moment that Gandalf knocks on the day of Bilbo’s Birthday. So the film ends just where it should, back in the Shire where the next story begins.
  14. The Last Goodbye by Billy Boyd is a rather perfect song to listen to through the end credits, accompanied by Alan Lee’s wonderful drawings, as usual.

And here is a list of the few things that confused me or did not seem to ring true.
HBT3-fs-340936.DNG

  1. Not a big criticism, but I found it odd that a few scenes shown in the Trailer released just a month before the Premiere did not make the final cut. There is no Ice Chariot careening down the icy river outside Erebor, in fact there is no Ice Chariot at all. There is also no sequence where you can clearly see the Iron Hill dwarves riding the Battle Rams, which is not a big deal, you see the army, just not the Rams. But since Thorin, Dwalin, Fili and Kili all go grab a Ram to ride up to Ravenhill, it’s an odd transition to not see them arriving.
  2. The biggest thing I was looking for was when Bilbo and Gandalf finally discuss the Ring, but it happens in the most unexpected way, and very off hand, as if they almost forgot to include it at all. Just as Bilbo and Gandalf reach the edge of the Shire and Gandalf is about to go his own way, he stops and warns Bilbo that Magic Rings are not toys and should be taken seriously. Basically, it’s the same thing he says to Bilbo after his Birthday party stunt 60 years later. Problem is, the Ring has never been a topic of conversation, so Bilbo is about to deny it when Gandalf stops him and says something along the lines of “I know you found something in the Golbin caves and you’ve been acting strange every since then.” But how does Gandalf surmise it is a Ring of Power and not just some magic Acorn, or a brass button with a charm on it? It’s just a bit out of left field and took me completely out of the scene.
  3. The only other bit that made me a bit sad was the fact that Beorn was barely even in the film at all. He arrives at the last minute with the Eagles, lead by Radagast, and he joins the fight by simply sliding off the back of an Eagle and falling into the battle, changing into a Bear on the way down. That is wicked cool, but we basically see just one swipe of his giant paw, sending Orcs flying, and then that is all done. Just not very satisfying at all.

(more…)

Posted in Fans, Film Screenings, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Line Party, Meet Ups, Premieres, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien

Stephen Colbert interviews Smaug the Magnificent

smaug colbertIn a rare move, Stephen Colbert was granted an interview (er…audience) with none other than Smaug himself on his American television show “The Colbert Report”. As many of you know, Stephen is a great Tolkien fan, and Smaug seemingly left his last press interview of the day just for him.

The two share some of their common political interests, and Smaug discusses some of the difficulties of working on the Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy – as well as his distaste for several “pretender” Hollywood dragons. (more…)

Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Miscellaneous, Television, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, WETA Digital

BBC iWonder “Why do the Elves in The Hobbit sound Welsh?”

JRR TolkienBBC Wales have produced an online guide, via their iWonder site and presented by Dr Dimitra Fimi, about how the Welsh language inspired Tolkien, called “Why do the Elves in The Hobbit sound Welsh?”

What does Welsh have to do with it?

JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings combine timeless storytelling with the creation of a mythical world with its own races, history, music and languages.

The invention of new languages went hand-in-hand with the shaping of the characters that spoke them. And while Englishness is at the heart of the Shire, the home of the hobbits, for his other races Tolkien looked beyond England.

Sindarin, the Elvish language used in Peter Jackson’s film adaptations, shares many key characteristics with Welsh. How did a proud Englishman like Tolkien become so entranced by the Welsh language?

[Read More]

 

 

 

 

Join us in Los Angeles in February at The One Last Party

one last party logo We’re hosting a Party of Special Magnificence next February — a final toast to all SIX movies, both The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit trilogy.

We’re inviting you to join us and make it happen through our Indiegogo campaign — so we can all celebrate Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth movies together!

Visit our campaign page and find out how you can help!

Posted in Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Movie, J.R.R. Tolkien, Languages, The Hobbit, TheOneRing.net Announcements, TheOneRing.net Community, Tolkien

Hobbit Fan Contest winners make ‘thank you’ video for Peter Jackson and New Zealand

The winners of last month’s Hobbit Fan Contest that got to go to New Zealand and watch an in-progress cut of “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” and experience the beautiful scenes of the north and south islands and the hospitality of Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand, won their spots by producing short films.

As reports from the experience suggest, there was a great bonding of the 75 winners and their guests during the week-long tour of Middle-earth. These bonds are on display in a “thank you” video that the group organized to give to Peter Jackson and all the many folks who helped make the trip amazing. There is even a nod to TheOneRing.net which honestly touches us.

Turns out that crew can make a pretty great video with parts from all around the world. Their sincerity and appreciation really comes through and will make all fans proud. Enjoy! #HobbitFanContest

Posted in Contests, Events, Fans, Film Screenings, Fran Walsh, Hobbit Fan Contest, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jed Brophy, John Callen, Locations Sets, Mark Hadlow, Meet Ups, Peter Jackson, Philippa Boyens, Richard Taylor, Stephen Hunter, Studios, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien, Warner Bros., Wellington, WETA Cave, WETA Digital, WETA Workshop

Watch the whole of ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ press conference

For the previous Hobbit films TheOneRing.net attended press conferences and brought you coverage the best we could. For the last film “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” we delivered this transcript. Oh but now, here it all is on video!

Posted in Andy Serkis, Evangeline Lilly, Hobbit Cast News, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Ian McKellen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lee Pace, LotR Movies, Luke Evans, Martin Freeman, Media Reviews, Orlando Bloom, Premieres, Press Conferences, Richard Armitage, Ryan Gage, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Tolkien

WATCH: ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,’ clip with Bilbo, Gandalf and Thranduil

The final film from Middle-earth is out and making impressions world-wide but for the vast majority of fans, the wait is still ongoing. To tide us over and to whet our appetites, here is a clip of Thranduil, Gandalf and the title character, the Hobbit.

That is a different character entirely from the one who faints in his own home in “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” Enjoy your journey as we count down the days to the film hitting wide release. Thanks to spy theElf19101730 for the heads up.

Posted in Hobbit Movie, Ian McKellen, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lee Pace, Martin Freeman, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Tolkien

Update: Variety, Empire and now Hollywood Reporter review ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’

BilboBOTFAPosterIt’s that time of the year again…

Following the World Premiere of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, reviews have begun pouring in – and here we have two from Variety and Empire. (more…)

Posted in Headlines, Hobbit Movie, Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, J.R.R. Tolkien, Martin Freeman, MGM, Miscellaneous, New Line Cinema, Peter Jackson, Premieres, Richard Armitage, The Hobbit, Tolkien, Warner Bros.

This hand-illuminated Silmarillion is an astonishing work of art

The Illuminated Silmarillion

The Illuminated Silmarillion

We’ve posted about this before, but I was reminded of it today, and it’s such an astonishing hand-made work of art in an age of mass production that I truly don’t think anyone will mind seeing it again.

Several years ago, German art student Benjaminn Harff set himself the task of hand-illuminating and binding a copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. More than six months later he was still at it. He explained the process to Tolkien Library’s Pieter Collier: (more…)

Posted in Creations, Fans, J.R.R. Tolkien, Other Tolkien books, Silmarillion, Tolkien

Things to do While Waiting for BOFA – 2

Need more to do? Then try turning your baby (or a friend’s) into a Tolkien fan!

Oh, and keep an eye out for more installments of this little series, or both eyes, if you can spare them, by subscribing to Happy Hobbit on YouTube by clicking here!

 

Posted in Fans, Happy Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien

Happy Hobbit: Orcsgiving (Thanksgiving Special) – Episode 54

Orcsgiving YT

Thanksgiving is a time of year to give back to your community. It’s important to remember that orcs were once Elves, so this holiday season, do the right thing: bring an orc to your Thanksgiving. Here’s a few tips on how!

 

happy thanksgiving

Posted in Fans, Happy Hobbit, Hobbit Book, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit

Birmingham, England: Tolkien hotspots outside of New Zealand

sarehole-mill The West Coast Sentinel has a nice write-up about Sarehole Mill — the Birmingham water mill that was a playground in his youth, and later an inspiration for The Mill in The Lord of the Rings. Click through at the bottom to read the entire article. (more…)

Posted in J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, Tolkien

Hobbits and hippies: Tolkien and the counterculture

Ringfrodo 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