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What on Middle-earth is Jackson up to?

January 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm by Demosthenes  - 

Benedict Cumberbatch’s inadvertent slip (or was it?) of the tongue back in August is suddenly receiving a lot of attention. Was it a hint of things to come, or is he just plain confused? Ben Child at The Guardian weighs in with some interesting thoughts on the matter. If you choose to read this article, you should expect SPOILERS.

More at The Guardian

Posted in Benedict Cumberbatch, Hobbit Movie, The Hobbit on January 7, 2012 by
Source: The Guardian

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19 responses to “What on Middle-earth is Jackson up to?”

  1. Nuno says:

    Good Website! Good Luck for you!

  2. Yayagal250 says:

    Ah, yes.  Yet another kerfuffle over something that will likely turn out to be nothing.  It’s pretty clear that Cumberbatch is not a Ringer, is not familiar with the stories or the characters, and thus is getting things mixed up.  Nothing wrong with that – not everyone is into these books, after all, and he was hired for his talents as an actor, not for his bona fides as a Tolkien fanatic.  But it’s silly to get all twisted up over an off-hand comment, especially when we’ve learned through experience that these films change a great deal once they hit the editing phase.

    Really, isn’t there enough of interest in this process to keep the fans from getting all faklempt over an obvious misunderstanding?  Must we really create mountains out of molehills? 

  3. Ethanara says:

    I hope & pray that Sherlock’s reasoning has failed him on this point and that the script keeps the necromancer in Mirkwood forest.

  4. AWS says:

    I should know by now not to involve myself at all in overblown fan worrying in the lead up to a big movie… but similar to Michael Corleone, I just keep getting pulled back in.
    Even if it’s true, then why can’t any dedicated fan ever use a “Wait and see.” mentality? Why is any change automatically bad? Why can’t they ever look at the pros of the change and try to look at the reason why the change was made, instead of automatically reverting back to what the original was and pulling every last reason they can possibly think of as to why the original was, without question, better and should have been preserved? And nine times out of ten, the reasons they state are just based out of stubborn traditionalism. It’s never necessarily better… it’s just what they remember from reading the book, so that’s what they want to see on-screen. Anything different will automatically be looked at in a negative light. This was the case with Faramir, which was a positive, logical change for the film that added some much-needed tension and served to make Faramir a more interesting, dynamic character who grows over the course of the climax… but it was different and not what people remembered from the book, so naturally, it gets shat all over. 
    If Jackson and co. decide to have Sauron be involved in the Battle of the Five Armies… that would make sense. His influence, or even his presence, could EASILY fit into that conflict. And it would make natural, logical sense to the overall arc of the last decades of the Third Age. The time during the Hobbit is when Sauron is starting to rise again. 
    Everybody who’s objecting to these changes that will bring The Hobbit more in line with LotR than it would be if they did a more direct adaptation are concentrating too much on wanting the book that they remember reading, and not enough on the bigger picture of the fact that The Hobbit is now a part of a greater mythology than it was when it was originally published. Tolkien himself did revisionist changes to The Hobbit to bring it a little more in line with LotR once he worked everything out. I’m sure if he’d worked everything out before writing The Hobbit, it would have been a very different book. But he couldn’t just change the entire book, because it was already it’s own thing. 
    But these movies are a chance to have a different version of The Hobbit that is more in line with the whole of Middle-Earth mythology, because they are their own, new thing. If you want what the book was… read the damn book! Stop looking for adaptations to be the book. They are adaptations. Meaning things are changed. I don’t understand why so many people can’t get excited about seeing a new and different take on a familiar old story, instead of just getting uptight and critical. 
    And that’s even if they do what everybody has interpreted this one vague sentence from an actor with limited knowledge to mean they’re doing. They could be planning something like that, but they’ll see how it works. Remember how they shot Sauron fighting Aragorn at the Black Gate? 

  5. Guest says:

    I too am guessing/hoping that this was just Cumberbatch misunderstanding the story.

    I am curious as to what other ringers thought about the Guardian author’s comment about Jackson’s add-on in RotK where Elrond is speaking “nonsense about Arwen’s fate being tied inextricably to the fate of the ring”. It was my understanding that most of the achievements of the elves after the advent of the rings of power were at least assisted by their rings, and thus the destruction of the One Ring would bring about the decay of the elves’ power in Middle Earth. If that were so, even though Elrond’s appearance at Dunharrow was not canon, what he was saying was most certainly not nonsense.

  6. Enna says:

    Mmmmmhhhhmmmmm! I think so too!!

  7. Much ado about nothing. Moving on, nothing to see here. . . 

  8. Lloyd says:

    Souron was fleeing the white council at the time, and as you said rebuilding. It its strictly Souron’s style to stay still and small until he is strong enough. This is what he does when returning to the dark tower at this time in middle earth. This is the HOBBIT, if they want to change it that drastically then call it something else. The fact is the Hobbit came first so yes we will have some differences then that of LOTR, but we know they’ve brought in Narsil, Galadrial, Saruman, and Frodo! We have connected to two stories enough, as the Guardian said let Smog be the villain in the Hobbit, let greed be the evil in this story, not the corruption of power, that’s what the LOTR is for. Besides its most likely a mix up. Oh and yes they did shoot that scene but then looked at the bloody book!
    “The problem is not perceiving where the core of the original lies.” Tolkien.

  9. Zed_WEASEL says:

    Cumberbatch might be correct. The Necromancer could be at the Battle of the Five Armies as a shadowy spectral presence.

  10. Ssjpabs says:

    Well if it’s like a little scene where he learns about it as he’s fleeing east and is a bit bummed he can’t get the dragon on his side anymore since that would have been a pretty nice piece for him. 

  11. adamie says:

    I would wait and see. This could easily be a mix-up. And even if it’s true, it’s not necessary bad; If they somehow give good motive to this, it could work out well, and it would tie all the stories together in one climax, something I’ve been worrying about.

    Remember, PJ was originally going to include Sauron at the Black Gate in ROTK. So if there is a huge troll in the Battle of Five Armies, remember, it’s Sauron in disguise! 😀

  12. AWS says:

    Having Sauron be involved (to a degree that we do not know, if it’s even true) in the battle would not be a drastic change. A drastic change would be making Bilbo a female. A drastic change would be changing the ending so that all the dwarves die, and Gandalf’s the one who kills them. A drastic change would be Smaug being portrayed as a cybernetic robot who lays waste to Laketown with lasers. 
    Moving characters around a little bit, and involving them in one event that they were around, but not directly involved in, in the book is not a drastic change. Do you not realize how close an adaptation LotR was compared to what’s usually done in adaptations? Pretty much nothing done in LotR could be considered a “drastic change” compared to what’s been done with most books when translated to film. Tolkien fans have been spoiled with faithfulness and many of them don’t even have the perspective to appreciate that fact. 
    It’s a slight alteration that really doesn’t affect other parts of the story that much. How does Sauron being involved make the story any less about greed? Unless they’re changing it to say that the battle only happened because of Sauron, the battle will still be about greed. The way I expect this change would work, if it happens, is that the orcs/goblins are mustering for battle, and Sauron uses this opportunity to make his presence known to them or he aids them somehow. I highly doubt he’ll do any fighting or even make himself known to the other races of Middle-Earth. He’ll be a phantom influence on the side of the orcs/goblins. Cumberbatch only says that he’s “a character in the Five Legions War”… that’s very vague. He may not even be referring to the battle itself. He may just be referring to the Mirkwood conflict, which will probably be portrayed as going on during the battle. 
    Nevertheless, no matter what they do, they’re entitled to do it. This is their movie. And they’re using more than enough of the story for it to warrant being called “The Hobbit”, even if they make Sauron blow up the battlefield with missiles. Loosen your grip on your precious Tolkien pages and realize that this is an adaptation. If Jackson wants to make it more cinematic, that’s his job. The core of the story will still be there. The core of the story is the themes that are communicated through the events. It’s not the events themselves. That’s not going to change if they give Sauron more to do. 

  13. Lloyd says:

     Sorry, but I’m a Tolkien fan and hope they stick to the book as much as possible. Of course they will make changes as they did in LOTR, but I felt satisfied with most of their explanations. I would like to have Smaug the center of evil in this movie, or plot line, as they are (I believe) doing the White Council also. I hope they don’t have Souron make an appearance during the battle, and that’s my opinion. I meant no offense, though looking at my post I was rude. I apologies.
      What I meant by the greed was: In my studies of Tolkien Smoug is a figure of greed. Possibly the greed of corporate giants, especially during Tolkien’s lifetime. I also would say faith in Jackson to remain as faithful as possible to the original with the differences of composition, and medium, is not a bad thing. The truth maybe that Souron will be prominent in the White Council plot line, so best of both.

  14. AWS says:

    I’m sure Smaug will still be the prominent villain of the films. However, he dies before the battle. So if Sauron were to come into play during the battle to whatever degree, that wouldn’t really affect Smaug’s prominence before that. In fact, I’d say it’s quite a smart idea to bring Sauron into a bit more prominence than he would have otherwise, after Smaug dies. Because otherwise, there’s no real central villain at all after Smaug dies. This is probably the main reason they’re doing this (if they’re doing it). 
    You’re probably right that if they make the battle all about Sauron, it will diminish the theme of greed in the story. It’ll still be there quite strongly with the Lonely Mountain storyline, but it just won’t factor as much into the battle. Unless they manage to blend the motivations of the orcs/goblins between both wanting the treasure and doing Sauron’s bidding or something. Maybe Sauron would want the treasure for some reason? 
    Every change to the story will have it’s pros and cons. I suggest that fans try to focus on the pros of the change, and not just get hung up on what gets lost in it. After all, if you want everything the book had… again, read the book. 

  15. Aed Dubh says:

    I could accept the Necromancer in the background at the Battle of the Five Armies… and when the Guardian author says that Smaug is unconnected to Sauron and the dark lord’s more ambitious machinations”, they’re spouting nonsense.  It’s pretty clear from just the material in the Appendices (even w/o recourse to “Unfinished Tales”) that Gandalf assisted/instigated the Quest of Erebor because he was worried about what Sauron could do with Smaug…

  16. Aed Dubh says:

    I could accept the Necromancer in the background at the Battle of the Five Armies… and when the Guardian author says that Smaug is unconnected to Sauron and the dark lord’s more ambitious machinations”, they’re spouting nonsense.  It’s pretty clear from just the material in the Appendices (even w/o recourse to “Unfinished Tales”) that Gandalf assisted/instigated the Quest of Erebor because he was worried about what Sauron could do with Smaug…

  17. Aed Dubh says:

    I could accept the Necromancer in the background at the Battle of the Five Armies… and when the Guardian author says that Smaug is unconnected to Sauron and the dark lord’s more ambitious machinations”, they’re spouting nonsense.  It’s pretty clear from just the material in the Appendices (even w/o recourse to “Unfinished Tales”) that Gandalf assisted/instigated the Quest of Erebor because he was worried about what Sauron could do with Smaug…

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