At the New York Premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Vulture spoke to Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson about the absence of Gandalf’s backstory from the film. In particular, they delved into why there’s no insight into why Gandalf assists the Dwarf company, and how he obtained the map and key of Thrain. Read on below the cut for some spoilery answers that hint at what we can anticipate for The Desolation of Smaug.
“Good storytelling-spotting!” Boyens said, when we asked why we didn’t see Thráin, father of Dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield and one of the bearers of a Ring of Power, give Gandalf the map and key. (Gandalf had found Thráin near death at Dol Guldur.)
“We did try it at the front of this movie, and then we moved it,” she said. Does that mean we’ll see that moment in a flashback or prologue to The Desolation of Smaug? “Yes, it’s very important that we’re going to be doing that. We will be meeting Thráin, and it may be in unfortunate circumstances. It may involve torture. The discovery of who or what is in Dol Guldur” — i.e., Sauron, known only at this point as the Necromancer — “is a fantastic part of the storytelling, so yes, of course we went there.”