Did Azog defile An Unexpected Journey?
CONCLUSIONSo did Azog work? Unfortunately I don’t think he did. You can see the formula of his creation and expansion. You can see why the decisions were (probably) made. Unfortunately the execution is weak. Azog, so far just hasn’t met the hatefulness of Lurtz, the dark fear of the Witch-king or even the creepiness of Grishnakh as far as Middle-earth villains go.
Yes, as a character, he should stand independently in his own right, but Azog doesn’t. There are too many distractions for the audience to fully invest in him. Between rushed design, distracting language and a contrived climax, I feel that Azog really has fallen victim to the change from two to three movies.
My hopes lie in the fact that, while An Unexpected Journey did have a clumsy chop to end it, the filmmakers have more time to craft the next two films on their own terms. Along with this, I hope the visual effects artists will be given the time to work on and improve on Azog’s appearance and natural performance — much like the vast improvement Gollum experienced between Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers.
It will be interesting to see how Azog compares to the likes of Bolg who should appear in The Desolation of Smaug and who is portrayed in a prosthetics suit. I have every confidence that The Desolation of Smaug will be a great improvement on An Unexpected Journey as it brings us into totally new, unfamiliar places where we haven’t seen before. We’d seen Rivendell before in The Lord of the Rings, we’d seen The Shire, but we haven’t seen Mirkwood or Lake-town. Azog is now a chief villain in these films and I hope that he is improved upon to stand up to the likes of Gothmog, the Witch-king of Angmar and Sauron himself.
Let’s just hope I won’t be writing this same article on Smaug!
Roll on December!
John D Ruddy is an Irish actor, artist, writer and Tolkien enthusiast. When he’s not on the Irish stage, he can be found illustrating books and playing the trumpet. He writes the webcomic Manny Man which can be found on Facebook. You can also follow him on Twitter.
The views and opinions presented in this article are his own, and do not necessarily represent those of TheOneRing.net or its staff.Posted in Characters, Fellowship of the Ring, Green Books, Headlines, Hobbit Book, Hobbit Movie, LotR Books, LotR Movies, Movie Fellowship of the Ring, Movie Return of the King, Movie The Two Towers, Return of the King, The Hobbit, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, The Two Towers on August 27, 2013 by newsfrombree