An Elvish Interrogation

bg_HGEYA In this scene, we see Thranduil, Legolas and Tauriel interrogating a captured orc. Legolas and Thranduil lead the questioning, asking him why they were tracking Thorin Oakenshield, and what importance he has. The orc is quite defiant and refuses to speak. This prompts Tauriel to go into a rage and lunge at the orc to kill him. Thranduil quickly stops her and orders her to leave.

[Demosthenes: Tauriel’s line to the orc is “You like death? Let me give it to you.” I was left in two minds about Thranduil’s “such is the nature of evil” monologue. It seemed directed at Legolas as much as at the orc, possibly as a justification for his realm’s obviously isolationist policy.]

After Tauriel leaves, Thranduil plays the “good cop” and tells the orc that he will release him if he answers his questions. Much like the orc in The Two Towers after Aragorn falls off a cliff, he begins to laugh gloatingly. He speaks of fire and death. Legolas seems clearly confused by this, as does Thranduil.

That is, until the orc says one line in particular: “My master serves The One.”

[Demosthenes: I noted some snippets of the dialogue. “Your world will burn… in the flame of war. My master serves the One. Death is upon you.”. My master obviously refers to Azog, who has driven the pursuit of Thorin Oakenshield. The One could, I guess, be a particularly obscure way to refer to Sauron.

After all, the servants of the Enemy usually refer to him obliquely. Grishnakh uses “The Great Eye”. “Lugburz” is another, although that is, strictly speaking, the name for Barad-dur itself, and “High Up”. Sauron’s servants (apart from the Mouth of Sauron, seemingly) are not permitted to use his actual name.

Very close readers of Tolkien will also have realised that the name “Eru” (the ultimate creator of Middle-earth within the Legendarium) means in Quenya “The One”, or “He that is Alone”. Would Sauron take a perverse pleasure in ordering his servants to emulate this honorific address? And would an elf interpret such as a sort of sacrilege? Food for thought.]

Tauriel At that point, Thranduil’s expression changes to one that almost says “Oh s***!” And let’s face it, when a Telerin elf gets that kind of a look on his face, things are bad. Rather than continue questioning the orc, Thranduil quickly unsheathes a sword and decapitates him. Legolas is clearly upset by this, telling his father that he promised to free him. Thranduil replies by saying “I did. I freed him from this world.”

Legolas is still confused by the orc’s last words, and asks his father what he meant. But, rather than give his son a straight answer, Thranduil says that his last words mean a great evil is coming. He then orders Legolas to seal the borders of the Woodland Realm so that nobody can get in or out.

[Demosthenes: I think the line was “Close the borders and double(?) the watch. No-one enters this kingdom and no-one leaves it.” This obviously sets things up for the pursuit of the escaping dwarves as they float down The Forest River toward Esgaroth.]

Barrels Out of Bond

Barrels out of Bond This scene begins in the Elf prison. Thorin and company are held in several different cells. Bofur says that the sun is about to rise on Durin’s Day, and they’ll miss their opportunity to find the Secret Door.

It’s then that Bilbo appears with the keys to the cells, saying “You will if you stay here.”

The Dwarves let out cries of joy that are probably a little bit too loud for a jailbreak. Bilbo quickly frees them, and leads them out.

He takes them down to a cellar past two passed-out drunk Elf guards (having seen Legolas’ constitution in the ROTK Extended Edition, one has to wonder how much these guys had to drink…and is there any left), to which Bofur begins to complain that they should be going up rather than down. Bilbo insists they’re going in the right direction, and takes them to a pile of empty barrels.

[Demosthenes: Bilbo says “I know what I’m doing.” There is also a line “Close the doors and buy us more time.” but I can’t recall precisely where it sits in this sequence — after they arrive at the barrel room i think.]

He instructs them all to get in the barrels, and is met with a great amount of protest. Thorin then orders them all to “Do as he says,” and the Dwarves quickly get into the barrels without any question (this moment prompted a decent applause break from the audience).

Bilbo then pulls a lever, and the floor opens up to a drop-off into a river. The barrels all spill into the river, and as Bilbo releases the lever, he suddenly realizes the flaw in his plan: The floor door has closed, and he’s still stuck there!
Tauriel has discovered the escape, and is quickly leading a group of the Elven Guard toward the cellar.

[Demosthenes: Tauriel says very severely “Where is the keeper of the keys?”. In English, though, not Sindarin.]

bilbo barrels This is where we see Martin Freeman engage in his singular type of physical comedy, affectionately known as “Martin Freeman-ing” — you’ll know it when you see it. He tries in vain to open the door again, and clumsily stumbles around the cellar while avoiding detection (why he didn’t put the Ring on is beyond me). Finally, he accidentally triggers a counter-weight on the door, and it opens up beneath his feet, resulting in a hilarious fall that only somebody like Freeman could pull off. The best way to describe it is that he goes completely still as the door opens under him, and he remains absolutely frozen as gravity takes over, and he slides down into the river.

After his fall, he meets up with the Dwarves who, somehow, are still right at the base of the fall, and haven’t been carried down by the current. Still, it was nice of them to wait for him.

Bard the Dwarf Smuggler

DoSBard02 The Company is being escorted on a boat through the ruins of Dale by Bard the Bowman. The ruins are shrouded in fog, and it is difficult to see where they are or where they are going. The Dwarves are clearly suspicious of Bard, and this is where we have that bit of dialogue between Thorin and Dwalin that we saw in the latest trailer:

Dwalin: “How do we know he won’t betray us?”
Thorin: “We don’t.”

In fact, none of them even seem to remember his name until Bilbo points it out.

[Demosthenes: Bofur says to Bard as the ruins loom before the boat, “Watch out! What are you trying to do, drown us?” and Dwalin adds something like “Throw him over the side”. They, for some reason still to be explained, do not trust Bard. Balin plays peacemaker, saying, “We don’t have to like him, we just have to pay him.”]

As they travel through the ruins, they are pooling together the coins they have in order to pay Bard for his escort, but they are coming up short (pun absolutely not intended, and shame on you if you giggled). Thorin confronts Gloin, telling him that he knows he is holding out. As Gloin begins to go on a rant about how much he has already sacrificed on this quest, the Dwarves stop listening and all begin to stare behind him.

[Demosthenes: Gloin says that the Quest has brought them “nought but misery and grief”. He’s obviously one of those less happy about the misadventures through the forest, being locked up by the Wood-elves and enduring a dunking in the river.]

Gloin turns to look, and we see the Lonely Mountain through the fog. They are all awestruck by the sight. Without thinking, Gloin pulls out a pouch of coins and quickly hands it to Thorin.

They clear the fog and ruins, and come upon a trading post. Bard urgently demands payment from the Dwarves, but Thorin protests, saying that they agreed to pay him after he had brought them ashore. Bard insists, because he needs it to pay off the traders, and then just as urgently instructs the Company to get back into their barrels.

[Demosthenes: Bard says with vehemence, “If you value your life, do as I say. There are guards ahead.”

At the trading post, the Company watches Bard through the holes in their barrels. They can’t hear him, but they see him exchange money with a trader and then point to the barrels. Thorin and the rest are convinced that he has just sold them out. As they ready themselves to fight their way out of this new situation…

Peter Jackson Laketown The barrels suddenly get loaded up with fish. The Company are soon buried in barrelfuls of fish, and many are loudly protesting in disgust. Bard tells them all to be quiet, as they are about to go through the gate.

The camera pulls away to our first real establishing shot of Lake-town. It is a sprawling man-made atoll. It is heavily guarded, and not the most welcoming of places. Try to imagine Bree as a large island, and you’ll have a good idea of what we see.

[Demosthenes: the water gate is a barricaded passage that all must pass in order to get into Lake-town’s interior. The scene closes with a Lake-towner shouting out, “Goods inspection!”.