The Hobbit, or There and Back Again The Hobbit, or There and Back Again discussion


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What do you think about Peter Jackson adding a new character in The Desolation of Smaug movie?

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message 1: by Elisa (last edited Jun 11, 2013 05:37PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Elisa Peter Jackson and the other writers will add a new character: Tauriel, a female Sylvan elf from Mirkwood, who is a great warrior and leads the army. Do you think it is treason to Tolkien? Or do you think it's an awesome idea? Besides, it looks as though she might have a love interest in Legolas...


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 05, 2013 03:05PM) (new)

It all depends on how well she does, though as a tolkienite I hate him already.
He's destroyed several Lotr characters, cut out an entire scene, and added in a random plot twist. I'm waiting to see how he'll destroy the hobbit.

PJ should stay away from the Silmarillion, or work more closely to the storyline.


Gary Yay! Can this elf "snowboard" on a shield down a flight of stairs while shooting arrows too? Everything Jackson does to change a classic literary masterpiece is wonderful! I hope he does another cameo! Maybe he can play Elrond's long lost brother Nimrond the Blasphemer and have a belching contest with Gimli at the foot of Mount Doom. That'd be just great!

One film to dumb them down
Another film to grind them
Three films to bring them all
And in dark theaters, malign them.

Yeah, OK, that was mean-spirited of me. Still. Not inaccurate.


Zhanaestilinski Well yeah it would be a wonderful addition considering the only strong and PROMINENT female role in the Hobbit was Galadriel and all she did was stand in sunset watching Gandalf watch her while she read his mind. More power to Tauriel. I guess she would be like Eowyn in a way.
In any case, I just want my Smaug...


Jordan We'll see. There must have been a leader of the Elven army, someone had to fill that role. Will the story benefit by having that character brought to the forefront for a few scenes? Possibly. We'll have to see how it turns out.


Steve I loved the LOTR movies, but what Jackson is doing to the Hobbit is blasphemy.


Robert Elisa wrote: "Peter Jackson and the other writers will add a new character: Tauriel, a female Sylvan elf from Mirkwood, who is a great warrior and leads the army. Do you think it is treason to Tolkien? Or do you..."
We'll see how she goes....
Legolas ought to be leading the Elven troops in Mirkwood, no?


Becky I'm interested to see more from the Mirkwood Elves' point of view. I hope Tauriel will accomplish that. I do wonder why the position of head of the Elven Army was not given to Legolas, though.


Feliks I think Peter Jackson is arrogant, money-grubbing, self-serving scum and I wish someone a long time ago had done something to deter him from his horrible career in film. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to hear that he intends to continue to prop himself up by further bastardizing and appropriating Tolkien's legacy for his own ignominious purposes.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

He did what!!!! TREASON!!!!


Ruthmgon I don't think that is good at all...I was so confused already in the first Hobbit movie...why mess up a great story? It takes away from most of the central points of the novel. I feel like I am going to wait for all three movies and then edit it DOWN myself somehow...until it makes one more recognizable Hobbit story.


message 12: by Theodosia of the Fathomless Hall (last edited Jun 05, 2013 08:08PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Theodosia of the Fathomless Hall I definitely like the idea of adding a female character into the Hobbit.
And I think the addition of Tauriel will be an improvement to the general all-male cast of characters, there's got to be some girl power in there y'know :) Their decision certainly doesn't deserve all its flak in my opinion


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm not sure what to think; it may be a good idea, if it isn't too forced. But is Tauriel even a contemporary with Bilbo and the dwarves? (I don't know my Middle Earth history very well!)


message 14: by Jessica (last edited Jun 06, 2013 05:11AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jessica While I dislike changing the storyline (cause Tolkien is awesome) there are virtually no female characters in The Hobbit and I can understand why adding some might be necessary to pacify the feminists in a film adaptation.


message 15: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John Jordan wrote: "We'll see. There must have been a leader of the Elven army, someone had to fill that role. "

I agree that someone had to lead the army and putting a face/name on that leader doesn't seem like a bad think for a movie. Having said that, the fact that the leader will be female has the appearance of sucking up to the politically correct thought police. The novel was originally published in 1937, for crying out loud. Give Tolkien credit for having a woman take down the king of the Nazgul in the LOTR and accept the rest of his work for what it is.


Kaeri I'm not sure I like it, but I'm open to it. I'll make my long rant after I see it.


message 17: by Joya (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joya Sounds interesting. It might add something unique to the movie, but I won't be able to feel such connection and familiarity to the character as I would an original Tolkien creation. I am open to new ideas, lets see what happens:)


Ylenia The Hobbit movie is already very far from the book, so I think I will consider it just like a complitely different story.


message 19: by Ari (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ari I liked the movie, but not the fact it added stuff to the book to make it longer than had a whole trilogy, and all the Pale Orc stuff. But I'm all for a female elf leading the army.


Stephen Palmer PJ isn't making a film version of the book, he's making his film version of the book. As such, he will do as he likes. It up to us as an audience to approve or disapprove of the results, but we certainly can't tell him what to do or not to do. We have to hope he remains true to the spirit of Tolkien though.


message 21: by Dan (last edited Jun 07, 2013 08:00AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dan I understand that this is Peter Jackson's movie, and that he will do whatever he wants, but I don't like the idea of creating characters just to appear politically correct. Yes, there is a lack of strong female charactes in the LOTR/The Hobbit, but you have to look at when the books were published. Feministic ideas weren't a part of life during that time, and I don't like that Peter Jackson is changing the story to appeal to a larger audience. I know that he needs to sell tickets, but The Hobbit/The LOTR is one of the most beloved fantasy stories of all time, and the story will sell itself. It has for 40 plus years. There is no need to make stuff up. I'm all for strong, developed female characters in novels, as I think that they bring something different to the table when you have an all-male cast, but when it comes to the LOTR, just leave it like it is.
But then again, Peter Jackson did whatever he wanted with the first installment of The Hobbit, so my rant on Goodreads isn't going to change anything. Just my two cents.


Kyren Elisa wrote: "Peter Jackson and the other writers will add a new character: Tauriel, a female Sylvan elf from Mirkwood, who is a great warrior and leads the army. Do you think it is treason to Tolkien? Or do you..."

TREASOOOOOON!!!!
I.Would.Sue.Him.


message 23: by Craig (last edited Jun 08, 2013 07:30PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Craig I appreciate the simple truth that anyone is entitled to their own viewpoint on something, including how to put onto film a vast world like Tolkien's Middle Earth, but I utterly loathe Jackson's re-creation of all Tolkien's books. After reading the books and then seeing Jackson's movie version of them, it was like watching some illiterate, urban teenage graffiti vandal spray paint his initials on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

I know he meant well, but "dumbed down" doesn't even begin to describe the results Jackson produced. Which is just my viewpoint on The Lord of the Rings movies; I never saw The Hobbit and I have no desire to do so. I don't doubt Jackson also turned that book into something that more resembled a Jackie Chan movie Tolkien's original literary effort.


Elessar This new Elf thing really, really depends on how the second movie works out, especially with her in it. If it's good, if Peter Jackson doesn't totally mess up- well, I'll be less mad. But if he does mess up- I'm with Kyren. I.Will.Sue.Him.


message 25: by Craig (last edited Jun 08, 2013 07:04PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Craig A movie version of Tolkien's works would have come off far better in the hands of someone with more depth of soul and intellect like Joss Whedon.


Marko Joshua wrote: "The first third of Jackson's HOBBIT was so idiotically different from the book--with rabbit-driven sleds, 2-ton goblin kings squashing dropped dwarves, and a computer-generated orc captain who look..."
This. The first film had some so horrible changes and additions, that I don't think that an added female elf will be even close to being the worst of them in the upcoming films.


message 27: by Craig (last edited Jun 08, 2013 09:52PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Craig Given the total vastness of the books in terms of the world of Middle-Earth, its history, and trying to meld so many characters together, one can't expect a perfect reflection of the books when they're made into a movie. I just don't understand why Jackson or anyone remotely connected with making these films thought that such additions like female elves, while subtracting the heroic essence of the books, would be a good thing.

For example the character of Gimli in The Lord of the Rings was reduced to being nothing more than a laughable buffoon. And he and Legolas were often at odds throughout all three movies of LOTR, while in the book, although he was sometimes overly proud, he wasn't someone you wouldn't take seriously. And as for his relationship with Legolas, they became very close friends and went everywhere together after the Fellowship's sojourn in Lothlorien.

Sue Jackson? No. I say stone him to death. Or is that too harsh?


Elessar A BIT harsh. I would give him some slack, though, by only suing him; it is a hard task to undertake such a complex book- it's so detailed, Tolkien spent seven pages describing a mountain- and he did well enough with the Lord of the Rings. I think that the reason that Pete Jackson didn't make Gimli a more serious character is that he needed some comic relief. Although he tried to make Gimli and Legolas seem like they're such great friends, like they are in the book, it could have done better showing their friendship more.
I think it would have been better if Tolkien had put in this female elf in the books. It was pretty male-centered, although that's how it was when the book was written.
But still: Jackson is making the Hobbit as long as the Lord of the Rings, and LOTR is like nine hundred pages longer, give or take some. Really? At least he could have made LOTR longer, or the Hobbit shorter. The latter would have worked better. Still, I can't complain much, because the more shots of my favorite characters the better, and there's bound to be more in a longer film. What do you say about having Legolas in the Hobbit?


message 29: by Craig (last edited Jun 09, 2013 05:12PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Craig Elessar wrote: "A BIT harsh. I would give him some slack, though, by only suing him; it is a hard task to undertake such a complex book- it's so detailed, Tolkien spent seven pages describing a mountain- and he di..."

Well, I guess I'm just a purist and prefer the notion that if something's not broken, don't fix it. I couldn't imagine Lady Gaga trying to improve Mozart's Don Giovani. It's like a penguin trying to be an eagle. Same with Jackson's innovations with Tolkien's books. I liked the book character of Legolas, but his place was in The Lord of the Rings, not the The Hobbit, although it's probable he was present when Thorin & Co. were incarcerated by the Sylvan Elves of Mirkwood.

My point is that a good director with a good cast could easily do a movie version close to indentical to the books without handicapping themselves by trying to improve on things that are beyond his abilities. I'm starting to repeat myself so I'll stop on that point now.

As for the female elf, I'm all for archer warrior babes, especially the Elven ones, but, IBID!!!!!!! (You said you like exlamation points...).

All that being said, each to their own. Some may relate more easily to Jackson's version of Tolkien's books, which given our school systems these days, are probably at a level of literacy far too dense for those people nowadays whose ability to articulate themselves doesn't go very far beyond what they text each other. Not saying you're one of those Elessar.


message 30: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary The MPAA rating system has holes in it, and the MPAA is a pretty arbitrary group to make that assessment in the first place, but at a certain point, I wish there were a truth in labeling system that applied to entertainment products the same way labels for food are required to list their ingredients, calorie content and nutritional value. Film adaptations should be rated and titled by how true they are to the product upon which they are based, and that information should appear as a value on the ads like the ratings. A little text box that says something like:

New content, inspired by original text: 28%
Amount of original content contained in adaptation: 62%


Elessar Great comparison there- "A penguin trying to be an eagle." It's absolutely true, too. Tolkien's work is just to great. I actually totally agree with Modi's last paragraph . . . and what they text each other- "LOL" or "OMG" is basically it. Not many understands the awesomeness of LOTR. But it is true that most likely, Legolas would have been in in the Battle of the Five Armies . . . he is a prince, isn't he? He would have been likely to lead an army. Just- if he plays a part of killing Smaug, I will go with and stone Jackson. And he even has a good cast, so technically he could do what you were saying, Modi- do a movie version close to indentical to the books without handicapping himself (Jackson) by trying to improve on things that are beyond his abilities. He has a lot of help, so really, it's not impossible to do a movie that is more similar to the books. But, some things have to be cut out. If it was tried to do a movie including everything, the movie would be about, what, 50 hours long? I would definitely watch it all, but still. (like my name? you can tell I'm a LOTR freak by that . . .)


Craig Elessar wrote: "Great comparison there- "A penguin trying to be an eagle." It's absolutely true, too. Tolkien's work is just to great. I actually totally agree with Modi's last paragraph . . . and what they text e..."

Editing is one thing, re-writing is something else. Back to the penguin/eagle analogy there. Although I should have written "puffin" instead of penguin. If anything can be, they're sillier looking than a penguin.

Agreed about Legolas' inevitable presence in the places you mentioned and it won't be bad to see Orlando Bloom again as Legolas I suppose. I just don't think I will be. I'd rather sell the family farm for the price of admission to Jackson's stoning then get paid 5X that to go see The Hobbit or its sequel.


message 33: by Karla (last edited Jun 09, 2013 08:47PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karla Goodhouse Books and movies are vastly different media, and therfore, stories adapted to the screen are always slightly different. I would ask everyone to go back and re-read the Battle of the Five Armies in the books. Tolkien never describes any of his fight scenes in much detail. Often, they are descriptions given by one character to another after the fact, as is this particular battle. This doesn't translate well to cinema at all. Why the difference? The media of film is better suited to show these epic scenes. The battle will not be a short little skirmish, it's not what viewers want. Audiences want to see the full, drawn out battle. It's going to be a spectacular fight, like the battles in LOTR. Someone must be leading these armies, but aside from the dwarf army, none of these leaders are ever named. To properly show the battle on screen, Jackson HAS to create a few characters to fight in the battle and lead these armies. Why not make one a woman?

Also, it's not just that there isn't any female warriors in the Hobbit, there's no female characters at all. (The only mention of a woman is Bilbo's mother, when Tolkien describes his lineage.) Quite frankly, there has to be some women SOMEWHERE in Middle Earth. It only makes sense to show a few in the movie.


Craig Karla wrote: "Books and movies are vastly different media, and therfore, stories adapted to the screen are always slightly different. I would ask everyone to go back and re-read the Battle of the Five Armies in ..."

As Robert Heilein wrote, "What a wonderful world it is that has girls in it." I feel no inhibition applying that to Middle-Earth either. Still think we'd all be much happier with Joss Whedon at the wheel on these films though.


message 35: by Karla (last edited Jun 10, 2013 04:22PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karla Goodhouse Modi wrote: "Karla wrote: "Books and movies are vastly different media, and therfore, stories adapted to the screen are always slightly different. I would ask everyone to go back and re-read the Battle of the F..."

Perhaps. I'm not giving judgement on the quality of the director or the film. My point is simply that any director would have to add a few characters to adapt the Hobbit to the screen, and women must exist somewhere in Middle Earth.

Now had Jackson made one of the dwarves female, or had her tag along with Thorin & company, or makes her a love interest for one of the major characters, I would take issue with that. (Or any number of variances from the main plot.) However, I think it is acceptable, and probably necessary, to add a few characters to helm the Five Armies. I have no problem with giving these characters a bit of a backstory either, as long as it's within reason and their interactions with Bilbo and Thorin are kept to a minimum.


message 36: by Craig (last edited Jun 09, 2013 09:18PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Craig Karla wrote: "Modi wrote: "Karla wrote: "Books and movies are vastly different media, and therfore, stories adapted to the screen are always slightly different. I would ask everyone to go back and re-read the Ba..."

Karla, I meant to agree with you on your point, but I was at work when I answered you so I just didn't formulate my response very well. As you said, with so many armies, and thus so many individuals, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a female military leader being thrown into the mix. Why not?


message 37: by Gary (last edited Jun 09, 2013 10:14PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary Couldn't Jackson make a movie that has female elves in it without basing it on The Hobbit? I mean, if he's going to basically write a screenplay that has new and original content, why attach his creative process to that of another writer? I would argue that it turns his project into fanfiction rather than an adaptation.

There's nothing inherently wrong with fanfiction... but its range of quality is very broad. That means its something of a roll of the dice whether or not it will be a decent project, and in the long run why bother with something so unpredictable? There are plenty of proven materials out in the world for entertainment....


Sparrowlicious Ah, the minority feisty trope.
Peter Jackson, why. Show us some female elven warriors. I'm okay with adding good female characters.
If this wasn't a book adaption.
Unfortunately Tolkien didn't write about any women in The Hobbit. /: That sort of makes me sad. So yeah, I'm between 'add some female characters because SERIOUSLY' and 'this is a book adaption and Jackson already ruined a great deal when he adapted Lord of the Rings' (what happened to the Hobbits? they're suddenly DUMB in the movie D: I loved the Hobbits in the books!)

Then again: As long as she's no love interest for anyone it could turn out fine. I hate nothing more than only creating a female character so that she's a love interest for a male character. A female character should have her own goals and pursuits and not simply be there for the amusement of the male character. Ugh.


Melissa Peter Jackson already changed the first movie so much. It was almost unrecognizable to me. If he wants to add a new character to the next movie it will just further turn me off. In commentaries and interviews during the making of The Lord of the Rings he expressed being very faithful to Tolkien and his creation. He would always talk about how he would not deviate from that. Now it seems like he does not care with The Hobbit. I'm sure he has his reasons. Maybe he feels that in its original form it would seem childish and odd. But with that idea he is only looking at one audience. He needs to keep in mind the audience that has grown up with this book. They don't want it changed. They want the original. The solution is not to create a new character. The solution was probably to have this book come out before The Lord of the Rings or to not come out at all. He can't jump over that bar he set with lotr. He couldn't with King Kong and he won't be able to with The Hobbit.


message 40: by Karla (last edited Jun 10, 2013 04:23PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Karla Goodhouse Modi wrote: "Karla wrote: "Modi wrote: "Karla wrote: "Books and movies are vastly different media, and therfore, stories adapted to the screen are always slightly different. I would ask everyone to go back and ..."

Ah, gotcha. Thanks for agreeing!


Elisa Becky wrote: "I'm interested to see more from the Mirkwood Elves' point of view. I hope Tauriel will accomplish that. I do wonder why the position of head of the Elven Army was not given to Legolas, though."

I agree! Like, isn't he Mirkwood's prince? What the hell?


Elessar Elisa wrote: "Becky wrote: "I'm interested to see more from the Mirkwood Elves' point of view. I hope Tauriel will accomplish that. I do wonder why the position of head of the Elven Army was not given to Legolas..."

Unless she is some person up high, rank-wise. But I agree with Elisa, Legolas should lead. Maybe they sort of share? I wonder what her lineage/rank is. If she takes some part in the killing of Smaug, though . . .


Craig Elessar wrote: "Elisa wrote: "Becky wrote: "I'm interested to see more from the Mirkwood Elves' point of view. I hope Tauriel will accomplish that. I do wonder why the position of head of the Elven Army was not gi..."

In the book Bard kills Smaug, but given Jackson's habit of re-writing Tolkien's work for him, I guess anything is possible.... going off to collect some throwing stones now...


Vicki G I think that's what they DO in movies, and I think Stephen King was right. Back when he said movies are ephemeral and books not as much so, which is why they tend to do that in movies.
Unless it's HIS movies THESE days and they do exactly what HE wants them to do, which is a load of capitalist baloney.
But I digress. A LITTLE.
Movies do what sells and if they think it will sell more movies they're going to do it unless you're someone like Stephen King and spend hours arguing with them to NOT do it.
But then his movies alREADY sell lots of tickets, so it turns out to be the same dam thing in a way.
Yes, I'm extremely cynical about how they do movies. Besides having several actor friends, all of whom are NOT on the A-list, I also have a friend who's written books for over 40 years, was a best seller in the 80's but STILL can't get a movie contract put together after 8 years of patiently trying to work with them.
Stephen King's son OTOH, who isn't even a bestseller YET - no matter WHAT they write on his book covers - has 20 different pending contracts with every movie company in the county. Or so it seems.
Nobody's going to tell me that money isn't talking in that situation - or they can tell me, but I'm not that willing to suspend my cynicism after seeing what's happened with my 40-year known author friend.
You can ask anybody in acting, even people from the A-list. They'll ALL tell you that's how things are done when making movies.


message 45: by Matt (last edited Jun 11, 2013 06:53PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Matt Seeing LOTR on film was satisfying. Not perfect, but he did a good job. Far better than what I was expecting. THAT'S JUST MAKES THE HOBBIT SO DISAPPOINTING!

I was hoping it could live up to the LOTR movies, but as a geek who loved the books watching the Hobbit hurt... a lot. (Sigh) and to think that I had such high hopes... :(


Wm. Scott Conway I can't believe you guys didn't see this coming. Didn't he prepare us in the first movie with the quip, "Every good story deserves embellishment."?

Still Jackson's vision of Middle-Earth is not as atrocious as Disney's (or Fox's) vision of Narnia.


Cassandra I can't really judge until I see the movie. I think the first movie was excellent. I am re-reading the book to compare. The book isn't really written for movies, it works great read aloud (as it was to me as a child, twice), but not as a coherent film. I've liked the changes so far, I think they, generally, add depth. Hopefully this elf will also add some depth. (I am neither a Tolkien nor Jackson fan. I am a fan of fantasy worlds.)


message 48: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy I did like the LOTR movies, but yea not sure how I feel about the Hobbit. I really do not think the new elf needed to be added especially if she is to be Legolas girlfriend.Which we don't know, but it would take so much away from the actual story. Even though Peter Jackson should have creative freedom in making the movie at the same time it would of been a lot better if it stuck to the book more. I will still watch the movie, just because I know it is just a movie and I can still enjoy the book as I imagine it when I read it. Besides no movie based on a book will ever live up to every readers expectations, that is just how it is.


Matthew Williams I'd say this is Jackson doing what he set out to do from the beginning: pad the movie so as to stretch it out to three unnecessary segments. I wouldn't call that treason, but I would say he's pulling a GOT on this baby!


message 50: by Ari (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ari Can I just say... every time I hear Peter Jackson, I think of Dionysus/Mr.D messing up Percy's name.


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