J.R.R. Tolkien discussion

The Hobbit > Battle of the Five Armies

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message 1: by Alexandra (last edited Mar 07, 2015 02:28AM) (new)

Alexandra Calistru | 5 comments Seeing that there is no topic about the latest movie, I decided to start one. I haven't yet seen the movie, but I more or less know what to expect seeing the trailer and reading some really angry reviews made by fellow Tolkienites ("medieval Transformers"). Because I loathed Desolation of Smaug I decided not to pay to see this one, but it wouldn't hurt reading more opinions. So let me know if you have seen it and what were your impressions.

message 2: by Elentarri (new)

Elentarri | 29 comments Dain Ironfoot's war "steed" was cute. So were the battle rams.

As far as I'm concerned, this set of movies is more like poor quality Hobbit fan-fiction written by a hormonal teenager than a movie of the book.

message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael (michaeldiack) | 13 comments I'm a hardcore Tolkien fan, owning all the books and loving the Lord of the Rings movies. But The Hobbit films? They are not on the same level. Overused CGI and stretched/invented storylines to milk the paying customer into three films. But yes, I was one of the paying customers just because I love Middle-earth so much, in many ways it was still visually spectacular to see the Lonely Mountain and the landscape. the key difference is: I won't buy these films on DVD.

As for the Battle of Five Armies, it got a bit tiring watching non-stop battling between CGI. Even with an army of elves and dwarves, it didn't even remotely come close to the spine-tingling arrival of Rohan at the Pelennor Fields in ROTK.

I was disappointed, but still appreciated the quality acting of Ian Mckellen and Martin Freeman.

message 4: by Anne (new)

Anne Gazzolo | 390 comments Mod
I agree with you all. I'm not going to waste my money on the Battle Against the Book because the Desolation of the Story was so disappointing. Haven't decided yet whether I will waste something even more important - my time - at some point and see it for free if my sister's family buys the DVD. Fanfiction indeed. Peter was bit by the dragonsickness, knew we would be eating out of his hand and could do anything he wanted because he didn't have to prove anymore that he could make a good movie. I decided I didn't want to be used anymore like that. Fanfiction indeed, though as a reader and writer of such, I can say there is beauty among some of the fan writers. These Unexpected Disappointments are definitely not on the same level as the wonderful LOTR films despite the flaws in those.

message 5: by Elentarri (new)

Elentarri | 29 comments Anne Marie wrote: "Fanfiction indeed, though as a reader and writer of such, I can say there is beauty among some of the fan writers."

I agree with you. BTW - I happen to like some Tolkien fanfiction. The well written kind, that explores Tolkien's world and fills in the gaps etc. Not the really awful fanfic written (and then converted into a movie) by hormonal teenagers that are drooling over Legolas or a made up elf-chick.

message 6: by Robyn (last edited Jan 20, 2015 11:49AM) (new)

Robyn Brown | 10 comments I agree with many of the above comments, too much CGI, stretched storyline, etc. However, I will say that Martin Freeman as the beloved Bilbo did a wonderful job all the way through. I have seen all of the "trilogy" at this point and have chosen to focus on his and Gandalf's characters the most. When the dwarves are in Rivendell, in the first "Hobbit", and Thorin is less than cordial to Elrond about the map, Bilbo begins to see what he is in for dealing with the exiled King. He is a testament, through all 3 movies that, "it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay... small acts of kindness and love" ~ the best lesson to take from these misshapen movies.

message 7: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 11 comments I think that the movies definitely could have been better. I think that how they did Thorin in BOTFA was perfect, they could not have done that better. I also don't like how they made so many connections to LOTR. It was cool how they added Legolas, but I wish they had just left him out. I really didn't like Tauriel. This movie is almost three hours long, they should have just left her out. Otherwise I thought it was good, but it could be improved. My favorite part is the song that Billy Boyd sings during the credits.

message 8: by Lariela (new)

Lariela | 14 comments I mostly like them as films. Will probably end up own all the DVDs, though that is because I like watching certain actors. The Gandalf scenes could have been perhaps mostly in the extended editions and that would have been fine. The love triangle bugged me, that was not needed at all. I felt that parts of the second and third films could be called 'Legolas is Awesome- the Movie', a cameo would have fit though.

message 9: by Philip (new)

Philip Dodd (philipdodd) | 84 comments The death of Smaug and his burning of Lake Town was done well in the film, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, I thought, and I was pleased to see Bilbo return home at the end of the film, as in the book, to find an auction taking place in Bag End, he being presumed dead. There was no need for Tauriel or the servant of the Master of Lake Town, however, and I was disappointed that only a few of the thirteen dwarves looked like dwarves. It would have been better if Peter Jackson had made The Hobbit films first, then The Lord of the Rings films. Never mind. The films were at their best when they were true to the books, I thought, and when they were good they were very good, well worth making and seeing.

message 10: by Joanne (new)

Joanne | 79 comments I always think visually the work Peter Jackson does is superb, maybe because I am an artist. BUT AND THIS IS A BIG BUT. STOP overdoing everything. Too much gold, too much dragon, too much beards, too much romance, too much fighting, and too much time. Enough already.

message 11: by Pickle (new)

Pickle | 5 comments Boy this is awkward. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and bought all three blu-rays as soon as I could.

message 12: by Stefan (new)

Stefan Yates (stefan31) | 127 comments Mod
I'm with you, Pickle. No need to feel awkward.

**Not totally true, I guess. I'm still waiting on the Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition.

message 13: by Roman (new)

Roman Colombo | 2 comments The Hobbit films were wonderful and adventurous. And yep, can't wait for the extended edition.

I got the trilogy steelbook edition from Best Buy. It's beautiful.

message 14: by John (new)

John Rosegrant | 51 comments I agree. The films are different than the books, certainly, but excellent in their own right. And like the LotR movies, I think they bring in many new fans who otherwise would not have read the books.

message 15: by David (new)

David  | 5 comments I think many criticisms of the trilogy are off-base. When I hear people say that Jackson just wanted to make money and that he added fluff, this really says nothing about the movies themselves and it is an assumption on your part. After all, who is inside his head?

When the Hobbit movies were announced they were going to make two movies. If Jackson merely wanted to make money then he would have planned a trilogy from the start. The change from two to three films could not have been based merely on making more money. Besides which, most artists through history have been motivated by money. If Shakespeare or Dickens had said, "I only wrote that to make money" would that take away the greatness of it? In other words, whether the primary motivation was money or not is secondary.

As for this movie, I personally felt it failed because it was not long enough! What I mean is that Jackson did not complete many stories he had begun - he never resolved the Bard plotline nor did he show who became king under the mountain. He also did not make a strong connection to LOTR.

And if you think about it, the fact the ending of the third film was so weak seems to cast doubt on the movies simply being padded out with fluff. If this was true, we would expect a strong ending with fluff in the middle. But this ending would have been poor in a second movie.

I think there was a lot of unnecessary action in each film and I was sick of Legolas being a ninja. That said, I enjoyed the films and admire what they tried to do. After making LOTR first there was no way they could just do the Hobbit as is - make a film where a main character disappears with no explanation for half of it? Then when he returns he just says he was fighting the Necromancer...and not say that figure is Sauron (since this is not in the Hobbit). Put dwarfs on screen who cower in fear of Smaug after showing Gimli as fearless in LOTR? Heck, I am surprised they kept 13 dwarfs and gave them all a bit of screen time (at least in film 1) to differentiate them.

I'd say the films were fun, not as good as LOTR and a few changes would have been better - less Legolas, more Beorn, more closure, less action and more character.

message 16: by Christine (new)

Christine (christine01) | 18 comments I have a question but i am not quit sure where to post it.... In the movie The Battle of The Five Armies, Legolas mentions that his mother died at Gundabad, and his father King Thranduil never speeks about it. I have been searching to find out more about Legolas mother but it appears there really is no information about her. From what i understand this was added into the movie and nobody really knows if there is a Queen of Mirkwood. Can anyone else elaborate for me? I am just starting to read my first book by JRR Tolkien and I would just like a little more insight... =)

message 17: by Keri (new)

Keri | 9 comments David wrote: " He also did not make a strong connection to LOTR. ..."

Seriously? All he did was make connections to LotR which was one of the major problems with the TH films. He wouldn't let them be their own but made connection after connection to the LotR films to the point of absurdity. For goodness sakes, they even re-used much of the music. But I will certainly agree with you on the action which in my opinion was way over the top and rather silly in most parts (especially the entirety of Galadriel and Gandalf fighting the nine etc.). In my opinion they would have done better to stick truer to the story in the book and the information provided in the appendices of LotR (which was needed to fill in gaps such as Gandalf) rather than trying to copy the LotR films.

Christine wrote: "I have a question but i am not quit sure where to post it.... In the movie The Battle of The Five Armies, Legolas mentions that his mother died at Gundabad, and his father King Thranduil never spe..."

Tolkien didn't write a single thing about Legolas's mother, all this was completely made up by the writers.

message 18: by Christine (last edited Apr 18, 2015 04:13PM) (new)

Christine (christine01) | 18 comments Thanks for the quick reply Keri! I am glad i no longer have to search for an answer. =)

message 19: by Christine (new)

Christine (christine01) | 18 comments I wonder if Thranduil will explaine in further detail to Legolas about his mother in the extended edition? I can only hope... It would be interesting to see what they come up with...

message 20: by K.T. (new)

K.T. Arlene | 14 comments I have always wondered about Legolas' mother. Isn't it sort of awkward to think about?

message 21: by Codex (new)

Codex Regius (codex_regius) | 21 comments Middle-earth in general is almost devoid of mothers. Tolkien was lacking this experience in his life and, hence, it is markedly absent from his books as well, and there is only a plethora of widowed fathers and uncles. The matter apparently seemed simply unimportant to Tolkien.

message 22: by John (new)

John Rosegrant | 51 comments Perhaps the issue of "Tolkien and mothers" is even more complicated than this. He lost his father at a much younger age than he lost his mother, and was therefore very reliant on her. His mother appears to have been a remarkable woman who was a great support both emotionally and intellectually. For that very reason his loss of his mother probably had a bigger impact than his loss of his father.
I think these matters were very important to Tolkien but for whatever reason were not what he was interested in making fiction about directly. I think his mother shows up symbolically as aspects of Galadriel and Melian and Varda.

message 23: by Codex (new)

Codex Regius (codex_regius) | 21 comments Possibly so. I would add Morwen to the list. Otherwise his stories are remarkably full of solitary father-and-son, uncle-and-nephew or grandfather-grandson relationships with lacking female parts: Bilbo & Frodo, Sam & the Gaffer, Theoden & Eomer, Thranduil & Legolas, Denethor & Boromir+Faramir, Elrond & Elladan+Elrohir, Elendil & Isildur+Anarion, the two blokes in the Drowning of Anadune, not to speak of Feanor and his sons. That is a matter which from the psychological point of view is quite conclusive. The only character violating the pattern is Lobelia Sackville-Baggins.

message 24: by David (new)

David  | 5 comments I'm curious as to why you would think that. I can understand why you would claim cynicism on the parts of those who would disagree with your statement here, but the fact that they changed their minds and made three movies instead of just two is a clear indication that they simply wanted to make more money.

Sorry, let me rephrase - obviously they want to make more money but I doubt the move was solely based on wanting to make more money or they'd have just planned 3 from the beginning.

Keri (msg. 18) - Sorry, I was speaking mostly about the very end of the third movie. I was expecting to see some sort of epilogue with Gollum leaving the mountain, for example. Or, to see Sauron setting up shop in Mordor. Perhaps some indication of Saruman's state of mind? The main thing was the conversation where Legolas is told to look for Aragorn.

At any rate, I guess we disagree on the purpose of the movies. I think once LOTR was made first, you could not make the Hobbit was it was originally written. Jackson tried, and I give him credit for it, to meld the Hobbit into the greater world of LOTR. This was tried by Tolkien himself when he wrote the Quest for Erebor and he began re-writing the Hobbit but gave up. He did, of course, rewrite the chapter on Bilbo finding the ring (so if you are a purist, do you want the original chapter when GOllum happily gives him the ring or the rewritten one where Tolkien made it line up better with the LOTR?).

My main problem with the third Hobbit movie was that it was too short - too many stories had no ending - burial of Thorin? Dain becoming king? Bard becoming king? And Beorn was poorly done.

message 25: by Keri (last edited Apr 21, 2015 10:12AM) (new)

Keri | 9 comments Thanks for the clarification on what you were referring to on the connections to LotR though I suspect that much of what you are missing will be added to the extended edition release in November and probably the main reason the stuff was left out of the theatrical.

I agree with you that the LotR and TH films needed to be done in the same style, have the same look and feel. I also agree that they need to tie together. However, I didn't think it was necessary to have so very many nods and similarities to the LotR films. For instance...the moth, glowing, deep voiced Galadriel, Bilbo falling and the ring landing on his finger just like Frodo, re-use of LotR music and similarities such as Eowyn and Tauriel, Bard and Aragorn, Alfrid and Wormtongue, the love triangle etc. etc. There were just far too many of them IMO and it became quite annoying every time it happened. To me, TH films felt like they were being forced into a mold of the LotR films and it just didn't work. That was what I meant by being its own thing. The LotR films were rather magical and TH films I think, could have been if they have been done right.

message 26: by John (new)

John Rosegrant | 51 comments Codex wrote: "Possibly so. I would add Morwen to the list. Otherwise his stories are remarkably full of solitary father-and-son, uncle-and-nephew or grandfather-grandson relationships with lacking female parts: ..."

You are definitely right about the preponderance of motherless families. This is not absolute--the Maggots, the Cottons, and Sam & Rosie at the end are examples of loving families with present mothers--but Tolkien certainly emphasized families without them. To my mind, this indicates that mothers were very important to Tolkien, in the form of the lost, absent mother. Part of what shaped Feanor's character was his grief at the loss of his mother. Tolkien's biographies and letters clearly show that his mother was very important to him and he felt her loss keenly. I think this is one root of the overall elegiac quality of LotR, and therefore that the manifestly absent Mother is nevertheless "present" in the mood of loss.

message 27: by Philip (new)

Philip Dodd (philipdodd) | 84 comments Harry Potter was an orphan, so was Oliver Twist. Indeed, in the novels of Charles Dickens, there are quite a few orphans. Frodo Baggins was an orphan, which is the main reason why Bilbo Baggins adopted him as his heir. The orphan in literature is a subject that no doubt many have studied and written about. An orphan in a novel immediately has the reader's sympathy. No one wants to be without a mother or a father. According to J.R.R. Tolkien, A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic partly because his mother was and did all she could to make sure her two sons were brought up as Roman Catholics. So he associated his faith emotionally with his mother. The Lord of the Rings is about a war, the War of the Ring. Wars are fought by men, while women stay at home, which is the main reason, I think, why most of its characters are men, with few women. Fighting in the trenches in the Battle of the Somme in the First World War, J.R.R. Tolkien fought with men against men, while the women he knew were at home in England.

message 28: by Codex (new)

Codex Regius (codex_regius) | 21 comments Surviving the war while their men fell at the Somme. Middle-earth is thriving with widowers, however.

message 29: by Christine (new)

Christine (christine01) | 18 comments Katie wrote: "I have always wondered about Legolas' mother. Isn't it sort of awkward to think about?"

I do agree Katie.... I don't mind the fact that Peter Jackson added the discussion between Thranduil and Legolas at the end of the BOTFA. However, it does make me wonder what really did happen to Legolas' mother. It would have been nice to see the two of them part with a few more words on the subject. =)

message 30: by K.T. (new)

K.T. Arlene | 14 comments Yeah. I actually have not seen BOTFA yet - my dad wants to buy the extended trilogy , then we'll watch it together.

message 31: by Christine (new)

Christine (christine01) | 18 comments Katie wrote: "Yeah. I actually have not seen BOTFA yet - my dad wants to buy the extended trilogy , then we'll watch it together.

I hope that you enjoy the movie as much as I did! I think its my favorite out of all 3 Hobbit movies. =)

message 32: by K.T. (new)

K.T. Arlene | 14 comments Thanks, Christine- I'm sure I'll love just like I loved the other two.

message 33: by Lariela (new)

Lariela | 14 comments Yes, there was indeed too much Legolas in the Hobbit movies. It also felt like he was trying to sell a video game where he stared. Especially in the third film.

message 34: by Annamarie (new)

Annamarie (planewxgirl) | 14 comments Lariela wrote: "Yes, there was indeed too much Legolas in the Hobbit movies. It also felt like he was trying to sell a video game where he stared. Especially in the third film."


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