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December 30, 2013

The Desolation of Tolkien

"I’m certain that the 'faithful film adaptation' of the 1937 Hobbit these critics seem to want would in fact turn out to be awful, or at least fall far short of Tolkien’s ultimate vision. Here are five reasons why..."

2. Most of Jackson’s additions to the story are actually Tolkien’s. Here are a few of the scenes, characters, and plot items that appear nowhere in the original Hobbit, but were added by Tolkien in later years and show up in Jackson’s films: Gandalf’s meeting Thorin in Bree and urging him to retake Erebor, Sauron’s reappearing as the Necromancer in Mirkwood, the character of Radagast the Brown, the One Ring as a malevolent force, Azog the Defiler’s beheading of Thror, the Mirkwood spiders’ designation as “spawn of Ungoliant,” the Battle of Azanulzibar (the dwarf/orc battle outside Moria), and Gandalf’s collaborating with the “White Council” (Radagast, Saruman, Galadriel, and Elrond) to confront the Necromancer, uncover his true identity, and drive him out of Mirkwood.

Appendix I: A guide to Peter Jackson's Hobbit.

The Tolkien estate is a particularly libelous bunch, so Jackson must be extra cautious to only borrow from texts he has the rights to, which are the Lord of the Rings trilogy (and its Appendices) and The Hobbit. The Desolation of Smaug opens with a flashback to the town of Bree, where Gandalf meets with Thorin over a pint to discuss plans for taking back the Lonely Mountain, which clearly comes form the Appendices. This scene, however, also flirts with details potentially taken from “The Quest of Erebor,” a short story published in The Unfinished Tales in which Gandalf explains his reasoning for choosing Bilbo, for helping Thorin and for encouraging the dwarves take back the Lonely Moutain. But Jackson does not own the rights to that story, so the allusion, while tantalizing, is vague at best.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at December 30, 2013 10:17 AM