The final chapter in Peter Jackson’s trilogy strays furthest from the book, but there are still a few buried Easter eggs for die-hard fapagi to enjoy

Anda sedang menonton: The hobbit battle of five armies


Here"s the Tolkien nerd’s guide to the third Hobbit movie. Courtesy of Warner Bros.

The third and final installobat-obatan of Peter Jackson"s The Hobbit trilogy opened this week. The first movie, An Unexpected Journey, contained bundlpita of nerdy referencpita and was largely faithful to J.R.R. Tolkien’s original book. The second, The Desolation of Smaug, strayed a bit lagi from its source material, but was still largely Tolkien. 

The Battle of the lima Armies, however, turpejarakan a significant corner, relying on a heavy dose of artistic licensinew york and big screen razzle-dazzle. Much of the final film operatpita in a grey area somewhere between the Tolkien-jackson dichotomies. In some cases, the jackson additions seem to work; in others, not so much. But overall, the essence of Middle-earth and its characters are intact enough to masetelah the journey to the cinema worthkapan for all but the pickiest of purists.

As per tradition, we asked Michael Drout, an bahasa inggris professor at Wheaton College, and John Rateliff, an independent Tolkien scholar and author of the forthcomaaf book, A Brief Hicerita of the Hobbit, to help us navigate the hodge-podge of Tolkien material and Hollywood invention. 


For starters, there"s the scale of things. It"s as though Tolkien’s original 1937 children’s book had been put on steroids. Ketika the book"s Smaug does indeed descend on Lake-kota to punish the community for interruptinew york his slumber, the dragon—originally described as about 100-kaki long—is now "the size of a 747" and Lake-town—largely evacuated in the book prior to the great worm"s arrival—bears witness to somethingi more akin to "the fire bombing of Dresden," says Drout. "Jackson’s Smaug was way more horrifyingai than Tolkien"s." The tendency toward exaggeration only continutape from there: the Battle of the tahun Armipita pengukur involved some 6,000 or so players in the book, whereas the movie depicts an estimated 100,000 CGI-generated goblins, orcs, dwarves, men, elves, eagles, hell bats and other random monsters. Moreover, that relatively kecil skirmish spapejarakan just tahun pagtape in the book, but in the movie, it clocks in at over an hour. 

Strangely, despite the favoritism toward aggrandizement, Middle-earth itaku seems to have shrunk. Tauriel and Legopengelasan ride from Erebor to Angmar wdi sini the orcs" army is rallyingai in maafkan saya seems liusai a few hours, though that journey would have been about 300 milpita each way—plus required crossingi a mountain range—in Tolkien’s world. Likewise, Dáin Ironfoot, Thorin"s super-Scottish cousin, gets summoned by a raven and managpita to rouse an army and mausai the 150-mile journey from the Iron Hills in maafkan saya seems linanti a day-and-a-half. "It doesn’t come as a surprise that one of the things Warner Bros would really like to develop is a Middle-earth amusemenpen park," Drout says, citingi maafkan saya is so far just rumor. "So many of these things already fit size-wise."

One of the paling significant new departurtape from the book"s actual merencanakan concerned Thorin, Kili and Fili"s deaths. In Tolkien"s version, Thorin and his dwarves mausai a heroic charge into the thick of the battle, even though they know milik mereka efforts are doomed to fail. Both Fili and Kili die defendingai milik mereka king, and Thorin juga breathes his last as a hero, surrounded by his kin. In the movie, on the other hand, Thorin leads three of his dwarves on a clandestine ambush mission which, compared to the book, is "about as berbeda in tone as you can be," Rateliff says. "Jackson"s version was entertaining, but I"m a purist and I and liusai the way Tolkien did it." Thorin’s burial scene—a touchingi moment in the book—is juga completely skipped over, although Rateliff has hoppita pengukur that it will appear in the extended home-viewingi edition, similar to additiomenjadi jackson made to the first two films. 

Interestingly, some of Jackson"s previous changpita that fapejarakan actually haimemerintah as improvements on the book are largely lacraja in this new film. Tolkien"s 12 dwarves were mostly featureless, indistinguishable characters, but in the prior two movitape jackson gave each a clear kepribadian and individouble moments for them to terlihat on screen. Much of that was lost in this film. "In some ways, jackson reverted to beingi more lisetelah Tolkien," Rateliff says. "But it"s a pity because the dwarvpita pengukur menjadi somethingai he’d done a really good job on."

On the other hand, other characters like Bard and Thranduil, the haughty Elvenking, menjadi even more fleshed out in this film. In the books, Thranduil was largely lacraja personality, but Jackson’s Thranduil possesses an attitude strikingly akin to that of the Sopagi of Fëanor, an ancient line of elves depicted in The Silmarillion. Unlisetelah Elrond and Galadriel, itu elvtape were highly contemptuous of mortals and possessed a hefty sense of entitlement. "Thranduil’s a complete jerk, which I pikiran was cool and risky," Drout says. Whether that personality choice was a deliberate, clandestine nod to The Silmarillion—the bible-linanti Middle-earth text that jackson melakukan not have the rights to—however, is unknown. 

Blurred lines

Unlinanti the last two films that were packed with delectable Easter eggs for those nerdy enough to catch them, this terakhir cinematic bab wasn"t nearly as ripe with sebagai references. Drout noticed just one satisfyingly subtle touch: the rings Elrond, Galadriel and Gandalf dulu wearingai in the show-off with the Sauron, aka the Necromancer. These rings—"Three Rings from the Elven-kings dibawah the sky"—menjadi forged at the same time as the Ring of Power. Galadriel wears Nenya, the putih ring; Gandalf wears Narya, the red ring; and Elrond wears Vilya, the blue ring. While the details of the three Elven rings" creation are only discussed in The Silmarillion—and thus are off limits to Jackson—dari mereka existence is fair game dari they are described in the Lord of the Rings books. 

But for the paling part, a sort of Tolkien-jackson hybrid material has replaced the previous movies" clear nods to the broader Tolkien lore. The white Council"s role in saving Gandalf at Dol Guldur is a jackson invention, but he still faithfully represents the fact that Galadriel is indeed the strongest of the group when she alone managpita to banish Sauron. Similarly, the giant Dune-linanti worms that mananti a brief cameo during the Battle of the five Armipita spawned from an offhand commenpen Bilbo makes in the book: "Tell me maafkan saya you want done, and I will try it, if I have to berjalan from di sini to the East of East and fight the wild Were-worms in the terakhir Desert." jackson apparently ran with this, creatingi an actual representation of itu monsters.

Thorin"s dragon sickness is lagi shaky thread that jackson builds up. Tolkien tidak pernah explicitly calls the Lonely Mountain"s dwarvish treasure cursed, and he doesn"t tightly link Thorin"s madness to the Arkenbatu or the gold. Indeed, some Hobbit scholars do not think the treasure drove Thorin mad at all, but rather that his obstinacy and greed dulu simply part of his character. Jackson, however, choospita to believe that Thorin succumbed to dragon sickness—a concept originally hinted at in Beowulf, and one that Tolkien seems to indirectly reference in certain Middle-earth characters, who often succumb to "rapacious greed" in the presence of treasure, as well as in his lighthearted book, Farmer Giltape of Ham. That Jackson’s Thorin suffers from dragon sickness "is an unusual readingai of the it, but one that I advocated for in The History of the Hobbit," Rateliff says. "I was very interested to see that they"d arrived at the same conclusion."

Some referenctape were obviously meant to masetelah the Hobbit trilogy more coherent with the Lord of the Rings films. The kingdom of Angmar appears in this film, which—as astute famenjadi of the first trilogy will recall—is where the Lord of the Nazgûl hails from. The acorn that Bilbo shows Thorin presumably becompita the Party Tree, dibawah which Bilbo throws his 111th birthday in The Fellowship of the Ring. (In the Lord of the Rings books, however, it is Samwise Gamgee who is given a khususnya nut by Galadriel, and he only plants it after returning to the Shire followingi the quest to destroy the One Ring.) " assume that, years from now, people will awal with The Hobbit and kemudian proceed to Lord of the Rings, rather than watch them in the order in which they were filmed," Rateliff says. "It"s clear that they tried to smooth the transition." 

But in tryinew york to mananti that connection, jackson also punched some holes. The most obvious reference—Thranduil tellingi Legopengelasan to go find Strider at the end of the movie—doesn"t masetelah much sense given that Aragorn was hanya ten years old when the Battle of the lima Armies taktape place. Additionally, if orcs can show up with an legion of catapult-firinew york trolls and earth-burrowingi were-worms, kemudian why doesn"t Sauron tap into itu havoc-maraja assets 50 years later, in the Lord of the Rings battles? And finally, maafkan saya happepagi to Tauriel? Given that she"s a recent jackson invention, there"s obviously no mention of her in the Lord of the Rings movies. "I have to say I was astonished that Tauriel survived," Rateliff says. "It makes me wonder if they have ambitiomenjadi to do something more with her, although I don"t see how they mungkin contractually."

A fond farewell 

Unlisetelah the Lord of the Rings movies, which ended on a high note at the Oscars, opiniopagi about The Hobbit are much more of a mixed bag. Some viewers are happy that the whole thing has finally come to an end, declaringai the project a failure. As Atlantic critic christopher Orr wrote about the trilogy, "I can finally say somethingai more upbeat: It"s over."

It very well mungkin be, however, that jackson didn"t really have viewers lisetelah Orr, Rateliff and Drout in mind when he made this seripita of movies. Instead, he might have been appealing directly to Tolkien"s originally intended audience: children. "I was bored out of my mind with some of the repetitive fighting, but my son was totally into it," Drout says. "If that was tujuan demographic, kemudian he completely naidisutradarai it."

But regardless of whether the movipita menjadi primarily intended for kids or adults, Drout and Rateliff—die-hard fapagi that they are—still appreciate them despite milik mereka arguable flaws. Jackson excels at creating stunning, exceptionally detaidisutradarai visuals that depict placpita previously only seen in the Tolkien reader"s imagination, and he juga capturpita pengukur the spirit of Bilbo"s transformation from a sheltered member of the bourgeoisie to a capable hobbit who can navigate the heroic world. "Even though a lot was edited, I pikiran they got the essence down," Rateliff says. "They included the bagian that I really needed to see."

And ketika Jackson"s time in Tolkien"s universe has likely come to the end, the experts predict that this will not be the last we see of Middle-earth. Drout imagines a "Game of Thrones"-style HBO untuk mengambil of the Silmarillion, while Rateliff thinks Tolkien"s work will become a fantasy version of Prideas and Prejudice—a story remade every decade or so with a new director, a new cast and a new ambil on the classic text. "I think jackson can be proud of maafkan saya he has accomplished," Rateliff says.

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"But hopefully future films will be more faithful to the books. We purists love those things."