Before we began the LitFlix project, I had read The Hobbit again in preparation for seeing the movie. I better get my thoughts out now, while the movie is still fresh, and before the sequel begins to loom! Later this year, Holly will be re-reading The Hobbit, and have further thoughts on part 2.
(Note: I wrote this with the thought being you have likely seen An Unexpected Journey, and potentially read the book. Also Lord of the Rings: movies seen and books read.)
When I was reading, I had heard it was going to be a two film endeavor, and in reading the book, I saw a natural break point. Minimal spoilers ahead, methinks!
Something from the books:
In The Hobbit, the companions are left by the eagles near the Carrock, home of Beorn. At Beorn’s home, the company recounts their story – hallmark of a young adult book, I suppose: reminding us of what we’ve read in a relatively short length of time. However, also a perfect breaking point for a film: and the one they followed. Part two will begin here. So… then they came out with the news of a third movie. Eh?…
Half the book has been covered so far, and half of two films. This sounds reasonable to me. Strung out perhaps longer than needed, but pretty true to the book, as well.
So now half the story is going to become two films. How do you do it? Seeing An Unexpected Journey gives some answers.
Something from the movie
Something that The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy showed us was what I like to think of as the “bad guy’s interlude,” scenes that showed scenes that were more implied or assumed in the books. Scenes like Gandalf’s encounter with Saruman, or the creation of the Uruk-hai. And this is where I see the Hobbit sequels going.
- For one, we will undoubtedly see Gandalf and friends versus the Necromancer.
- The Battle of Five Armies will probably be Helm’s-Deep long.
But which movie will these things happen in? The order I have just presented would follow the book more. But if the Necromancer is handled last, does he become the transition directly into Lord of the Rings?
Where do we go from here?
So for the most part, I’m thinking someday there needs to be a Complete Version Film Release, where the full story is told in an ideal order. Because some of the things that happened in An Unexpected Journey, like the meeting between the wizards and elves discussing Smaug in relation to Sauron, only makes sense with knowledge of what happens in The Lord of the Rings. Someday, someone watching these films in story order will be sitting there wondering why they care. Having seen what is to come, we of course know why we care.
But if a Complete Version put things like an updated version of Galadriel’s intro to The Fellowship of the Ring at the very beginning of the film series, it would help explain why we need to care during this time of supposed peace in the land. It’s odd to think that you need to watch the movies in the order they were made. Of course, it maybe also explains why Tolkien took out the parts about the Necromancer and the meeting with Saruman and put them in the Silmarillion.
Oh, right, what do I think of the movie, having read the book? I’m not sure I approve of the three movie thing, much like a lot of fans have been saying. Are they so caught up in the things that happen that they are losing sight of the story?
But here’s the rub: there’s nothing we can do about it. They can make it. Because we’ll go see it. I would buy the tickets now if I needed to (the show was sold out for the first couple weeks it was open here). So I just hope they do a good job of it. An Unexpected Journey leaves me hopeful that I will have another movie trilogy worthy of a New Year’s movie marathon!