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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Yesterday, my sweetheart and I saw the last of The Hobbit films. I really loved it, and was quite emotional about it for a while afterwards. I think it's because (a) Thorin died (which I knew he would, since it's in the book), and the Tauriel/Kili/Legolas story line really hit me as well and (b) it's likely Peter Jackson's last foray into the Tolkien books, and I hate leaving Middle Earth behind.

I know there are folks who were upset with the parts of the Hobbit films that weren't derived straight from the text, but were either based on information in the appendices to The Lord of the Rings, or were altered by Peter Jackson and the other writers for reasons of their own, but I have no problem loving the movies as they are, changes included.

That said, it may be time to re-read Lord of the Rings again, as it's been several years now. (I re-read The Hobbit about two years ago, between the first and second Hobbit films.) My total number of LOTR readings is probably past 30 by now, but I've only read The Hobbit about half a dozen times.

Before I go, I have to say, though, that part of what I liked about the films was how they tied The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings by adding the appendix backstory involving Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond, Saruman, and Radagast.

Did you see the films? Did you read the book? What are your thoughts?

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 11th, 2015 08:09 pm (UTC)
I have to say, Kelly, I had the total opposite reaction to the Hobbit movies. I sobbed my heart out the first time I READ Thorin's death and cry every time I reread it. But it was so different in the movie--the reasons behind it, the character himself, that I was so frustrated I didn't even feel like I was watching Thorin die.

And the love triangle made no sense to me, especially again because two characters involved aren't even in the book.

Finally, the backstory drove me crazy--I felt like it was a series of advertisements for the few people who hadn't actually seen the LOTR movies yet.

Whew. Some vent, right? Hope you don't mind me blasting it out on your blog--feel free to delete! Or respond that I'm nuts. I did actually enjoy the movies some, for themselves, and I'll admit that the fluid fighting of the two elves is beautiful to watch. My husband, who hasn't read any of the books and loves the LOTR movies, liked the Hobbit series a lot (we saw them all in sequence across two days), although he did say he was a bit confused by the plots.

Jan. 12th, 2015 09:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know there are LOTS of people in your camp, Becky. Including the comment below. But I happened to be okay with the films, overall, and in part for making the link between The Hobbit (which felt self-contained) and LOTR. Last time I read the books, I found Thorin to be selfish and deluded (although not necessarily suffering dragon sickness and marginally insane). He was more responsive to immediate threats, however.

That said, the changes they made to Thorin pale in comparison to what they did to the character of Faramir in the LOTR movies. He was a pure hero, straight and true and uncorrupted in the books, and in the movies, they had him hauling Frodo & Sam most of the way to Gondor as presents for his father, which was SO far from his character that I remain upset years later. And the treatment of Théoden as under a visible pall and being possessed by Saruman in the movies gets similar scorn from me, since in the books it's all more subtle and not so . . . obviously magic-y. But I still love the movies, despite those two departures, which really bug me.
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Jan. 12th, 2015 01:19 am (UTC)
I would not have missed any of the movies (I saw most of them on opening day), because of my fondness for the books, however, I thought The Hobbit trilogy was poorly done. I can understand the addition of backstory details to foreshadow the LOTR, but I didn't think the addition of Tauriel was at all necessary. Unless my memory serves me wrong, I don't believe that there is a single female character in the book The Hobbit! How I wish more time had been added to the first three movies, instead of turning the shortest book into 3 movies! And don't get me started on the omission of Tom Bombadil from LOTR. ;) I also re-read all the books periodically, but I'm not even close to approaching 30 re-reads! You're a true fan!
Jan. 12th, 2015 09:31 pm (UTC)
There is indeed no female character in The Hobbit, unless there is a serving wench somewhere in a pub or something. It's all a huge sausage fest, and I suppose that they added Tauriel to make it less obviously so. I don't recall reading an appendix with backstory for Legolas, so I am guessing they invented it out of whole cloth, but it didn't really bug me.

That said, I agree with you about the LOTR movies. Even the lengthier director's cuts aren't long enough for me. I understand them omitting the Tom Bombadil section, since it does very little to advance the overall plot, but like you, I'd have enjoyed seeing it. Am hoping you read Becky Levine's comment (above) about The Hobbit movies. She's unhappy about the treatment of Thorin and the addition of backstory from the appendices AND the love triangle. (I see her points, and understand them, but still really liked the movies as they are.)
Jan. 15th, 2015 03:05 pm (UTC)
I read the books and saw the movies - loved them!
Jan. 15th, 2015 03:52 pm (UTC)
I knew you'd agree with me, somehow!
Apr. 8th, 2015 12:18 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed both previous films. They were no LOTR but it was different and it was good to be back. I am very glad for that.
Apr. 10th, 2015 09:43 pm (UTC)
That was my take, too!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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