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29 December 2014 @ 04:42 pm
More BOTFA thoughts...  

** What I found interesting was that this was the only film in Peter Jackson's Middle-earth films that didn't have a flashback prologue. I kind of half-expected there to be some kind of prologue to kind of give some further insight to what may be happening, if not plot-wise than definitely character-wise, but I figure it's because these films were originally meant to be two instead of three, and also it would've been difficult to do that with where the second film left off. It wouldn't have flowed as easily. If there were, though, I would have wanted it to have been more focused on Fili and Kili, maybe when they were getting ready to go on the quest and hear more about their hopes and their dreams of the future when they reclaim Erebor, which would then have transitioned to them as Laketown was being destroyed by the dragon.

** I loved the strange bond that formed between Thranduil and Bard. Like, you wouldn't have expected there to have been some kind of relationship between them, considering how Bard wants to avoid war at all costs whereas Thranduil gives no fucks, but there is an alliance nonetheless. I also liked how this has people shipping them simply from their interaction alone. Single Hot Dads, sharing wine and pretty much telling Gandalf, "you can't sit with us" (that was mostly Thranduil and his bored unrelenting sass, but still). It's rather interesting, and I'm liking this development.

** R.I.P. Thranduil's majestic elk, though. :(

** Even though I know Celeborn is with Galadriel, I still love her and Gandalf's relationship. I mean, the flirting in AUJ was obvious, but then here there's that clear love and admiration from both their ends and I just can't help but ship them in a sense, as well. ♥

** The ravens! I was so happy that we saw Thorin sending the raven to send word to Dain and the Iron Hill dwarves. I want to believe that particular raven was Roäc.

** Legolas throwing the Orcrist to save Thorin. An excellent throwback to when Thorin saved Legolas from the orc during the barrel scene in DOS. It made me so happy, never mind the fact that THORIN GOT ORCRIST BACK! It was a lovely touch to really give us the old Thorin back, of reminding us that this is the Thorin we all knew and loved.

** The recurring themes that paralleled certain characters: Greed, Cowardice, Isolation and Love. There are so many things featured that really connected the story together, and I just loved seeing the little things and I keep noticing them with each time I review the film. For example, Thorin and Thranduil share certain traits. Thorin locks himself away inside his mountain similar to how Thranduil does in his own kingdom and realm, not interested in anyone else but his own kin; the greed that takes over Thorin with the gold sickness, the greed Thranduil has over his precious white gems and the necklace. And so many other examples that I'm not mentioning, but noticing these parallels and seeing the significance of some of them makes me so happy that they were included, because when you take into account some of the context of why each of these things are present it makes so much sense. Like, Thorin locking himself away in his mountain, his paranoia from the gold sickness is obviously taking hold, he says regarding the Laketown folk who had lost their homes from the dragon, "They have much to be grateful for," it's like he's repeating the same things that Thranduil probably said to Thorin and his people when they were exiled, homeless and starving asking for his help. And interestingly enough, Thranduil does come to aid the people of Laketown but only in exchange for something of his. And just, oh! The parallels! All the parallels!

** I really want to talk about Dwalin, because this film shows a softer side to his character than the previous two films. Usually we see him as this gruff, no-nonsense warrior who has had enough of everyone's shit. But here, we see him watching his best friend, someone who he has grown up with, change and succumb to a sickness that he probably wished would never come to pass. When he approaches Thorin about what he has become, he doesn't do it out of anger, but out of sadness. And I feel that he only didn't say something until now is because he probably hoped that Thorin would have snapped out of it by then, and perhaps after Bilbo confessed what he did because of how Thorin had changed and wanted to bring him to his senses that led Dwalin to say something. (Which probably in the extended edition might have him say, as in the trailer, "Bilbo was right...") And he just looked and sounded so heartbroken, like he was so helpless and all he could try to do is talk to his friend, try to make him see reason even if it seemed like a lost cause. And then what he witnesses at Ravenhill...just. Yeah. It hurts, it hurts even more knowing that Dwalin is the only one who outlives the Company well into the Fourth Age.

** The scene when Thorin is coming out of his sickness is possibly one of my favorite scenes. Richard said it was an experimental scene that he wanted to do, because the stage direction was a simple line about Thorin looking into his reflection and seeing what he had become. And what I loved about how the scene played out was how it focuses on Thorin's fears, the dragon, which he sees his reflection on actually becoming the dragon, of the gold actually consuming him much like his grandfather, swallowing him whole. And he hears the voices of those who have been a positive influence on him throughout this quest, reminding him precisely who he is and what his mission was about. And the last thing he hears is Bilbo's voice, loud and clear, along with his own voice, "I am not my grandfather." This scene in itself is a perfect manifestation of what the gold sickness is, which is a mental illness, and how everything that happens in this scene is mostly happening within Thorin's mind itself. Thorin sees himself drowning, trying to run away from the gold but he fails, and be becomes the "dragon" trapped within the gold, hearing the voices. He doesn't want that, he doesn't want to become a gold obsessed monster, he doesn't want to become what his grandfather had become. It's just a wonderful scene showing us that Thorin had to hit rock bottom in order to get himself out from the sickness.

** "I have no right to ask you of this, but will you follow me one last time?" Not only is this a perfect tagline for the marketing of the final Hobbit and Middle-earth film, but it's foreshadowing Thorin's fate. He's asking his fellow kin to follow him "one last time" because he knows that he won't survive this battle. Either he'll die fighting or he'll die being succumbed to the gold. It's basically a suicide mission for him. And when he allows himself to be killed in order to kill Azog, it broke every piece of my heart. HE DESERVED TO LIVE, DAMMIT. HE FOUGHT SO HARD, HE SUFFERED SO MUCH, HE DESERVED TO LIVE AS WELL AS FILI AND KILI. I mean, I knew it was his final decision, but still. My poor babies. *cries*

** Just, everything Thorin Oakenshield, okay? I have so much to say about his character, but I could write many essays about him (especially regarding his low self-esteem and how lowly he thinks of himself, as presented during the height of his madness he clearly seems to hate himself and that is worth examining and looking into). Thorin is so important to me that I literally cannot contain my emotions when talking about him. He is such a tragic character, his entire story breaks my heart and all I wanted for him was to live his life in peace. Basically I wanted the Shire AU to be a reality. *hugs Thorin forever*

** I said this before, but one of the things I have appreciated about The Hobbit films has been the inclusion and portrayal of women, whereas in the source material there were literally none and was quite a sausagefest. Peter Jackson has done this with LOTR where he expanded Arwen's role, particularly in FOTR, and he extended that into The Hobbit by not just including Galadriel into the fold but also an original female character, Tauriel. There were also the women of Laketown who were proactive in the third film, taking arms to fight alongside the men, and we even got a glimpse at Bilbo's mother, Belladonna Took, in the extended edition of AUJ. Do I wish that there were more women present? Of course. I think it's sad that we'll never see Dis (Thorin's sister) or even get the names of Bard and Thranduil's late wives, but at least we had something involving more women in these films and that is something I am extremely grateful for.


As you can see, this film still has an emotional hold over me and that most likely won't let up any time soon. I'm planning on seeing it several more times in the theaters, and my third viewing will be in IMAX pretty soon. If my emotions can handle it, that is.
 
 
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: London Grammar - Devil Inside
 
 
 
philstar22: Hobbit: Thorinphilstar22 on December 30th, 2014 01:53 am (UTC)
Agreed on all of this. Particularly about Thorin and about women. Although, I don't think all the Arwen additions in LOTR were successful (What the hell was that in Return of the King). I would have preferred more Eowyn and Galadrial. But I think it actually worked better here. It made sense. Tauriel as a character worked in the story for me. Yes, there was the romance, but she was also badass and had her own motivations. And I loved her as a counterpoint to Thranduil.

And I loved that bit of the women of Laketown being proactive. Someone I know complained about it being anachronistic, but I'm convinced that in a similar situation women in similar cultures would die with the men to let the children live if that was the only option available.

Dis would have been awesome. I would have loved a prologue with Fili and Kili and Dis.

I didn't know that Richard came up with that scene himself. I loved it. It mirrored Bilbo's comparing Thorin to the dragon and for me it worked perfectly.

I wanted to hug Thorin. And Richard did such a good job. One of my favorite subtle moments was just before Azog kills him. You see it in his eyes that he knows he's going to die and that if he lets it happen he can still kill Azog. All of that just in his eyes and face.

The Legolas throwing Orcrist bit was awesome.

Now I need to go read fix-it fics.
philstar22: Hobbit: Elrondphilstar22 on December 30th, 2014 02:18 am (UTC)
Also, I have a free movie ticket that I want to use to see this again. And I'm pissed off that in week 3 it is still No Pass. I'm probably going to give in and pay for another ticket tomorrow. I need to see it again.
Renée: Thorin. Smile.rogueslayer452 on December 30th, 2014 07:34 pm (UTC)
I want to surpass the times I saw DOS in theaters, which was I believe six times, and at that time I was trying to surpass my sister's LOTR theater viewings, which I think was about eight or nine. I'm not entirely sure how much I will be seeing BOTFA, since it does leave me rather emotionally depleted afterwards, but I definitely need to see it at least twice in IMAX.
philstar22: Hobbit: Thorinphilstar22 on December 30th, 2014 07:43 pm (UTC)
I saw it in IMAX and sat in the second row. It was awesome. I went to the marathon and then I went opening night. I've seen it three times already. Not enough. I'm so exhausted, but I still think I'm going tonight. Probably not IMAX because the IMAX showing isn't until 9PM, which would make it difficult to get home since the last bus is at 11:35. But maybe regular tonight and then IMAX on Thursday since I'm not working.
Renée: Thorin Oakenshield.rogueslayer452 on December 30th, 2014 07:30 pm (UTC)
Tauriel as a character worked in the story for me. Yes, there was the romance, but she was also badass and had her own motivations. And I loved her as a counterpoint to Thranduil.

Same, Tauriel was such an amazing addition to the story and her character really fit into the world wonderfully. She wasn't reduced to being a "love interest" as some seem to think she was, but she had motivation and purpose, she had a moral compass which was vital to the story, particularly with clashing and defying Thranduil's orders because she believed them to be wrong. Her confrontation with him in this film was satisfying because she was able to speak her mind, and I liked that in the end it's implied that he had forgiven and made amends with her.

I'm convinced that in a similar situation women in similar cultures would die with the men to let the children live if that was the only option available.

For real. Not all cultures and societies in Middle-earth act the same, and in those harsh conditions the people of Laketown had been through, you know the women would be fierce and hardcore, taking no-nonsense from anyone and are able to hold up on their own, particularly when they were underneath the thumb of their incompetent Master, everyone in that town had to pull their weight to survive. I mean, we see this even before the declaration of fighting alongside the men (I saw a woman amongst the fray of the men and elves when Dain appeared during the second viewing, which was awesome).

Dis would have been awesome. I would have loved a prologue with Fili and Kili and Dis.

I believe Richard gave his own headcanon about that as well some while ago in an interview of sorts, in preparation for the role he imagined that Thorin had a conversation with his sister before taking his nephews on the quest. Which I really wished they had filmed because it would have been lovely seeing their little family unit together.

I didn't know that Richard came up with that scene himself. I loved it. It mirrored Bilbo's comparing Thorin to the dragon and for me it worked perfectly.

I love hearing the kinds of things that Richard came up with himself to better understand Thorin and his motivations. ♥

One of my favorite subtle moments was just before Azog kills him. You see it in his eyes that he knows he's going to die and that if he lets it happen he can still kill Azog. All of that just in his eyes and face.

YES. I was too shocked at what was happening to notice it the first time, but the second time I was definitely watching his face and you literally can see him make that decision. There are no words needed, it's all there. Like, it's a mixture of understanding, resolve and exhaustion. He makes that choice because he can't see any other way of defeating Azog, and it's just so heartbreaking. In the book it just simply states that he gets fatally wounded on the battlefield, but here it's much more personal and I love how Richard plays it so beautifully. No words, but just from his eyes. He does fantastic acting simply from his eyes and facial expressions alone in this film and it just makes me so proud that Richard was the one to portray Thorin in these films. He adds so much depth to the character, so much passion and love to what he does with his acting choices. Just. ♥

Now I need to go read fix-it fics.

That is literally my favorite thing about this fandom is how we pretty much either violently deny the ending and substitute our own, complete with adorable headcanons, or we thrive in the pain by sharing some of the most beautiful and painful fanarts and creations.
Julie: Blood C ★ impossible to tellragnarok_08 on December 30th, 2014 07:13 am (UTC)
Just, everything Thorin Oakenshield, okay? I have so much to say about his character, but I could write many essays about him (especially regarding his low self-esteem and how lowly he thinks of himself, as presented during the height of his madness he clearly seems to hate himself and that is worth examining and looking into). Thorin is so important to me that I literally cannot contain my emotions when talking about him. He is such a tragic character, his entire story breaks my heart and all I wanted for him was to live his life in peace.

I agree with you so much.
Renée: Thorin. Smile.rogueslayer452 on December 30th, 2014 07:37 pm (UTC)
I never imagined I would become so emotionally attached to his character, but these films really made me love Thorin so much. ♥
verdande_miverdande_mi on December 30th, 2014 09:07 am (UTC)

Will be back to read and comment when I have a PC to do it from :-)

Renéerogueslayer452 on December 31st, 2014 08:03 pm (UTC)
Can't wait! :)
Queen of Spades: thesoulmonkiainen on December 31st, 2014 09:54 am (UTC)
I completely agree with you on everything you said about Richard's performance. It was just... I don't even have the words to describe how utterly, wonderfully, amazingly talented that man is.
Renée: Thorin. Smile.rogueslayer452 on December 31st, 2014 12:28 pm (UTC)
He just put his heart and soul into this performance, and he managed to make Thorin into a tragic hero instead of some hammed up villain like I'm sure any other actor would have done. You can tell he loves this character so much and wanted to do right by him, and I am forever grateful he was chosen to be Thorin Oakenshield. ♥
Galadriel.: ASOIAF ✽ My Queen in the Northsixphanel on December 31st, 2014 06:45 pm (UTC)
My heart ;_;

"HE DESERVED TO LIVE, DAMMIT. HE FOUGHT SO HARD, HE SUFFERED SO MUCH, HE DESERVED TO LIVE AS WELL AS FILI AND KILI"
Renée: Kahlan. Elegance.rogueslayer452 on January 4th, 2015 05:39 pm (UTC)
Like, I understand the message about war and tragedy and how it's supposed to hurt and whatnot, I understand that intention, but couldn't there have been a happier ending for them? I kinda wished PJ could have filmed an alternative ending along with the real ending, like as an exclusive for the extended version. Idk.

But of course this is why fanfiction exists, already with so many fix-its available that I've seen and read and headcanons I have substituted as my own ending.
verdande_miverdande_mi on January 4th, 2015 02:55 pm (UTC)
Nothing at all to disagree with here! You're lucky to be able to see it so many times in cinema, but lucky for me that means posts like this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts :)

I don't know exactly when I started shipping Galadriel/Gandalf, but I so do. Their relationship has just been beautifully portrayed. Also after reading this I can see Thranduil/Bard as well ;)

The scenes where Thorin hits rock bottom as you say really impressed me and are scenes I am really looking forward to seeing again. His whole storyline really is a heartfelt storyline about mental illness.