“I don’t remember that…?”

I got back about an hour ago from seeing The Hobbit with my dad.  Since my dad is Odin, we didn’t see it in 3D or the 48fps, so I can’t comment on those.

Contrary to what everyone probably thinks, I didn’t absolutely hate it.  I didn’t HATE it, but that doesn’t mean I liked it.  I spent a lot of the movie like this to keep from yelling things that probably would have gotten me kicked out of the theatre:


Hey, how about we start at the beginning?  That seems logical, right?

First, let me say that I went in already pissed off that Elijah Wood was going to be in the movie.  I’m not a fan of Mr Tiny Hands, but I DIDN’T HATE THE INTRO!  No, it actually made sense to me, and I can appreciate that The Hobbit is now connected to the LotR films.  It makes sense.

Did anyone else giggle at the mention of Lobelia and the spoons?  I did.  But it might have been the last time I laughed at something I thought was funny and not just stupid or WTF-y.

Oh, hey, look – IT’S BACKSTORY TIME!

  • Yes, the whole “good morning” conversation happened word for word BUT WHY WAS BILBO SUCH A RUDE LITTLE HOBBIT?!  He didn’t invite Gandalf for tea, and he just…he wasn’t really Bilbo, I don’t think.
  • Once the dwarves start showing up, Bilbo grows EVEN RUDER.  Dude, the Bilbo at the beginning of the book was the perfect host.  He may not have been happy about it, but he was POLITE!  He didn’t go SNATCHING THINGS out of the hands of his uninvited guests.  Ugh.
  • I appreciated that That’s What Bilbo Baggins Hates was included in the songs.  That actually kind of made me glad I went to see it, because I was mouthing the words and stomping my feet along.  Luckily there weren’t many people in the theatre, and there was no one else in our row, so I didn’t really worry about it bugging people.
  • I still don’t like that the dwarves’ song sounds like a Klingon space shanty, but whatevs.  It’s not like I was consulted (even if this summer I was #1 in Hobbit +K).

I’m happy that PJ decided to try to give people that haven’t studied the Appendices and Tolkien’s other works a bit of backstory on Thorin.  It would have made me happier if he’d gotten the story right.  This was one of the worst parts for me, that from the VERY BEGINNING, I was doubting myself.  “Did it really happen like that?  It didn’t, did it?  I could have sworn that Thrór didn’t get all greedyguts until after Smaug rousted them and the Ring they had kind of started to warp his mind?”  So OF COURSE I looked it up as soon as I got home.

Listen, this is probably a small thing to the people that would even notice the difference and I can understand that it’s a relatively minor thing for me to get all nitpicky on.  Hush, DON’T YOU KNOW ME AT ALL YET?!

Anyway, listen.  What it shows in the movie with Thrór being all Scrooge McDuck-y and twirling around in his SWIMMING POOL FILLED WITH GOLD is not accurate.  And AGAIN, I realize this is something that most people won’t even notice, but it did NOT set everything off in a way that gave me much hope.*

I hated that Bilbo just UP AND RAN OFF with his contract in hand, that there was NO NOTE AND NO GANDALF rushing him out the door.  Would it have been THAT DIFFICULT to do?  No, it wouldn’t.

AND THEN!  I was REALLY looking forward to the trolls.  Like, really really.  I don’t understand why the ponies had to be stolen, I don’t understand why “a burgler-hobbit” was better than “a burrahobbit” and I don’t understand why Gandalf had to BREAK A ROCK to bring in the sun.  Seriously?  I just…blergh.

I’m about to go off on a bit of a rant about Azog.  Those of you who’ve only read the books proper and not the appendices probably have no idea how wrong this is, or maybe just thought that he was talked about in something you hadn’t read.

That’s partially correct, and where the title of this post came from.  When all of the backstory of Azog, Thrór and Thorin was going on, my dad leaned over and said “I don’t remember that…?”  Yeah, dad.  You don’t remember it because that’s not how it happened.

Yes, Azog had decided he was King of Moria and YES, he killed Thrór.  But it wasn’t in a mighty battle.  Thrór had left his kinsmen (giving custody of the dwarvish Ring to his son Thráin) with only ONE COMPANION (Nár), and together they traveled to Moria.  Thrór got all excited cos the gate to Moria was open, and against Nár’s advice, went running up.

Nár hid for a bunch of days, and then Thrór’s body was THROWN OUT minus his head (which was thrown separately).

‘If any of your people poke their foul beards in here again, they will fare the same. Go and tell them so! But if his family wish to know who is now king here, the name is written on his face. I wrote it! I killed him! I am the master!’
Then Nár turned the head and saw branded on the brow in dwarf-runes so that he could read it the name AZOG. That name was branded in his heart and in the hearts of all the Dwarves afterwards. Nár stooped to take the head, but the voice of Azog said:
‘Drop it! Be off! Here’s your fee, beggar-beard.’ A small bag struck him. It held a few coins of little worth.

AFTER THAT, once Thráin found out what had happened to his daddy, came the battle depicted in the film, BUT Azog was DECISIVELY KILLED by Thorin’s second cousin.  Dáin Ironfoot  beheaded him with an axe and then STUFFED that pouch of coins in Azog’s mouth.

So.  This whole nonsense with Azog HUNTING DOWN the line of Durin was ridiculous, unnecessary, and I assume only done to provide filler and excitement?  I don’t know.  The CGI was AWFUL, like, the Waits Orc in LotR looked so much realer, this just looked like the troll in the first Harry Potter movie.

The whole “Thorin cut Azog’s arm off and now the orc has a HARPOON just shoved up on in there with the end STICKING OUT THROUGH HIS UPPER ARM” was stupid.  I don’t like any of these bits, which makes me sad because they took up MOST OF THE MOVIE.

Now that I’ve built up a healthy head of ranting steam, I’m going to pause here and finish tomorrow.  Please, I’ve seen so many reviews and comments that say that anyone who doesn’t like these movies is just an asshole, or not a “real fan” so I’m going to ask anyone reading this that’s tempted to comment like that to NOT LEAVE THAT COMMENT.  If a comment like that is left, it’ll either be deleted or changed some way so that I can make fun of you.  I’m not calling anyone an asshole for liking this movie, please respect me the same way.  Thank you.

* I have other problems with this, but I’ll go into it tomorrow.

63 thoughts on ““I don’t remember that…?”

  1. Since I’ve never read the Hobbit, I probably won’t have these same problems with the movie. I will probably, however, lose is laughing when Thorin get harpoon arm. It will make me think of Army of Darkness and Ash’s shotgun hand.

  2. I liked it even though it did differ some. I guess I don’t get as upset when they change things as long as they tell a good story. Did Azog need to be in there for me? Honestly, no. But I think Bilbo as the host seemed perfect to me; he seems perfectly overwhelmed and upset like the book. But to each her own, I guess.

    I’m chomping at the bit to see Beorn in the next movie. He is one of my favorite characters! :)

  3. I’m not going to see it. Don’t care. I’ll keep The Hobbit in my head. It’s better that way.

    I still didn’t see the LotR movies, either. Someday, maybe. Haven’t 100% decided yet.

    Mostly I would have liked to go with you to see that face up there happen live. Because it is AWESOME.

  4. I have decided not to go see this. The last straw is learning that there are no burrahobbits (but lots of these here dwarves that I won’t even recognize because they look like Klingons). And Azog the Hunter? And no Gandalf hustling Bilbo out the door without any pocket handkerchiefs either? And rude Bilbo? Ugh. I am sparing myself.

    I am, however, happy imagining Ian Holm acting out the scenes in the book. Ian as Bilbo was one of the best things in the LOTR films. Sigh.

    Anyway. Thanks for taking one for the team!

  5. I sort of liked it but felt like it was toooooooo long. Like really. Worst thing for me was the scene with Bilbo and Gollum, I think. I kept thinking that it wasn’t exactly the way it happened, right? From what I remember, Bilbo was just awful to Gollum, but it’s been so long since I read the book that I’m kind of hazy with the details. I’ll just re-read the book.

  6. I agree about the oddness of Bilbo’s behavior in the movie vs. in the book… in the book he at LEAST greets Gandalf with genuine pleasantness, and even invites him to sit down and have a pipe, and only when Gandalf mentions the dreaded “adventure” word does Bilbo start to panic. In the movie he seems suspicious of Gandalf from the get-go.

    And what was up with Gandalf? In the book, he was amused by Bilbo’s reaction to the idea of an adventure, and by his reaction to all the dwarves showing up. Movie!Gandalf seemed personally offended by Bilbo’s unadventurousness. I guess PJ wanted to emphasize the theme of Bilbo Must Get Out of His Comfort Zone and Gandalf’s On A Mission to Make His Life More Exciting… or something.

    • Yeah, Bilbo was a dick, quite frankly, and acted like Gandalf interrupted something, like a drug-induced haze maybe.

      Gawd, I hate PJ. Strong words, I know, but I can’t help it.

      • You never know what some hobbits like to put in their pipes… (wait, did that sound wrong? Or did I just make it sound wrong by asking if it sounds wrong? Or am I just wrong? …I’mma go ride through a desert on an unnamed horse for a while, maybe clear my head…)

        I generally love Martin Freeman as Bilbo — he has these great mannerisms for certain moments, like when he’s just read the job description contract, or when he’s convincing Gollum to play a game of riddles instead of eating him — but there are those other moments that just make me all :-/ Like when he asks Gandalf if Radagast is “a great wizard? Or is he more like you?” *facepalm* Was that meant to be an intentional jab, or a hairy-foot-in-mouth moment, or an accidental jab he decides to go with b/c he’s still miffed at Gandalf for this whole adventure thing in the first place?

        It’s not Freeman’s fault, of course (it can’t be his fault because he’s John Watson and he’s awesome and shuttup I won’t be argued with). It’s PJ’s screwy script and directions. Everyone focus on PJ and pay no attention to the biased fangirl behind the piles of gold, waiting to hear the first moment Smaug speaks…

        • Yeah, the “is he a great wizard…” line is a definite jab and indicative of the general cynical vibe I get from all of these movies. But, no, I definitely don’t blame Freeman for any of it, even though I wasn’t as big a fan of his mannerisms. Likewise, I would probably otherwise like Sir Ian as Gandalf, if it wasn’t in a Jackson film.

  7. I don’t hate people who loved it. To each his own. After all, I loved the first trilogy and giggled at your rants. I do hate Peter Jackson for ruining it.

    I agree that if changes are made, I don’t mind as long as the story is good. This movie, however, was not the story I had thought I was going to see. That’s my biggest objection. He changed the tone so much that it is definitely not for younger viewers, though the book is written for them.

  8. That’s going to be my face if I ever do watch it. When I found out the thing was 3 HOURS LONG and there was crap in it like Azog the Hunter, I lost a lot of interest. PJ, why must you pad your films with bullshit?!

  9. I haven’t seen the Hobbit because I’ve so nervous about a lot of the things you mention here. Now I’m feeling even less enthusiastic…

    That being said, I don’t normally have a problem with movies departing from books because I see them as such very different art forms and not actually all that compatible. In this case however, I feared (and apparently rightly) that any changes made would not only not make the film better but specifically detract from the enjoyment from the parts that do make sense. Mostly I’m afraid that if I see this, it will somehow ruin LOTR (the films) for me. I think I would have felt better about it if PJ had NOT directed this. Just go for a totally different style please!

    At the very least, these films convey a deep love and respect for Middle Earth and that is at least a good thing.

    • I was talking to Heather about it earlier, how the little things he got SO RIGHT that most people won’t even notice are kind of overshadowed by the BIG THINGS he thought needed to be improved upon, and that makes me more than a little sad.

  10. Pingback: “I don’t remember that…?” (Part II) | snobbery

  11. Dude, you are the biggest font of Tolkien knowledge I know, so was there really a moose-riding elf in the appendices? Anywhere in Tolkien? My husband had to shush me in the theatre over that one.

    • There WAS NOT. That was total poetic license, and I kind of didn’t appreciate it (I think Tolkien might have had an issue with the pagan symbol of stamina being used as an elf steed, too).

      (don’t tell anyone [hee] but I may have found a bootleg copy after I got home last night just to get the screenshots in the next post)

      • Thanks you. Now I can laugh outloud, unfettered, about that moose. I was able to accept the poetic license on everything else without making too much noise, but that one little WTF moment had me giggling when no one else was.

  12. Ha! You sound like the realest real fan to me. I haven’t read these books since I was twelve, so I’ve forgotten enough to be able to enjoy them a bit more than you, I think.

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  14. I’ve been waiting to read your posts until I saw the movie too. I don’t know all the details that way you do, so I’m thankful I don’t have that to be upset about. What I am very upset about though is the depiction of Bilbo as very unBagginsesy! They didn’t just fail to capture his spirit, the rudeness you pointed out struck me too. That makes me sad. It’s also sad that the thing that probably made me the happiest was the return of Bret McKenzie elf and the thing I laughed at most were the prosthetic noses. Oh well.

  15. Pingback: Right in your ear, Peter Jackson. Right. In. Your. Ear. | snobbery

  16. “Yes, the whole “good morning” conversation happened word for word BUT WHY WAS BILBO SUCH A RUDE LITTLE HOBBIT?! He didn’t invite Gandalf for tea, and he just…he wasn’t really Bilbo, I don’t think.”

    Yes. Most might think this a small point, but it bugged me. Bilbo acted kind of like a douche here, rather than the friendly hobbit who cheerfully greeted Gandalf and became uncomfortable when the latter started mentioning adventures.

    “I hated that Bilbo just UP AND RAN OFF with his contract in hand, that there was NO NOTE AND NO GANDALF rushing him out the door. Would it have been THAT DIFFICULT to do? No, it wouldn’t.”

    Not to mention how curious it is that Bilbo is able to find and catch up with them at all—he’s on foot, after all, while they’re riding horses. Also, when he’s offered a pony, he declines. Why would Bilbo do that? No good reason at all. Just more pointless garbage.

    “AND THEN! I was REALLY looking forward to the trolls. Like, really really. I don’t understand why the ponies had to be stolen, I don’t understand why “a burgler-hobbit” was better than “a burrahobbit” and I don’t understand why Gandalf had to BREAK A ROCK to bring in the sun. Seriously? I just…blergh.”

    Yeah, this was one of the worst scenes in the movie. Achingly unfunny and just a steaming mess of a scene.

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