Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it...yet.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Long-Awaited Trailer

Having now watched the trailer sixteen times, I feel qualified to do a bit of commentary and analysis on the two-and-a-half minutes of glory which were released this morning. I apologize in advance for the "ugly" formatting. I actually chose to do this on purpose, feeling that the size of the picture made up for it going into the sidebar a bit. If you haven't watched the trailer yet, go here now. Right, then. Let's just start from the top, shall we?
Second shot in the trailer, we get the forsaken lands of Angmar. It's one of my favorite passages in the book, when Bilbo sees the ruined castles on the mountains and feels as if something evil had once lived there. (Of course, we know he was right.) It's so deliciously chilling, and it's amazing to actually see it. Kind of makes up for completely missing the Barrow-Downs in Fellowship. On a side note, I suppose you could argue that this is Dol Guldur, but I just don't see it. It doesn't fit with the narration at that point or the shots around it, and it looks too ruinous.
I know this isn't "new" material, but isn't it thrilling to actually see the map?! Yes, it's in LotR, but here is irrefutable proof that The Hobbit is finally truly happening.
Look familiar? Well, some things never change.
Made me smile. Good old Bilbo and his well-rehearsed escape tactics.
Thorin. Like a boss. Okay, okay, you got me: I don't actually have much to say here. Just any excuse to post a picture of Richard Armitage. He's awesome, alright? I did want to point out, though, that I like how he calls it Erebor instead of The Lonely Mountain. Seems more appropriate.
The hobbit on the left here lives close to Bilbo, is concerned enough to inquire as to where he's "off to," and calls him "Mr. Bilbo" as opposed to "Mr. Baggins." Would it be safe to assume that this is Sam Gamgee's "Old Gaffer?" I think so.
Did he say an adventure? A respectable Baggins of Bag End? This will give them something to talk about... May I just take this opportunity to remind you all that Martin Freeman is not only a perfect Bilbo, but also a stupendous actor all around? *cough*gowatchSherlock*cough*
"Why Bilbo Baggins? Perhaps it is because I am afraid. And he gives me courage." I have nothing to add to this line. Just love.
At last, what I would consider a concrete example of something Peter Jackson added which wasn't covered in the book itself. Looks like we get to see the rescue under the Misty Mountains from Gandalf's perspective! One of the complaints I've heard a lot of about LotR is that you don't see Gandalf do enough magic, so this is potentially very exciting.
Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No! It was Radagast the Brown and his magnificent Bunny-Sled! All jokes aside, I can't wait to see what they do with this character.
Yeah, that is definitely a super-creepin' spider. Gulping Gargoyles, those things terrify me.
The "eats it whole" line is already the most popular part of the trailer, so no need to go into that. One of the things I'm the most excited for in the movie is to see how they handle Gollum. It's such an interesting task, reverse-character development. On the one hand, he definitely won't be the Smeagol we all know and love from TTT, but on the other hand he hasn't had to endure fifty years without the ring. Yes, five hundred with it, but still. At this point they could certainly play up the crafty (but not so desperate) side of Gollum. It would be backed up by his attitude and description in the book, and they seem to be headed that direction with this clip of the riddle game. Gollum talks to himself and yet it's not so much the hate we see in the LotR conversations as just straight-forward kill-or-be-killed. Even an interest in companionship, as long as he's not too hungry. So maybe still two sides, but not such pronounced differences between the two? One more eager, closer to his hobbitish-self, and one more possessed by the Ring? We'll see.
(Sorry the picture's so blurry. Everything was moving really fast.) Ah. Here comes the good stuff. These are wargs! I was a little put-off by how stocky and canine they were in LotR; I'd always pictured them more lanky and mangy and very, very lupine. Like this!! Goblins and eagles and wargs, oh my! Except...definite goblins...definite wargs...maybe a glimpse of eagles. So what does this mean about the movie? I think we just got ourselves a pretty solid cut-off point. No Carrock, no Beorn, no Mirkwood, one shot with a few blurs that could be a bird flying past (see below), nothing later than that. (And, no, the spider shot is not evidence of Mirkwood because it's Radagast and can't have anything to do with the dwarves.) I foresee an enormously dramatic cliff-hanger: thirteen dwarves, a hobbit, and a wizard clinging desperately to a handful of trees. Wargs and goblins prowling below. The forest in flames. An eagle's screech. The flash of a wing. And Ooooh! I'm getting chills just thinking about it!
They look like cave trolls. And as far as I can remember, cave trolls say "Argunhgheah!" These trolls are supposed to be complaining about mutton, and have names like Bill. This is one of those places where the light-hearted fairy story qualities of The Hobbit need to be reconciled with the sweeping grand fantasy of LotR. I'm intrigued to see how they'll do it.
See? There's so much playfulness in The Hobbit that just isn't there in LotR, so then you get the complaints that Merry, Pippin, and Gimli were "cheapened" into "pure comic relief." People can't say that about Hobbit because the lighter tone is all right there in the book. I'm not saying it won't be epic--watch the trailers, for crying out loud!--simply that we're in for a fun ride.
More of Thorin bossing. "I would take each and every one of these dwarves over the mightiest army. Loyalty. Honor. A willing heart. I can ask no more than that." Whoo!
And now my absolute favorite line in this trailer: "Home is now behind you. The world is ahead." Was your reaction as emotional as mine? I mean really: Gandalf says it to Bilbo. Bilbo writes it in one of his songs when he gets back. All his younger relatives learn all his songs. And then Pippin sings it in Denethor's hall. Wow. This attention to detail is why we love Peter Jackson and Co.
Here's that shot I mentioned earlier. You can see the eagle flashing past behind Gandalf's right shoulder. The more I think about it the more convinced I am--this would make a fantastic ending point. Nothing short of conclusive later footage in another trailer is going to convince me otherwise.
Right. It's funny and all. It made me giggle. But what is it? I honestly don't have a clue. It must be in the Misty Mountains somewhere, but that sure doesn't look like a goblin to me, nor does the joking seem to fit in that situation. Looks like a troll (a stupid troll) but that doesn't fit either, because the trolls turn to stone, end of story. Opionions? What is the goitered monstrosity?
Ah-hah! You think we're done, don't you? Well, we're not! Huzzah! In case you missed it, there are five separate endings to this trailer! The one with the dwarves, and four others. So a few more quick thoughts.
  The Sting Ending. Balin. Balin always has been and always will be my favorite of the dwarves. Isn't he wonderful, folks?
 The Gandalf Ending. Ah, I love their relationship. They're so much fun! And it makes me excited for the "What about very old friends" moment in LotR. It's strange, isn't? Being excited for how a  prequel will retroactively affect your perception of the sequels?
 The Bilbo Ending. "Incineration?!" Once more, all together now: Martin Freeman. Worship him.
The Gollum Ending. Um...just go back up and read what I wrote about Gollum earlier, because this clip backs me up even more.
Yes, now we are officially (finally) done. Sorry it was so long, but I hope you enjoyed it! And I want to hear your thoughts, arguments, etc. What did you think? Do you want to argue a point? Do tell!


  1. Oh Kat! How can I add anything to that?? You've said it so brilliantly!
    I'm glad to know that I am not the only one who is monstrously excited to see this movie. Everyone seems to think I'm crazy when I freak out about it...
    Richard-freaking-Armitage. I adore him. And he is going to be the best Thorin any could ever imagine.
    MARTIN FREEMAN! You are so right, that he is just one of the most brilliant actors EVER. I adore him. Always.
    The "Home is behind you, the world is ahead part" I didn't make the connection til now. Holy crap! That is brilliant!!
    And I had no idea there were 5 endings! I'm going to go watch them now. Thanks for the brilliant post!

  2. I wasn't too interested in the whole Hobbit thing when it was first announced, and then Richard Armitage was cast. Now I can't wait for the thing to appear on the cinema screens! You did a brilliant analysis too. :) Don't worry about the shameless blog pitch, it was perfectly legitimate! :D

  3. Kat!!! I read this a while ago but had to come back and comment.

    You, m'dear, are amazing. And I love you analysis! I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THE MOVIE AND THE TRAILER WAS EPIC!!!! I'm trying not not be a book purist, so long as they stay true to Tolkien's vision.

    It will be really interesting to see Angmar, that is not in the book at all if I remember correctly. How much of Gandalf's quest was in the Hobbit and appendixes, do you know? They're totally tying it in to LotR so far as the epic-legend feel goes (I've always thought of LotR as a great myth or legend and the Hobbit as a fun fairytale).

    (Sidenote, I'll never be able to think of Angmar as an evil place. On the forum I used to be on all the time, we did roleplaying games, and one of the threads was set in Angmar. The Witch-King had an identical twin brother named Cor who loved to throw parties and play practical tricks and generally banish his no-fun evil brother. Angmar was the COOL place.)

    Old Gaffer? I just realized that and ohmygosh that would be the most awesomest thing ever! Would Sam have been born at this point? I think so, right? WILL WE SEE A WEE LITTLE SAM?! (We probably won't, but Sam is one of my favorites and that would be cool).

    Martin Freeman. That sentence does not need to be any longer!

    Gandalf's line convinced me that they are definitely making his quest just as big or even bigger than Bilbo's. I wonder what's up with Galadriel in the other trailer??? People keep saying "Ooooohlala, Gandalf and Galadriel get together!" and I get a nearly irresistible urge to strangle them.

    I don't have much time so I'll stop commenting piece-by-piece on your post :) but I also have no idea what the heck that troll-like monster is. I hope that that bit is well done in the movie, it seems like the kind of slapstick that breaks the fourth wall and that would be SUPER jarring in an epic fanatasy movie.

    This post was awesome and I loved reading your thoughts!!!

  4. The more I get to know you, the more I am amazed at how much there is to know. You are a freaking encyclopedia!! Brilliant observations all. You are a gem.

  5. I had no idea there were five endings to this trailer! I have to go watch them all now, and content myself with that until the movie finally arrives! I admit I was a little worried about how this movie might go, but this trailer largely put my mind at ease. I love that we get to have everything from the book--including the stone giants! And the pictures of Thorin and Gandalf in the trees? Exactly how I always imagined them!

    I am still concerned about the inclusion of the White Council. I can't imagine why Galadriel knows all about this side quest of Gandalf's and why she really cares about Hobbits. It's almost like she knows Bilbo is going to change the fate of Middle-earth, when she can't.

    And I'm pretty sure that IS a troll falling on the dwarves, though I can't imagine why since, as you said, he really ought to be stone.

  6. Great, awesome commentary on the trailer. Been awhile since I've been here don't post very often. ;)