I know I’m behind a lot of my comrades in the number of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug viewings in the cinema. But I’m very happy I got to see it again yesterday with my brother and niece. They are major Tolkien fans, and I was looking forward to sharing the experience with them. They hadn’t seen it before.
My niece’s boyfriend joined us as well. He is such a Tolkien fan that he skydived over NZ to visit LOTR filming sites! LOL! I trained my niece right!
Thorin stands on the overlook to view the ruins of Dale: the Desolation of Smaug
Thankfully, everyone loved the movie! My niece’s boyfriend had a few reservations about the changes Peter Jackson made to Tolkien’s story, but even he agreed the film worked. I have to say that I was again surprised that I had no problem with the changes. I really felt that the film worked well under its own terms. For what it is, it’s a really good thrill-ride movie. There is enough character development and plot movement to keep it on track, plus the over-the-top special effects of the elves fighting and the insanity of the dwarves in Erebor. Thorin surfing on a river of gold? I mean, really? Hilarious!!
I was paying special attention to Richard Armitage’s performance. Since I know so much about Thorin and Richard it was way less of the power I felt watching AUJ, when I didn’t know who the actor playing Thorin was. Nevertheless, I thought Mr. Armitage did an amazing job in this movie. His face is so expressive. You can see the various emotions in his face as he moves from scene to scene. And he pulled off the majestic persona in Laketown very naturally. I almost cried! Thorin coming back to reclaim his homeland! Of course, Bard was right and the dwarves would bring down death and destruction to Laketown, but we’ll see all that in the next movie. The Hobbit: There and Back Again, set to open December 17, 2014. Can’t wait!!
Again, I think that Peter Jackson deliberately included scenes that featured Thorin as a hero. That was clearly his intention, as I said in this posting about Peter Jackson: Genius. While the hobbit himself, Bilbo played by Martin Freeman, is an important focus, whose story sticks pretty closely to Tolkien’s story, Peter Jackson seems to be creating new and exciting features for Thorin, intended to show him off as a hero as well as Bilbo. PJ also expands Kili’s role way beyond what is in the book.
I’m sure all these changes will have a big payoff in There and Back Again, as we, the audience, have an increased interest in these characters, so their ultimate ends will wring our hearts dry. Certainly the Tauriel/Kili relationship is a set-up to enhance the levels of tragedy in the last film.
In this viewing I also paid attention to the Arkenstone. It seems clear that Bilbo has the stone, but doesn’t let Thorin know because of what Smaug said about the effect the stone would have on Thorin. Bilbo is trying to protect Thorin. <sigh> Now I know why I cried when I read The Hobbit so long ago. I am preparing myself for lots of tears next December.
So do you think Peter Jackson is a Richard Armitage fan, or is he just making changes to Thorin’s storyline to make a more exciting movie?
post script: http://microlina.tumblr.com/ Microlina posted a Philippa Boyens interview on tumblr that explains a lot about the development of Thorin in DOS.
Thanks RichardArmitageNet.com for the pictures.