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2.12.14 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Film Comments 13, “Barrels Out of Bond,” Part 2)

2.12.14 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Film Comments 13, “Barrels Out of Bond,” Part 2)

The Wood-Elves' Kingdom (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, New Line Cinema/Warner Bros., 2013)

The Wood-Elves’ Kingdom (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, New Line Cinema/Warner Bros., 2013)

Good Morning, Everyone!

Now, let’s review the departures that Peter Jackson’s 2013’s The Desolation of Smaug made to J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937/1966’s “Chapter IX, Barrels Out of Bond” in The Hobbit.

In the film, Jackson:

Thorin & Thranduil (Richard Armitage & Lee Pace)

Thorin & Thranduil (Richard Armitage & Lee Pace)

… kept Thorin & the dwarves together to all be captured by the Wood-elves — in the text, Thorin got separated from the group, had a solo-interview with Thranduil, (whom Jackson names, though Tolkien didn’t) and thrown first into the dungeons

The Hobbit: DoS, Captured by the Wood-elves

The Hobbit: DoS, Captured by the Wood-elves

imparted names to and introduces two of the Wood-elves troop that captures the dwarves, Legolas (who first appeared in The Fellowship of the Ring, a story that takes place over 60 years after events in The Hobbit), and Tauriel (a female elven commander wholly invented for the film) — in Tolkien’s original version, the only elves that had names were the ones who got drunk while guarding the dungeons and barrels…

Thranduil & Legolas (Orlando Bloom) interrogate orc

Thranduil & Legolas (Orlando Bloom) interrogate orc

introduced a completely new narrative that established a very personal relationship between the kings, Thorin and Thranduil, both by tying their mutual enmity into events of An Unexpected Journey, but also hinting at Thranduil’s greater awareness of how the dwarves’ return and Smaug’s reception might pose a greater threat to the status quo than he desires (i.e., the decapitation of the orc and Legolas’s confusion why his father wants to hunker down and have no part of the coming war with the Necromancer…)

Tauriel & Kili (New Line Cinema, 2013; Deviant Art, Emily Eretica)

Tauriel & Kili (New Line Cinema, 2013; Deviant Art, Emily Eretica)

elevated Kili’s role from how Tolkien depicted him, in that there was some flirting with Tauriel and beginning of a friendship between the dwarf and elf

Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) & Thranduil (Lee Pace)

Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) & Thranduil (Lee Pace)

hinted at the different “social strata” among elves in Middle Earth when Thranduil tacitly agrees with Tauriel’s statement that she’s just “lowly” and not someone with whom the noble-born Legolas could ever have a romance

Tokien, "Barrels Out of Bond" (Alan Lee)

Tokien, “Barrels Out of Bond” (Alan Lee)

turbo-charged the “barrel escape” scene from Tolkien’s (1) cold and languid drifting of the company down the stream, (2) the collection of the barrels at the down-river huts of the Wood-elves, and (3) conveyance thence to Long Lake — in Jackson’s version, Borg’s orc company attacks the dwarves as they’re cascading down a Class 5 series of river rapids (more on my thoughts about this scene next time)!

Next time:  What I really, really liked about the adaptation of this chapter!

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