Old Bolg back in The Hobbit!

Bolg (old design)

From being slain in An Unexpected Journey to chief torturer in The Battle of the Five Armies

I’ve grown rather fond of the final appearance of Bolg in The Hobbit trilogy. Although I had some initial reservations, I’ve come around.

You may probably have noticed by now that the original design for Bolg (and originally Azog – it’s slightly complicated so here’s a link to a detailed post about the design history: Azog, Bolg … and Yazneg: The trio’s tangled design history), has made an appearance in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Missed him?

He’s the handsome orc who taunts and tortures Gandalf in Dol Guldur; a gatekeeper of sorts left behind to take care of keeping prisoners in the ruined fortress some company.

That is, until he’s obliterated by Galadriel’s fury.Bolg

It’s interesting to see his inclusion after all the mishaps and design problems this character has been through.

Seeing how he’s barely visible in this scene, one can only speculate that this was indeed part of a much longer sequence that was to be featured in the original two-film adaptation.

I’m intrigued by how this scene would have worked out in the whole timeline of events, had Bolg retained this appearance. We can also be pretty certain that him being blasted away by Galadriel was added later – possibly during pick-ups.

In a VFX video for The Desolation of Smaug released last year, we were shown the shot prior to Gandalf’s captivity: demonstrating this very same design of Bolg (later replaced by Manu Bennett’s Azog).

After seeing this brief appearance in the third film, one starts wondering whether this Bolg was to be part of the Battle of Five Armies and how his story would have developed from the Dol Guldur subplot.

Bolg in AUJThings get further complicated once we start asking whether this Bolg-torturing-Gandalf moment was shot when things were in even earlier stages, and that the orc figure was actually assuming the role of Azog.

These are ultimately irrelevant issues in the final result; but it’s always fascinating to speculate how and why things have changed so much.

We cringed at the lack of Dol Guldur behind the scenes features in the extended edition of The Desolation of Smaug.

Here’s hoping we will get an extensive look at how this subplot has changed over time, and why the decision was made to re-include the old Bolg design when he was clearly slain by Dwalin in the Battle of Azanulbizar in An Unexpected Journey.

And after all, would the general moviegoer realise that he’s the same “resusciated” orc, after two years? Perhaps this may have been done intentionally during the two-film adaptation to explain the idea behind the Necromancer raising the dead and ….

*Speculation continues beyond scope of post*

Till next time folks!

Copyright of images belongs to Warner Bros Studios, MGM Studios and New Line Cinema

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11 thoughts on “Old Bolg back in The Hobbit!

  1. If you notice, he does not have the metal plating in the Azanulbizar scene, but he does in the Dol Guldur scene. Maybe this is supposed to mean that he needs the metal plating because of the beating that he recieves from Dwalin. That was probably an element of the story when this was still the Bolg design.

  2. I think the character is fighting at the Battle of Azalnubizar with Dwalin (which had to be Azog, then Bolg and finished in the play the role of gatekeeper) was not killed by it. Later you can see traces of battle: has several prostheses. I think we will see more scenes with him in the extended version: we will see torturing Beorn …and Gandalf later.
    I hope not to offend anyone if I mention a link! Here you can see the evolution of the character images Azog (Bolg) : http://www.thelandofshadow.com/cool-new-images-of-the-original-azogbolgyazneg-prosthetic-uruks/#

  3. Admittedly, I LOVED watching all of the extras on the extended blu-rays of “Unexpected” and “Desolation.” This Bolg design was a story that escaped me. Yet, when I first viewed “Battle of the Five Armies,” I was really intrigued by Gandalf’s tormentor. For lack of a better description, he looks straight bad ass and I am surprised he was a more centrally-featured orc design.

    The Bolg Jackson & Co. ended up going with was intimidating as well, but I’m still, surprised this design wasn’t used to better effect. Just my opinion.

    • Cheers Robert! I agree with you that this “old” design was as intimidating (if not more) than the final result. I’m sure it relates to Peter Jackson’s concern over the restrictions in facial performance of an actor in a suit – instead of a CGI/mo-capped version.

    • Hi Kelly, I agree! It seemed rather unfair to announce to the world his participation (PJ had done so on his Facebook page), but then completely scrap him. Although, I guess, that’s the risk an actor takes when taking part in these big films – you may not even make it into the final cut …

  4. CGI Bolg is it for me. He looks great.

    Old, bearded Bolg looked older than his father. The CGI version of Bolg I thought caught the vulnerability of his youth, the correct (thinner) build against Azog’s and his lesser experience. For an Orc, Bolg was extremely agile and I don’t think the old version would have done that justice.

    So CGI Bolg wins for me not least because he LOOKS like Azog’s son, rather than Azog’s brother, uncle or father.

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