Was Gwaihir the “Great Eagle” in The Hobbit?

Eagles

On my first few readings of The Hobbit I paid no attention to the possible connection between the Lord of the Eagles, who rescues the Hobbit and the Dwarves from a fiery forest, and Gwaihir, the Eagle who saves Gandalf three times in The Lord of the Rings.

Yet, the more I read the books, the more I found it unquestionable that the creature was one and the same in both stories. Continue reading “Was Gwaihir the “Great Eagle” in The Hobbit?”

Snow-Trolls and Stone-Giants in Middle-earth

La dix-neuvième Caravane des Dominicains d'Arcueil. [With a deThe evidence for the existence of both snow-rolls and stone-giants haunting the deep, shadowy passes of Middle-earth is, at best, poor.

To begin with, we have a stronger argument in favour of giants. Continue reading “Snow-Trolls and Stone-Giants in Middle-earth”

Explained: Dragon-talk and Dragon-sickness

Smaug

I thought it would be a good idea to spend just a few minutes understanding the concept of “dragon-talk” and “dragon-sickness”. I have always found that many people confuse the two as being one and the same. Moreover, with the advent of the film trilogy, this distinction between them seems to have disappeared completely.

So, whilst I claim to be no Tolkien expert, here’s my take on the issue.

Continue reading “Explained: Dragon-talk and Dragon-sickness”

Wind on the Withered Heath

withered heath (map)

Whence come the dragons …

Within Tolkien’s works there are only two instances in which the Withered Heath is mentioned, and both come from The Hobbit.

The first (and only) time we get to know about this place is from a comment made by Thorin during the ‘Unexpected Party’.

“And I know where Mirkwood is, and the Withered Heath where the great dragons bred.”

The Hobbit, ‘An Unexpected Party’

Whilst my curious reader-appetite has been satisfied, I’ve always wanted to know more about this particular location in Middle-earth. Continue reading “Wind on the Withered Heath”

The Battle of The Five Armies Extended Edition Review!

Thorin chargeAn Extended Cut that fixes many issues but remains slightly inconsistent

Here it is folks! The long-awaited review of the extended edition of The Battle of the Five Armies is here.

Don’t expect a long discussion for now; just a quick look at each extended scene.

A few mild spoilers follow, in case you haven’t yet seen it. Continue reading “The Battle of The Five Armies Extended Edition Review!”

The Thorin vs Azog Duels: An Analysis

Thorin vs Azog (analysis)

Why AUJ’s scene works better than BOTFA’s

The comparisons are obvious and the decision to include an initial confrontation between Azog and Thorin at the end of An Unexpected Journey, cleverly foreshadows the eventual meeting at the end of film 3.

It is my intention to analyse the two scenes and work out why one works better than the other.

For the purposes of this analysis, I will be referring to the Thorin/Azog scene at the end of An Unexpected Journey as the “Pine Forest Confrontation”; whilst the scene in The Battle of the Five Armies will be referred to as the “Ravenhill Conflict”.

Time and time again, I have found that the Pine Forest Confrontation has been a constant tear-jerker since my very first viewing of the film. With the Ravenhill Conflict, the emotional resonance lies only AFTER the conflict has ended.

I do not want to go into much detail on the Ravenhill Conflict, as I’ve already said much in a previous post (The Problematic Climax of ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’).

What follows is a personal opinion and is not meant to generalise the overall feeling of any fans or viewers of the film. Continue reading “The Thorin vs Azog Duels: An Analysis”

Tolkien’s Dickensian Dreams

Tolkien-Dickens Goblins (header)

Dickens’ short story that inspired a Tolkien chapter

This is somewhat a Tolkien paper I had written a while back, with the expressed intention to publish it one day. When that day never seemed to arrive, I thought it would be suitable to post an edited version on this blog.

The following, although much abbreviated from the original, is still pretty long. So proceed with caution but, as always, please enjoy 🙂

Continue reading “Tolkien’s Dickensian Dreams”

The Problematic Climax of         ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’

Bilbo (confused)

How Peter Jackson went places he proved he would never go

I have been a Peter Jackson apologist for a number of years: attempting to understand and explain to others certain decisions done by the filmmaker when adapting the Middle-earth stories tothe silver screen.Peter Jackson

Never being a narrow-minded “Jacksonphile”, I tried – as much as possible – to understand his reasonings; but not always found myself in full agreement with the outcome of specific choices. However, I always accepted Jackson’s own thoughts behind the alterations he employed.

However, after viewing The Battle of the Five Armies, I have come to the conclusion that Peter Jackson has probably done some shocking errors of judgement in its third act; something I will undoubtedly find extremely difficult to accept why he made the choices that eventually ended up on the screen.

I can most certainly understand why, but I don’t think I’ll be able to agree or sympathise with those decisions.

Continue reading “The Problematic Climax of         ‘The Battle of the Five Armies’”

The Gaffer’s Elite: Realms and Settlements

Gaffer Gamgee

Ranking all things Middle-earth

Hullo friends!

It’s Friday today and that means another post from the Gaffer’s Elite! Now I had announced a “favourite characters” ranking last week, but in the meantime I thought there’s just one more post I need to do before getting to that.

Undoubtedly, one of the most appealing things about Middle-earth, and the reason why we keeping going back to these films and reading the books, is due to the vast variety of locations the stories take place in.

In 6 films, Peter Jackson and his creative team have visualised much of Tolkien’s fertile creativity and sublime imagination. Suffice to say, the combination of visual effects, set design and New Zealand’s natural breathtaking countryside, have given us a wealth of fantasy locales unlike any other.

So without further ado, here are some of my most cherished environments from the films… Continue reading “The Gaffer’s Elite: Realms and Settlements”